The 7 Best Hard Drive Degaussers

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This wiki has been updated 19 times since it was first published in January of 2019. From government security agencies to the financial and health care industry, organizations that deal with highly sensitive data rely on hard drive degaussers to wipe their storage media. With data retrieval being so sophisticated nowadays, half-measures could put your confidential files in the wrong hands. Instead, our selections offer the most surefire and secure way to delete your data. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Garner HD-2

2. Verity Systems DataGauss LG

3. SEM SD-1

Editor's Notes

March 05, 2021:

These are pretty specialized pieces of equipment, designed for institutions that are legally and ethically required to maintain strict data sanitation. As we've noted before, the biggest differences between the models are speed and size, as they all use the same underlying technology. So while the average user won't need one of these, many government contractors, or companies in other sensitive industries, will need one. To that end, none of these come cheap, but they do generally last for a considerable amount of time, due partly to their minimal moving parts.

At any rate, we still trust and recommend the same choices as before, and they're all still readily available in many outlets. So, we haven't altered these rankings this time around.

April 30, 2019:

It's important to note that you won't be able to reuse your hard drive once you've put it through a degausser. The reason for that is that even firmware is scrambled, meaning you won't be able to boot the hard drive. However, backup tape erased by these machines can be reused.

While this is the most reliable way to make sure your hard drives don't retain data, they can be pricey and therefore typically only used in setting where regulations mandate a certain level of caution when handling sensitive information.

The technology used by degaussers is pretty much the same across the board. The differences between our selections comes down to speed and size. Titans of industry with a constant flow of top-secret info should look at the Garner HD-3WXL, which can be fed over 3,000 hard drives an hour. If instead you work in a small medical office and need a degausser to comply with your computer disposal policy, a desktop SEM SD-1 might be right up your alley.

Special Honors

Proton 1100 Uniquely designed, this handheld model lets you manually demagnetize storage media. The caveat is that you must first disassemble a hard drive because the wand needs to be applied directly onto the platters to be effective.

4. Verity Systems V91 HDD Max

5. MBM DestroyIt

6. Garner HD-3WXL

7. Martin Yale Intimus I8000

Christopher Thomas
Last updated by Christopher Thomas

Building PCs, remodeling, and cooking since he was young, quasi-renowned trumpeter Christopher Thomas traveled the USA performing at and organizing shows from an early age. His work experiences led him to open a catering company, eventually becoming a sous chef in several fine LA restaurants. He enjoys all sorts of barely necessary gadgets, specialty computing, cutting-edge video games, and modern social policy. He has given talks on debunking pseudoscience, the Dunning-Kruger effect, culinary technique, and traveling. After two decades of product and market research, Chris has a keen sense of what people want to know and how to explain it clearly. He delights in parsing complex subjects for anyone who will listen -- because teaching is the best way to ensure that you understand things yourself.

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