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What is a Degausser?

Degaussing is the process of reducing or eliminating an unwanted Magnetic Field which holds information that is stored on Tape and Disk Media.
Tape Media is defined as any medium - Reel or Cassette, which contains Magnetic Tape as the recording medium.
Disk Media is defined as any medium - Flexible Disk, Disk Packs, Sealed Disk Packs, Hard Disk Drives, Laptop Drives, and Disk Platters that contains a Disk as the recording medium.
The correct use of a properly selected Degausser will ensure that this information is no longer retrievable.

Why should I use a Degausser from

  • Guaranteed Security: Degaussing is the preferred method of sanitisation by the UKís CESG, the National Technical Authority for approving Degaussers, the USAís Department of Defense (DoD) and the National Security Agency (NSA). Our Suppliers work closely with these organisations to ensure our products exceed the standards required.
  • Regulation Compliance: Our products comply with all Government and Commercial Regulations to guarantee the security of your data.
  • Save Time: Degaussing and Destroying Media on-site in seconds eliminates every possible Data Security Risk.
  • Save Money: Re-use Back-up Tapes, Sanitise crashed Drives to be returned under Warranty, reduce Labour and Administrative costs associated with moving Classified or Sensitive Media away from Site.
  • Recycle and Upgrade: Send us your outdated Degausser for Recycling and some models may be eligible for a Trade-in Allowance towards an Upgraded Machine whilst remaining current with today's Media Formats.
  • Customer Support: Don Ruffles Ltd provides their customers the best warranties, with unlimited support - NB. some models may require a return to base.

Common Degausser Misconceptions

Myth: All degaussers are created equally.

Fact: There are many degaussers available on the market, each rated for different media based upon the degausserís field strength. A degausserís magnetic field strength is measured in Gauss or Oersteds. Likewise, magnetic media has a property called Coercivity, which is measured in Oersteds, which informs you how hard or how easy each tape or hard drive is to erase. For complete erasure, a degausserís magnetic field strength must be two to three times the Coercivity of the media. At we can help you identify the correct degausser based upon your media sanitisation requirements.

Myth: All Degaussers erase Disk Drives.

Fact: Most commercial degausser specifications claim a magnetic field strength of 4000 Oersted (Gauss) or less, while most disk drives have coercivity ratings of 5000 Oersteds. To ensure complete erasure, a degausserís magnetic field strength must be two to three times the Coercivity of the media. Therefore, a 4000 Oersted (Gauss) degausser has barely enough strength to erase 2000 Oersted Media, making a 4000 Oersted Commercial Degausser insufficient for proper erasure of todayís 5000 Oersted Hard Disk Drives. At we can help you identify the correct degausser based upon your media sanitisation requirements.

Myth: Formatting, Deleting, Overwriting and/or Physical Destruction of Media is an adequate substitute for Degaussing.

Fact: The only way to ensure all information is removed from a Tape or Disk is to use an appropriate, NSA approved degausser and depending on the security level required, a suitable shredding system - Visit our specialist shredders site for more information.
Formatting, Deleting and Overwriting does NOT Erase Files, it simply removes Pointers and Compresses Disk Space - the files remain and can be recovered leaving your data at risk.
Likewise, Physical Destruction - Shattering, Drilling, Folding, Shredding and Disintegrating does NOT ensure your data is unrecoverable either.
Both Commercial and Government Laboratories have methods to successfully recover information from tiny pieces of disks and tape. The only way to properly ensure ALL information is removed from a tape or a disk is to use an appropriate, NSA approved Degausser and depending on the Security Level of the information this should be combined with a suitable Shredding System.

Myth: All Electromagnetic Degaussers create a dangerous Magnetic Field that can escape from the Degausser.

Fact: All Degaussers supplied by do not waste energy and have a shield which keeps the magnetic field within the machine. Any magnetic field outside of the degausser is equal to or less than the earth's magnetic field.

Myth: All Electromagnetic Degaussers heat Media.

Fact: All Electromagnetic Degaussers do not heat media. When magnetic media, which is encased in Aluminium, is exposed to an AC Magnetic Field for an extended period of time, the temperature of the media will rise. This phenomenon is common with many commercial table top style degaussers. A Capacitive Discharge Degausser supplied by eliminates the constant exposure to an AC field and therefore does not heat the media.