In this article, we compare quantitatively the efficiency of three different protocols commonly used in commercial defibrillators. These are based on monophasic and both symmetric and asymmetric biphasic shocks. A numerical one¿dimensional model of cardiac tissue using the bidomain formulation is used in order to test the different protocols. In particular, we performed a total of 4.8 × 106 simulations by varying shock waveform, shock energy, initial conditions, and heterogeneity in internal electrical conductivity. Whenever the shock successfully removed the reentrant dynamics in the tissue, we classified the mechanism. The analysis of the numerical data shows that biphasic shocks are significantly more efficient (by about 25%) than the corresponding monophasic ones. We determine that the increase in efficiency of the biphasic shocks can be explained by the higher proportion of newly excited tissue through the mechanism of direct activation.