The best paper shredder is a simple mechanical or electrical device used to reduce materials into long pieces or smaller square pieces from their original size.
Paper shredders are usually the first device thought of when recycling paper. Perhaps the major reason people shred papers is to reduce the volume of waste. However, they are also very helpful in preventing identity theft or discovery.
But that is not all. Did you know that shredding machines help to modify paper for other usage such as bedding for animals, insulation in construction, cardboard briquettes and a host of other uses. I even have one friend who uses a paper shredder to make small chunks of paper that are them tightly formed into bricks that he burns in his shop fireplace.
This article will take us on a journey of identifying the different types of paper shredders and a review of top paper shredders available in the market, with the aim of assisting you in making your choice of the ideal paper shredder.
The Quick Cut
Fellowes 79CI 100% Jam Proof Heavy Duty Paper and Credit Card Shredder – TOP PICK
This heavy duty shredder from Fellowes can cut up to 16 sheets of paper into 397 cross-cut particles (5/32” x 1-1/2” Security Level P-4).
Apart from papers, credit cards, CDs, DVDs, paper clips, and staples are other materials that can be shredded using the Fellowes Powershred 79Ci.
Its 100% Jam Proof System operates on three levels, meaning no more paper jams that limit productivity. It achieves this by resisting overfeeding, continuing operation in spite of inconsistencies in paper feeding into it, and providing instant feedback on correct capacity usage.
In line with modern technology and office use, the Fellowes 79CI shredder is very silent in operation.
The machine’s Energy Saving System means utility bills do not necessarily have to spike because you have a few papers to shred. However, the Fellowes Powershred 79Ci is built to shred for about 20 minutes non-stop before it needs a cool down time of about 30 minutes.
The machine’s size, touch screen features with LED backlights and sleek black and silver colour design, makes it user-friendly and at home in office settings. The control monitor measures 21.5 x 12.19 x 15.38 inches (LxWxD), this innovative feature is smooth to use.
This paper shredder utilizes the SafeSense technology. It works by using a sensor that triggers the machine to stop working when the sensors pick up a hand close by or at the opening.
It comes with a pre-installed 6-gallon removable waste paper basket for holding the shredded paper. Fellowes offers a two-year warranty for the machine, while the cutter has a warranty of five years.
Customers who have used Fellowes 79Ci have given it a 4.7-star rating out of a possible 5 stars. Purchasers of the machine all are satisfied with the 79Ci because it functions as advertised.All these features and reviews have easily made the Fellowes Powershred 79Ci 100% Jam proof 16-sheet crosscut heavy duty paper shredder the best paper shredder available in the market.
- 100% jam proof system eliminates paper jams and powers through tough jobs.
- SilentShred offers ultra-quiet shredder performance for shared workspaces.
- Energy savings system provides optimal energy efficiency 100% of the time-in use and out of use.
- SafeSense technology stops shredder when hands touch the paper opening. Average Shred Speed (mpm) : 4.3. Auto Reverse : Reverse Function
- Shreds 16 sheets per pass into 5/32" x 1-1/2" cross-cut particles (security level P-4).Item dimension H x W x D (inches):21.31 x 15.38 x 10.44
AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross Cut Paper and Credit Card Shredder – Best Budget
This economic small paper shredder that has pride of being one of the ideal paper shredders, especially as the best shredder for home and office. From the machine’s name, we know it has the capacity for only 6 sheets at a time.
The machine shreds only 6 sheets at once into crosscut pieces measuring 7/32 by 1-27/32 inches (security level P-5). Apart from papers, it can also shred discs and credit cards, but one at a time.
The shredder can cut a stack of about 9 inches paper fed into it in a minute. It has the capacity to shred nonstop for 2 minutes before it needs a cool down time of 30 minutes.
Its Auto Start feature means it can remain on standby and immediately resume shredding once its sensors pick that there is a paper for shredding at the opening. It includes a manual reverse lever to aid in the elimination of paper jams and improve machine efficiency.
Shredding activities generate heat, and to prevent damage to skin, the AmazonBasics 6 shredder comes installed with a thermal protection system that has an auto shut-off option which is triggered when the machine reaches certain temperatures.
Its compact size of 15 x 12.1 x 7.7 inches makes it easily fit under a desk for easy reach during work hours.
The AmazonBasics 6 Cross Cut Shredder has over 10,000 reviews on Amazon, one of the highest counts I’ve come across so far. This simply shows the machine gives utmost satisfaction, as customers will not spend their time writing reviews for a product they don’t like. The sterling reviews give the machine above a 4 rating out of 5 stars.
It is meant for light duty shredding, and easy to maintain, making it the best home shredder. To lubricate, just run few papers sprinkled with oil once a month into the machine. Amazon Basics 6 cross cut shredder includes a 1-year Limited Warranty.
- 6 sheet crosscut paper/credit card shredder
- Auto Start and overheat protection
- Thermal Protection to prevent overheating
- manual reverse to clear paper jams
- shreds credit cards; small paper clips; staples
AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Strio-Cut Paper, CD and Credit Card Shredder
This machine from Amazon Basic has the capacity to cut 8 sheets of paper measuring ¾ inch at once into ¼ inch strips. Apart from papers, the machine can also shred CDs and DVDs, including Blu Rays discs, but not more than one each at once. Just as there is a slot through which papers are fed into the machine, there is also a slot meant solely for discs. To shred a disc, all you have to do is lift the safety cover, and long press the button at the disc slot, gently press one disc into the slot, the machine will cut it into four pieces. The Amazon Basics 8 strip cut shredder can shred a 9.84 feet stack of paper in a minute while being capable of 2 minutes nonstop paper shredding before it will need a cool down period of 15 minutes.manual paper shredder
This cheap paper shredder has Auto start features and a manual reverse lever to help get rid of paper jams and increase productivity. It can be easily maintained with no need to remove the staples.Amazon Basic 8 comes with a 3.2-gallon pull out wastebasket for holding shredded paper during use. Whirring of the machine during shredding generates heat that could cause damage or burns, fortunately, this machine comes installed with thermal protection.Its size of 12.99 x 12.8 x 6.5 inches (LxWxD) makes it suitable for desk side location in the office.
The powerful machine has proven reliable in getting rid of confidential documents from no longer needed ATM and shopping receipts, insurance packets and mortgage statements. Junk mail, excess paper from tax season, and pay slips can now be done away with in a way that helps preserve your identity from theft and discovery.
Amazon Basics, manufacturers of Amazon Basics 8 strip cut shredder grants a 1-year limited warranty to purchasers of its new products. It is available in online stores at a cost of $29.99 for brand new. This price includes shipping.Customer review for Amazon Basic 8 has earned it 3.9 out of 5 stars from over 3000 customers, this has thus put the machine on the list of best home paper shredder available in the market.
- Cross-cut shred size: turns paper into confetti-like pieces measuring 3/16 by 1-27/32 inches (5 by 47 mm); meets security level P-3 standards
- Sheet capacity: shreds up to 8 sheets of 20-pound bond paper at a time; also destroys credit cards (one at a time, through dedicated slot), staples or small paper clips
- Run time and thermal protection: 3 minutes on / 30 minutes off; if shredder runs continuously beyond the max run time, it will automatically shut off to protect the motor from overheating
- User-friendly design: 4-mode power switch (auto, off, reverse, forward); LED status indicator (power on, overheat); 8.7-inch paper-entry width; lift handle for easy shredder-head lifts up; easy-to-empty 4.1-gallon bin
- Support and warranty: please refer to the user manual, troubleshooting guide, and instructional video before use; backed by an Amazon Basics 1-year limited warranty
AmazonBasics 12-Sheet High-Security Micro-Cut Paper, CD, and Credit Card Shredder
The Amazon Basics 12-Sheet High-Security Micro-Cut Paper, clips, CDs, DVDs, ATM cards, and Credit Cards Shredder with Pullout Basket also has pride of place on the good paper shredders list. Apart from papers and like all other paper shredders, it takes care of junk mails and old no longer needed bills and receipts. Discs and cards are shred one at a time.
The paper shredder machine can shred 12 sheets of paper into micro pieces measuring 5/32 x 15/32 inches (security level P-4). It shreds up to 8 times more than crosscut. Crosscut will turn a sheet of paper into 360 pieces while micro cut will turn that same paper into 2,235 pieces. A review by a customer on Amazon says this difference is tremendous and has made Amazon Basic 12 micro cut shredder a favourite for safely disposing of medical records, wills, deeds and no longer needed tax returns or other confidential and sensitive documents. It has the capacity to shred about 6 feet of paper in a minute and can shred nonstop for 8 minutes before needing a cool down period of 45 minutes.home office shredder
Auto start feature means it can stay on for standby purposes and has sensors to detect when a paper is close to its opening which triggers the machine to begin shredding. Manual reverse lever functions to get rid of paper jams that hinder productivity.Amazon Basic 12 micro cut shredder comes with a very large pull out the bin of 6-7 gallon, used to hold shredded paper when in use. The paper feed box is 9.1 inches wide.The heat generated from using the paper shredder machine is regulated by the thermal protection system and has auto shut off function that is triggered when the machine cools to a certain degree.
This machine has sterling ratings on Amazon, 2285 customers have given it a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Customers have noted that its heavy-duty functions have made it the best office paper shredder. Amazon Basic 12 micro cut shredder measures 24.29 x 17.01 x 13.39 inches, meaning it can comfortably rest at a deskside location bin the office. Its manufacturer Amazon Basics grants the product a 1-year Limited Warranty. The machine is available in online stores starting from $99.99 for brand new, price includes shipping.
Fellowes PowerShred W-11c 11 Sheet Paper & Credit Card Cross-Cut Shredder
Finally, the last but not the least of the good paper shredder is the Fellowes Powershred W11C, 11-Sheet Cross-cut Paper, clips, discs, ATM cards and Credit Cards Shredder with Safety Lock System.This machine can shred a sheet of paper into 432 cross-cut pieces measuring 5/32 x 1-3/8 inches (Security Level P-4). It also has the capacity to shred nonstop for about 5 minutes before needing a cool down period of about 20 minutes. The wastebasket for holding shredded papers has a capacity of 4.75 gallons with lift-off cover and a handle.business shredder
It has a high safety feature with its innovative and patented SafetyLock System which functions by disabling the shredder when the sensors pick up that a human hand or other body part is close. Thus ensuring children and pets are safe from the machine.Available in online stores from $64.99 for brand new, $65.99 for refurbished, and $60.72 for used ones, price includes shipping.
Customer reviews on Amazon rate this product 4.0 out of 5 stars from over 2700 customers. They all agree this Fellowes paper shredder is economic, and reliable for medium duty tasks. It’s the size of 16.9 x 20.9 x 15 inches also makes it ideal for a deskside location in the office.Reviews have labelled the machine suitable as a home and office shredder, which is easy to set up after delivery. Users have said it is durable as is has been serving them fine over the years. Although it has difficulty with CDs, it can run through enveloped junk mail, or adhesives and credit cards.
Another review noted the product capabilities is worth its cost. It is quiet enough for use at home and in populated offices. It is also structured in a way to prevent messy surroundings. Fellowes paper shredders usually come with a one-year product and service guaranty while the cutter has a three years guaranty. The product and service guaranty is subject to monthly lubrication of the cutter. Lubrication is simple, just sprinkle some oil on few papers and pass them through the cutter.
- Shreds 11 sheets of paper per pass into 431 (5/32 x1-3/8" Security Level P-4) cross-cut particles; shreds staples, credit cards
- Runs for up to 5 minutes before a cool down period is needed. Cut Size (inches)- 5/32 x 1-3/8
- Patented SafetyLock disables the shredder for added safety protection
- Provides reliable, medium duty shredding and is ideal for deskside use.
- 4.75- gallon lift-off head w/ handle. Amps - 5
TYPES OF BEST PAPER SHREDDER
When choosing a shredder for your home or office use, it is important you know the different types of shredder available to help you in deciding which will adequately meet your needs. Generally, there are three types of shredders, each with a different level of security.
This type of shredder simply cuts the papers into long strips (as long as the original sheet being shredded) measuring ¼ inches in width, using a rotating blade, which can be put back together if necessary, as this type of shredder is the least randomized. Security level for this shredder is basic (Level P-2) Shredded paper still take up much space since they are not compressed. If all you need to shred is just some basic papers like a receipt, junk mails, and a few office papers, a strip cut shredder will meet your light use needs.
This type of shredder cuts a sheet of paper into several little shapes measuring 7/32 x 1-27/32 inches, ranging from rectangular to circular to lozenge to a parallelogram, using two contra-rotating knives. However, shredded pieces can still be re-arranged given special time and resources. Insecurity grade level, this type of shredder is higher than strip-cut shredder (Level P-3-4). Although it is faster than micro-cut, its security level is lower than the latter. Used mostly for small businesses or personal use, it’s still ok for certain confidential documents.
MICRO-CUT (CONFETTI) SHREDDERS
This type of shredder has the highest level of security (Level P-5) among the three types of shredders, as it chops paper into tiny pieces like confetti measuring 5/32 x 15/32 inches. If you desire to shred in line with federal government regulations for document destruction, then you will need a micro-cut shredder. Micro-cut shredders cut between 6-8 times smaller than cross-cut shredders, a single paper shredded with micro-cut will produce 2235 pieces compared to the same sheet of paper shredded using a cross-cut shredder, you will have just 360 pieces. The difference is incredible. Such confetti pieces can never be reassembled again. It is ideal for highly sensitive documents or other documents prone to security hassles or identity theft and discovery.
On a larger (quantity machine can handle over a length of time) and tinnier (size of shredded pieces) scale, we have other types of shredders mostly used for commercial purposes and as an industrial shredder. They include disintegrators, hammer mills and pierce-and-tear shredders. The smaller the pieces of shredded material is, the higher its security, these three types just mentioned cut paper into micro tiny pieces, if you want to have an idea, think of a sheet of paper in over 12,000 pieces.
Disintegrators chop paper into pieces so small they can pass through a screen using multiple blades, two of the blades are at a fixed point while the other blades rotate at the centre. They can also so heavy duty work like a fast shred of discs and USB flash drives.
Those looking for a way to turn their papers to dust can use the Hammer Mill. It has rotating hammer blades which could be sharp or blunt. This commercial paper shredder is mostly used by companies in the paper shredding business.When a company sends their truck to pick up you’re ‘for shredding’ basket, where does the paper go? No need to think further, it is simply dumped into a truck that has installed a Pierce-and-tear shredder technology. This type of industrial paper shredder works by poking holes into the papers before tearing it apart into tiny bits using multiple rotating blades. Apart from paper, it works well for cardboards and newspapers.
Things to Consider When Purchasing a Shredder
Unlike some purchases, buying a paper shredder is a simple endeavor. There aren’t a lot of factors to weigh. The only things you really need to consider are how well and efficiently any given model can carry out its basic functions.
1. Number of Sheets
Paper shredders are measured by the number of sheets they can shred at any single time. The higher the number, the more expensive the shredder is, but also the more quickly it can get a job done. If you frequently have to shred hundreds of papers at a time, it may be worth investing in a high-count shredder.
Most paper shredders come with a certain risk of jamming. Cheaper models are more likely to jam than others, and jams are easier to clear in some models than others as well. Some very high-end shredders come with guarantees against paper jams.
3. Credit cards
Since credit cards are not made out of paper, some shredders, especially cheaper ones, may have difficulty shredding them or cannot do so at all. Companies that may have to shred old cards, such as banks and credit unions, will want to make sure this feature is available.
Just how much paper can you shred before you have to empty your shredder and start over? This ties in with how many papers you can shred at a time as well. Any company that shreds a high volume of papers will want a moderately sized shredder.
5. Type of Cut
Most paper shredders use a cross-cut method to shred documents, but other cutting methods exist, including micro cuts. Most people probably aren’t too concerned with how their shredder works, but some methods of shredding are more likely to jam than others.
As earlier noted, in choosing the royal paper shredder, you will need to take into cognizance your home or office specific needs and other incidental issues. This means you will need to answer some questions. Do you have a little or a ton of papers to shred? Do you want something with a sleek design, and while serving as an office accessory, it simultaneously has high utility? Or knowing that paper shredders can be dangerous, so you want something with a safety system for children and pets? The budget may also force you to be on the lookout for the cheap paper shredder. Does answering all these questions just to pick the best shredder to look daunting? To help you make things easier, just answer these Triple-S questions.
SIZE AND DUTY
The size of your paper load before and after shredding will determine the kind of paper shredder to purchase. If you have just a few papers for shredding and thus looking for an economic shredder, two of the five top shredders reviewed above will meet your needs. They are AMAZON BASICS 8-SHEET STRIP-CUT PAPER SHREDDER and AMAZON BASICS 6-SHEET CROSS-CUT PAPER SHREDDER. If you need a shredder with higher capacity than these two, consider Fellowes Power shred W11C 11-Sheet Cross-cut shredder, Fellows Powershred 79Ci 16-Sheet cross-cut shredder and Amazon Basics 12-sheet micro cut shredder, in that order.Picking a shredder according to the size of shredded paper is much easier, strip cut is little long strips of a sheet, cross-cut will give you smaller sizes than strip-cut, while micro-cut will achieve 8x smaller than cross-cut. So, depending on the sensitivity of the confidential documents involved, you can pick Amazon Basics 8-sheet strip-cut, Amazon Basics 6-sheet cross-cut, Fellowes Powershred W11C 11-sheet cross-cut, Fellowes Power shreds 79Ci 16-sheets cross-cut, or Amazon Basics 12-sheet micro-cut, in that order.The length of time you need a shredder to run might feature in your decision. Fellowes Power shreds 79Ci 16-sheet cross-cut shredder run the longest at 20 minutes before needing a cool down period. The other shredders reviewed have a run time ranging from 2-8 minutes nonstop before needing a cooldown time.Location of shredder means you will have to get a smaller one if you want it under your desk, or a larger one if it will stay by the desk side.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Depending on the location the machine will occupy, or personnel who will have access to it, whether, at home or office, you will need to consider safety systems to protect children and pets. The Amazon Basics 12-sheet micro cutter is the top paper shredder for home because of its Safe-Secure technology that shuts off the shredder when its sensors pick a hand or other body part nearby. The other shredders also have some measure of the security system.As mentioned during an analysis of types of shredders, the size of the shredded sheet determines the level of security and possibility or impossibility of reassembling. Strip cut shredders will shred a sheet into about 39 pieces measuring 7/32 x length of the sheet, this is a Level P-2 security, the lowest in the hierarchy. Cross-cut shredders will cut a sheet into about 302 pieces measuring 5/32 x 2-5/32 inches, this is a Level P-3-4 security. Micro-cut shredders cut a sheet into 3770 pieces measuring 5/64 x 5/16 inches, this is a Level P-5 security, such cannot be reassembled.
Looking for special features on your shredders, like the thermal system, sensors, or touchscreen and sleek design? Some shredders have one or two of these features that make modern shredders easy to use.Check out for shredders with energy saving technology and auto start to help you conserve power utility. Some shredders have an electronic jam lock system, while for others it is manual, select whichever one is okay with you.Furthermore, you might be looking for a paper shredder that can handle certain other materials apart from paper, like paper clips, credit cards and ATM cards, most of the shredders reviewed can carry out these tasks, but one item at a time.
I hope you have learnt as much as I did going on this little journey. Paper shredders have become an office accessory many almost can’t do without. Wondered what to do with the attic cramped with old, no longer needed papers? Just get one of the reviewed products and start shredding! Recover your valuable space for other productive uses. You can get a durable efficient shredder, depending on the specific needs you have, from as low as $29.99. Most people claim they are searching for a ‘quiet’ shredder, that will probably never be a reality because as long as some blades are whirling, they will make some sort of noise. However, most of the modern shredders are silent with as low as 60-70 decibels. With the micro-cut shredders, you can sleep easy, knowing you are safe from security hassles or identity theft and discovery. Modern technology is daily adding features to shredders aimed at increasing their safety and efficiency. Must check this for more brands and suitable product for the best paper shredder.