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Carelessly throwing away the wrong thing can put you in a risky situation. The threat of identity theft is definitely real so you need to make sure that sensitive data doesn’t somehow end up in the wrong hands if you wish to dispose of it. Whether we’re talking about utility bills, bank statements, and other paper documents that contain your name and address, a paper shredder can save you from a lot of trouble when you need to get rid of them. You might also be interested in our articles about the best paper cutters and the best electric pencil sharpeners.
The market is populated by all kinds of paper shredders and the most important types are strip cut, cross-cut, and micro-cut shredders. The strip cut makes long and straight paper slices which means it doesn’t offer a very good level of security. This is why this type of paper shredder has become pretty much obsolete nowadays. Cross-cut paper shredders come with the extra advantage of cutting paper crossways, besides lengthwise. The resulting chunks are too small to be reassembled so this offers a much more reliable level of security. If you want to go with the gold standard and get yourself the safest paper shredder, micro-cut models are able to turn paper into tiny chips which are essentially impossible to rearrange back into a document.
Let’s see some of the most important features to analyze before buying a reliable paper shredder:
The issue of jamming can appear in most paper shredders and it can be very frustrating. If you want to minimize the risk of jamming, the best solution is to steer clear from cheaper models which are usually more likely to jam. Keep in mind that some units also boast easier methods to clear jams.
2. Number of sheets
One of the simplest ways to differentiate between paper shredders is through the number of paper sheets they can handle in one go. More expensive shredders can work with higher numbers and do it faster too. This ability can be important to consider for those in more professional settings where there’s a large quantity of paper that needs to be processed on a regular basis.
After some usage, your shredder needs to be emptied of the shredded paper that accumulates over time. How often you will be required to this depends on the volume of the paper shredder’s wastebasket. A moderately sized shredder is capable of working with a high enough volume of papers.
There are probably other relevant extra features that some people will appreciate in their paper shredders. Those who work in a bank, for example, will definitely prefer a shredder that can easily slice old credit cards. In the end, it all comes down to your particular needs and the constraints of your budget. The following list of products should cover the best paper shredders money can buy so check it out if you’re having a hard time finding the right product for the job.
Best Buy Paper Shredder
The Fellowes Powershred 79Ci comes with the latest technologies for paper shredding and it delivers all of its great features in a compact and practical design. It’s capable of turning 16 paper sheets completely to unrecognizable shreds in one pass and it relies on a capable energy saving system.
Jams can really impact your productivity so this is why Fellowes worked hard to develop a paper shredder system which fully addresses this issue. The jam proof system works through multi-levels of prevention to keep the machine working without constantly jamming.
Paper shredders can work for longer or shorter depending on how efficient their cooling system is. This unit can process various paper shredding task on a continuous basis for 20 minutes. After this time has passed, it will require a break to cool down so it will automatically shut off.
If you own pets or have children, there’s a risk of accidents with normal paper shredders. That’s not the case with this model though. It features a reliable technology called SafeSense and it automatically stops the shredding process if hands are detected near the paper opening.
Safety for children is great but what about the security of your shredded documents? The machine provides a level P-4 in terms of security turning sensitive documents and other items such as credit cards into cross-cut particles. When the 6-gallon wastebasket fills up, you can conveniently take it out and empty it.
Whether we’re talking about documents, CDs, paper clips, or credit cards, the Fellowes Powershred 79Ci can slice through them all while keeping the risk of jamming to a minimum. Its cross-cut system allows for a decent security level and all its technologies make it a solid solution for an office where silence and safety are important.
- 100% jam proof system
- SilentShred technology
- Energy-saving system
- SafeSense technology
- Cross-cut shredder
- 20 minutes runtime
Best Heavy Duty Paper Shredder
For those who need to shred paper for longer times at once, perhaps the Bonsaii EverShred C149-C would be a better choice. This cross-cut model is designed with a 60 minutes runtime for efficient continuous shredding of documents. Other models need to stop sooner because of cooling issues, but this unit seems to have been better optimized in that regard.
When it comes to jamming, no paper shredder is safe. Some are better than others when it comes to jam prevention. This model uses a powerful protection system to eliminate that frustration that happens when papers jam. When it occurs, the jam detection system begins the paper reversal process by itself to resolve the issue.
Having to wait when you need to shred a large amount of paper can certainly pose a problem in busy environments. This heavy-duty paper shredder is able to keep working for a full hour so you can get through your shredding tasks more efficiently. The way the machine achieves that is through a patented cooling system.
The amount of decibels that you can expect from the motor of this paper shredder is around 62dB which is surprisingly quiet for its class. In a single feed, you can shred a maximum of 18 sheets of paper and that’s possible for regular A4 sheets.
The machine is equipped with certain functions to make the whole process easier. You can leave it on auto Start/Stop for smoother operation and if something goes wrong, you can always use the reverse function. On the 8.7-inch entry slot, you can fit in various documents whether they’re letter or legal-size but you can also insert CDs, staples, and credit cards.
Taking into account its productivity, quietness, and multi-purpose shredding, the Bonsaii EverShred C149-C deserves a top spot on this list. It’s pricier than other paper shredders but if you’re in a professional environment where you are required to handle the quick disposal of large quantities of documents, then this one is worth considering.
- 60 minutes runtime
- Jam Protection System
- 18 sheets can be shredded at once
- Quiet motor
- Patented cooling system
- 5.3 feet/minute shred speed
Best Home Paper Shredder
A basic paper shredder that can aptly satisfy the needs of home users or small office workers is the Aurora AS890C. This inexpensive unit comes with an 8-sheet capacity and utilizes the cross-cut method of shredding your paper, credit cards as well as other items such as staples and paper clips.
This paper shredder doesn’t really distinguish between what you need to slice. It can work through various shredding tasks like a breeze. There’s a viewing window which allows you to see the documents getting sliced across and down. The remaining scraps measure about 1/5 inch.
To ensure that the machine can process your shredding job, it’s important to feed it a maximum of 8 sheets of paper at a time. Otherwise, jamming issues could appear. There’s no need to worry about staples because the unit’s steel blades will quickly chew through them.
When it comes to the versatility of its shredding, this cross-cut unit doesn’t disappoint. It can take care of private documents or any other sensitive information but it also handles credit cards, paper clips or staples. The bin has a sizable capacity of 125 sheets which won’t require emptying all the time, especially for typical home needs. An indicator light acts as a reliable notification when the bin gets full.
This machine comes with a long power cord measuring 59 inches so you can store it more conveniently, farther from power outlets. Some of its most useful operation modes are the auto start and manual reverse functions. Leave it in the auto mode and the paper shredder starts cutting when it detects an inserted document. Manually reverse the paper shredding process in case you accidentally insert too many sheets of paper and something gets stuck.
While the Aurora AS890C lacks heavy-duty capabilities, it gets the job done very well for its cost. For regular basic use, this is a solid paper shredder in all regards. It’s recommended to use it at home as fits there better than in more demanding environments. All in all, this one is a reliable entry-level paper shredder.
- Cross-cut paper shredder
- 8-sheet capacity
- Can handle credit cards
- 8.36 pages per minute shred speed
- 125-sheet capacity wastebasket
One of the most appreciated paper shredders on the market is the Fellowes Powershred 99Ci, a premium unit which comes with some impressive features. It’s equipped with SafeSense technology, dependable jam proof system, and a particularly large 9-gallon pull-out wastebasket. Let’s get a better view of its features.
With the help of the SafeSense technology, this model automatically stops its operation if it detects hands touching the opening where you insert the paper. This can be very helpful if you use the paper shredder at home or anywhere else where children and pets could access it.
As this is a cross-cut shredder, you can expect a decent level of security. It will turn sensitive documents into scraps quickly and efficiently. The runtime of this paper shredder is 30 minutes after which it will require a cool down period of 40 minutes. Even for larger office settings, this is a solid value that allows for effective paper shredding.
Jamming could be a thing of the past as this model features a solid prevention system. The Jam Proof System has obtained a patent from Fellowes and it can give you an extra boost in productivity as you don’t have to spend that much time clearing jams.
Paper shredding is just one of the abilities of this machine. It can work through other office items such as paper clips and staples. It’s also reliable for safely disposing of credit cards and CDs/DVDs. As it’s capable of shredding 18 sheets of paper in just one pass, this model looks really impressive. All the remains accumulate in a large 9-gallon bin that’s easily emptied.
The Fellowes Powerhsred 99Ci is a sturdy workhorse that delivers the performance needed to meet the high demands of a busy office. It works well and it’s also solidly built to withstand the test of time. If it fits your budget, this paper shredder can truly revolutionize the way you handle junk mail or any other documents that need a swift shredding.
- 18 sheets of paper per pass shredding capability
- Cross-cut shredder
- 30 minutes runtime
- 100% Jam Proof System
- 9-gallon pull-out bin
Best Cheap Paper Shredder
Aurora makes a good range of inexpensive paper shredder for those with more limited budgets. Another model that seems to get things right is the AS420C. It’s a very compact desktop-style unit which relies on the cross-cut method of shredding. It appears to be very easy to use as it doesn’t come with too many complicated features.
The durable steel cutters integrated into this paper shredder are capable of shredding 4 folded sheets at once or one credit card. The resulting scraps will be very difficult to put back together and they will look similar to confetti pieces considering that this is a cross-cut shredder.
A translucent wastebasket has been integrated so you can see the machine more clearly in action. The total volume of 1.32-gallon is far from impressive but it can cover some light needs. It should fit about 40 sheets before it needs to be emptied. The paper feed entry is wide enough to fit most folded documents with ease as it measures 4.5 inches.
The machine has a three-mode power switch that controls the main functions of the paper shredder. Usually, you’d want to leave it on Auto-start mode. Simply insert the papers that you want to destroy and the machine’s sensor detects them and starts shredding. To solve jamming problems you can always get the machine to work in reverse.
Next to the power switch, there’s also a bright indicator light which shows the status of the paper shredder. Other notable features are the detachable power cord and thermal protection capability which keeps the machine safe from dangerous overheating.
All things considered, the Aurora AS420C can pack quite a punch despite its limited size. It shreds paper without too much effort so that you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing thieves will have to be really determined to steal your identity. This paper shredder has a solid value per cost ratio so this why it shouldn’t be excluded from your list of potential options.
- Compact design
- 4.5-inch wide paper feed entry
- 1.32-gallon wastebasket capacity
- Cross-cut paper shredder
- Thermal protection
A very balanced paper shredder in terms of capabilities per cost is the Royal 112MX. This is a model that can simplify your daily tasks whether you need to take care of junk mail or destroy sensitive documents and credit cards. It can shred 12 sheets at once and it provides many convenient functions such as Auto Start/Stop.
This paper shredder has been designed to shred more than just your sensitive documents and junk mail. It comes with special cutting slots for both CDs and credit cards. Through these separate slots, you can destroy any important digital information that you wouldn’t want to end up in the wrong hands.
To see the way the shredder works in real time you can check out the transformation of paper to scraps via its clear window. After the 3.25-gallon wastebasket gets full, you can take it out through a convenient pull-out system and dispose of the unrecognizable remains. It can hold somewhere around 220 sheets of destroyed papers.
A reliable motor makes this machine a very capable choice for lots of paper shredding jobs. It can take care of maximum 12 sheets at a time which is an acceptable capacity. Overall, the design is well thought-out because you can operate the device without too much effort. It has a rather large 8 3/4″ opening to insert the paper and it’s located in the best position for accessing it in the quickest possible manner.
Royal has a lot of experience when it comes to creating reliable office equipment and the 112MX is also proof of that. It’s a well-built paper shredder that covers the needs of an office without problems. For light to medium shredding needs, this model can certainly do the trick. Make sure you don’t needlessly overwork it and you will have a long-lasting device to shred your unneeded paper.
- 12-Sheet Cross-Cut Shredder
- Auto Start/Stop function
- Shreds CDs and credit cards
- 3.25-gallon pull-out wastebasket
- 5/32″ x 1 1/2″ shred size
Best Micro Cut Paper Shredder
If you value security the most, the Sentinel FM101P could be the right choice as it’s capable of taking sensitive documents and turning them into 4mm x 10mm micro-cut shreds. It may not be a really heavy duty paper shredder, but it can provide some convenient functionality to cover most users’ needs.
With a security level of 4, this model will completely mince your sensitive paper to fine pieces. It works quite fast too as it can handle shredding at 6 feet per minute though it’s only able to work continuously for 2 minutes. Some useful functions are the Auto start/stop and the ability to reverse the paper shredding process manually if necessary.
When it comes to waste disposal, this model offers a decently-sized 3.5-gallon basket where all the paper scraps accumulate. It will get full after shredding approximately 360 shredded sheets. You can check out the status of the container thanks to the included window. Emptying the bin can be done without too much hassle as it slides out in a smooth manner.
The capacity of 10 sheets that can be inserted at a single pass is satisfying enough for medium duty. Another thing that helps with the overall user experience is the way you can relocate the paper shredder anywhere you like by simply pushing it around on its casters.
The only disadvantage of the Sentinel FM01P is that despite the manufacturer’s efforts to make it quiet, it’s still much louder than similar paper shredders. The shredding speed and the security reliability of the small micro-cuts can make up for this drawback in the end. The machine is recommended if you want tiny shreds in a sturdy and easy-to-use package.
- Micro-Cut Paper/Credit Card Shredder
- Auto start/stop feature
- 3.5-gallon slide-out wastebasket
- 10 sheets can be handled at a single pass
- 6 feet per minute shredding speed
Fellowes has some low-cost options too as evidenced by the Powershred 60Cs model. This one’s intended for medium duty shredding tasks as it can only run for a maximum of 6 minutes at a time. It fits well for deskside use and it can shred staples and paper clips besides credit cards and various kinds of paper.
Choosing a cross-cut shredder like this one could be a better choice than going for strip-cut models which aren’t as secure. They also work faster compared to micro-cut shredders. This cross-cut unit can handle 10 sheets of paper in a single pass turning them into small scraps which end up in a 6-gallon bin.
One handy technology featured in this model is called SafeSense. It’s designed to prevent accidents as the machine shuts itself off automatically if you touch the paper opening. This electronic safety sensor can make a real difference in certain environments where there are children or pets around.
This is a paper shredder that’s part of Fellowes’ lineup of low-cost models as evidenced by the ability to shred continuously for just 6 minutes. After the intensive shredding task is done, the machine requires 20 minutes to cool down. As long as you keep these characteristics in mind, you can quickly learn to use the device more efficiently.
This model works just as advertised though it does occasionally suffer from jamming issues. It’s required to be extra patient when feeding paper to this machine and the fact that it only works for 6 minutes before cooling down could be a big disadvantage for many.
There’s clearly some room for improvement here but considering everything, this is still a solid all-around paper shredding machine. If you don’t plan on shredding a lot of paper on a daily basis, the Fellowes Powershred 60Cs is well suited for more basic jobs.
- Cross-cut shredder
- 6-gallon lift-off head
- 6 minutes runtime
- SafeSense technology
- Shreds plastic credit cards
Another capable micro-cut shredder to consider comes from Royal. The MC14MX model provides a solid range of features including a separate cutting slot to accept other items such as CDs and DVDs. It’s also equipped with a convenient wastebasket where the tiny paper shreds accumulate.
When you take the paper shredder out of the box for the first time you might be surprised to find that it already comes with some shredded paper inside. This could happen because the manufacturer tests the machines at the factory for quality control.
This paper shredder can handle 14 sheets at one pass and it can perform well for both personal or office use. It provides a separate slot which shreds CDs, DVDs, and credit cards. The resulting destroyed scraps of paper need to be taken out of the wastebasket and disposed of. As it comes with an 8.5-gallon capacity, the slide-out bin is large enough to not require constant emptying.
Becoming a victim of identity theft is a risk you should never have to assume so this is why it’s strongly recommended to choose a micro-cut shredder. This machine can flawlessly destroy any personal information and is fully capable to meet the evolving demands of today’s world.
The classic console design found on this model offers its user all the functionality needed at their fingertips. You’ve got the handy auto start/stop ability at your disposal and for powerful mobility, you can slide the shredder around on its locking casters. The overall appearance feels at home in any office though it can match a home décor too.
As with other micro-cut shredders, the Royal MC14MX is a bit noisier than what certain people are comfortable with. The important part is that it works very well for what it has been designed to do. It destroys paper to unrecognizable fine shreds and it can deliver on its promise to shred 14 sheets at a single pass.
- Micro-Cut Shredder
- Auto Start/Stop
- Maximum 14 Sheets at one pass
- 8.5-gallon slide out wastebasket
- Separate cutting slot for CDs and credit cards
Sentinel makes high-quality office equipment and their paper shredders shouldn’t be left out if you’re in the market for one. The FM120P comes with lots of functions to make the act of paper shredding flow more smoothly. It’s a micro-cut shredder and can take up to 12 paper sheets or a single credit card in one go.
Besides paper and credit cards, this model can also act as a CD/DVD shredder as it comes with a separate slot dedicated just for that purpose. Digital discs won’t harm the blades which are strong enough to deliver micro-cuts with a high-security rating. The maximum shredding speed is 6 feet or 72 sheets per minute.
If the machine gets heated over a certain threshold, an indicator will light up to protect the motor. Using this machine is a breeze when you also consider certain construction choices. The paper shredder comes with casters which simplify the movement in case you decide to place the machine in a different location.
All the paper remains resulted in the shredding process end up in a wastebasket that can be conveniently slid out whenever it’s time to be emptied. It has a fairly average 5-gallon capacity though that means it can hold almost 450 shredded paper sheets so that’s good enough for most purposes.
In the event of a jam, you aren’t left helpless trying to figure out how to get the paper shredder back into action. While normally the machine works automatically by detecting inserted documents and starting to shred, there’s also a manual reverse function which is used to clear jams by reversing the cutting blades. Another handy feature is the addition of an indicator for seeing the overheating status.
In conclusion, the FM120P paper shredder by Sentinel has some solid qualities which justify its cost. It’s not without some flaws as it can be pretty slow depending on the workload. Still, considering everything, the shredder works like a charm and can fit well at home or in the office. Decent value per cost.
- 4mm x 10mm Micro-Cut shred
- Manual reverse function
- Ultra-quiet operation
- 5-gallon slide-out wastebasket
- 12 sheets can be shredded at a single pass
- 72 sheets per minute speed