Whether you have a home office, are starting a new business, or simply need one for your personal use, a paper shredder can be invaluable. It helps dispose of confidential documents such as contracts or blueprints, helps save space when getting rid of large volumes of paper, and makes trips to the recycling station much easier.
Up until the 80s, these handy machines were only used in government offices, and you may associate them with top level agents trying to cover their tracks by destroying secret documents. Even if you’re not in charge of national security, a paper shredder can help protect your identity and private information from thieves. A leading tactic of identity thieves is sifting through people’s garbage for mail regarding bills, credit cards, or even personal letters they can exploit. A paper shredder can make these efforts impossible by completely destroying old mail or documents.
However, as anyone who’s owned a paper shredder will tell you – they’re not all created equally.
What is or isn’t a powerful motor? What is too big or too small a container? Are there safety features to look out for? How much power do they require? Wireless or wired? These are all questions you should ask as you’re shopping around, but if you’re new to the process, don’t worry.
Here we have compiled a line-up of the best paper shredding machines for 2018, reviewing them in detail to showcase their best features, specs, and price points, while also indicating where they fall short. If you have questions or concerns, we’re here to answer them while directing you to the best product for your money. Ready to dive in?
|AmazonBasics (Micro-Cut)||$ 99.99|
|AmazonBasics (Cross-cut)||$ 99.00|
Top Ranked Paper Shredders Review
Below are the top ranked paper shredders, present in different colors, sizes, and designs across the market. Mostly, some shredders are ranked higher on the basis of their durability and performance efficiency. These are considered ideal and safe to be used in both home and office environments. They’re reliable in providing you peace of mind and the best warranties. Only, do not forget to register the warranty. In the case of any accident or damage to the shredder, you can easily show this safeguard via your receipt and prevent the need to buy a new one at a high cost.
Fellowes W-11C 11 Power-Shred Paper Shredder (Cross-Cut)
This machine is different from other typical paper shredders because it has a special feature – cutting the paper cross-wise, rather than straight, to ensure the pieces are smaller than average, raising its security level to three (3). In more specific terms, it tears documents down to the size of 8.5 x 11 and into 400 pieces a minute, allowing a user to destroy their important pages to a degree where they cannot be reassembled. A security level of (3) is a mid-ranged rating, good enough for using in a business environment. The size of the Fellowes Power-Shred is suitable to be placed in home offices or in small private offices.
One can very easily shred things like credit-cards, receipts, invoices, old bills, school forms, letters, out-dated information, and more by using this shredder to lessen the waste from your store. That’s right, even credit cards! It has some pretty impressive teeth.
The machine has a basket with a capacity of five gallons of tattered paper, so you will not have to empty it very often. The basket can be taken out and all the waste can be dumped quite handily. One of the excellent features it incorporates is the ‘safety lock,’ which means if the machine is in working mode and the covering lid is lifted off the shredder, automatically it stops to avoid any damage or injury. This is why it’s famous as an outstandingly safe device. Power-Shred can also very easily manage papers with staples or other types of clips on them.
It has an automatic on and off button that provides assistance in operating the machine. It also has a reverse button, to use for the purpose of cleaning out jammed papers. Sellers offer a warranty of three years on this product.
|Paper Cutting Speed (ft per min)||10|
|Shred Size||5/32 x 1/38 in|
|Run Time||20 min|
|Waste Bin Capacity||4.75 Gallon|
|Paper Feed Length||9 in|
|Customer Rating||4.0/5 By 2804 Customers|
AmazonBasics High-Security 12-Sheet, CD, Card and Paper Shredder (Micro-cut)
This shredder has been ranked the highest because of the quality features it offers. It has also been Amazon’s best selling model, capable of easily shredding 12 sheets of paper at a time. Even if they’re held together with a clipper, staples, or hard glue, the shredder performs its function thoroughly. This high quality machine can also cut down CDs, credit cards, or cardboard, and has a special opening area for inserting these types of things.
The cutting speed is six-feet per minute, making the work of disposing huge amounts of paper easy, in less time. One of the best features it includes is an exclusive entrance area for paper so that it doesn’t cause any injury to the hand while inserting items.
It is named as a high-security shredder because of its ability to shred at a level four (4) security; private files and documents are chopped down into such fine tiny pieces that they could not be put back together – no matter how much effort is applied. Normally, it’s quite well known that using a motor machine would make a great deal of noise, but this Amazon basic shredder is admired in office settings, schools, and homes, as it does not make any noise at all. This special machine does not occupy much space or area within a room, and has a stylish design to fit in all homes or offices.
Another new feature it possesses is a ‘pull-out’ basket that can collect up to 6.7 gallons of shredded paper at one time. The basket can be easily drawn out with the rotating wheels attached underneath for your convenience, so it slides right out of the shredder. In case one or many papers get stuck in the shredder, simply switch on the manual mode and clear out the jammed area and restart the machine automatically.
It also has a safety feature indicating the ‘overloading’ of papers, so as to decrease the pressure on the machine’s entry area. Customers have given extremely positive feedback. The Amazon sellers also provide a one-year warranty.
|Paper Cutting Speed (ft per min)||6.5|
|Shred Size||0.125 x 0.47 in|
|Run Time||20 min|
|Waste Bin Capacity||8 Gallon|
|Paper Feed Length||9.1 in|
|Customer Rating||4.6/5 By 2342 Customers|
AmazonBasics Cross-cut Cd, Paper, Credit Card Shredder
If you are in search of a simple cross-cut paper shredder, then this option on Amazon is the best for that high quality performance. You do not have to remove the clips, stapler pins, etc. before placing the paper sheets in this shredder; rather this shredder can easily shred CDs and DVDs as-well, and has a separate entry area for them. The attached waste-bin has a capacity of 4.8 gallons of tiny paper pieces, which are sliced at a security level of three (3).
Its popular features include an automatic starting function, the reverse option for clearing out jammed papers, and a safety feature of automatically shutting off the shredder if it exceeds a certain temperature while working. This cross-cut shredder can handle eight to nine pieces of paper very proficiently, but it also has a capacity of 12 papers at a time. That sounds normal – but more impressively, it can cut 600 sheets of paper in one day, which makes it a useful machine to be used in homes, small offices, and institutes.
This shredder is available in a reasonable price range, but unfortunately generates more noise as compared to other shredding appliances. Nonetheless, this device is available with a warranty of 1 year for interested customers.
|Paper Cutting Speed (ft per min)||6.56|
|Shred Size||7/32 x 1-27/32 in|
|Run Time||10 min|
|Waste Bin Capacity||4.8 Gallon|
|Paper Feed Length||8.7 in|
|Customer Rating||4.1/5 By 7327 Customers|
What to Look for in a Paper Shredder?
The market is filled with a huge variety, and the most important thing to know when buying a shredder is the security level it offers. What’s the point of destroying crucial documents if the pieces can be put together again by a dedicated thief? The security level increases or decreases depending on how fine it cuts the paper, into how many pieces, and in how many shapes. Here are a few options to choose from in this regard.
- Strip-Cut: The most common variety, the strip-cutter provides the lowest degree of security. When the papers or documents are inserted into the machine, it cuts them like ribbon into strips that are approximately a centimeter wide. However, some models slide them into inch-wide ribbons. Generally, the wider the strip, the less secure it is. Thieves can easily identify the contents and their patterns, and use this to reassemble documents in a matter of hours – or minutes, if they’re experienced. Since this was the original design of all shredders, it’s the most common and the cheapest, but suited for documents or other items which aren’t that confidential.
- Cross-Cut: Cross-cutters are a much safer option, typically used in commercial environments where piles of paper need to be thrown out on the regular, but several of them contain crucial information that could be damaging if in the wrong hands. The cross-cutters slice the paper in both a horizontal and vertical style, making 500 to 800 small pieces of a paper. This type of shredding offers a huge level of security, since the difficulty involved with reassembling the pieces is increased tenfold.
- Micro-Cut: The micro-cutter is absolutely the best – though extremely expensive. This is the design used by high offices and other governmental organizations in terms of keeping private information hidden. These micro-cutters are capable of shredding paper into thousands upon thousands of tiny pieces – obliterating more than slicing them. Mainly, this machine can transform a page into 6,000 or 12,000 pieces (your choice) within minutes. You could spend a lifetime piecing together a single word, which turns out to be wrong!
Of course, each level of security also comes at an added cost, so consider how important the confidentiality of your documents are, and weigh this against the price.
Safety Measures for a Paper Shredder
It’s very important for a user to pay attention to the maintenance and safety of their shredder, so as to ensure it works well without endangering hands, itself, or other items..
- Entry Rate: Depending on its features, a shredder can only handle so much paper at once, and only at a certain speed. If you need to shred a lot of papers in a day, then we recommend a wide entrance; if you would use it quite often and for maintaining a mass of paper over time, then go for stronger teeth. These precautions will keep them machine from being overwhelmed and breaking, and keep your hands safe from fixing jams.
- Items to Be Shred: It is extremely important to exercise caution when shredding attached paper clips or stapler pins. Some machines are also designed to shred crumpled paper, CDs. DVDs, credit cards, and other computer disks also. However, it is crucial to know what your shredder can handle and what safety measures are needed for different materials. Should you shield your eyes, use an inserting device, or place some sort of guard over it? Can you shredder take these items at all? Be sure to double check before you begin feeding it.
- Careful Handling: A paper shredder should be handled with care, as most work through the use of electricity. Additionally, they contain sharp cutting blades and other moving parts. Always keep electric machines away from water to avoid short-outs or fire, and be careful while plugging in the device, so you don’t suffer an electric shock. If you do not feed the shredder carefully, this may result in cutting your hand through the fast movement of the blades. This is why many users have now shifted towards automatic paper shredders which have an auto shut-off feature, best for keeping you safe from injury.
- Cleaning: If you use your paper shredder often, be sure to clean the waste-bin before it overflows or jams the blades. Similarly, many users buy a shredder that is designed to be quiet; however, after some time, it might begin to make a commotion. This is because it requires cleaning – i.e. the machine has a fan that becomes dusty. Be sure to clean the fan so it’s free of debris and in good working order.
- Power-Save Mode: Many shredders come with a power-save mode feature which puts the machine to sleep when not in use. This enables you to save electricity and increase its durability.
- Warranty Time: A customer should always keep the warranty receipt safe to show in times of accident or manufacturing error.
By following these safety measures, you can ensure the longevity of your machine so it can work efficiently for years to come.