Best Paper Shredder Consumer Reports, Tips, Reviews, Ratings, and Guides in 2022
When it comes to protecting your privacy, a paper shredder is a must-have. But with so many models on the market, how do you know which one is right for you? Check out our top picks for the best paper shredders, based on consumer reports. Whether you’re looking for a small model for at-home use or a large-capacity unit for your office, we’ve got you covered. So, what are you waiting for? Get shopping!
What is a paper shredder?
A paper shredder is a standard appliance that you can find in an office or home. You use it to destroy your important documents, such as account statements and tax records, so that they cannot be used by someone else. It’s also very helpful during the move – just put all your old files into the machine and turn it on.
Most Common Types of paper shredder:
Strip-Cut Shredder: Strip-cut shredders cut the papers into long strips, like slicing them with a knife. They are usually used for most household jobs, including shredding paper money and CD/DVD discs. These types of shredders are more likely to jam than cross-cut models, so you must clear any jammed sheets manually. Make sure it has an auto shut off feature in case the machine jams up while you’re working on it.
Cross-Cut Shredder: Cross-cut paper shredders don’t just slice your papers into strips but rather into small particles that resemble confetti – they are also known as confetti or particle paper shredders. This type of shredder is more expensive than strip-cut shredders, but they are preferred by banks and government offices because the papers are virtually impossible to piece together.
Micro-Cut Shredder: These are the most secure paper shredders you can buy. They make tiny confetti like cross-cut shredders, but they also cut down the pieces even further to 5mm x 15mm, making them nearly impossible to put back together again.
What should you know about paper shredder?
Choosing the right paper shredder is an important decision. They come with different sheet capacity, so you need to decide how much of it you will be using daily. Investing in something more than what you need may cost more money and space, but if it will only be used occasionally, then maybe consider buying a smaller model.
Most shredders can accept standard letter or legal-size sheets into their feeder, but some models are designed for specific types of paper – like CD’s or DVDs. It’s also very handy to choose one that has safety features such as an automatic shut off for when the machine jams up or overheats, anti-jam technology which helps clear any papers stuck inside the machine, and a sensor which stops the machine from working if the bin is opened during operation.
Factors to Consider before buying paper shredder:
Sheet Capacity: ‘All want a high sheet capacity for your paper shredder. This will allow you to shred an entire stack of papers before having to empty the bin. While a higher sheet capacity means that you’ll have to empty the basket more often, it also increases productivity and reduces downtime when using your machine., cross-cut paper shredders with 15-18 sheet capacities are recommended for home and personal use.
Throat Size: The throat size determines how many sheets can be in the feed at any given time. If you’re planning on shredding larger stacks of documents, then opt for a model with a larger throat size (9 inches or wider).
Wheels: If you plan on moving your paper shredder often, choose a model with casters so it’s easy to transport. If the machine is too heavy or bulky to move around, then consider purchasing a smaller model that can be placed near your workstation or on top of a shelf instead.
Storage or Sheet Capacity: This is the maximum number of sheets that you can shred at any one time. The larger capacity usually means that it takes longer to clear documents. If you’re only using the shredder every now and then, then choose a lower capacity model to avoid unnecessary downtime. You will also want to select a lower sheet capacity if you are planning on shredding large stacks of paper at once – this will help to prevent them jamming up inside the machine.
Light Duty (4-6 sheets) – Recommended for home use, this shredder offers a reliable performance and can handle light daily usage.
Medium Duty (8-12 sheets) – If you’re planning on shredding several sheets of paper every day, then opt for this type of model which can manage your needs. This is also great for offices with up to 10 employees.
Heavy Duty (20+ Sheets) – If there’s constant foot traffic in your office or you plan on shredding lots of documents at once, then choose an industrial duty paper shredder that can accommodate large stacks easily. These models are built with heavy duty cutters that are designed to withstand a lot of wear and tear.
Auto start/stop: This is a valuable feature that allows you to shred multiple sheets of paper at the same time. It also prevents jams and paper cuts because it automatically stops when too many papers are in the feeder, so you don’t waste sheets.
Jam Stopper: If your paper shredder jams up often, then opt for one with this feature which can help un-jam jammed sheets easily. Anti-jam technology helps to clear any paper stuck inside the machine quickly and efficiently.
Anti-Theft: This type of model offers a high level of security and can only be operated by entering a user pin code on the keypad, giving employees peace of mind while they’re out or taking lunch breaks. These shredders come equipped with security features to prevent unauthorized access.
Thermal overload protection: If the motor overheats from constant use, it can be damaged easily. This type of shredder has an inbuilt mechanism that automatically shuts off when the sensors detect high temperatures.
Power indicator light: A power indicator light lets you know if your paper shredder is on or off so you don’t waste electricity by leaving it plugged in while not in use.
Blade Material: The material used in your paper shredder blades will impact its life expectancy, so you’ll want to invest in a model with stainless steel blades. Paper shredders with carbon steel cutters will only last for up to one year and tend to jam easily, especially if you’re planning on shredding large stacks of paper at once – this is because they are not designed to handle heavy usage.
Number of cutting teeth: The more cutting teeth your machine has, the finer the cut. If you want to shred paper into tiny pieces quickly without jamming up the machine, opt for a model with 24-32 teeth.
Space saving: If you’re short on space in your office, choose a paper shredder that matches the size of your desk. Some models come with a drawer to store a few sheets while others have a smaller footprint so they can be placed at other locations within your workstation or office.
Auto-reverse: If the machine jams up during the shredding process, this type of feature helps clear it quickly and easily by pulling stuck sheets back through the blades without causing any damage to them. This is an excellent safety feature which prevents paper from getting jammed inside the machine and breaking any parts within.
Noise level: The noise levels of different paper shredders can vary significantly so if you need to shred in a quiet location such as a library or office, opt for an ultra-quiet model which operates at less than 65 decibels. Some machines may even come with noise reduction technology to help keep the volume down and create a more peaceful work environment.
Maintenance: If you’re not replacing your machine after every few years, you’ll want one that is easy to maintain and clean inside and out. Look for models that do not require oiling as this can be messy and require time-consuming disassembly before cleaning up. Also look out for those made with anti-static cutters as these collect less dust so there’s no need to regularly wipe them down.
Bin capacity: If you have a large volume of paper to shred, you’ll need a large storage bin so it doesn’t overflow before the shredding process is complete. Paper shredders with larger bins are great for high-volume use in offices or busy workstations.
Footprint: The footprint of your paper shredder is another consideration that depends on its location within your workspace. If space isn’t an issue, opt for a larger model with a bigger bin, but if you need to conserve space, opt for one of the smaller options.
Starter sheets: If you’re new to using a paper shredder, this feature guides you through the process by demonstrating how many starter holes you should use for each type of paper to get the cut quality you want.
Accessories included: Accessories such as hose or tube brackets, hose clamps, wall mounts or storage drawers are also convenient extras that come free with some models so take note if these features appeal to you.
Extra features: If there are other extra features which interest you, select a model that comes with them – examples include sensors to prevent overheating or overloads, child locks for added safety and energy-saving options.
Ease of use: The best paper shredders are designed to occupy minimal space on your desk, have a small footprint for saving space and look neat and attractive. They utilize smart technology with safety features for added peace of mind while also being easy to maintain, clean and use daily.
Durability: To ensure that you get your money’s worth, look out for models that come with longer warranties or be sure of getting any accessories that may have been left out when you purchase it. It should also contain high-quality materials such as steel cutters which are the most durable option, so they won’t need replacing after every few months of use.
Speed: Faster feed speeds mean less time wasted and higher volume shredding capabilities. Look out for models that can shred at least 12 sheets in a single pass to be able to meet your needs.
Safety features: Shredding paper is dangerous business, and you don’t want accidents or injuries on your conscience. Avoid cheaply made, low-quality machines which pose a risk of fires and other safety hazards so only opt for an option from a reputable brand with trusted user reviews behind it instead.
Recycling bin compatibility: If you want to be environmentally responsible and recycle as much waste as possible, look for a paper shredder with an integrated recycling bin that separates any shredded paper into different compartments which can then be emptied separately.
Stapling: If you’re looking for a paper shredder which can also cut stapled sets of papers, look out for models that come with an adjustable cutting force so it’s easy to switch between the two modes.
Size: Paper shredders should be lightweight and compact to save desk space, but they shouldn’t compromise on performance features either. Look out for models that have a functioning design without being too bulky or heavy at the same time.
Auto jam removal: If your machine jams frequently when you use it, this feature enables you to clear any paper jams quickly and easily so you can get back to work sooner rather than later.
Warranty: The best paper shredders have long warranties from reputable brands so, if possible, opt for a model that offers up to 5 years of coverage to get your money’s worth.
Cut quality: The best paper shredders are designed with precision in mind so they can cut through any type of paper without leaving behind strips/shreds which are difficult to tear off or confetti-like scraps which make it harder for you to recycle or reuse them.
Multifunction: If you’re looking for a paper shredder that can also cut credit cards, staples, CDs/DVDs, and other types of materials, opt for a model which comes with different cutting modes so it’s easy to switch between them as needed.
Features: If your goal is to purchase a paper shredder quickly and easily, look out for models which come with all the features you need without any extras to weigh down the price tag. Many experts recommend opting for an option which fits within your budget but offers at least 5 sheet capacity and 8 minutes of usage time per session in case you want to give it a workout now and then. Some experts also suggest going with a cross-cut style rather than strip-cut if extra safety isn’t very important to you.
Price: Since it’s often difficult to find the best paper shredder for the money, opt for a model that comes with all the features you want in your price range so there are no compromises to be made in any area of performance or convenience. High-quality models cost more but they offer longevity and durability to improve efficiency over time, while lower-priced options tend to need replacement sooner even if they look nice at first glance.
Design: The best paper shredders are designed with neat, modern looks for use in the workplace or at home, so they don’t look out of place wherever you choose to put them. They should also be easy to empty without spilling any material or needing extra tools, so they save time and hassle when it comes to maintenance.
Brand: Look out for a paper shredder from a well-known brand which is popular with users and has a track record of excellence behind it so you can purchase your new machine with confidence.
Material: If possible, opt for a paper shredder made from durable, long-lasting materials which have been tried and tested so you can trust their quality even if they aren’t the cheapest on the market. The best paper shredders are often made from metal and plastic rather than weak, flimsy materials that crack or break easily when in use.
The Pros and Cons of paper shredder:
Pros: The best paper shredders are safe, quick, and easy to use. They can help you destroy important documents safely without the risk of them accidentally falling into the wrong hands or being shredded at home by your children or pets. If you’re on a shoestring budget, look for an affordable option so it’s easy to stretch your dollars further without compromising on features too much.
Cons: The biggest con with paper shredders is that they can be harmful if used incorrectly so it’s essential to read the user manual first before using yours at home, in the office or anywhere else. Despite their high-quality design, some models might jam occasionally which makes them time consuming to operate when this happens – but keep reading our guide today to find out the best way to reach the bottom of this problem.
How does paper shredder work?
A paper shredder is a personal security device that cuts pieces of paper into long strips or cross-shaped fragments which are difficult to put back together again without the use of special software and/or equipment. They’re used to cut up important documents securely before recycling them at home, in the office or somewhere else.
How to use paper shredder?
Before using your paper shredder it’s important that you read the instruction manual carefully – not just how to work it but also for any safety precautions. After doing so, you can then follow these steps:
Set up your paper shredder in an appropriate place with enough space around it for your convenience. Make sure there are no obstacles in front of the rollers. Also make sure there is nothing flammable nearby because this can lead to fire hazards.
Insert the papers into the feeder tray, one sheet at a time or several sheets together – do not overload your machine because this can also cause paper jams or other problems.
Some models of paper shredder need you to press the “Forward” button before operating so this is where you might find the on/off switch, depending on what kind of design yours uses. Check your instruction manual to find out if yours is different so you know what to expect when in use.
If possible, use water-resistant or waterproof paper because it can be reused in short term when recycled by dipping the strips into a vat filled with water – but regular paper can be used safely too when it’s recycled after being shredded.
Many people think that they should put their hands inside the feeder tray but isn’t recommended unless wearing gardening gloves because the rollers can rip skin off. Keep children, pets, and flammable materials away from your paper shredder always so you can work in peace without worrying about them getting hurt or causing damage to the machine.
Is paper shredder recyclable?
Yes, it is! Paper shredders are made up of plastic which can be recycled into other useful products like sheds, chairs, and garden equipment like squirrel feeders, but they need to be separated into different types first (like PET bottles) – this means that you cannot recycle shredded paper on its own because too much space would be wasted between the pieces.
How often should I replace the refuse bag in my paper shredder?
This depends on how often you use your shredder and for what purpose because the more it’s used, the faster the bag fills up. If there are any large particles of paper then you should empty your refuse bag sooner than expected because this can affect how well it works when in use.
Which type of paper is best to recycle by using a paper shredder?
It’s safer to cut waterproof or water-resistant paper into fine strips before recycling them in order to reduce costs when doing so. Before putting them in their recycling bin, you must separate these papers from other types like magazines and newspapers first because they can’t be recycled together.
Can paper shredders really cut through credit cards?
Yes, it’s possible but not recommended because many models can’t handle this job well enough and end up getting jammed instead.
What should I do if my paper shredder jams?
If your machine suddenly stops working or starts making a strange sound, you must unplug it from the wall socket immediately and check to see if something got stuck between the rollers – like food waste or plastic bags. If so, remove them safely and restart your device but only after checking to make sure that there is no damage done to its components before continuing to use it.
How does a strip cut paper shredder work?
A strip cut paper shredder uses two sets of rotating blades that cross over each other for any paper placed inside to be cut into fine strips that can’t be recognized anymore – this is one of the most common types of paper shredder, so you are likely to have seen it before. This type of design also reduces noise levels created by these machines when in use because there are fewer moving components inside.
What temperature do shredders operate at?
Most models run on electricity which can heat up after being used for a long time, especially if you overload your machine with papers all at once without any breaks between jobs. This can lead to damage but thankfully, modern designs reduce this risk drastically compared to older models that had more dangerous problems like catching fire or exploding if not used correctly or kept away from flammable objects or liquids nearby.
What kind of paper can I put through my paper shredder?
Most shredders can handle any paper like receipts, important documents, and shredded cardboard but you should not use anything that is too fluffy or has a shiny finish because this can damage the machine or lower its performance levels.
How much am I willing to spend on a new paper shredder?
You should be able to get a good deal if you spend around $100 on a medium sized machine that can take care of small home or office budgets without any problems.
What is the best paper shredder for an individual?
A single person may want to invest in a strip cut model because this is the cheapest and simplest kind which can handle up to 12 sheets at once while still cutting them into fine pieces so they cannot be recognized. It’s also convenient because you don’t need to worry about storage space – just keep it close to your desk, add paper and press start!
While choosing a paper shredder is a tough decision, you should always consider the size of your home or office before doing so. There are several types to choose from and most can handle being stored in tight spaces because they don’t take up that much room, but you must get something that has enough power for what you need it for otherwise it won’t get the job done quickly or effectively enough.