Paper shredders are very popular machines in a modern society where identity fraud has become a common issue. The destruction of confidential and personal papers appears to be very important.
Every device from the top 11 models offered has been independently selected from hundreds of popular shredding machines. Each chosen item has multiple outstanding features and functions. In WoWPencils review, you will find the best shredder up to your needs, preferences, and budget.
Top 7 Paper Shredders
AmazonBasics 6-Sheet: Best Quality and Easy Operation
This shredder from an Amazon brand is a very popular model among users. It features a black sleek design and gets numerous positive reviews thanks to a powerful shredding mechanism.
This is a cross-cutter, which means it cuts the material into cross sections. It can handle 6 sheets at a time and accommodates a 3.8-gallon waste canister. The unit easily cuts through credit cards and paper, and it doesn’t care if your document has staples or clips. The device is equipped with automatic reverse/start functions.
It is able to work non-stop for a couple of minutes; its cooling period is half an hour. According to a decibel rating, the noise level of this appliance is 70 dB.
The shredder has an affordable price tag and a 1-year warranty. This unit can be used in small offices or at home.
- Compact size
- Large wastebasket
- Automatic turn-off
- Reasonably priced
- Auto reverse/start
- Needs more time for cooling down
- Good only for moderate use
Fellowes Powershred® 79Ci: Good Office Shredder for Small Business
This cross-cutter from Fellowes is able to process 16 pages at one feed, so it can be used for business purposes. This model is very famous for multiple outstanding functions. This is a jam-proof device that detects overstuffing. It gives a visual alert and excludes paper jams.
The device is safe for kids and pets because it features the SafeSense system. It stops the machine if it senses hands near the shredding opening.
The shredder has a very spacious bin, which holds six gallons of paper waste and has a transparent section to watch the waste volume. It includes a reverse mechanism to clear paper jams. The unit has a 20-minute operation time and a half an hour cooling period. It works very quietly with a noise level of 56 dB. The machine comes with a 2-year warranty.
- Quiet operation mode
- Quick performance
- Jam-Proof function
- Energy-saving technique
- SafeSense system
- Sleek design
- Very large waste canister
- The waste bin is an issue to remove, and it causes a mess when you try to empty it
- A little pricey
Aurora AU820MA Paper Shredder
This model designed by Aurora is a machine for medium-duty needs suitable for small business. It accepts only 8 paper sheets at a time, but it performs micro-shredding and has a P4 security level.
It easily chews plastic cards, disks, metal staples and clips, and its continuous cutting time is 5 minutes. The device features the ShredSafe technology, which means it switches off automatically when it detects a forced entry. The model comes with a 4.8 gallon wastebasket that includes a convenient handle for easy bin emptying.
The unit is equipped with helpful LED indicator lights, which illuminate when the device is misaligned, overheated, or overloaded.
- Automatic stop and start
- Protection from overloading and overheating
- A high level of security
- Strong steel cutters
- A compact design
- Cannot shred credit cards that include chips
- The shredding capacity is exaggerated by the manufacturer (load less than 8 sheets to avoid overheating)
Ultra-Quiet Cross-Cut Machine: Bonsaii EverShred C149-C
This is a heavy-duty machine from Bonsaii. This cross-cutter takes credit cards and CDs and is able to process 18 paper sheets at one feed. Thanks to a unique cooling system, it can work non-stop for one hour.
The unit comes with a large catch bin of 6 gallons with a clear window. The machine is not lightweight but is equipped with four casters if you need to relocate it.
The shredder cuts the material into tiny fractions of 5 x 40 mm and has a P-3 level of security.
The noise level of the machine is 62 dB, and it has a 1-year warranty. This is a perfect variant for a small office/home use so expect to get excellent service from the device.
- Extended duty cycle and a short period for cooling (10 minutes)
- Auto reverse/start/stop functions
- Protection from overload/overheat
- Quiet and durable motor
- Large bin size
- The input slot should be redesigned to feed the paper easier
- More expensive than similar models
Compact Desktop-Style Paper Shredder: Aurora AS420C
This countertop cross-cutter from Aurora will easily destroy your confidential paper or an old credit card. It has a compact design and can handle only 4 paper sheets at a time.
It comes with an integrated wastebasket, which is able to accommodate 40 shredded sheets (1.32 gallons). It features a convenient handle for easy waste emptying and transportation.
On the top cover, there are three switches for on, off, and reverse functions. The machine includes a thermal protection system that regulates the unit from overheating. Its maximum operating time is 2 minutes.
This is an ideal budget variant for personal use.
- Equipped with durable cutters made from steel
- Lightweight and portable
- Space-saver thanks to a small size
- Features a lifting handle and a letter opener accessory
- The power cord is detachable
- The waste bin is built-in
- Odd opening size (for folded paper only)
Royal MC14MX: Perfect for Cutting CDs
The MC14Mx from Royal Purple is a micro-cutting shredder, which is able to process 14 sheets of paper at one feed. It completely destroys all printed information. It can easily handle CDs/credit cards and has different slots for shredding these products. Its container is large and accommodates 8.5 gallons of waste. The box has a viewing window in the front to check the waste level.
The shredder includes locking casters, which allow users to move the machine around the room.
- Makes micro-cut unreadable shreds
- Very large waste bucket, which is easy to empty
- Convenient casters for easy mobility
- Auto stop/start functions
- Sturdy and heavy-duty design
- Quiet operation
- Intuitive controls
- Good deal for the price
- Slow paper feed
- Not compact and needs space
The Smallest Shreds: Fellowes Microshred 62MC
The 62MC from Fellowes features the fourth level of security and provides micro-shredding. The machine destroys staples, credit cards, and up to 10 paper sheets at a time. The shredder includes an extra safety protection thanks to the Safety Lock feature which disables the unit if it is not in use. The noise level of the machine is 60 dB, which means it works quietly.
The device comes with a 5-gallon waste container and has casters for mobility. It is able to work for 7 minutes, and then it requires a 1-hour pause.
- High level of security
- The motor is powerful but quiet
- Mess-free basket removal
- Patented Safety Lock protection
- Long cooling period
- Doesn’t shred CDs
Most Long-Time Work: Bonsaii 4S30
The Bonsaii 4S30 is a very powerful machine able to work 4 hours in a row. Then, it requires only a 10-minute pause and is ready to work again. It chews CDs, clips/staples, credit cards, and can process a pack of 10 paper sheets. This unit provides micro-shredding and features a P-5 level of information protection. Thanks to an anti-jam technology, this machine is able to detect jams and turn a reverse mode on.
The device has a separate canister for shredded disks for easy recycling, while the bucket for paper waste can hold up to 8 gallons.
Its operation mode is not noisy and amounts to 58 dB. The shredder contains an energy-saving mechanism that turns it off after 5 minutes of inactivity.
- High level of information protection
- Extended running time
- Silent operation
- Auto reverse/start/stop
- Wastebasket with a big capacity
- Protection against paper jams
- Different bins for paper and plastic waste
- The basket tends to trap a plastic waste bag and makes it difficult to remove the bag
AmazonBasics 12-Sheet: Best Shredder for Home Use
This model from AmazonBasics performs micro-cutting, and the users adore the confetti-sized bits it creates. The device cuts 12 sheets at one feed and features a high level of information protection (P-4 level out of 7 possible). The machine can easily process CDs and credit cards as well. It is able to work continuously for 8 minutes. The volume of its waste canister is 6.7 gallons.
The machine shuts off automatically to prevent overheating and includes a manual reverse button to clear paper jams. It can be used for light-duty shredding at home or for small businesses. The machine comes with a warranty (1 year).
- Very quiet performance
- Solid construction
- Smooth and quality operation
- Auto switch-off
- Affordable price
- Compact model
- High level of security
- Long cooling period (45 minutes)
- Has no entry to shred CDs
Bonsaii C560-D: High-Security Paper Shredder
The C560-D from Bonsaii is a micro-type shredder with a P-4 level of security. Its continuous work is 2 minutes, and it is able to handle 6 sheets at a time. The unit is very lightweight and can be easily moved anywhere you want.
The cutting process starts automatically thanks to an auto-start mechanism, which detects paper near the entrance slot. Its manual reverse function helps clear out paper jams. When the machine is overheated, it switches off. Its level of noise is 72 dB, which means the shredder makes a little noise.
The wastebasket has a capacity of 4 gallons and features a transparent inspection window to track the waste level.
- Protection from overheating
- Performs micro-cutting, which is difficult to restore
- Compact and lightweight
- Affordable cost
- Has a comfortable handle to lift the shredding part
- Long cooling period (40 minutes)
- Loud operation
Great for Old Credit Cards: AmazonBasics 17-Sheet
This is a micro-cutter able to digest 17 paper sheets at a time. It chews CDs and credit cards and has a P-4 level of security. The machine can work for 20 minutes before a 50-minute break.
It features a 7-gallon catch basket, which is detachable for easy cleanup. It has automatic reverse/start functions, and it shuts off after 5 minutes of non-use. The machine’s level of noise is 65 dB. It has a 1-year warranty from AmazonBasics.
- Energy-saving functions
- Micro shredding for the maximum protection of the information
- Quick and quiet performance
- Auto reverse/start functions
- Easy to operate and clean
- Comes with removable wheels
- The side handles don’t provide a comfortable grip
- The viewing window on the wastebasket is poorly designed to see the waste
Worthy of Your Attention
Why Should You Shred?
Usually, people use a digital storage system to store important information; however, some data are still present and kept on paper. Imagine that you throw away unshredded personal documents into a recycling basket. These sheets of paper may contain valuable information for a potential thief, and it can be copied or used for criminal purposes. If your document contains any names, bank data, addresses, or other personal information, which may lead to identity theft, it should be shredded.
The business owners are subject to mandatory shredding of all documents that contain company/employee/bank data. The owners who fail to adhere to these laws face legal consequences, including huge fines.
Some companies address professional agencies in order to destroy important documents. You know, this can be very expensive. With your own shredder, paper destruction can be done quicker and cheaper. Most cutting devices are multifunctional and can destroy credit cards and CDs as well.
These machines are very useful so that no one can take advantage of your documents because shredders turn paper into tiny fractions, which cannot be read or restored. This is also a good way to get rid of old magazines and unwanted paperwork, which usually tends to accumulate in any office.
Types of Paper Shredders
All shredding machines fall into four types in accordance with a cutting method they perform:
- strip-cut. These devices cut paper in long stripes and offer a minimal level of information security. The pages will not be difficult to reassemble and restore the data. This type is optimal for home use for personal documents, which are non-confidential like junk mail, and others;
- cross-cut (or diamond-cut). These machines shred documents in smaller chunks along the paper length. They are more effective with portrait-oriented sheets. If your document is landscape-oriented, the stripes will be long enough to glean the information;
- micro-cut. These appliances offer the best level of security, turning your papers into confetti-sized particles. They make the text completely unreadable and are suitable for businesses;
- high security. This level is used by the government to shred top-secret documents.
This is up to the user which type of security he/she needs. The cross-cut shredding machines are the most popular cutting devices.
How to Use a Paper Shredder?
Using a shredder is very simple. Just plug the machine in and feed your paper sheets by hand into the cutting slot. If your device features an automatic feeding mechanism, stack your documents in a special tray and let the unit do the work.
There are some tips that will help you shred like a pro and extend the lifetime of your device:
- even if your shredder is able to accept 10 pages, don’t insert the maximum possible number of sheets. Don’t overload the device; otherwise, this may lead to a paper jam. The shredder is more effective while feeding 6-8 pages per pass;
- check the amount of waste paper in the canister. Don’t forget to empty the basket at frequent intervals, or this may damage the motor. Opt for models with a viewing window;
- choose a shredder with safety functions. These machines switch off when human fingers or animal paws are too close to the cutting blades;
- after continuous use, the machine requires a break to cool down. Stop it before it overheats.
Careful maintenance of a shredder is also a significant point to fulfill. The proper cleaning procedures will be reviewed below.
How to Choose the Best Paper Shredder (Buying Guide)
If you are planning to buy a paper shredder, there are several factors to weigh. Choose a model regarding the following parameters:
You may be scared of this list of points to consider. If you are searching for the best functioning device, it is worthy of your time and effort.
Best for Home
The AmazonBasics 12-Sheet is considered the best model for domestic use or home-based business. Thanks to the following features, this machine is an excellent variant for any home:
- quiet operation mode. This shredder will not wake up your relatives or pets;
- compact size. It is not bulky and saves space in your apartment;
- not pricey. The unit will not break your budget;
- suitable for moderate use. Probably, you don’t have stacks of paper to shred;
- P-4 level of security. This is a perfect index for personal needs;
- auto switch-off. The device meets ECO demands and saves electricity;
- elegant and slim design. It will fit any home environment and match other household devices;
- easy to operate. Even elderly people can manage with the machine;
- spacious waste bin. It can be emptied less frequently and can store a lot of shredded waste.
This is one of the most reliable machines, which offers quality shredding at an affordable price.
Best Office Shredder for Small Business
The Fellowes Powershred® 79Ci has been rated as an optimal shredder for small businesses. Let’s analyze its characteristics:
- cuts through various materials. The machine can chew through credit cards, CDs, and it won’t choke if the papers have staples or clips;
- features a special mechanism that prevents overstuffing. This is a nice function to prevent paper jams and perform heavy-duty assignments;
- has a continuous operation time (20 minutes). This is very helpful because offices with numerous employees have lots of paper to shred;
- its quick performance is ideal for a fast working process;
- has a low level of noise. This is great because employees are not disturbed by its loud operation;
- a large wastebasket allows users to empty it less frequently;
- can handle 16 pages at one feed to save working time;
- a modern design will match other office equipment. You don’t need to attract a designer and work out concept solutions where to install the shredder.
Beyond its outstanding features, the machine is backed by a 2-year warranty and can be replaced.
Best Industrial Heavy Duty Shredder
The Fellowes Powershred 485Ci is a cross-cutting shredder for industrial use. Thanks to the following characteristics, it has been selected as the most powerful machine for commercial workplaces:
- the extra-wide feeding slot (16’’) that is able to accept 30 paper sheets at a time;
- the 35-gallon removable waste box with a LED basket-full indicator;
- able to cut through various materials (CDs, staples, plastic cards, and paper clips);
- continuous operation mode;
- high level of information protection (P-4);
- three-level Jam Proof system;
- SafeSense technology that stops the machine when hands are close to the opening;
- the auto-oil mechanism that lubricates the blades;
- energy-saving features.
The shredder is designed and assembled in the United States. The machine comes with a 2-year warranty and features a lifetime cutter warranty.
Top Rated Shredder Brands on the Market
With multiple brands on the market, this is not simple to choose a quality and reliable shredder machine. Which brand is the best? The choice is mind-blowing. Some manufacturers offer good options for home use, others are specialized in industrial machines. Here are some reputable shredder brands that are worthy of your attention:
- and many others.
These trustworthy companies offer high-quality products, ensure a warranty period, and guarantee the longevity of their equipment.
Like any appliance, shredding machines require regular cleaning and lubrication. With normal use, these devices don’t need frequent cleanup. As paper dust may get stuck between the cutters, run the shredder in a reverse mode to clear hidden debris. The use of a vacuum cleaner can be helpful to remove paper particles from the feeding slot and the blades.
Empty the wastebasket once a month even if it is not full.
The lack of lubrication may lead to paper jams and improper operation of the device. Oil your machine once a week or after long shredding sessions using a special “shredder oil.” It is sold in any store for office supplies in dropper-type bottles. Squeeze it and apply several oil drops on the blades moving from left to right. SINGER 2131E is a good oil for a smooth operation of your shredder.
Use lubricant and cleaning sheets as an alternative method of oiling your machine. Insert them in the feeding opening as if you were going to shred ordinary paper. Repeat this procedure periodically or as suggested by the user manual. For better results, use AmazonBasics SP12A Paper Shredder Sharpening & Lubricant Sheets.
Some shredders feature a function of automatic oiling when the oil is supplied from a separate compartment. Check that there is enough oil in this canister.
If you are planning to buy a shredding device and destroy all your confidential documents before they get into a trash basket, you may have questions about a new appliance. This is normal. The most common questions and answers are offered below to bridge the possible information gaps.
What Can a Paper Shredder Shred?
Most shredders can process not only paper but also plastic cards and CDs. Some of them can easily handle paper staples and clips. Check this information in advance; otherwise, these materials can damage the blades. These shredders have dedicated slots to feed plastic cards and optical media and separate waste bins to catch the shreds. This allows users to sort out the waste for further recycling.
What Kind of Paper Shredder Should I Buy?
The kind of shredder to buy depends on where and how often you are going to use it. For home or personal use, choose an inexpensive device with an average level of information protection (P-3 or P-4) and safety functions (SafeSense, Safety Lock, etc.). It should be quiet, compact, and easy to operate. There is no sense to buy the fastest, the most powerful and bulky machines for occasional use.
For office use, opt for a more efficient model with a higher level of security (P-4, P-5, P-6), extended operation time, and spacious waste canister. It should be quick and able to process various materials. If a shredder is used by lots of people, it should be enough sturdy and durable to withstand frequent use.
How Finely Will a Paper Shredder Cut Documents?
According to four types of these machines, all paper can be shred into four various sizes:
- A strip-cutter provides the lowest security level (P-2), and the paper is sliced into narrow strips, which are the same length as the paper sheet. Their size is 7/32’’ . It makes 39 strips per paper sheet.
- A cross-cutter offers a higher level of information protection (P-3, P-4) and slices the material into confetti-sized shreds of 5/32’’ x 2’’(P3) and 5/32’’ x 1-1/2’’ (P4) size. It makes 302 and 397 particles per paper sheet respectively.
- A micro-cutter guarantees the highest level of information protection (P-5) and slices the material into small fractions of 5/64’’ x 5/16’’ size. It makes 3,770 particles per paper sheet.
- Government-approved shredding security (P-7) is for top-secret documents. It slices paper into tiny shreds of 1/32’’ x 1/16’’ size. It creates 15,000 particles of paper dust from each sheet.
The shredders with a higher level of security are the most expensive. Choose the shredding type up to your security demands.
What Machines Don’t Overheat?
The shredder can overheat 🔥 when it is used uninterruptedly. Each model is calculated for a certain operation period when it can be safely used without being overheated. Most machines for personal use have continuous operation time of 5-10 minutes before they require a break. Professional devices can run for half an hour, and commercial shredders are able to work 2-4 hours non-stop.
The run time also depends on the level of security provided by the machine. The higher the security level, the less the run time. This function requires more power and causes a motor to overheat. For example, a P-5 shredder produces tiny paper particles and needs more time to cool down than a P-2 machine.
Read the manual of your machine and try to make pauses after each shredding session earlier than stated in the user guide.
Are Paper Shredders Safe to Use?
All paper shredders are safe 👍. Yes, they have sharpened blades, which cut the materials, but modern machines feature multiple safety features. Most models are equipped with special sensors that stop the operation immediately when they detect fingers or hands too close to the paper entry.
Some devices have an automatic shut-off system, which switches the machine off when it is not in use. This helps avoid overheating. For your safety, don’t leave the plugged machine unattended when there are kids or pets around.
Who Makes AmazonBasics Shredders 🤔?
In 2009, Amazon launched its own brand – AmazonBasics. Primarily, this private label focused on small and inexpensive products, such as like batteries and charging cables. Now, it offers more than 450 items in 14 product categories ranging from tech accessories to kitchen gadgets.
These private label products are developed by a third-party manufacturer and sold under the Amazon brand. As a rule, the sales of these goods are bigger than other branded products. AmazonBasics is one of the best-selling brands which provides a good compromise between performance and price. It offers amazing deals, which make people wonder how this can be possible.
How Do I Remove Jammed Credit Card from AmazonBasics Shredder?
Jams are an annoying occurrence of any shredding machine. A credit card jam may happen because of a slanted input of the material, lack of oil in the machine, or if the maximum material width has been exceeded.
To remove a credit card from an AmazonBasics shredder, pause the device and press a reverse button.
The cutters will move in the opposite direction pushing the card out of the machine. Straighten and align it. Insert the card in the shredding opening correctly and try to shred it again.
What Is the Best Place to Buy a Paper Shredder?
The demand for paper shredders is very high, and these machines can easily be found in stores for electric household appliances. The simplest way to purchase 🛒 them is via online shops. You may visit the official websites of the manufacturers or buy from famous internet suppliers. Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Costco, BestBuy, and other large retailers offer a wide range of shredding machines from various brands. You can compare prices and read customer reports before you choose the option up to your budget and needs.
The safety of personal information on physical papers arises lots of debate. Shredders have become very affordable devices, and there are a million reasons to buy one. All the appliances reviewed in this article have excellent features and high ratings among users. With the information provided, just specify your needs and choose any of the recommended machines. This post will help you buy the right shredder and spend money on a worthy product.