Best Shredders

Review & Comparison, Last Update September 20, 2019
Are you concerned about protecting your business or personal information? Then purchasing a shredder can be a great solution for efficient waste management and a stress-free way to dispose of your confidential documents. Look through our review and make your pick! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
SECURITY LEVEL
CUT TYPE
Shred
SHREDDING CAPACITY
RUN TIME / COOL DOWN TIME
BIN CAPACITY
RECOMMENDED NUMBER OF USERS
NOISE LEVEL
Warranty
 
PROS
A low noise level, high capacity and energy efficiency are what makes this high-end paper shredder highly favored by the majority of business people. Has Safety Lock function when the bin is opened and SafeSense technology.
CONS
When compared to the other shredders, this one is rather bulky.
OUR VERDICT

If you're looking for a high-performing shredder for the office use, the Fellowes Powershred 99Ci shredder is just what you need. It delivers three levels of advanced jam prevention with 100% Jam Proof System.

detailed parameters
SECURITY LEVEL
Р-4 (5/32 " х 1-1/2 ")
CUT TYPE
Cross-Cut
Shred

Auto start-stop, Energy Saving System, SilentShred, Destroys staples, credit cards, paper clips, CDs/DVDs, junk mail

SHREDDING CAPACITY
18 sheets per pass
RUN TIME / COOL DOWN TIME
30 / 40 minutes
BIN CAPACITY
9 gallons
RECOMMENDED NUMBER OF USERS
3 - 1
NOISE LEVEL
56 dB
Warranty
2-year warranty
PROS

The Jam-Proof™ system will notify you if you're using the device too intensively to prevent overfeeding.

CONS

The wheels tend to get stuck, making movement tough.

OUR VERDICT

This is one of the top models on the market and for good reason. It shreds up to 16 sheets at once, works for 20 minutes continuously, and stays relatively quiet so you won't disturb anyone in the office. While the price here is a bit steep, the quality more than matches it.

detailed parameters
SECURITY LEVEL

P-4 (5/32" x 1.5”)

CUT TYPE

Cross-Cut

Shred

SafeSense™ Technology, Jam-Proof™ System with auto-reverse, Destroys staples, credit cards, paper clips, CDs/DVDs

SHREDDING CAPACITY

16 sheets per pass

RUN TIME / COOL DOWN TIME

20 / 30 minutes

BIN CAPACITY

6 gallons

RECOMMENDED NUMBER OF USERS

1 - 5

NOISE LEVEL

54 dB with SilentShred™ technology

Warranty

2 years (cutter - lifetime)

PROS
An affordable yet fully-functional micro-cut paper shredder will come in handy for most users willing to dispose of their CDs/DVDs, credit cards and other paperwork. Has extra lid that prevents small objects from getting into the paper slot.
CONS
Relatively low run time compared to other P-4 shredders in this review.
OUR VERDICT
A stylish, highly-capable and performing paper shredder will become a win-win product for both, home and office users. You'll never overload or overheat the unit thanks to responsive sensors.
detailed parameters
SECURITY LEVEL
Р-4 (5/32 " x 15/32 ")
CUT TYPE
Micro-Cut
Shred
CDs/DVDs, Credit cards
SHREDDING CAPACITY
12 sheets per pass
RUN TIME / COOL DOWN TIME
8 / 45 minutes
BIN CAPACITY
6.7 gallons
RECOMMENDED NUMBER OF USERS
1 - 3
NOISE LEVEL
65 dB
Warranty

1 year

PROS

The shredder features SafeSense™ technology which automatically stops the device if you accidentally touch the blades, an important safety feature for homes with curious kids and pets. 

CONS

Not recommended to fill it to the max rated capacity.

OUR VERDICT

Easy to use and easy to maintain, the Fellowes Powershred 73Ci provides secure shredding that will cater to both home and business needs. It has numerous smart features, destroys paperwaste quickly, and requires little to no maintenance making it a good addition to any small office. 

detailed parameters
SECURITY LEVEL

P-4 (5/32" x 1-1/2")

CUT TYPE

Cross-Cut

Shred

SafeSense™ Technology, 100% Jam Proof System, Destros staples, credit cards, paper clips, CDs/DVDs

SHREDDING CAPACITY

12 sheets per pass

RUN TIME / COOL DOWN TIME

10 / 20 minutes

BIN CAPACITY

6 gallons

RECOMMENDED NUMBER OF USERS

1 - 3 

NOISE LEVEL

~ 60 dB

Warranty

2 years (5 years for cutter)

PROS

Overload and thermal protection exclude the risk of the shredder going out of order too soon. Features an auto mode making the device to start working automatically when you place the paper on its feed slot. 

CONS

It takes quite long to cool down.

OUR VERDICT

The Aurora AU1220XA is an ideal solution for personal use. It will help you dispose of the sensitive data you'd rather kept away from curious hands and eyes and reduce clutter at home. 

detailed parameters
SECURITY LEVEL

P-3 (3/16" x 1-9/16")

CUT TYPE

Cross-Cut

Shred

Overload and thermal protection, Destroys staples, credit cards, paper clips

SHREDDING CAPACITY

12 sheet per pass

RUN TIME / COOL DOWN TIME

3 / 30 minutes

BIN CAPACITY

5.2 gallons

RECOMMENDED NUMBER OF USERS

NOISE LEVEL

~65 dB

Warranty

1 year (5 years for cutter)

Fellowes 99Ci

Security Level

Fellowes paper shredder is one of the most multifunctional devices on our shortlist. It boasts top-level security, high speed and, meanwhile, it has one of the lowest noise levels among its competitors. The shredding device has a Security Level Р-4, so it shreds paper into tiny pieces (5 / 32 " x 1-1 / 2") that make the documents nearly impossible to read after being processed. This is one of the highest levels of security, providing effective shredding of top secret documents including bank accounts and statements. This cross-cut paper shredder has the ability to completely destroy your documents. Thus, it's surely the best choice for your security needs.

Review of Fellowes 99Ci Jam Proof 18-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper Shredder

Capacity and Type

This paper shredder is an excellent choice for small and mid-size offices for 3-5 users. Therefore, the shredder is indispensable for destroying all your sensitive data and paper documents and, thereby, protecting your company's information. This high-capacity shredder is designed for high-speed shredding of up to 18 sheets of paper per pass. Moreover, the maximum runtime for this shredder is up to 30 minutes, which greatly exceeds the maximum runtime of other models. The cool down time is 40 minutes, and then the shredder is ready for use.

Fellowes 99Ci Jam Proof 18-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper Shredder in the use

Extras and Safety

Fellowes paper shredder is quite easy to use and, at the same time, it's reliable, durable and safe. The shredding device comes with a safety cover, which covers the cutting slots to prevent small objects from getting inside. An extra bonus is a motor protection against thermal overload, which prevents overloading and burning out. Moreover, the paper shredder comes with an LED light on the front panel, which indicates when a shredder is ready for use. In addition, the device has a Safety Lock function when a wastebasket is opened for more security of the device. The shredding device boasts extra features including separate cutting slots for shredding CDs and DVDs, staples, credit cards and small paper clips. Besides, a device features the SafeSense technology that has a built-in sensor, which automatically turns off the shredder if you touch a paper slot. What is more, the Energy Saving System reduces unnecessary power consumption not only when the device is in a standby mode, but also when it is operating.

Detailed review of Fellowes 99Ci Jam Proof 18-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper Shredder

Usability

This best paper shredder is characterized by large dimensions of 25.19 x 11.44 x 17.31 inches, nevertheless, the device looks really stylish and fits in any interior. This shredder boasts the lowest noise level of 56 dB that causes no discomfort or interference when you are using it. SilentShred technology minimizes shredding noise, making the device almost noise-free. Furthermore, the shredder is fitted with additional caster wheels for easy transportation that can be locked if needed. Besides, the shredding device has LED sensors that alert you when a waste bin is getting full. Besides, the shredder features a large capacity basket of 9 gallons with a clear window, which allows keeping track when the basket is full.

Fellowes 99Ci Jam Proof 18-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper Shredder application

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Fellowes Powershred 99Ci 100% Jam Proof Cross-Cut Shredder Video
 

Fellowes 79Ci

Chews Through Everything

Having your desk cluttered with paperwork from ages ago is not very efficient for work, to say the least. However, you can’t just dump confidential documents out into the trashcan or they might fall into wrong hands. Luckily, the correct solution isn’t anything complicated, all you have to do is get the Fellowes Powershred 79Ci paper shredder.

Though it’s nominally called a paper-shredding device, the 79Ci can tackle more than that. As you’d expect from a heavy-duty shredder, this model can destroy any reasonably thin object from junk mail to CD discs and plastic cards. That way you can get rid of any unwanted objects in your office and not risk having them stolen, which is especially important in our current climate where fraud and identity theft run rampant.

Review of Fellowes 79Ci 16-Sheet Duty Cross, Cut Shredder

Shred Uninterrupted

Now, paperwork tends to pile up fast so even a small business owner might end up with a stack in just a few days. This entails some pretty lengthy shredding sessions but the Fellowes Powershred 79Ci can deal with that as it runs for up to 20 minutes at a time. While a lengthy 30-minute cooldown is required afterward, which might be annoying if you have a few papers left over, it’s an unavoidable flaw of tabletop shredders. Unless you literally have bundles of old documents lying around, the 30-minute cooldown shouldn’t be that big of a deal.

But powerful shredding capabilities would mean little if there was nowhere to store the resulting waste. After all, you don’t want pieces of paper strewn all over the floor. Thankfully, the Fellowes Powershred 79Ci has a 6-gallon bin for collecting the shredded material.

Fellowes 79Ci 16-Sheet Duty Cross, Cut Shredder in the use

Safety First

With that in mind, we also want to point out that a shredder this powerful should also have some safety measures as it would be dangerous in home use otherwise. You never know when a curious pet or a young child might try to stick their paw or hand into the device so the Fellowes Powershred 79Ci has a failsafe that shuts the shredder off if the opening is touched by anything other than paper or another material that’s being shredded. That way you don’t have to worry about cutting yourself on the powerful blades. Plus, the device is jam-proof so there won’t ever be a need to call a maintenance worker or try to pull out a sheet with your bare hands.

Now, admittedly, we want to point out that, for a supposed tabletop model, the 79Ci is pretty heavy at nearly 30 pounds. Still, it’s not like the device is meant to be portable so just make sure your table will be able to support the extra weight or keep the shredder below your work desk.

Although it’s not flawless, we’d still call the Fellowes Powershred 79Ci one of the best shredder models on the market. It combines power, safety, and efficiency into one high-end product that’s going to be useful in any office.

Detailed review of Fellowes 79Ci 16-Sheet Duty Cross, Cut Shredder

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Fellowes® Powershred® 79Ci 100% Jam Proof Cross-Cut Shredder Video
 

AmazonBasics AU1240MA

Security Level

AmazonBasics paper shredder combines several cut types. For example, the strip-cut mode uses rotating blades to cut paper into 1/4-inch narrow long strips. The micro-cut mode guarantees the P-4 security level, cutting paper into confetti-like pieces of 5/32 " x 15/32 " of shred width. Thus, this shredder is a great solution for destroying highly sensitive, personal or confidential documentation.

Review of AmazonBasics AU1240MA 12-Sheet Micro-Cut Paper Shredder

Capacity and Type

This paper shredder has quite a good shredding capacity - up to 12 sheets at a single pass. The shredding device provides 8-minute continuous runtime at the maximum load. Then, the device needs 45 minutes to cool down before you can use it again. This micro-cut shredder offers the best compromise between price, quality, and capacity. This model is one of the most popular among its equivalents available on the market, which is best suited for up to 2 users.

AmazonBasics AU1240MA 12-Sheet Micro-Cut Paper Shredder in the use

Extras and Safety

AmazonBasics paper shredder helps get rid of ATM receipts, credit cards, damaged applications, payroll records, agreements and other outdated and unnecessary documents. Besides, the device is also capable of cutting CDs, DVDs, and BluRay Discs into 4 pieces at a time. For better security, this heavy duty paper shredder has a motor protection against thermal overload and overheating. As a result, the unit turns off automatically if foreign objects are detected in the paper slot. Also, this model is equipped with Auto Start / Stop and Auto reverse functions that help you remove jammed paper from the cutting slot.

This compact paper shredder has an excellent design and looks nice on a desk or on the floor. The shredder comes with a 6.7-gallon bin with a special clear window on the side of the bin, which helps you make sure if the recycle bin is full or empty. Despite its dimensions (24.3 x 13.4 x 17 inches), the shredder operates at a fairly high noise level of 65 dB at the maximum load. Moreover, the shredding device features an 8.7-inch wide paper entry slot. Additionally, the shredder has LED sensors that indicate overheating and thermal overload.

Detailed review of AmazonBasics AU1240MA 12-Sheet Micro-Cut Paper Shredder

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
AmazonBasics 12 Sheet Cross Cut Shredder Open Box and Review
 

Fellowes Powershred 73Ci

Feature-rich

Fellowes puts their best effort into producing high-quality products and the Fellowers Powershed 73Ci lives up to that reputation. It's a fast, efficient and user-friendly device that will help you protect your identity and dispose of the sensitive data for good.

The Fellowers Powershed 73Ci is provided with plenty of features that make its use not only convenient but also safe, including touch screen controls, SafeSense technology that automatically brings blades to a stop when hands touch the paper opening, and jam-proof technology that instantly triggers when there's a jam. What's more, in the occurrence of a jam, the Fellowers Powershed 73Ci attempts to reverse the piece out and shred it once again, removing the need of any user input, which we find particularly nice. It also has a rather capacious 6-gallon bin. Though not the biggest we've seen, it's more than adequate for average needs, and it's also enough to keep track of how much paper's been loaded into the tray already to prevent occasional jams. We also like the attached wheels. These make it easy to move the shredder if you decide to rearrange your office or just hide it away when you don't need to use it.

Shredding quality is also good. It shreds the claimed 12 sheets of paper per pass as well as handles credit cards, staples, CD discs and any other thick junk. However, keep note that it provides only a cross-cut level of security, and will shred the paper to 5/32" x 1-1/2", which though not as good as micro-cut is much more secure than what strip-cut shedders offer.

Review of Fellowes Powershred 73Ci Jam Proof 12-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper Shredder

User-friendly

Like we've mentioned, the Fellowes Powershred 73Ci has many helpful features, so using it is both safe and easy. The shredder has a 4" touch-screen with three buttons - Start, Forward and Reverse, and there's a stack of light indicators to the right, which show as red if you overfill the rated sheet capacity, yellow when you insert a piece into the feed slot, and green when the shredder's filled and ready to work. The interface looks clear and straightforward, so even a novice who's never used a shredder before should be able to quickly figure out how to use the controls.

Speaking of operation noise, the Fellowes Powershred 73Ci is neither too loud nor too quiet. You will hear it running, of course, but its noise isn't overwhelming and won't garner much annoyance from people around. Besides, it's not like you'll be running it for longer than a few minutes, so it should not be a problem at all.

Fellowes Powershred 73Ci Jam Proof 12-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper Shredder in the use

Bottom Line

Overall, the Fellowes Powershred 73Ci has many strong points over the competition. It is user-friendly, it's reliable, and it provides cut-cross level security which is enough for home and business use. It handles most thick junk including CD discs and credit cards, and it features a good set of safety features, making sure no jams, overload, or injuries occur should you ever happen to touch the blades. For anyone looking for a quality personal shredder to use at home or in a small office, the Fellowes Powershred 73Ci will be a good fit.

Detailed review of Fellowes Powershred 73Ci Jam Proof 12-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper Shredder

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Aurora AU1220XA

Best for Small Home Office

The Aurora AU1220XA is perfect for a small home office. Though it is much cheaper than the other entries on this list, it is highly rated by consumers and has many features that stand out from rivals.

Just like more expensive paper shredders, the Aurora AU1220XA comes with jam prevention technology and thermal protection, which ensures the safe use of the device. Furthermore, it has 12-sheet capacity and a 5.2-gallon tray making it well suitable for office use.

With the Aurora AU1220XA, you can dispose of paper, clips, staples, and credit cards and save yourself loads of time. The device will handle shredding tasks easily reducing the loaded articles up to 3/16-inches by 1-9/16-inches, which is secure enough to rid of sensitive data and make sure your personal documents don't land in the wrong hands.

Another great perk of the machine is a safety lock. It helps mount the head on the bin correctly so as to prevent jams and overload. Plus, if the shredder is placed on uneven surfaces and not perfectly aligned, it won't work. This is a handy feature to have.

Review of Aurora AU1220XA 12 Sheet Crosscut Shredder

Modes and Perks

Using the Aurora AU1220XA is very simple. On the top of the device, there's a control switch which allows you to choose one of the four modes - off, forward, reverse, and auto. We like the auto mode. It is handy when you want the shredder to automatically start running when you place the paper on the feed slot.

The AU1220XA shreds relatively quickly chewing 6.2 feet of junk per minute and automatically stops when the shredding is complete. Another thing we like about the AU1220XA is that it has an angled feed slot which helps prevent accidents - handy if you have small children or pets.

What is not so great about the machine is that it has a rather short 3-min duty cycle before it needs to cool down. This isn't an impressive performance, though expected for the price.

Regarding the design, the Aurora AU1220XA is quite small in size, has light weight, and comes with a set of casters making it easy to move it from room to room. It doesn't take up much space and you can hide it away in your wardrobe or computer desk when not in use.

Aurora AU1220XA 12 Sheet Crosscut Shredder in the use

Our Verdict

Though the Aurora AU1220XA isn't as secure and powerful as Fellowes models, it remains popular among users who seek a personal shredder for home use. The device is small, easy to use, and provides enough security to make sure your personal stuff is kept from curious eyes. It works quietly and will find its place even in a very small room or office. An ideal solution to prevent clutter in your office or home.

Detailed review of Aurora AU1220XA 12 Sheet Crosscut Shredder

 

What is a Shredder

If you’re working in a bank or any other governmental organization, you know at first hand how important the use of a shredder is. Most businesses and individuals who worry over protection of their personal data and privacy come down to using this universal yet effective device to dispose of the papers they don’t want to reveal to anybody else. Shredders have gained incredible popularity worldwide and become indispensable devices in all those organizations where privacy is far too important. In our review you’ll find some of the most popular and widespread models to make a choice from.

Those customers who’ve got used to keeping their personal data on external hard drives may also get interested in our other review on encrypted drives - reliable digital storage devices that ensure full data protection.

What Features to Compare

Security Level

Probably, the most important thing to consider is a security level of the chosen model. Understanding how shredders are classified into security levels will help you make the right pick. There are 7 security levels to choose from. Here they are:

  • Level 1 (Р-1) is used to shred general documents into up to 12-mm strips;
  • Level 2 (Р-1) is used to cut paper into up to 6 mm wide strips;
  • Level 3 (Р-3) is designed to destroy confidential data with 2–4 mm of cutting width and 80 mm of shred size;
  • Level 4 (Р-4) is one of the most popular and used to shred sensitive documents with up to 2×15 mm of cutting width;
  • Level 5 (Р-5) is designed to cut top secret documents into 0.8×12 mm cuts;
  • Level 6 (Р-6) is used to shred paper into confetti up to 0.8×6 mm of shred size.
  • Level 7 (P-7) is designed to destroy top-secret government documents into 0.7-2.6 mm cuts and 40000 fragments.

The cut type a shredder produces is also very important. Typically, there are 3 cut types: strip-cut, cross-cut, and micro-cut. Strip-cut shredders cut paper into long strips. They are characterized by a low-security level and are primarily designed for heavy workloads. Cross-cut shredders cut paper in two different directions: along and across. They are best suited for banks and other institutions that don't require the highest level of security for destroying confidential data. Micro-cut shredders cut paper into bits of confetti. They are high-security paper shredders mainly designed for public and state institutions.

Capacity and Type

Other significant features, which need to be considered, are the capacity and the type of shredder. The shredder capacity is primarily influenced by its operating speed. And the operating speed, in turn, considerably depends on how many people will actually use the shredder and how many sheets of paper can be shredded per pass. Thus, shredders can be divided into several types according to the number of users and the amount of work they can do:

  • Personal shredders: for 1-2 person use or shredding up to 100 sheets per day and bin capacity up to 20 liters;
  • Small and mid-size office shredders: for 3-4 person use or shredding from 100 to 300 sheets per day, and bin capacity up to 20-70 liters;
  • Large office shredders: for continuous heavy use or shredding from 1000 sheets per day and bin capacity up to 70-85 liters.

It is worth remembering that the high capacity influences the device's runtime and heat level. The average run time at maximum capacity is up to 15-20 minutes, after that the device needs to cool down; generally, it's not more than one hour.

Extras and Safety

When buying a paper shredder, you should pay attention to the safety features and extras included. Along with standard modes, shredders often feature auto mode allowing the device to start working automatically when you place the paper into the opening. You should also consider what technologies have been used to protect the device from jams and overheating. The majority of shredders will come with a reverse function that will pull out an article that has been jammed and try to shred it once again. You'll also find models with special jam-proof design preventing the device from working in case it's been overfilled. Safety features are of great importance, too. To prevent accidents during use, shredders are equipped with either special sensors or safety locks not allowing them to continue working if something or someone touches the blades. This feature is very important, especially if you have small children or pets. Another thing worth checking out is motor protection. The shredder should automatically shut down if it starts to overheat.

Usability

Finally, check out the usability features. By this, we mean a noise level, the dimensions of the device, wheels, screen, indicators and lights. Though shredders aren't very quiet, it's best to make sure the noise level of the model you choose doesn't exceed the 60-70 dB range, which is considered the norm. Anything louder than that will likely spark annoyance from your colleagues. As for the size, it is important to choose the size correctly so that the shredder nicely fits in the space. Furthermore, we recommend opting for models with attached wheels so that you'll have a chance to comfortably move the shredder should you decide to rearrange your office or home. Having indicators, screen and lights is also handy. These remove the need to guess what's happening inside and make it easy to keep track of the progress.

Sources:

1. How to Choose a Paper Shredder, wikiHow.

2. Randal Thomas How to Choose a Shredder, Chron.

3. Paper shredders review, Consumer Reports. October 2011.

4. ADAM MARSHALL How to buy the best shredder, Which?

5. Jacci Howard Bear Before You Buy a Personal Paper Shredder for Home or Home Office Use, About.

6. The Three Types Of Shredders (And Which One To Choose), DocumentSnap.

7. Choose The Best Paper Shredder, Fellowes.

8. How to Buy a Paper Shredder, GoodHousekeeping. July 2, 2012.

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