Best Shredders

Review & Comparison, Last Update April 16, 2020
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 2020
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 use in the office, 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 1.5")

CUT TYPE

Cross-Cut

Shred

SafeSense™ Technology, Jam-Proof™ System with auto-reverse, Energy Saving System, 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 - 5

NOISE LEVEL

56 dB with SilentShred™ Technology

Warranty

2 years (cutter - lifetime)

PROS

The Jam-Proof™ system will notify you if you're using the device too intensively to prevent overfeeding. The device also features an Auto-reverse function that prevents it from paper jamming.

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 - 3

NOISE LEVEL

54 dB with SilentShred™ technology

Warranty

2 years (cutter - lifetime)

PROS

The upper part of the body features LED indicators that show the progress of shredding. The 5-min auto power-off feature makes it more energy-efficient. And an extra slot for CDs, DVDs, and credit cards adds more convenience.

CONS

The Run time and cool down time ratio could be better.

OUR VERDICT

This model with a micro-cut shredding is suitable for individual use and will fit those who work with confidential papers. It is compact, so you will be able to easily find a place for it at home and in the office.

detailed parameters
SECURITY LEVEL

P-4 (5/32" x 15/32")

CUT TYPE

Micro-Cut

Shred

ShredSafe™ advanced safety feature, Jam-Free™ technology, Overload / Overheat protection, 5-min Auto power-off feature, Destroys CDs/DVDs, credit cards, small paper clips, staples

SHREDDING CAPACITY

10 sheets per pass

RUN TIME / COOL DOWN TIME

12 / 45 minutes

BIN CAPACITY

5 gallons

RECOMMENDED NUMBER OF USERS

1

NOISE LEVEL

~60 dB

Warranty

1 year (cutter - 5 years)

PROS

An advanced motor cooling system allows you to use the device continuously for 1 hour with short 10-minute pauses. The Over-heating protection system turns the device off in case it becomes too hot.

CONS

Autostart feature may have a small delay.

OUR VERDICT

This device is a perfect option for companies where you constantly need to destroy a huge amount of papers. The P-3 security level suits for shredding docs with a medium and low level of secrecy.

detailed parameters
SECURITY LEVEL

P-3 (1/4" x 1.57")

CUT TYPE

Cross-Cut

Shred

Auto-start and auto-reverse functions, Overheating and overloading protection technology, Destroys Staples, credit cards, paper clips, CD/DVD discs

SHREDDING CAPACITY

18 sheets per pass

RUN TIME / COOL DOWN TIME

60 / 10 minutes

BIN CAPACITY

6 gallons

RECOMMENDED NUMBER OF USERS

1 - 3

NOISE LEVEL

62 dB

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The cutting mechanism stays sharp during the whole time of use, so you won't have to change it. The construction features a viewing window that allows checking how full the bin is.

CONS

It is a bit loud.

OUR VERDICT

If you seek an affordable and practical shredder with a low chance of their further restoration, we advise buying this model from AmazonBasics. It also tackles shredding credit cards.

detailed parameters
SECURITY LEVEL

P-3 (7/32" x 1.56")

CUT TYPE

Cross-Cut

Shred

Auto-start and auto reverse features, Anti-jam technology, Thermal protection with auto shut-off feature, Destroys Staples, credit cards, paper clips

SHREDDING CAPACITY

12 sheets per pass

RUN TIME / COOL DOWN TIME

7 / 30 minutes

BIN CAPACITY

4.8 gallons

RECOMMENDED NUMBER OF USERS

1

NOISE LEVEL

~65 dB

Warranty

1 year

Fellowes 99Ci

High Security Level

The Fellowes paper shredder is one of the most multifunctional devices on our shortlist. It boasts top-level security, high speed and 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.

This commercial 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.

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

Safe in Use

While found very easy to use, the Fellowes paper shredder is a reliable, durable and safe device. It comes with a safety cover, which covers the cutting slots to prevent small objects from getting inside. Plus it features 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 which keeps it from starting when the wastebasket is opened. 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.

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

Convenient Alert System

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 and features a large capacity basket of 9 gallons with a clear window, which allows keeping track when the basket is full.

So, if you are willing to get the best what the market can offer, the Fellowes Paper Shredder is a perfect choice for you. It is functional, reliable, and is easy to control for any user.

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

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
 

Aurora AU1000MA

Micro Cut Shredding for Extra Security

If you are looking for a quality shredder for home or office use but you don’t want to overpay, take a closer look at the Aurora Micro-Cut Shredder. It is convenient to use and has the best price to quality ratio, in our opinion.

One of the best features of this model is that it provides a high-security micro-cut. The particles turn out 6 times smaller compared to the similar models. Thanks to that, you can be sure that all the information you’ve shredded is indeed gone for good. The shredded size is 5/32” x 15/32”.

This device may be not the most advanced model on the market, yet it can shred up to 10 sheets at once, which is about the same as in most models. What is more, same as its advanced counterparts, this shredder is suitable for getting rid of not only paper but also CDs and credit cards - it features an extra slot for them.

As for the noise level, this home shredder is not the loudest, but it also is not really quiet. The noise level goes up to 60 dB, which is only a bit louder than more advanced models in our list.

Review of Aurora AU1000MA 10-Sheet Micro-Cut Paper / CD / Credit Card Shredder

Energy-Efficient Unit

Moving on to the safety features, the manufacturer made sure that this shredder is super safe to use. First of all, the device automatically powers off in case of forced entry. This minimizes the risk of getting a cut if you accidentally put your hand or finger near the blades. This model also won’t start if the capacity of the shredded paper is more than the stated 10 sheets. And when the bin is full, the shredder turns off automatically. Speaking of which, the capacity of the bin is 5 gallons. The bin can be pulled out for easy emptying.

This model is also energy-efficient. It turns off automatically after 5 minutes of no use. Not only does it reduce the energy bills but also it significantly prolongs the service life of the unit. There are also LED indicator lights that will inform you in case of overheating.

Aurora AU1000MA 10-Sheet Micro-Cut Paper / CD / Credit Card Shredder in the use

Compact and Easy to Move Around

The other convenient thing about this home shredder is that it can be moved around with ease. When it’s empty, it weighs around 11 kilos. The manufacturer added 2 pairs of casters that add it moveability, so you don’t have to lift it up and carry around the room. What is more, the device is pretty compact. Its size is 13.9 x 16.7 x 24.2 inches. So, even if you have a small office, you still will be able to find a place for this small device.

All in all, if you are looking for a decent model for your office or just for personal use at home, we recommend investing in the Aurora Micro-Cut Shredder. It can quickly and securely get rid of all unwanted documents.

Detailed review of Aurora AU1000MA 10-Sheet Micro-Cut Paper / CD / Credit Card Shredder

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Bonsaii C149-C

Advanced Cooling System

The Bonsaii C149-C Cross-Cut Shredder looks like a pretty basic model at a glance, yet it still got a few aces up its sleeve and will soon become your reliable office assistant.

First of all, the Bonsaii shredder is able to cut up to 18 sheets of paper at one pass. It will suit those organizations that are dealing with document destruction on a frequent basis. Since you are able to put lots of sheets at once, the shredding process won’t take you a long time.

What also makes this model suitable for shredding lots of documents on a daily basis is that it comes with an advanced cooling system. The device will be able to provide 1 hour of continuous work and requires only 10 minutes to cool down. This feature will save you a lot of time during the working day if you are constantly shredding documents.

We also like that this model provides a very smooth shredding thanks to sharp blades. But note that it is not the most silent and its noise level can go up to 62 dB.

Review of Bonsaii C149-C 18-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper / CD / Credit Card Shredder

Medium Security Level

The shredder is one of the affordable options, yet it is definitely built to last. This model has great durability and can stand the frequent everyday use. The manufacturer also provides a 1-year warranty for the whole device.

This model offers a cross-cut shredding with a P-3 (1/4" x 1.57") security level. It may not suit those who work with top-secret files, yet it will be more than suitable for shredding docs with a medium and low level of secrecy. In addition to this, this model tackles shredding credit cards, staples, paper clips, CD, and DVD discs.

As for the wastebasket capacity, it can fit up to 6 gallons of shredded pieces. Hence, it will be enough for use by 1 to 3 people. We find the design of the basket pretty convenient. First of all, it comes with a viewing window so you can quickly check whether it is full or not. Secondly, it is easy to pull out and empty when needed.

Bonsaii C149-C 18-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper / CD / Credit Card Shredder in the use

Auto-Start and Reverse Function

The other cool things about this model are Auto-start and auto-reverse functions. The unit will start shredding when you put the papers in. The reverse feature prevents them from jamming, so you don’t need to fix it by yourself. Hence, the shredder requires minimal supervision while it is on.

Also, the appliance comes with overload and overheat protection features. They help significantly prolong the service life of your shredder.

In conclusion, if you seek a decent shredding tool for your office, we recommend purchasing the Bonsaii C149-C Cross-Cut Shredder. This affordable yet functional model is one of the most reliable office assistants you can find.

Detailed review of Bonsaii C149-C 18-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper / CD / Credit Card Shredder

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

AmazonBasics AU1208XB

A Basic Yet Practical Model

Those who seek an affordable yet budget-friendly shredding device should go with the AmazonBasics AU1208XB Shredder. This compact unit can quickly and easily tackle basic office tasks.

Even though this device is pretty simple, it still can fit and shred up to 12 pieces of paper at once. It easily destroys paper clips and metal staples. It also shreds credit cards. There is a special mark on the top of the unit that shows where cards should be inserted.

The shredder cross-cuts the paper to pieces with a size of 7/32 by 1-9/16 inches, which equals a P-3 security level. So, if you work with medium-security papers, this model should fit you. Also, we want to add that cross-cut shredders may not be as safe as micro-cut models but they operate much faster. So if you need instant results, this model will fit you.

One of the best things about this office tool is that it provides a smooth cut during the whole service life. The blades stay sharp, so you won’t have to replace them. Yet, despite the pretty smooth operation, this model is one of the loudest in our list. Its noise level is about 65 dB.

Review of AmazonBasics AU1208XB 12-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper / Credit Card Shredder

Great For Individal Use

Moving on to the basket capacity, it is pretty compact. It can fit up to 4.8 gallons of shredded paper. Hence, we think this model will be better for individual use. The bin has a viewing window that allows you to check whether it is full. To empty it, you need to lift up the shredder’s head with a control panel. This model also doesn’t have wheels, so it will be inconvenient to move around to different users.

Due to a compact bin, this model has a pretty small size and can easily fit under and even on your desk. The dimensions of the unit are 13.27 x 9.29 x 14.57 inches and it is not much bigger than an average trash basket.

The continuous work/cool down ratio is 77 to 30 minutes. Hence, if you are planning to shred a lot of documents, note that it may take you a while.

AmazonBasics AU1208XB 12-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper / Credit Card Shredder in the use

Affordable Option

As for safety features, this device has all the necessary ones. There is an overheat protection and auto shut-off function that don’t let the device hit the critical temperature. Plus, same as more advanced models, this budget-friendly device comes with an auto-start and auto-reverse features and Anti-jam technology. They ensure that there will be no paper clogging during the work of the device.

In the end, we consider the AmazonBasics AU1208XB Shredder the best option at such an affordable price. It can tackle basic shredding tasks and does them relatively quickly. It is a practical device for individual use.

Detailed review of AmazonBasics AU1208XB 12-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper / Credit Card Shredder

Additional Info

User Manual


 

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 the 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. They help get rid of documents that contain personal data and the most advanced ones make these documents completely unable to restore. 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. We also recommend checking out these laminators that can become handy in the office.

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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