Best Shredders

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 31, 2018
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 2018
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

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, Destroying 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
This is a medium-duty shredder for home and office use. Big wastebasket holds approximately 575 sheets of shredded paper.
CONS
The warranty procedure isn't exactly straightforward. To replace the product (in case of breakage), you'd firstly need to contact the manufacturer and wait for 2 weeks.
OUR VERDICT
This micro-cut paper shredder is an excellent choice for handling a multitude of the tasks. Additionally, the shredding machine has locking caster wheels, which ensure excellent mobility around the office.
detailed parameters
SECURITY LEVEL
Р-4 (0.15 " х 0.4 ")
CUT TYPE
Micro-Cut
Shred
CDs/DVDs, Credit cards
SHREDDING CAPACITY
14 sheets per pass
RUN TIME / COOL DOWN TIME
10 / 30 minutes
BIN CAPACITY
8.5 gallons
RECOMMENDED NUMBER OF USERS
1 - 3
NOISE LEVEL
68 dB
Warranty

1 year

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 SafeSense™ technology automatically stops the cutter whenever the hand touches the shredder opening.

CONS

The continuous runtime is pretty low.

OUR VERDICT

This affordable model from Fellowes is compact, surprisingly quiet, and offers excellent shredding quality that practically destroys whatever you put through the blades. It is a bit weak in terms of operation time but it's not a big issue unless your office is absolutely swamped with unwanted paperwork. So we'd still call this a good budget-friendly model overall.

detailed parameters
SECURITY LEVEL

P-4 (5/32" x 1-9/16")

CUT TYPE

Cross-Cut

Shred

SafeSense™ Technology, Destroying Staples, Credit Cards, Paper Clips

SHREDDING CAPACITY

10 sheets per pass

RUN TIME / COOL DOWN TIME

6 / 20 minutes

BIN CAPACITY

6 gallons

RECOMMENDED NUMBER OF USERS

1 - 3

NOISE LEVEL

70 dB

Warranty

1 year (cutter - 5 years)

PROS
There is no need to remove staples when destroying paper-based documents. The unit can be easily moved around your office owing to its space-saving design.
CONS
It has a small capacity waste bin.
OUR VERDICT
It's an optimal choice for destroying small amounts of sensitive paper documents to satisfy your personal shredding needs.
detailed parameters
SECURITY LEVEL
Р-3 (7/32 " х 1 27/32 ")
CUT TYPE
Cross-Cut
Shred
Credit cards, DVDs/CDs, Junk mail
SHREDDING CAPACITY
6 sheets per pass
RUN TIME / COOL DOWN TIME
2 / 30 minutes
BIN CAPACITY
1 gallon
RECOMMENDED NUMBER OF USERS
1
NOISE LEVEL
70 dB
Warranty

1 year

Fellowes 79Ci (3227901)

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 (3227901) Duty Cross, Cut Shredder (16 Sheet Capacity)

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 (3227901) Duty Cross, Cut Shredder (16 Sheet Capacity) 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 (3227901) Duty Cross, Cut Shredder (16 Sheet Capacity)

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Royal MC14MX

Security Level

Royal miro-cut paper shredder is perfect to completely destroy all printed and digital media including credit cards. The device has P-4 security level that is likely a good security indicator. This high-quality shredder is the best choice for destroying personal and confidential information to fully satisfy your security concerns. Furthermore, this micro-cut paper shredder is designed to shred up to 14 sheets of paper into 0.15 x 0.39 '' micro cut particles.

Review of Royal MC14MX Paper, Credit Card Micro Cut

Capacity and Type

Royal micro-cut paper shredder has a pretty good shredding capacity due to a strong motor, powerful enough to shred up to 14 sheets of paper at a single pass. The shredding device provides 10-minute continuous runtime that allows you to shred up to 600 sheets of paper per day. Afterward, wait 30 minutes to allow the device to cool down before it can be used again. This shredder is best suited for small and medium-sized offices for up to 3 users.

Royal MC14MX Paper, Credit Card Micro Cut in the use

Extras and Safety

This micro-cut paper shredder has a variety of useful extras. The shredder is equipped with the Auto Start / Stop function, which activates automatically once you insert a sheet of paper into the paper slot and turns the device off after the operation is over. Furthermore, the shredder features the auto reverse function, which allows you to safely remove paper sheets and enables the cutter blades to rotate in the opposite direction in case of a paper jam. What is more, the shredder has a thermal overload protection, which signals to cool down the device. Also, the shredder has separate cutting slots for processing not only paper documents but also credit cards, CDs, and DVDs that may contain valuable information.

Royal micro-cut paper shredder has a convenient adjustable basket with a clear window, which permits you to check whether the bin has been filled already. The basket capacity is 8.5 gallons, which holds about 575 sheets of shredded paper. Besides, this stylish shredder looks really nice in any office. This high-capacity model with the dimensions of 14.5 x 18.8 x 27 inches comes with reliable locking casters for easy mobility around the office. Despite the weight of 39 pounds, the noise level during the operation is 68 dB, which is not that much and you don't feel any discomfort.

Detailed review of Royal MC14MX Paper, Credit Card Micro Cut

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


VIDEO
Royal MC14MX Paper shredder review
 

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 Easy Operation

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 Easy Operation 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 Easy Operation

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
AmazonBasics 12 Sheet Cross Cut Shredder Open Box and Review
 

Fellowes 60Cs (4606001)

To Shreds, You Say?

Not everybody has the huge budget to get a heavy duty shredder but we are firm believers that everyone deserves products that deliver high quality at a reasonable price. Which is exactly why we recommend the Fellowes Powershred 60Cs 4606001.

Though it’s an older model, it’s pretty powerful nonetheless, shredding up to 10 sheets of paper in a single pass. And we do mean shredding as the paper will be turned to something akin to mulch, thanks to P-3 security level. And don’t worry about accidentally cutting yourself if you get carried away, just like the modern models this one shuts off as soon as a hand touches the shredder opening.

Review of Fellowes 60Cs (4606001) Cross-Cut Paper and Credit Card Shredder (10 Sheet Capacity)

Speed Up the Shredding

Now, at 10 sheets per pass, you might expect the bin to fill up pretty quickly but this 6-gallon storage unit won’t let you down. It holds up to 250 A4 sheets of paper in shredded form so you can use it for a while before having to empty out the container. The lid does tend to move a bit stiff so be careful when you take it off to throw out the shredded paper.

And don’t let us mislead you, the Fellowes Powershred 60Cs isn’t just a good quality paper shredder. This model can easily decimate CDs, credit cards, and even staples. Pretty much anything that might clutter your desk can be thrown into this shredder’s hungry jaws and quickly destroyed.

Fellowes 60Cs (4606001) Cross-Cut Paper and Credit Card Shredder (10 Sheet Capacity) in the use

Stay Quiet

While shredders are most often seen in offices, there’s nothing stopping you from getting one for home use. Especially since the Fellowes Powershred 60Cs is extremely quiet and won’t disturb your family with whirring or buzzing while you take care of the junk mail and other papers that require shredding. Now that we think about it, the quietness is a pretty big bonus for office use as well, unless you want to annoy your coworkers whenever a stack of unwanted documents needs to be thrown into the 60Cs.

Speaking of stacks, we have to admit that we’re a bit let down by the continuous operation time on this model. While 6 minutes isn’t necessarily a short period, it’s still not as powerful as most high-end models, especially since it comes with a 20-minute cooldown anyway. Though these kind of specs are probably the best you could get at a price this reasonable.

All in all, we see a few flaws in the Fellowes Powershred 60Cs but nobody is perfect and this is certainly the best model among the budget-friendly ones. It’s quiet, efficient, and powerful, which makes it a great find both for office and home use. So if you don’t feel like breaking the proverbial piggy bank, don’t hesitate to snatch this bargain.

Detailed review of Fellowes 60Cs (4606001) Cross-Cut Paper and Credit Card Shredder (10 Sheet Capacity)

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

AmazonBasics AS662C

Your Best Personal Assistant

AmazonBasics paper shredder can effectively destroy ATM receipts, bank accounts, mortgage statements, payrolls, insurance packages, and other outdated or sensitive unwanted data. The machine tears paper into small strips of 7/32 " х 1 27/32 " pieces, which conforms to the security level P-3. Despite its relatively low cost, the shredder offers a fairly good performance. Accordingly, this shredding device is well suited for personal use. Hence, it's perfect for your home or small office. Moreover, this shredder is capable of handling up to 6 sheets and 1 credit card at a time. An undeniable advantage is that you don't have to remove staples prior to shredding your documents. What is more, this model is highly portable. It weighs 8.2 pounds with the following dimensions: 12.1 " x 7.7 " x 15 ". Thus, the unit can be easily moved around your office. Taking into account all the above mentioned, the AmazonBasics paper shredder is probably the best in its class for personal use.

Review of AmazonBasics AS662C 6 Sheet Cross Cut Paper and Credit Card

A Bit of History

The idea of creating the first paper shredder came to Abbot Augustus from New York. He patented his invention for a "waste-paper receptacle". Unfortunately, his invention wasn't improved and manufactured. However, Adolf Ehinger invented the first paper shredder, which was manufactured in 1935 in Germany. Notably, it was based on the same principle as a manual pasta maker. According to the historical data, Ehinger used a shredder with the purpose of getting rid of his anti-Nazi documents. Later, the shredders were used by various organizations. When Adolf Ehinger saw the growing popularity of his invention, he established the company, engaged in manufacturing first paper shredders. In fact, his company continues to exist to this day. It’s interesting to note that when the U.S. embassy in Tehran was taken over in 1979, a paper shredder was used to destroy top-secret documentation. It’s particularly remarkable that after the model’s name had been announced, its sales grew by up to 20%.

AmazonBasics AS662C 6 Sheet Cross Cut Paper and Credit Card in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper and Credit Card Shredder Review
 

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 first is a security level of the chosen model. Understanding how the shredders are classified into security levels will help you make the right pick. There are 7 security levels:

  • 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 a shredder. The shredder capacity is primarily influenced by its operating speed. And the operating speed, in its 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 runtime at maximum capacity is up to 15-20 minutes, afterwards, the device needs some time to cool down, generally, it's not more than one hour.

Extras and Safety

When buying a paper shredder, you should also think of the available extras and safety. It should be noted that a shredder features cutting slots for destroying not only paper documents but also credit cards, CDs/DVDs and even paper clips. Also, you should pay particular attention to the models with auto Start/Stop function, which makes document shredding more convenient without the need to press any buttons. If the shredder is in a standby mode, the device automatically starts its operation once the paper is placed in the entry slot and then shuts off when the operation is over. You should keep in mind that loading a large amount of paper into the slot may cause a paper jam inside the cutting blades. Therefore, the manufacturers have equipped some paper shredders with an auto reverse function, which allows the blades to shred in a forward direction if required. Besides, the shredder safety is a matter of great importance as the improper use of the device can be very dangerous. For this reason, be very careful when using the device in the workplace and avoid getting foreign objects into the feed slot by accident. Furthermore, there are shredders equipped with a Safety Lock function, which activates when the bin is opened. This means that if the bin suddenly opens during the shredding process, the device ceases its operation automatically. One more essential feature is a motor protection against thermal overload designed to automatically turn the shredder off in case of overheating. This peculiarity greatly extends the lifespan of the device.

Usability

And finally, the last but not least thing you need to consider is usability. In terms of usability, a noise level is probably one of the most important features that determine the user's comfort. Depending on the model, shredders are characterized by different noise levels. Accordingly, it's more convenient to use a shredder with a lower noise level. As a matter of fact, the noise level should not exceed 60-70 dB. Besides, the size of a shredding bin should not be under 4 inches. If the usability is one of the main criteria when buying a shredder, it's worth paying attention to the dimensions of the device as shredders can considerably range in size. Normally, the smaller the shredder is, the easier it is to move it around the office. Among the other things, caster wheels provide your device with mobility. Some advanced models offer a variety of additional features, including a full basket indicator, which shows when the bin is full. On the contrary, when it comes to the cheaper models of paper shredders, you can see if the bin is full through a clear window on the front of the waste basket, which is also quite convenient.

Sources:

1. How to Choose a Paper Shredder, wikiHow.

2. How to Pick the Right Paper Shredder for Your Office, Overstock.

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

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

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

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

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

8. Choose The Best Paper Shredder, Fellowes.

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

10. Shredder Buying Guide, eBay. March 3, 2016.

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