Buying Guide for Paper Shredders
Why buy a paper shredder?
A paper shredder is a valuable piece of equipment for the office or a home office because paperwork often contains company data, personal information, passwords, and so forth. Rather than driving off to the nearby printing and faxing store or library to shred paper, it just makes sense to have your own.
What should you look for in a paper shredder?
- Sheet Capacity: If your shredding needs are few and far between, a shredder with a low sheet capacity will probably serve you just fine. However, for times and locations that require shredding copious amounts of paper, a high sheet capacity will help you get the job finished much more quickly.
- Wastebasket Size: While a larger wastebasket will save you time from emptying its contents more often, compact wastebaskets are much better for those short on space. Keep in mind that the amount of paper shredded and the size of the shreds will also be a factor since this will partially determine how quickly your shredder’s wastebasket fills up.
- Shredding Ability: Although shredders are primarily used to shred sensitive paper documents, many models can also shred CDs and credit cards. Some are definitely better suited for handling staples and paper clips as well, so be sure to consider your shredding needs before settling on a product.
How much should you expect to spend on a good paper shredder?
You’ll come across a vast range of prices when shopping for a paper shredder, perhaps more than you’d have thought. Decent shredders run around $50, give or take; models that have more features and larger capacity can cost hundreds. And then there are handheld paper shredders which cost almost nothing in comparison. Pick one that fits your budget and needs.
Our Picks for the Best Paper Shredders
Amazon Basics Paper and Credit Card Shredder
A reliable shredder that crosscuts paper and credit cards to destroy sensitive information thoroughly.
Pros: This office paper shredder is unassuming in size and should blend in with most office decor. Standard shredders produce paper strips, while this Amazon Basics shredder crosscuts diagonally in both directions. Insert paper or credit cards and get confetti-like waste, which meets security level P-3 standards. In fact, you don’t really need to “insert” paper, as the shredder features sensors that signal the shredding mechanism to start and automatically stop when the job is done. Other functions include a four-mode power switch (auto, off, reverse, and forward), an 8.7-inch paper-entry width, a lift handle, and a 4.8-gallon bin.
Cons: Some users report that it seems less durable than other products because of its small size and lighter weight.
Bottom Line: The crosscut feature on this shredder is known to be more secure and, therefore, great for shredding documents with sensitive information and credit cards. And it does so speedily, shredding up to 12 sheets of paper and credit cards one at a time.
Fellowes Powershred 79Ci Shredder
This ultra-quiet shredder features an impressive 16-sheet capacity as well as an energy savings system.
Pros: The Fellowes Powershred 79Ci’s jam-resistant design and 16-sheet paper capacity hit the mark for those with heavy-duty shredder needs. Not only can this shredder operate for up to 20 minutes at a time, but it does so quietly, making it an excellent option for shared workspaces. For professionals with children running around their home office, the shredder has a great safety feature, SafeSense Technology, which works to auto-stop shredding when hands touch the paper opening, making the shredder more child-safe than others. This shredder also creates highly secure crosscut shreds of paper that are virtually unreadable. Additional features include a 16-sheet capacity and a 6-gallon wastebasket.
Cons: While it’s a nice energy-saving feature, the shredder turns off when it’s not being used. You must turn it back on with the power button to use it.
Bottom Line: This nice-looking and high-performing shredder makes it worth real consideration, especially for businesses needing a reliable yet safe paper shredder to handle large amounts of paper at a time.
Aurora AU800SD Professional Strip Cut Paper Shredder
This shredder can turn most wastebaskets into a shredder thanks to its extendable arm and impressive strip-cut shredding ability.
Pros: If you’re on a tight budget, this shredder from Aurora ticks off all the boxes and will combine with almost any size of wastebasket to become a high-quality shredder. This shredder also offers effective protection against overheating. While the size of this product’s paper shreds is not ideal for top-secret documents, it is more than enough for your everyday shredding needs. This product also offers a reverse function to easily clear jams. It can also shred credit cards and CDs, making it the perfect budget-savvy shredder for your home office.
Cons: The shredder doesn’t come with a wastebasket, which may be a hassle.
Bottom Line: While the Aurora AU800SD doesn’t come with a wastebasket, that’s a problem easily solved! Plus, the design makes it easy to store. When you’re done using it, simply store the shredder in a good spot and put the wastebasket away. Easy.
SENREAL Desktop Manual Paper Shredder
This colorful desktop paper shredder is manually operated, giving you total control.
Pros: This manual paper shredder is light but sturdy. It’s portable and saves space. It has a transparent bin with a nonslip base and a colorful shredder top with a removable handle. Made of ABS plastic and metal, the hand paper shredder is sturdy and durable. All you need to do is insert one or two pieces of paper, then turn the nob on the handle until the paper is completely shredded. The paper shredder inlet is 4.8 inches wide, designed for shredding A6 paper like receipts, bills, and pay stubs. It produces 0.12-inch paper strips and comes in black, orange, pink, and blue.
Cons: While this shredder is strong in many ways, it can’t handle credit cards or thick paper.
Bottom Line: The SENREAL manual shredder is well-built, affordable, and does the job for simple paper-shredding needs.
Many adults who work with or possess documents containing sensitive information, from receipts to medical bills to insurance information to company reports to tax documents, may feel a little nervous about keeping them lying around after they’re no longer needed. Paper shredding is so much safer than just tossing paper into the recycling bin, so consider buying one of these paper shredders.