A paper or document shredder is a type of shredder that cuts paper sheets into different sizes and shapes depending on the security level installed. After data destruction, the snippets are only a few millimetres in size and in most cases cannot be reconstructed back to the previous document.
Whether the paper shreds can be reassembled into one document depends solely on the security level of the shredding machine. The security levels are subdivided in different ways. A low security level ensures that simple fonts are destroyed, while the highest security level guarantees that even the smallest numbers and letters, symbols etc. can be made illegible and non-reconstructable. Paper shredders with a high security level are used especially in large companies. Various tests show that the type of cutting also depends on the security level. Shredders with a simple security level cut the paper shreds into elongated strips and paper shredders with a high security level cut the file storage into the smallest particles.
To protect sensitive data, there are special mobile paper shredders. Mobile paper shredding can be closely monitored. The data is destroyed by professional specialists.
Best paper shredders at Amazon for 2020
Fellowes Powershred 79Ci Shredder
The Fellowes Powershred 79Ci Shredder is a secure paper and CD shredder which is ideal for regular use in the home office or directly at the desk. The document shredder, which has security level 3, can be used very well by one to three users.
- 100% jam proof system eliminates paper jams and powers through tough jobs.
- SilentShred offers ultra-quiet shredder performance for shared workspaces.
- Energy savings system provides optimal energy efficiency 100% of the time-in use and out of use.
- SafeSense technology stops shredder when hands touch the paper opening. Average Shred Speed (mpm) : 4.3. Auto Reverse : Reverse Function
- Shreds 16 sheets per pass into 5/32" x 1-1/2" cross-cut particles (security level P-4).Item dimension H x W x D (inches):21.31 x 15.38 x 10.44
The integrated Silent Shred technology greatly minimizes noise pollution. Thanks to the built-in Safe Sense technology, the machine stops automatically when the feed is touched. The shredder’s anti-congestion system ensures that no paper sheets clog the feeder.
In addition, the Fellowes shredder is equipped with a return function and overheating protection. Its collecting container guarantees a filling capacity of 23 litres. The working width is 230 millimeters, the cutting width 3.9 millimeters and the particle length of the paper chips is 38 millimeters.
- Product type: paper shredder, CD shredder, document shredder
- Manufacturer: Fellowes
- Series : Fellowes Powershred
- Security level: P-4, O-3, T-4
- Security level: 3
- Type of cut: Particle cut
- Cutting width: 3.9 mm
- Particle length: 38 mm
- Cutting capacity (80g/m²): 12 sheets
- Cutting capacity (70g/m²): 14 sheets
- Collecting volume: 23 litres
- Cutting goods: paper, CDs/DVDs, staples and paper clips, credit cards
- Noise level: 63 dB(A)
- Functions: automatic start/stop, reverse function, overheating protection
- Working width: 230 mm
- Cutting speed: 3.4 m/min
- Duty cycle: 12 min
- Colours: Black, Silver
- Dimensions: 45,8 cm x 38,6 cm x 26,2 cm
- Weight: 13 kg
- Weight incl. packaging: 15 kg
Of the 31 reviews of the Fellowes Powershred 79Ci document shredder so far, a total of 20 received a very good rating, 6 a good rating and 2 a satisfactory rating from other buyers. According to the opinions of these buyers, the Fellowes Powershred 79Ci document shredder is a functional paper shredder for the home office, which is also excellent for shredding papers, CDs, DVDs and credit cards.
Most buyers have noticed that the cutting mechanism works very quietly. You can do your work without noise at your desk. It is good that the amount of paper is displayed – in this way you can see whether there are too many sheets in the drawer.
The integrated paper stop function and the return function work reliably. A positive aspect is that the shredder can be flexibly positioned anywhere thanks to its built-in rollers. Many users like the fact that the shredder stops immediately when touched.
Another positive feature is the automatic overheating switch-off. The price-performance ratio is also assessed positively by most users.
Of the 31 evaluations of the Fellowes Powershred 79Ci document shredder so far, a total of 3 evaluations are unsatisfactory to poor. These buyers noticed negatively that CDs or DVDs, which one would like to destroy, do not fall into a separate collecting container, but are to be removed with the paper snippets in the waste paper basket.
Despite some minor product weaknesses, the Fellowes Powershred 79Ci document shredder can be recommended with a current total product rating of 4.4 out of 5.0 stars. The Fellowes Powershred 79Ci shredder is quiet, ensures clean, good cuts, is extremely flexible due to its castors and is ideal for regular use in the home office.
AmazonBasics 7-8-sheet microcut paper shredder
The AmazonBasics 7-8-sheet micro-cut paper shredder is a lightweight, compactly built paper and CD shredder that can also be used to shred bank and credit cards. The robust micro-cut blades cut the plastic cards into tiny pieces.
- High-security, micro-cut shredder with 8-sheet capacity; destroys credit cards, CDs, and DVDs (one at a time)
- Shreds paper into tiny pieces (5/32 by 15/32 inches)
- 2 minute continuous run time with 40 minute cool down time; Auto start and manual reverse to clear paper jams
- 3-gallon pullout bin; 8-3/4-inch-wide paper feed; thermal protection with auto shut-off
- Measures 16.5 by 7.75 by 12.25 inches; Backed by an AmazonBasics 1-year Limited Warranty.
Both CDs and DVDs can be inserted in a separate slot and cut into 4 pieces. The shredded paper sheets and CDs are collected in a collection container with a capacity of up to 12 litres. To empty the container, the cutting attachment must be removed.
The cutting width of the shredder is 4 millimeters and the strip length of the paper shreds is just 10 millimeters. The paper feed device is 220 millimeters wide. In addition to the integrated start/stop function, the AmazonBasics 7-8-sheet micro-cut paper shredder also has a rewind function.
The shredder is 19.8 centimeters long, measures 42.7 centimeters in height and 31.8 centimeters in width. Without the packaging, its total weight is just under 7 kilograms. As 4 rolls can be attached to the paper shredder, the device can always be quickly positioned within reach.
- Product type: paper shredder, CD shredder, document shredder
- Manufacturer: AmazonBasics
- Series: AmazonBasics AU830SD
- Type of cut: Strip cut, micro cut
- Cutting width: 4 mm
- Cutting length: 10 mm
- Cutting capacity (80g/m²): 7 sheets
- Cutting capacity (70g/m²): 8 sheets
- Cutting goods: paper, credit cards, CDs/DVDs
- Functions: automatic start and stop function, return function
- Equipment: 4 castors
- Volume of collecting container: 12 L
- Working width: 220 mm
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 19.8 cm x 31.75 cm x 42.67 cm
- Weight: 7 kg
- Weight incl. packaging: 8 kg
Of the 125 evaluations of the AmazonBasics 7-8-sheet microcut shredder so far, a total of 89 evaluations with the grade “very good” and 24 evaluations with the grade “good” are given, 7 other buyers give a satisfactory evaluation. According to the opinions of these buyers, the AmazonBasics 7-8-sheet micro-cut paper shredder is a functional, well-processed, safe and stable paper shredder whose strength is clearly the particle cut.
For all buyers, the paper shreds of the documents to be shredded are uniformly small and cannot be reconstructed under any circumstances. The paper container, which can be easily removed and emptied, is also rated highly. Most buyers find the price-performance ratio extremely good.
Of the 125 evaluations of the AmazonBasics 7-8-sheet microcut paper shredder so far, a total of 5 evaluations are unsatisfactory to poor. These buyers noticed negatively that the documents have to be imported from the front, not from the top, as is usual with all other devices of this type.
The buyers also find that the device does not always work perfectly when inserting 8 sheets of paper. The users therefore recommend not to put more than 4 to 5 pages of paper into the device at once.
Despite some minor product weaknesses, the AmazonBasics 7-8-sheet microcut document shredder can be recommended very well in summary with a current total product rating of 4.6 out of 5.0 stars. The AmazonBasics 7-8-sheet microcut paper shredder is perfectly adequate for home use or for the home office with usual paper quantities.
Facts worth knowing about paper shredders
For security reasons alone, most large companies are equipped with paper shredders that guarantee a high level of security. Many private individuals nowadays also opt for a high-quality paper shredder, as private documents such as tax returns or financial information, old data CDs or credit cards can be securely destroyed in this way. Depending on space and purpose, there are already compact, small mini shredders on the market that can be easily installed in any household.
When buying a document shredder, the quality of the cutterbar is crucial. The blades of the shredder should have a certain sharpness and be made of a durable, rustproof material. High-quality blades ensure that the paper is cut cleanly and fluently and that the document is completely destroyed. The shape of the blade is also important in tests on the Internet, for example there are “Cross Cut Blades” or also called cross cut blades.
Shredder Model Types
High-quality paper shredders can shred paper sheets as well as CDs, DVDs and even credit cards or EC cards. The shredders are equipped with particularly sharp blades for this purpose. In most cases, credit cards, CDs and DVDs are shredded in a separate compartment, and the collection container is also attached separately. However, devices of this type vary greatly from model to model. On the one hand, there are shredders that have a collecting container attachment and on the other hand, there are paper shredders that are equipped with a separate waste paper basket.
Most paper shredders available on the market are driven by an electric motor. The motor drives the shredder via a spindle shaft, which is mounted on the side of the shredder and consists of several toothed wheels. There are also shredders that are manually driven by a hand crank. The power of the machine depends on the size and functionality of the gearbox. Shredders with a high efficiency are usually equipped with a chain drive. Low-performance models are in most cases equipped with plastic gears.
Power consumption and noise level
Simple paper shredders, which are only designed to shred paper sheets, usually have a weak to medium power output, work a little slower than more powerful models, but are very quiet and vibration-free in terms of noise level. Shredders that have a high security level and can also shred credit cards, ATM cards, data CDs and DVDs are in most cases equipped with an extremely powerful motor, and they also work quite quickly. However, there are some limitations to noise development. Many of these innovative devices have a noise level above 78 dB.
Shredder cutting types: strip cutting and particle cutting
Destroying a credit cardThere are two different models of paper shredder. On the one hand the so-called “strip cutters” and on the other hand the so-called “particle cutters”. Strip cutters shred the documents into strips of millimetre size. However, the stripes are still legible, or some words or numbers can be reconstructed.
Shredders with strip cutting are best known as shredding systems. They are particularly suitable for users who are not demanding. Strip cut document shredders are ideal for users who require a low security level, but still want to ensure that their documents are shredded and protect themselves from identity fraud. The documents, cards or other media are shredded into parallel, long strips. The length of the cutting strips corresponds to the length of the paper, credit card or CD. For example, if you want to shred an A4 sheet, you get between 30 and 50 long strips. Strip cut shredders are cheap to buy and can shred a lot of paper in one pass. You also have the choice of how wide the strips should be.
The cutting cylinders of a particle-cut shredder shred the paper not only in width, but also in length. The result is the smallest confetti-like particles. So test before you buy to see which method suits you best.
A particle cutter destroys the documents into the smallest particles, which in most cases are so small that they cannot be read. Particle cutters can be found especially in offices, law firms and banks because important information is destroyed directly. Depending on the security level used, A4 paper, for example, can be shredded into 300 to a maximum of 2000 small particles.
Strip cutters are mainly used in private home offices, where more and more users are opting for paper shredders with a high security level and particle cutting. Particle shredders have become very popular in recent years. Buyers stress that shredder waste is much safer than with strip-cut shredders and that more waste can be collected in a wastebasket. Strip-cut shredders have to be emptied very often.
Main differences between shredders in terms of equipment
Not all shredders are the same. The devices for the office or home use differ quite a lot in their equipment. In addition to the various safety standards and safety levels, the shredders also differ in their blade feed width. Also not all shredders have an automatic start or stop function. Innovatively developed models are equipped with a special light barrier control. Thanks to this function, the cutterbar is automatically triggered and electronically controlled. It is very practical if the machine has an auto-feed option, which makes it possible to load a complete stack of paper. Thanks to this function, there is no need to constantly refill individual sheets.
Advantages and disadvantages
Advantages of a paper shredder:
- Secret and explosive data is reliably shredded
- high protection against data theft depending on security level
- also CD’s or credit cards can be destroyed
- Devices for the use at home are usually very favorable
- Additional storage space is created again
Disadvantages of a paper shredder:
- inexpensive models for private use are much more time-consuming
- Professional devices are also more time-consuming than a company that takes over this task
Types of paper shredders and their various applications
- Shredders for the home office: Shredders for the home office are ideal if you want to shred small amounts of paper, including data media or cards. The machines are designed to shred no more than 50 sheets of paper per day. To empty the paper collecting container, the cutting head of the shredder usually has to be lifted. These models can also only be used for a few minutes at a time, otherwise they will overheat.
- Single user shredder: This type of shredder is suitable for users who do not want to shred more than 100 sheets of paper per day. As with the home office machines, the cutting head must be lifted to empty the waste bin.
- Desk paper shredder: This special shape is suitable for shredding up to 250 sheets of paper per day. Up to 15 sheets can be shredded at a time. A practical feature is that the waste bin can be removed and emptied via an integrated door.
- Small office paper shredders: These models can be used by 4 to 6 users and can shred around 500 sheets of paper per day. Normally, the machines are designed to shred 15 to 35 pages of paper at the same time. Smaller models are only designed for 10 to 25 sheets of paper at a time. Here it depends on the cutting size as well as the specification. In addition, document shredders for small offices can also shred CDs, DVDs and credit cards.
- Shredders for medium-sized offices: This type can be used for 10 to 15 users. The device is designed to destroy up to 1000 sheets of paper per day. Not only the security levels but also the cutting size depend on this. Models for medium-sized offices normally guarantee security levels 2 to 4.
- Shredders in large offices: These models are designed for large offices with 25 to 50 users. They are designed to shred up to 50 sheets of paper documents at a time. Cardboard and other paper data can also be shredded with a shredder for large office spaces.
- Shredders for large companies with high security: These machines shred the papers into the smallest pieces. With these machines, an A4 sheet can be shredded into more than 10,000 particles. This type of paper shredder has been tested to security level 5 or in the USA to level 6.
Requirements for private use
Paper snippets in bag
- On the one hand, the paper shredder should of course shred the paper reliably. On the other hand, however, it is also important that the paper shredder offers a lot of security in handling.
- For this purpose, the paper shredder should have various safety features, such as a safety cut-out and overheating protection. In this way, accidents during operation of the device can be ruled out.
- In addition, paper shredders are equipped with one or more contact switches which ensure that the power supply is automatically interrupted when the device is opened. In this way, the cutterbar also stops immediately. This function is particularly important when the shredder is opened for emptying the paper shreds or for cleaning.
- Depending on the model, it may happen that the cutterbar becomes clogged due to individual staples or paper clips. For this reason, the cover between the cutterbar and the wastepaper basket must also be easy to remove. It is important that the machine is also equipped with a safety switch on the cover.
- Furthermore, when buying a shredder, you should make sure that it is equipped with an emergency stop switch. If you operate this switch, you should be able to stop the cutter immediately. If possible, this button should be clearly visible on the device, preferably in a conspicuous colour, so that it can be operated quickly in an emergency.
- It is also important that the sheet feed to the cutterbar is only as large as absolutely necessary.
- Paper shreds in a bag
- A good document shredder should not only shred one or two sheets at a time, but several pages at a time. Otherwise the shredding process takes too long.
- The basic equipment should also include a heat-resistant safety switch, which is actuated to avoid excessive heat development on the device. Many models also switch themselves off in the event of overheating. If this is the case, allow the shredder to cool for at least 30 minutes before reusing the paper shredder.
- You should find out if the shredder needs oil. Otherwise you have to use special oil for the shredder.
- All safety instructions and information on the shredder should be listed in detail and clearly in the operating manual of the model. In addition, various safety precautions must be taken when handling the paper shredder. On the one hand, the device should only be operated by persons who have previously dealt extensively with the safety regulations. Also, you should not wear jewellery such as bracelets, bracelets, etc. when operating the device. Care should also be taken with neckerchiefs, scarves, ties and long chains. Specific dangers at the shredder can only be avoided if the operating instructions are thoroughly studied beforehand.
The duration of a shredder varies from model to model. According to numerous tests on the Internet, it is possible to operate the shredder for different lengths of time, depending on the price category and quality. The direct manufacturer information will certainly be able to help you here. Even if many devices, as already mentioned, switch themselves off when they overheat, you should always take care to avoid this. This is particularly harmful to the longevity of the shredder.
Risk of injury to the user of a document shredder
The user should always work with full concentration on the machine when using the appliance. Women should ensure that their hair is firmly tied back or at least out of reach of the draw-in knives. Accessories should also be removed before using the shredder as they could be accidentally sucked into the machine. In addition, loose garments should be removed. The garments can be accidentally picked up by the cutter along with the document to be destroyed and broken.
Due to their design, however, most equipment is safe and serious accidents or a high risk of injury can be ruled out. As a safety measure, many models are equipped with a contact switch, for example, which ensures that the shredder only works when the door is firmly closed and the protective container is securely placed on the device. This prevents direct contact with the cutterbar on the underside of the shredder.
High quality paper shredders have no problems destroying staples or even paper clips. The devices take absolutely no damage thereby. Many as good as new, modern equipped shredders are designed for regular use and can cope with a lot. Another safety feature that many products have is a special heat protection switch that pauses the device after a few minutes for a period of 15 to 40 minutes to prevent overheating.