Best paper shredders 2015

Table of Contents

  • Whether you have a home office or just need to dispose of documents containing personal information, a paper shredder for home use can save you time while keeping your information safe.
  • Our top pick, the Bonsaii Paper Shredder, offers generous capacity and a long run time, making it ideal for home offices, personal use, and more.

With all of the recent data breaches, it seems to be more and more difficult to keep your personal and financial information safe. There’s no foolproof way to protect yourself from a data breach (especially with personal data now stored digitally) but a paper shredder can be your first line of defense in keeping printed information private.

From shredding junk mail to getting rid of business files and documents, a paper shredder isn’t just a home convenience, it’s a necessity. Maybe it’s time to clean out your old filing cabinet, or maybe you just want to keep up with your business’ document turnover. Regardless of how you plan to use it, you’ll need to have the right shredder for the job.

We looked for shredders that offer dependable performance, are versatile, and accommodate different budgets. Some of these shredders are high-capacity machines that need no cool-down time, while others are more basic but also more affordable. Most of them are multipurpose machines that don’t just shred paper: They can tear up CDs, credit cards, staples, and paper clips, saving you valuable time. A number of these machines also feature jam-proof designs and technology, helping you to avoid the frustration of having to stop your work to deal with paper jams.

All of these units are compact enough to be used at home, and if you’re running a business, we included options that are hardy enough for high-volume, frequent use. When a paper shredder could potentially prevent a case of stolen identity or fraud, this is an investment that you can’t afford to go without.

Here are our top picks for the best paper shredder:

  • Best overall: Bonsaii Paper Shredder
  • Best budget paper shredder: Pen + Gear 6-Sheet Crosscut Paper/Credit Card Shredder
  • Best jam-proof paper shredder: Fellowes Powershred Jam Proof Paper and Credit Card Shredder
  • Best high-volume paper shredder: Swingline 20-Sheet Cross-Cut Commercial Shredder
  • Best manual paper shredder: Nakabayashi Co. 3-Way Manual Shredder

The best paper shredder overall

source Amazon

With 240 minutes of continuous run-time and the ability to shred credit cards, CDs, and more, the Bonsai Paper Shredder offers the capacity of a commercial shredder at an affordable price.

The Bonsai Paper Shredder offers large-scale capacity and superior performance when compared with other home paper shredders, yet still comes in at under $300. The 4S30 model offers a 10-sheet shredding capacity, so you can quickly shred even larger documents. Additionally, this shredder is strong enough to cut not only paper, but also credit cards, CDs and DVDs, clips, and staples, saving you time and making disposing of junk mail, files, and documents easy. The micro-cut shred creates tiny particles, protecting your personal information.

The shredder’s 240-minute continuous running time allows you to shred large amounts of material in a single session. After 240 minutes, the shredder only needs a 10-minute cool-down time, so it’s a great choice if you have large shredding jobs or plan to use the shredder frequently throughout the day. Automatic jam detection identifies when the machine is overloaded, preventing the jam from happening.

On Amazon, one user wrote, “The shreds are micro-fine so security is not arguable. It is fairly quiet – quite easy to have normal conversation over it. I bought it as an alternative to paying the shredding company over $1,500 to shred my business documents. It has run nearly eight hours a day for weeks on end and just keeps chugging along.”

Pros: Shreds into micro-pieces instead of long strips, continuous run-time of 240 minutes, automatic jam detection, energy-saving system, capable of shredding paper, CDs, staples, credit cards, and more

Cons: Larger casters would roll more smoothly, no safety shutoff, high price point

The best budget paper shredder

source Walmart

For everyday home use, the Pen + Gear 6-Sheet Crosscut Paper/Credit Card Shredder offers a combination of helpful features and overall value.

A paper shredder with huge capacity and loads of features generally carries a higher price tag. For everyday use around the home, the Pen + Gear 6-Sheet Crosscut Paper/Credit Card Shredder strikes a balance between features and affordability. This shredder’s six-sheet capacity and ability to shred credit cards, staples, and even small paper clips, means that it’s up to the task of most home shredding needs. And, at under $40, it’s an affordable purchase option if you only need a shredder that you occasionally use for junk mail and documents.

While this shredder is affordable, it still has plenty of features that make for an impressive performance. It’s equipped with overheat protection, so you don’t have to worry about potentially burning the motor out, and the ShredSafe feed-entry has an angled slot to prevent fingers from ending up where they shouldn’t. The four-mode switch includes a jam-remover function, and the shredder’s compact design means you can easily keep it under a desk or tuck it away into a corner of the room.

The Pen + Gear 6-Sheet Crosscut Paper/Credit Card Shredder has received positive feedback from Walmart buyers. One owner wrote, “In one day, this shredder knocked out six bags of shredded documents. Yes, it does overheat so you have to give it a little break every so often. But it did not jam one single time or malfunction in any way.”

Another Walmart buyer said, “The size is perfect for our small home office since it doesn’t take up too much floor space or is too noisy. The only complaint I find is the window on the front that allows you to see how full the basket is could be a tad larger.”

Pros: Low price point, jam-remover function, overheat protection, suitable for shredding paper, credit cards, staples, and paper clips

Cons: Louder than some other units, six-sheet capacity means shredding larger documents can take a while

The best jam-proof paper shredder

source Amazon

The Fellowes Powershred Jam Proof Paper and Credit Card Shredder has a unique design for preventing jams, so you can work without interruption.

If you have ever tried to undo a jam in a paper shredder, you know that it can take valuable time out of your day. The Fellowes Powershred Jam Proof Paper and Credit Card Shredder is designed to prevent jams from happening in the first place. This machine’s jam-proof system helps to eliminate them and has the power to work through tough jobs. It can handle up to 12 sheets of paper at a time and is tough enough to shred credit cards, CDs, paper clips, and staples.

One of the most valuable features is its SafeSense Technology, which disables the shredder when hands touch the paper opening. Additionally, the shredder is equipped with an Energy Savings System to keep power consumption down.

This shredder can run for up to 10 minutes at a time before requiring a 20-minute cool-down period. Its cross-cut design eliminates the long pieces that other shredders create, making for a more secure shred.

The Fellowes Powershred Jam Proof Paper and Credit Card Shredder has a high Amazon rating among buyers. One owner wrote, “When the folded sheets hit the cutters, the shredder briefly stopped and put itself in reverse to clear the jam. It did that a few times and the folded sheets straightened themselves out and it chopped them up. I was pretty impressed.”

Pros: Jam-proof system, safety shutoff when hands touch the paper opening, pull-out bin for easy cleaning, capable of shredding 12 sheets of paper and credit cards, CDs, staples, and more

Cons: Needs to cool down after 10 minutes of use, long cool-down period

The best high-volume paper shredder

source Staples

For large jobs and high performance, the Swingline 20-Sheet Cross-Cut Commercial Shredder is up for the task.

The Swingline 20-Sheet Cross-Cut Commercial Shredder is a heavy-duty shredder capable of handling high-volume jobs. The generously sized 19-gallon bin allows you to shred for long periods at a time without stopping, and the shredder can process up to 20 sheets of paper at a time. The nonstop jam-free technology is designed for continuous, seamless operation, so you can focus on feeding more documents, rather than dealing with paper jams.

This shredder is ideal for a home office where you need to quickly shred large volumes and need a shredder that’s dependable and easy to operate. This Swingline shredder can handle DVDs, CDs, credit cards, paper clips, staples, and paper. The cross-cut design results in a small shred size of 0.16 inches by 1.75 inches, for maximized security. This shredder is also equipped with a bin sensor that alerts you when the bin is getting full. The unit is backed by a two-year limited warranty, and the cutter comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

While this shredder offers the generous capacity and performance that you see in many top-of-the-line commercial units, it comes at a more reasonable price that’s practical for a home business or home office.

Pros: Continuous operation without cool-down, capacity to shred 20 sheets at a time, nonstop jam-free technology, shreds credit cards, CDs, and more

Cons: Requires oil to function, higher price point than some lower-end shredders, pricey (and overkill) for casual home use

The best manual paper shredder

source Amazon

For light shredding needs, the Nakabayashi Co. 3-Way Manual Shredder is portable and lightweight, and it operates without power.

One downside to most paper shredders is that they’re bulky, which can be an issue if you’re tight on space. If you only use a shredder occasionally and don’t want to sacrifice floor space to a unit that you don’t need often, the Nakabayashi Co. 3-Way Manual Shredder could be an ideal solution. This manual shredder requires no power, is compact, and is portable. Measuring just 12.6 by 7.6 by 5.9 inches in size, it’s small enough to tuck into a drawer for storage.

Though this shredder is small, it can shred a standard piece of A4 paper, CDs, and credit cards. Because the shredder operates by hand-turning the handle, it creates less noise than other electrically powered units.

The Nakabayashi Co. 3-Way Manual Shredder has generally positive feedback from owners. Buyers like that it’s silent and performs well, but stress that it is for very light-duty shredding.

Pros: Compact, no need for electricity, quiet operation, capable of shredding paper, credit cards, and CDs

Cons: Suitable only for smaller-volume shredding, cannot shred paper larger than A4 size, handle is small

IDEAL quality shredders, Made in Germany

The IDEAL document shredders are a quality “Made in Germany” product. The entire range of document shredders displays innovative design, incredible reliability and boast a long service life. They are easy and extremely safe to operate too. This is proven by our certified quality management system in accordance with DIN EN ISO 9001:2015. The IDEAL paper shredders have a long service life, with every detail considered in the design, making them intuitive to operate. Special design elements like, for example, the safety protection system or the Easy Switch, set industry standards for operational security and ergonomics. We created the lifetime guarantee for the IDEAL document shredder’s hardened, solid steel cutting blades, based on over 65 years of experience, high-quality materials and meticulous machining, which increases your sense of security. This is extended to include our promise to keep delivering replacement parts for all “Made in Balingen” professional shredders, for at least 15 years after we have stopped production of a device. The perfect quality promise for you.

Sustainability and conservation of resources is also very important in the design of IDEAL document shredders. Our certified environment and energy management systems, in accordance with DIN EN ISO 14001:2015 and 50001:2011, prove that the environment is very important to us. IDEAL document shredders are the first to be certified with the Blue Angel ecolabel for energy efficiency and environmentally friendly practices.

Internal or external destruction or data storage media?

To effectively prevent data protection incidents, you require a water-tight organisation system, which includes all the departments in your authority, administration or company. This means that one personal document shredder is not enough: You require a combination of multiple professional shredders, strategically located, centrally and around the office, to ensure optimum security.

This also raises the question of whether to use an external data storage media destruction service, or keep things in-house? At first glance, contracting an external service provider to dispose of data storage media might be appealing, as aspects such as tied-up capital, responsibility and effort can be outsourced. However, if you consider and calculate the costs more thoroughly, it is often the case that the financial expense for the service provider and the rental costs for the removal container are significantly higher than acquiring your own document shredder. However, you should never delegate the responsibility for disposing of old data and information storage media.

According to law, anyone who records information is responsible for the protection of such data for as long as it is retained. This also included the disposal of said data, in such a way that is appropriate to data protection law and that makes further access to the data impossible. This means that outsourcing data storage media disposal is only advisable for unusually large quantities, otherwise, purchasing your own document shredder is highly recommended for regular quantities. By disposing of data storage media internally, you also avoid the risks associated with storing data in between collection times for long periods, and you can always check that the data is being destroyed in a lawfully appropriate manner.

New ISO / IEC 21964 (DIN 66399)

The ISO IEC 21964 is new, but its content is not. It is familiar content from the national standard DIN 66399, which is already in place. The ISO/IEC 21964 standardises the demands for destruction of confidential data on an international level.The ISO IEC 21964 is new, but its content is not. It is familiar content from the national standard DIN 66399, which is already in place. The ISO/IEC 21964 standardises the demands for destruction of confidential data on an international level.

Paper Shredders For The Home Office – Top 5 On The Market

Product Top Rated Great Value Shredding Capacity 24 sheets 14 sheets 10 sheets 7 sheets 8 Liter Bin 34 L 23 L 20 L 12 L 11.4 L Shredded Paper Size 5.8mm (P2) 5/32″ x 1 1/2″ P4 4x39mm 4 x 23 mm 4mm x11.9 mm Continuous Running Time 20 minutes 12 minutes 3 minutes 8 minutes 2 minutes Cool down time 40 minutes 20 minues 20 minutes 30 minutes 40 minutes Shred Type 500 Sheets Criss Cross Cross Cut Cross Cut Cross Cut Cutting Speed 3m/min 11 ft/min 2m/min 2.7m/min 2m/min Customer Rating Top Rated Product Title Shredding Capacity 24 sheets Liter Bin 34 L Shredded Paper Size 5.8mm (P2) Continuous Running Time 20 minutes Cool down time 40 minutes Shred Type 500 Sheets Cutting Speed 3m/min Customer Rating Price Great Value Product Title Shredding Capacity 14 sheets Liter Bin 23 L Shredded Paper Size 5/32″ x 1 1/2″ P4 Continuous Running Time 12 minutes Cool down time 20 minues Shred Type Criss Cross Cutting Speed 11 ft/min Customer Rating Price Product Title Shredding Capacity 10 sheets Liter Bin 20 L Shredded Paper Size 4x39mm Continuous Running Time 3 minutes Cool down time 20 minutes Shred Type Cross Cut Cutting Speed 2m/min Customer Rating Price Product Title Shredding Capacity 7 sheets Liter Bin 12 L Shredded Paper Size 4 x 23 mm Continuous Running Time 8 minutes Cool down time 30 minutes Shred Type Cross Cut Cutting Speed 2.7m/min Customer Rating Price Product Title Shredding Capacity 8 Liter Bin 11.4 L Shredded Paper Size 4mm x11.9 mm Continuous Running Time 2 minutes Cool down time 40 minutes Shred Type Cross Cut Cutting Speed 2m/min Customer Rating Price

With more and more emphasis on protecting your personal information and identity, the need to dispose of paperwork safely is very important. One of the easiest ways to achieve this, is to use a paper shredder. Most modern shredders are equipped with cross cutting blades to make reading any print very difficult. As well as paper, many shredders also dispose of CD’s as well to destroy sensitive information. This list features the top five shredders that you can use in the home.

Rexel Mercury RSX1630 Cross Cut Paper Shredder Review – Our Number 1

Rexel (CHECK PRICE NOW!) are one of the top companies when it comes to stationary equipment and this shredder is a well-made product. It has all the features that you need and comes with a high capacity bin to collect the shredded paper. Here are some of its best features.

  • The blades are designed with jam free technology to prevent the common problem with paper shredders. It means that you can feed many pages at once without having to unblock the blades.
  • The high capacity 30 litre bin is large enough to collect all the shredded paper for many pages. This means you won’t need to empty it very often.
  • The cutters are also designed to be self-cleaning. This means you won’t have to get your fingers near to the blades in order to clean away paper fibres left behind.
  • The shredder comes with very useful recyclable bags. You can then place the whole bag with the shredded paper in the recycling without any mess.

This strong and powerful shredder from Rexel is well designed and has some well devised features. It would be a perfect choice for the home or small business.

Summary

Features: Jam Free – 30 Litre Bin – Self-Cleaning

Pricing: High End

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Fellowes Powershred 79Ci Review – Number 2

With paper jams one of the main problems with shredders, this product from Fellowes boasts a 100% jam proof design. It also has many other nice features that are detailed below.

  • The jam proof system means that it has the power to drive through even the thickest paper without stopping. This is ideal if you have a lot of documents to shred.
  • Silentshred technology allows the shredder to operate very quietly. This means the unit can be kept in an open office environment or in the house without causing disruption.
  • For ultimate safety, the shredder is equipped with SafeSense technology. This immediately stops the shredder when hands come into contact with the entry slot.
  • This product can easily shred up to 14 sheets of A4 paper with each pass. This means you can shred more paper and save you time.

The Fellowes Powershred 79Ci is a very powerful shredder that has strong blades and great built-in safety features. It is even equipped with wheels so that it can be easily manoeuvred.

Summary

Features: 100% Jam Proof – Silent Operation – 14 Sheet Capacity

Pricing: Mid-Range

Swordfish 1000XC Review – Number 3

The Swordfish 1000XC is another well-built machine that has all the features you need. Not as big or powerful as the high-end models, this is still a great choice for the home. Here are some of its features.

  • It can shred up to 10 sheets of 80gsm paper at once. This is equivalent to the thickness of standard A4 paper. It means you can work through your paperwork quickly.
  • There is a separate slot specially designed for shredding credit cards. This is far more secure than simply cutting them with scissors.
  • The slide-out 20 litre paper bin has enough capacity to hold 150 sheets of shredded paper. You won’t have to empty the bin for a while of regular use.
  • There is an infra-red start/stop sensor that will stop the blades from rotating once the paper has passed through.

This shredder from Swordfish is a great home office machine that can handle every day shredding. It has four castors to make it easy to move around and many nice features for the price.

Summary

Features: Credit Card Slot – 20 Litre Bin – Infra Red Sensor

Pricing: Mid-Range

Rexel Style+ Review – Number 4

This stylish shredder from Rexel is designed to fit in with modern home office or small business rooms. It has cross cut blades and a good capacity bin that is easy to empty. Here are some of its features.

  • The shredder can handle up to seven sheets at a time. This is perfect for regular home use and makes it easy to shred important paperwork.
  • There is a separate credit card slot so you don’t have to cut them up with scissors. It also effectively shreds the security chip in the card.
  • The 12 litre capacity bin pulls out easily so you can empty it without a lot of mess. It can hold many shredded sheets so it doesn’t need emptying very often.
  • There is a simple stop/start operation as well as a reverse function in the event of a paper jam.

The Rexel Style+ Cross Cut Shredder has all the features you want from a shredder while adding a stylish design that will make it look good in the office.

Summary

Features: Credit Card Slot – 12 Litre Bin – Seven Sheet Capacity

Pricing: Affordable

Amazon Basics Cross-Cut Shredder Review – Number 5

This budget shredder from Amazon has all of the features you want from a shredder, but in a less powerful and simpler design. Let us take a look at some of its features.

  • The shredder has a separate slot for CD’s DVD’s and credit cards. This is a stronger blade than the paper blade and will cut to into small pieces.
  • The paper feed can shred up to 12 sheets of A4 paper at one time. This is more than enough for most homes.
  • There is a 5 minute continuous run time for those with a lot of shredding and a 30 minute cool down afterwards.
  • It has an auto start function as well as a manual reverse switch for paper jams. This gives you full control over the shredder.

The Amazon Basics Cross-Cut Shredder is perfect for those that have the occasional paperwork that needs shredding but certainly not recommended for the frequent user.

Summary

Features: CD Slot – 5 Minute Run Time – Auto Start

Pricing: Affordable/Budget

Verdict

The number one product goes to the Rexel Mercury RSX1630 Cross Cut Shredder. It has a powerful motor to cut through many sheets in one go and a high capacity bin to reduce the frequency of emptying.

How to Choose the Right Shredder

Safe, Secure, and Shredded

For every tax document you need to file or save, you’ll probably be left with a half-dozen or so that should be junked, some of them containing sensitive financial information. Fortunately, shredders have come a long way since the days depicted in the movie Argo. (A key plot point: the failure of government shredders to destroy sensitive photos.)

With most of today’s shredders, you can be reasonably sure that your documents will be sliced up finely enough to be in no danger of being pieced back together by any group…short of, perhaps, a national intelligence service.

Shredding Basics

One way of classifying shredders is by the way they cut paper. Strip-cut shredders cut sheets of paper into long strips. They are fast, but they don’t provide much security, as the strips are usually large enough that they could be reassembled by a patient, determined person. Cross-cut shredders, somewhat more secure, chop the paper into short, thin strips. And micro-cut shredders dice paper into tiny diamonds or bits of confetti, and are suitable for shredding confidential—and in some cases secret—papers.

Shredder security, measured by the smallness of the shredded bits, is determined by the internationally accepted DIN 66399 standard. The range of security runs from P-1 (insecure) to P-7 (suitable for shredding top-secret documents). A P-4 security level is fine for most offices, while ones needing to dispose of particularly sensitive documents may want to up that to P-5.

Modern shredders can handle more than sheets of paper. Many of today’s models can slice through CDs, credit and ID cards, paper clips, and staples. Some can make quick work even of thick envelopes full of junk mail.

Speed, based on the number of sheets you can feed through the shredder, one after another, is important. So is the feeder capacity (how many sheets you can shred at once) and the size of the basket where the shredded paper ends up. Run time—the length of time you can continuously feed paper through the shredder before it needs to cool down—and the length of the cooling-down period are other factors.

What to Look For

The best shredder for you depends on your particular needs: Consider its speed, capacity, run time, and security (or the size of its shred). For example, a smaller office may want a fast shredder to run through a modest amount of paper quickly, while a larger office with more paper to dispose of may want a higher capacity or a longer run time. Offices that handle very sensitive documents will want a micro-cut shredder to dice the paper into fine confetti. Note also that the smaller the shred size, the more paper that will fit in the waste bin before you need to empty it.

Compact shredders can fit in small spaces, and these may be best for home-office use, or as personal shredders in either a home or an office. Some offer safety features such as automatic shutoff if one’s hand touches the feeder slot. Others offer jam protection. Shredders, as a group, are not known for their exterior elegance, but some compact shredders are stylish enough to blend in nicely with an office’s décor.

The Kindest Cut of All

Don’t put a price on security—a shredder can be a terrific investment. And though you may find it most useful in the spring, after you’ve prepared and submitted your taxes, it can help you protect your finances and your identity throughout the whole year, all with just a few minutes of work. The shredders featured here run the gamut from personal and home-office models to ones suitable for heavy-duty shredding in a large office.

And before you start shredding, you might want to check out our reviews of the top scanners we’ve tested for digitizing your documents before destruction.