I’m looking for a home office paper shredder. Something trustworthy enough to address the renewed warnings I hear about keeping my private information private (e.g. shred paper bills and invoices instead of just ripping them by hand).
The only review I found on Choice is from circa 2017
Can anyone point me to a good shredder or trusted review?
Our needs - very little shredding, perhaps a couple of pages a month, but when we shred I’d like it to be done properly.
Also - I heard that pet shops like shredded paper, does anyone know if they’ll take cross-cut shreds or only stripped shreds?
I don’t think that shredder technology changes much, so what was in the article in 2017 would be valid today.
But if you are talking about only a few sheets per month, why bother buying a shredder?
Just cut out identifying parts with scissors.
As for use in animal shelters or pet shops, strips of shredded paper for nesting far better for rabbits and guinea pigs and perhaps cat litter than paper shredded into confetti.
A short browse of several office suppliers on line revealed an extensive range to choose from. Limiting the selection by price, EG <$200, and one brand at a time was worthwhile.
It appears technology has progressed. At similar price points to the previous Choice recommended models there are various options for superior ‘micro cut’ shredders. EG Burrows S286 with 2mm x 12mm cut and 5min operating 45 min rest.
A comparison from the Choice 2017 review of a Burrows S289 model advised 35mm x 4mm cut and 3min operating 40min rest cycle.
I was also able to identify one model for $299 that offered a continuous 24hr operation, paper only.
It’s apparent at the cheaper end of the market there are numerous options in price, features and specification.
For small quantities disposal in the rubbish may be the most convenient. Check your local council needs first before putting it in your recycling. BCC advise shredded paper should be put it in a cardboard box or carton if you do. I’ve been adding small quantities as dry mix to the compost.
Technology or more correctly products on offer to us.
I have a 30+ year old Emerson Electric (110V USA) shredder with a 7x2mm cut. The duty cycle is controlled by motor temperature, max 5 pages at a time.
It was a basic low end product when purchased and perforates rater than shreds credit cards and a DVD/CD is a no no.
We have many locals who are grateful for the clean shred. We keep it in bags and hand it off when there are a few full ones. They use it from composting as yourself, but also for animal shelters. We keep staples and other ‘unfriendly contaminants’ out - just paper and light weight cardboards (eg food and medicine packaging).
If you are concerned about privacy, only look at cross-cut shredders. Many cheap shredders cut the paper into long strips which could potentially, with much patience, be reconstructed. Personally, I wouldn’t be giving sensitive information which was strip shredded to anyone I don’t know well.
I have a larger Rexel which can chew 5 pages at a time through the horizontal slot, or take 50 pages in the auto-feed, and while it doesn’t care if it encounters staples, paperclips, optical discs or credit cards, we always take out the metal because we use the output for the chicken and for composting in the garden.
It produces little short strips (30x5mm approx). Similar to @PhilT’s it is limited by motor temperature, but can do many loads of 50 before reaching the temperature cut-out. It takes maybe 30 minutes to cool down, and then is right to go another round.
If needed, credit cards and optical discs are done separately, and go straight into the bin so as to not mix the remains up with the paper.
Have you thought about buying a cross-cut one second hand? For the amount you will use it, a second hand may be perfect. Try FB Marketplace or Gumtree for a start.
If one has a cross cut, say 7x2mm, or a confetti shredder, why would they ever use a (coarse) strip shredder?
The pattern is dependent on the blades that are fixed. A design with adjustable blades would have questionable utility as compared to one or the other, and would be very expensive in comparison to those on the market.
So is there? No, for those reasons. A PS is that unless one has some ‘special functions or assets’ in their lives, it is improbable anyone would be trying to paste their shredded paper together. It would not be time well spent, although someone might do it for the challenge. If one is a double agent, having an issue with or hiding assets from the tax office, or something on those lines a confetti shredder is a must
Shredders explained on this page: https://www.fellowes.com/gb/en/resources/security/shredder-security-levels-explained.aspx
The links on the bottom are useful too.
N.B. Many “high quality shredder oils” are actually canola oil…Get a dropper bottle and fill from the kitchen canola oil bottle.
Mid level security ought to be good enough for most small businesses, unless you deal with information where you’re obliged to maintain confidentiality. In which case it’s worth spending a bit more - it won’t be high.
A few months ago I was looking for a replacement for my 10+ year-old shredder and had trouble finding a shredder with consistently good reviews (and still available for sale).
In the end I bought a relatively cheap cross-cut shredder from KMart. It cost $50 and I was prepared to wear that cost if it turned out to be a dud. Given that it had a 12 month warranty, I would at least get an operational shredder for a year.
I is still going strong an performs much better than my old Fellowes on. Admittedly it was well past its prime so the new one should definitely have been an improvement.
My usage is relatively low and I am very happy with it so far.
I’ve had a cross cut shredder for many years. I bought it from Officeworks and it wasn’t very expensive. I line the container with a plastic bag and when it’s full I pass it on to my brother for his compost heap.
The KMart shredder does seem the cheapest and with many 4-5 star reviews (the only 4 star was about it requiring to cool down, which I think is a known limitation of all such shredders), so I’ll go with it.
Also thanks for the tip about using simple Canola oil.
As an alternative to updating my paper shredder I have discovered OfficeWorks do secure paper shredding for around $5 a ream. In a year I accumulate around 2 to 3 reams of paper needing shredding. That’s $10 to $15, call it $12.50 a year. That means in 8 years I would spend $100 on present day values. My last shredder didn’t last that long and it cost more than $100.
You can leave the paper to be shredded at OfficeWorks and they’ll do it during their downtime, or you can visit them early evening and be present when it is shredded. Just a thought.
Update about 5 months later - the KMart $50 shredder worked fine a few times then totally died.
I replaced it and the next one also was Dead On Arrival.
Even the KMart employee processing my return suggested that I’ll take a refund and buy another one.
So I did that and got the $70 shredder from Officeworks. It seems to be a bit more sophisticated (can have “always on” mode, not just the usual sensor-activated mode) and so far it works better.
That Fellowes is similar to the one I have (mine is smaller still) and does crosscut, also old credit cards and suchlike. I’ve run my old Hunter Health ID cards through. And it only needs a bit of sewing machine oil (I’m talking drops) once in a great while to keep it running well. Its about 10 years old now
I too, have had a Rexel cross-cut shredder for the last 7 years, and during that time have given it a real workout. Never had any jams or problems with it overheating. While not many people would find a use for this feature, it will even shred CD’s & DVD’s. It also shreds credit cards with ease.
Officeworks have the Rexel Momentum X410-SL for $239. certainly worthwhile your consideration.
Do you really need a paper shredder?
Occasionally I have to do some document destruction at home, not a huge amount but enough to make me think about about a shredder then I tried this. This could also be used to render shredded paper even more difficult to reconstruct.
Rip up the paper into small bits
Get a plastic shopping bag and poke some holes in it then fill it with the paper pieces from previous.
Put the plastic bag full of paper in the sink or bucket and fill it full with water and let it soak for a while.
After soaking drain the water and compress the soggy paper.
The result is too difficult for anybody to reconstruct any documents once the soggy ball has dried.