8 Of The Best Paper Shredders: Ultimate Guide

Paper Shredder

A paper shredder is a must-have item in any office. It provides the security and peace of mind that comes with destroying private and confidential documents. Nowadays, it is essential for protecting yourself from identity theft. Credit card statements, utility bills, insurance documents, and other vital papers can contain valuable information about you and your family. Throwing them away in a trash can opens you up to the risk of fraud and identity theft. A shredder destroys sensitive documents to prevent possible compromises. Like many electronic appliances, finding the best paper shredder can be a challenge. Nothing is more frustrating than frequent paper jams and ineffective shredding. A good shredder is reliable, efficient, and economical.

Comparison Table

Top Considerations for Paper Shredders

paper shredders

Before shopping, there are a handful of things to consider when choosing the best paper shredder for your needs. Shopping for a paper shredder can be difficult if you do not understand what to look for based on your situation. You will need to think about your planned usage, as well as what price you are willing to pay.

How much do you plan to use your shredder?

There is a big difference between needing a shredder for monthly receipts and needing one for confidential business documents every day. If you expect to use your shredder on a daily basis, look for one that can handle papers quickly and efficiently. That means you want one that is not just fast at shredding, but one that also has a longer runtime without needing to cool down.

Paper Shredder And Papers

Feet per minute (FPM) is the standard measurement for shredding speed. The average home shredder can accommodate five to ten FPM, whereas heavier duty office shredders can see speeds of 30 FPM and above. Speed is not a concern for many consumers, but if you plan to do a lot of shredding, a higher FPM rate will prevent overheating. Bin size is also a feature to consider based on your usage. Larger containers will save you the headache of needing to empty it after every session. Bins can also feature a convenient drawer for disposal, as opposed to the standard bucket style.

What level of security do you need?

Most budget-friendly shredders are strip-cut, which means it only shreds paper into strips. Cross-cut machines, on the other hand, can cost a little extra but increase  security by shredding your documents into small confetti-like pieces. Shredders are rated by security on a scale from P2 through P7. Strip-cut shredders are P2, the least secure type available. P3 and P4 are compliant with HIPAA regulations and are typical for home and office use.

Micro-cut shredders rated P5 or higher are typically for higher-level government agencies and private firms that go through a lot of confidential documentation. Note that micro-cut shredders tend to take longer than lower security shredders as it takes more time to shred a piece of paper into such small bits. If privacy is a significant concern, the extra time is worth the security of finely destroying your documents.

Is feed capacity vital to you? 

If you do not plan to use your shredder much, you may be fine settling for one that can only accommodate a few sheets at a time. For home offices, it usually makes sense to splurge for one that can handle at least ten pages at once. Consider whether you want the ability to shred CDs and credit cards as well.

Larger offices may consider investing in higher sheet capacity if there will be heavy duty usage. A shredder that can handle 16 or more sheets manually is advantageous for a busy office environment with multiple people using it.

Do you care about bells and whistles?

Some paper shredders come with some higher level features that may not be necessary for light use. For example, some may consider a bin-full indicator frivolous. For others, it could be a useful feature that increases efficiency and prevents paper jams. Likewise, other features include things like automatic reversal switches for jams or an energy-saving mode to keep your shredder at the ready. Safety is another consideration to keep in mind, especially if your new shredder will be in a place with children or pets. Some shredders use safe technology to stop if it senses anything other than paper in the slot. This technology can protect little fingers, ties, and other things that do not belong in the paper shredder. Think about your overall needs to determine whether specific add-ons are worth the splurge.

The Best Paper Shredders in 2019

Which shredder is the right option for you? Here is a look at the best paper shredder options available.

Best Budget-Friendly Paper Shredder

Bonsaii Cross-Cut Paper Shredder C204-C

bonsaii Cross Cut shredder 3S16 DIN P-4
  • Heavy duty shredder that can continuous shredding up to 60 minutes without stopping for mass documents destroying;Quiet operation :58 dB low noise level will give you a quiet and smooth shredding exprience
  • High-security cross-cut paper shredder with 12 sheets (A4 size 75g/m ²) shredding capacity; Shreds paper into tiny particles measuring 5/32 by 1-19/50 inches (4mm x 35mm) ,Security level P-4.
  • Shreds paper, credit card, CD/DVD, clips, staples;Shredding speed reaches 7.2 feet per minute;Backed by 3 years warranty.
  • Jam protection system with auto start and auto reverse to protect you from the frustration of paper jams, overheating and overloading protection technology to keep sustainable using the shredder and prolong its lifetime
  • 4.2 gallons large pull-out wastebasket capacity for easy emptying, a 0.37 gallons separate small bin for CD/DVD and credit card pieces collection, and the transparent window makes it easy to see when wastebasket is full

  • Security Level: P4
  • Feeder Capacity: 6 sheets
  • Run Time: 4 minutes
  • ​Speed: Not listed
  • ​Bin Size: 3.5 gallons
  • ​CDs/Credit Cards: No

This paper shredder’s small feeder capacity, runtime, and bin size mean it is not going to measure up to the more powerful options on the market. However, it is the only option on the market with P4 security at such a low price point. There are plenty of other wallet-friendly shredders out there, but you will usually have to settle for P3 protection or lower.

Best Paper Shredder for Maximum Security

Bonsaii Micro-Cut Paper Shredder 4S30

Bonsaii Paper Shredder, 240 Minutes Continuous Shredding, 10-Sheet Micro Cut (25/64 inches) with 7.9 Gallons Wasterbasket, White (4S30)
  • Continuous running time up to 240 minutes without stopping for mass documents destroying.
  • High-security micro-cut paper shredder with 10 sheets (Letter Size, 20lb) shredding capacity; Shreds paper into tiny particles measuring 5/64 by 25/64 inches (2mm x 10mm)
  • Shreds paper, credit card, CD/DVD, clips, staples, ultra-low noise to 58dB; Shredding speed reaches 7.2 feet per minute
  • Jam protection system with auto start and auto reverse to protect you from the frustration of paper jams, overheating and overloading protection technology to keep sustainable using the shredder and prolong its lifetime
  • 7.9 gallons large pull-out wastebasket capacity for easy and less frequent emptying, a 0.37 gallons separate small bin for CD/DVD and credit card pieces collection, and the transparent window makes it easy to see when wastebasket is full

  • ​ Security Level: P5
  • ​Feeder Capacity: 10 sheets
  • ​Run Time: 4 hours
  • ​Speed: 7.2 feet/minute
  • ​Bin Size: 7.9 gallons (main); 0.37 gallons (CD/credit card)
  • ​CDs/Credit Cards: Yes

This model is the ultimate paper shredder for privacy needs. Standard shredders tend to be P4 or below on the security level, so it is nice to find a P5 for commercial sales. But even if you do not have major security needs, it is a powerful shredder nonetheless. A quick feed, decent capacity, and unbelievable runtime make it a useful addition to any office environment.

Best Paper Shredder for High Feed Capacity

Aurora AU2280XA Professional Grade Cross-Cut Shredder

Aurora 15-Sheet Professional Grade High Security Micro-Cut Paper/CD and Credit Card Shredder, Heavy Duty 60 Minutes Continuous Running Time, Large Size 8.5-Gallon pullout Basket, Easy Mobility
  • Heavy duty cycle with Nonstop 60-minute continuous running time; anti-jam auto-reverse to clear paper jams
  • High security Micro-cut with 15 sheet capacities; destroys CDs, DVDs, credit cards and small paper clips
  • Shreds paper, CDs, DVDs, credit cards into small pieces (5/32 by 15/32 inches), security level P-4
  • Energy saving system auto power off. Ultra-quiet operation. Basket capacity: 550 sheets
  • Large size, 8.5-Gallon pullout bin with LED indicator lights standby/ overheat/ bin-full/ overload/ door open status

  • ​ Security Level: P4
  • Feeder Capacity: 22 sheets
  • Run Time: 30 minutes
  • Speed: 5.9 feet/minute
  • ​Bin Size: ​8.5 gallons
  • ​CDs/Credit Cards: Yes

The ability to shred 22 sheets at a P4 security level is hard to come by. This powerful shredder is useful for heavy lifting, but its slower speed means it will take more time than those with smaller feed capacities. It comes with a sizable bin size along with the high feed capacity to accommodate bulk shredding sessions with ease.

Best Paper Shredder for Quiet Operation

​Fellowes Powershred 79Ci Cross-Cut Paper Shredder

Best Paper Shredders

  • ​Security Level: P4
  • Feeder Capacity: 16 sheets
  • Run Time: 20 minutes
  • Speed: ​14 feet/minute
  • Bin Size: 6 gallons
  • ​CDs/Credit Cards: Yes

The 79Ci’s small footprint allows it to produce only 56 decibels of noise during use. This low-noise option offers one of the lower dB levels on the market. Plus, it is hard to argue with a 100% jam-proof shredder.

It also features SafeSense Technology to ensure that only paper goes through the cutters. This paper shredder is a great choice for those who prefer a quieter office environment.

Best Paper Shredder for Automated Feed

HSM SECURIO AF150 L4 Micro-Cut Shredder

L4 Micro-Cut Paper Shredder 150 Sheet Auto Feed
  • Made in Germany
  • Solid Steel Cutting Head
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Anti-Jam Technology w/Reverse Function
  • Continuous Duty Motor
  • ​Security Level: P4
  • Feeder Capacity: ​150 sheets (stacked); 13 sheets (manual)
  • Run Time: ​N/A
  • Speed: 12.8 feet/minute
  • Bin Size: 9 gallons
  • ​CDs/Credit Cards: ​No

This model is a great option if you are looking for an automated feed. Simply stack up to 150 sheets in the tray and let the shredder do its work. You can also simultaneously feed up to 13 sheets into the manual opening.

For a heavy-duty shredder, this machine features an impressive energy management control system to limit power consumption while in standby mode. There are also several price points, providing options
for increased sheet capacity or a less secure cut.

Best Eco-Friendly Paper Shredder

Nakabayashi Co. Ltd. Manual Shredder

Nakabayashi Co,Ltd Two Ways Manual Shredder for Paper and Card,One Piece of Folded Letter Size,Capacity of 3.6L
  • FEATURES - Hand powered shredder for paper (A6 size and one piece of folded A4 or letter size) and bank card
  • CAPACITY of DUST BOX - 3L for paper and 0.6L for card
  • USE - Great for home,office
  • ​Security Level: P4
  • Feeder Capacity: ​​1 sheet
  • Run Time: ​N/A
  • Speed: ​N/A
  • Bin Size: 0.87 gallons
  • ​CDs/Credit Cards: ​​Yes

If you are particularly environmentally-minded, there is nothing greener than going manual. This hand- crank shredder is not ideal for moderate to high shredding needs. It can only accommodate one sheet at a time. However, it is a compact and virtually silent alternative for light shredding like receipts and bills.

Plus, it can handle CDs and credit cards. It is also available in several colors and adds a certain flair to any office.

Best Professional-grade Paper Shredder for Large Offices

Fellowes Powershred 99Ci Cross-Cut Paper Shredder

  • ​Security Level: P4
  • Feeder Capacity: 18 sheet
  • Run Time: ​30 minutes
  • Speed: ​​12 feet/minute
  • Bin Size: 9 gallons
  • ​CDs/Credit Cards: ​​Yes

This shredder is an upgraded version of the 79Ci model listed as the quietest shredder above. It offers a lot of the same features, including SafeSense, energy savings, and a 100% jam-proof guarantee. It also
still ranks pretty quietly, just not as much as its smaller counterpart.

The combination of 30-minute run time, a speed of 12 FPM, and an 18-sheet feeder capacity are what makes this paper shredder a total workhorse. Its energy-saving qualities and quietness make it an excellent choice for an office environment.

Best Paper Shredder for Personal and Home Offices

AmazonBasics 15-Sheet Cross-Cut Shredder

AmazonBasics 15-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper, CD Credit Card Office Shredder
  • 15 sheet crosscut paper/CD/credit-card shredder
  • Shred size of 5/32" x 1-7/32" (4 x 31mm), security level P-4
  • 20 minute continuous run time
  • Protection against overheating and overloading
  • LED indicators: Standby/Overheat/Overload/Door open/Bin full
  • ​Security Level: P4
  • Feeder Capacity: 15 sheet
  • Run Time: 20 minutes
  • Speed: 6 feet/minute
  • Bin Size: 6 gallons
  • ​CDs/Credit Cards: ​​Yes

This paper shredder is a solid choice for any home office or moderate personal use. It can handle 15 sheets of paper at a time with a remarkable run time of 20 minutes. A bin-full light and a pull-out bin make disposal easy at home. Overall, you get a lot of quality for a reasonable price tag.

​Best Value Paper Shredder

AmazonBasics 12-Sheet High-Security Micro-Cut Shredder

AmazonBasics 12-Sheet High-Security Micro-Cut Paper, CD and Credit Card Home Office Shredder with Pullout Basket
  • High-security, micro-cut shredder with 12-sheet capacity; destroys credit cards, CDs, and DVDs (one at a time)
  • Shreds paper into tiny pieces (5/32 by 15/32 inches) at a rate of 6 feet per minute
  • 8 minute continuous run time with 45 minute cool down time; Auto start and manual reverse to clear paper jams
  • 6.7-gallon pullout bin; 9.1-inch-wide paper feed; thermal protection with auto shut-off
  • Measures 24.29 by 17.01 by 13.39 inches; Backed by an AmazonBasics 1-year Limited Warranty

  • ​Security Level: P4
  • Feeder Capacity: 12 sheet
  • Run Time: 8 minutes
  • Speed: 6 feet/minute
  • Bin Size: 6.7 gallons
  • ​CDs/Credit Cards: ​​Yes

For less than $100, this AmazonBasics shredder has all the best features for a reasonable price. It boasts a high feeder capacity, micro-cut security, credit card and CD shredders, and a convenient pullout basket. It can run up to eight minutes and is relatively small enough for convenient placement in the home or office.

Whether it is for your home or your office, it is essential to find the best paper shredder to suit your needs. Key considerations include security level, feeder capacity, run time, speed, and bin size. Think about the challenges you have had with paper shredders in the past, like burnout or frequent jams. Look for a model that can provide a solution to your problems, like longer run times or jam-proof technology.

Maintaining Your New Paper Shredder

Once you find the best paper shredder for your needs, it is important to remember that proper maintenance plays a role in the longevity of your new appliance. Shredders need to be regularly oiled to clean and maintain the cutters and ensure a long life for your machine. You can buy either a bottle of manufacturer-approved oil or pre-oiled sheets. Both options work, but you will likely pay more for the pre-made sheets.

If you buy pre-oiled sheets, follow the instructions and insert the paper into the shredder.

The DIY route is not difficult, either. Buy a bottle of oil and apply it to a piece of paper. Try not to use too much, so it does not get messy. Apply it from edge to edge to ensure that all the blades come in contact with the oil. Shred the paper and follow it up with a few more sheets to soak up excess oil. Canola oil can work in a pinch, but be cautious as it can void your warranty.

Shredder blades can dull and become coated with paper dust, which reduces the effectiveness of your shredder. It can even cause mechanical shutdown, leaving you with a useless machine. Keep your shredder well-maintained, and you will not have to worry about replacing it for many years.


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