Best Paper Shredder: Best Pick Of 2024

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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A paper shredder is the most efficient machine when dealing with paper junk. Furthermore, the best paper shredder is not only useful in corporate settings but can also be used at home. Luckily, we have tested several paper shredders and compiled the top 7 paper shredders in the market.

Our three top picks offer the best-cut type and paper capacity. Our best overall paper shredder is the Amazon Basics 15-sheet cross-cut shredder that shreds up to 15 sheets. It also meets p-4 standards. However, if you are looking for an effective mid-priced shredder, then we recommend the Amazon Basics 8-sheet high-security micro-cut shredder. For micro-cut shredder, we can't get over how effective the Amazon Basics 6-sheet micro-cut shredder was.

Our Top Picks-7 Best Paper Shredders

1) Amazon Basics 15-Sheet Cross-Cut Shredder

Amazon Basics 15-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper, CD Credit Card...
  • 15 sheet crosscut paper/CD/credit card shredder
  • Shred size of 3/16" x 1-7/32" (4.7 x 31mm), security level P-4
  • 20 minute continuous run time
  • Overheat / Overload protection
  • LED indicators: Standby/Overheat/Overload/Door open/Bin full

What impressed us the most about this shredder is its run time. Of course, not every shredder is for office use. However, we quickly discovered that it can effectively destroy 15 sheets of paper in a single pass, and we got it working continuously for 20 mins straight. Plus, you can be sure confidential documents remain private because this shredder has a cross-cut blade design that cuts in two different directions.

The Amazon Basics 15-sheet paper shredder allowed us to destroy papers, credit cards, or CDs in two different directions, turning them into small pieces. It meets P4 security standards, the ideal standard for shredding sensitive documents like banking statements.

Image Source: ebay.com

The shredder came with a 6- gallon pull-out waste bin which enabled it to collect a lot of waste material before emptying. If you are on a budget, we suggest you get the best paper shredders under $100 and clear your unwanted documents.

Additionally, it had an auto-reverse mode that allowed us to reduce paper jams by removing excess papers when it detected an overload or a possible jam. The only downside we experienced was that it was too loud and worked slowly when we put thicker stacks of paper.

Pros:

  • It can shred 15 sheets of paper simultaneously.
  • It has 20 minute run time.

Cons:

  • It is too loud
  • It can't work if you put thicker stacks

2) Amazon Basics 8 Sheet Shredder

Amazon Basics 8-Sheet Cross Cut Paper Shredder and...
  • Cross cut shredder turns paper into small pieces (0.2 x 1.9...
  • Shreds up to 8 sheets of 20-pound bond paper at a time, including...
  • Destroys credit cards one at a time, through the dedicated slot
  • 4 mode control switch (auto/on, off, reverse, forward) and LED...
  • 3 minute runtime; 30 minute cool down; if runs beyond max run...

From a small office perspective, this paper shredder eats paper documents like breakfast. True to its capacity, it can also fit up to eight sheets of paper at once. Everyone in the office was pleasantly surprised at this powerful paper shredder. Additionally, for the price, we would recommend it to any small office establishment.

Image Source: thestrategist.com

Of course, paper shredding can cause the average paper shredder to overheat. However, we can run this shredder the whole day without the overheating security feature being activated. We did notice that anything above 8 sheets of paper causes the shredder to struggle, but that's not a problem, given that everyone keeps the shredding between 6 to 8 sheets of paper. As long as we don't overload the shredder, everything works fine.

We didn't expect this Amazon basics paper shredder to fill up so fast. However, the bin is small, which means it has to be emptied once to twice a day to prevent paper jams. Also, depending on our workload, it can be emptied up to three times. Oiling the blades keeps the shredder in perfect condition, so we all take turns oiling it to keep it working. T

Other than that, we have shredded all types of documents like bank statements and other highly confidential documents. Additionally, this shredder can shred even credit cards without a problem.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Affordable shredder
  • Efficient
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • The unit won't always shred to a uniform size

3) Amazon Basics 6- Sheet Micro-Cut Shredder

Amazon Basics 6-Sheet High-Security Micro-Cut Paper and...
  • Micro-cut shredder turns paper into tiny confetti-like pieces...
  • Shreds up to 6 sheets of 20-pound bond paper at a time; also...
  • 3 minutes on / 30 minutes off; if shredder runs continuously...
  • 3-mode power switch (auto, off, reverse); auto start and overload...
  • Quality tested: as part of Amazon Basics quality inspections, we...

If you want a paper shredder that can shred documents without removing staples or small paper clips, you should get the Amazon Basics 6 Sheet Micro-cut shredder. We were impressed by how it shreds up to 6 sheets of paper with staples and small paper clips. We could also shred credit cards, CDs, and DVDs into medium P-4 particles.

Image Source: thenewyorktimes.com

The machine weighed 9.7 pounds and was petite enough to fit in any small office. It had an auto-start function that pulled papers into the feeder and a reverse operation to clear jams. It also had an auto-off thermal protection feature that shut down the feeder, thus preventing the motor from overheating.

The only downside we experienced was that it had a 3-minute runtime, which required a 3o minute cool-down after shredding.

Pros:

  • Shreds staples left in the paper
  • Compact size
  • Auto-off overheating protection
  • Reverse function to clear jams

Cons:

  • Only operates continuously for 3 minutes
  • Requires a 30-minute cool-down period

4) Aurora AU820MA Micro-Cut Shredder

Aurora AU820MA High Security 8-Sheet Professional...
  • 8 sheet micro-cut; 4.8 gallon regular wastebasket
  • "ShredSafe" advanced safety feature: Auto power-off upon forced...
  • Allows continuous shredding for up to 5 minutes. LED "Power /...
  • Shreds CDs/ DVDs, Credit cards; Small paper clips ; Staples
  • Auto start / stop. Overload / Overheat protection. Security Level...

If you are looking for a smaller shredder, the Aurora AU820MA Micro-Cut Shredder will suit you. We could empty it by removing the top shredder head that provided ample room for shreds. However, it generated more than the usual dust, making opening it a challenging chore. Still, it had a 4.8-gallon bin that gave room for more shreds.

Image Source: walmart.com

Another downside we experienced was that the shredder was too loud and got even louder in the shredding process.

Pros:

  • It has ample space for shredding
  • It can shred a variety of materials

Cons:

  • It makes a lot of dust
  • It is too loud

5) Fellowes Powershred 99Ms Micro-Cut Paper Shredder

Fellowes 4609001 Powershred 99Ms 14-Sheet Micro-Cut...
  • Shreds 14 sheets per pass into 5/64”x 9/16” micro-cut...
  • Shreds for up to 20 minutes before a 40 minute cool down period...
  • Auto Reverse stops and reverses paper if a jam occurs. When the...
  • Safe Sense Technology stops shredder when hands touch the paper...
  • Bin Capacity 9 gallon pull-out bin holds over 80% more Micro-Cut...

If you want security and privacy while shredding documents, then the Fellowes Powershred 99Ms is the one for you. It shreds documents into small unrecognized pieces. It had a p-5 security level since it enabled us to safely dispose of sensitive documents, client records, and financial statements.

Image Source: lowes.com

The power shred 99Ms could shred 14 pages in one pass and had a large 9- gallon pull-out basket. Additionally, it has a safe sense technology, a safety measure that enabled it to stop when it sensed a hand at the shredder opening. It also has a sleep mode that shuts the unit down after 2 minutes of inactivity.

The model has a 20-minute run time with a 40-minute cool-down period. This was not a downside, as its capabilities were more than enough.

Pros:

  • It has a 9-gallon collection bin
  • It has a jam-proof system
  • It is a safe sense technology that detects hands near the feeder

Cons:

  • It takes longer to cool down

6) Bonsaii 10-Sheet Cross Cut Paper Shredder

Bonsaii 10-Sheet Cross Cut Paper Shredder, 5.5 Gal Home...
  • 【Home Office Paper Shredder】With 10 sheets of shredding...
  • 【Easy Operation & Safe Protection】Paper shredders for home...
  • 【Large Gallon Basket】5.5 gallons large wastebasket capacity,...
  • 【Shredders for Home Use Heavy Duty】5-minute continuous...
  • 【1-Year Warranty】Bonsaii shredders for home office provides...

This is a powerful machine that delivers the functionality of a high-end paper shredder. Unlike other shredders we have had in the office, this paper shredder's security level measures 5x18mm, which ensures the paper particles are as small as confetti. Of course, for our purposes, it works wonders when we have to shred documents that we already digitally saved.

Image Source: walmart.com

Everyone in the office seems to like it, and everyone takes turns with it since it's very portable. We quickly realized that this is a powerful shredder that can destroy documents in an instant. However, to keep it serving us for a long time, we limited how many sheets can go in at a time to 3. Either way, the sheet capacity is stated as 10, but it starts to bog down at 4 sheets.

Naturally, we all collectively agreed that while the unit works marvelously for the office, it can also function as one of those personal shredders you use for junk mail. The shredded paper is collected in a large 5-gallon bin, and there is no need to empty it frequently.

Pros:

  • Cheap paper shredder
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to maintain
  • Versatile

Cons:

  • Can't handle the recommended 10-sheet capacity

7) Wolverine Heavy-Duty Paper Shredder

WOLVERINE 18-Sheet 60 Mins Running Time Cross Cut High...
  • CROSS-CUT SECURITY LEVEL P-4 to secure confidential information....
  • CONTINUOUS RUNNING TIME UPTO 60 MINUTES supported by a patented...
  • LOW NOISE LEVEL 58dB ultra-quiet performance; 6 gallons pull-out...
  • JAM REVERSE SYSTEM can automatically detect and clear paper jams
  • ETL Certified product and Manufacture's 1-Year limited warranty...

We are all ecstatic to try out this impulse buy at the office. Safe to say, it didn't disappoint, especially when it came to shredding paper with staples. None of our previous shredders could shred staples, and that was time-consuming, especially since we physically had to remove the staples first.

We also loved the shredder rolls. It has a wheel, so moving in from one desk to another is fairly simple. Furthermore, it has a solid feel and operates very quietly. Most of the office agrees it's quieter than other units and doesn't overheat if you push its limits. We were also fairly pleased to learn that it can handle 10 sheets at a time.

It's not a small paper shredder, but it's much faster and stronger than other shredders we have had. Of course, it has a hefty price tag, and you might not want to buy it if you are on a budget. However, it works splendidly.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Simple design
  • Quiet operation
  • Very fast

Cons:

  • Expensive

Types Of Paper Shredders

Paper shredders come in handy by helping you dispose of printed confidential information or unwanted printed office work. There are different types of paper shredders in the market, such as strip-cut shredders, cross-cut shredders, and micro-cut shredders. You can choose either of these depending on the output size required.

A) Strip Cut Shredders

These are the most basic paper shredders since they cut paper into vertical strips making reassembly easy. They can tackle high volumes of paper material.

Strip cut paper shredders

Image Source: highsecuritypapershredders.com

However, they are good at shredding sensitive material since they are quick and offer easy shredding. Also, they are affordable and require minimal maintenance, making them a good option for personal office use.

B) Cross Cut Shredders

A cross-cut shredder is popular since it offers medium-level security at a fair price. These shredders cut vertically and horizontally, making it difficult to put the papers together after the cut.

Cross-Cut Shredders

Image Source: recycling.com

They are classified as medium security, making them the best for business and home offices where you want to conceal confidential information. Also, they are faster than micro-cut shredders but slower than strip-cut shredders. They require minimal maintenance to keep them running.

C) Micro Cut Shredders

A micro-cut shredder can shred documents into the tiniest pieces possible. It ensures the highest form of security since the paper is shredded in a way it can never be reassembled.

Micro-cut shredders

Image Source: shredit.com

They are the best for slicing high-profile, sensitive content such as medical records, contracts, or government documents. Still, they take longer to shred documents and are expensive.

Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Paper Shredders

Having some key features to look out for when you want to get value for your money or simply what will serve you best is essential. We recommend you look out for the following while buying the best paper shredders in the market.

1. Size

When buying a paper shredder, you should consider where it will be placed and the frequent movements that will be made, such as how it will be used and emptied. The bin strip of a paper shredder is likely to fill quickly since the paper bends and folds. However, shredders that cut paper into tiny pieces may require smaller bins for the same paper size.

Paper Shredder Size

Image Source: rayson.com

Go for a compact shredder since they usually have small bins that fit under most desks. However, if you go for a smaller paper shredder, you must empty it frequently. You should go for large paper shredders if you have a larger space to put them. They have a large bin capacity and allow you to shred many documents simultaneously before emptying them.

2. Page Capacity

Go for a paper shredder that allows many papers to pass simultaneously. If you force a lot of documents into a shredder that enables fewer papers, it may jam. Different paper shredders have various capacities ranging from 1 to 100.

Page Capacity

Image credit: thenewyorktimes.com

The more pages a paper shredder pulls, the better it will serve you. Paper shredders that can remove ten pages or more are always automatic as they let papers pass through their blades until they shred all of them. That feature allows multitasking, as you can leave your documents to shred as you handle other tasks.

To make your work easier, get the best paper cutters to cut your thick papers before you shred them. Alternatively, you can use the best guillotine paper cutter.

3. Runtime

Runtime

Image Source: huntoffice.ie

All paper shredders have a runtime that enables them to function before overheating. Go for a shredder with a high run time. A shredder with a low run time will be less effective for high-volume use. The most suitable paper shredder for a home office is the one with a 5-minute runtime.

You can go for heavy-duty paper shredders, which run for an hour or more but take a long time to cool down before you can resume using them again.

4. Security Level

The security level of a paper shredder can be determined by the size of the particles it cuts into. There are three types of paper shredders with different levels of security: the strip cut, which is a little bit secure; the cross-cut, which offers a medium level of protection; and the micro-cut, which is the most secure.

Security Level

Image credit: novusdahle.com

Security levels depend on what you want to hide, so you can choose the one with the cuts that suit your needs. If you accidentally shred important documents, you can go through articles that explain how to reassemble shredded documents.

5. Safety Features

What safety features should you look for in a paper shredder?

Image Source: recycling.com

Paper shredders can be simple machines to operate since most of them are automatic. However, there is a reason why manufacturers include paper shredder safety features such as jam protection or automatic shutoff to keep the users safe.

The automatic shutoff function of a paper shredder powers off the device when a hand touches the feeder slot or if it starts to overheat. The shredder then remains off until the motor has cooled or when it doesn’t sense a hand near the feeder slot.

Since paper shredders shred a specific number of papers at a time, the feed can jam when you put thick paper or more than the recommended amount. It can also clog when you include small staples and other materials left in the documents.

The jam protection feature limits the intake of more or unwanted materials and reverses the paper’s direction.

6. Extra Features

Finding paper shredders with extra features can be a hassle, but you can get some that come with waste bins, wheels, safety locks, or letter openers.

Extra Features

Image credit: thestrategist.com

If you are using the shredder from one office to another, you may want one that is easily portable or has wheels. You may also need one with a pull-out waste bin or a carrying handle. On the other hand, if you have a busy home with kids and pet playing around, you may need one with safety features like automatic shutoff.

Frequently Asked Questions On The Best Paper Shredders

1. What is the strongest paper shredder?

The strongest paper shredder is the Amazon basics 15-sheet cross-cut shredder.

2. Can Paper Shredders Shred Paper Clips And Staples?

Not all paper shredders can handle paper clips and staples, so it is essential to go through the manufacturer’s specifications before putting them inside.

3. How do I choose a paper shredder for my home?

There are many things to go through before choosing a paper shredder. Some of them are:

  • Paper size

  • Load size

  • Cut type

  • Shredder speed

  • Noise levels

  • Security levels

  • Advanced Features

4. Are There Any Rules To Follow When Using Paper Shredders?

Most manufacturers include how to use paper shredders in their instruction manual, but here are the guidelines for using any paper shredder.

  • Always clean the paper shredder blades regularly using paper shredder oil to prevent them from jamming, overheating, or breaking down.

  • Avoid overloading the shredder since each product has its page capacity. When you exceed it, you overwork the motor, and the machine overheats.

  • Do not force the paper into the shredders faster than it can handle, as the motor will overheat and cause premature wear and tear to the machine, thus shortening its working life.

5. What is better cross-cut or micro-cut shredder?

A micro-cut shredder is better. Micro-cut shredders can shred a letter-size page into more than 2,000 pieces versus 400 or fewer pieces for a cross-cut shredder.

6. What is the most common shredder?

The strip-cut is the most common paper shredder cut type present on the market. It cuts the paper into approximately 40 thin strips. However, the strips can be easily reassembled and decoded.

7. How long does a shredder last?

The maximum life expectancy of your standard office shredder is around 36 months. If you are frequently shredding, this life expectancy is drastically reduced. Combine this fact with maintenance and cleaning costs, and you are spending a lot more on monthly shredding.

The Bottom Line On The Best Paper Shredders

A good quality paper shredder will keep your office and house free of paper. Additionally, you can finally get rid of that stack of paper you have had for the longest time. The best paper shredder will help you to accomplish shredding paper in a short time. Furthermore, you can boost your security since shredding paper is a great way to maintain document security with no hassle.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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