The best paper shredder of 2020

From bestreviews.com
By
Sian Babish
BestReviews

Instead of disposing of shredded paper, use it for packing materials. In addition to being an eco-friendly way to repurpose shredded paper, it will save you the future cost of pricey bubble wrap or foam pellets.

You need to dispose of an old bill, but it has a lot of sensitive or personal information on it. Instead of risking identity theft by tossing it in the trash whole, it's better to run it through a paper shredder.

Paper shredders do more than tearing paper into ordinary skinny strips. Many models now offer multiple cutting patterns for maximum protection. Some high-capacity paper shredders even cut up credit cards, CDs, or keycards.

To help you find the right one for your needs, we've examined updated models and new features in paper shredders this year. We're also sharing three new arrivals to our short list, all of which come from some of our favorite brands in office products.

Best paper shredders of 2020

1. Fellowes' 62MC Powershred Micro-Cut Paper Shredder: This heavy-duty shredder is well-suited for home offices and tops our short list this year.

2. Bonsaii's Cross-Cut Paper Shredder: We're excited to include this new arrival given its affordability and portability.

3. AmazonBasics' High-Security Micro-Cut Paper Shredder: A crowd favorite, this shredder earns a top spot for its super shredding capabilities.

For full reviews of these products, scroll to the bottom.

What you need to know before buying a paper shredder

Before diving into the more technical specifications of paper shredders, it's important to understand the differences between strip, cross-cut, and micro-cut models.

As their name implies, strip shredders only slice paper into skinny pieces. It's not very secure, considering pieces could be reassembled to retrieve sensitive information. For that reason, they've become obsolete. Cross-cut shredders cut paper in multiple directions, resulting in hundreds of squares or diamonds. The only option more secure than that is a micro-cut paper shredder, which cuts paper into thousands of confetti-like chips.

To get the most out of a paper shredder, choose one with all the features you intend to use. Basic paper shredders only handle regular paper and some heavier cardstock; however, more advanced designs are capable of slicing and dicing DVDs, CDs, credit cards, and even staples and paper clips. Shredding capacity is also important to consider, so take a look at specs to find the model's "sheets per pass." This refers to how many sheets of regular paper it can handle at one time.

Similarly, shredding time should also be considered. If you anticipate lengthy shredding sessions, examine a feature called "duty cycle." This refers to how long the shredder will operate continuously before shutting off automatically. Heavy-duty paper shredders may have duty cycles that last as long as 40 minutes.

Lastly, determine the shredding speed. The average home shredder, for example, shreds up to 10 FPM (feet per minute), whereas office shredders run closer to 30 FPM and above. Keep in mind that just because a paper shredder has advanced capabilities, it doesn't necessarily mean it will have a high shred speed. Given their finer cutting technique, micro-cut shredders tend to have much slower shredding speeds.

No matter your budget, there's a paper shredder to fit it. Light-duty or portable shredders start at $30 to $50. Mid-range shredders capable of more voluminous shredding run closer to $50 to $90. High-end shredders mostly used in offices cost between $100 and $300.

FAQ

Q. How do I empty the bin in a paper shredder?

A. With some models, you need to remove the bin and dump it into a trash can. With others, the electronic part of the shredder is removable to expose the bin for emptying. These, however, tend to be somewhat messy and cumbersome.

Q. What do I do if my paper shredder feels warm?

A. Stop shredding, turn off the shredder, and unplug it. Allow the device to cool down for at least an hour before you attempt using it again. It's also recommended to check for jams, which could account for the overheating.

In-depth reviews for best paper shredders

Best of the best: Fellowes' 62MC Powershred Micro-Cut Paper Shredder

What we like: Handles 10 sheets at a time as well as paper clips, staples, and credit cards. Gets the job done without being noisier than it needs to be. Does cross-cut shredding for added security.

What we dislike: Power cord isn't in a great location, according to some users.

Best bang for your buck: Bonsaii's Cross-Cut Paper Shredder

What we like: Users love the convenient handle, making it a popular choice for home offices. Backed by a 4-year warranty. Simple features like auto-start and manual reverse make operation effortless.

What we dislike: Not designed for heavy-duty shredding sessions.

Choice 3: AmazonBasics' High-Security Micro-Cut Paper Shredder

What we like: Thoughtful design shreds everything from heavy cardstock to credit cards. Meets P-4 security standards. LED light control panel has a user-friendly design featuring icons. Bin is easy to empty without making a mess.

What we dislike: Smaller shredding batches are recommended.

Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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