How Do I Choose a Paper Shredder That Will Last Me For Years?

Paper shredders come in all sizes, shapes and capacities. Choosing the right paper shredder up front will save you a lot of time and money. It isn’t difficult. Knowing a few basic questions to ask yourself before taking the plunge will help eliminate a lot of useless paper shredders from your list.

What are the most common paper shredder complaints? Here are a few of them. The most common complaint of them all is “my shredder keeps jamming.” Also brought up are complaints about the motor overheating, having to change the bag too often, the inability to shred staples and more. This article will help you eliminate these problems all together.

First of all, if your paper shredder keeps jamming, chances are pretty good that you are shredding too much paper at a time. Before buying a paper shredder, be well aware how many sheets of paper you would like to shred at a time. Also be aware that if you need to shred 25 sheets of paper at a time, don’t buy a paper shredder that will shred “up to” 25 sheets.

Paper shredder manufacturers often like to hype up their shredders. They want to let you know the absolute maximum number of sheets you can run through the shredder before ruining it. This number is usually far too high to run on a continuous basis. It is recommended to find a paper shredder that will shred at least 20% more paper than you need. If you need to shred 25 sheets of paper at a time, buy one that will shred up to 30 sheets of paper at a time. Also take into consideration that your shredding volume may increase over the next few years.

Be aware that not all paper shredders are designed to run on a continuous basis. Many paper shredders have a fail safe that turns the motor off if it gets to hot. This is to prevent damage to the motor. Many paper shredder manufacturers now put thermally protected motors in their shredders. These are known as continuous duty paper shredders.

It is highly recommended to buy a paper shredder with continuous-duty capabilities, even if you won’t be shredding on a continuous basis. You never know when you may need to shred a lot of paper in a day. Most paper shredders will say “continuous duty” on the box. If shopping online, most sites will also state “continuous duty” as a feature.

Is your paper shredder bin filling too quickly? Many people do not realize this, but a strip cut paper shredder will fill up a bin, on average, almost 60% faster than a cross cut paper shredder. This is because cross cut paper shredders, also known as confetti cut shredders, cut the paper into smaller pieces and compact better in the shredder bin. Some cross cut paper shredders cut paper into smaller pieces that require even less bag changes. Also be aware that shredders are available with larger bins.

Many people want to be able to shred paper without worrying about staples or the occasional paper clip. In the past, metal pieces would almost definitely ruin shredder blades. Many shredders are now made with hardened steal blades capable of handling staples and the occasional paper clip. Again, this is usually listed on the box or Web site. It is still recommended not to shred particles of metal if it can be helped, but it is nice to have the assurance that a staple or paper clip will not ruin the shredder.

There are many brands of paper shredders available. Many department stores sell cheap Chinese paper shredders that break down easily. There are a few trustworthy brands that are made from quality parts that will give you an edge on durability. These brands include Destroyit, HSM, Offis Life, Intimus, Dahle, Formax and Kobra. Many of these paper shredders are German engineered and German made. The Germans are known for their quality shredders.

Last, but not least, is maintenance. Proper shredder maintenance will extend the life of your shredder by several years. Many people do not realize this, but paper shredders need to be oiled on occasion. This isn’t a complicated process or messy like changing a car’s oil. It simply involves squirting oil on a piece of paper and running it through the paper shredder. It is recommended to oil a paper shredder every time you change the bag. It doesn’t take much, but it helps eliminate friction and metal-on-metal wear.


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