13 Best Paper Shredders of 2020 Reviewed | Buyer’s Guide

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When it comes to finding the safest and easiest way to discard unwanted documents, a paper shredder tops the list.

It not only provides a hassle-free experience to get the job done, but you get a significant return on the investment you make. How?

In truth, a paper shredder is more like a lifesaver for the organization. With this highly efficient office appliance, you can eliminate the fear about your documents landing in the wrong hands, or not being able to comply with the law for waste disposal.

It’s especially of great use during the spring cleaning sessions as you get to minimize the clutter without having to worry about identity theft.

And to be on the safer side, you can scan the documents and save the digital files.

But you might find yourself sitting on the fence when you have to select a particular unit. For that, we’ve compiled the best paper shredders that are available out there to help you make a better decision.

Best Paper Shredders

businessman shredding old files using the best paper shredder

So, let’s get started, shall we?

1. Aurora AU820MA

The Aurora AU820MA is a complete package given its brilliant safety and high-security features. It’s equipped with the ‘ShredSafe’ technology that automatically turns off the shredder when the feed opening is being forced with too many documents. This compact yet powerful paper shredder is capable of shredding eight sheets per pass along with CD’s, paper clips, and old credit cards.

Sale
Aurora AU820MA High Security 8-Sheet Professional Micro-Cut...
  • 8 sheet micro-cut; 4.8 gallon regular wastebasket
  • "ShredSafe" advanced safety feature: Auto...

Experience

With P4 security level and sturdy construction, we knew that we are bringing home one of the best appliances. It shreds all our paper documents into tiny bits, be it thick or thin material. And the paper scrapings are broken into confetti-like pieces that even potential thieves can’t put back together.

It has a 5-minute operation, which follows up with a 30-minute cooldown period. The shorter run time did seem like a hindrance in the beginning, but we use the machine only a few times a week. Plus, we try to avoid piling up too many papers.

The wastebasket is around 4.76 gallon, and it fills up pretty quickly if we use the shredder once every day. Since the bin has a lower capacity, the overall structure is pretty compact, making it easier for us to tuck away this little beast. And it doesn’t have a pull-out basket so, we need to remove the shredding unit that is placed on top of the bin.

Moreover, if we use the shredder for too long, the motor starts heating up. In such cases, to ensure the safety of the appliance, the LED indicator light turns on, and then the system turns off automatically. Overall, this unit is a steal for its quality and high-security features.

Pros
  • P4 security level
  • Includes overheat protection
  • ShredSafe technology
  • Good cutting ability
Cons
  • No casters
  • No pull-out wastebasket

2. AmazonBasics 12-Sheet High-Security

This is one of the bestsellers on Amazon for its robust build, quiet, and smooth operation. It makes for an excellent shredder if you’re looking for one to keep in your home office. With a noise level of about 65dB, you can rest assured that you won’t end up with a headache even if you use it frequently.

AmazonBasics 12-Sheet High-Security Micro-Cut Paper, CD, and Credit...
  • High-security micro-cut paper shredder can shred...
  • Shreds documents into confetti-like particles,...

Experience

When we were reading reviews to find a quality shredder, most users had been recommending this unit, so we thought of giving it a try. It’s a micro-cut shredder that perfectly shreds down the documents, and it gives us the peace of mind that the papers won’t land in the wrong hands. At once, it can take in 12 sheets of paper along with a few CDs and credit cards without jamming the machine.

This is an excellent heavy-duty shredder; irrespective of the number of times that we operate this unit, we haven’t faced any issues. And the sharp blades manage to successfully chew through all the documents that we pass through it. Plus, it comes with a large pull-out basket that can hold about 6.7 gallons, so we don’t need to worry about emptying the paper scraps very often.

But, we generally face a little difficulty while pulling out the basket for clearing it up because we need to tug on for picking it up safely to avoid any spillage. Moreover, we can’t lock the casters, but that’s not much of an issue because of the carpeted floors. After having used this machine for about five months now, we can say that when it comes to performance and security grade, this unit is top-notch.

Pros
  • Large bin capacity
  • High-security level (P-4)
  • Silent operation
Cons
  • No-lock casters
  • Hard to remove the wastebasket

3. Aurora AU870MA High-Security Shredder

The Aurora AU870MA is one of the most highly-regarded and popular paper shredding machines that are available. It has a remarkable efficiency that makes it ideal for both medium level and heavy-duty shredding work. Also, if you’re looking for a unit with a high-level security grade, then this model makes for an ideal choice.

Aurora AU870MA High-Security 8-Sheet Micro-Cut Paper Credit Card...
  • High-security micro-cut with 8 sheet capacity;...
  • Shreds paper and credit cards into tiny pieces...

Experience

We wanted a paper shredder for office purpose, and our main criterion was to opt for a unit that comes with high-grade security features. After going through the product description, we finalized on this model because it has a security level of DIN P-4. And the micro-cut mechanism ensures that it can produce tiny shreds of paper.

If there are any jams, we can reverse the system manually to take out the jammed materials. For the best part, it has a sheet capacity of 8 pages, and the overall volume of the bin is 3.9 gallons. Therefore, it indicates that we need to empty the bin after having shredded a total of 230 sheets.

Plus, the motor has a basic functioning; it allows for a 5-minute continuous operation before the machine starts cooling down. We can control the shredder very easily because of its automatic power-off mechanism and the bright LED indicators. The light feature helps to determine three different factors, such as overheating, misalignments, and overload.

We can use this shredder for breaking down paper along with credit cards, staples, and pins. Overall, this durable, robust paper shredder delivers a user-friendly mechanism that makes the disposal process extremely simple and effortless.

Pros
  • Sturdy and durable construction
  • High-level security grade
  • Range of automatic controls
  • Easy to use and simple mechanism
  • Suitable for heavy-duty shredding
Cons
  • The warranty period is not specified

4. Bonsaii DocShred C156-D

If you’re looking for the security of a micro-cut paper shredder and if you tend to shred only a few times per week, you’re going to appreciate the efficiency of this unit. It can shred a maximum of about 12 pages per pass, and it churns them into thin cross-cut paper particles. Plus, the wastebasket can hold around 340 sheets making it more convenient for you.

Bonsaii DocShred C156-D 12-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper/CD/Credit Card...
  • Cross-cut paper shredder with 12 sheets (A4 size...
  • Shreds paper, credit card, CD/DVD, clips, staples

Experience

The market is flooded with plenty of options for a paper shredder, and we realized that only when we started to look for one. This particular unit caught our eye with its advanced features and the overall quality. It has a very simple interface because it utilizes a single switch for auto, off, and reverse options.

Also feeding the shredder isn’t very challenging; we just have to be a little careful while pushing in the paper. It has a bin capacity of about 5.5 gallons, and there is a small window in the front, making it simple for us to understand when the bin is full with all the shredded documents.

Moreover, the shredding unit balances on top of the wastebasket. Thanks to the handle on the top, which makes it easier for us to lift the shredding unit for emptying the contents. The top-handle construction is a rare feature in the paper shredders.

We can shred for about 3 to 5 minutes, but we try to avoid overheating the motor; otherwise, it will require about 40 minutes to cool down. When it comes to the noise level, it has a high pitched shredding sound, but it’s not very disrupting because we generally use it for just a few minutes. All in all, we are satisfied with the performance and security level of this unit.

Pros
  • Easy operation
  • Made with quality materials
  • Auto shut-off feature prevents overheating
  • Convenient handle design
Cons
  • Produces a lot of sound

5. AmazonBasics 15-Sheet Cross-Cut

This paper shredder by AmazonBasics tops our list for its brilliant quality, performance, low noise level, and a large bin capacity. It’s a cross-cut shredder with a simple, safe, and convenient user mechanism. The practical design and high efficiency make it one of the best products in the market. It’s an all-round functional device with reliable construction.

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...

Experience

We wanted a paper shredder with hassle-free operation, and we opted for AmazonBasics, it’s known for manufacturing some great devices that are priced very reasonably. What convinced us to purchase this model is the high cutting speed and top collection volume. Also, it has low power usage, and it works very quietly, which makes it a stunning package.

The other feature that we appreciate a lot is the automatic reversal technology that helps to prevent the paper from getting jammed. If we insert too many documents without sticking to the 15-sheet capacity, the shredder automatically throws out the excess sheets. The overall construction of this unit is pretty sturdy and has the right amount of safety aspects.

Moreover, it comes with an LED display that helps us to understand the operating status quickly. The machine can shred a single sheet at about 7 seconds, and when we put in 15-sheets, it doesn’t take more than 15-20 seconds to get the job done.

And it has a total run time of 20 minutes before it shuts for a brief resting period. Plus, the bin capacity is 6 gallons, so we don’t have to worry about emptying it very often. All in all, it’s a great device considering the reasonable price tag and excellent performance.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Fast and quiet operation
  • High collection volume
Cons
  • Generates a lot of dust while shredding

6. Bonsaii 4S23 8-Sheet Micro-Cut Shredder

The Bonsaii 4S23 paper shredder is a compact unit with heavy-duty features. For the best part, it can shred your documents continuously for about two hours. Plus, it has an 8-sheet paper capacity, and it churns them down into tiny particles. Besides paper, you can also use this unit for shredding CDs and DVDs. Let’s take a closer look at all its exciting features.

Bonsaii 4S23 8-Sheet Micro-Cut Shredder P-5 Security, Thermal...
  • Continuous running time up to 120 minutes without...
  • High-security micro-cut paper shredder with 8...

Experience

This unit is known for having the best overall performance, and it has all the advanced features that we wanted in a heavy-duty paper shredder. We can use this unit for two hours straight, that’s a great deal, to begin with. Since it has an 8-sheet paper capacity, which means it can shred a total of 4500 documents before we allow it to rest.

It’s also equipped with the Bonsaii patented cooling system that protects the unit against overheating with a constant circulation of cool air, and it expels the hot air. Thanks to the micro-cut security feature that has a P5 security level which means the pages end up like tiny particles.

Plus, the advanced jam detection system helps to prevent jams from happening; it automatically reverses the blades when it detects any form of overloading. And the low noise level of 58dB is the cherry on top because we can use it during the working hours without a headache. We trust the quality of this unit, given its high-end features and brilliant customer service.

Pros
  • Overheating and anti-jam protection
  • Features a P-5 security level
  • Large pull-out basket
  • High efficiency with 2 hours run time
Cons
  • Only lateral movement of the casters

7. Bonsaii C209-D 10-Sheets Cross-Cut

This unit by Bonsaii is a compact and quiet paper shredder that can also be used to shred old credit cards, CDs, and paper clips. It has a pretty large bin with a capacity of 5.5 gallons that can comfortably accommodate the scraps of about 330 A4-size sheets. And it comes with a 4-minute continuous run time that is followed by a 40-minute cooldown time. Let’s read a little more about its exciting features.

Bonsaii 10-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper Shredder, Credit Card Shredders for...
  • Crosscut paper shredder with 10 sheets of...
  • Easy operation with light-indication, overheat and...

Experience

The Bonsaii C209-D paper shredder stands out amongst the rest of the other models because of its quality and budget-friendly price range. It comes with a basket that has a relatively large capacity of about 5.5 gallons. We generally shred the papers twice a week, so if we empty the contents at least once a month, it’s more than enough.

Plus, there is a small transparent window on the basket that makes it relatively easier for us. Moreover, it has a paper capacity of about 10-sheets, and the size of this unit is compact enough to store the unit under the desk. We can rest assured that the documents will be shredded into thin strips, making it almost impossible to reassemble.

It has overloading and overheating protection technology that helps to protect the motor from getting damaged easily. The advanced features in this unit help to prolong its lifetime. We are satisfied with this purchase because it has helped to reduce the volume of our paper wastage by a significant amount.

Pros
  • Features an excellent safety mechanism
  • Large bin capacity
  • Whisper-quiet operation
Cons
  • Steep learning curve

8. Sentinel FM121P 12-Sheet Paper Shredder

This model by Sentinel has a unique design, and you can depend on its security level for shredding sheets into microelements. It’s a highly compact and eco-friendly unit that has been designed to prevent any damage to the environment. Plus, it comes with a simple user mechanism, and it can be operated easily without any hassle.

Sentinel FM121P 12-Sheet High Security Micro Cut Paper Credit Card...
  • Shreds up to 12 (twelve) sheets of paper or one...
  • Shred size: 0.16" x 0.59", 4mm x 15mm, micro cut...

Experience

We had a ton of financial documents that had to be shredded to ensure that it’s safely disposed of. There was a limited budget to get the work done, and since we are first-timers in purchasing paper shredders, we had to be careful about the functionality of the unit. But, this model has all that we require for our daily shredding purposes.

We can use the unit to shred about 90 pages per day. Even though it has a very less run time (2-minutes), it’s efficient enough to chop the sheets. While feeding the teeth, we need to ensure that thick covers and cards are inserted separately from the thin sheets of paper. This helps to prevent the machine from getting jammed, which would otherwise savage our time.

Moreover, the manual reverse function works to prevent any jams. And it also comes with an indicator making it easy for us to understand whether the machine is working correctly or not.

The bin has a capacity of approximately 4 gallons, and it shreds the paper into micro-cuts, making it convenient for us to empty the contents. Overall, this is one paper shredder that is exceptionally functional and budget-friendly at the same time.

Pros
  • Silent operation
  • Lightweight and large storage space
  • Micro-cuts your documents
Cons
  • Short continuous runtime

9. AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Cross-Cut

This unit is another exceptional product from  AmazonBasics, which is one of the renowned companies. It’s a pretty efficient product if you want to shred your unwanted documents at home. The design and advanced set of features can compete with any other mid-range priced shredders. It can work for three minutes continuously before it starts cooling down for about 30 minutes. Let’s take a closer look.

AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper and Credit Card Home Office...
  • Note: Please read the user guide included on this...
  • Shreds paper into strips measuring 3/16"x...

Experience

The all-black exteriors of this model make it appear like a classy gadget, with brilliant efficiency. We wanted a small shredder for the home to help reduce the volume of our paper waste. This unit doesn’t have a whole bunch of nifty sensors and features. When it comes to the security level, it successfully meets the P3 standards.

We don’t have to fear that someone can join the pieces back together, because the machine does a great job to shred the paper into the tiniest of strips. It has a 4.1-gallon bin along with a see-through window which makes it relatively easier to figure out when the contents need to be emptied. And the integrated lifting handle is another essential feature that helps to empty the bin within a few seconds.

Moreover, it can accommodate around eight papers at a go, but the resting time is pretty long because it takes about 30 minutes to start the next cycle. And if the machine starts to overheat, then the automatic shut-off feature turns on to protect the motor from getting damaged. The design and workload of this unit are suitable for home offices or small business.

Pros
  • Has a reliable and durable construction
  • Low operational noise
  • High efficiency
  • Automatic shut-down feature
Cons
  • Limited run time make it hard to work with a large volume of paper

10. AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut

If you’re looking for a high performing shredder to meet your low volume and occasional usage patterns, you should check out this model. Especially if you tend to shred around 60 sheets or more every month, you’re going to appreciate its convenience and added speed. It’s a pretty budget-friendly product, and the basic model doesn’t fail to impress the user.

AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper and Credit Card Home Office...
  • Cross-cut paper shredder with 6-sheet capacity;...
  • Shreded paper measures 7/32 by 1-27/32 inches

Experience

We wanted a compact shredder for our home office, and after reading a lot of the reviews, we finalized on this model. Despite being tiny, it’s perfectly capable of shredding credit cards and small stacks of paper. The blades are sturdy enough for the quantity that it can accommodate, which is six sheets for one sitting.

We can’t possibly think of shredding a large pile of papers because it has a run time of 2 minutes, followed by a rest period of 20 minutes. However, we shred infrequently, and we generally don’t collect a huge volume of paper, so this model suits our needs perfectly. We are satisfied with the overall function of this unit and its standard cross-cut level security that leaves us with tiny bits of paper.

When it comes to ease of use, it has a simple interface that makes it relatively simple to get this machine started. We just need to use a single power button for operating it, but we can also set it on the auto mode that turns on immediately when something is fed into the paper slot.

Moreover, there is a small opening over the shredding slot, making it easier for us to feed the paper. And to empty the bin, we have to remove the top shredding unit, which isn’t heavy so we can quickly complete the cleaning process. This is a great budget-friendly machine, and it perfectly meets our limited paper shredding demands.

Pros
  • Value-added product
  • Features a simple interface
  • Reasonable price tag
  • Shreds paper into thin cross-sections
Cons
  • Takes time to cut through thicker items

11. Fellowes Powershred 79Ci 16-Sheet Paper Shredder

If you’re looking for a powerful paper shredder that has a large paper capacity, then you should check out this unit by Fellowes. This cross-cut has a high-security level, and it can shred a maximum of 16 sheets per pass. It also uses a SafeSense technology that stops the shredder immediately after your hands touch the paper opening. Let’s find out whether it lives up to all the hype.

Sale
Fellowes Powershred 79Ci 100% Jam Proof Medium, Duty Cross, Cut...
  • 100% jam proof system eliminates paper jams and...
  • SilentShred offers ultra-quiet shredder...

Experience

First up, the security level (P-4) of this unit makes it stand out amongst the other units that we have used earlier. It comes with a jam-proof system that helps to eliminate all the hassle of clearing the shredder to find the issue. And we find this unit pretty strong enough to stand up to long hours of usage. For instance, it can shred for about 20 minutes, which is followed by a resting period of 30 minutes.

Plus, it includes a 6-gallon pull-out bin that is one of the most convenient methods of disposing of the waste papers without having to reassemble the entire unit. The LED light helps us quickly understand when we need to empty the paper waste. And the silent shred operation makes it convenient to use this machine even during office hours.

The shredded cross-cut paper that comes through this unit is virtually almost impossible to put together. We trust the quality and efficiency of this product, for disposing of some of the highly sensitive documents. And we can also use it for shredding paper clips, credit cards or stapler pins.

Pros
  • Highly portable
  • Includes a full-bin indicator
  • Fast and efficient shredding
  • Jam proof system
Cons
  • The wheels require installation

12. Aurora 1020MA 10-Sheet Paper Shredder

The Aurora 1020MA has a 10-sheet paper capacity along with 4.5-gallon pullout basket. It has the perfect size and efficiency for using it in the office or at home. And it micro-cuts the paper into tiny shreds making it impossible to reassemble the pieces. You can also move it around easily from one room to another as its equipped with highly portable wheels.

Sale
Aurora AU1020MA High-Security 10-Sheet Micro-Cut Paper, CD and Credit...
  • High-Security Micro-Cut with 10 sheet capacity;...
  • Shreds paper, credit cards and CDs/DVDs into tiny...

Experience

This unit has a brilliant micro-cut feature that shreds the documents into the tiniest bit that we can imagine. The security level is top-notch as it eliminates all the fear relating to identity theft. It has a 5-minute continuous operation that follows up with a 20 minute resting period that prevents the motor from getting overheated.

We have set the auto start option, so the machine starts operating as we pass a paper through it, making it a time-efficient option. In addition to paper, we can also use this unit for shredding credit cards and CDs. Plus, there is an auto shut-down feature that provides overload protection, especially in the event of a serious paper jam.

It comes with a 4.5-gallon pull-out basket which is conveniently placed, but we find it hard to pull it out at times. This unit is best for shredding medium volume of papers every week, and it can be easily tucked under the desk. Furthermore, it doesn’t make any loud, disturbing noise like the other shredders that we have used before, that makes for an ideal choice.

Pros
  • 5-minutes continuous run time
  • Overload protection
  • Features a high-security micro-cut shredding system
  • High-security level (P-4)
Cons
  • The waste bin is challenging to remove

13. Royal MC14MX 14-Sheet Paper Shredder

Royal is one of the oldest manufacturing companies, that has managed to remain afloat by changing and advancing its products according to the need of the hour.

This unit can easily shred about 14 sheets of paper, and the size of the shredded parts are like minced meat. You might find it a little heavier compared to the other models, but the locking casters come of great to enhance the convenience of portability.

Experience

This paper shredder is suitable for office purpose; it can shred about 14 sheets at a single operation. We were a little skeptical about the size of the shredded documents because we didn’t want the pieces to be big enough that it can be put together.

But, this model helps to eliminate such fear, because the papers are torn down to micro bits that are beyond repair. Plus, it has a separate cutting slot for DVDs and CDs which ensure that that all the digital information are destroyed.

Moreover, it’s effortless to slide in the papers making this unit very easy to use and maintain. It also features an easy slide-out wastebasket that measures about 8.5 gallons, and it can approximately hold the shredded piece of about 575 sheets. And by looking through the small window in the front, we get an idea of when to discard the waste.

The locking casters make it easy for us to move this unit from one workstation to another without having to lift it up. Overall, this unit is suitable for heavy-duty usage, and it offers an exceptional amount of power and reliability that is required in our work environment.

Pros
  • Autostart feature
  • The view window lets you monitor the waste quantity
  • Advanced features for an affordable unit
Cons
  • Can be noisy

Girl office worker works with the best Shredder

Paper Shredder Buyer’s Guide

Before purchasing a paper shredder, you need to have a clear understanding of the different factors related to its overall functionality that you need to consider. This guide will take you through the essential elements that a shredder should be equipped with, to help you make an informed decision.

1. Need

First and foremost, you need to be clear about how often and how much you want to shred. This is an important factor because the shredder designs are engineered to accommodate a certain level of usage. For home use, you’ll find some light machines with a small document capacity. On the other hand, some of them are designed for heavy use and have advanced settings.

2. Security grades

Paper shredders generally offer you with six levels of security that helps to determine how the shredder will be destroying the material. The higher the security level, the more difficult it will be for identity thieves and potential frauds to piece together your shredded documents.

3. Motor

The duty cycle is another essential factor in a paper shredder that you need to consider. It indicates the maximum amount of time that the shredder motor can operate and cool down. This means that you can use the shredder for a certain amount of time before resting it.

Similarly, the run time differs from one unit to another. And the model that you select will depend on the quantity of paper that you need to shred and how frequently you’ll be using the appliance. For instance; the affordable and basic shredders can run for 5-10 minutes before taking a break, whereas the high-end, professional ones can go on for 30 minutes.

4. Sheet capacity

This is one of the primary factors that come to mind when you first start looking for a paper shredder. The sheet capacity helps to describe the total number of papers that a particular shredder can handle at once.

You’ll find basic machines easily accommodating around 3-6 papers on one go. And when it comes to the heavy-duty shredders, they can handle over 20 sheets.

Moreover, the higher the sheet capacity, the more efficient is the product. In general, shredders that are suitable for office purpose have an ability to shred somewhere between 20 and 30 A4-sized documents. But, if you want to shred a sizeable amount of papers, it’s best to consider the automated shredders that have a significantly large capacity.

5. Type of bins

The two types of standard bin designs in a shredder are the following:

  • Bucket and Pull-out bins- can be easily removed from the shredder without having to disassemble the full unit. This feature makes it one of the most convenient models to operate, especially when you’re working with high volumes.
  • Lift-off bins- comes with an attached or a lift-off head, that needs to be lifted for exposing the bin underneath. It works fine, and it’s generally found in the inexpensive shredders. But it’s not a very convenient option when you plan to shred a large pile of papers.

6. Capacity

The storage drum, which is also known as the bin, is an effective and neat manner of collecting the shredded papers. Plus, shredders come with varying capacities of bins which help to determine the overall efficiency of the entire shredding process.

In the end, when you’ve got a shredder with a large bin capacity, you don’t have to worry about emptying the contents frequently. However, the security level also indicates the speed at which the bin is going to get filled because the longer strips consume more space.

7. Turnaround time

The turnaround time is the overall speed of the shredder, and to calculate the total speed, you need to use a simple formula. For the shredder score, you should multiply a few parameters such as- run time, sheet capacity, and feet per minute. This is a relevant measure for comparing different machines to work with high volumes of paper.

Final words

Once you’ve sorted the essential documents, it’s time to shred the unwanted papers that you no longer require. After all, it’s the best way for you to ensure that they’ve been destroyed correctly. And data breach can tarnish your reputation as well as put the organization at risk.

So, why do that? Especially when a simple office appliance can safely dispose of the documents. Now that we have come to the end of our guide, we hope it has helped you select a paper shredder that will perfectly meet your needs.

Till next time!

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