The 12 Best Paper Shredders for Home & Small Business in 2018

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The 12 Best Paper Shredders for Home & Small Business in 2018

Best Paper Shredder by Omnicore
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If you’re in a hurry, check out our top pick, Fellowes Powershred 125Ci 100% Jam Proof 20 -Sheet Commercial Grade Paper Shredder.
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A paper shredder is an excellent way to destroy sensitive documents, old paperwork, unwanted magazines and any other type of paper waste that’s been accumulating in your office. They’re also a great way to destroy old credit cards.

There are several kinds of papers you’ll want to shred. Obviously, you’ll want to shred old credit cards and documents that contain personal information. This is critical for personal security and is the primary reason most families buy a paper shredder along with a wireless printer.

In this age of identity theft, throwing away or recycling intact documents with personal names, addresses, bank information, social security numbers or any other type of personal information could lead to identity theft.

In this age of identity theft, throwing away or recycling intact documents with personal names, addresses, bank information, social security numbers or any other type of personal information could lead to identity theft.

Business owners have additional motivations for buying a paper shredder. Regulations from both the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act require all employers to destroy any documents containing employee’s Social Security numbers, employment history, credit information, current or prior addresses and more.

Employees and businesses, be they a bank or a roofing contractor, who fail to adhere to federal privacy laws can face legal consequences, up to and including a $500,000 fine!

While you can hire a professional agency to destroy these documents for you, those services can cost several hundred dollars a year or more. Even spending several hundred dollars on a paper shredder will save you thousands in the long run. When it comes to protecting your identity and avoiding legal consequences, a few hundred dollars is a very reasonable price to pay.

Things to Consider

Unlike some purchases, buying a paper shredder is a simple endeavor. There aren’t a lot of factors to weigh. The only things you really need to consider are how well and efficiently any given model can carry out its basic functions.

1. Number of Sheets

Paper shredders are measured by the number of sheets they can shred at any single time. The higher the number, the more expensive the shredder is, but also the more quickly it can get a job done. If you frequently have to shred hundreds of papers at a time, it may be worth investing in a high-count shredder.

2. Jamming

Most paper shredders come with a certain risk of jamming. Cheaper models are more likely to jam than others, and jams are easier to clear in some models than others as well. Some very high-end shredders come with guarantees against paper jams.

3. Credit cards

Since credit cards are not made out of paper, some shredders, especially cheaper ones, may have difficulty shredding them or cannot do so at all. Companies that may have to shred old cards, such as banks and credit unions, will want to make sure this feature is available.

4. Volume

Just how much paper can you shred before you have to empty your shredder and start over? This ties in with how many papers you can shred at a time as well. Any company that shreds a high volume of papers will want a moderately sized shredder.

5. Type of Cut

Most paper shredders use a cross-cut method to shred documents, but other cutting methods exist, including micro cuts. Most people probably aren’t too concerned with how their shredder works, but some methods of shredding are more likely to jam than others.

QUICK OVERVIEW: THE BEST PAPER SHREDDERS FOR HOME & SMALL BUSINESS FOR 2018

oa3-table__imageEDITOR'S PICKFellowes Powershred 125Ci 100% Jam Proof 20 -Sheet Commercial Grade Paper Shredder CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
oa3-table__imageBEST UNDER $50AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper and Credit Card Shredder CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
oa3-table__imageBEST UNDER $100Swingline 14-Sheet Paper Shredder CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
oa3-table__imageGREAT VALUEAmazonBasics 12-Sheet High-Security Micro-Cut Paper CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
oa3-table__imageBEST UNDER $150Bonsaii EverShred C169-B 14-Sheet Cross-Cut Heavy Duty Paper Shredder CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
oa3-table__imageBEST UNDER $200Fellowes Powershred Jam Proof 16-Sheet Cross-Cut CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
oa3-table__imageGREAT VALUERoyal 1840MX 18-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper Shredder CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
oa3-table__imageBEST UNDER $250Aurora JamFree AU2030XA 20-Sheet Crosscut-Cut Paper Shredder CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
oa3-table__imageGREAT VALUEHSM Shredstar 20-Sheet Continuous Operation Shredder CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
oa3-table__imageBEST UNDER $300Bonsaii EverShred Pro 4S30 10-Sheet Paper Shredders CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
oa3-table__imageBEST UNDER $800ideal 2465 Continuous Operation Cross Cut Deskside Paper/Credit Card Shredder CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
oa3-table__imageBEST UNDER $1200Fellowes Powershred 225Mi 100% Jam Proof 16-Sheet Micro-Cut Commercial Grade Paper Shredder CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Editor’s Pick

Although we can’t predict the shredding needs for everyone, we feel that the Fellowes Powershred 125Ci is the best shredder for the money. It offers fast performance, a long runtime and a large wastebasket, eliminating constant trips to the recycling bin.

  • Shreds 20 sheets of paper per pass
  • 14-gallon pull-out bin with LED indicator
  • 100% Jam Proof System eliminates paper jams
  • Continuous runtime does not require a cool-down period

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Best Paper Shredders Under $50

AnchorAnchor12. AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper and Credit Card Shredder

If all you need is a standard, run-of-the mill paper shredder, AmazonBasics is what you’re looking for. It doesn’t cut too quickly and it can’t run for very long, but its perfectly suited for home or light office use.

AmazonBasics 6 Sheet Paper Shredder
This cross-cut shredder can tackle six pages at a time and is also capable of cutting credit cards, albeit only one at a time. It shreds paper down to a dimension of 7/32 by 1-27/32 inches. It can shred papers measuring up to 8.7 inches, and it has a 3.8 gallon bin. The shredder is backed by a one-year warranty provided by Amazon.

While the shredder is perfectly adequate, it is only suitable for home or small office use. It can only run for two minutes, and it takes a full half hour to overheat. If you have to shred a lot of documents, it’s not going to get done in two minutes with the size of this shredder, and the half hour down time is unacceptable.

If you take the shredder for what it is, however, it is perfectly capable, and it is reasonably priced for any household.

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Best Paper Shredders Under $100

AnchorAnchor11. Swingline 14-Sheet Paper Shredder

The Swingline Paper Shredder offers a few more options for those who wish to be thorough in the destruction of sensitive papers. It’s quite a bit more expensive than the AmazonBasics 6-Sheet, but it is far more capable and versatile.

Swingline 14 Sheet Paper Shredder
The head of the shredder has a modern, streamlined design with two shredding slots. It is optimized to shred up to 14 sheets of paper at a time, and is capable of shredding most junk mail whole, unopened or not. This is perfect for families or businesses that see a never-ending stream of offers they aren’t interested in.

As for the separate cutter, that is especially designed to shred CDs and DVDs, protecting the main cutter and prolonging the life of the machine. This is a great way to dispense of unwanted CDs or to destroy sensitive files that may be contained on the discs.

The shredder has a five-gallon bin with a clear plastic glass that easily lets you see how much space is left. When it is full, the bin pulls out from the machine, making disposal of waste easy and hassle-free. It also has a reverse feature to clear out the shredder in case of jams.

With a run time of 20 minutes, this shredder blows AmazonBasics out of the park. Even better, it has a light indicator that lets you know when it is time to cool down, so you don’t have to watch the clock. This is an excellent and affordable shredder for those with a moderate budget.

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AnchorAnchor10. AmazonBasics 12-Sheet High-Security Micro-Cut Paper

A couple steps above the AmazonBasics 6-sheet shredder, the 12-Sheet Shredder from AmazonBasics works twice as fast, saving you a lot of precious time. However, in most ways it is not on the same level as the Swingline, which is ultimately the better shredder.

AmazonBasics 12 Sheet Paper Shredder
Like the Swingline, the 12-Sheet AmazonBasics is capable of shredding papers, credit cards, CDs and more. It can shred up to 12 sheets at a time, which is respectable. It also comes with a 6.7 gallon pullout wastebasket, providing more storage space with easy disposal.

In other aspects, this shredder falls short, however. The biggest pitfall is the lack of runtime and the lengthy cool-down period. Although it comes with an auto-shutoff feature to prevent overheating, it can only run for 8 minutes at a time, and requires a significant 45-minute cool-down before it is ready to go again. It also lacks a separate slot for CDs and DVDs, providing additional wear and tear.

The 12-Sheet Amazon Basics is powerful enough to shred six feet of paper per minute, but its short runtime and extended cool-down period prevent this from being a truly excellent model.

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Best Paper Shredders Under $150

AnchorAnchor9. Bonsaii EverShred C169-B 14-Sheet Cross-Cut Heavy Duty Paper Shredder

If you have to shred large amounts of documents on a regular basis, you need something that can run for a while. That something is the Bonsaii EverShred. With up to 30 minutes of continuous shredding, you’ll work through your piles of paperwork in a single sitting.

Bonsaii EverShred C169-B Paper Shredder
Like the Swingline, the Bonsaii EverShred can tackle 14 sheets of paper at a time, and it shreds them down to a manageable 5 x 40 millimeters in size. It is designed with a jam protection system that auto reverses when jams are detected, minimizing frustrating and time-consuming jams.

The 30-minute runtime is impressive, but even better is the cool-down. It takes just ten minutes before the EverShred is ready to go again, so if you’re not able to shred everything you need in a single sitting, you won’t have to wait long.

The only real problem with the shredder is its smaller storage bin. 4.5 gallons isn’t terrible, but it is smaller than both of the previous shredders on this list. Still, it is a minor issue, and doesn’t detract from the quality of this shredder.

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Best Paper Shredders Under $200

AnchorAnchor8. Fellowes Powershred Jam Proof 16-Sheet Cross-Cut

This is one paper shredder where the name says it all. The Fellowes Powershred does a splendid job living up to its name. Not only can it shred paper, but also staples, credit cards, paper clips, CDs and, DVDs, junk mail – if you can name it, Powershred can destroy it.

Fellowes Powershred Jam Proof-Paper Shredder
One of the big selling points of the Powershred is its claim to be 100% jam-proof, and in my experience it did a fine job living up to that promise. I wouldn’t count on it not jamming if you tried to overload it, but using it properly it can power through any shredding situation.

The Powershred runs for up to 20 minutes, with a 30 minute cool-down afterwards. I think 30 minutes is a bit long, but it’s understandable considering the amount of power being used. 20 minutes is a good length of time to run, so I’m not too upset.

What I don’t like is the pull-out bin. Although it’s six-gallon size is adequate, it is not the best design. It’s messy, spilling paper shreds every time I remove it, and I have to struggle to put it back in the shredder.

The slot itself is amazing, and the Powershred doesn’t short you on power, but it’s poor bin design keeps it from getting a perfect grade.

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AnchorAnchor7Royal 1840MX 18-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper Shredder

If you’ve ever had to shred thousands of documents in a single night, you know how time-consuming the process can be, especially if you have to deal with lengthy cool-down periods. The Royal 1840MX is an excellent choice to get through long shredding sessions.

Royal 1840MX Paper Shredder
It’s large slot is capable of handling up to 18 sheets of paper at once, and its runtime of 40 minutes is nothing short of superb. It can shred papers, CDs and credit cards, and it can shred paper in a mere five seconds. Its large 8 ½ gallon wastebasket accommodates its long run time, minimizing your trips to the recycling bin.

One of the best features of the shredder is its warranty. A paper shredder is only good for as long as it works, and Royal backs their shredders with a five-year cutter blade and motor warranty, guaranteeing years of shredding. The 1840MX is not cheap, and represents a moderately significant investment, but that warranty goes a long way to ensuring peace of mind and guaranteeing a quality product.

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Best Paper Shredders Under $250

AnchorAnchor6. Aurora JamFree AU2030XA 20-Sheet Crosscut-Cut Paper Shredder

Unlike most paper shredders, the Aurora JamFree 20-Sheet Paper Shredder is mounted on wheels, making it easier to move it about the room or take it to the recycling bin. With the capacity to shred up to 20 documents simultaneously, Aurora is a great way to speed up your work.

Aurora JamFree AU2030XA Paper Shredder
As the name indicates, the AU2030XA is designed to eliminate paper jams. Its sensors automatically detect if it is operating over capacity and it will not run, preventing you from making a time-wasting error.

The AU2030XA has a seven gallon wastebasket and can run continuously for up to an hour, and will automatically shut off if not used for five minutes. Unfortunately, the shredder also requires a cool-down of 50 minutes, limiting the effectiveness of its one-hour runtime.

This shredder works quickly and effectively, and it has a smart design that prevents jams. However, you’ll want to weigh the length of its running time with the length of its cool-down period before you commit to buy it.

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AnchorAnchor5. HSM Shredstar 20-Sheet Continuous Operation Shredder

It might just be me, but paper shredders have some of the most inspiring names. The EverShred, the Powershred. And now, the HSM Shredstar. They are all very effective names from a marketing standpoint, but they’re also quite descriptive of these shredders’ effectiveness.

HSM Shredstar Paper Shredder
The HSM Shredstar, for example, can shred up to 158 sheets of paper every minute, reducing every single page into 430 cross-cut strips. It’s a model of power, cutting through not only paper but staples, paper clips, credit cards, CDs and DVDs,with a separate cutting unit for CDs and DVDs. It has a 7.1 gallon wastebasket for less frequent emptying.

You can also depend on the Shredstar for a long time, as HSM offers a lifetime warranty on the cutting cylinder. Anti-jamming technology also prevents the machine to run when overloading, protecting the machinery and eliminating jams. The Shredstar is mounted on wheels, making it easier to move about the office as well.

What’s really amazing about the Shredstar is that it is designed for continuous operation with no down time, allowing you to shred constantly for hours at a time. Although I suspect you’d have to let it cool off eventually, it has a built-in fan which keeps the heat down, and I never ran into problems with it overheating.

The Shredstar is not a cheap shredder, but it has enough features to make it well worth the cost.

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Best Paper Shredders Under $300

AnchorAnchor4. Bonsaii EverShred Pro 4S30 10-Sheet Paper Shredders

The Bonsaii EverShred Pro 4S30 may only shred 10 papers at a time, but it has something else working in its favor: 240 minutes of operating time. This puts it right on par with the Shredstar for impressive continuous operation.

Bonsaii EverShred Pro 4S30 Paper Shredder
It also shreds documents into very fine particles, measuring a mere 2 x 10 millimeters – a tenth the size of the shreds made by the EverShred C169-B. It is able to shred paper, credit cards, CDs and DVDs, paper clips and staple, and it can shred 7.2 feet of documents every minute.

Auto start and auto reverse features work to prevent jamming, and a large 7.9 gallon wastebasket offers plenty of room for your paper waste; there is also a separate 0.37 gallon bin for your CDs and DVDs, which cannot be recycled.

The EverShred Pro 4S30 may not be able to shred as many documents at a time as some other shredders, but its 240 minutes of runtime provide reason enough to seriously consider this shredder.

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Best Paper Shredders Under $450

AnchorAnchor3. Fellowes Powershred 125Ci 100% Jam Proof 20 -Sheet Commercial Grade Paper Shredder

As far as paper shredders go, the Fellowes Powershred 125Ci is one of the most expensive – and powerful – shredders on the market. Like the other Powershred model, it is designed to power through tough jobs without jamming, with auto-detection sensors that prevent it from running over capacity.

Fellowes Powershred 125Ci Paper Shredder
Where the Powershred 125Ci stands out is its ability to tackle up to 20 papers at a time and its extra-large 14-gallon wastebasket, allowing you to go longer between emptying than most shredders, saving a significant amount of time in its own right. It even comes with an LED indicator letting you know when it’s ready to be emptied.

The Powershred is backed by a two-year warranty which, while not industry-leading, is significant in its own right. With its continuous-run design that eliminates the need for constant cool-down periods, this is an ideal shredder for medical facilities that have to shred hundreds or thousands of papers and documents a day.

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Best Paper Shredders Under $800

AnchorAnchor2. ideal 2465 Continuous Operation Cross Cut Deskside Paper/Credit Card Shredder

There was a time not long ago when I wouldn’t have believed an $800 paper shredder existed. Then I have the opportunity to product test the ideal 2465 Continuous Operation Shredder. While I’m not convinced that it’s powerful enough to justify its price tag, it is an incredibly efficient machine, capable of shredding 324 pages per minute.

ideal 2465 Continuous Operation Paper Shredder
While the ideal 2465 can only shred 9 to 11 documents at a time, it does so at tremendous speed. Even better, it is designed for continuous operation and doesn’t require cooling periods during reasonable use. When you couple the fast shredding capabilities and its runtime, you could conceivable shred 15,000 or more papers in a single hour.

This is an expensive shredder to be sure, and smaller offices and companies will probably not need something of its size, caliber and price. But for hospitals or companies that deal with thousands of shredded documents every day, the time saved by using ideal may be worth the price after all.

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Best Paper Shredders Under $1200

AnchorAnchor1. Fellowes Powershred 225Mi 100% Jam Proof 16-Sheet Micro-Cut Commercial Grade Paper Shredder

Only the most demanding have need of the Fellowes Powershred 225Mi. It’s very expensive, but it performs like a charm. Like the Powershred 125Ci, the 225Mi has a large capacity, in this case 16, rather than 14, gallons.

Fellowes Powershred 225Mi Paper Shredder
The shredder comes with a two-year warranty, as well as a seven-year warranty on the cutter itself. It can shred up to 16 sheets per pass and is designed for constant operation. Like all Evershred products, it is designed to eliminate paper jams with several intuitive technologies.

That said, I’m really not convinced the price is justified. There’s no doubt this is a great shredder, but in my opinion its performance isn’t so great as to justify the massive price leap from the 125Ci to the 225Mi. If you do need an industrial grade shredder, the ideal 2465 is a better pick.

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Conclusion

No business should be without a paper shredder, and there isn’t any good reason not to own one. With cheap, household options available for as little as $30, you can save a fortune and protect yourself from liability. Whether you need a small shredder like the Swingline (the best budget shredder), a professional-grade shredder like the Royal 1840MX or a true industrial shredder like ideal 2465, you are sure to find the right shredder for your needs here.

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Hafiz Muhammad Ali
Hafiz Muhammad Ali
Hafiz Muhammad Ali is Founder of Omnicore Group, Serial Entrepreneur, 5x, Author, Digital Marketing Leadership and Career Coach. He is well attuned and passionate about books and investing in education. You can follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn and on Google+ for tweets and rants about latest news, tips and advice.