Best Paper Shredder 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

Online security is not the only thing to worry about when it comes to stealing details and information, even though it is a big focus for a lot of companies and individuals in the modern day.

Going through discarded paperwork remains one of the easiest ways to obtain enough confidential data to steal somebody’s identity, or to commit fraud. A surprising amount of damage can be done if somebody gets hold of as little as your name and address. Therefore, paper shredders are a fab way to get rid of your old documents.

Whether you’re a business with information about your employees, customers and finances, or are concerned about the data on your personal utility bills, bank statements and council information, it is a good idea to shred them before disposal.

Conscious of all of this and want to act? After some reviews of the top paper shredders? You have come to the right place.

The Best Paper Shredders – Our Top Picks

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Bonsaii EverShred C169-B 14-Sheet Cross-Cut Heavy Duty Paper Shredder
  • Sheets: 14
  • Level: P-4
  • Power: Electric
  • Bin Capacity: 17L
  • Dimensions: 32.8 x 24.2 x 50.5 cm
Click for Best Price
Rexel Auto+ 175X Cross-Cut Paper/CD/Credit Card Shredder
  • Sheets: 175
  • Level: P-4
  • Power: Electric
  • Bin Capacity: 32L
  • Dimensions: 49 x 35 x 51.5 cm
Click for Best Price
AmazonBasics 8 Sheet Strip-Cut Shredder with CD Shred
  • Sheets: 8
  • Level: P-2
  • Power: Electric
  • Bin Capacity: 12L
  • Dimensions: 33.5 x 32 x 17 cm
Click for Best Price

Best Micro Cross Cut Paper Shredder

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

If you have a reasonable amount of paper to be shredding and the idea of only being able to use some for five minutes before having to stop, then this model should appeal to you.

It can run for up to 30 minutes before having to pause, so will get plenty done without you having to spread it out over an entire day. This is down to the advanced cooling technology, which can handle 3,500 sheets in this time. Even after this, it only needs 10 minutes to get ready for the next lot. Perfect for a good old mass-document shredding session.

Anti-jam detection will sense when the machine has been overloaded, automatically reversing to try and unclog the issue without intervention. Perfect if you know it is going to have to work hard but you’ll likely have other things to be getting on with.

It will cross-cut paper down to 5mm x 40mm pieces, so there is no chance of any fraudsters piecing it all back together. It will cope with 14 sheets on a single pass, and the 22cm entry slot could accommodate anything from letters to envelopes and receipts if placed in the middle of the opening.

We like

  • Long running time
  • Short cooling time

We dislike

  • Some paper easily falls out if full when emptying

Final Verdict

A super long running time and top security levels makes this Bonsaii model one of the best cross-cut shredders currently available.

+ Specifications

  • Sheets: 14
  • Level: P-4
  • Power: Electric
  • Bin Capacity: 17L
  • Dimensions: 32.8 x 24.2 x 50.5 cm

FELLOWES Powershred 62MC Micro-Cut Shredder

With a high level of security and plenty of little workings to make life easier for you and your office, this Fellowes Powershred is one of the most heavy duty on the market. It is ideal for those extra-conscious about home documents or for any small businesses.

It turns your A4 sheets into over 2000 particles thanks to the micro-cut level, so there is little chance of anybody being able to pop it all back together again. There is no need to spend ages removing all of the paper clips and staples beforehand as they won’t interfere with the process either.

The 19-litre bin will keep you going for quite a while, and also features a viewing window so you can see when it needs emptying. When the time comes, simply pull it out and remove the paper. Because it will all be in smaller particles, the capacity is stretched even further. You can also efficiently shred your old credit and debit cards.

There is a running time of seven minutes and quick cool down time, and loads of other handy extra features such as a reverse function to try and remove debris, a safety lock and a finger-safe build.

It may seem pricey for a micro-cut, but is actually good value for the level of security and ease of use it offers. Plus, having that extra peace of mind is priceless.

We like

  • Good level of shredding
  • Quiet in operation
  • Large disposal drawer

We dislike

  • Bit clumsy to move or wheel around
  • Overheats if working at maximum level

Final Verdict

The few little niggles we have with it are easy to rectify, and the size of the paper in the end is well worth the cash for safety and security. One of the top paper shredders on the market.

+ Specifications

  • Sheets: 10
  • Level: P-5
  • Power: Electric Bin
  • Capacity: 19L
  • Dimensions: 47.6 x 34.8 x 26.5 cm

+ Downloads

FELLOWES Powershred 62MC Micro-Cut Paper Shredder User Manual

Download

Rexel Auto+ 175X Cross-Cut Paper/CD/Credit Card Shredder

If you work in a large, busy office environment, you can’t be too careful when it comes to shredding. From company account cards to official paperwork and information about your employees or customers, it needs dealing with.

But you can’t waste all day feeding hundreds of sheets of paper into a shredder one by one. This large, heavy duty appliance from Rexel allows you to load it up with 175 sheets at any one time and can shred eight sheets per pass. It will continuously run for 5 minutes until empty, and there is a very generous 32L waste bin so it won’t need emptying every two minutes. Just stack, shut and you’re done.

It isn’t only bank cards and paper it can deal with, either. Shred CDs and DVDs too, and don’t worry about removing paper clips, staples and other ties as it will deal with them without running into any issues.

Auto+ Jam Clearance will reverse and refeed any papers which are at risk of jamming, and if there is any debris left behind it can clear it and remove it itself, so it does not contribute to any sticking.

It will enter sleep mode after 2 minutes of being left idle, to save on energy and reduce the risk of injury. When in operation it is very quiet, maximum approximately 60 dB so that it won’t affect the office and any important conversations.

We like

  • Large capacity
  • Energy saving operation
  • Wheels for easy movement

We dislike

  • Price - but it is relevant to what you get

Final Verdict

Powerful, able to tackle anything and let you get on with your day at the same time.

+ Specifications

  • Sheets: 175
  • Level: P-4
  • Power: Electric
  • Bin Capacity: 32L
  • Dimensions: 49 x 35 x 51.5 cm

AmazonBasics 5-6 Sheet Cross-Cut Shredder

AmazonBasics 5-6 Sheet Cross-Cut Shredder

With a six sheet capacity and the ability to shred credit cards one at a time, this budget shredder from Amazon will be able to handle all those old invoices, bills and your junk post.

Runtime is two minutes, and there is a 30 minute cooldown time after this, so it is perfect for anyone who needs a shredder for occasional use and who this won’t bother. The thermal protection will cut out the power if the device starts to overheat

Cards can be inserted into the little dedicated section, and they are shredded with no trouble at all. No more dulling your scissors trying to cut them up, whether they’re old bank cards, identification cards or credit cards.

The 14.4-litre bin will help you shred for longer without having to stop and empty it, but when the time does come, just remove the lid and tip the contents into the recycling bin. Paper jams can also be rectified, with the reverse shred feature so that you can get going again in no time.

As it is cross-cut, it is more secure than a strip cut and faster than a micro cut. We don’t think it handles the stated 5 or 6 sheets well and would say it is best sticking to 3, but this doesn’t take away from performance. Most importantly perhaps, the card section works very well, as and when you need it.

We like

  • Quick at shredding
  • Seems to avoid jams well

We dislike

  • Gets slow when bin is over half full

Final Verdict

A reliable item for any of those occasional home use shredding tasks, and we'd say the price is pretty good for what it does.

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 38.1 x 30.7 x 19.6 cm
  • Capacity: 14.4L

Duronic Mini Desktop PS391 Micro-Cut Shredder

You’ve set your heart on a micro shredder that will cut your paper down into such small sections that even the most masterful of thieves could not piece together again, but you want something that will comfortably sit on your work/home office desk.

There is no need to find a happy medium, as this little surprisingly powerful appliance will provide you with both. Fit up to three folded sheets of A4 in the opening, and the shredded paper will come out tiny. Each sheet takes just three seconds to cut.

The five-litre bin is transparent, so you’ll be able to see when it needs emptying, and all you need to do is take the lid off and tip it into the bin or recycling.

It is no surprise that it stops after two minutes to prevent overheating and then needs around half an hour to recover. It isn’t a rare issue, after all. Therefore it isn’t a shredder for heavy duty use, but more one for if you’re sat at a desk, and a piece of paper will need shredding periodically after you’ve taken the data from it.

For the price, the combination of the size and the security level is very good, and we have no doubt you’ll be able to get plenty of use out of it for years to come.

We like

  • Micro shred size
  • Compact

We dislike

  • Paper needs folding which is a bit of effort and can make it difficult to get straight

Final Verdict

Small and does the job, which for the price, is all you really need.

+ Specifications

  • Sheets: 3
  • Level: P-4
  • Power: Manual
  • Bin Capacity: 5L
  • Dimensions: 21 x 15 x 25 cm

Fellowes Powershred M-8C 8 Sheet Cross-Cut Personal Shredder

A perfect shredder for home use, which will cut your A4 sheets small enough to be discreet.

There is a recommended daily load of around 60 sheets, which is approximately seven uses throughout the day when loading to maximum capacity of eight sheets at a time. It can run for about 5 minutes at a time before it needs to cool off for 30 minutes, which is a forced precaution, so there is no way to overrule it.

Paper clips, credit cards and staples can all be dealt with. There is little noise produced, but it does get louder the more paper you add so bear this in mind if you don’t want to cause a disturbance.

A safety lock prevents it being accidentally activated which adds an element of security to your appliance and home, and it will also stop running if the bin is removed from the body.

Even though it advertises that it can handle eight sheets at a time, it did struggle with anything above five, and we did think it looked as though it could easily jam if overloaded frequently. However, for shredding anything which comes through your letterbox or a few sheets every so often with a small business, it is up to the job. A smaller 6 or 7 sheet version is available, too.

We like

  • Good for moderate personal use
  • Generous bin

We dislike

  • Easy to overwork

Final Verdict

If you don't overwork it, then this shredder is great for home office use when you're uber-concerned about security.

+ Specifications

  • Sheets: 8
  • Level: P-3
  • Power: Electric
  • Bin Capacity: 15L
  • Dimensions: 24.5 x 34 x 37.9 cm

+ Downloads

Fellowes Powershred M-8C 8 Sheet Cross Cut Personal Shredder With Safety Lock User Manual

Download

Rexel Style+ 7 Sheet Manual Cross-Cut Shredder

With auto start/stop and a reverse mechanism for helping to clear any blocks, this is a shredder which should help you handle any minor security needs.

It will run for 2 minutes before needing a bit of a cooldown of around half an hour, perfect for dealing with the junk mail you’d otherwise let pile up on the telephone table. The paper is cut into confetti-size, around 4 x 35 mm, so there is no denying it will do the job.

Because it is on the compact size, it will also suit anyone who wants to keep it stored under a desk for occasional use, or kept tucked away in a cupboard.

It states it can handle credit cards, and when we tried it did this effectively, but we aren’t sure how many it could handle in a short period of time as it is not one for intensive use.

If we are honest (and over-critical), the price is a bit high for what you get. As technology moves on, there are shredders which can last for a lot longer and handle more high-demanding tasks for not much more money.

But if you’re after a simple shredder which just gives peace of mind and is compact enough to slot away in storage then the Rexel name is worth paying that bit more for compared to cheaper non-brand alternatives.

We like

  • Compact size
  • Good at sorting out possible jams

We dislike

  • Doesn’t feel trustworthy enough to take 7 sheets at a time
  • Short running time

Final Verdict

For any minor shredding tasks but with the power of a cross cut, this is an ideal model at a great price and it is also nice and compact. Good for any home offices.

+ Specifications

  • Sheets: 7
  • Level: P-4
  • Power: Manual
  • Bin Capacity: 12L
  • Dimensions: 37 x 20 x 38 cm

+ Downloads

Rexel Style+ 7 Sheet Manual Cross Cut Shredder for Home or Small Office Use User Manual

Download

Best Strip Cut Paper Shredder

AmazonBasics 8 Sheet Strip-Cut Shredder with CD Shred

For a relatively cheap shredder, this Amazon own brand can handle a lot of what you throw at it.

It can do around eight sheets of paper at a time, although we would always recommend sticking to a lower amount to prevent overloading and heating. Not only that, but it can accommodate CDs and DVDs too, so wherever your data is stored you can dispose of it safely.

The latter two have a dedicated slot and button, which will cut the disc into four pieces. Just press down gently, and there will be no going back.

There is a two minute run time before it has to cool for at least 15 minutes, but this is perfectly fine for home office use where it probably won’t be continually shredding all day every day. If you try to push it beyond this, it will shut down automatically.

Auto start gets it going as soon as paper is detected, and manual reverse allows you to intervene if you sense a blockage or jam is about to occur.

There is no denying it is a very basic model, but for the price, what you get is actually pretty great. Some shredders on this level can easily retail for twice the price. The paper is stripped into 0.65cm shreds which is fine for home use and any personal documents – you can always dispose of them separately if you’re feeling extra cautious about any thieves who happen to be armed with a roll of sellotape.

Despite the fact it isn’t quite the cheapest in our rundown of reviews, we think it is the best value which is why it is our best budget paper shredder.

We like

  • Price
  • Dedicated CD slot - won’t damage the basic paper slot
  • Good sized bin for a strip cut device

We dislike

  • Short run time before getting too hot (for the price it is forgivable)

Final Verdict

Basic, does the job and can handle a lot of materials beyond paper. A good little home office addition to have.

+ Specifications

  • Sheets: 8
  • Level: P-2
  • Power: Electric
  • Bin Capacity: 12L
  • Dimensions: 33.5 x 32 x 17 cm

ProAction 5 Sheet 10 Litre Strip-Cut Shredder

If you’re going just to be shredding the junk mail which comes through your door on a daily basis, or a bank statement every so often, you’re not going to want to spend £50+ on a shredder.

This is where this ProAction comes in. For under £20, it will strip your papers into ribbons which allows you to dispose of them safely, whether you like to keep them in several different waste batches or are happy that no amount of piecing together will get it all in order again.

It can handle a maximum of five sheets of paper at any one time, but we would always recommend not to fill it to maximum capacity so three sheets may be the limit here. When we tried any more, it did seem to struggle a little bit.

A 10-litre wastebasket will allow you to keep going for a little while without emptying it all out, but don’t let it fill up to the top as this can prevent further paper being shredded. It does jam relatively easily compared to the others reviewed, but a reverse function will sort this out as long as you haven’t overloaded it.

All in all, for the price it is great for a low-duty, basic cheap and cheerful shredder which is more secure than ripping up all the paper or leaving it piled up on the coffee table, and safer than burning it.

We like

  • Price
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Small in size

We dislike

  • Jams quite easily if remotely overloaded

Final Verdict

Cheap and cheerful and perfectly equipped to handle those basic shredding tasks

+ Specifications

  • Sheets: 5
  • Level: P-2
  • Power: Electric
  • Bin Capacity: 10L
  • Dimensions: H39.5 x W13.5 x D28.5cm

+ Downloads

ProAction 5 Sheet 10 Litre Strip Cut Shredder User Manual

Download

Q-Connect Strip-Cut Shredder

For the basic look and security level which this machine features, there are a few great little extras you get which make using it a breeze.

There are the usual overheat and overload protection which ensures it won’t run into any problems due to being overused, and auto start/stop keeps everything one-handed, so it doesn’t take up too much of your time feeding it all through. A safety cut off function sees the power stop if the wastebasket becomes misaligned with the frame, which means it can’t be operated if it isn’t properly fitted and secure.

Plus, a button on the top can be pressed if there are any jams, and it will clear itself as best it can. From our use, however, there seemed to be little risk of jams as long as a maximum of four sheets were used at any one time.

You get around five minutes of use before it has to cool for thirty minutes, which is fine for home use. It cuts cleanly rather than skewing as some do, which can risk jams.

For what you get, the price is reasonable. It isn’t the most secure as it is only level one and doesn’t cross cut, but it seems reliable enough to handle minor daily use and will save time rather than having to rip or cut your details up – a good value option.

We like

  • Price
  • Seems pretty jam-safe
  • Slimline design

We dislike

  • Safety cut off seems a bit over sensitive

Final Verdict

A shredder which we can safely say fully meets specifications.

+ Specifications

  • Sheets: 6
  • Level: P-1
  • Power: Electric
  • Bin Capacity: 9.2L
  • Dimensions: 31.8 x 31.2 x 18.4 cm

Kafuka Portable Hand Shredder

Whatever your reasons for wanting a mini, portable and manual shredder (low cost/ease of use/compact size/for those in-between minor shreds/only wanting to cut receipts etc. etc.), it can be hard to find a decent one.

Why? Well, some are barely powerful enough even to mark paper never mind shred it. Some are far too over complicated to use. Some are simply too much effort to bother.

However, this one is a little mini shredder which actually packs a punch. The paper slot is A6 size but will accommodate a folded piece of A4. Ribbons come out at about 3-4 mm in size, depending on the width of the paper used.

It will only hold one paper at a time and takes some effort to turn the crank, but at the end of the day, it is a very affordable way to shred those occasional bills and statements which come through the door. Don’t risk cutting card or anything similar though – you’d be on course for a disaster.

After all, if you’re somebody who lives their life online with banking/bills/accounts and all you get is the odd bit of addressed junk mail, you’re not going to need an all-singing-all-dancing £100+ machine, are you? Maybe you just need a machine to shred old till receipts and general small business letters. Either way, for the price you can’t grumble.

We like

  • Price
  • Easy to use
  • Surprisingly strong
  • Handle operation - electric and power-free

We dislike

  • Only one sheet at a time (which will likely not be a problem for most users)

Final Verdict

Plain and simple, which will cover all of those minor shredding tasks with no need to scramble for a plug socket.

+ Specifications

  • Sheets: 1
  • Level: P-1
  • Power: Manual
  • Bin Capacity: 1.5L
  • Dimensions: 18.6 x 15.4 x 10.8 cm

Help and Resources

Paper Shredder Buying Guide

Which Paper Shredder Is Best For Me?

Think about the documents you will be shredding, plus the frequency you will be using it and how many papers you’ll ideally want to pop in at any one time.

For office use where it will continuously be relied upon, you will want paper shredders which can work for a long time without needing to cool down, and which will take closer to ten sheets of paper at any one time. A model which could allow you to stock some up ready could also be beneficial. If you will be shredding sensitive documents, then a micro-cut or cross-cut shredder will be best to get it into tiny pieces.

If you’re looking for one for home use, then you probably won’t need one which is quite as hard-going, but should you be someone who gets through a lot of paper then one which cuts out after two minutes use and can’t be touched again for an hour could be frustrating.

Only need to do one or two sheets a week? Stick with one for under £20 which can sufficiently strip-cut your paper, and you can then spread out in your disposal.

Cut

  • Micro-Cut/Cross-Cut – These will shred your sensitive documents down into small rectangles rather than long strips, cutting horizontally as well as vertically. A great choice for anyone with a lot of shredding to do in a personal environment, such as bank statements, company information and private documents.
  • Strip-Cut – The paper is cut vertically into large ribbons. Sufficient for anyone who will want just to shred the odd document now and then, but they aren’t as popular as the micro cut options nowadays as they aren’t seen to be as secure. However, they are cheaper so good if you’re going to be careful when disposing of the waste.

Levels

  • P-1: A basic shredder, often strip cut. 36 strips of paper. Sufficient for home use and non-important documents.
  • P-2: The highest level for strip cut shredders. Around 75 strips of paper, suitable for home use and personal documents with a lot of information on.
  • P-3:  Most basic Cross-Cut machines. The cut falls within a 3.9mm x 50mm range and is difficult to piece back together. Approx. 312 particles.
  • P-4: Seen as Micro-Cut. Good for confidential documents. Pattern falls within a 1.9mm x 15mm range/421 particles.
  • P-5: 2,000 particles. Great for home office and shredding highly confidential documents, which can’t be pieced back together. One of the highest levels available for non-governmental use.
  • P-6: Mainly used for government and military level papers. Approximately 6,000 particles for an A4 sheet.
  • P-7: 15,000 particles per sheet, which is basically dust. The highest level available, and for strictly confidential information. Also known as crypto-cut level, they aren’t really available for home or personal use.

Sheets

Basically, this is how many sheets of paper the shredder can handle at any one time without being overwhelmed.

If you work in an office environment or for a business, the more sheets, the better is a great choice as it will save time.

Jams

You will want a shredder which is largely jam proof or reversible so you can clear any issues. Most have this function, but it will be manual or automatic so think about which you’d prefer.

FAQs

Are Shredders Easy To Maintain?

To keep the shredder working well, mainly if it is used frequently, you may need to buy some shredder oil sheets. These maintain the blades of the appliance.

You can also buy shredder oil, which you will be able to use every so often to keep everything going as per the instructions.

What Is Reverse Mode?

It basically sends the paper razors backwards. It comes in handy if you are trying to rectify a paper jam, as it will release the paper, making it safe to remove and easier to clear.

What Is Auto-Start/Stop?

As soon as the paper touches the blades, they start working to shred as you feed in the paper. Auto-stop meant that if a jam is detected, the mechanism will stop so you can sort the issue and it prevents the appliance from breaking.