11 Best Paper Shredders for Office Use

Best Paper Shredders for Office Use

Storing unnecessary documents long-term can be a costly and potentially dangerous proposition. If you deal in even remotly sensitive information and hold onto paperwork with that information on it, your office could be liable for identity theft, exposed to possible corporate espionage, or responsible for a leak of government information.

Rather than keep old paperwork that may still bear identifying details, convenient, on-demand shredding capability can spare you the headache and make it easy to recycle vast quantities of paper. Safeguard information and free up valuable space in your office by buying one of the best paper shredders for office use on the market.

What Is the Best Paper Shredder for Office Use?

Fellowes LX22M Powershred Micro Cut 20 Sheet Paper Shredder Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Up to 20 pages per pass
  • Real-time performance monitors
  • Security Level P-4
Price: $309.46 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Bonsaii EverShred Pro 3S23 Heavy Duty Paper Shredder Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Two hour continuous run time
  • 14 sheets per pass, as well as CDs
  • Security Level P-4
Price: $179.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
AmazonBasics 24-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper Shredder Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 15 sheet capacity with 20 minute run time
  • Six gallon capacity
  • LED status indicators for easy use
Price: $131.54 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Aurora JamFree AU2030XA 20-Sheet Paper Shredder Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 20 sheets at a time for 60 minutes
  • Touch Guard auto-off sensor
  • Security Level P-4
Price: $208.44 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Wolverine SD9112 10-Sheet Micro Cut Paper Shredder Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 6.6 feet per minute shred rate
  • 40 minute run time at 10 sheets
  • Security Level P-5
Price: $229.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
ideal. 4002 Cross-Cut Centralized Office Paper Shredder Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 917 sheets per minute
  • Automatic oil injection for continuous lubrication
  • Security Level P-4
Price: $2,259.69 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Dahle ShredMATIC 35314 Auto-Feed Paper Shredder Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Lockable 300 sheet auto feeder
  • Oil-free, low maintenance blades
  • Security Level P-4
Price: $1,191.58 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Boxis Autoshred AF650 650-Sheet Microcut Paper Shredder Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Locking security lid with 4 digit PIN
  • 650 sheet auto feeder
  • Security Level P-4
Price: $979.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Swingline 1758577 500M Stack-and-Shred Auto Feed Microcut Paper Shredder Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Continuous run time with 500 sheet auto feed
  • Self-oiling mechanism for efficient shredding
  • Security Level P-5
Price: $4,047.22 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Kensington A6000 OfficeAssist Crosscut Shredder Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 120 minute run time
  • Self-oiling mechanism for efficient shredding
  • Security Level P-4
Price: $1,117.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
HSM Securio P44 L6 OMDD High Security Paper Shredder Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Continuous run time up to 20 sheets at once
  • Shreds paper, CDs, floppy disks, and flash drives
  • Security Level P-7
Price: $7,072.17 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Fellowes LX22M Powershred Micro Cut 20 Sheet Paper Shredder

    Pros:
    • Up to 20 pages per pass
    • Real-time performance monitors
    • Security Level P-4
    Cons:
    • May not fit under the desk
    • Additional features may be overkill for your needs
    • Claims to be "100% jam proof" may not hold up

    Fellowes makes a relatively wide variety of paper shredders, though the newest line of LX shredders adds touches befitting a modern machine. The look has been updated considerably, giving a sleek appearance, including the LED monitoring readout.

    The LED “IntelliBar” offers real-time feedback as it shreds, with color-coded readouts to help you manage your shred jobs. These include a red LED when it has run about 30 minutes continuously and needs a 15-minute cool down before continuing. A yellow light indicates that hands or animal paws are touching the metal feed slot and automatically turns off the blades.

    There’s also an efficiency meter which measures the amount of paper being put in so you can shred with maximal efficiency without risking a jam, which in this case is up to 20 sheets at a time. Speaking of jams, it has Fellowes’ “Jam Proof” technology, which means that it can increase power over short bursts to get through tough jobs.

    This is capable of shredding staples, paper clips, credit cards, and assorted junk mail. It’s Security Level P-4, which means the resulting shreds are micro cuts measuring 5/32 of an inch by 1/2 inch, or less than 160 mm² and less than 6 mm wide. DIN recommends P-4 for sensitive invoice and private financial documents.

    The LX line includes this 20-sheet per pass machine, the LX21M 16-sheet machine, and the LX20M 12-sheet machine, all available in black or white. For office use, the 20-sheet machine is certainly appropriate, but it’s also quite tall at 23.2 inches, so bear this in mind if you have a specific spot you want this to sit.

    They also still sell the older model Powershred 79Ci, which can handle 16 sheets at a time, if you don’t need the added benefit of the LED system. You can also go the other way and get their commercial-grade 485Ci shredder, which can shred 30 sheets at a time and has a continuous-use motor.

  2. 2. Bonsaii EverShred Pro 3S23 Heavy Duty Paper Shredder

    Pros:
    • Two hour continuous run time
    • 14 sheets per pass, as well as CDs
    • Security Level P-4
    Cons:
    • May be difficult to clean the teeth
    • Power button in a tricky location
    • Some units suffer auto-off malfunctions

    If the run time on the Fellowes isn’t enough for you, but you don’t quite need a continuous-feed machine, you might consider this option from Bonsaii. Their EverShred line spans paper shredders in a very wide variety of specific configurations depending on your needs, but this one strikes a balance between a variety of needs.

    This P-4 Level shredder (DIN recommended for sensitive invoice and private financial documents) can run for 120 minutes at 14 pages per pass without a cooldown. It’s also fairly quiet, with a running volume of 58 dB, or roughly the level of normal daily conversation.

    It’s capable of shredding credit cards, CDs, paper clips and staples, with the plastic shreddables going to its own smaller separate collection bin. The main collection bin can hold six gallons of shredded paper and easily pulls out for emptying.

    Some units do appear to suffer from failure of the auto-off mechanism, likely due to particulate amassing in the blades. To offset this, the machine is backed by a three year warranty overall and a seven year warranty on the blades. We recommend using lubricating and sharpening sheets on these models more often than some competitors.

    As I said, this is far from the only Bonsaii EverShred, so if this general purpose machine isn’t the one for you, you might consider other configurations. The EverShred Pro 4S16 is roughly the same price at the time of this writing and achieves Security Level P-5, but only takes six sheets at a time and runs for 60 minutes. The 5S30 shreds to P-5 and can take five sheets at a time for over 240 minutes, but is far more expensive.

    Another comparable machine is the C149-D, which shreds to P-4 and processes 12 sheets at a time for up to 60 minutes, while the C149-C can do 18 sheets per minute for 60 minutes, but makes relatively larger pieces. On the other hand, if you need something better suited to a desktop, you might want to go with the DocShred C560-D, which is less than $50.

  3. 3. AmazonBasics 15-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper Shredder

    Pros:
    • 15 sheet capacity with 20 minute run time
    • Seven gallon capacity
    • LED status indicators for easy use
    Cons:
    • Not a micro cut machine - Level P-2 only
    • 60 minute cool down period
    • Tricky to access the blades for oiling

    If your concern is more about volume than security, you can take advantage of the bizarrely well-populated line of AmazonBasics paper shredders. Most of the options in this line are better for home use, but this one can handle 15 sheets at a time, which makes a compelling case for a small office.

    LED status indicators on the top help guide usage, with one each for Standby, Overheat, Overload, and Door Open. The Overheat in particular is tied to the internal thermal protection, which will automatically shut the shredder off if necessary, after which it will take an hour to fully cool down.

    That should only happen after about 20 minutes of shred time, which should allow you to get through a decent amount of content. This will also shred credit cards and CDs, albeit one at a time.

    This is a security-level P4 machine, creating resultant pieces that measure about 5/32 by 1-7/32 inches. This is a good and relatively inexpensive way to get through somewhat sensitive documents quickly.

  4. 4. Aurora JamFree AU2030XA 20-Sheet Paper Shredder

    Pros:
    • 20 sheets at a time for 60 minutes
    • Touch Guard auto-off sensor
    • Security Level P-4
    Cons:
    • 50 minute cool down
    • Relatively slow
    • Basket tends to fill quickly and require crushing down to continue

    This option from Aurora is competitive with the Fellowes unit performance-wise, but with the old-school form factor and the lack of advanced intuitive features, the price is considerably lower at the time of this writing. This doubles the continuous run time of the Fellowes at 60 minutes, though is notably slower to shred.

    Like the Fellowes, it has a Touch Guard safety feature. When the sensor is touched, it automatically shuts off to protect errant fingers. In all other factors, this is comparable to the AmazonBasics but with better security. This can process 20 sheets at a time, with staples and small paper clips, and can handle credit cards one at a time. The resulting shreds are small enough for Level P-4, so you can trust this with your relatively sensitive documents.

    Like the Amazon, it has standard LED status lights on the top for Power, Overheat, and Overload, but adds one for Misaligned, as well. It’s a fully auto start and stop machine with a power saving mode from which it awakes when you insert paper.

    The machine and seven gallon wastebasket sit on four casters, which makes this another fairly tall unit at 28 inches. If you want one to sit under your desk, you could consider the Aurora AU1210MA, which is very similar, but has a smaller container capacity and can only handle 12 sheets at a time. IF you need something desktop sized, consider the Aurora AU1230XA, which is Level P-3 and can only run for five minutes, but is less than $60 at the time of this writing.

  5. 5. Wolverine SD9112 10-Sheet Micro Cut Paper Shredder

    Pros:
    • 6.6 feet per minute shred rate
    • 40 minute run time at 10 sheets
    • Security Level P-5
    Cons:
    • 60 minute cool down time
    • Only one year warranty
    • 10 sheet capacity on the light side

    If your office tends to deal in highly sensitive documents, but the volume of them is relatively low, you might want to consider this offering from Wolverine. In terms of form factor, it’s on the level of the average shredder on this list, but it creates smaller bits of paper, good enough for Security Level P-5.

    P-5 is the threshold recommended for secret financial data, engineering documents, and balance sheets. Essentially, consider this the corporate espionage level of shredding. It can run for 40 minutes at a time taking ten sheets each pass at a fairly speedy 6.6 feet per minute. That should get you through about 200 pages in a minute or so, for reference.

    The Wolverine comes with a 5.5 gallon recepticle, which is somewhat small, but means the unit only measures 22 inches high. It’s also very quiet at 58 dB of operation volume.

    They also make the SD9610 model, which operates at the same security level, but may have a longer lifespan since it uses harder manganese blades. It shreds faster at 11.5 feet per minute, but can only take six sheets at a time and is more expensive.

  6. 6. ideal. 4002 Cross-Cut Centralized Office Paper Shredder

    Pros:
    • 917 sheets per minute
    • Automatic oil injection for continuous lubrication
    • Security Level P-4
    Cons:
    • Expensive
    • Very large
    • No security lockout while shredding

    Large offices will want to invest in a very high-capacity, high-speed shredder capable of continuous operation. This offering focuses on providing massive shredding capacity for up up to 15 people. It achieves all of this at Security Level P-4, and is both HIPAA and FACTA compliant.

    This workhorse machine chews through 24 to 26 sheets at a time thanks to a 1 3/4 horsepower motor, which is still rated at about 55 dB during operation. It can also run continuously, thanks to an automatic oiling system that keeps the steel blades lubricated at all times, which also decreases the likelihood of a paper jam.

    The top of the unit features an easy-to-read LED capacity indicator to let you know at a glance whether you can add more paper. When you’re not adding paper, an electronically controlled safety shield closes over the entrance to the cutting shafts for finger protection.

    This machine can process 917 pages a minute, which drops into a 44 gallon bin that is easily removable.

    ideal. specializes in machines of this magnitude, so if your needs vary from absolute high-volume work, you might consider other options. The 2465 model can process 324 pages per minute at Security Level P-5 for your sensitive data needs. If you’re a government contractor or otherwise overly cautious, you can also get the 2604 model, which is capable of shredding 244 sheets per minute at Security Level P-7, which is the highest rating DIN uses.

  7. 7. Dahle ShredMATIC 35314 Auto-Feed Paper Shredder

    Pros:
    • Lockable 300 sheet auto feeder or 14 sheet manual feeder
    • Oil-free, low maintenance blades
    • Security Level P-4
    Cons:
    • Slightly louder than other units
    • Almost useless user guide
    • Claims to be maintenance free almost certainly inaccurate, given nature of the product

    While most paper shredders focus on security after the shredding is complete, some offer the ability to secure the contents during the shredding operation. This unit will allow you to put up to 300 sheets into the auto feed bin and then lock it with a key, ensuring no one sees what’s being destroyed until the cycle is complete.

    Shredding at Security Level P-4, this machine is capable of processing 85 sheets per minute, feeding into an 11 gallon bin below. For on-the-fly shredding, you can manually insert up to 14 sheets at a time, which is protected by an auto-reverse mechanism in the case of overfilling.

    The ShredMATIC also differs from other models in that it is designed to be oil-free and not require regular maintenance. We note that in the fairly terrible users manual, it says that these peformance figures were reached with new blades which were “oiled if needed”. Still, it’s likely that there are no user-addressable parts, so we doubt that you’ll have any issues with a machine of this caliber.

    This is ideal for moderate-to-high office use, particularly in situations where sensitive data needs to be kept secret during large shredding jobs.

  8. 8. Boxis Autoshred AF650 650-Sheet Microcut Paper Shredder

    Pros:
    • Locking security lid with 4 digit PIN
    • 650 sheet auto feeder
    • Security Level P-4
    Cons:
    • Somewhat noisier than other options
    • 60 minute run time on the low side
    • Manual feed slot only takes 10 pages with 30 minute run time

    If you want increased security and convenience, you can upgrade from the Dahle to this machine, which increases the auto-feed paper stack to 650 sheets and swaps the key-based locking for a PIN system. This way, only people with the PIN will be able to open the machine at any point, so the documents placed into the auto feed hopper are safe from view.

    After loading the hopper, this machine will run for 60 minutes straight at a rate of 19.7 feet per minute, which should get you through over 1,000 sheets during a cycle easily. If you only have a small handful, you can also use the top-loading manual feed slot, which accepts ten pages at a time and can run for 30 minutes before cooldown.

    There’s a separate slot in the control panel for shredding CDs, while credit cards can be fed through the manual slot on the top. The CD shredder can work at the same time as the autofeed cycle is running so you can get through the job quickly.

    There’s a 14 gallon recepticle underneath, which should get you through most jobs. Casters make the relatively beefy 40 pound unit easy to move wherever you want it to stand.

  9. 9. Swingline 1758577 500M Stack-and-Shred Auto Feed Microcut Paper Shredder

    Pros:
    • Continuous runtime with 500 sheet auto feed
    • Self-oiling mechanism for efficient shredding
    • Security Level P-5
    Cons:
    • Expensive
    • Some confusion on model details
    • Slower than competitive machines

    This Swingline model represents an upgrade from the Boxis machine, combining both a PIN-locking lid with Security Level 5 shredding, which makes it appropriate for data the must remain secret. It also increases the receptacle size by a third to 21 gallons, meaning less frequent emptying.

    Speaking of emptying, this unit is also notable for being compatible with recylable bags that fit perfectly into the holding area. This means you can simply remove the bag and toss the entire package into the recycling in one go.

    Another improvement over the Boxis is the continuous run time, made possible in part by a self-oiling mechanism that keeps paper moving steadily. That said, it’s quite a bit slower than the Boxis both because of this self-oiling and because it’s cutting the pages into smaller bits to achieve P-5 level. Additionally, when auto-feeding mixed paper thicknesses, it tends to slow down even more, so batches placed in the auto feeder should be of relatively uniform thickness.

    In order to handle those mixed stacks, there’s a nine sheet manual feed slot which is still capable of continuous run time and of course can handle credit cards. CDs can be fed into a separate slot in the auto feed area, which does mean that only one of those types of jobs can be accomplished at one time.

    We note some confusion between the list details and the model information on the Swingline website. Amazon appears to refer to the 1758577 model as the 500M, which has a 500-sheet auto feed, while the listing on the manufacterer’s website says it’s the 600M with a 600-sheet auto feed. We believe a model changeover is happening at time of this writing, but otherwise the details appear to be the same. Five-hundred sheets are still a healthy amount, especially when paired with continuous run time at P-5 shred size, so we’ve defaulted to the 500M designation for now.

    If you’re more concerned with volume shredding and don’t require secure shreds, you might also consider the Swingline CS30-36, which shreds 30 sheets at a time at 18 feet per minute.

  10. 10. Kensington A6000 OfficeAssist Crosscut Shredder

    Pros:
    • 120 minute run time
    • Self-oiling mechanism for efficient shredding
    • Security Level P-4
    Cons:
    • Not truly continous use
    • Price can vary widely
    • Some disagreement on actual run time

    This option from Kensington slots in below the Boxis in terms of price but improves both run time and receptacle capacity. Run time increases to 120 minutes over the Boxis, while the receptacle matches the Swingline at 21 gallons.

    Superficially, this looks virtually identical to the Swingline in terms of form factor, though it has the lower Security Level of P-4, which should be sufficient for most office documents and should mean faster shredding on most paper types. The Swingline also offers continuous run time, while this one requires a cooldown after two hours.

    These differences are evident in the price, as at the time of this writing, the Kensington is close to one-third the price of the Swingline. The higher security level machines quickly increase the price, so consider what sorts of documents you’ll be shredding as you make your buying decision.

    We note that some listings mention a run time of 30 minutes on other retailer websites. The Kensington website verifies that it is indeed a 120 minute run time, so references to the 30 minute run time refer to the manual feed slot, which can accept ten pages at once.

    For high-volume, relatively secure jobs, this is a nice upgrade on the cheaper units on our list and well worth considering. If you don’t quite need this much firepower, you might also consider the Kensington A1300, which is a P-4 shredder with a 130 sheet auto load tray, or the A3000, which holds 300 sheets.

  11. 11. HSM Securio P44 L6 OMDD High Security Paper Shredder

    Pros:
    • Continuous run time up to 20 sheets at once
    • Shreds paper, CDs, floppy disks, and flash drives
    • Security Level P-7
    Cons:
    • Very expensive
    • No locking auto feed tray
    • Massively heavy

    If you need a good mix of speed and the highest security level, consider this high-end machine from HSM. In addition to shredding paper at the highest Security Level of P-7, it can also handle more difficult plastic jobs like floppy disks and flash drives.

    This continuous-run-time machine can take up to 20 sheets at a time and shred them at a rate of 19.7 feet per minute. By contrast, consider the HSM Classic 125.2 L6 offering, which is far, far less expensive, but can only handle a maximum of seven sheets at a time. This makes up for the lack of auto feed hopper to some degree.

    In addition to the paper feed slot, there’s a plastics feed slot that of course shreds credit cards and CDs, but can also take beefier plastic jobs like floppy disks and even flash drives. these sort into a separate plastics receptacle for easy recycling.

    The main receptacle holds a very generous 55 gallons of paper. Beneath the touch guard (which will automatically stop shredding when touched) is the easy-to-fill automatic oiler reservoir, which interfaces nicely with the HSM oil bottle.

    To be sure, this is a beast of a machine, weighing nearly 240 pounds and measuring 40 inches tall and 27 inches wide. If you have a lot of very sensitive documents in need of shredding, this investment might be worth it for your office.

    If you can live without the enhanced plastic shredding capability, you can also get the standard version HSM P44 L6, which saves hundreds of dollars from the OMDD variant.

Though visionaries have been trying to will the paperless office into existence since at least the 1960s, we're still quite a long way off from that. In the 90s, the advent of the almighty PDF represented the missing piece, sure to drive us to paper-free workplaces.

As it stands today, for most office places, this is a myth, though there are guides for how an office might achieve it. For the foreseeable future, paper-light might be a more attainable goal. And as long as some of those pages have sensitive information on them, paper shredders will be a fixture in the office and at home.

How long do paper shredders last?

Like any other appliance, you should reasonably expect to get upwards of ten years or more out of a paper shredder if you buy a decent one. There are plenty of very cheap options out there with prices so low as to make replacement relatively trivial, but a good one can last awhile.

Part of the reason for short paper shredder life is misuse and lacking maintenance. A paper shredder must be maintained, more along the lines of a chainsaw than, say, a toaster. That means the blades need to be lubricated regularly, either with paper shredder oil or with lubricant sheets you feed through the machine, in accordance with the user manual.

Failing to lubricate, feeding through too much paper, continuous use, and inserting objects your paper shredder isn't designed to shred can all decrease paper shredder life and can lead to jams.

How do I unjam my paper shredder?

As with most things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to paper shredders. As tempting (and satisfying) as it is to push the limits, make sure you're following the user guide for how many and what thickness of paper your shredder is meant to handle.

Quite a few models these days come with alerts that warn you if you try to put too much in at once as a means of preventing a jam. Some don't have this, though, and even a tiny bit of misalignment can lead to a jam. Some models feature reverse modes that can easily unsnarl a stuck page. Often, emptying the shredded paper recepticle can solve the problem, too. 

If you've got a legit jam, you might have to remove the paper manually, either with tweezers, a razor blade, or a screwdriver. wikiHow has an illustrated guide on how to fix a jam, which can ultimately spare the life of your shredder.

What is a microcut paper shredder?

While this seems a bit like a bogus marketing term, "microcut" generally refers to cross-cut or confetti-cut paper shredders, as opposed to the older style ribbon or strip-cut shredders. Microcut paper shredders are more secure because they make it far harder to piece the pages back together.

As a matter of fact, the size of these pieces is standardized by a few different bodies, with the most popular of these called DIN 66399, formulated by Deutsches Institut für Normung in Germany. They use a seven-point scale, all with the prefix P-.

The highest is P-7, which stipulates that pieces must measure less than 5 mm²  with a width less than 1 mm, which is for highly classified military and intelligence data. A common rating on reasonably-priced, commercially-available paper shredders for office use is P-5, with pieces measuring less than 30 mm² with a width less than 2 mm.

Keep this in mind as you shop if you're looking for higher levels of security. All but one of the machines on this list are P-4 or higher, which DIN recommends P-4 for sensitive invoice and private financial documents. Government contractors will want something higher, but for most uses, P-4 is acceptable.

See Also:

Disclaimer: Heavy Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate advertising programs and may receive a commission if you purchase a product via a link on this page.

Read More
,