Best Shredders

The best shredders obliterate sensitive documents, ensuring privacy and keeping them away from the wrong hands. Our evaluation focused on cross-cut vs shred cut vs. micro-cut shredders, continuous run time to cool down ratio, bin size, security level (P1 through P7), and capacity. We also looked into auxiliary features such as transparent windows and the ability to shred credit cards and DVDs.

After more than 16 hours of research and testing, our top pick goes to the AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper and Credit Card Home Office Shredder. It is an absolute dynamo, perfect for home offices and small businesses with an 8-sheet filing capacity, favorable 3 minute continuous run time to 30-minute cooldown ratio. Keep reading to learn more about the AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper and Credit Card Home Office Shredder and four others that made the grade.

Top 5 Best Shredders

 #1  AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Cross-Cut Shredder

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: This is the best shredder for small business with an 8-sheet capacity with a 3 minute continuous run time. It is a great choice for home offices with occasional shredding needs.

Pros
  • Best budget
  • Great for small businesses
  • Very portable
Cons
  • So-so 1 year limited warranty
  • 30-minute cooldowns needed
  • Not as secure as micro-cut shredded paper

Thanks to this shredder’s cross-cut capability, the paper is torn into cross-sections, which are harder to decipher than strip-cut paper. Shred width cuts the paper down to a minuscule 3/16″ x 1-27/32″, providing a P3 level of security It also has a 4.1-gallon bin, more than enough storage space for weeks of use.

In addition to standard paper, it can shred credit cards and CDs if inserted one at a time. Though it shreds exceptionally well, it can only run continuously for 30 minutes before needing a 30 minute cool down period before restarting. This makes it better suited for home offices with occasional shredding of no more than a few dozen documents at a single time. The best day planner is another essential for the office.

 #2  Bonsaii 10-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper Shredder

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: This is the best shredder for unopened mail, featuring a 10 sheet capacity with a 5.5-gallon bin. A single pass could discard most of your daily junk mail.

Pros
  • Best for unopened mail
  • Large capacity
  • 4 minute continuous running time
Cons
  • 1-year limited warranty could be better
  • Long cool downtime
  • Noisy

We like this P4 security level shredder for its 10 sheets of shredding capacity, which should be more than enough for a single pass of unwanted mail.le to take 10 sheets at a time with ease without snagging or jamming. It also offers 4 minutes of continuous run time before needing a 40-minute cooldown. We find assurance with its cross-cutting, which provides a lot better security than strip-cut paper that is more legible.

Thanks to a 5.5-gallon capacity, it can store unwanted mail for weeks before needing to be disposed of. Bonus points for its transparent window which lets you know when it is time to empty. You can store it under the best portable desk.

 #3  Aurora AU870MA High-Security 8-Sheet Micro-Cut Paper Credit Card Shredder

Award: BEST SECURITY

WHY WE LIKE IT: This is the best micro-cut shredder, cutting paper into a much smaller size than shred cut or cross-cut shredders. It is the best choice for people looking for the highest level of security and privacy.

Pros
  • Best micro-cut
  • 5-minute continuous run time
  • Micro-cuts to smallest pieces possible
Cons
  • Small 3.9-gallon bin
  • 1-year limited warranty could be longer

Unlike our first two picks, this P4 security level shredder shreds paper similar to confetti, cutting them roughly 5 times smaller than cross-cut shredders. This also results in fewer bag changes, since the pieces take up less volume. It also does an excellent job of cutting credit cards and the occasional paper clip.

We appreciate this shredder’s continuous 5 minute run time, 230 sheet capacity, which makes it great for a mid to commercial-sized office with a variety of shredding needs. Short wait times help with increased productivity. Though it shreds well, we wish it had a larger bin. Its 3.9-gallon bin is one of the smallest on our list. Your office may also need the best photo printer.

 #4  Fellowes Powershred 79Ci Shredder

Award: BEST DESIGN

WHY WE LIKE IT: This P4 shredder has a 16-sheet capacity and a 20-minute continuous run time. It is the perfect shredder for corporate offices that have a ton of sensitive documents to discard each week.

Pros
  • Large capacity
  • 20 minute continuous run time
  • Very quiet operation
Cons
  • High cost
  • Not jam proof
  • Heavy

In terms of capacity, this shredder blows our first 3 picks out of the water. While testing, it processes 16 sheets very quickly with no jamming. Unlike the noisy Bonsaii 10-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper Shredder, this is one of the quietest machines we’ve tested. This makes it an even better choice for shared workspaces.

Aside from the Fellowes name, we really like this shredder’s run to ‘cool down’ ratio. It is very convenient, offering 20 minutes of continuous run time and a 30 minute cool down. That, combined with a 6-gallon bin, makes it one of the best on our list for use by a lot of people. You have the best printers in the office so you should have a decent paper shredder too.

 #5  BOXIS AF700 Autoshred Micro-Cut Paper Shredder

Award: BEST CAPACITY

WHY WE LIKE IT: This micro-cut paper shredder comes with a 700-sheet capacity and crazy speeds of close to 20 feet a minute. It is the ultimate shredder for commercial offices with frequent shredding needs.

Pros
  • Large capacity
  • 20 minute continuous run time
  • Massive 14-gallon capacity
Cons
  • High cost
  • Auto feeds one paper at a time

This P4 security level shredder offers the best continuous runtime on our list (60 minutes) and the highest capacity (700 sheets). We really like it’s automatic feed for big projects – simply drop the stack and leave.. A separate manual feed can be used for shredding up to 10 documents at a time. It is also powerful enough to shred credit cards, paper clips, and DVDs.

Another neat benefit is this shredder’s focus on privacy. To prevent the wrong people from disposing of documents, a security code needs to be dialed in before the shredder starts. If this isn’t kid-friendly, we don’t know what is. Thanks to its 14-gallon bin capacity, this shredder can be used regularly without having to dispose of, as much as for weeks on end. We were very impressed with its overall quality. You can also read about the best label printer.

How We Decided

In determining the best paper shredder to buy, we looked into cross-cut vs shred cut vs. micro-cut shredders, continuous run time to charge time ratio bin capacity, and feeding capacity. Micro-cut vs. cross-cut vs shred cut vs. micro-cut shredders.

Micro-cut shredders provide the most security, cutting paper into confetti-sized pieces. These pieces are smaller than strip-cut and cross-cut shredders, which cut into strips and cross-sections that may be easy to decipher with some crafty work from unwanted intruders.

Our favorite shredders have healthy continuous run time to cool down ratios. We recommend shredders with 3 minute continuous run time and 30-minute cooldowns for home office use and upwards of 20 minute continuous run times and the same cooldown period for larger settings. Feeding capacity is also critical. For smaller projects and getting rid of unwanted mail, and 8 sheet capacity should be more than enough.

Best Shredders Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Micro-Cut vs. Cross Cut vs. Strip-Cut Shredders
    Micro-cut shredders provide the greatest security by cutting paper down to confetti size, making it impossible to piece together and read. Crosscut and strip cut shredders rip through paper and reduce it to a size 6 times larger, which is not as effective for privacy.
  2. Continuous Run Time to Cool Down Ratio
    The best home paper shredder has a minimum 3-4 minute continuous run time and a 30-minute cooldown ratio for home office shredder and 20+ minute continuous run time to 30 minutes cool down ratio for commercial offices. we feel this best test user’s patience levels and productivity needs in those settings.
  3. Feeding Capacity
    Look for home shredders that can accept up to 10 documents in a single pass and upwards of 100 documents for offices and commercial uses. This should properly match productivity levels and document volume in those places.
  4. Security Level
    Shredders have seven security levels – P1,P2,P3,P4.P5,P6 and P7. The higher the number, the more secure and the smaller the size of shredded paper, which makes it more difficult to assemble and read. P1 and P2 shredders generate strip cuts, whereas P3/P4 generate cross cuts and P5/P6/P7 generate micro cuts.Note, depending on the manufacturer, micro cut shredders may be classified as P4s.

Shredders FAQs

What is the best micro cut paper shredder for home use?

We highly recommend our #3 pick Aurora AU870MA High-Security 8-Sheet Micro-Cut Paper Credit Card Shredder, which cuts paper into confetti-sized pieces for the highest level of security. We also appreciate its 8-sheet capacity and 5-minute continuous run time, which should be more than enough for unwanted mail, eliminating bills, and other home uses.

Which is better cross-cut or micro-cut shredder?

We prefer micro-cut shredders, which shred paper up to 6x smaller than cross-cut shredders. Its contents are much more difficult to decipher. Cross-cut shredders slice vertically or horizontally, so there is still a small chance it can be put back together.

What is the most secure paper shredder?

Micro-cut shredders are the most secure. They shred a single standard size sheet of paper into 3000 pieces. If there is a machine that could protect sensitive information, this one is it.

Are shredders worth it?

Yes, we feel they are definitely worth it. With identity fraud rampant, shredding helps tremendously in safeguarding your information. It is not uncommon for unscrupulous folk to dig through trash bins in hopes of finding personal information that can be used to apply for new credit cards or other benefits that could damage payment histories, credit scores, and more.

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Ray Prince

Diehard UFC/MMA fan and all-around techie who loves to write.

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