A paper shredder can help you safely dispose of documents and other items that might contain sensitive information if they were to fall into the wrong hands.

However, as there are many different models on the market, choosing the best paper shredder can be an overwhelming task.

Consider these factors when choosing the best paper shredder to help you make your decision easier.

How to Choose the Best Paper Shredder?

Paper shredders are necessary tools for businesses and private citizens alike. You can’t trust just anyone with your important documents; you need a machine that will effectively cut up sensitive material and do it quickly.

Below, we’ve compiled a simple guide to help you find a paper shredder that’s right for you and your business.

Before choosing which model to purchase, ask yourself: How many people will be using it? Is security an issue? How long should I expect my shredder to last?

A list of things you should look for when choosing a shredder include:

  • The size of its waste bin (which needs to be emptied regularly);
  • whether or not it has automatic oiling (which keeps blades sharp longer);
  • if there is reverse-feeding capabilities (for especially thick materials); and
  • if there is adequate noise insulation so users don’t have to worry about disturbing others in their offices or homes.

Have fun learning more about paper shredders!

Read: How to Destroy Papers Without a Shredder?

If you already own one and want to learn more ways to care for it, check out our post on proper use and maintenance.

For added assurance that your document remains secure even after shredding, you may also want to consider buying a micro-cut model. Also known as confetti cutters, these machines produce tiny fragments—the smallest being one millimeter wide—that are extremely difficult for third parties to reassemble into readable text without investing hours of time searching through piles of scraps.

what is a paper shredder - The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Paper Shredder

What is a Paper Shredder?

Before you start shopping for a paper shredder, it’s important to know what you are looking for. A paper shredder is a device used to destroy documents in such a way that they cannot be reassembled. It does so by cutting papers into pieces so small that there is no chance of them being put back together again.

When people want to dispose of sensitive information, it’s important that no one can access it again and find out who owned it before. For most households, all you need is a light-duty model with limited capabilities, while an office or business will likely have more specific needs.

Which Type of Paper Shredder do You Need?

Whether you’re an expert in office supplies or simply can’t remember what you bought for last year’s Secret Santa gift exchange, it pays to know your options when shopping for a paper shredder.

The three main types of shredders are cross-cut, micro-cut and strip cut.

  • Strip cut is ideal for unclassified information and light document use;
  • micro-cut works well with credit cards;
  • while cross-cut is perfect for sensitive information.

If you’re new to buying office products, consider asking an expert at your local office supply store which model would best suit your needs.

Read: Plotter Paper: An Ultimate Guide

Types of Shredders

Depending on your needs, you may want a cross-cut shredder or one that can destroy credit cards, DVDs, and CDs. If you’re concerned about security, check out micro-cut shredders (the smaller pieces of paper are less likely to be reconstructed).

Do you need a standalone unit or one that can go in your office? What type of material do you need it to shred? Cardboard boxes and junk mail will require different blades than business documents. Knowing these factors can help narrow down your choices when shopping for a paper shredder.

The Best Overall Paper Shredders

There are quite a few features to consider when you’re looking for a good shredder, but these are by far your most important:

  • Size and capacity,
  • Cut size,
  • Security level, and
  • Noise.

If you want to make sure your sensitive information is safe (as well as properly dispose of unwanted documents), there’s no better way than with a heavy-duty shredder. This should come as no surprise—anything less means that some of your documents could wind up on an unscrupulous person’s desk or in their hands.

The number of sheets a machine can process at once is an important consideration. Make sure that its capacity matches your needs.

Let me take you through some of the Paper Shredders that are the best in my opinion.

1. Amazon Basics 12-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper and Credit Card Shredder


  • 12-Sheet capacity
  • Cross-cut paper shredder
  • Shred papers & credit cards
  • Quiet and energy efficient
  • 1-year warranty
81twjMh2vdL. AC SL1500

This is a very basic paper shredder. It’s sturdy, doesn’t use a lot of energy, and gets a fair amount of pages through. The downside is that it takes 12 sheets at once, which makes it quite slow and hard on your hands. If you have large amounts of paper and need speed, you might want to look for another product. (I’ve never used or seen anyone use these because my workplace has always just paid someone else to do our shredding.) However, if you are looking for an affordable option that will do a good job shredding all your credit cards and sensitive documents, this will be perfect for you!

2. Aurora 12-Sheet Crosscut Paper and Credit Card Shredder


  • 12-Sheet Crosscut Paper Capacity
  • Cut papers and credit cards
  • 5.2-Gallon wastebasket
  • Perfect for home & small business
  • 1-year warranty
71WktUyZwuL. AC SL1500

12-sheet shred capacity, destroys credit cards, 5.2 gallon wastebasket, electronic controls, auto reverse when jammed and quiet operation. A high quality but affordable paper shredder for small businesses and individuals who wish to maintain personal privacy through proper destruction of sensitive documents, identification papers etc.

The product comes in a stylish package with detailed description of its features along with necessary information regarding its usage such as maximum stack size (3 x 3), capacity level (12 sheets), auto start/stop and so on.

3. Bonsaii Paper Shredder, 6-Sheet Crosscut Paper and Credit Card Shredder, Clip-3.4 Gal Wastebasket


  • 6-Sheet Cross-cut
  • Paper & Credit Card Shredder
  • Comes with handle
  • 3.4 Gallon Wastebasket
  • 1-year warranty
71y6F6nJktL. AC SL1500

Easy, one-touch shredding. Safely destroy your credit cards and other sensitive documents with a 6-sheet crosscut capacity. The Bonsaii credit card shredder can also shred papers that are up to 6 sheets at a time for added convenience. The Bonsaii Paper Shredder features auto cut option for overheat and overload protection. Plus, its innovative wastebasket design makes it more convenient than ever to empty your paper basket when it is full. The wastebasket has the capacity to hold around 180 sheets of shredded paper.

4. bonsaii Heavy Duty Cross-Cut Paper Shredder


  • 18 Sheet 60 minutes
  • Heavy Duty
  • Low Noise
  • Cross-Cut Shredder
  • 6 Gallon Pullout Basket
  • 4 Casters
  • Anti-jam high-quality shredder
  • 1-year warranty
71E1W DNv0L. AC SL1500

Great for any home office setting, school classroom or small office, heavy-duty commercial paper shredder can securely shred paper, credit cards, CDs/DVDs and more into particles measuring 5/32 x 1-1/2. Quiet Design: An innovative internal pump keeps everything running smoothly and quietly, with no manual jam clearing required. Anti-Jam Technology: The auto start feature with LED indicator makes it easy to begin a shredding session. If your shredding is interrupted by an obstruction, simply remove it then resume operation!

Patented 6 Gallon Pullout Basket: To accommodate larger shreddings such as junk mail envelopes; shavings are easily removed by a side-hinged door. Each gallon of basket capacity will hold about 100 average sized sheets of paper.

Extremely Safe Motor: Heavy-duty steel cutters have been upgraded to Cross Cut (which cuts perpendicular to the direction of feed) from Strip Cut which reduces jammed papers by cutting in just one direction; same security benefits without all those annoying stops!

Whether you want to protect your identity, prevent identity theft, or just want extra protection when disposing of paperwork containing personal information, bonsaii makes choosing between top brands like Fellowes and AmazonBasics simple.

Read: Top 10 Gold Tissue Papers Available Online And How To Use Them

5. BONSEN Paper Shredder 90-Sheet Auto Feed for Home and Office


  • 90-Sheet Auto Feed
  • 6-Sheet Manual
  • Long runtime of 20 minutes for Auto feed
  • Micro-Cut Shredder
  • Shreds papers, credit cards, clips, staples
  • P-4 High Security Shredder
  • 5.3-Gallon Wastebasket
  • 1-year warranty
61aEmicirOL. AC SL1500

The BONSEN paper shredder features an auto-feed mechanism with a safety switch that prevents operation if you insert too many sheets. It is easy and safe to operate, and it will prevent hand injuries.

This quality paper shredder comes with six-sheets manual feeding slot so that you can have additional control over which documents or items should be shredded, as well as where they are fed into the machine. The micro-cut shreds measures 5/32 by 1-5/8 by 1-1/2, ensuring complete destruction of your sensitive information or private documents.

6. bonsaii Heavy Duty 12-Sheet 25-Minute Micro Cut Paper Shredder


  • 12-sheet shredding capacity
  • 25-minute continuous running
  • P-4 high security feature
  • 5.2-gallon wastebasket
  • 4 Universal Casters
  • Anti-jam technology
  • Suitable for office and home
619adjGCu9L. AC SL1500

12-sheet 25-minute micro cut heavy-duty paper shredder for home office with 5.2 gallons pullout basket with Anti jam, automatic reverse and manual reverse functions for jam clearing. Sealed Cutters protects cutters from dust build up; continuous duty motor runs cool without a fan. Universal basket fits letter or legal size paper and credit cards, staples and paper clips. Scratch proof hardened steel cutters with helical teeth cuts credit cards in two pieces each.

7. Aurora 14-Sheet Crosscut Paper/CD and Credit Card Shredder


  • 14-sheet capacity
  • 10-minute continuous run
  • 5-Gallon pullout basket
  • Shred papers and CDs
  • Security Level P-4
  • Overload Protection
  • Quiet Run
71dZ7skB7wL. AC SL1500

14-Sheet Continuous Run Time. Tray Capacity: 14 Sheet; Monthly Duty Cycle (Pages) 24000 Pages; Running Speed: 16 FPM Cross Cut (Security Level P-3); Motor Power: 1/8 HP; Voltage 240V; Dimensions (WxDxH): 22 x 18 x 23 Inches. Aurora AU1415XA 14-Sheet Crosscut Paper/CD and Credit Card Shredder.

TOP 10 Best Paper Shredders In 2021

The Cheapest Paper Shredders on the Market

As we mentioned above, paper shredders come in all price ranges. You can find a decent paper shredder for as little as $25—but you’ll want to steer clear of those models. The cheaper models aren’t durable enough for regular use, and in our experience they don’t shred paper very well either.

We recommend looking at mid-range options with good star ratings on Amazon; these are usually good performers that are sturdy enough for frequent use.

Quick Tips and Tricks for Paper Shredders

The first thing you’ll want to consider is volume. If you have a high amount of paper, you’ll need a shredder that can handle lots of paper without getting jammed or overheating.

However, if you don’t have many papers, it doesn’t make sense to buy an expensive machine that costs more than many printers. Make sure your shredder has all of the features you want, and look at overall value in terms of price versus performance.

For example, a cheap shredder may only cost $50 but will jam frequently; whereas a more expensive one might not jam as often, but still break down more frequently than less-expensive alternatives.


What are the considerations before buying a paper shredder?

First, you have to consider how much paper you need to shred. If you work from home and shred just a few documents per month, it may be cheaper and less time-consuming for you to use junk mail and utility bills as confetti. On the other hand, if your business generates massive amounts of paperwork each day, or if your personal life produces more than it’s worth in security concerns, it’s time for a paper shredder.

What is the best small paper shredder?

There are two main types of shredders, cross-cut and micro-cut. This just refers to how small they make your documents after you feed them into it. Generally speaking, micro-cut is better for keeping sensitive information secure.

Are paper shredders safe?

Many people think paper shredders are a great way to keep their personal information private, but that’s not always true. Many newer models will automatically encrypt your documents as they shred them—making it impossible for someone else to reconstruct them—but some older or inexpensive models might not do so. In either case, be sure you store your shredded documents in a secure location until you decide what to do with them.

Why are paper shredders so expensive?

It’s important to pick a paper shredder that can handle more than just scrap paper. The machines will have different cutting widths, and some can process DVDs, CDs, and credit cards as well. All shredders are expensive, but make sure you choose one that’s built for your needs—otherwise you might have wasted your money on something you don’t need.

Why do you need a paper shredder?

In today’s digital world, a paper shredder is an essential piece of office equipment. If you’re not aware of what a paper shredder does, it’s pretty simple: it cuts up documents into tiny pieces so that they can no longer be read or easily pieced back together. Obviously, a company will want their information kept confidential – why else would they invest in a paper shredder?

How does a paper shredder work?

The mechanics of a paper shredder are fairly simple. The machine has a pair of heavy duty, steel cutting blades that rotate at high speeds and quickly cut up your documents into fine strips. This process is called cross-cutting and ensures that your sensitive data can’t be reconstructed in any meaningful way. Some shredders can also destroy other materials, such as credit cards or CDs/DVDs.

Can destroyed paper be pieced together?

Destroyed pieces of paper can still be pieced together. A good shredder will make it impossible for your information to fall into someone else’s hands. These machines use razor-sharp blades that cut your documents into tiny confetti pieces.

How fast a paper shredder works?

A paper shredder is a machine with metal blades (or wheels) that cut paper into small pieces. How fast a shredder works depends on how big its blades are. You can determine how fast your shredder will go by looking at its sheet capacity—the higher that number, the faster it will work. Most people use them to destroy sensitive documents or prevent identity theft.

How does a paper shredder work?

To understand how a paper shredder works, you first need to know a little bit about what it does. A paper shredder takes papers with sensitive data written on them and reduces them down into tiny pieces that cannot be pieced back together. These pieces are also sometimes called confetti, or simply shredded paper.

To see how it works, imagine that you have a plain piece of copy paper in your hand. If you rip up half of it and then place both halves side by side, they will pretty easily fit back together again; but if instead you rip up all four corners, those can’t fit back together—the information is now permanently scrambled.

That’s basically how a paper shredder works: It slices through documents at an angle and breaks pages apart into long strings of micro-sized pieces so that no one could ever put them back together.

How do you destroy paper without a shredder?

There are 4 methods to destroy papers without using a shredder:-
1. Burning
2. Multi-Cut scissors
3. Soaking paper in water
4. Shred paper using your hands

How to oil a shredder?

Properly oiling your shredder is an essential part of maintaining its operation. The key is using shredder oil, which lubricates as it cleans and protects moving parts within a shredder. If you don’t regularly oil your machine, you may experience paper jams, overheating or poor motor performance.

To keep your machine in top shape and ensure it runs smoothly, follow these easy steps to properly oil a shredder.

– Shut down your shredder. In order to give yourself plenty of working room on each side, you should move furniture out from around where you will be working with your machine until there are at least 2 feet between objects.
– Turn off power switches and detach any cords connected to electrical outlets to prevent accidental fires or injuries.
– Cover exposed electrical outlets with cardboard caps so no one accidentally inserts anything into them while they are live.
– Use duct tape to secure any other cords coming out of your shredder away from others; once covered, put them back into place after oiling has been completed.
– Finally, close doors or remove drawers that open over where you will be working to avoid obstructions that could potentially cause accidents during maintenance.

How to maintain your paper shredder?

Maintaining your paper shredder is essential if you want it to keep working for years. As soon as you purchase a new shredder, take a look at its user manual and follow any instructions on how to properly maintain your machine.

These instructions will tell you how often it needs oiling, what kind of oil should be used and more. If there are no instructions in your user manual, refer to our quick tips below.

Over time, you’ll learn to recognize when certain parts need cleaning or maintenance.

For example, if you hear a high-pitched noise when your shredder is running or notice that it’s not shredding paper completely, then that part probably needs cleaning or lubrication (depending on which part makes that noise). It’s also important to regularly clean out plastic wastebaskets—they can fill up fast! We recommend doing so weekly.

How often should I empty my paper shredder?

We bet that you didn’t think too much about how often you’d be emptying your office or personal-size paper shredder after getting it home from Staples. Believe us: You will want to change out those used sheets regularly in order to avoid potential jams.

Can I use WD-40 on my paper shredder?

You might be able to use WD-40 on your paper shredder, but there are a few important things you should consider before deciding. First, and most importantly, be sure that using WD-40 is compatible with your paper shredder’s design and operation. If you don’t know whether or not WD-40 can be used with your particular model of paper shredder, call its manufacturer before proceeding.


So you’ve decided that it’s time to get a new paper shredder. If so, don’t worry—it may not be as scary or as confusing as you thought.

Start by thinking about what features are most important for your office. Depending on how sensitive your files are, some shredders could be more secure than others.

Also, consider what type of paper documents you want to destroy—some shredders can handle a broader range of paper types than others. Once you have some idea of what you need, it should be much easier finding a great shredder at an affordable price.


Avni Deopura

Content Writer

An SEO Expert, a Prolific Content Writer, and a dreamer currently pursuing a postgraduate degree in Master of Science in Psychology from St. Joseph’s College of Arts and Science. She is working as a Content Producer and Social Media Analyst.

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