Which Shredder is Best to Buy?
A shredder is a great tool for safely disposing of personal documents you don’t want to fall into the wrong hands. There are many different types of shredders, though.
For example, some models have designated slots for credit cards and CDs. They can also have transparent bins that allow you to see when it’s time to empty them.
While identity theft is often committed digitally, having access to physical documents can still provide criminals with enough data to open credit cards, request loans and commit healthcare fraud in your name. A shredder can help mitigate the threat of such attacks.
Depending on the sensitivity of your documents, you may want to invest in a model that offers a high level of security. The higher the level, the smaller the shred size. Strip-cut models produce paper strips measuring about a half-inch wide and offer the lowest level of security. These models are ideal for household use or business applications that don’t require highly sensitive information.
For those looking for an extra layer of protection, consider a model that features micro-cut technology. These machines slash documents into tiny particles that are nearly impossible to piece together. The jet-black Fellowes Powershred 99Ms is a great choice. It can slash up to 14 pages at a time and is capable of chewing up staples, paper clips and credit cards too. The Powershred also has a handy 6-gallon pull-out basket and a light bar that shows you when it’s close to reaching its maximum capacity. Its SafeSense technology pauses the motor when it senses a hand near the paper opening and includes a thermal safety switch in case of overheating.
A shredder isn’t the most pleasant machine to operate, but a few have been designed to be less offensive than others. The best we’ve seen so far is the Fellowes Powershred 99Ci, which emits a low-pitched hum that fades into the background. Other models emit high-pitched, grating noises that are difficult to ignore.
Some models include LED status indicators that use visual icons as well as a text description to let you know what is happening. The Aurora AU1060MA 10-Sheet Micro-Cut Shredder’s centralized control panel is straightforward and easy to navigate, with a large four-setting power switch and a simple layout for setting the operation mode. It also has a protocol for clearing jams and an overheat indicator light.
Most models have a maximum noise level of 85 decibels, which is similar to the sound a heavy traffic makes on a busy freeway but well below the threshold for permanent hearing damage. A few offer quiet modes that lower the volume significantly for office environments where shredding can interrupt phone calls or client communication.
A paper shredder is a home-office essential for anyone who wants to keep sensitive documents out of the hands of scammers and snoopers. But it’s also important to consider how much space you can devote to a shredder, especially if your home office is tight on space.
If you have a limited amount of space, opt for a smaller model like the Amazon Basics 8-Sheet Cross-Cut. It’s powerful enough to chew through a few sheets of paper at a time and can even take staples and credit cards. It’s relatively quiet, too, and doesn’t emit the annoying whine found in cheaper models.
Similarly, you can save a few inches by picking a model with an extendable arm that fits over most wastebaskets. It also features a transparent bin so you can easily see when it’s full, preventing overflow and jamming. Some models can even handle CDs and credit cards through a dedicated slot. These are ideal for people who need to destroy a lot of paperwork, including tax forms and financial statements.
The cost of a shredder is determined by many factors. These include operational costs, maintenance costs, and energy consumption. It is also important to consider the amount of waste a shredder will produce and how frequently it will need to be emptied. In addition, a shredder’s noise level and airborne practicals must be taken into account.
Choosing the right model is an important step in safeguarding confidential information from identity thieves. Having access to physical paper documents can give criminals enough information to commit credit card fraud, request loans or even steal healthcare insurance claims in your name. With shredding, these documents are reduced to a pile of confetti that is much harder for criminals to decipher.
A good shredder is durable and easy to maintain. Some models have anti-jam functionality which reduces downtime and ensures a smooth flow of work. Some also come with a quiet mode which is useful for late night shredding sessions.