Paper Shredders

I had occasion (sadly) to go through 4 file cabinets of documents as a result of flooding in our basement rec room (another story).  [br][br]

I’m a keeper – as in, “I don’t throw anything out I think I MIGHT NEED”.  Not the fanatical type, just the lazy type.  It was too much work to go through all this stuff and I could always find something BETTER to do.  As such, I had file cabinets filled with old records and estate documents for our long deceased parents (on both sides).  I HAD to deal with it now, since I had to unload those cabinets so the contractors could replace some water damaged sheet rock and replace the carpet.    [br][br]

So, I carved out a space in my “office” that I designated the “SHREDDING STATION”.  As I emptied each file cabinet, I dumped all the unnecessary documents (about 95% of them) into black 33 gallon garbage bags, that started to make quite a mountain of shredding candidates.    [br][br]

Every day, I would designate some time on my calendar to spend shredding.  It was a time carved out first, to get my face out of computer, shred some documents, and actually watch some TV.    [br][br]

My poor shredder got so hot at times, it just shut down (a safety feature in my Fellowes W11c shredder).  Important features to look for:    [br][br]

Automatic feed – when the “trigger” senses that there is paper in the feed slot, it starts shredding automatically.    [br][br]

Reversible – it should have a Normal and Reverse button so you can “back out” jammed paper.    [br][br]

Off switch – on mine, it is a center position on the 3-way switch – Normal – Off – Reverse.    [br][br]

Cross-cut or strip – I am not so paranoid about this information that I NEED a cross-cut shredder.   I don’t have anything THAT secret. At the time I purchased my shredder, my company was doing some confidential-level consulting, so my company sprung for a “medium duty, reliable shredder compliant with Level 3 Security standards”.  A strip shredder would serve my purpose now.  If someone wants to go through 33 gallon garbage bags to piece together the strips of paper to reassemble my PII, they worked for it.  Go for it.  At the time I bought this unit (YEARS ago, right after the cavemen invented paper), the cross-cut shredders were so much more expensive.  Now, that price difference is not so much.     [br][br]

Trash Bin – look for a shredder that has a trashcan that form-fits the shredder head.  Makes it so much easier, contains the mess, and makes your shredder “hands free”.    [br][br]

Shredder Sheet Capacity – My shredder is advertised to hold 11 sheets at a time.  It depends.  If you are talking standard copy paper weight paper, that may be, but many investment company statements (if you haven’t gone “paperless”) are on thicker paper stock.   If you have lots to shred, a 8-12 sheet capacity is just fine.  As you move to higher capacity models, that is also reflected in the price.  You can get a perfectly good shredder for around 30 bucks for home use.    [br][br]

Shredder Bags – I would do some comparison shopping.  Also consider the total capacity of the bags.  I use standard Tall Kitchen Bags – they are fairly thin, but are large enough to expand when emptying the trash bin.  You see, when you are shredding along and not paying attention, it’s not hard to fill that bin to capacity.  I use a tall kitchen bag inside the trash bin, then when I take off the shredder head, I lift that head slightly, then I just pull the tall bag up over the head to catch all the debris that dribbles down from the head. As I said, this is a messy job, but little tricks like this help keep it relatively contained.  BTW, I empty the tall kitchen bags into the heavy duty black 33 gallon trash bags – they will hold the contents of 4 or 5 of the tall kitchen bags, then I reuse the tall kitchen bags over and over. Frankly, I see no need for “Shredder Bags” at 20 bucks a pop.  I can buy the ones I use for 1/4 of the price at BJ’s.    [br][br]


Here are shredders and accessories available right here or on my Amazon Reseller Store.  You can purchase them right here, or to display the complete Amazon website simply click on the Amazon Reseller Store then the “Powered By Amazon” logo.  (This Amazon Reseller Store IS Amazon.  I am an authorized Affiliate and Reseller.  My Amazon Reseller Store allows me to put the actual Amazon links on my site for your convenience).  [br][br]

Rich Moyer  [br]