The Best Paper Shredder Buying Guide

The Best Paper Shredder Buying Guide

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A paper shredder is easy to find. The best paper shredder not that much. As with anything else, there are certain things a buyer has to be aware before purchasing something. Price, obviously, is the most important out of them all.

You can easily overpay for a device that won’t function properly. You can also underpay, for sure, and the shredder can still malfunction. It seems like there’s no common ground. That may be true, but you can get the best paper shredder for the right price.

Holding Handy Paper Shredder

I will tell you how to do that in the remainder of this guide. Pay attention, because I will also explain to you what you should take into consideration when purchasing a paper shredder.

*Notice: On mobile devices, scroll right to see entire table.

Product Name

Our Rating

Check Price

The Best Paper Shredder Over 100
​Best Paper Shredder Under 100
Swingline ProStyle+ VIEW ON AMAZON
​Best Office Paper Shredder
Fellowes Powershred 125Ci VIEW ON AMAZON
​Best Heavy Duty Paper Shredder
Fellowes Powershred 79Ci VIEW ON AMAZON
​Best Paper Shredder For Home Use
Fellowes Powershred W11C VIEW ON AMAZON

​Why Should You Choose Your Paper Shredder Carefully

For a variety of reasons, really. First of all, would you like spending money on a machine that’s a) extremely expensive and b) a lot less efficient than the advertisement said it would be? Hopefully not.

Moving on, not all paper shredders are the same. That applies to size, mechanism, the number of knives, the capacity of the waste basket, number of sheets per shredding session, etc. All of these aspects matter enormously and will affect the price directly.

Here are some additional things you might want to check when looking for the best paper shredder on the market.

​List Of Aspects To Keep An Eye On

There are six essential features everybody should analyze closely when looking at any type of shredder they might find online or in a shop. These are: shredding methods, security levels, capacity (for paper sheets), input, noise levels and method of oiling.

I will tell you why these are the most important ones.

​Shredding Methods

A cross cut paper shredder will provide a much finer strip of paper than a strip cut. The shredding method alters the security level that your shredder will provide. If you have a lot of confidential documents to get rid of, you should aim for a shredder that provides a fine result, so the pieces cannot be put back together.

Paper Shredding

If you need a shredder for use at home, just for papers you don’t need, a strip cut shredder is great. Don’t buy a disintegrator or particle cut shredder just because you can afford it. That’s just money down the drain. Most people buy crosscut shredders, and there’s nothing wrong about that.

The crosscut is a really good acquisition. It doesn’t provide stripes as large as you would think. In comparison with the strip-cut, this is obviously a better choice because it offers a better sense of security.

​Security Levels

What does “security level” mean when talking about it in relation with a paper shredder? It determines the size of the shred. There are six levels. A level 6 paper shredder will cut the paper into pieces so tiny that no one could ever glue them back.

We are talking about over 10,000 cuts for each sheet of paper. But then again, why would you need something like this? If you are the type of overly paranoid person that fears of identity or personal info theft, a Level 3 shredder will allow you to rest assured.

The security level you need depends on your workplace. If you’re working with information that must not get in the hands of other people, then you obviously need a high level of security.


The typical commercial paper shredder can shred up to 10 sheets of paper in one take. In fact, most shredders for office use do not go over 20, because they don’t need to. A recycling company has industrial shredders that can destroy thousands of sheets in a matter of minutes.

Paper In Shredder Basket

Again, the capacity depends on your needs. If you shred paper frequently, you should pursue the shredder with the biggest capacity. If you have an office, you should definitely get an item that can shred the highest amount of paper, because you won’t be the only one using it.

Chances are the capacity of the shredder will be interconnected with the size of the wastebasket. The larger the size, the bigger the wastebasket. Shredders meant for use in offices should have a large receptacle, because no one likes emptying it every half an hour or so.

​Type Of Input

There are shredders for paper, credit cards, and cardboard. If you need to shred paper, purchasing a machine that shreds credit cards is obviously a mistake. By contrast, you cannot insert credit cards in a shredder that has been designated specifically for paper only.

As we will see next, Fellowes’ Powershred models can shred everything from paper clips and paper to CDs and credit cards. They’re not at all expensive. And yes, it’s better to have a shredder that can destroy all these things than to purchase one for each shredding capability.

​Noise Levels

The vast majority of shredders do not produce noise that is over 50 or 60 decibels. 50 decibels is your phone’s ringtone, so if you can bear that, you’ll definitely bear the sound of the shredder in action, as well.

Older models and brands are usually a lot noisier than their modern counterparts. The capacity of the shredder might affect the noise level. The best way to ensure that the machine will not tear your eardrums is to look for the “Decibel Rating” label.

Holding Paper In Shredder

Each paper shredder should have it on the side or the top lid. If it doesn’t, you can ask a representative of the company how much decibels it has. It certainly doesn’t do you any good when it shreds paper like no other model, but it sounds like a jet taking off.

​Automatic Oiler (Or Not)

Most shredders must be oiled manually by applying oil on a sheet of paper and running it through the knives. However, we live in a high-tech era. So, nowadays, you can purchase the best paper shredder with built-in oiler.

The machine will “feel” when the knives or the hammers need to be oiled, and the mechanism will squirt just the right amount on them. These are not necessarily more expensive. But however, oiling a shredder manually does not require too much skill.

It’s really not the end of the world if the shredder you’re considering buying doesn’t have automatic oiler. You can oil it yourself in less than 10 minutes with absolutely no effort at all.

​Our Recommendations

Since we’ve seen everything you have to take into consideration when purchasing the best paper shredder, let me show you some of the best models and brands you can spend your money on. There are 5 of them, so you’ve got plenty of options to choose from.

​The Best Paper Shredder Over 100 – Royal 1840MX

Royal does not need any introduction. The company proved time and again that it manufactures some of the very best office accessories in the entire world. This model serves as proof for the assertion.

This particular model is the pinnacle of all paper shredders on the market. Yes, I can honestly say that, because I own it. It is endowed with state-of-the-art features that are unmatched until now by other brands.

Here are some of them: it can run for up to 40 minutes without stopping, it can shred paper, credit cards, and even DVDs and it is so much quieter than all the previous paper shredders I’ve owned throughout the years.

Royal 1840MX Paper Shredder




The wastebasket is quite generous (8 and a half gallons), it doesn’t require too much space, and you also get a 5-year warranty for the most important components: the motor and the knives. I’ve never seen a company offering such a long warranty for a paper shredder.

Be extremely careful with this model, though! The DVDs and the credit cards do not go into the slot for the paper! They have their own special slots. In terms of design, the Royal 1840MX is nothing out of the ordinary, but it doesn’t look bad either.

It has this beautiful black matte finish that suits it really well and makes a nice contrast with the silver top lid. Another aspect that makes this the best buy paper shredder is that it can be used both at home and at the office. And let’s face it, it shreds 18 sheets of paper in less than 5 seconds!

This is the best rated paper shredder at the moment because it has everything a top-notch machine needs. It’s fantastic from top to bottom. I would buy a couple of them, just to be sure that I’m all set for the entire remainder of my life. And that’s a very attainable dream, considering the price. It’s simply too cool and easy to use not to buy it.


​Best Paper Shredder Under 100 – Swingline ProStyle+

Even though this Swingline model is a little cheaper than the Royal, its features are actually not that different. It is a super cross-cut type of shredder, so there’s not the slightest chance anybody could ever read those scraps.

The fact that this costs less than $100 and is a Level 4 security shredder is formidable. Like the Royal, it can shred credit cards, DVDs, and papers. Up to 14 sheets of paper can be shredded in one sitting, just a little behind Royal.

The 5-gallon wastebasket makes this perfect for home use. It’s quite compact (I love that), so you won’t need to change the order of things at your desk to make it fit. It can run for up to 20 minutes uninterrupted, providing a decent amount of shredding all the way round.

This is Swingline’s best product to date. The precursor was the Swingline Duo, with a poorer plethora of features.

Swingline ProStyle+ Paper Shredder




What’s awesome about this is that you won’t have to worry about forgetting a paper clip or two attached to the sheets. The manufacturer claims that this will not affect the functionality of the shredder in any way.

The design is really cool, primarily thanks to the neon blue illuminated buttons on the top. As in the case of the Royal, this too has a designated slot for shredding DVDs, endowed with more powerful knives. Don’t make the mistake of dropping a DVD in the paper slot.

This is, without a doubt, the best cheap paper shredder. Even though Royal remains the best paper shredder brand, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Swingline picking up some ground in the following years.

For this money, it’s a fantastic purchase. I say you stop searching for another model if you’re working with a small or medium budget.


​Best Office Paper Shredder – Fellowes Powershred 125Ci

Fellowes is a big name in the industry of office supplies providers. This particular Powersherd model is a favorite for many business owners. And there are plenty of reasons why they are absolutely right on that.

First of all, this Fellowes monster can gorge up to 20 sheets of paper at a time. It can run up to 45 minutes without needing a cool-down and shreds everything from papers clips and paper to CDs and DVDs. Basically, everything that one can find in an office, regardless of the company.

One of the most interesting features on this is its sensor: whenever you put your hand on the paper slot, the cutting blades stop rotating. This way, your safety is 100% ensured. Moreover, it doesn’t jam like, at all, because it has a dedicated system that prevents this. Kudos for that (as well as the other nice features).

Fellowes Powershred 125Ci Paper Shredder




In terms of security, the Powershred is a Level 4, which is very nice. The wastebasket accommodates 14 gallons of shredded paper. Therefore, it will take a while until you’ll need to empty it. I find shredders with small baskets so annoying that I would rather pay double the price just to get one with a decent wastebasket.

I’ve never seen such an efficient paper shredder. It’s the best paper shredder you can get for less than $450. What I like about it is: everything. And yes, I almost forgot: it is very silent. It’s like it isn’t even in the room. That’s something, considering how much paper it cuts in 45 minutes.

This is the perfect paper shredder for any office. You won’t have any mail laying around ever again, trust me. The title of the best commercial paper shredder goes to this one. It’s simply too good for the price, and the quality is peerless.


​Best Heavy Duty Paper Shredder – Fellowes Powershred 79Ci

This Fellowes model is sure to serve all your shredding needs. The craftsmanship is utterly amazing, and the functionality no less so. Unlike the 125Ci, the 79Ci can shred up to 16 sheets of paper at a time. It’s not 20, but nonetheless good.

It’s a level 4 Security level paper shredder, so your documents will be turned into crosscut tiny pieces. Like the bigger model, it also shreds paper clips, credit cards, CDs, and DVDs. It requires a cool down after 20 minutes of continuous shredding, which isn’t bad at all.

The wastebasket is somewhat small, as it can contain no more than 6 gallons of shredded junk. This, too, is endowed with the SafeSense Technology that stops the blades whenever you put a hand on the slot. This will be extremely helpful if you have children playing around.

Fellowes Powershred 79Ci Paper Shredder




There were some complaints that the wastebasket fills up too quickly and is quite difficult to put it back in place, but that’s about it when it comes to relative disadvantages. Personally, I love the design. It’s nothing bombastic, but it isn’t insipid either. The black and the silver chrome on the edges and the paper slot go really well together.

Sometimes, manufacturers use a nice design to take the minds of the customers away from the fact that the machine doesn’t work as it should. This doesn’t apply in this case. It works perfectly, without even jamming.

The 79Ci is definitely the best buy paper shredder for under $200. It is kind of expensive, but it’s worth it. Most heavy duty paper shredders are more expensive. It’s got everything a great shredder must have. And I adore the fact that it can shred so many things.

There are some shredders out there that cost twice or thrice as much and only shred paper. All things considered, the 79Ci is a great alternative and is highly recommended. We’ve got one more shredder to analyze. This is a Fellowes, too (what were the chances, right?)


​Best Paper Shredder For Home Use – Fellowes Powershred W11C

The Powershred franchise is quickly becoming a favorite in this industry. We’ve seen two other models from this franchise, both of them more or less for use at the office. The W11C has been made exclusively for use at home.

This is far from being the best paper shredder, but it certainly does its job. What I dislike the most about this is how it looks. It’s like a trashcan. All in all, it is a lot weaker than all the shredders I’ve presented to you until now.

It doesn’t shred more than 11 sheets of paper and needs a cool-down period every 5 minutes. One can already see why this is intended for use at home. The wastebasket is extremely tiny – only 4.75 gallons.

Holding Fellowes Powershred W11C Paper Shredder




In terms of shredding, this one doesn’t shred CDs, just paper and credit cards, as well as staples. What’s okay about it is that it’s still a level 4 security paper shredder. If you need a paper shredder at home and you don’t have too much paper to destroy on a daily basis, then this will do.

But if you have high amounts of junk, you should consider a better one. The greatest disadvantages are the insufficient wastebasket and the cool down that kicks in every 5 minutes. I don’t really want to badmouth it. It’s the best inexpensive paper shredder you can get your hands on.

There are much worse models everywhere on the Internet. At least this one is a Fellowes, so it will last you a couple of years if taken care of properly. But then again, if your shredding needs are huge, consider purchasing a better Powershred model.

The W11C is a good buy for the money and surely the best cheap paper shredder, as it costs less than $70. And you get a warranty, therefore if it malfunctions, you’ll get it repaired without spending money again.



This is where this buying guide comes to its inevitable end. The five best models of paper shredders of the moment have been briefly outlined in here. As you can see, there are a lot of things you must analyze before jumping headfirst to conclusions.

Paper shredders can differ in terms of functionality, type of shred, cool down period, the maximum amount of paper shredded at a time and many others. It’s obviously a mistake to just go on Google and order the first shredder that appears in the results. You can lose a ton of money by being reckless.

If you take even half an hour of your time to do some good research, you can make sure that you won’t overspend on a model that won’t serve you as advertised and that you’re making the very best choice.

Shredded Paper Pan On Red Background

You should keep this in mind and don’t forget that it doesn’t apply to the best paper shredder only, but to everything else you will ever order from the Internet or buy in a supermarket. When it comes to spending money, you can never be too careful.

These brands from the top I’ve compiled for you will be further analyzed, in order for you to know everything about them, not just the things on the surface. If you didn’t have enough information in this guide, then don’t go anywhere, because I’ll help you make a choice.