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Buying guide for best fellowes paper shredders

Whether it’s at home or the office, there are always documents that contain personal information that you don’t want winding up in the wrong hands. With a paper shredder, you can quickly and easily destroy papers with sensitive information and thwart would-be identity thieves. If you’re looking for the most efficient, easy-to-use paper shredder, Fellowes makes some of the best models on the market.

A paper shredder cuts paper documents and other materials into small pieces so they’re illegible. That prevents other people from finding information like your social security number or bank account number just by rifling through your trash. Fellowes makes a wide variety of paper shredders, ranging from small models suited for light shredding to heavy-duty shredders that can handle a large amount of documents.

Our shopping guide has all the information you need to select the best Fellowes paper shredder for your home or office.

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A paper shredder’s speed is usually rated in feet per minute

Key considerations

Shred type

The best shred type depends on your security needs. Fellowes uses DIN levels to rate their shredders, with those at DIN level P-1 offering the least security and those at DIN level P-7 providing the most security.

  • Strip-cut shredders (DIN levels P-1 and P-2) cut documents into long, vertical strips. They’re able to shred extremely quickly, but the pieces can be fairly easy to read, so they don’t offer much security.

  • Cross-cut shredders (DIN levels P-3 and P-4) cut documents into small, rectangular pieces, making them more difficult to read. They also create smaller shreds, so you don’t have to empty the shredder’s bin as often.

  • Micro-cut shredders (DIN level P-5) cut documents into extremely small chips that provide even more security when you dispose of the shreds.

  • Super micro-cut shredders (DIN level P-6) cut documents in a similar fashion to micro-cut shredders except the chips are approximately one-third the size for even more security.

  • High-security shredders (DIN level P-7) offer the highest-security shredding. They’re usually reserved for extremely confidential documents, such as those found in government offices.

Size and capacity

Fellowes offers paper shredders in a variety of sizes. Personal or home shredders are designed to be small, so they typically have a 10- to 15-gallon bin. Small office/home office shredders have a 15- to 60-gallon bin. Commercial or heavy-duty models are the largest shredders Fellowes makes, with bins that can hold over 100 gallons of shredded material.

For occasional or light use, a personal shredder is usually large enough. However, if you shred more regularly or have to shred large quantities of documents, you’ll prefer a small office/home office shredder. In a large office, you’ll likely want a commercial shredder to support multiple users.

Keep a shredder’s capacity in mind. Some smaller Fellowes shredders can only handle four pages at a time, while larger models can sometimes handle up to 200 pages at a time. If you have a large number of documents that you need to shred, a larger capacity is a must.

Shreddable materials

While all Fellowes paper shredders can shred basic paper documents, some models can also shred other materials. Some shredders can also handle:

  • Unopened junk mail

  • Stapled documents

  • Paper clips

  • Credit cards

  • Data backup discs

  • CDs and DVDs

Read the product specifications carefully to make sure that any model you’re considering can handle the materials that you need to shred. Some Fellowes shredders have special slots for thicker items like credit cards and discs as well as wider slots for larger items like file folders.



Most paper shredders aren’t able to run continuously because they get hot as they shred and then require some time to cool down to prevent overheating. If you have a large volume of documents to shred, you’ll want to choose a Fellowes model that can run for a significant time so you can shred as efficiently as possible.

Fellowes personal or home shredders can usually run for 10 minutes before they need approximately 30 minutes to cool down. Small office/home office shredders can typically run for 30 to 45 minutes before requiring a cool down period.

However, many Fellowes commercial or heavy-duty shredders can actually run continuously. That allows you to shred document after document without needing to stop for a cool down period, which is ideal for offices with multiple users.

Jam prevention

To avoid interruptions when you’re shredding, you’ll want a model that offers some type of jam prevention technology. Some Fellowes commercial models and small office/home office shredders provide 100% jam-proof operation, while other smaller models have a jam-blocking feature, which works to prevent jams before they happen.

Energy-saving features

If you’re concerned about the energy that your paper shredder uses, opt for a Fellowes model with energy-saving features. Some shredders have an auto-off feature that automatically turns off the machine if it’s not used for 30 minutes. Other higher-end models feature an energy-saving system that draws less energy when the shredder is in use and turns the shredder off when it’s been inactive for 30 minutes.


Paper shredders require oiling to maintain consistent performance. Oiling your shredder isn’t difficult, but for some users it can be a hassle. Fellowes cross-cut shredders offer an auto-oil feature, though, which automatically lubricates the blades to help prevent jams and lengthen your shredder’s lifespan.

Pull-out bin

To empty the waste, some paper shredders require you to lift the entire appliance and dump it over to remove the shreds. You’ll have an easier time emptying your shredder if you opt for a Fellowes model with a pull-out bin so you can simply remove the wastebasket and empty it into a trash can or bag.

Quiet operation

Paper shredders usually make a great deal of noise when they’re in use. Fellowes offers some models with a silent shred design to reduce the noise level. This can be an important feature with commercial or heavy-duty shredders, which tend to be the noisiest models.

Safety features

Paper shredders can be dangerous, so it’s important to choose a model with appropriate safety features. Choose a Fellowes shredder with switches at the back so the shredder can’t be turned on accidentally and slim intake slots to avoid small fingers finding their way inside the cutting mechanism. Some higher-end Fellowes shredders even feature a sensor that stops operation when hands come into contact with the intake slot.


Fellowes paper shredders vary in price based on their size and features, ranging from $40 to $4,000.

Fellowes small personal or home shredders are the most affordable models, though they offer the smallest bin capacity and sheet capacity, the slowest shredding speed, and the fewest extra features. They usually cost between $40 and $150.

Fellowes small office or home office shredders offer a decent bin capacity and sheet capacity to accommodate a few users and can shred at a faster speed. They may include features like jam-prevention technology, too. Most models cost between $150 and $430.

Fellowes commercial shredders offer the most generous bin and sheet capacities and the fastest shredding speeds, and they may include a variety of features, including anti-jam technology, auto-oiling, and silent shredding. These models are suitable for offices with a large number of users. They usually cost between $430 and $2,600.

Fellowes commercial shredders that offer enough security for government applications are the most expensive models, ranging from $1,050 to $4,000.

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Did you know?
Personal or home Fellowes paper shredders work well for one to two users, while home office or small office models are suited for one to five users. Fellowes commercial-grade shredders can handle more than five users.


  • Always follow the sheet capacity guidelines for your Fellowes paper shredder. Putting too many sheets through at a time can cause a paper jam.

  • If you don’t have a Fellowes paper shredder with an auto-oiling feature, it’s usually best to oil your machine at least every two months. You may want to oil it more frequently if you notice that you’re experiencing regular jams, though.

  • Don’t use an aerosol oil to oil your Fellowes shredder because it contains petroleum and can be a fire hazard. Instead, opt for a vegetable-based oil.

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Over a three-year period, Fellowes estimates that doing your shredding in-house with your own office paper shredder can save up to 55% over outside shredding services.


Q. How long do Fellowes paper shredders usually last?
If used and maintained properly, a Fellowes paper shredder can last for 10 years or more. Always adhere to the sheet capacity for your model, though it’s a good idea to put a little less than the maximum through to keep the motor working well. Be sure to oil your shredder at least every two months if you don’t have an auto-oiling model, and empty the bin whenever it’s full to avoid straining the motor.

Q. Does Fellowes offer warranty protection for its paper shredders?
Every Fellowes paper shredder includes warranty protection. In most cases, you can expect a two-year warranty for the machine and a five-year warranty for the cutter blades.

Q. What items should I shred in a paper shredder?
Identify theft is a common concern these days, so you may want to shred any documents or materials that contain personal information, such as your name and address. However, since that information is often easy to obtain, you can stick to mainly shredding items that contain truly sensitive information like your social security number or bank account numbers. Bank statements, credit card statements, insurance documents, and tax forms that are more than seven years old should all be shredded. You should also shred anything with your signature so identity thieves aren’t able to forge it.

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