Best Paper Shredders

Updated August 2023
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Bottom line
Best of the Best
Fellowes Powershred 99Ci Cross-Cut Paper Shredder
Powershred 99Ci Cross-Cut Paper Shredder
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Best for Heavy Use
Bottom Line

Ideal for high-volume, this powerful model has plenty of perks that earn it our tech expert's approval.


Cross-shreds 18 sheets of paper per pass and won't choke on paper clips and staples. Has a maximum run time of nearly 30 minutes. Convenient pull-out bin makes emptying a breeze. Wheeled design for easy portability. Users say it works more quickly and efficiently than pricier models.


While it might be space-savvy for offices, it could be a bit too bulky for home use.

Best Bang for the Buck
Aurora High-Security 8-Sheet Micro-Cut Paper Credit Card Shredder
High-Security 8-Sheet Micro-Cut Paper Credit Card Shredder
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Simple Yet Solid
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This compact option provides a sizable basket for a home office, performed reliably in our tests, and is approved by our expert.


This can also handle staples and paper clips. It is manufactured to run for up to 5 minutes of continuous use, and it has a manual reverse to clear paper jams. The convenient built-in handle makes it easy to empty the wastebasket. Shape fits slender spaces.


A few individuals received a product that was listed as new but had signs the unit was used.

Fellowes Microshred 62MC Paper Shredder
Microshred 62MC Paper Shredder
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Potent Power
Bottom Line

A versatile paper shredder that can also handle paperclips, staples, credit cards, and CDs.


Features a 9-inch throat and a 5-gallon bin. Users love how smoothly it cuts and how it operates with minimal noise. Great for the at-home user who wants to be careful with sensitive information. It's on wheels, making it a popular choice for shared workspaces.


The power cycle is rather limited with only 4 minutes on and 40 minutes off.

Amazon Basics High-Security Paper Shredder
Amazon Basics
High-Security Paper Shredder
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P-4 Level Security
Bottom Line

This simple micro-cut choice has a dedicated feed slot for credit cards and CDs.


Reduces documents into 2,235 pieces. It can operate for up to 5 minutes at a time, and it features an array of LED lights that communicate the machine's current status at a glance. The unit can be switched from auto-feed to manual-feed mode if desired.


This machine works best with less than the maximum recommended number of pages.

Bonsaii Home and Office Paper Shredder
Home and Office Paper Shredder
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Bottom Line

An excellent paper shredder for moderate home and office use.


This paper shredder can run for up to 30 minutes and shred up to 2,300 sheets. It has a large, 5-gallon pull-out basket, and auto stop-start and auto-reverse functions. It operates quietly at 60 decibels and has four lockable wheels.


It's top-heavy and can tip over easily.


We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best paper shredders

Bank statements, bills, insurance documents, prescriptions — we all have documents lying around that could leave us vulnerable to fraud or identity theft if thrown in a trash can. With the right paper shredder, you can quickly and easily deal with all the documents that could give away your personal information, making them safe to throw out or recycle. Plus, there are items you might not think about that you can shred, such as credit cards, photo IDs and compact discs. 

It's vital that you shred documents in a secure way, but not all shredders are up to the task. Basic strip-cut shredders aren't particularly secure, but these are rarely sold now, with manufacturers and buyers favoring cross-cut and micro-cut models. You should also think about how much you'll need to shred. A shredder for occasional light use is different from one for office use or heavy-duty personal use. 

We put the Aurora High-Security Micro-Cut Paper Shredder to the test and found it to be an affordable option that’s excellent for light shredding tasks. But if you’re looking for more power, the Fellowes ‎Powershred Jam-Proof Cross-Cut Paper Shredder is our top choice. It's powerful enough for heavy-duty use and can handle up to 18 sheets of paper at once. 

Expert Tip
Shredding lots of paper at a time generates significant dust, so consider either wearing a mask when you’re emptying out your shredder or doing it outside or somewhere with a lot of ventilation.
BestReviews Electronic Expert

Best paper shredders

Fellowes ‎Powershred Jam-Proof Cross-Cut Paper Shredder

This heavy-duty paper shredder cuts paper in a cross-cut manner, leaving you with small chunks of paper that would be extremely challenging to reassemble. As such, it's suitable for all but the most confidential of documents and is fine for most offices and home use. In addition to paper, it can also shred its way through credit cards, CDs, staples and paper clips. It shreds up to 18 pages in one pass, although a 16-page model is also available. 

You can use this Fellowes paper shredder for up to 30 continuous minutes before it needs to cool down, which is great for offices or if you save your documents to shred in one long session. The pull-out bin holds 9 gallons, with an indicator light to alert you when it's full. 

Aurora High-Security Micro-Cut Paper Shredder

We tested this Aurora paper shredder to see if it was worth the hype. We found it extremely easy to set up, taking around three minutes in total. Using it was straightforward, and we didn't run into any issues either with paper or cards. The manual reverse function helps sort out paper jams. 

It creates tiny micro-cut shreds and we found this worked effectively on both paper and credit cards. The pieces were extremely narrow and around half an inch long, which is more than secure enough to meet most needs. 

The model we tested had a capacity of eight sheets and a shredding speed of 6.56 feet per minute. It did well with shredding a full eight pages at once. It even managed 10 in our tests but sounded fairly strained in the process. It can run for five continuous minutes, so it's best for light shredding tasks. 

Fellowes 10M7 Micro-Cut Deskside Paper Shredder

With its micro-cut capabilities, this shredder is a solid choice for even the most confidential documents. As well as paper, you can use it to shred paper clips, staples and credit cards, which is highly convenient and means you don't have to spend time removing staples before shredding. It can shred up to 10 sheets in a single pass, saving you time when you have a lot to shred. 

You can use it for seven continuous minutes before it needs to cool down — more than enough for most home and office use. The safety lock is handy if you're worried about kids or pets getting into it. It has an automatic reverse feature that stops and sorts out jams as they happen. It runs quietly so you don't disturb others in your household, making it a logical choice in shared office spaces or at home. 

Amazon Basics High-Security Micro-Cut Shredder

You have plenty of options with this shredder. At the more affordable end, you have six-sheet and eight-sheet models that are great for home use. There are mid-range options that shred 12, 17 or 18 sheets. Finally, there's the auto-feed model that can hold up to 150 sheets and automatically feed them into the machine to be shredded. This one is perfect for heavy-duty business use. 

It can shred paper, paper clips and staples into tiny micro cuts for excellent security. It also shreds credit cards and CDs through a dedicated slot. The pull-out bin is easy to empty and you'll know when it's time to do so, thanks to the full-bin indicator. Runtime is between three and 60 minutes, depending on which model you choose. 

Bonsaii Micro-Cut Paper Shredder

This home paper shredder comes in two versions: one cross cuts documents and the other micro cuts it, so you can choose according to what level of security you're comfortable with. The cross-cut version can handle eight sheets per pass, while the micro-cut model takes on six sheets at a time. Both can cut paper, paper clips and staples, as well as credit cards, although cards must be shredded one at a time. 

It runs for four to five minutes before needing a 40-minute cooldown time, so it's best for light shredding tasks. The bin holds 4.2 gallons and has a window in it so you can see when it's filling up. The manual reverse function keeps paper jams from holding you up. 

Wolverine Micro-Cut High-Security Paper Shredder

Buyers on the hunt for a heavy-duty paper shredder should take a closer look at this one. It chops documents into high-security micro cuts, so you're sure that nobody can get their hands on your sensitive information. Not only does it take up to 15 sheets at a time, it can shred an impressive 200 sheets in 60 seconds. In addition to paper, it shreds staples, paper clips, credit cards and CDs. 

This model has an impressive shredding speed of 12.5 feet per minute. The large 8-gallon bin pulls out for easier emptying. The window lets you keep an eye on how full it's getting. It can run for 15 continuous minutes, during which time you could shred as many as 3,000 pages, so it's unlikely you'll need a longer runtime. It then needs 30 minutes to cool down, after which it's good to go again. 

Bonsaii Home and Office Paper Shredder

You can fit up to 15 sheets of paper in this shredder at a time. It can run for up to 30 minutes non-stop, shredding up to 2300 sheets, and the 5-gallon pull-out bin can hold up to  350 sheets of A4 paper. 

It has excellent features that help prevent and clear jamming, such as auto start/stop and auto-reverse functions, and it's equipped with overheat protection safety. It operates quietly at 60 decibels, making it suitable for home use, and it works with staples, CDs and mail

Expert Tip
Remember that not all paper is the same, and some paper types are thicker than others. So when a shredder says it can shred ten pages per minute, assume those are ten thin pages. In general, it’s best to spend some time getting to know your shredder and how much paper it can handle at once. Avoid overstuffing it--that can cause unwieldy paper jams.
BestReviews Electronics Expert

How we tested

We tried out the Aurora AU870MA High-Security Micro-Cut Paper Shredder. Here's how we evaluated it. 

Ease of use 

  • Setup: Some shredders are easier to set up than others, so we checked how simple this one was to put together and get ready for its first use. 
  • Operation: We tested how easy the shredder was to use and whether it worked as advertised. 


  • Shred size: It's important that a shredder is secure, so we carefully assessed the shred size to see if it passed muster. 
  • Performance: We checked whether it could shred as many sheets as the manufacturer claimed. 

Other considerations

  • Noise level: Nobody wants an extremely noisy shredder, so we assessed the noise level. 
  • Card shredding: We tried shredding old credit cards and similar items to see if the shredder could handle the task. 

What to consider when buying a paper shredder


  • Strip-cut shredders slice paper into long, straight shreds. While this does offer some degree of security, it's not too hard for someone to reassemble shredded documents, recovering the data. More thorough types of paper shredders have made this variety all but obsolete.
  • Cross-cut or diamond-cut shredders cut paper crossways as well as lengthwise. This results in much smaller chunks that would be too tricky to reassemble for all but the most determined of criminals.
  • Micro-cut shredders are the gold standard. This type masticates paper into tiny, confetti-like chips, making it virtually impossible to reassemble a document in any meaningful way.

Shredding material

Basic paper shredders deal with paper alone, but many mid-range and high-end home shredders can also tackle items such as credit cards and CDs. Some of these use special attachments for dealing with plastics and only cut them into thin strips. The best models will micro-cut or cross-cut them.


Luckily for anyone who has to shred a lot of paper in one go, shredders process more than one sheet of paper at a time. The amount of sheets a paper shredder can deal with is referred to as "sheets per pass." Smaller models may only be able to take on two to four sheets per pass, while more hardcore models can tackle 20 or more sheets per pass.

Shredding speed

Shredding speed is generally measured in feet per minute (FPM). A home shredder can tackle between 5 and 10 FPM, on average, whereas heavy-duty models designed for office use may be able to shred 30 FPM or more. Micro-cut paper shredders tend to run at a smaller amount of feet per minute since it takes longer to cut each sheet into tiny pieces, but what they lack in speed they make up for in security.


All shredders have a runtime or "duty cycle." This is how long the machine can operate continuously before switching off to cool down. Smaller models designed for light home use may have duty cycles as short as two minutes; units made for heavy-duty use may have duty cycles of 40 minutes or more. When you're looking for the best paper shredder for home use, you probably won't need too long a runtime. 

Cooldown time

Paper shredders need to cool down after each duty cycle. This probably isn't a big issue for home use (unless you like to save up items for shredding and tackle a large pile in one go), but for office use, a long cooldown time can be prohibitive. Most paper shredders have cooldown periods between 20 and 40 minutes.

Additional features

Some features aren't essential but can be nice to have. If you want a top-notch shredder, here are some additional features to look for:

  • Overload protection: This prevents overheating and motor damage when you feed too many sheets of paper or when you use your shredder for an extended period. 
  • Full wastebasket indicator: Usually a light, this lets you know when your wastebasket is close to maximum capacity. It prevents overfilling, which can lead to paper jams or a reduction in shredding performance. 
  • Quiet operation: Shredders can be loud, so you might appreciate one that runs quietly, especially during long shredding sessions. 
  • Safety lockout: A safety lockout feature keeps the shredder inactive and inaccessible when not in use. This is smart for homes with kids or pets who get into everything. 
  • Reverse: The reverse function lets you reverse the shredding direction in case of a paper jam. Shredders can have either manual or automatic reverse features, 
  • Automatic document feeder: With an automatic document feeder, you can load multiple pages at once without the need for manual feeding, saving you time and effort.
  • Pull-out bin: This lets you easily remove and empty the shredded paper from the shredder. 


All shredders require regular care. No matter the model you choose, you'll want to use oil on the gears and shake loose all the microscopic extra bits of paper. Most shredder malfunctions and problems come from users who don't do any maintenance. With a few basic tools, you can keep your shredder running well for years.

Fellowes Powershred Performance Shredder Oil comes with a long tip, allowing you to evenly apply it on your shredder gears. The Amazon Basics Paper Shredder Sharpening & Lubricant Sheets will help you maintain your shredder in less time and with less mess if you want to oil and sharpen your shredder blades in one step.

Expert Tip
If you’re not sure if you should shred something or keep it for your records, consider digitizing it with a scanner and then shredding your physical copy.
BestReviews Electronics Expert

Tips for using a paper shredder

  • Keep an eye on the amount of paper in your shredder's wastebasket. Overload it and you can damage the motor or cause jams. Models with a clear viewing window are invaluable.
  • Paper shredders with pull-out bins are much easier and more convenient to empty, compared to the kind where you have to lift the entire shredding mechanism off the waste bin.
  • Unless you only want to shred the odd document here and there, pay attention to the length of each paper shredder's duty cycle — some are frustratingly short.
  • Most paper shredders are much more effective when you shred one or two sheets less than the maximum number of sheets per pass. So, if a shredder can tackle 12 sheets per pass, try feeding no more than 10 or 11 in one go.
  • If you have kids or pets, we recommend a model that has a safety shut-off feature. This automatically switches off the shredder if fingers or paws get too close to the blades.
  • Empty the waste bin of paper before shredding credit cards or CDs. Shredded paper is recyclable, whereas CDs and credit cards may not be (depending on your local recycling rules), and you don't want to spend hours picking chips of credit card out of a full bin of paper.


Q. How much do paper shredders cost?

A. You can find paper shredders to suit different budgets but expect to pay significantly more for heavy-duty machines compared to those designed for light use. 

Basic micro-cut shredders can cost as little as $30 to $50. High-end micro-cut shredders cost between $100 and $300. Expect to pay around $50 to $100 for a mid-range model and upwards of $300 for the most high-end options. 

Basic cross-cut shredders cost roughly $20 to $30. Mid-range cross-cut shredders cost roughly $30 to $90. High-end cross-cut shredders cost about $90 to $200 (though you can pay much more for commercial-grade models). 

Q. Are paper shredders safe to use?

A. Yes, paper shredders are very safe. Despite having extremely sharp blades inside, modern paper shredders boast a range of safety features, including guards to protect fingers, tucked-away switches so you can't accidentally turn them on and automatic switch-off to avoid overheating.

Q. How small will a paper shredder cut my documents?

A. This depends on the make and model of shredder you choose. There's no standard size for micro cuts, cross cuts or strips, so you have to check the manufacturer's specifications for the exact dimensions.

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