businessman shredding documents

5 Best Heavy-Duty Paper Shredders

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Sometimes, you just need to shred some papers. If you want to do that professionally, then you need a professional and heavy-duty shredder.

When you want to shred papers, be it legal documents, files with your personal information on it, or anything else which you do not want prying eyes to see, a shredder will take care of that for you. A heavy-duty shredder is what large companies use to shred all of their documents, and you can have one too.

The good news is that heavy-duty shredders have never been more affordable. With an investment of a few dollars, you can have a great shredder which can last for a very long time.

Let’s take a look at buying a shredder.

Shredding Basics

One of the main ways in which shredders are classified is in how they shred the paper fed into them.

Strip-Cut Shredders

Strip-cut shredders cut the paper into strips. The advantage of this type of shredder is that they are fast and affordable. Cutting paper into strips is relatively inexpensive to do and does not require a lot of components. The downside is that the resulting shreds are not as secure as what you get with some other shredders. If someone is dedicated enough, they can piece the shreds together.

Cross-Cut Shredders

Cross-cut shredders are more secure than strip-cut shredders. They cost a little more due to the parts inside, but they cut the paper into smaller parts. They still cut the paper into strips, but those strips are thinner and shorter.

Micro-Cut Shredders

Micro-cut shredders cut the paper into the smallest pieces, making them extra secure. They cut the paper into small diamond-shaped pieces, kind of like pieces of confetti. This makes them great for secret or confidential papers, and it is almost impossible to piece them back together.

Strip cut, cross cut and micro cut compared
Strip-cut, cross-cut and micro-cut compared (Image: Recycling.com)

Shredder Security

When it comes to shredders, one thing which you should be concerned about is the security they give when shredding papers. The security depends on the smallness of the paper and is determined by an internationally recognized standard (DIN 66399).

The security standard runs from P-1 (insecure) to P-7 (most secure). In most office settings, you will find that most of the shredders are rated around P-4. For more sensitive information, a rating of P-5 will usually suffice. P-7 would be used for top secret documents which cannot be seen by any prying eyes.

Confidential documents on a wooden table

When you are looking for a heavy-duty shredder, think about how much safety and security you need and base your choice on how small the shredder will shred your paper.

Shredding

When you are shredding your papers, there are a couple of things to think about which will en-hance your shredding experience.

Sheet Capacity

Gone are the days where paper could only be shredded one piece at a time. Welcome to the world of multiple shredded sheets. Not only does this make the shredder more heavy-duty and durable, but it also saves you a lot of time.

Most basic shredders will shred between 1-3 sheets of paper at one time. We are not looking for basic shredders; we want heavy-duty ones. We recommend that you look for a shredder which can handle at least 3 sheets of paper and up to 20 sheets at once.

Tough shredders can also shred more than just paper. If you get a high-quality paper shredder, you can shred your way through credit cards (great for security), staples (in case you forget to take them out), and CDs (if that mixed CD from a previous relationship is causing you emotional pain). A tough shredder can also cut through thick envelopes of junk mail.

Run Time

If you have a lot of papers to shred, then you need your heavy-duty shredder to last for a long time. When we were choosing the best shredders, we only chose the ones which could keep up. So, how long should they run for?

Most shredders can shred for around 20 minutes before they need to cool down. For most of your jobs, this will be enough time but, if you are doing larger jobs, you will need to choose a shredder with a longer run time.

Heavy-duty shredders can run for up to 60 minutes before needing to cool down. If you are doing large jobs, it can be annoying to have to wait while the shredder cools down. Look for a shredder with a long run time and as short a cool-down time as possible.

Speed

The speed is partly based on how many sheets of paper can be fed through the shredder but also depends on the capacity of the feeder basket.

The more sheets which can be fed into the shredder, the faster you can work, but you also need to think about the size of the basket. If you can shred multiple documents, but the shredder can not hold much, then you can shred quickly, but you are going to spend a lot of time emptying the basket before you can shred more.

You also need to think about the run time and the cool-down time. If you can only shred for a few minutes and then have to let the machine cool down over a long period of time, then you are going to be slowed down a lot. You may be able to shred quickly, but you are not going to be able to shred a lot.

So, if you want a shredder which is fast, you need to look for one which can shred multiple pages, has a large capacity, runs for a long time, and has a short cool-down time. If you are only looking at some of those things, then we would recommend a large capacity and a long run time.

Size

A larger shredder usually means a larger basket, but that is not always the case. When looking at heavy-duty shredders, you are likely going to have a shredder which will take up a lot of space, but that does not mean that it has to take up too much space.

The best shredders are the ones which compact their shredding capabilities into the smallest space possible. You want a large shredding capacity with as small a footprint as possible, and this is what we have looked for in our choices.

The shredders on the list will get the job done without taking up a massive amount of space.

Other Functionality

If your heavy-duty shredder can shred the paper, then you are good, right? Well, there are some other things to think about to ensure that you never run into problems.

Jam-Proof

One of the biggest problems with shredders is paper jams. Most durable shredders come with anti-jam technology. This built-in technology prevents the paper from becoming jammed and stuck.

This is usually achieved with sensors in the unit, which will reverse the shredding process and stop the paper from becoming too caught up once it starts to jam. This technology can save you from a lot of headaches.

Noise

Shredders cause some noise through the shredding process, but some are better than others. Depending on where the shredder is going to be used, you may want to invest in a shredder which has a lower noise level.

A decibel level below 55 dB will not cause too much noise in a public setting.

Auto-Lubrication

To keep your blades in optimum condition, you need to oil them regularly. There are two ways to do this: automatically and manually.

If you do not have the time to oil the shredder blades or if you are worried that you are going to forget, then you should get a shredder which automatically oils the blades for you.

Fellowes Powershred 99Ci

If you are looking for something which can shred a lot of sheets of paper at the one time, then you have found it. With this heavy-duty shredder, you can shred 18 sheets of paper at once. You can also shred CDs, DVDs, staples, credit cards, paper clips, and more. This shredder will cut through almost anything which gets in its way.

When you get started, you have 30 minutes of constant run time before you have to let it cool down for 40 minutes. If you are only using it a little at a time, then you will never have to stop to let it cool down.

The paper shredder is 100% jam-proof, powering through most jobs, and reversing the papers if there ever is a chance of them becoming jammed.

A great shredder for up to three users.

Main Features

  • Jam-proof
  • Cross-cut shredding
  • 18 sheets
  • 30 min run time

Bonsaii EverShred C149-C Shredder

This is one heavy-duty shredder. With 60 minutes of run time, you can cut through almost anything. Throw in 18 sheets of paper at once, and never worry about any staples or paperclips which have been left in there — shred packs of junk mail or your credit card.

This is also a shredder which shreds at a low decibel level. At only 62 dB, this shredder will not annoy anyone in your office or home. You also have 4 casters on the bottom, so this shredder does not need to be confined to one place. Move it to where you need your shredding done.

With a 6 gallon basket, you can also shred to your heart’s content with infrequent emptying — a great shredder for a large office or home.

Main Features

  • 6-gallon basket
  • 60-minute run time
  • Casters
  • Cross-cut shredding

AmazonBasics Cross-Cut Paper Shredder

If you are looking for an affordable appliance that gets the job done, then few do it quite like Amazon. This shredder can shred up to 24 sheets of paper at one time and does so while remaining accessible and affordable.

You get 25 minutes of run time and then have to let it cool for 60 minutes. This is a little longer than other models but will not be a problem unless you are running it continually.

The device is backed by Amazon’s one-year warranty, so you know that you are covered should anything happen to this heavy-duty shredder. A wonderful shredder for your home office or small business.

Main Features

  • Cross-cut shredding
  • Affordable
  • 24 sheets
  • 25-minute run time

Boxis AF110 AutoShred Shredder

If you need a lot of papers shredded, or need to shred at a high-volume, then this is the shredder for you. This commercial shredder can handle up to 110 sheets of paper at one time and shreds the paper at 11 feet per minute. With 20 minute run time, you can shred a lot of paper before you need to give it a rest.

The shredder also has a large capacity, so you do not need to worry about emptying it often. You also get micro-cut shreds, great for all of those sensitive documents.

This is the perfect shredder for a large office environment.

Main Features

  • 110-sheet
  • 11-feet per minute
  • 6-gallon capacity
  • Micro-cut shredding

Bonsaii EverShred Pro 3S30

If you need a shredder which can run for a long time, then this is the one for you. You have 4 hours of run time before you have to let it cool down for a while, and when it is running, you can fill the generous 7.9 gallon bucket before you need to empty it.

18 sheets of paper can be shredded at the same time, and you do not need to worry about staples or paperclips. For a machine so tough and rugged, you will be pleasantly surprised at how quiet it is. You will also be thankful for the jam protection system.

The shredder can also separate the shreds, with one smaller basket catching the CD, DVD, and credit card shreds, while the larger basket catches all of the paper shreds.

Another wonderful shredder for a large office environment.

Main Features

  • 7.9-gallon capacity
  • Low noise (58 dB)
  • Casters
  • Cross-cut shredding
  • 240-minute run time


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