In a world constantly filling itself with more data, ensuring you’re not leaving trails of valuable information can be a demanding process. Bank statements, pay slips and other private papers show important details, like your social security number, passwords and bank account numbers. These bits of information make you susceptible to identity theft. Whether at home, the office or your new work-from-home office, it’s a good idea to have one of the best paper shredders on hand.
Paper Shredders and Security
There are, of course, several best practices everyone should follow, such as always protecting your social security number, securing all your passwords in a private place, and regularly checking bank statements to see if anything is out of the ordinary. But, when it comes to destroying old documents and cards containing important or sensitive information, the best course of action is a shredder. These cutting devices save you from having to throw whole or partially torn documents in the trash, thereby ensuring your information won’t be taken and used by another person.
Some examples of items you should be shredding to protect your identity and personal information include:
- Old credit card statements
- Old tax returns
- Bank statements
- Old credit cards
- Old passports
- Old photo IDs
- Insurance records
- Pay stubs
- CDs containing important information
- Medical records
- Old photos
Speaking of shredding sensitive materials, you’ll want to consider a shredder with a higher security shredding standard (yes, that’s a thing) if you plan on making sensitive information unsalvageable. A quick and dirty overview of the different standards include:
- P1 – Strips are 12mm wide
- P2 – Strips are 6mm wide
- P3 – Strips are 2mm wide
- P4 – Cross-cutting introduced creates 160mm particles 6mm wide
- P5 – Cross-cutting with 30mm particles 2mm wide
The Best Paper Shredders To Buy in 2021
Below, we’ve put together a list of the best paper shredders available. Options include devices for use at home, the office and even portable devices you can take with you. Each machine is well-reviewed and gives you an easy way to keep your information safe. Plus, they will help keep your living space free from stacks of unnecessary documents. Outside of managing the occasional paper jam, these effective machines take the hard work out of keeping your sensitive information safe and your space clutter-free.
1. Bonsaii 240-Minute Heavy Duty Paper Shredder
This Bonsaii brand machine is one heavy-duty paper shredder. It can tackle 18-sheets at once and has a continuous run time of 240 minutes without ceasing operation. That being said, it’s not going to sound like a chainsaw is running in your home office either with a quiet 58dB operation sound level; it’s relatively quiet for a document destroyer. The shredder is strong enough to rip through old credit cards, DVDs, and staples without any problem. It has a large 7.9-gallon bin that is easily accessible and has a big clear window so you can easily see when it’s full.
Bonsaii 240-Minute Heavy Duty Paper Shredder
2. AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Strip-Cut Paper, Credit Card and CD Shredder
This paper shredder has almost 27,000 ratings and 4.6 stars on Amazon. As you can imagine, this shredder has satisfied many customers with reliable strip shredding that meets P-2 security level standards. This shredder is strong enough to rip through eight sheets simultaneously and shred cards and CDs through the dedicated slot. It has a run time of two minutes on and a 15-minute cool-off, but the motor will automatically shut off when it begins to overheat, keeping your shredder operational for years to come.
AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Strip-Cut Paper, Credit Card and CD Shredder
3. Aurora AU1285MD High-Security Paper Shredder
GREAT FOR HOME OFFICE
It is small enough to fit right under or next to your home office desk but powerful enough to destroy whatever documents or credit cards you put through the shredder; it might be small, but it packs plenty of power. It can shred up to 12 sheets of paper at once, rip through credit cards, staples, and mail, eviscerating them into tiny, highly secure P-4 level pieces. Cross-shredding ensures your documents and cards will be destroyed entirely.
Aurora AU1285MD High Security Paper Shredder
4. Pen + Gear Crosscut Paper/Credit Card Shredder
If you’re after a shredder that does its job well and looks great at the same time, it’s worth considering this Pen + Gear Crosscut Paper/Credit Card Shredder. This all-black, compact device can deal with credit cards, staples, and paper clips and includes a ShredSafe entry with an angled slot to help prevent potential injury. The design consists of a smartly placed handle that allows for single-handed lifting when emptying the 3.7-gallon wastebasket. Additionally, the shredder’s comparatively small size makes it easier to fit it into smaller spaces.
Pen + Gear Crosscut Paper/Credit Card Shredder
5. Sentinel Shredders FM60P
This Sentinel shredder is slim enough to slide right under your desk and leave your chair and legs enough room to move around. The bin is easily accessible with a handle on the side to help you pull it out when it hits capacity. It has a maximum shredding level of six sheets at a time and can only shred a single credit card at a time. It is best used in two-minute spurts, so it’s not recommended for heavy-duty shredding, but it’s an excellent fit for a home office and light disposal of cards and paper.
Sentinel Shredders FM60P
6. Aurora AU800SD Pro Strip Cut Paper Shredder
WORTHY SHREDDING OPTION
If you want to turn your garbage can into a paper shredder, the Aurora Pro Strip Cut can help. Place this over your wastebasket and viola; you got yourself a paper shredder. There is even an extendable arm to adjust for the size of the wastebasket. It automatically starts and stops, which prevents it from overheating, and it is strong enough to rip through credit cards and up to eight sheets of paper simultaneously.
Aurora AU800SD Pro Strip Cut Paper Shredder
7. Boxis AutoShred Auto Feed Microcut Paper Shredder
With its impressive 50-sheet, auto-feed tray, there are few better options on our list for large quantity, effortless shredding than the Boxis AutoShred Auto Feed Microcut Paper Shredder. Every letter-sized document is broken down into almost 1,500 pieces. The device is also capable of shredding credit cards. The 50-sheet auto-feed offers a 10-minute continuous run time, while the large, 3.6-gallon pull-out bin ensures you’ll get plenty of shredding done in between emptying. Furthermore, the four caster wheels make this shredder easy to transport around the office.
Boxis AutoShred Auto Feed Microcut Paper Shredder
8. Royal HD1400MX Crosscut Home/Office Shredder
BEST MID-RANGE PICK
The Royal HD1400MX Crosscut Home/Office Shredder is a well-reviewed shredder that can handle shredding CDs, DVDs and credit cards. It sports a stylish, rounded design and provides up to 40 minutes of continuous shredding. The feed can slice 14 pieces of paper per pass, while the front-loading, 6.20-gallon, pull-out paper bin makes emptying your device especially easy and convenient.
HD1400MX Crosscut Home/Office Shredder
9. Royal ASF80 Microcut Paper Shredder
With its easy-to-use design, ability to take up to eight sheets of paper in a single pass, and an auto-feed tray with an 80-sheet capacity, the Royal ASF80 Microcut Paper Shredder ticks all the boxes for the average user. Place your paper in the tray and let the well-reviewed shredder get to work for an effort-free experience. It’s capable of cutting paper, card stock, credit cards and staples. It also sports LED-ready overheat and overload Indicators. Plus, as it’s mounted on wheels, it’s easily transported from place to place, whether between desks at work or around your home office.
Royal ASF80 Microcut Paper Shredder
10. Wolverine 18-Sheet Six Gallon Pullout Bin
HEAVY DUTY SHREDDING
When you need to get through a lot of document clutter and want the documents permanently destroyed, the Wolverine 18-Sheet document shredder can quickly smash through large shredding jobs. It sports an extended 60 minute run time while cutting documents and cards into P-4 security level pieces. Although this paper shredder works like a buzzsaw for your records, it certainly doesn’t sound like one staying relatively quiet at 58dB during operation.
Wolverine 18-Sheet Six Gallon Pullout Bin
11. Wolverine 8-Sheet Super Micro Cut High Security
When you are shredding sensitive material, you’ll want a shredder with highly secure cross-cutting. The Micro Cut Wolverine paper shredder fits the bill. It meets P-5 highly secure level shredding, essentially making all documents and cards shredded entirely irreparable. The motor is strong considering how compact the shredder is, with the ability to shred up to 500 sheets within 10 minutes. That being said, even though it shreds documents and cards to smithereens, it remains quiet at a low 54dB noise level.
Wolverine 8-Sheet Super Micro Cut High Security
12. Fellowes Powershred 99Ci Jam Proof Paper Shredder
If you despise the hassle and time wasted dealing with paper jams constantly, you’ll want to choose this Fellowes Powershred 99Ci Jam Proof Paper Shredder. It can shred 18 sheets of paper per pass using a cross-cut style shredding technique and can deal with everything from cards and paper clips to CDs and DVDs. The shredder claims to be 100% jam-proof by boasting enough power to get the required job done. Plus, it includes built-in wheels for easy portability around the office.
Fellowes Powershred 99Ci Jam Proof Paper Shredder
13. Boxis Autoshred 80-sheet
This Boxis shredder comes in a variety of different options to meet your shredding needs. You can choose between 60 to 700 sheet shredders that range in price from $100 to $1,000. Regardless of what option you choose, this shredder completely destroys your documents, and each features an auto-feed fold-out tray that allows you to slip your paperwork in and let the shredder go to town. And when your bin is full, it simply slides out the front. Easy peasy.