Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ’em) products and single out the most worthwhile.
We’ve spotlighted enviable workspaces, desk décor and stationery sets the world over, and professional organizer-endorsed desk organizers in the past. But we haven’t covered one key office supply worth leaving cubicle space for, one that ensures that nefarious identity thieves and their ilk don’t get a crack at your precious personal information. Here, we do a deep dive into the best paper shredders available on Amazon. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)
Best cheap shredder
“Over the years I’ve used a full-size shredder, a micro-shredder, and now this guy. So far, this is the best one. I put this shredder through its paces immediately upon receiving it, because I bought it to shred a large stack of papers I needed to shred to free up some space (tax returns, credit-card statements, etc). The device is POWERFUL for its size. Its blades are small but mighty. I expected a piece of junk in this price range for very small jobs, and was overjoyed to find this device a step up. It has plenty of power, and shreds beautifully. Feed it a few pages at a time or one thick piece at a time and let it cool down every few minutes, and it should last you a good long time. Or at least longer than my last mini-shredder did. That thing is toast.”
Best shredder under $100
“After serving in the U.S. government for 20 years I was spoiled by the expensive shredders used in classified areas. I prepared myself to be a little disappointed in one built for home use. But not at all!! I was very pleasantly surprised. Would highly recommend it! I plan to keep the blades well lubricated and think that may be the key.”
Best 16-sheet cross-cut paper shredder
“What a powerhouse of a shredder! My unit, which I just received, can take 16 pages at a time, per the instructions. This shredder did not skip a beat. It took everything I fed into it. I also shredded about 25–30 CDs without issue. The instructions say only to do ten CDs per day. The bin did fill up quickly with paper and CD shreds. This thing consumes paper like it’s going out of style. I am very impressed.”
Best cross-cut shredder for extended shreds
“We just moved and I unpacked papers I’ve been saving for 35 years, bill, receipts, canceled checks, you name it. I should have started shredding 35 years ago. This shredder is wonderful. While I didn’t try to hog 20 sheets through at a time, I did run checks through bunches at a time, phone bills from the old days 10–15 pages thick. Clump after clump of personal data falling into little pieces. By the time I reached the recommended two-hour break I had filled two 30-gallon trash bags with shredding packed down. (I know it’s a continuous shredder, but they recommend giving it a rest after two hours of shredding.) I needed the break after two hours of shredding. Let’s see how it lasts. I’d say I have about six more bags to fill and then this shredder can live a life of leisure.”
Best micro-cut paper shredder
“I have had a few shredders that were okay. I’ve had good ones that would just get jammed all the time and it would be a hassle to clear the jam manually. Thus, you can imagine my surprise that I got a shredder by luck that BARELY gets jams anymore. I mean, I put anything through it, it will shred it. Not to mention, I’ve done large jobs with this shredder and I have found that this shredder will still be able to do the trick. I guess they really mean it when they put the label ‘Jam Free’ on the shredder. Buying this shredder for security? Yes, there is absolutely no way anyone can put the pieces of the shredder once it goes through. There is no way even for the FBI to even put the pieces together!”
Best desktop paper shredder
“I absolutely love this paper shredder. I live in an apartment complex in an urban area and have an irrational fear of my address or information getting out, but this paper shredder puts my mind at ease. I never thought that, at 23, something of this nature would bring so much calm and ease to my life. It’s honestly probably one of the best purchases I’ve made in the past six months.”
Best hand-cranked paper shredder
“Love this little thing! I have been going through a lot of paperwork and did have a stack to shred. I shredded no problem. Yes, it took a little time but I have had two nice shredders from one of the national office stores. Both broke after a year or two. This thing sits on my printer table and as others have said, it is small enough that it’s so easy to put pretty much anywhere. It’s perfect for me.”
Best professional-grade paper shredder
“I’m a retired engineer, and I’m really hard to please. In a nutshell, the performance of the Bonsaii 4S30 completely blew me away — It’s ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! When I first plugged in the 4S30, I initially planned to shred only a few test sheets. Instead, the shredder worked so well that I wound up shredding a completely full banker’s box containing many years of old bank statements, credit-card statements, and brokerage statements. That’s a lot of paper! Although quiet operation wasn’t my top priority, I soon discovered that, when the 4S30 is shredding paper, it’s almost silent. In fact, I was able to shred paper while speaking on the phone without a problem. The person that I was speaking to couldn’t hear the shredder working — and neither could I!”
Quietest paper shredder
“I received mine and immediately put it to use cleaning out and destroying old paperwork that I have had filed away from back in the early ’80s. I was amazed at how quiet this shredder is compared to others that I’ve used, and it shreds to a micro-cut size which is perfect for old tax returns, etc. Once I started feeding documents through mine, I wasn’t counting the pages as I placed them in the shredder but I was feeding them at a rapid pace. I managed to feed too many pages at one point and the shredder immediately sensed it and reversed the stack. Impressive! I very quickly filled the bin twice before the over-temp light illuminated and the shredder stopped working. After 30 minutes it was ready to go again.”
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