people's choice

The Best Paper Shredders on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

Photo: Courtesy NBCUniversal

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 products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)

And while we’ve written about lots of office supplies — including the best desk lamps, a cardboard standing desk accessory, and the best notebooks — here, we’ve rounded up the best paper shredders, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.

Best-rated paper shredder

AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper and Credit Card Shredder

With almost 7,000 five-star reviews, customers agreed that this shredder “is great for personal use, either at home or in the office. The shredding mechanism works well and the bin is large enough to hold hundreds of shredded documents before reaching its capacity.” Many reviewers praise its compact size. One points out that “the entire shredder is about the same size as my computer tower.” And another satisfied reviewer writes, “The device is POWERFUL for its size. It’s blades are small but mighty. Seriously, you can hear this thing rev up like a little jet engine ready to gobble paper up.” That means it can handle credit cards, as well as staples. “I bought this to shred an ever-accumulating pile of paper. I’ve gone through it and I keep looking for things to feed it,” writes one reviewer, who notes, “it will shred credit cards or similar cards with ease, which is oddly satisfying. I look forward for my next card to expire so I can feed it to this baby. It does choke up a little if you try to fit the 6 sheets for which it is rated, but then again it might be the fact that I’ve mostly fed it heavy weight paper. It does not, however, care if the paper has staples. It will happily destroy those too.”

Best-rated (less expensive) paper shredder

Aurora Desktop-Style Cross-Cut Paper Shredder

This compact desktop shredder wins praise from many fans with personal shredding needs, or as one reviewer explains, “I refuse to spend a fortune on a shredder when all I need it for is credit card junk mail and relatively few banking [or] confidential documents.” And this desktop-style paper shredder is ideal for just that purpose. “If you’re looking for a small shredder for light use, this one is well-made and fits perfectly on the corner of a desk. The key words are small and light use,” one writes. Dozens of reviewers find it to be a great bargain, perfect for everyday junk mail: “I have used it to shred whole pieces of mail without even opening them and credit cards. It was able to handle both without any trouble … The price-to-value-ratio can’t be beat.” Others love its compact size, like one who says, “I prefer the small size because I find the big shredders hideous. This I can hide away and bring out when I need it.”

Best micro-cut paper shredder

AmazonBasics 6-Sheet High-Security Micro-Cut Paper and Credit Card Shredder

This micro-cut paper shredder is a favorite among reviewers with low-volume needs, but who value privacy, like one who writes, “I finally broke down and got a shredder, after much research. Since I am single, I kept putting this off, thinking I couldn’t justify the substantial purchase for just myself. I thought that I didn’t generate enough papers to need one.” Other reviewers found more creative uses for the tiny, shredded pieces. For example, one says, “My grandson likes it when I shred a few pages of colored paper and play ‘parade.’ I let him throw (and pick up) the confetti. Hours of entertainment for under a buck!” Another, a gardener, finds the extra-small size of the micro-cut paper shreds convenient because “all my shredded material gets used as mulch.”

Best strip-cut paper shredder

AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Strip-Cut Paper, CD, and Credit Card Shredder

Reviewers were amazed by the strength of this machine, even after putting it to the test, like one who “crunched through about 500 CDs [and] DVDs and several hundred papers,” and found “It is still working like it did on day one.” Another satisfied customer said, “Amazon should call Shredder Protective Services on me because I was very mean to this machine and it did not let me down. I shredded three months of daily newspapers to make shred for boxes. I separated each section but once folded [it] was the thickness of 8 pages. I had this thing going for an hour straight…I was careful to feed the paper in correctly but there were times when it became a crumpled mess as it fed through … Only once or twice did it stop. Yet a quick push of the feed button, and it finished.”

And the advantage of the strip-cut, according to reviewers, is that it’s less messy than its crosscut cousins. “What’s not to like. I’m not the NSA or the CIA so I don’t need anything more than a strip-cut shredder, and crosscut shredders are a true pain; lots of paper dust and fly-away shreds,” writes one reviewer, who adds, “It even looks good, nice shiny finish, and shiny is one of human civilization’s few triumphs.”

Best heavy-duty paper shredder

Aurora AU1230XA Anti-Jam 12-Sheet Crosscut Paper and Credit Card Shredder

A common theme among reviewers was the weight of this shredder, which is “heavier than I would have thought,” as one reviewer puts it. “Seems Aurora didn’t cheat on quality when they made this unit. The shredding unit is very solid. When I tested it for the first time I was very impressed in the surprising lack of effort it took to shred multiple pages. The noise level and speed were about the same for a single sheet as for three or four.” Another echoes, “This little shredder is a powerhouse!” But reviewers generally considered the weight a positive, not a negative, like one who said that it’s “moderately heavy for a home shredder, but hope this is a good thing as it may hold up better being made of heavier, more sturdy materials.”

Best jam-proof paper shredder

Fellowes Powershred 79Ci 100% Jam Proof Shredder

Many reviewers rave about this shredder’s ability to process large amounts of paper without jamming, as one explains, “Overstuffing is impossible — there’s an indicator set of lights that will light up when you’ve put in too much for it to handle.” Another echoes, “This shredder is great. I am shredding decades of papers and I must say, with this unit the shredding is going quite quickly and quietly. Oh there is some noise but nothing that makes your brain want to explode (like my other shredder).” Others were happy to find that it stands the test of time, as one writes, “I’ve had it for a year, and it hasn’t jammed once.”

Best shredder with continuous run time

Bonsaii EverShred 18-Sheet Cross-Cut Shredder with 6 Gallon Pullout Basket, 60 Minutes Running Time