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Credit: Reviewed.com / Jackson Ruckar

The Best Paper Shredders of 2022

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Credit: Reviewed.com / Jackson Ruckar

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Editor's Choice Product image of Tru Red TR-NMC122A
Best Overall

Tru Red TR-NMC122A

Style meets functionality. It's easy to use, can make tiny shreds, and it's effortless to clean. Parents will love the safety features too. Read More

Pros

  • Can shred continuously
  • Simple to use and clean
  • Makes tiny shreds

Cons

  • On the loud side
Editor's Choice Product image of Fellowes 62MC Micro-Cut Shredder
Best for Sensitive Documents

Fellowes 62MC Micro-Cut Shredder

If security is the main objective for shredding, this device sets the bar. It creates miniscule shreds. And it's easy to use and clean. Read More

Pros

  • Creates miniscule shreds
  • Can shred continuously
  • Large bin is easy to clean out

Cons

  • None that we could find
Editor's Choice Product image of Royal 112MX Cross-Cut Shredder
Best Value

Royal 112MX Cross-Cut Shredder

Ideal for smaller, less sensitive shredding, this lightweight device is easy to use, easy to move, and easy to clean out. Read More

Pros

  • Small shreds for a cross-cutter
  • No issues with loading in materials
  • Easy to move and empty

Cons

  • Creates a fair amount of dust
  • Pretty loud
Product image of Royal MC14MX Micro-Cut Shredder

Royal MC14MX Micro-Cut Shredder

You'll be able to go a while between emptying out this shredder's massive 8.5-gallon bin. That's a good thing because it's a bit messy to clean out. Read More

Pros

  • Very large shredding bin
  • Easy to insert items to shred
  • Handles many different items

Cons

  • Fairly large shreds for "micro cut"
  • Emptying bin can be messy
Product image of GBC ShredMaster PSX10-06

GBC ShredMaster PSX10-06

For a no muss, no fuss shredder experience, look no further than the super cross-cut GBC Shredmaster PSX10-06. Read More

Pros

  • Basic interface

Cons

  • Non-responsive buttons

The digital age is all about two things: convenience and accessibility. Who doesn't love being able to pay for gum at the gas station with a tap of a phone, or buying a couch while waiting in line for a burrito? While the advent of smartphones, laptops, and other portable devices have made us more connected and taken the hassle out of a lot of boring tasks, it's also opened us up to previously unknown risks, including identity theft.

In the digital world, we count on antivirus software, two-factor authentication, and other identity theft-prevention measures to keep us safe from fraud. But what do you do in the real world, where you still get credit card solicitations, bank statements, and medical bills on paper? Simple: You buy a paper shredder, like our favorite TRU RED Micro-Cut Shredder (available at Staples) .

Robert Siciliano, a Security Analyst with VPN provider HotSpot Shield says paper shredders are vital to maintaining identity security. "A shredder is an essential appliance," he said, "just like a washing machine or a dryer. Destroying paperwork that could be considered 'sensitive' or could be used to piece together an identity is needed in every home and office."

With that in mind, we set out to find the top micro-cut and cross-cut shredders on the market, evaluating both their shredding abilities and their usability.

Editor's Note

The recommendations in this guide are based on thorough product and market research by our team of expert product reviewers. The picks are based on examining user reviews, product specifications, and, in some limited cases, our experience with the specific products named.

The Staples TruRed Micro-Cut Shredder
Credit: Reviewed.com / Betsey Goldwasser
Best Overall
TRU RED Micro-Cut Shredder

Who it’s for: People with higher security needs and some disposable income

Page limit: 12 sheets

Continuous run time/cool down period: 10 minutes/40 minutes

What it can shred: paper, staples, paper clips

This shredder was able to shred single sheets of paper continuously, without stopping or sending an error message, for five minutes. It was also able to shred stacks of paper with thicknesses of 1 to 12 sheets without failing. It was also able to shred a credit card, four staples, and a paper clip. The TRU RED 12 Sheet Micro-Cut shredder lives in the sweet spot in the Venn diagram of “makes tiny shreds,” “large capacity,” and “doesn’t make a mess.” The bin has a capacity of 5.8 gallons and it can hold micro-cut shreds from more than 150 sheets of paper.

Everything about this shredder is easy to use. While it’s one of the heavier shredders we tested (coming in at about 21 pounds), it doesn’t feel top heavy, and it rolls easily on four wheels, two of which have brakes. The shredder’s controls are very basic, and we like it that way. It has a power button, a “forward” button, and a “reverse” button, both of which will help to get rid of a jam. Fortunately, we never experienced a paper jam during testing; in fact, we were pleasantly surprised by the way the shredding teeth remained clog-free, even after shredding about 50 sheets of paper in five minutes. On the other hand, while the shredding noise isn’t a high-pitched shriek, it’s a bit on the loud side. As for safety features, the TRU RED shredder has a vertical, narrow slit that is easy to access for shredding purposes, but looks to be too narrow to endanger the fingers of small children. Additionally, this shredder comes with a lock that, when activated, prevents the shredder from turning on at all. We also liked the cord management system, which allows you to wrap the cable up tight to minimize tripping hazards.

The micro-cut shreds from this shredder are about 10 mm long, and 4 mm wide. While they’re not the tiniest shreds we saw during our tests, that’s still small enough for you to feel confident that anyone would have a lot of trouble reconstructing any sensitive documents you shred.

What users think: People who purchased this shredder were pleased with its performance. A couple people found that the shredders didn’t work right out of the box, but because it’s a Staples product, they were able to return or replace it with minimal fuss.

The bottom line: While it’s a bit pricey, we think this shredder will make a lot of people happy with its shredding capacity, simple interface, lack of jamming, and safety features.

Pros

  • Can shred continuously

  • Simple to use and clean

  • Makes tiny shreds

Cons

  • On the loud side

The Fellowes 62MC
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jackson Ruckar
Best for Sensitive Documents
Fellowes 62MC Micro-Cut Shredder

Page limit: 10 sheets at a time

Continuous run time/cool down period: 7 minutes/60 minutes

What it's rated to shred: Paper, credit cards, and staples

The Fellowes 62MC Micro-Cut shredder is an awesome pick for a wide variety of shredding needs, offering reliable performance and outstanding features. In testing, it was able to shred continuously for five minutes at a time, tearing through stacks of 1 to 10 sheets without jamming. It didn't flinch at staples or a pile of junk mail including regular paper, stiff paper, and a mock credit card.

There are other pluses: The 62MC's pull-out basket has an extra-large capacity of 5 gallons that takes more than 100 sheets to completely fill up. The shreds it produced were the finest among shredders I tested, at just 9mm by 3mm, which makes it nearly impossible to reconstruct shredded documents. The bin is easy to remove, and emptying it into the trash doesn't generate huge plumes of paper dust. I also appreciated the fact that the 62MC isn't especially shrill or rumbly in operation.

The shredder sits on casters with brakes, so it's more portable than its 21-pound weight would suggest, and its sturdiness means you needn't worry about it tipping over on your toddler. The user interface is a model of simplicity, and a safety switch makes operation even more worry-free. The shredding slot is narrow and vertical, which is also great for users with kids, but does require slightly more advanced technique—you can't just toss your pages in.

What other reviewers thought: While there have been some reports that the Fellowes shredder has a short life span, there are many reviews that praise its quiet shredding and "confetti"-sized shreds.

The bottom line: The Fellowes 62MC Micro-Cut Shredder will quickly shred documents into teeny-tiny pieces and has a lot of features that make it appealing to everyone, even those with little kids.

Pros

  • Creates miniscule shreds

  • Can shred continuously

  • Large bin is easy to clean out

Cons

  • None that we could find

The Royal 112MX
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jackson Ruckar
Best Value
Royal 112MX Cross-Cut Shredder

Page limit: 12 sheets at a time

Continuous run time/cool down period: 2 minutes/25 minutes

What it's rated to shred: Paper, credit cards, and CD/DVDs

The Royal 112MX Cross-Cut shredder is a great product for those with less pressing security needs. Its small 3.25-gallon bucket can hold shreds from 50-60 pieces of paper, and the shreds produced by the 112MX were the smallest I got from any cross-cut shredder—just 32mm long and 4 mm wide.

In my testing, it devoured single sheets for five minutes without returning an error or pausing. It was able to shred stacks of paper with thicknesses of 1 to 12 sheets without jamming, and powered through credit cards. DVDs were no problem, either, thanks to a separate disc slot.

Between its brake-equipped wheels and 15-pound weight, it's easy to move and hard to dislodge. A pull-out bucket (something of a rarity at this size) makes cleanup a breeze. Users with kids will appreciate the narrow disc and credit card slots, along with blades positioned at a 90° angle from the main paper slot. Together, they make it difficult for tiny fingers to get in trouble.

On the downside, emptying the bin can be a bit dusty, and the shredding noise is slightly louder than what you'd expect from a smaller shredder.

What other reviewers thought: Reviews for the Royal 112MX are mixed. Some users were annoyed with its short run time and "light use" rating, but others praised its ability to power through thick stacks of paper. Several owners complained about the one-year warranty, especially in light of some early failures.

The bottom line: The Royal 112MX Cross-Cut shredder is a great light use shredder that has a front-load paper slot and generates the smallest cross-cut shreds out of all of the cross-cut shredders I tested.

Pros

  • Small shreds for a cross-cutter

  • No issues with loading in materials

  • Easy to move and empty

Cons

  • Creates a fair amount of dust

  • Pretty loud

Product image of Royal MC14MX Micro-Cut Shredder
Royal MC14MX Micro-Cut Shredder

Page limit: 14 sheets at a time

Continuous run time/cool down period: "Continuous operation"

What it's rated to shred: Paper, credit cards, and CD/DVDs

The Royal MC14MX Micro-Cut Shredder boasts an 8.5-gallon bucket—largest out all of the shredders I tested—and a heavy-duty design that checks in at 34.4 pounds. The front-load slot has a curved guide that makes it easy to insert pages, though there's a delay before the auto-shred sensor kicks in. In my testing, the MC14MX was able to power through as many as 14 sheets at a time, and also easily handled a DVD, card stock, staples, credit cards, and paper clips.

There are negatives, though. The shreds, while still quite small, were among the largest micro-cut examples I encountered at 12mm by 4mm. Once you're done shredding, emptying the bin can be a messy prospect, since the shreds are very staticky and lots of dust is generated during the shredding process. Luckily, the shred noise isn't obnoxious—especially since this particular unit is rated for "continuous shredding."

Pros

  • Very large shredding bin

  • Easy to insert items to shred

  • Handles many different items

Cons

  • Fairly large shreds for "micro cut"

  • Emptying bin can be messy

Product image of GBC ShredMaster PSX10-06
GBC Shredmaster PSX10-06 Super Cross-Cut Shredder

Page limit: 10 sheets at a time

Continuous run time/cool down period: 6 minutes

What it's rated to shred: Paper, staples, paper clips

The GBC Shredmaster PSX10-06 is a basic shredder with no extra features. It is a super cross-cut shredder that shreds the paper down to a size of 27 mm x 4 mm—a shred size that is larger than those produced by micro-cut shredders and smaller than those produced by typical cross-cut shredders. Because the strips are long enough that some text might still be legible, we recommend using this shredder for less-sensitive documents (the shredder itself has a P-4 security rating).

In this shredder, the shredder head sits on top of the bin. While the shredding process is relatively loud, it does not produce a lot of dust; when emptying the bin, the shreds mostly just slide out of the bin as a single mass.

During testing, we found that the PSX10-06's two control buttons were not very responsive; it feels as though you’re pressing rigid plastic, rather than a button. Furthermore, in our experience, the shredder only worked when it was sitting in the "correct" orientation on the bin, and that orientation was not immediately obvious. So, you'll need to closely examine the shredder's manual to figure out which way the shredder head needs to be placed.

If you have minimal security concerns and want a “set it and forget it” shredder, consider the GBC Shredmaster PSX10-06.

Pros

  • Basic interface

Cons

  • Non-responsive buttons

Product image of HSM ShredStar BS14C Cross-Cut Shredder
HSM BS14C Cross-Cut Shredder

Page limit: 14 sheets at a time

Continuous run time/cool down period: "Continuous operation"

What it's rated to shred: Paper, credit cards, paper clips, staples, and CD/DVDs

The HSM BS14C has the body of a mid-sized shredder, but the heart of a heavy-duty model, thanks to a 5.8-gallon receptacle that can hold 35mm by 5mm shreds from nearly 200 sheets of paper. Unfortunately, despite a huge handle on the pull-out bin, it can be tough to remove. When it comes to safety, the 23-pound shredder is wobbly enough to present a tipping hazard, but it has the benefit of a second power switch on the back that should prevent anyone from turning it on and shredding something by accident.

The top-load design accepts paper easily, but there's a noticeable lag before the printer senses it and begins shredding. During my testing, it was often interrupted by false "full bin" alarms, requiring me to shake the bin to get it going again. Emptying the bin also tended to make a mess, with clumped shreds falling out all at once.

On the other hand, the BS14C is definitely the quietest shredder I tested. Fan noise was audible after it processed a lot of paper, but that's to be expected for a shredder that's rated for "continuous operation."

Pros

  • Accepts a lot of shredding material

  • Large shredding bin

  • Very quiet

Cons

  • Can be difficult to empty

  • Presents a tipping hazard

  • False alarms force user to shake device awake

Product image of AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut Shredder
AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut Shredder

Page limit: 6 sheets at a time

Continuous run time/cool down period: 2 minutes/30 minutes

What it's rated to shred: Paper, credit cards, paper clips, and staples

The AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut Shredder is small, with a scant 3.8 gallon capacity. But it's also remarkably fast, shredding 85 sheets of paper (as many as six at a time) in just five minutes—among the quickest shredders I tested. It easily handled everything from regular paper to credit cards and paper clips.

Unlike most other models in our guide it has no wheels, but at just 8.3 pounds that's not a major issue. Unfortunately, the compact design also means the top of the shredder must be removed before the bucket can be emptied. This could become a safety issue if it tips over and the top part of the shredder pops off, exposing the cutting blades to the open air.

The front-load paper slot makes it easy to insert paper to be shredded, but the small bin can quickly overflow, clogging the blades from below. The shreds it produces were also the largest I got from any shredder at 44mm by 5mm. Last but definitely not least, the machine is fairly quiet in operation, but when it's done shredding, the AmazonBasics emits an especially unpleasant high-pitched whine.

Pros

  • Shreds quickly

  • Handles several types of materials

  • Runs fairly quietly

Cons

  • Bin loads up quickly

  • Shreds are fairly large

  • Can be a tipping hazard

Product image of Aurora AU820MA Micro-Cut Shredder
Aurora AU820MA Micro-Cut Shredder

Page limit: 8 sheets at a time

Continuous run time/cool down period: 5 minutes/30 minutes

What it's rated to shred: Paper, credit cards, paper clips, CD/DVDs, and staples

The Aurora AU820MA falls in an awkward middle ground in terms of design. Like smaller shredders, it can only be emptied by removing the top shredder head, but with a weight of 14 pounds, that can be an awkward, frustrating proposition. The 4.8-gallon bin has ample room for shreds, but the AU820MA also generates more than the usual amount of dust, making emptying it even more of a chore.

Parents will appreciate a unique panel that has to be flipped downward to access the paper slot, making it more difficult for kids to stick their fingers into the blades. However, the narrowness of the slot, coupled with a finicky paper sensor, means it can be difficult to actually get the machine to start shredding. Once it's going, the shredding process is pretty loud, and somehow gets even louder after the paper has been shredded.

Pros

  • Ample space for shredding

  • Sensible finger guard

  • Can shred a wide variety of materials

Cons

  • Finicky to start

  • Makes a lot of dust

  • Makes a lot of noise

Meet the tester

Julia MacDougall

Julia MacDougall

Senior Scientist

@reviewed

Julia is the Senior Scientist at Reviewed, which means that she oversees (and continually updates) the testing of products in Reviewed's core categories such as televisions, washing machines, refrigerators, and more. She also determines the testing methods and standards for Reviewed's "The Best Right Now" articles.

See all of Julia MacDougall's reviews

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