What's A Good Paper Shredder?

BruiseLee

Enlightened
Joined
Feb 2, 2003
Messages
207
Location
Los Angeles
What\'s A Good Paper Shredder?

I know a lot of people who have been victims of identity theft. I was busy paying my monthly bills tonight, and I'm thinking I sure am throwing out a lot of paper - I think I threw out about a dozen credit card oriented envelopes alone!

So, I'm thinking it might be a good time to invest in a paper shredder. My mom had a Fellowes one that worked pretty well for about two years before it mysteriously died.

Can anybody recommend one? It's for home use, so it doesn't have to be a heavy duty unit built for a big office. If possible, I'd like to keep the cost down to below $100.

Bruise
 

cy

Flashaholic
Joined
Dec 20, 2003
Messages
8,186
Location
USA
Re: What\'s A Good Paper Shredder?

Royal 10x crosscut paper shredder purchased at Sams aprox 2 years ago for $45 works great!
 

NeonLights

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 18, 2003
Messages
1,493
Location
Ohio
Re: What\'s A Good Paper Shredder?

The best paper shredder I've found is our 8 month old Saint Bernard puppy, Freya. I just came home from work to a shredded box of Kleenex all over the office floor, and yesterday she shredded a stack of papers I had sitting beside my desk. The only problem with a using a Saint Bernard puppy for a paper shredder is that they tend to be somewhat indiscriminate with what they shred. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

-Keith
 

prescottrecorder

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Messages
180
Location
Maryland, USA
Re: What\'s A Good Paper Shredder?

I've been really, really pleased with my Aurora AS1512X shredder. It's quiet, can shred a lot in one pass, also shreds credit cards and CDs and looks pretty good. Got it at Costco with a big rebate several years ago. Don't know if they're easy to find now.
 

PaulW

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 23, 2003
Messages
2,060
Location
Laurel, Maryland
Re: What\'s A Good Paper Shredder?

Just a couple of weeks ago I bought a Royal VF1000 ITIX, evidently the same one that CY got. It was $50 at Sam's. It claims to do 10x, but that's for thin paper, 24 lbs or less. I have used it reliably for bank statements at 8x.

I was cleaning out my old financial papers going back to the 60s. I must have generated close to 10 kitchen-sized bags of tightly compressed shreds, and it's still going strong. They call this one the "heavy-duty" version. I kept it going easily for hours on end. Even though it got warm, the overheat mechanism did not trip.

The "medium duty" version was only half the price, but it was not advertised as being capable of continuous shredding.

Paul
 

newo

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Messages
174
Location
Florida
Re: What\'s A Good Paper Shredder?

The brand names and model numbers change pretty frequently.

I am currently on my 5th shredder (at home) in about 15 years.

What you really want to pay attention to are certain features. You want cross-cut - accept no substitutes. You want the ability to have the shredding mechanism reverse - helps fix, and prevent, clogs - look for a switch setting that says reverse, or something like that. The ability to shred credit cards is worth having. If you use writable CDs to backup your financial and personal data, the ability to eat CDs is good, but you could use aircraft (metal) snips too.

If you watch for sales at Office Depot, Office Max, or Staples, pay attention to features, and are willing to spend $100 or so, you'll get something that will hold up for several years.

They do wear out. And the paper cutters will get dull over time, and there really isn't a way to resharpen them. So resign yourself to replacing this item every four or five years. If it doesn't last that long, you probably bought a lighter duty one than you actually need, and make sure you upgrade the next time around.
 

prescottrecorder

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Messages
180
Location
Maryland, USA
Re: What\'s A Good Paper Shredder?

Newo's advice is right on and more usefull than a particular model number. Make sure that the crosscut pieces are really small and go with heavier duty rather than light. I had a light duty shredder with all of these features, but it was painfully noisy, tended to jam, generated ridiculously big pieces of shredded paper and filled up quickly. It didn't get used that often. The Auroro works so well that we use it just for fun.
 

paulr

Flashaholic
Joined
Mar 29, 2003
Messages
10,832
Re: What\'s A Good Paper Shredder?

Beyond crosscut there's the issue of the size of the little shreds. Some crosscut shredders make pieces about 1/4" wide and 2" long. It's pretty easy to reassemble those enough to get an account number or something off the original, if you're worried about that. (There are even computer programs that do it--you put the shreds into a scanner and the program recreates the original image based on matching the edges of the scanned shreds). Shredders for classified documents make shreds 1/16" by 1/2" and start at around $1000. Reasonable civilian shredders are generally in between those sizes. I have a Royal CIA 12X which shreds to around 1/8" by 1/2" and cost $200 a few years ago, but it's discontinued now (try ebay).

If you have a lot of old stuff to shred, you can call a shredding service like Instashred. They can come pick it up and take to a shredding/recycling facility, or for higher security they can send a mobile shredder (truck mounted) and shred the stuff at your location. Or you can bring it to them. Our office used a pick-up/remote shredding service and they charged us about $15 per container ("container" is a closed, locked wastebasket with a mailbox-like slot in the top, about the size of a 40 gal garbage can, so we'd just drop our confidential printouts into it for disposal, and once a month or so they'd come empty it out). I think there was a minimum charge of $45 a month (several containers). That didn't apply if you actually brought the stuff to them. You could get a carload of paper shredded and recycled for $45 or something like that.
 

Wingerr

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 24, 2001
Messages
1,336
Location
N 40.711561 W 74.011753
Re: What\'s A Good Paper Shredder?

I used to tear all the ubiquitous credit card solicitations up the middle and shred the left side only, because that's where all the name and address stuff was, but now they've taken to putting it on the left up top, and on the right at the bottom. I wonder if they did that just to irk me.. Remember: just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they not all out to get you-

My crosscut shredder's a light duty one and somewhat raucous in operation, so I do a quick rip and tear of the parts that have any good stuff on it for feeding into the shredder instead of the whole shebang. It's rated for something like 5 sheets at once, but I'm pretty sure they develop the ratings using Charmin.
The Aurora one from Costco is pretty pleasant sounding in operation; when mine bites the dust, I'll probably look for that one. I don't need the CD shredding feature, since the only ones I toss out generally say "AOL" on them.
 

newo

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Messages
174
Location
Florida
Re: What\'s A Good Paper Shredder?

You used to be able to buy civilian version crosscut shredders that did about 1/8" x 3/16", but the last time I went looking, about six months ago, all I could find were small strips in various sizes. As paulr suggests, smaller is better. But smaller also means that the shredder clogs more frequently. And shredders for classified material are available that reduce the material down quite a bit smaller than 1/16 x 1/2.

The whole shredder thing got to be such a pain in the neck for DoD that several years ago, in one of its interminable renovation programs, a captive burn center was built contiguous to the Pentagon. Of course, shredding followed by burning, or chemically treating the shreddings turning the shreds into paper pulp is more secure still.

It all depends on what threat you are trying to defeat. Most folks are simply trying to make it difficult for an opportunistic dumpster-diver to easily grab their SSAN and some account numbers.

Personally, I happen to believe that perfect, and near-perfect, personal security in today's world of data-miners and sophisticated computer database intrusion techniques is an illusion. People with those capabilities can get your stuff even if you leave absolutely no paper trail.

The best you can do is to make it difficult enough for the opportunistic dumpster-diver to get your stuff that he / she / it moves on to an easier, softer, target than you. A decent shredder is a good start.

If you desire more physical security than that, get a fine meshed metal outdoor fire enclosure on a metal base, like they sell seasonally at various places as an outdoor fireplace, or protected leaf burner. Create a burn bag by dumping your shreddings into a brown paper bag, fold the top over, staple it so it stays closed while it burns (don't want any unburned paper confetti floating around), and put it in your outdoor burning enclosure. Mix a martini. Take it out to your homemade burn facility, light the thing off, and consume your martini whilst making sure it all burns. Dump the ashes into a metal bucket or something similar. Throw a garden hose on it, and using an old paint stirrer, mix well, breaking up what is left of the ash. Then pour the ash slurry out into your garden and work it into the soil.

That is about as secure as the average guy can make himself. And it is more trouble than most folks are willing to go through to get that security.

Ergo, a crosscut shredder.
 

auriga

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
24
Location
Sweden
Re: What\'s A Good Paper Shredder?

Shredders are classified with DIN 32757, for credit card statements and other confidential information you should use Level 3-5.
Level 3 is strip cut 1.9 mm or cross cut 3.9 x 30 - 50 mm.
Here's a web page if you want to read about the DIN standard.
http://ispdnews.com/content/view/3/2/
 

Lurker

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 6, 2002
Messages
1,457
Location
The South
Re: What\'s A Good Paper Shredder?

I scrimped and got a strip cutter instead of a cross cut. Mistake. The trash bin fills up instantly with strip cut pieces. The cross cut pieces take up a lot less space and are therefore a lot more convenient. Not to mention more secure.
 

X33

Enlightened
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Messages
321
Location
UK
Re: What\'s A Good Paper Shredder?

I agree. I think a personal shredder is mainly to deter the opportunistic thief going thru rubbish. Cross cut is better. But again I don't think spending huge sums on a finer cut shredder will make that much of a difference. Once they see the confetti, they'll move on to someone elses rubbish. Instead of starting to puzzle.
 

Wingerr

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 24, 2001
Messages
1,336
Location
N 40.711561 W 74.011753
Re: What\'s A Good Paper Shredder?

And flushing the pieces down the loo won't do, as Penguin in Batman showed- /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

Glenn

Enlightened
Joined
Jan 11, 2002
Messages
206
Location
PA
Re: What\'s A Good Paper Shredder?

If you only have a small amount of sensitive shredded material:
Put it in with you "wet" garbage bag with a twist tie or
with your cat litter box discards. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eeew.gif

Glenn
 

Wingerr

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 24, 2001
Messages
1,336
Location
N 40.711561 W 74.011753
Re: What\'s A Good Paper Shredder?

Bleech... you could probably even dispose of hard currency that way /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif I sure ain't diving in for it!
 

Skyline

Enlightened
Joined
Aug 17, 2000
Messages
755
Location
New Jersey
Re: What\'s A Good Paper Shredder?

Just got myself a Primera DS360 CD/DVD shredder for $120 from Amazon. I've been accumulating old discs (backups, coasters, etc) and didn't feel comfortable just tossing them out. Boy, if you think paper shredding is fun, CD/DVD shredding takes it to a whole 'nother level. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

DS360big.jpg
 

Wingerr

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 24, 2001
Messages
1,336
Location
N 40.711561 W 74.011753
Re: What\'s A Good Paper Shredder?

That must make interesting confetti- any good uses for it? Potted plants? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
I would think just snapping the disk in two would do the job of securing it. I suppose someone could conceivably have some fixed scanner that could extract the information from the broken pieces, but they would have to want it really, really, really bad (to quote Zoolander) to do that.
 

jbfla

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 21, 2004
Messages
150
Location
central Florida
Re: What\'s A Good Paper Shredder?

I also have one of the Royal Crosscut VF1000 shredders from SAMS Club. It does a good job of chewing up paper and credit cards, and makes CDs unreadable...very pleased with it.

JB
 
Top