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Paper shredders

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What's behind our paper shredder Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 15 models in paper shredders to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    This score is based primarily on speed of shredding mixed paper, effective capacity and convenience. The displayed score is out of a total of 100 points.
  • Speed
    This is based on the number of sheets per minute each model could shred.
  • Effective capacity
    The total volume each machine could shred until it stopped.
  • Convenience
    How straightforward, legible and easy to use each model was to use.

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Recommended paper shredders

Recommended paper shredders are standout choices with high scores. They include CR Best Buys, which offer exceptional value. When narrowing your choices, weigh features, price, and attributes that matter to you.
  • Buying Guide
  • Price & Shop
Cross-cut paper shredders slice papers horizontally and vertically and turn your documents into small bits and pieces that are much more difficult to patch back together than the long, thin strips other shredders produce. Some come with a pullout console. You empty the paper shredder by pulling out a drawer that collects the shreds. A wastepaper-basket paper shredder has a shredder mechanism that you lift off of a basket that holds the shreds. Consumer Reports’ unbiased paper shredders reviews will give you honest buying advice that you can trust. Use our paper shredders buying guide to discover the features that are most important to consider when looking for the best paper shredders. We also provide unbiased paper shredders Ratings to help you choose the best paper shredders for your needs.

Paper shredder buying guide

Paper shredder buying guide

We've long recommended that you shred important documents before you dispose of them, especially if they contain vital personal information that identity thieves can use. And unless you want to spend the time dealing with the documents by hand or pay a company to do it for you, the most effective tool is a cross-cut shredder, which slices papers horizontally and vertically and turns your documents into small bits and pieces that are much more difficult to patch back together than the long, thin strips other shredders produce.

We tested 19 crosscut shredders in two types. With a pullout console model, you empty the device pulling out a drawer that collects the shreds; with a wastepaper-basket shredder, you to lift the shredder mechanism off of a basket that holds the shreds.

Our testers fed the shredders about 25,000 sheets of paper left over from a printer test. Half the paper was 20-pound stock, and the rest was thinner paper printed with color photographs. All the shredders met the manufacturer's claims about how many sheets you can feed at one time, and they all successfully handled credit cards. The shredders designed to deal with CDs, DVDs, paper clips, and staples capably shredded those items, too.

The four recommended models (one each from Black & Decker and GoEcoLife, and two from Staples) proved to be easy to operate, shredded paper faster than the others, had fewer paper jams, and required less frequent emptying. They were also among the most expensive units we tested, costing $150 to $270.

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