The 8 Best Paper Shredders of 2020

Make sure all your important documents are discarded properly

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The Rundown

Best Overall: AmazonBasics 12-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper Shredder at Amazon

"Equipped with anti-jam auto-reverse to clear paper jams quickly and easily to get you back to shredding in no time."

Best for Home Office: Swingline Prostyle+ at Amazon

"With its sleek and compact design, it’s almost hard to believe it can hold up to 5 gallons worth of shredded material."

Best Budget: AmazonBasics 6-Sheet at Amazon

"Fits the bill for quick, easy, and limited shredding sessions."

Best Security: Fellowes Powershred 99Ms at Amazon

"Providing the ultimate in protection, with particles ten times smaller than a standard cross-cut."

Best Run Time: Royal 1840MX at Amazon

"Standout option for both home and small businesses."

Best Bin Capacity: Fellowes Powershred 125Ci at Amazon

"Featuring a 14-gallon bin capacity that is ideal for use in large offices."

Best for Businesses: HSM 150-Sheet at Amazon

"A fantastic choice for large businesses, with features to spare."

Best Versatility: Fellowes Powershred 79Ci at Amazon

"Handling 16 sheets of paper per pass, along with staples, credit cards, paperclips, and CD/DVDs."

Best Overall: AmazonBasics 12-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper Shredder

What We Like
  • Cross-shredding for effective and secure destruction of documents

  • Anti-jam auto-reverse to clear paper jams

  • Auto-on sensor

What We Don't Like
  • Noisy despite its size

  • Bucket isn’t as durable

  • Gets warm quickly

When it comes to shredding documents, you need a capable, reliable, and durable machine to do the job. The AmazonBasics is just that. Able to shred up to 12 sheets and credit cards, you’ll have unwanted documents and cards destroyed in no time. It can even shred continuously for up to 7 minutes with only a 30-minute cool-down. It's even equipped with anti-jam auto-reverse to clear paper jams quickly and easily to get you back to shredding in no time. And, with the cross-cut shred, you’ll find your documents or unwanted cards effectively and securely destroyed.

Small and discrete, you can place this shredder anywhere in your home without it being in the way and can still count on it holding up to 4.8 gallons worth of shredded documents. Plus, it’s easy to set up and even easier to use. AmazonBasics also comes with a 1-year limited warranty should you run into any issues.

Best for Home Office: Swingline Prostyle+

Swingline 14-Sheet
Courtesy of Amazon.com
4.2
What We Like
  • Sturdy teeth

  • Compact

What We Don't Like
  • Short runtime and lengthy cooldown

When getting equipment for your home office, it’s important to find things that not only work well but don’t take up too much space. The Swingline Prostyle+ is here for your home office shredding needs all while fitting wherever you need it. Small and compact, it’s still ready to take on all your shred jobs with its impressive 14-sheet capacity. Plus, it can destroy CDs, DVDs, and credit cards in addition to documents and comes with a separate slot for CDs and DVDs so you don’t risk wearing down the main blades. You won’t even have to worry about taking out staples or paperclips, the sharp and sturdy teeth can cut through without the worry of wearing out. It can even shred unwanted mail without needed to remove the envelope. The Swingline can also run continuously for 4 minutes but will require a 40-minute cooldown between continuous runs.

With its sleek and compact design, it’s almost hard to believe it can hold up to 5 gallons worth of shredded material. And with its supercross shred, your documents will be effectively and securely destroyed with ease.

Best Budget: AmazonBasics 6-Sheet

Amazon 6-Sheet
Courtesy of Amazon.com
3.8
What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Cross-cut shredder

What We Don't Like
  • Small capacity

For quick, easy and limited shredding sessions, Amazon’s six-sheet cross-cut paper and credit card shredder more than fits the bill. Capable of shredding strips into 7/32 inches or 1-27/32 inches, the compact shredder is perfect for the home office. At 15" x 12.1" x 7.7" inches and 8.25 pounds, the shredder isn’t going to knock your socks off with raw power. The 3.8-gallon bin is sized just right for a shredder that has a two-minute run time. The 30-minute cooldown is in line with more expensive shredders, but the low price tag is the tradeoff for a shredder that lasts just 120 seconds before automatically shutting off.

Run time aside, shredding ATM receipts, old tax returns and junk mail make this unit perfect for use in a small business or home office. In automatic mode, shredding begins once the sensor detects that a piece of paper or single credit card has entered the 8.7-inch wide paper feed. As a cross-cut shredder, each individual shred will occur faster than a micro-cut shredder, but it sacrifices the six times smaller confetti-like shred.

Best Security: Fellowes Powershred 99Ms

Fellowes Powershred 99Ms
Courtesy of Amazon.com
What We Like
  • Super-fine shredding

What We Don't Like
  • Unweildy

The prime reason for paper shredding comes down to security. And the Fellowes Powershred 99Ms is a shredder that puts security above all other features. The micro-cut shredder can push 12 sheets (and credit cards) into the nine-inch wide feed slot per pass into 5/65-inch x 9/16-inch cross-cut particles, which stamps it as the most secure shredder on this list. As a micro-cut shredder, the 99Ms provides the ultimate in protection, with particles 10 times smaller than a standard cross-cut. Realistically, the 99Ms will cut a single letter-sized sheet of paper into 2,154 particles per sheet, so it's next to impossible to reassemble.

At 25.2" x 17.4" x 11.2" and 41.5-pounds, the 99Ms is a little on the tall side, which makes it far more suitable for a business environment. Regardless of its placement, the 99Ms can operate for 15 minutes before a 25-minute cooldown period is needed, which allows time to properly dispose of the nine-gallon pull-out bin. Fellowes claims that the bin can hold 80 percent more micro-cut particles per gallon than the standard cross-cut particles, including their own models. And the inclusion of “SilentShred” limits the decibel level for ultra-quiet performance in shared workspaces.

Best Run Time: Royal 1840MX

Royal 1840MX
Courtesy of Amazon.com
What We Like
  • Long runtime

What We Don't Like
  • Heavy & Large

  • No casters

With a 40-minute run time, Royal’s 1840MX 18-sheet commercial cross-cut paper shredder is a standout option for both home and small businesses. Its lengthy run time helps it destroy 18 sheets in a single pass into 5/32-inch x 1 1/8-inch particles, as well as CDs, DVDs and credit cards. Once shredded, sensitive information documents drop right into a slide-out 8.5-gallon wastebasket with a clear viewing window to show you when it needs emptying. With an auto start/stop and reverse function, the 1840MX will shred a single sheet in just under five seconds. It's 11.5" x 15.2" x 25.50" and weighs 44 pounds, but doesn't come casters for easy maneuvering around the home or office.

Best Bin Capacity: Fellowes Powershred 125Ci

What We Like
  • Low noise

  • High waste capacity

What We Don't Like
  • Long cool down

Fellowes strikes again with the Powershred 125Ci. Starring a 14-gallon bin capacity, the energy-efficient 125Ci is ideal for use in large offices. This powerhouse is capable of shredding 20 sheets of paper per pass into 397 (5/32” x 1-1/2” Security Level P-4) cross-cut particles and it can even handle miscellaneous items such as staples, paper clips, credit cards, CDs and more. It can chug away for 45 minutes before needing to cool down and its 100 percent jam-proof system promises to keep frustrations to a minimum. Additional features we especially like are its SafeSense technology that freezes the shredder when it senses hands touching the paper opening, and SilentShred, which keeps noise to a minimum — though that doesn’t cover your chatty co-worker.

Best for Businesses: HSM 150-Sheet

HSM 150-Sheet
Courtesy of Amazon.com
What We Like
  • High speed shredding

  • 9-gallon capacity

  • Energy management system

What We Don't Like
  • Might be excessive for some users

At first glance, a pricey shredder might seem unnecessary, but for large businesses, HSM’s 150-sheet shredder is a fantastic choice, with features to spare. A three-year warranty is paired with high-quality materials engineered for both security and durability over the life of the shredder. Additionally, an energy management control system pumps out just .1 watts in standby mode. At 29.1" x 15" x 15.5" and 42.6 pounds, it’s not unusually large for the price. Most importantly, the size belies the features, specifically the 150-sheet autofeed tray that can handle up to 12.8 feet of shredding per minute. The nine-gallon bin is paired with a wider throat opening (9.5 inches), and there's an automatic start and stop to prevent paper jams.

The micro-cut shreds at a very high-security level, which is ideal for destroying confidential data to prevent identity theft or documents of importance to a person, company or institution. Finally, the ability to continuously add paper manually during the autofeed stack processing cuts down on the amount of time required to utilize the HSM.

Best Versatility: Fellowes Powershred 79Ci

Fellowes Powershred 79Ci
Courtesy of Amazon.com
What We Like
  • Equal opportunity shredder

  • 6-gallon capacity

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

When it comes to a shredder, models can range from budget entries, to out-of-this-world splurges, but they all highlight handling both multimedia and paper. While many users focus on paper first and multimedia second, the Fellowes Powershred 79Ci treats every shreddable object equally. It can handle 16 sheets of paper per pass, along with staples, credit cards, paper clips and CD/DVDs. A 100 percent “Jam Proof” system eliminates paper jams and powers through tough jobs, specifically those of the multimedia type. And the introduction of SafeSense technology goes one step further to shut down the shredder when hands get too close to the paper opening. As a cross-cut shredder, the 79Ci will reduce the 16 sheets of paper per pass into 397 particles (5/32 x 1-1/2-inch), which will fall into a six-gallon pull-out with a LED bin-full indicator.

What to Look for in a Paper Shredder

Sheet capacity - If you’re using a paper shredder for occasional home use — bank statements, those endless credit card offers — then a small six-sheet capacity should be fine. But if you’re using it for a home office or a business, then you may want to pay a little more to be able to shred more at once.

Shred style - All shredders do not shred alike. Some destroy documents more completely than others. If you’re using a shredder for pretty routine documents at home, then you probably don’t need top-of-the-line shredding capabilities. But if you deal with sensitive information at home or in the workplace, then paying more for micro-cut shreds, rather than cross-cut shredding, is a good idea.

Other materials - There may be times you want to shred more than just paper. Credit cards, CDs with sensitive material on them, paper with staples — the list goes on and on. That’s why you should check and see if the shredder you’re interested in can handle these types of shredding. Staples especially are key because who wants to remove them before sending documents through the shredder?