The 8 Best Paper Shredders to Buy in 2018

Make sure all your important documents are discarded properly

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The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: AmazonBasics 12-Sheet

AmazonBasics 12-Sheet
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This Amazon shredder easily turns paper into 5/32” and 15/32” bits of confetti with ease. This micro-cut shredder is best suited for individuals who don’t have extreme professional uses (its 12-sheet per shred capacity isn’t ideally suited for lengthy shredding sessions). Fortunately, the 6.7-gallon bin holds more than enough space to add in both shredded credit cards and CDs for good measure. The eight-minute continuous run-time is paired with a 45-minute cool down time that provides just enough time to get through a single shredding session. The 9.1-inch paper feed is standard and offers both auto start and manual reverse to clear out any paper jams.

At 24.29" x 17.01" x 13.39" and 25.8 pounds, Amazon’s 12-sheet shredder is on the smaller side, making it perfect for tucking away into a corner. The micro-cut shred will turn a letter-size sheet of paper into 2,235 pieces, or six times more pieces than a traditional cross-cut shredder. An automatic shut-off feature protects against the machine's motor overheating by automatically turning it off to allow it time to cool down. At 65 decibels, its volume is best stated as mid-range, not too loud, but not too soft.

Best Security: Fellowes Powershred 99Ms

Fellowes Powershred 99Ms
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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 cool down 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.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Swingline 14-Sheet

Swingline 14-Sheet
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Stylish design and compact size help the Swingline 14-sheet paper shredder make the list as a superb option for cutting through paper in no time. It’s priced right for both home and the office, and with a 20-minute run time, it’s got enough horsepower to cut through junk mail and old tax returns with time to spare. At 20.5 pounds, the 14" x 24.5" x 18.69" Swingline tucks away neatly under a desk or in a corner. Unfortunately, it’s compact size also means a compact bin size so, at five gallons, it’s on the small side, but still adequate to get through a single shredding session.

Sheets with paper clips or staples are handled with ease, as are credit cards and CDs, which go through a separate cutter to maintain the quality of the main shredder. The super cross-cut shred can cut through 14-sheets at once with a single letter-size sheet shredded into more than 400 pieces all smaller than a penny. At the end of the 20-minute runtime, an illuminated cool-down indicator directs the user to power off for the recommended 15 minutes before resuming shredding.

Best Run Time: Royal 1840MX

Royal 1840MX
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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 castors for easy maneuvering around the home or office.

Best Bin Capacity: Fellowes Powershred 125Ci

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 Budget: Amazon 6-Sheet

Amazon 6-Sheet
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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 cool down 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 for Businesses: HSM 150-Sheet

HSM 150-Sheet
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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 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
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When it comes to a shredder, models from budget to out-of-this-world splurges all highlight handling both multimedia and paper. While many 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.