Need some advice on shredder

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paulsiu
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Need some advice on shredder

Post by paulsiu »

I am looking to buy my sister a shredder. From what I can tell, she wants to basically feed about 10 pages per week and would also like to be able to shred credit cards and CD. Shredders seems to come in 3 types:

strip cut - cut into strips.
cross-cut - cut into little pieces
micro-cut - essentially turn sheet into paper powder.

Frankly, the micro-cut is an overkill and even cross-cut is probably not really necessary since I am doubtful that a data thief is going to sit around scotch taping strips back together. What I am looking for is something low maintenance. It seems like that shredder need some sort of maintenance eventually, so the fewer times the better.

What do you suggest?

Paul
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bertilak
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by bertilak »

paulsiu wrote:I am looking to buy my sister a shredder. From what I can tell, she wants to basically feed about 10 pages per week and would also like to be able to shred credit cards and CD. Shredders seems to come in 3 types:

strip cut - cut into strips.
cross-cut - cut into little pieces
micro-cut - essentially turn sheet into paper powder.

Frankly, the micro-cut is an overkill and even cross-cut is probably not really necessary since I am doubtful that a data thief is going to sit around scotch taping strips back together. What I am looking for is something low maintenance. It seems like that shredder need some sort of maintenance eventually, so the fewer times the better.

What do you suggest?

Paul
I don't think the cross cuts cost too much more than the strip cuts so it might make sense to get the cross cut.

They do vary widely in what materials they are able to handle (e.g. staples, paper clips, credit cards, CDs) so be careful to get one that meets her needs.

I bought a shredder a few years back and noticed that they are often on sale. Places like Office Max seem to have frequent deals. Online purchases may have even more deals. It is worth checking around. You might be able to buy a better shredder that is initially apparent.
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Geologist
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by Geologist »

I would get a cross-cut shredder because if you feed paper with text parallel to the strips of a strip-cut shredder (as you might if the text is printed landscape on the page), then you're not really shredding at all. I have bought several shredders (for myself and my parents), all cross-cut. None were the cheapest, but none were particularly expensive and I shred at about the same rate you predict for your sister (or a little higher).

I would advise to never feed as many sheets as once as the shredder says it will take. In fact, I usually feed one sheet at a time in all my shredders. I also avoid feeding staples or paperclips, even if the shredder is supposed to handle them. These steps will reduce maintenance.

I have one shredder that shreds CD's and it works fine as I don't overdo it (that is, don't feed too many in a row). Credit cards I must admit I still cut up with scissors.
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

My wife just picked up a cross-cut shredder at Staples that was on sale for $30, had a 20% off coupon and a mfg. rebate of $20. Very boglehead like fashion price of $4 - not bad for an 11 sheet cross-cut shredder.
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by DiscoBunny1979 »

Like a lot of things in life, you get what you pay for. Once someone gets there hands on a shredder and finds it convenient for a few things, eventually there will be more things. So, make sure the capacity is correct (more capacity than what's really needed) and also how long the machine can run without timing out. I bought a good shredder at staples for about $150 with a $30 coupon off . . cross cut . . . but I would not buy a cheap shredder.
EagertoLearnMore
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by EagertoLearnMore »

I purchased several inexpensive shredders that wore out too quickly. Finally, I purchased a heavy duty Fellowes and it was worth the money. Definitely sturdier and gets the job done. It also shreds CDs and credit cards.
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by The Wizard »

I guess shredders are fun for some folks, depending on confidentially and whatever you do for a living.
Me, I keep it simple.
99% of all paper I dispose of goes into a bag along with newspapers and junk mail for recycling.
In the rare instance that I have something sensitive, it goes into one of my woodstove and gets incinerated in a burst of flame.
Works for me...
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Mudpuppy
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by Mudpuppy »

Micro-cut is not overkill if your sister insists on a personal shredder. Look at what people were able to do with the DARPA shredding reassembly challenge: http://www.shredderchallenge.com/

Granted, they were geekly people, but the point is if they could manage that with everyday hardware, just think that a determined dumpster diver could do. It might actually be better to skip the personal shredder altogether and go to a community "shred day" where they immediately (under your watchful eye) dump your box into the industrial shredder to mix with a whole community of shredded material. Not only does it save you the cost of a personal shredder, but it would take an NSA supercomputer to sort out that volume of shredded paper.
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by livesoft »

If the cross-cut shredder makes 1/8"-wide pieces, then it will clog and not work very well. Get a cross-cut that makes 3/16"-wide pieces. These things are so cheap that I would not spend more than $40 because you can always buy a new one in a couple of years.

To destroy CDs and DVDs, place in microwave oven and cook for 2 seconds. NOT 2 minutes.
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paulsiu
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by paulsiu »

Actually, I was thinking of strip cut not because it was cheaper but because it's simpler and probably has fewer points of failure. I will take the suggestion to find a shredder with double the capability.

Question: how often do you need to do maintenance on a shredder (like oil the parts and such)?

Paul
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MilkMoney
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by MilkMoney »

I would avoid the strip shredders. There are free programs out there where someone can scan the strips and rebuild the pages in a matter of seconds. It's easy to say that "I'm not a target, so why should I worry about such things", but there are lots of people out there looking for the basic information in credit card statements and other documents. They sell the information for a few hundred dollars to someone in need of a US based identity. It's worth the few extra dollars!
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

livesoft wrote:If the cross-cut shredder makes 1/8"-wide pieces, then it will clog and not work very well. Get a cross-cut that makes 3/16"-wide pieces. These things are so cheap that I would not spend more than $40 because you can always buy a new one in a couple of years.

To destroy CDs and DVDs, place in microwave oven and cook for 2 seconds. NOT 2 minutes.
What does 2 seconds do?
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by Mudpuppy »

GRT2BOUTDOORS wrote:
livesoft wrote:If the cross-cut shredder makes 1/8"-wide pieces, then it will clog and not work very well. Get a cross-cut that makes 3/16"-wide pieces. These things are so cheap that I would not spend more than $40 because you can always buy a new one in a couple of years.

To destroy CDs and DVDs, place in microwave oven and cook for 2 seconds. NOT 2 minutes.
What does 2 seconds do?
Theoretically melts the dye and/or reflective layers without giving enough time for the fireworks show to begin, but frankly I wouldn't risk it. Not only is there risk of sparking (from the metal in the reflective layer), melting a CD can cause toxic fumes as well. Shredding a CD makes more sense than microwaving it. No fumes, no sparks, no worries. Or you can peel off the reflective layer first, for more safeguards against random prying eyes. None of this will stop the NSA, but reassembling a CD without its reflective layer is much harder than reassembling paper with visual cues (printed words) on it.
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by jebmke »

I also have a Fellowes cross-cut. Have not tried anything heavy like credit cards or CDs but it seems to eat staples with no problem.
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by FabLab »

paulsiu wrote:Actually, I was thinking of strip cut not because it was cheaper but because it's simpler and probably has fewer points of failure. I will take the suggestion to find a shredder with double the capability.

Question: how often do you need to do maintenance on a shredder (like oil the parts and such)?

Paul
If buying a shredder for security purposes, I wouldn't go with less than a cross cut. My Fellowes PS80C-2 has held up for years, and the maintenance I perform is limited to pulling out any paper shreds left in the cutters and then running some oil into the opening. If I remember correctly, the manual suggests this procedure monthly, and the shredder has been running fine. Cuts CDs (haven't tried), credit cards (yes, I've done this), and several sheets of paper at once. I may have purchased it at Amazon, but really don't remember.

P.S. Fellowes, no doubt, wouldn't mind if you purchase their shredder oil for the process described above, but I just use some inexpensive cooking oil. Doesn't take much to do the job.

The microwave I use to make my ice cream a bit more melty :D
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by PreserveCapital »

Yngwie Malmsteen.
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by dratkinson »

Bought a very small cross-cut shredder ~10 years ago. Maximum width 4.5" so sheets must be folded in half. Paper clips: no. Staples: yes. Credit cards: yes. CD: break in half. Oiling required: no. Other maintenance required: none. (Fellowes Shredmate, ~$20)

The very small desktop container filled quickly and soon became annoying to empty. So I moved it into the garage and mounted it through a hole in a shelf above an open trash barrel. Now I never need to clean it out again. Yea!

All junk mail is opened and shredded as soon as it is received. It easily handles longer job as long as you keep the session run time ~2 minutes to avoid overheating. When I clean out my filing cabinet, it can take a few days---shred a little, walk away, shred a little, walk away---to finish the job. When the junk mail arrives, that's my signal to shred a little more on larger jobs.

Just about as painless as I can make it.

If I do get a larger shredder after this one dies, it will also be crosscut and remain in the garage.
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Midpack
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by Midpack »

My usage is similar, though once or twice a year I may shred as many as 50 pages in a sitting. I bought an inexpensive cross-cut shredder at Staples about 10 years ago, probably just under $30, it has served me well. I don't remember how many pages it was supposed to be able to handle at once, but I usually do 2-3 pages at a time. It will do 5, but it labors noticeably and I don't want to break or jam it, unjamming is a pain. It's supposed to shred credit cards too, but it won't, it's jammed the once or twice I've tried it. As long as you don't get over zealous with numbers of pages at once, the inexpensive (has to be a sale somewhere) cross-cut shredders should work.
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by The Wizard »

dratkinson wrote: All junk mail is opened and shredded as soon as it is received....
This touches on what I wondered about earlier, deviating from the main topic obviously.
I can see the wisdom in shredding my canceled checks and MasterCard statements since they have my account numbers on them.
But unsolicited junk mail?
I guess if some folks do this as a hobby it's really no concern of mine...
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by gravlax »

paulsiu wrote:Need some advise on shredder...
I prefer the earlier stuff like Yngwie Malmsteen and Paul Gilbert, but some of the new guys are decent. Buckethead seems to have alot of fans, but he's not really my cup of tea.
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by Rodc »

I use a 1 horsepower water and impeller paper shredder (masher really as it turns paper back to pulp) I got at Lowes.

Staples are no problem. Would not feed it CD or credit cards though.

I don't need it all that often, much like your sister.

So between uses I use it to dispose of veggy waste, scraps of meat, that sort of thing.
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by grabiner »

The Wizard wrote:
dratkinson wrote: All junk mail is opened and shredded as soon as it is received....
This touches on what I wondered about earlier, deviating from the main topic obviously.
I can see the wisdom in shredding my canceled checks and MasterCard statements since they have my account numbers on them.
But unsolicited junk mail?
You don't need to shred all your junk mail, only that junk mail which could be abused. For example, credit card offers should be shredded so that a dumpster diver can't open a credit card in your name.
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JULIE
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by JULIE »

I picked up a cross-cut shredder from staples for about $5 about 7 years ago. It still works, but I don't bother using shredders anymore. We have a giant incinerator at work for documents that need shredding and I'm too lazy to open everything so they will fit through the shredder without jamming it so into the flames they go.
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by keq1381 »

Other than security, a good reason to buy a cross-cut shredder vs a strip shredder is bulk. A stack of paper cut into strips takes up much more room than what you get from a cross-cut shredder.
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by JW-Retired »

We shred a fair amount of stuff. Our old cross-cut shredder had minor problems that we tolerated for years. Finally we bought a new one about 1 year ago that I can specifically recommend. A Royal HD1400MX. It cuts the paper into 3/16 x 1 1/2 inch pieces. Seems to work flawlessly. It is labeled that it can do 14 sheets but I never feed more that about half that. We also use it on CD's & credit cards, which go in through a smaller slot. We have not found anything we don't like about it.

I think we got it for under a $100 at Frys, or maybe Costco?
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by ThatGuy »

PreserveCapital wrote:Yngwie Malmsteen.
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by dratkinson »

grabiner wrote:
The Wizard wrote:
dratkinson wrote: All junk mail is opened and shredded as soon as it is received....
This touches on what I wondered about earlier, deviating from the main topic obviously.
I can see the wisdom in shredding my canceled checks and MasterCard statements since they have my account numbers on them.
But unsolicited junk mail?
You don't need to shred all your junk mail, only that junk mail which could be abused. For example, credit card offers should be shredded so that a dumpster diver can't open a credit card in your name.
Probably right, but I'm too lay to sort out the non-shred junk mail. Plus I figure it adds bulk and more for anyone to look through---increases the noise to signal ratio.
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by mediahound »

The "one to get" is the Fellowes 79ci:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000WB ... B000WB397I

It's a bit expensive, but works really well, doesn't jam, looks cool, and is surprisingly quiet. I've had other cheapy generic ones in the past and they always jammed, were super loud and broke fast.

I've been quite happy with my 79ci. It seems to shred papers, junk mail, credit cards, CDs/DVDs all equally well.
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by hicabob »

I have an almost free cheapo-shredder from Fry's ($10 black Friday a decade or so ago w/ $10 rebate so I did have to pay 75cents tax! :( ).

I use it once a week or so - thing does a fine job will not die
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by wander »

I've been using "Executing Disc Shredder" last 6-7 years without maintenance. It wasn't cheap. I bought it for $65. It takes anything from 7 sheet papers, CD, floppy and credit card. Its size is small, so I have to empty it often.
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by kingsnake »

I just purchased a shredder from Sams Club last week...I think it was $65. It was the middle of the price range. Its still in the box but it seems decent.
Having had a cheaper smaller one in the past that it seemed I was always emptying, I opted for a larger more powerful one.
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by mediahound »

wander wrote:I've been using "Executing Disc Shredder" last 6-7 years without maintenance. It wasn't cheap. I bought it for $65. It takes anything from 7 sheet papers, CD, floppy and credit card. Its size is small, so I have to empty it often.
Executive EDS-102 Junk Mail & Media Shredder Demonstration
This one seems VERY light duty. I can't imagine shredding an old tax return or bunch of old statements with that.
Helloeeze
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by Helloeeze »

I have had terrible luck with shredders. My last one lasted about 3 months. I had another that lasted a year. Another that lasted two years. I've given up and just rip stuff up by hand and throw it in the trash, not recycle.
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by mediahound »

Helloeeze wrote:I have had terrible luck with shredders. My last one lasted about 3 months. I had another that lasted a year. Another that lasted two years. I've given up and just rip stuff up by hand and throw it in the trash, not recycle.
I did that for several years having also been fed up with them. I remember being really frustrated with having to clear out paper jams with pliers, etc.

But the one I have now (Fellowes 79ci above) is really nice. I don't think ripping up papers by hand is very secure.
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by mike143 »

GRT2BOUTDOORS wrote:My wife just picked up a cross-cut shredder at Staples that was on sale for $30, had a 20% off coupon and a mfg. rebate of $20. Very boglehead like fashion price of $4 - not bad for an 11 sheet cross-cut shredder.
I hate rebates. They also do a model of a cross cut for $20 out the door several times a year. I use it to shred a few bills a week. I wouldn't trust it for heavy usage.

Most shredders are light duty. Read the specifications. If you try to doing a shredding marathon you will break most shredders that don't have a overheat sensor. For lubricant you can use the same thing that is in the bottle of Fellows "shredder oil" .......vegetable oil, according to the MSDS.
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by rustymutt »

I got my cross cut shredder at Sam's club. I've had it for 4 years now, and am happy with it. No way is someone putting this stuff back together. Handles CDs and credit cards also.
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by Mudpuppy »

rustymutt wrote:I got my cross cut shredder at Sam's club. I've had it for 4 years now, and am happy with it. No way is someone putting this stuff back together. Handles CDs and credit cards also.
I'd be careful making that assertation about a four year old shredder, given recent proof to the contrary (see my post above about the DARPA shred reassembly challenge).
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Re: Need some advise on shredder

Post by rustymutt »

Mudpuppy wrote:
rustymutt wrote:I got my cross cut shredder at Sam's club. I've had it for 4 years now, and am happy with it. No way is someone putting this stuff back together. Handles CDs and credit cards also.
I'd be careful making that assertation about a four year old shredder, given recent proof to the contrary (see my post above about the DARPA shred reassembly challenge).
This shredder tears the paper into pieces so small that you couldn't read anything on it. The pieces are torn, and mangled.
Nobody is putting this together again. It's not humpty dumpy technology.
Last edited by rustymutt on Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need some advice on shredder

Post by averageJoe »

Been through several popular brand shredders.....waste of money. Picked up a level 6 Dahle shredder on Ebay for $500 and never looked back. Make sure you get the proper oil for lubricating the cutting blades. Remove paper clips, staples and cut CC's with scissors. Take prescription bottles to the drug store and they will shred them for you.
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Re: Need some advice on shredder

Post by mediahound »

averageJoe wrote:Been through several popular brand shredders.....waste of money. Picked up a level 6 Dahle shredder on Ebay for $500 and never looked back. Make sure you get the proper oil for lubricating the cutting blades. Remove paper clips, staples and cut CC's with scissors. Take prescription bottles to the drug store and they will shred them for you.
My Fellows does credit cards, CDs, paper clips and staples all without skipping a beat.
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