THERE are myriad reasons why buying one of the best shredders is a wise investment, either to protect yourself from fraudsters, keep sensitive information safe, or keep your filing in check.
The best shredders do a simple job of turning paper into strips, or tiny particles if you're willing to spend the extra cash, to prevent documents being read.
When choosing the best shredder, beyond price, it's worth looking for its DIN rating, ranging from 1-7.
Most home shredders will have a rating between 3-4 which is usually adequate for the sort of things you'd have in your home.
This is an indication of how small the particles will be when the paper is shredded; the higher the rating, the smaller the particles and the harder they are to recover.
Next up, you need to think about the size.
Compact shredders are perfect for small offices, but can’t handle huge amounts of paper.
Deskside shredders are larger but more efficient: some can tackle 18 sheets (or even more) at the same time, but may need time to cool down between shredding runs.
Ready to cut loose? We’ve combined the best expert opinion and in-depth user-reviews to find you the best shredders you can buy in 2020.
Which is better: a cross-cut or a micro-cut shredder?
When deciding which is better between a cross-cut and a micro-cut shredder, you need to consider what you need the shredder for.
As its name suggests, a cross-cut shredder cuts paper in a cross-hatch pattern, but the particles are larger and thinner.
A micro-cut shredder snips the paper – you guessed it – even smaller.
Both will make it difficult for your documents to be recovered or viewed by a third-party, but the latter gives you a little extra protection.
1. ProAction 8 Sheet 15 Litre Micro Cut Shredder
- ProAction 8 Sheet 15 Litre Micro Cut Shredder, £39.99 at Argos – buy here
Thankfully, you don't have to spend the earth to get a good quality shredder.
This ProAction model can handle 8 sheets at once and will get through A4 pages at 1.8 sheets per minute.
It'll also manage credit cards and staples with no issues.
2. Fellowes AutoMax 130C
- Fellowes AutoMax 130C, £269 at Amazon – buy here
At the upper end of the price range is this beast of a shredder from Fellowes.
While it doesn't micro-cut your paper, it's still worth considering if you have the budget.
It's fast, it's quiet and you can stack your files for shredding on top of it and it will automatically feed them into the shredder so you don't have to waste your time.
It'll handle paperclips, staples and credit cards as well.
3. AmazonBasics 7- to 8-Sheet Shredder
- AmazonBasics 7 to 8-Sheet Shredder, £56 at Amazon – buy here
Some AmazonBasics are worth looking into, including this shredder.
It'll micro-cut your documents for maximum security and it can even handle DVDs as well as paperclips and staples.
An added perk: you can get Prime shipping.
FELLOWES Powershred 62MC
- FELLOWES Powershred 62MC, £149 at Curry PC World – buy here
While most shredders you'd put in your home can only run for a few minutes before needing a lengthy cool-down, this Fellowes model will run continuously for 7 minutes before it needs a break.
So if you're shredding more than the occassional document, it could be worth investing in a machine that's built to tackle a more substantial work load.
How long should a paper shredder last?
The best shredders should last up to 10 years as long as you take good care of them.
Even though many shredders promise to take out staples and paper clips, try to remove as much of these as you can to prevent damage to the shredder head and to avoid paper jams.
You should also oil your shredder, using a vegetable-based shredder oil, periodically.
And always use the shredder based on the manufacturer's instructions.
Read on to discover which shredders are most likely to go the distance.
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Enjoyed our roundup of the best shredders? Then you might like our selection of the best home printers, too.
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