For whatever reasons, be it for security or protection, having to protect your privacy and identity at your home or office, or if you’re going to protect your customer information, almost everyone needs a good paper shredder.

Out of many security tools out there, shredders are essential security and privacy tools. But, just like any office appliances out there, they are often being bought without any prior research, examination and without any paper shredder review.

In this article I’ll try my best to provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision before buying any paper shredder and help you to consider what options available to you.

Although I wrote in this blog on information you can use to make a decision between a wide variety of shredder. These 3 shredder I what I strongly recommend to you.

1.Fellowes Powershred 79Ci 100% Jam Proof 16-Sheet Cross-Cut Heavy Duty Paper Shredder

2.Aurora AS890C 8-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper/Credit Card Shredder with Basket

3.AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper and Credit Card Shredder


What is Paper Shredder?

A paper shredder is a device that is used to cut paper into different type of  particles, either strips or small particles. Most people use paper shredder machine to destroy sensitive documents, bank account statement or even credit cards. It is to make their recovery impossible as to protect your personal or company sensitive data. So having a paper shredder machine minimizes a risk of becoming a victim and give a piece of mind.

You might be surprised that there are other type of shredders that working on completely different method of destroying document. For example, combustion, chemical decomposition, or composting of the shredded documents. However, those method only used for special purpose and not really design for common use.

So, you know by now that paper shredder machine is used to shred paper , mainly for secutiry, but there are also other application like waste reduction, package filling or even construction of buildings.

And now, let’s go through what factors you should consider before buying what type of paper shredder and model of paper shredder you need.

How much it can handle.

Paper shredder capacity is the most important metric you should consider when buying the best paper shredder.This factor tells you how much it can handle at once.

Because it is obvious isn’t it?. No one want to stand over a paper shredder all day. Besides, a paper shredder can be really loud and noisy when near telephone or TV.

So, obviously you want to choose paper shredder model that can handle task quickly with large amount of paper possible.


Second factor you must consider is how versatile it is to shred.

What type of other media it can shred?

Beside paper, some model can shred CDs, DVDs, paper clip and staples

Cut style and Security

If you have more sensitive documents to shred and destroy, then the smaller particles should go out of the machine. There are many types of paper shredder machine out there, but the common paper shredder are based on size and shape of the shred they produce.

There are

(a) Strip Cut – simple documents with low confidentiality.

Strip cut meets security level P1 and P2 because it offers the lowest protection. Most paper shredder with P1 and P2 secure level are very simple in functions, fast and reliable. A typical strip cut paper shredder is to cut an A4 paper into 34 long strips.

But be aware,

If someone wants to recover your secret documents, he can patiently put together the documents or he can even use a device called strip scanner. What Strip Scanner does to re-create a stripped sheet in a matter of minutes.

(b) Cross Cut – Higher confidential documents

Cross cut paper shredder meets security level P3,P4 and P5. Sometimes referred to as confetti cutter. Because the particles diamond-like shape.

Paper shredder model that offers cross-cut adds more security over strip-cut shredder .What it does is to add a horizontal cut across the long strands that shape the pieces of paper into tiny rectangles, rather than long-individual stands.

This paper shredder machine have two rotating blades in opposing directions, as to cut paper into smaller cross sectional shred of around 360 pieces. These paper shredder machine usually in mid range price and best for home paper shredder and good for destroying highly confidential documents.

(c) Micro Cut – Top secret documents

Out of three, the micro cut paper shredder offer the highest level of security. The principle is the same as cross cut paper shredder( the rotating blades in opposite directions) but the result is very different. While cross cut can produce up to 360 pieces. Micro cut paper shredder can produce up to 3000 pieces. While the security is higher but these micro cut paper shredder machine are very expensive and slow.


How Much and How often?

When you searching paper shredder online you’ll notice it display sheet capacity, continuous run time and cool down time.

Sheet capacity refers to a number of sheets you can shred per pass, for example 6,8,12 and so on. Larger sheet capacity is better.

While run time refers to the maximum time a shredder can run in single sessions. This run time is limited however, because of a lot of heat is produce during shredding. When the machine becomes too hot, an indicator (LED light) will turned on.

While cool down time refers to how long the paper shredder takes to cool down ( after a continuous run) and be ready for the next sessions. In case you are going to share the paper shredder with your colleagues, then it always best to choose longer continuous and shorter cool down time.

Below are classes of paper shredder based on how many sheets of paper per day need to be destroyed( average) :-

  • Personal: less than 100 sheets/day
  • Small Office: less than 1000 sheets/day
  • Office: less than 5000 sheets/day
  • Department / Industrial: more than 5000 sheets/day


Most paper shredder model have a standard maximum run time and mandatory cool down period that kicks in once the shredder reached maximum heat.

Disposal and Capacity

Another factor you should consider when buying a new paper shredder is the easiness to dispose the shredded paper and how often you need to do so. Most, if not all, entry level shredder tend to sit a-top  waste bin and emptying it can be a tricky task.

Because you need to unplug the shredder, lifting it and sit the shredder down and emptying the bin into your dumpster. Sometimes, even if you done it, you’ll find there a piece of paper here and there inside the bin. On the other hand, higher-end shredder used pullout bins to make the task faster and easier.

Before considering what capacity of shredder you need to ask yourself this question.

  • How much on daily basis, you shred paper?
  • Will a 4.8 gallon bin last for a week?

If not, then you must consider buying a 6 gallons. But if you only shred documents once every few day then buying the 4.8gallon is good enough.

Size and noise.

There are many paper shredder machines with various sizes available to choose from. All bigger paper shredder machine offer an increased bin size capacity (specified in gallons or litre) . Always keep in mind that strip cut paper shredder fill up the bin twice as fast as cross cut, because of smaller size wastebasket.

You should also consider the location the determine the size you are going to use.Most entry level paper shredder machine, usually stay on top that comes with the shredder. If you want empty the wastebasket, it can be a tricky task.

You have to unplug the machine, carry the bin to a dumpster to empty it.More expensive paper shredder machine usually use pullout bin that make the process easier, faster and reduce the mess made.

Many of us know that shredder can be noisy sometime.

A noise of paper shredder is calculated in Decibels( dB) . It means the higher the dB, the louder the shredder will be.The best paper shredder can achieve less than 55 dB. And noise in decibel is an exponential , so a small change can mean a big sound different.

Use reference below :-

  • 35 dB: quiet library
  • 60 dB: normal conversation (3 feet distance between people)
  • 85 dB: city traffic (inside of a car)

But ironically, in many cases the bigger the size of the shredder the softer the noise level will be.

Security and Safety.

Security and safety are very important aspect when you want to but new paper shredder. An if you want to use a paper shredder machine at home where there are kids or even pets, you make sure you place it out of their reach or keep the device unplug when you are not using it.

Kids are very curious and like to imitate adults, so they are interested when they sees you using such a machine. Even most paper shredder opening are very small and designed to be narrow as possible, the kids fingers are very small, so they are at risk of sustaining injury.

In addition to that, they might destroy the machine if they put inappropriate objects inside.

As a precautions, consider a paper shredder machine with additional security:-

  • Safety sensors — paper shredder will automatically shut down if it senses hands are too close to the entry slot/opening hole. Safety sensor works by detecting electrical field around humans and larger pets.
  • Safety lock –   Put the paper shredder machine to safe and inactive mode.
  • Slimmer paper entry – Reduces the chances to fingers getting in
  • Safety flap – Covers cutters when the shredder head is removed from the wastebasket to prevent injuries.
  • Interlock safety switch – This switch makes sure the machine will not operate when the head is removed from the wastebasket.


Most paper shredder machine that mostly used for personal start as low as rm40. And higher-end capacity machines that suits for office work can cost up to rm1000. These more expensive paper shredder machine offer longer running time, lower noise production technology, larger sheet capacity and higher security level( most start at P3 level)

So, with so much features and options to choose from, only you can decide how much your needs for paper shredder. Just think it like this, what if your confidential and secret document falls into the wrong hands and use it against you and your company. With this in mind, you should realize that paper shredder price is not that high at all.

Also, I would advise not to choose the cheapest product available as most cheap paper shredder tend to broke when use more frequently. You can always check the paper shredder ratings and reviews before buying one

If you got big budget and you want to install paper shredder at multiple locations in your office or department, consider of buying multiple and affordable paper shredder rather than buying a single paper shredder.

This way you can put them at several locations in your office so that you and your colleagues can save time of carrying documents to another end of the building.

Extra features

Believe it or not paper shredder machines were invented almost 100 years ago in Germany. Since then, manufacturer have come up with a lot of exra features to improve the machine safety, efficiency, safety and conveniences.

Below, are some of those extra feature you might want to consider when choosing a paper shredder on

  • Jam proof shredders – some paper shredder model can detect paper thickness and provide protection against jamming by rejecting over fed capacity. There is another way to handle paper jam by using more powerful motors.
  • Silent operation – If possible choose paper shredder machine with lower noise production. Some high-end paper shredder produce very low noise production that is suitable for home and office.
  • Energy savings –  Power-saving functions like a sleep mode when not in use.
  • Mess reduction – paper shredder when use for long period of time, usually paper waste build-on cutters, to prevent this, some model are equipped with sensor to let the user know when to turn on the cleaning cycle.
  • Security features – As described in the section above, there are safety sensors and locks available to prevent kids or pets from getting hurt or damaging the machine.


There are several shredding company in Malaysia that offer to do the job for you. But, also be reminded that paper shredder machine nowadays are at affordable price. Therefore there are no reasons for you to trust someone else to take care your confidential and secret document for you.


So, there you have. By now you should have enough information to choose which paper shredder suitable for your needs and benefits you personally and to your company. You might want to read my paper shredder review about individual product or just directly go to

It is important to read the user manual carefully.Learn about what it can shred and how.It is important for you to learn how to insert the document, not only to avoid paper jam but to achieve the highest level of security.