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What Makes a Silent Paper Shredder Quiet?

Posted by: James on January 9th, 2013

Quiet Paper ShreddersIf you use a paper shredder in the office, you probably want it to be quiet. A loud shredder can be annoying and distracting. While most paper shredders generate some sort of noise, some are quieter than others. So what features should you look for in order to get a quieter shredder (found here) and is there anything you can do to quiet your existing shredder? I will cover the various technologies shredder manufacturers use to quiet their shredders and will offer a few tips to help out existing shredder owners in this article.

Having worked in the office equipment industry for well over a decade, I have had a chance to use a variety of paper shredders. Some are remarkably quiet (almost as if they were off) and others sound like a wood chipper caught on something. Louder shredders are like nails on a chalkboard and they really can cut into work productivity.

Before I go too far into what makes a shredder quiet, I would like to offer a small bit of advice. While I recommend cross cut shredders for office use, strip cut shredders are by nature more quiet than cross cut shredders. There are fewer moving parts and less cutting involved, which results in a quieter machine. If you need a cross cut shredder, which most of us do, here are some things that help keep them quiet:

  • Vibration Absorbing Motor Mounts – Many manufacturers, especially those that offer German-made shredders, use special mounts for the motors. Like a car’s motor mounts, these rubber mounts absorb vibration and cut down on noise.
  • Wood or Sound Absorbing Cabinets – Many manufacturers use a wooden cabinet, versus a metal or plastic cabinet, purely because wood naturally absorbs vibrations. Metal cabinets can sometimes reverberate the sound and cheap plastic cabinets can cause more vibration.
  • Insulated Shredding Head – Many shredder manufacturers line their shredder heads with special insulation, which helps cut down on sound.
  • Modern Shredding Blades With Less Friction – Thanks to modern engineering, many shredder blades have been engineered from the ground up to produce less noise by minimizing friction as much as possible. This isn’t something you’ll find in a cheap department store shredder, but is something you will find in a higher-end German-made shredder.
  • Automatic Oilers – Oil helps cut down on friction, which cuts down on noise. If you are shopping around for a shredder, consider buying one with an automatic oiler. This will keep your shredder well lubed and should extend the life of the shredder. If you already own a shredder, consider buying shredder oil (found here http://www.officezone.com/shredder_oil.htm) and oil the shredder yourself. This will help cut down on noise.
  • Level Floor – Believe it or not, if your shredder is not flat and level on the floor, it can wobble and vibrate just enough to generate additional noise. If your shredder is abnormally loud, consider moving it to a different location. It might help.

A few brands I highly recommend you look at, that are almost always quieter, include Dahle (found here), Intimus (found here), Destroyit (found here) and Formax (found here).

If you would like more information on paper shredders, please feel free to give us a call and speak with one of our Paper Shredder Experts at 1-800-543-5454. Hopefully this article has helped you out. Do you have tips or ideas that have helped you quiet your own shredder? Post them here as a comment!

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Do You Need a Cross Cut or Micro Cut Paper Shredder?

Posted by: James on December 5th, 2012

Cross Cut Paper ShreddersYou may have heard the term micro cut floating across the Web lately. It is a term that has been coined by many paper shredder manufacturers to describe their shredders that cut paper “even smaller” than other cross cut shredders. So what is all the hubbub about and do you really need a micro cut shredder or are you going to be just fine with a standard cross cut? I have a lot of experience with paper shredders (found here) and would like to share my thoughts on this topic.

The term cross cut is used to describe any shredder that cuts paper in a cross-hatch pattern. So is a micro cut still a cross cut? That is correct, a micro cut shredding pattern is still a cross cut, just on a smaller level. Today many people use cross cut to describe a Level 3 shredder and micro cut to describe a Level 4 shredder, but technically anything that is not a strip cut is a cross cut.

One reason many manufacturers are trying to push “micro cut” is because it is a way to get you to upgrade from your “old” shredder to a newer model with better technology. The thing many businesses and individuals don’t realize is that a micro cut isn’t for everyone. Here is the biggest difference between a Level 3 cross cut and a Level 4 micro cut:

 

  • Level 3 Cross Cut – This cut falls within a 3.9mm x 50mm range. This is very small and very difficult to piece back together.

  • Level 4 Micro Cut – This cut pattern falls within a 1.9mm x 15mm range. This is one of the smallest cutting patterns used by non-government / military organizations.

You can read more about the various cutting patterns and security levels by reading our Paper Shredder Guide here.

Both cutting patterns are FACTA and HIPAA compliant and are appropriate for shredding patient, customer and client data. So do you really need a micro cut pattern? I would say that most businesses will be fine with a Level 3 cross cut pattern. While the Level 3 pattern is a little bigger than Level 4, it is still small enough to provide enough security for most applications. If you feel the need for a little more security, there isn’t anything wrong with a Level 4 pattern.

So if you are buying a new shredder, there are a few things you will want to consider. The Level 3 pattern has less area to cut than a Level 4 pattern, which means you will have a decreased shredding capacity with a Level 4. A Level 3 shredder that can handle 10 sheets at a time will usually be about 6 sheets at a time with a Level 4. You will simply need to weigh in if you need the added security or the increased cutting capacity.

If you still have questions, concerns or need answers about cross cut and micro cut shredders, please feel free to call us at 1-800-543-5454. We have a lot of experience with paper shredders and should be able to help point you in the right direction. You can find our entire selection of paper shredders here.

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My Shredder’s Jammed, What Should I Do?

Posted by: James on October 19th, 2012

Paper Shredder JamsJams are one of the most common issues people have with their paper shredders. Either the shredder won’t work anymore, paper is stuck or another issue results in the machine no longer functioning correctly. There are some very easy solutions to fixing a jam and preventing future paper jams. At Office Zone we have a lot of experience with paper shredders (found here). Here are a few tips that should help keep your paper shredder on track towards a long life.

How to clear a jammed shredder:

  • The first thing to remember when clearing a jam is not to force the shredder to continue trying to pull the paper through. This could result in long-term damage to your shredder. Many people don’t realize that forcing paper through a shredder can strip the cogs off of the nylon gears inside the shredder.
  • If you’re shredder is jammed as a result of being fed too much paper and the motor is over stressed, there are a couple of things you can do. First, try to put your shredder into reverse (if it is so equipped). If that doesn’t work, or if your shredder doesn’t have a reverse, try putting vegetable or shredder oil over the opening. This should help soften the paper enough to pass through.
  • Another option, especially if you tried shredding a credit card that jammed the shredder, is to unplug the shredder, take the shredder head off and try to remove the jammed particles from the underside of the shredder. Be sure the shredder is unplugged and that you are extra careful. A pair of pliers may be needed to help remove clogged or jammed paper / plastic.
  • If you’re shredder is now cleared out, but it is not functioning correctly, you may need to get a replacement part or purchase a new shredder (found here). Regardless of what you decide to do, I recommend you contact our Service Department at 1-800-543-5454 x129 to see what they recommend. There may be a very simple fix that requires a cheap replacement part.

How to prevent a paper jam:

  • Paper Shredder OilNow that we have established how to clear a jammed shredder, I would like to cover a few things that can help prevent future jamming issues.
  • Keep your shredder properly oiled by using shredder oil (found here). Oil helps keep your shredder running at maximum power and efficiency, which means far fewer jams for you.
  • Try to be careful when shredding paper. If it seems like to much paper, it probably is. Shredding too much paper is the most common culprit in a shredder jam.
  • I highly recommend you consider buying or using a shredder with load protection. These shredders use sensors that detect how much load and stress is being put on the motor. If the shredder detects that too much paper is going in, it will quickly stop the shredder and put it into reverse. Intimus, Intelli-Zone, HSM, Destroyit and Dahle are all shredder brands that often feature load control.
  • If you are looking for a paper shredder, you may want to consider buying one with a chain drive or with metal gears. These shredders have a reputation for chewing through paper quickly without jamming.

If you still have questions about paper jams or finding a jam-proof shredder, please feel free to call and speak with one of our experts at 1-800-543-5454. They can help point you in the right direction, answer your questions and provide you with affordable quotes. You can find all of our paper shredders here.

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Best Shredders Under $100

Posted by: James on September 15th, 2011

Fellowes P-35C Cross Cut Paper ShredderSome businesses believe that they need to invest hundreds of dollars in a paper shredder for their company. While this may be the case for some companies, it isn’t the case for all. There are several good paper shredders that can be purchased for under $100. It doesn’t make sense to spend $1000 on a paper shredder if you don’t require the unique features on a high-end paper shredder. Before purchasing any shredder, you should remember some key considerations.

What is your security level? Not every company has papers containing sensitive information that need to be shredded into tiny bits of confetti. And even among those that do, it is not necessary to have a high security paper shredder at every desk or in every office. Many companies will keep their high security shredder in a central location, and will have standard cross cut or strip cut paper shredder for general use.

The volume of use is another good consideration. If you’re only shredding dozens or even hundreds sheets of paper in a day, then a $100 or less shredder will be more cost effective than a high volume paper shredder that can shred thousands of pages a day. The amount of paper that a paper shredder can destroy at a time is also something to consider. If you shred documents that are six pages or less, then spending $100 on a low volume paper shredder makes more sense than spending $800 on a shredder that can destroy 2—30 page documents.

Here are four of the best paper shredders for under $100.

  1. GBC SC032 Paper Shredder – The SC032 Paper Shredder by GBC is available for $58.69. It is a desk side paper shredder that is perfect for light office or home use. The SC032 Paper Shredder is a low-volume strip cut style shredder that can shred six sheets of paper at a time. The blades can handle shredding any standard-size paper, and can even handle destroying plastic cards, like expired credit cards or ID cards.  The SC032 Paper Shredder has a four-gallon bin, which is a good size shred bin that does not need to be emptied often depending on your shredder usage. The GBC SC032 Paper Shredder is easy to use and requires minimal maintenance.
  2. Fellowes P-35C Cross-Cut Paper Shredder – The P-35C Cross-Cut Paper Shredder by Fellowes can be purchased for $65. Fellowes has a reputation for high performance and durable office equipment, so this is a real deal.  The P-35C Cross-Cut Paper Shredder is cross-cut style low volume paper shredder that can shred up to 5 sheets of paper into tiny 5/32″ x 1-1/2″ particles. So it is a good choice for people that want added security at a bargain price. The P-35C Cross-Cut Paper Shredder has a compact design, so it will fit easily at a desk in a business or home office.
  3. Fellowes W-11C Cross-Cut Paper Shredder – The W-11C Cross-Cut Paper Shredder by Fellowes retails at $83. This is a paper shredder for under $100 that is designed for more rugged home office or business office use. The W-11C Cross-Cut Paper Shredder has a 9 inch shred opening that can handle shredding 11 sheets of paper at a time. This cross-cut paper shredder has a Level 3 security ranking, which means the shred particles are smaller than lower level printers. This will appeal to those who are concerned with protecting their or their clients’ private information.
  4. HSM Compact Multishred Shredder – The Compact Multishred Shredder by HSM can be purchased for $93, and is the most versatile shredder that can be purchased for under $100. The Compact Multishred Shredder is a cross-cut shredder that can destroy 8 sheet stacks of paper with each pass. It is a Level 3 security shredder that is able to turn paper and also thin plastics into tiny bits. This includes laminated sheets of paper, floppy disks (assuming you’re still using them), credit cards, and ID cards. It’s compact design makes it ideal for individual use at home or at the office.

Each of these quality paper shredders can be purchased at OfficeZone.com. You can find Office Zone’s entire line of paper shredders here.

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How to Oil a Paper Shredder

Posted by: James on September 14th, 2011

Paper ShreddersPaper shredders are important to any business or home. Not only do paper shredders help conserve garbage space, but they also help prevent fraud by keeping your private information secure by destroying documents with sensitive information.

Paper shredders can provide years of use so long as they are properly used and maintained. Since paper shredders have engines, cutting blades and other moving mechanical parts that can heat up and wear out, it’s important to keep the paper shredder properly oiled. Proper lubrication will extend the life and functionality of the paper shredder, and will allow it to run quieter. Failure to do so will drastically reduce the operating life of your shredder, and cost you more in the long term through premature replacement.

The way you oil a paper shredder, and how often it needs to be oiled, will depend of the type of paper shredder you own.  Low volume and low use paper shredders don’t require as much maintenance. Low volume paper shredders that are regularly used should be oiled once or twice a month. High volume paper shredders or paper shredders in constant use will require regular oiling, sometimes every four hours depending on how heavy it was being used. As a general rule of thumb, you should oil the paper shredder each time you replace the catch-bag or empty the bin.

Paper Shredder OilBefore adding oil or other lubrication (found here) to your paper shredder it is recommended that you review your owner’s manual. Liquid oils are the most common type of lubricant used to oil a paper shredder, although there are aerosol options also. It is recommended that you only use oil that is specifically made for lubricating paper shredders. Using WD-40, motor oil or other types of lubricant can actually damage the machine because it isn’t designed to adhere to the moving parts of the paper shredder. Using oil not designed for lubricating a paper shredder may also void your service warranty.

To begin oiling your paper shredder, begin by unplugging the paper shredder from the wall electrical outlet. You wouldn’t put your hand in a car engine while it’s moving, and paper shredder accidents can be equally as nasty. There are two ways to add oil to your paper shredder; the direct way and the indirect way.

For the direct way, you’ll apply the oil directly to the cutting blades by squeezing the bottle to squirt the oil through the paper feed opening. This will coat the lubricating oil on to the cutting blades of the shredder. Be sure to spread the oil along the length of the blades. Once your fingers or any dangling clothing is clear, plug the shredder back in and turn it on to the reverse setting. Let it run in reverse for 15 seconds. This will work the oil into the motor and on to the different parts of the paper shredders cutting head. Once this is done you should feed a few sheets of scrap paper through the shredder. This will remove any excess oil from the blades and will prevent potential messes.

The indirect way to oil your paper shredder is by adding oil to paper and running it through the shredder. The proper way of doing this is by spreading a small amount of paper shredder oil in a wide zig-zag pattern down the length of the paper so each blade will be touched by the oil. Make sure the oil is zig-zagged over the over the entire sheet, but don’t soak the paper. Soaking is unnecessary and will waste oil. After the paper is properly oiled, feed it through the paper shredder like you would any other document. One the sheet is completely fed through, switch the paper shredder to reverse mode. This will work the oil into the motor and on to the different parts of the paper shredders cutting head. Depending how heavily the paper shredder is used, this process may need to be repeated two or three times. As with the direct lubrication method, you should feed a few sheets of scrap paper through the shredder to remove any excess oil from the blades to prevent potential messes.

Once oiling is complete, your paper shredder will run quieter, faster, and will not wear reduce the wear and tear on the motor, gears, blades and bearings. You can find Office Zones paper shredder oil here and Office Zone’s entire line of paper shredders here.

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Best Way to Clear Out a Jammed Shredder

Posted by: James on August 29th, 2011

MBM Destroyit 2270 Cross Cut ShredderA paper shredder should be a solid piece of machinery that should hold up with continued use. While this may describe most high-quality shredders, even the best of them can become subject to a jam. There are many reasons for why a paper jam occurs, which I will cover in this article, and there are also many ways to clear one out without having to contact a technician.

Before continuing with this article, remember that you don’t want to force your shredder to do anything. Trying to force paper, or continue running the motor, may result in a broken gear or a stripped belt.

There are many reasons why your paper may become jammed, here are the 3 most common reasons:

  1. Too Many Sheets – using too many sheets of paper, more than your paper shredder can handle, leads to the number one reason a jam occurs. While you may not always be able to count out the number of sheets you are shredding, try to start off small and build up from that. I personally recommend scaling back 20% from the manufacturers recommended maximum capacity. Many modern shredders now include a capacity indicator that consists of lights indicating how much stress the motor is under
  2. Shredding Items Other Than Paper – While many modern shredders can handle shredding credit cards, CDs and DVDs, this is not the case with all of them. Cross cut shredders, in particular, can choke on thick plastic. Before shredding credit cards, old ID badges, CDs and DVDs, check your owners manual and make sure your shredder can handle it. Many modern shredders can handle this material, with many including a bypass slot for “other” material.

    Staples and paper clips can also cause jams, not to mention premature wear. Many modern shredders can handle staples and paper clips. I personally still like to remove paper clips wherever I can, even when the shredder can handle them. Metal shredding metal is never a good thing on a regular basis.

  3. Shredder Oil – Shredders need to be oiled, especially cross cut shredders. If your shredder is running slower than normal, or has even seized, it may be a result of lack of lubrication. I recommend oiling a shredder after every bag change. Many modern office shredders now include automatic oilers or oiling reminder lights.

Now that I have described the most common types of jams, let me explain how to fix them.

  1. Too Many Sheets – if your shredder is clogged with too many sheets of paper, check to see if your shredder is equipped with a reverse button.If it is, you’re in luck. Many jams can be cleared by backing the paper back out.

    If your shredder doesn’t have a reverse button, or is simply too clogged to back out, I recommend squirting some shredder oil along the mouth of the shredder and wait 10-15 minutes. This will allow the oil to soften the paper, making it easy to pass through. Think of it as fiber for your shredder.

    If that still isn’t working, unplug the shredder and remove the shredder head. Try pulling the paper out from under the shredder. If you still can’t get the paper out, you may have to contact a Service Technician. Sorry!

  2. Shredding Items Other Than Paper – First turn unplug your shredder. Credit cards, CDs, DVDs and other plastic material can usually be fished out using needle nose pliers. First try pulling the jammed item out from the top of the shredder. Most of this material will come out easily. If you still can’t clear the plastic out of the shredder head, remove the shredder head and try pulling the material out from underneath the head.
  3. Shredder Oil – This is an easy fix. Oil your shredder. If you have never oiled your shredder before, you may need to squirt shredder oil directly onto the shredder blades to help free them up. If the shredder is still working, put shredder oil on paper (full width) and run it through the shredder. If your shredder is equipped with a reverse switch, run it for a few seconds after oiling the blades. This will help ensure proper lubrication.

    Don’t use WD-40, vegetable oil, car oil or other non-certified products for oiling a shredder. Use shredder oil. There is a big difference between real shredder oil and other oils. You can find oil here.

Hopefully these tips help you out. If you are still unable to clear your paper jam, try contacting Office Zone’s Service Department at 1-800-543-5454 x129. They should be able to help you out. You can find our entire selection of paper shredders here.

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Best Paper Shredder Brands for the Office

Posted by: James on August 29th, 2011

Intimus Paper ShreddersToday my wife and I paid a trip to the local Costco to do a little grocery shopping. I couldn’t help but notice as we walked by the office supply section that several paper shredders were being offered. While they looked halfway decent for individual use, I couldn’t help but wonder, “I hope nobody is buying these for their office.” I have been around office paper shredders for over 10 years and know which brands to look out for.

While I won’t mention any of the brands I would stay way from by name, (although a certain James Bond movie comes to mind) I will gladly list 5 brands that I would recommend to my closest friends and family for office use. These brands have impeccable reputations and are widely used by government agencies and businesses throughout the United States.

These are the top 5 best brands I would recommend for office use. Four of these brands are made in Germany. Do you see a trend here?

  • Dahle Paper ShreddersDahle – Dahle is well known for their lines of paper cutters, trimmers, folding machines and other products. They are equally as known for their German-made line of high-end office paper shredders. Dahle paper shredders come in strip cut, cross cut and even high security designs. Dahle shredders are known for their easy-to-use control panels and unparalleled sound absorption technology. Most Dahle shredders feature thermally protected motor, chain driven shredder blades and premium electronic components. You can find our Dahle paper shredders here.
  • Destroyit Paper ShreddersDestroyit – I have a lot of respect for MBM Destroyit (by Ideal). These German paper shredders may be some of the best around. These shredders are designed to be used and abused and still function. As is the case with Dahle, Destroyit shredders feature continuous-duty motors that can run all day long without overheating. I have seen Destroyit shredders last well over 5 years without an issue. Destroyit is easily a personal favorite. We see these shredders ship out all the time and I’m not aware of anyone returning one. You can find our Destroyit paper shredders here.
  • Formax Paper ShreddersFormax – Formax is kind of the new kid on the block, having only been around for a 3-4 years. While Formax is new, compared to the other brands on this list, they are some of the best value for the dollar. While some of these shredders look like something that came out of an industrial complex, they are a huge hit with our customers. As notoriety improves, we see more of these shredders shipping. Formax has done a great job making office paper shredders. If you are looking for something that will last for years, and not break the bank, consider buying one of these. Formax has a great reputation with our customers. You can find our Formax paper shredders here.
  • HSM Paper ShreddersHSM – HSM is a brand that is well-known in Europe, being German, but aren’t as well known in the United States. This shouldn’t scare you off. HSM paper shredders, including their well-known Shredstar line, are some of the best available. HSM shredders look great and blend in well with an office environment. HSM makes strip cut, cross cut and high-security paper shredders. You can find our HSM paper shredders here.
  • Intimus Paper ShreddersIntimus – These German shredders, which used to be owned by Schleicher, are now owned and managed by Martin Yale. These are some of the nicest-looking paper shredders we offer. They also feature energy conservation technology, sound absorbing shocks and are packed with features. Intimus paper shredders are also popular with government and military entities. You can find our Intimus paper shredders here.

I am confident that you will be pleased with paper shredders from any of these brands. You can find our entire line of paper shredders here. Please feel free to call 1-800-543-5454 to speak with one of Office Zone’s paper shredder specialists.

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Office Paper Shredder Maintenance Tips & Advice

Posted by: James on June 23rd, 2011

Paper Shredder MaintenanceIf you use a paper shredder in the office, chances are pretty good that you rely on it and need it to stay healthy.  Many people don’t realize that office equipment requires special treatment. Paper shredders are very similar to cars in that there they have certain limits and require regular maintenance to keep up optimal operation. Here are a few tips on how you can keep your shredder purring for years.

To begin with, you need to be aware that paper shredders are not indestructible machines. They have limits, albeit those limits vary greatly depending on the make and model. I recommend that you first familiarize yourself with the shredder. Break out the owner’s manual and learn how much paper it can shred, what the bin capacity is, etc. If you can’t find your shredder’s manual, contact our Service Department at 1-800-543-5454 x129 and see if you can get a new one faxed or e-mailed to you.

Having used paper shredders for years myself, I have developed an understanding on the most important things you can do to maximize the life of your shredder. Here are the most important things to keep in mind.

Paper Shredder OilShredder Oil
– Paper shredders, especially those of the cross cut variety, have a lot of moving parts that generate dulling and heat generating friction. A special oil has been manufactured that keeps things lubricated and running smooth. You can find our shredder oil here. Keep in mind that a can of WD-40 or vegetable oil will not cut it. WD-40 is too lightweight and vegetable oil…are you kidding me? This is a machine, not a French fry cooker.

Shredder Bags
– As a paper shredder cuts paper, it begins to create a lot of dust. While not all shredders have the luxury of a dust-proof gearhouse, using the proper size of shred bag can help cut down on dust and particles from winding back up into critical shredder components. Proper shredder bags (found here) also make bag changes cleaner, faster and easier. While garbage bag may cut it, it usually leaves gaps and limits the maximum bin capacity.

Staples and Paper Clips – While some paper shredders feature specially hardened cutting blades and shafts, many shredders can become damaged when a paper clip is run through. As a good habit, I personally like removing staples and paperclips (especially paper clips) prier to shredding paper.

Motor Temperature
– Most home office and deskside paper shredders require a cooldown period. The general rule is 30 minutes use and 30 minutes cooldown. While many shredders will automatically shut off when they become too hot, this isn’t always the case. Don’t overwork your shredder. I recommend no more than 30 minutes use. If you have a continuous-duty shredder with a thermally protected motor, use it all you want. Thermally protected shredders are designed to be run all day long.

Capacity – All paper shredders, regardless of make, model or brand, have a maximum sheet capacity. While many modern shredders have load detectors that will back paper out if too much is fed through, not all shredders have this luxury. Some shredders, lacking load detection, will simply jam and break down. This can cause permanent damage to motors and gears. Make sure you know if your shredder has load detection, and if not, know how many sheets it can handle.

I hope these tips help you out. If your shredder has already failed and is no longer working, it may simply need a replacement gear or belt. Feel free to contact our Service Department at 1-800-543-5454 x129 (or by filling out this form) to see if your shredder can be repaired. We are official dealers for Dahle, Destroyit, Fellowes, Formax, GBC, Kobra, Intelli-Shred, HSM, Intimus and Martin Yale.

If your shredder is irreversibly damaged, you can find our entire selection of brand new paper shredders here. If you aren’t sure what type of shredder to order, please feel free to call and speak with one of our paper shredder specialists at 1-800-543-5454.

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Top 10 Best Office Paper Shredders 2011

Posted by: James on June 22nd, 2011

Formax FD 8650CC AutoOiler Office Paper ShredderAre you in the market for a new paper shredder? Perhaps you need a model because last year’s model broke down or burnt out. Regardless of the reason you’re looking for a paper shredder, chances pretty good you want something that will hold up. With literally hundreds of different models floating around, it is probably tough to sift through the clutter and find a shredder that fits your bill. I have compiled this list of highly reliable office paper shredders.

Before I provide you with my list of best office paper shredders 2011, let me familiarize you with the “best” paper shredder manufacturers available. These brands may not be as familiar to you as many of them are not commonly found in your local department store. These shredders are, however, very well known among the government and military.

Top Paper Shredder Brands

Do these brands sound familiar? These brands compile the best office paper shredders modern technology has to offer. They have proven track records, have been around for years and to be honest, our Customer Service Reps love them because the don’t have to deal with after-sale issues.

So what do I consider to be a good shredder? I have a few requirements:

  • To begin with, a paper shredder must have a continuous-duty motor. You shouldn’t have to wait around for a shredder to cool down, especially in an office.
  • An office shredder needs to have a nice shredding capacity. You don’t want to have to wait around a paper shredder like water cooler, waiting for a few sheets to finish shredding before you insert the next 5-6 sheets. You need something that allows you to shred at least 15+ sheets at a time. Stay away from wimpy shredders.
  • An office shredder needs to have a nice bin size. I recommend at least a 15 gallon bin or larger. If you can afford it, go with a shredder that has a 30 gallon bin or larger. Larger bins mean less bag changes and time saved for you!
  • Get a shredder with a nice feed opening. I personally like at least 10″ or wider for office use. A wider opening will be able to handle disorganized stacks of paper better and will also be better able to handle computer forms. Some higher-end departmental shredders have openings as wide as 16″!

So here you go, my list of the top 10 best office paper shredder for 2011. Shredders are arranged alphabetically.

  1. Dahle 20614EC Heavy Duty Shredder
  2. Dahle 30414 Cross Cut Paper Shredder
  3. Dahle 20800EC Office Paper Shredder
  4. Formax FD 8500 Office Shredder
  5. Formax FD 8650CC AutoOiler Office Paper Shredder
  6. Formax FD 8500AF AutoFeed Paper Shredder
  7. MBM Destroyit 4002 Heavy Duty Shredder
  8. MBM Destroyit 3104 Cross Cut Office Shredder
  9. MBM Destroyit 3105 Office Shredder with Auto Oiler
  10. HSM 411.2 Departmental Paper Shredder

So there you have it! The top 10 office paper shredders (designed for departmental use) for the year 2011. These 10 shredders are all from the top 4 paper shredder brands available today. I wish I could have added a few more shredders, but wanted to keep the list around 10. All four of these brands offer other models that may be better suited for smaller businesses.

Of these shredders, 70% of them are German engineered and German built. I have personally found that German paper shredders tend to hold up better than shredders made in “other” countries. This isn’t always the case, but is a good rule of thumb.

You can find our entire selection of paper shredders here. Please feel free to call one of our shredder experts at 1-800-543-5454 with any questions.

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Keep That Shredder Running! Paper Shredder Maintenance Tips

Posted by: James on May 12th, 2011

Paper Shredder Maintenance & TipsOn the outside, paper shredders seem like very basic, simple machines.  The inside, however, can be much different.  If you own a shredder under $50.00, then it probably is simple inside and out.  However, if you’re in the market for an office shredder, industrial shredder, shredder baler, or government high security shredder, they can be a bit more complicated on the inside.  This article will focus on a few tips to maintain, fix, and operate your shredder more efficiently.

How to oil a paper shredder

Even if your shredder sports a dust free environment, it is still recommended to oil your shredder.  Luckily, oiling a shredder is much easier than it sounds.  First off, how often should you oil your shredder?  Typically, you’ll want to oil your shredder after every bag change.  The best way to oil your shredder is to grab some paper, usually as big as your paper shredder’s throat width, and squirt the oil directly onto the paper – similar to making a honey sandwich.  Once you have the paper mildly coated with oil, simply run it through your shredder like normal.  The main reason to oil your shredder is lubricate the cutting wheels or cutting heads inside the machine.  This will prolong the life of your shredder, as well as eliminate jams.

Be aware of what your paper shredder can and can’t do

More than one shredder has met its end due to a staple, a paper clip, a CD, or a floppy disc.  Many shredders on the market these days will handle these things with ease, but some of the older ones might not be equipped to handle them.  Another major reason shredders fail or jam up is overuse or too much paper at once.  Shredding more sheets than allowed is like driving on the fast lane 20 MPH under the limit—it’s simply not recommended.

How to fix a broken shredder

No matter how powerful it is, sometimes your shredder will stop working properly.  Like any equipment that runs on power, the first thing you need to make sure you do is unplug the shredder.  I would recommend letting your shredder cool off for an hour before trying anything.  More often than not, your shredder might be overheated due to prolonged, sustained use.  It is easy to forget that not all shredders have a continuous motor.

Another thing to always try is your reverse function.  Most shredders on the market today will have this feature.  It could be that too many sheets went into the shredder at once and caused a jam.  Reversing those sheets could solve your problem.  It can also make sure there aren’t any tiny bits of leftover shred that, for whatever reason, won’t shred all the way.

Many shredders will turn off automatically once the bag is full.  Your shredder should have an indicator that shows you if the bag is full, but if not, simply open the front door and take a look.

Now, if none of the above work, it’s probably time to take the shredder head off and examine it further.  Many times you’ll notice a big clump of shredded bits stuck in between the gears.  Grab the bigger pieces slowly and pull them out.  Make sure not to yank them out quickly, else you might risk damaging the motor.  If there are any bits that are too small to grab safely, you can use tweezers to help get them out.

If you’re still having problems with your shredder after that, I would recommend calling our knowledgeable service department at 800-543-5454 x 129 or email them at service@officezone.com.

Officezone.com has a huge selection of paper shredders, ranging from your basic personal use to industrial shredder balers.  If you have any questions about which ones works best for you, make sure to contact our highly trained sales reps.  Or visit our many shredders guides available online.