The Staples Mailmate M7 is a compact desktop paper shredder with a 1.62-gallon pull-out bin. Reviews say it's quite capable of of handling data discs, paper clips and unopened junk mail. At 65 decibels, this model is much quieter than the earlier 70-decibel Mailmate M5 (*Est. $70), and adds an energy-saving feature when the unit is left turned on. The cool-down period is also shorter.
Some users complain about the small bin size on the Mailmate M7 shredder, but this is inevitable on any desktop model. Another drawback is that unlike the earlier Mailmate M5, the M7 has the flat, low-contrast control buttons that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends against since they can make it more likely that the wrong button is hit by mistake. (The M5 has raised buttons with high-contrast labels.) If you have space for a 5-gallon paper shredder, consider the well-reviewed Fellowes Powershred DS-3 (*Est. $75), which does build in safety features.
Desktop paper shredders aren't tested at ConsumerReports.org, but a comparison review there does cover four larger Staples paper shredders, making it possible to estimate how this brand compares with others. We found over 130 mostly enthusiastic owner-written reviews and ratings of the specific Staples MailMate M7 paper shredder at Staples.com. At the New York Times, a technology expert recommends the preceding model, the Staples MailMate M5 as a good budget pick. This is a relatively new model, so reports on long-term durability are not yet available.
Over 130 owners review the Staples Mailmate M7 paper shredder here, and 88 percent say they'd recommend it to a friend -- the same percentage that would recommend the older Mailmate M5 model. The energy-saving feature earns some criticism from some users, who say it just adds delay since when the unit's on standby, the auto-start doesn't work till you press the power button -- sometimes several times. Owners do like the quiet, though; noise was one of the big complaints about the earlier M5 shredder. The oldest review here is from November 2011, so it's hard to evaluate this new model's durability. Staples lists the Mailmate M5 as having safety features, but not the M7. You can set up a comparison chart here to compare both Mailmate models.
Review: Staples Mailmate M7 12-Sheet Cross-Cut Shredder, Contributors to Staples.com
This video ad highlights some features of the Staples Mailmate M7 desktop shredder, which notably include no safety protection at all. You can tell, though, that this model is relatively quiet.
Review: Staples Mailmate M7 12-Sheet Shredder, Staples