What every best Shredders has:
- Crosscut shredding.
- Fast shred speeds.
- Jam-free operation.
After researching more than 60 paper shredders, the authors select the ten best and spend more than 120 hours testing them. They give each model a rating of 1 to 10 for shredding quality, speed, noise, and ease of use, then weight these four ratings to generate an overall percentage score. A chart compares the ten models side by side, and each one gets a brief write-up and a link to a detailed report.
Tony Hoffman of PCMag.com offers general tips on buying a shredder, followed by ratings of 18 different shredders and links to detailed reviews. Hoffman times each model's actual shredding speed and capacity and compares them to the manufacturer's claims, as well as evaluating features and noise level. He also notes how the different models stack up against each other in performance.
Christopher Null of PC World evaluates five medium-duty shredders, suitable for small offices where shredding is "more or less a daily chore." After feeding each shredder paper, credit cards, and CDs, Null evaluates its features, capacity, and noise level, as well as how likely it is to jam. He doesn't actually give the machines ratings, but his detailed comments about performance are extremely useful.
Wired tests five paper shredders, ranging from high-volume console shredders to small-volume handheld shredders. Tester Billy Brown highlights each shredder's strong and weak points, including speed, capacity, toughness and noise. Discussion here is somewhat brief, but Brown does a good job of highlighting a shredder's strengths and weaknesses. Each shredder receives an overall rating on a 10-point scale.
Walmart offers more than 800 shredders on its website, with a focus on budget-priced models. We found several shredders with strong positive feedback from users, including a handful with 500 reviews or more. For each model, the site provides an overall star rating, a breakdown of reviews by rating, and the percentage of reviewers who say they would recommend it.
Amazon.com carries lots of paper shredders, but most of them don't receive a large volume of reviews from users. However, a few shredders stand out with high overall ratings from 1,000 owners or more. Many of the top-rated shredders here are from the store's own AmazonBasics brand, which isn't sold on other retail sites. We also found good ratings for a couple of Fellowes shredders.
Staples sells more than 200 paper shredder models. Most of the ones with a lot of user feedback are from the Staples house brand, but a few other products have 200 reviews or more with a high overall rating. The site makes it easy to sort and filter reviews by factors like brand, rating, price range and type of use.
The Office Depot/OfficeMax site offers more than 300 shredders for sale, including personal shredders for the home office and commercial shredders for professional use. Home shredders get the most reviews, with several receiving high overall scores from 100 users or more. A nice feature of this site is that it sums up the most commonly cited pros and cons for each shredder, which saves time with models that have lots of reviews.
Good Housekeeping has reviews on its website for 30 shredders, though none since 2013. Testing is not well described, but in general, reviews appear to evaluate each shredder's capacity, speed, ease of use, and noise level, as well as the helpfulness of customer service. Three of the four top picks are discontinued.
Best Buy has a modest assortment of about 70 shredders for sale. We found the most feedback here for shredders from Insignia, a brand sold exclusively at Best Buy. For each shredder, the site provides a handy summary of the features most often mentioned as pros and cons in reviews, as well as noting what percentage of buyers would recommend the shredder.
ConsumerReports.org last tested paper shredders in 2011, and the ratings are no longer available online. However, you can still view its buying guide, which discusses points to consider when choosing a shredder, such as size, features, and safety. There's also lots of information here about which documents to shred and when.