The Best Paper Shredders

You know about protecting your personal information online, but you may be surprised to learn that more identity theft crimes are committed through paper transactions than through Internet-based activity. According to a report by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), most instances of identity fraud occur through traditional channels and are paper-based, not Internet-based. In addition, Internet-related problems are usually less severe and less costly than previously thought.

The investigators theorized that those who access their accounts online can provide earlier detection of criminal activity than those who rely on paper statements alone. This report was published in 2005, and online hackers have become more sophisticated since then, but it’s still important to be very careful of your personal paper trail. The BBB recommends making sure you shred any documents “that have your bank account information, Social Security or Social Insurance number, or other personal information.”

Examples include credit card applications, insurance forms, financial statements, health forms, and business statements from utilities and phone services. The BBB also suggests cutting up expired credit and debit cards, making sure to cut through the numbers before you throw them out. What if you don’t have a paper shredder? It may be time to get one, but which is best? We recently reviewed dozens of paper shredders, looking at the type of cut, paper capacity, basket types, portability, and cost. All of these top-rated paper shredders can be purchased online at Amazon.

Best Paper Shredder Overall
Bonsaii Home Office Shredder
Portable and efficient, this 8-sheet capacity shredder is perfect for your home or home office setting.

We’ve identified the Bonsaii Home Office Shredder as our top pick. With an 8-sheet capacity and cross-cut efficiency, it’s perfect for your home and small office needs.

The 5 Top-Rated Paper Shredders

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best Paper Shredder OverallBonsaii Home Office Shredder4.4
Best Portable Paper ShredderFellowes Home Office Paper Shredder4.7
Best Budget Paper ShredderHOME-X Hand Crank Paper Shredder4.1
Best Paper Shredder with Pullout BasketAurora Pullout Basket Shredder4.6
Best Heavy-Duty Paper ShredderAmazonBasics 150-Sheet Paper Shredder4.5

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change.

Best Paper Shredder Overall: Bonsaii Home Office Shredder

Secure your personal and client information with the efficient, easy-to-use Bonsaii Home Office Shredder. Using a cross-cut mechanism, it chops up papers and credit cards into small pieces, providing a P-4 high-security level to keep your information safe.

With an 8-sheet capacity, this shredder is designed with a convenient ergonomic handle that makes emptying the bin a piece of cake. Simply lift the motor off to gain access to the shredded paper. The bin itself offers a 3.5-gallon capacity and has a see-through window so you can tell when it’s full.

The auto start/stop feature allows the shredder to automatically start shredding when the sensor in the middle of the feed slot detects paper inserting. If the shredder becomes jammed after shedding high amounts of paper, the manual reverse button can help clear it out.

The Bonsaii also has an overheating protection system, which means if the unit keeps shredding over its maximum running time (four minutes), it will shut off automatically to protect the motor.

Bonsaii Home Office Shredder Key Features:

  • Auto start/stop feature starts shredding the instant the sensors detect paper
  • Cuts through up to 8 sheets at a time
  • See-through waste bin alerts you to when it’s time to empty
  • Ergonomic handle makes emptying easy
  • Overheating protection system safeguards the motor

Best Portable Paper Shredder: Fellowes Home Office Paper Shredder

Best Portable Paper Shredder
Fellowes Home Office Paper Shredder
Designed to be easily rolled from room to room, this 10-sheet capacity shredder goes where you need it.

Our runner up is the Fellowes Home Office Paper Shredder, which is a great portable option for any home or home office setup. It’s designed with four casters so you can wheel it around wherever you need it.

This shredder also offers a high level of security with a micro-cut mechanism that can also destroy staples and credit cards. The blades create super-small pieces, which means the basket will hold more paper per gallon and will require less frequent emptying. Yet it operates quietly, helping to eliminate noisy disruptions at home or in a shared office.

Shred consistently for up to seven minutes with this option, and shred more papers before you have to empty the large five-gallon capacity pullout basket. And don’t worry about small children or pets. This machine has a patented safety lock that disables the shredder when you engage it.

Reviewers love the smooth cutting process of this shredder, along with its quiet operation and easy emptying.

Fellowes Home Office Paper Shredder Key Features:

  • Four casters allow you to move it from room to room
  • Cut up to 10 sheets at a time
  • Pull-out bin with see-through window makes emptying easy
  • Micro-cut mechanism provides higher security
  • Safety lock protects small children and pets

Best Budget Paper Shredder: HOME-X Hand Crank Paper Shredder

Best Budget Paper Shredder
HOME-X Hand Crank Paper Shredder
If you really want to save money but still cut-up your papers, forget the motor and use your muscles instead, with this fun hand-crank shredder.

Who says you have to have a motor to shred your papers? With the HOME-X Hand Crank Paper Shredder, you simply insert the paper, turn the crank, and watch the strip-cut mechanism chew through your data. It’s not as secure as a cross-cut or micro-cut option, but if you only have a few papers you want to get rid of, it may suit you just fine. Best of all, it costs only about $13.

This handy little shredder is made with durable plastic so it’s simple and portable and is attached to a transparent box to catch the strips of paper. It even works for thick craft paper and cardstock, and since there is no motor, you don’t have to worry about power outages. It does have a smaller opening, which means you may need to fold some papers in half before shredding.

Teachers in the classroom and at home love this manual option because it’s safer for kids and their fingers than motorized shredders. Plus, kids think it’s fun to use! It’s also a good option to keep at your home office desk, as it allows you to quickly shred any papers without leaving your chair, though it’s easy to carry if you have to work at the dining table instead.

HOME-X Hand Crank Paper Shredder Key Features:

  • Manual shredder works when you crank it by hand
  • Shreds paper, craft paper, and cardstock
  • Small, portable, and lightweight
  • Perfect for kids and teachers

Best Paper Shredder with Pullout Basket: Aurora Pullout Basket Shredder

Best Paper Shredder with Pullout Basket
Aurora Pullout Basket Shredder
If you don’t want to have to lift the motor every time you empty your shredder, go for this convenient option with a handy five-gallon pullout basket.

Some of our other top-five options have pullout baskets, but we’re highlighting the Aurora Pullout Basket Shredder because it’s so convenient. It has a high-capacity five-gallon pullout bin with a see-through window that makes it super easy to empty. If you shred a lot of papers, you know how important that is!

There’s a lot more to like about this shredder. It offers a cross-cut mechanism that can take up to 16 papers at a time, as well as CDs, DVDs, credit cards, and small paper clips. Plus you can operate this shredder for 30 minutes nonstop! If you’ve got a stack of old files you want to get rid of, that could save you some time.

Four casters allow you to easily roll the shredder around to different locations if you need to, plus an overload auto-reverse option helps prevent paper jams. Bright LED lights alert you when the bin is full, the waste bin door is open, and the unit is overheating or overloaded, giving you all the assistance you need to ensure safe operation.

Reviewers love the quiet operation of this shredder, noting that they can hear the television or people talking while it’s running.

Aurora Pullout Basket Shredder Key Features:

  • Five-gallon pullout bin with see-through window makes emptying a breeze
  • 16-paper capacity with cross-cut efficiency
  • Runs safely for 30 minutes nonstop
  • Lighted LED indicators for overheating and overload
  • Portable and convenient

Best Heavy-Duty Paper Shredder: AmazonBasics 150-Sheet Paper Shredder

Best Heavy-Duty Paper Shredder
AmazonBasics 150-Sheet Paper Shredder
Make short work of your discarded files with this heavy-duty, 150-sheet auto-feed paper shredder.

Those who want to shred a lot of papers in a short period will likely be happy with the AmazonBasics 150-Sheet Paper Shredder. It shreds up to 150 sheets through its auto-feed tray, and up to 10 sheets fed manually at a time. It can also chew through CDs, DVDs, and credit cards.

Set up your stacks and get ready, as it can keep working for up to 60 minutes nonstop when using the auto-feed tray, or 10 minutes at a time when using the manual feed slot. If it runs continuously past the maximum run time, it will automatically shut off to protect the motor from overheating. It also has manual reverse and forward keys to help easily clear paper jams, and provides LED indicators for feed error, bin full, door open, overload, and overheat.

This big guy also allows you to go longer between emptying, as it comes with a high-capacity 8.5-gallon pullout bin. Castors allow you to roll it into any room where it may be needed, and the micro-cut mechanism transforms a letter-sized sheet of paper into about 2,235 pieces. No need to remove staples or small paper clips first, as it can handle those as well.

Because of its high capacity, this machine does require regular lubrication—simply buy some paper shredder lubricant and use it at every emptying.

AmazonBasics 150-Sheet Paper Shredder Key Features:

  • Shreds up to 150 papers through the auto-feed tray
  • Can run for up to 60 minutes nonstop using the auto-feed tray
  • See-through, convenient pullout bin
  • Four casters for easy portability
  • Automatic shut-off to prevent overheating

Who Should Buy Paper Shredders

Anyone can fall victim to identity theft, which means that everyone should be taking precautions to protect personal information. According to the 2019 Identity Fraud Study from Javelin Strategy and Research, 14.4 million people were victims of identity fraud in 2018. Worse, out-of-pocket fraud costs more than doubled between 2016 and 2018. You can always manually rip up your documents or use a pair of scissors to cut them up, but a paper shredder is much easier and faster and can provide a convenient safety net for you and your family.

There are several other reasons why you may want to invest in a paper shredder. Shredding paper makes recycling easier as the shredded pieces can be bagged up and taken to a recycling point or collected by a recycling company more easily than flat or torn pieces of paper. If you have a home office or are self-employed, you may need a shredder to ensure you’re protecting sensitive customer or client information. Confidential data like salary details or personal addresses have to be disposed of correctly under the Data Protection Act, which means any documents with this type of information should be shredded before they’re thrown out.

A shredder can help you save on storage space, giving you an easy and efficient way to get rid of old documents you no longer need. It can also reduce the risk of fire in a home office, as stacks of paper are the perfect fuel for spreading fire. Finally, most shredders today also have the capability of shredding credit cards, and some can even destroy DVDs and CDs, helping you discard any sensitive information safely.

If you’re looking for other home office equipment, then you may be interested in The Best Fireproof Safes. For the extra step in home security, then check out The Best Wireless Security Cameras.

Best Paper Shredder Overall
Bonsaii Home Office Shredder
Portable and efficient, this 8-sheet capacity shredder is perfect for your home or home office setting.

Important Features to Consider

When shopping for a paper shredder, consider the following features:

  • Cut type: Paper shredders typically use one of three different types of cut patterns: 1) Strip-cut shredders, also known as ribbon-cut shredders, contain a single blade that cuts documents vertically. These offer the least amount of data protection, but they also tend to be lower priced. 2) Cross-cut paper shredders, also known as confetti-cut shredders, are the most common. They have two sets of blades that shred paper both lengthwise and widthwise, chopping the paper up into little bits. They offer more security and are considered suitable for paperwork, emails, and reports. 3) Micro-cut shredders are similar to cross-cut shredders, but the cut-up pieces are significantly smaller. These offer the highest level of security, but they can also take longer to shred.
  • Capacity: How many papers do you want to shred at once? Most standard shredders can take between six and eight, but if you have a lot of papers you want to dispose of, that may not be enough. You can find models that will shred up to 14, 18, 20 or more pieces at a time, but with each increase in capacity, the price usually goes up, too.
  • Basket: Some shredders come without a basket at all, which means you must place them on top of your own basket or bucket to catch the paper pieces. Most shredders include a basket, but they come in different capacities. The larger ones will take more paper before you have to empty them, which can save you time. Some require you to lift the lid to dump them out, while others have a pullout design to allow for convenient dumping.
  • Size: Paper shredders come in different sizes, so you’ll want to examine the space you have before purchasing. How much room do you have for a shredder? You’ll want one that will easily fit into your home or office space while still providing the shredding capacity that you want.
  • Run-time: How long can you run your shredder before it gets hot? Some heavy-duty models can run continuously for 30 minutes or more, while more standard home-office versions run only about 2-5 minutes before needing to cool off.
  • Anti-jam: Some shredders include this feature to ensure papers don’t jam in the cutting mechanism. Others offer manual forward and reverse buttons so you can release any stuck material.
  • Maintenance: Some machines will need more care than others. The finer the cutting mechanism, the higher the complexity of the machine, and the greater the need for care and maintenance. A micro-cut machine, for instance, will need more care than a cross-cut machine. Typically this means lubrication—you may need to lubricate the cutting mechanism each time the basked is emptied, for example. Keep this in mind when choosing the shredder that will work best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best shredder for a home office?

With more people working at home these days, this is a common question. You may be handling customer or client information, and need a shredder to ensure privacy. In general, a cross-cut shredder is the best option for a home office. It’s secure enough to protect from identity theft, but it’s fast and easy to care for. Finding one with a pull-out basket can make it easier to dump the paper when needed.

How long should a shredder last?

A good shredder should last up to ten years as long as you don’t overload it, regularly clean it out, lubricate it as needed, and remove any staples, paper clips, or other small pieces that may damage the shredder head. Many will last longer than that when used gently.

What security level shredder do I need?

Now that you know about the three types of shredders available, you may wonder what level of security you need. Most individuals and small businesses do just fine with a medium-security shredder, which is one that provides cross-cutting technology. Micro-cutting provides the highest level, so if you’re regularly working with information that could compromise you or your customers and/or clients, you may want to choose a micro-cut shredder.

You may also notice when shopping for shredders that they include a “DIN” number. This is a security standard classification that applies to paper destruction and contains seven security levels: DIN P-1, P-2, P-3, P-4, P-5, P-6, and P-7. The higher the number, the smaller the size of the paper particle. That means if you want high security, you’re better off with a P-5 or higher shredder than a P-2. For most shredding needs, you’ll be fine with a DIN P-3, P-4, or P-5.

When it comes to types of cuts, the security usually goes as follows:

  • Strip-cut shredders provide P-1 and P-2 security.
  • Cross-cut shredders provide P-3 and P-4 security.
  • Micro-cut shredders provide P-4 security and up.

Are paper shredders safe?

Though paper shredders are generally safe to use, they can pose dangers to children and pets. The cutting teeth are sharp and can catch onto loose jewelry, hair, or pieces of clothing, drawing the person close. Curious children can get their small fingers caught, and curious cats and dogs may get sensitive body parts captured by the shredder’s cutting teeth.

Shredders can also pose a fire hazard if they overheat or are left operating unattended. To protect everyone in the family, unplug the shredder when not in use, and store it out of reach of small children.

Other Paper Shredders We Reviewed

Best Paper Shredder Overall
Bonsaii Home Office Shredder
Portable and efficient, this 8-sheet capacity shredder is perfect for your home or home office setting.

We looked at 20 other paper shredders. Even though they didn’t make our five best paper shredders list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for disposing of documents containing sensitive data. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Standard Paper Shredders

Bonsaii 10-Sheet Paper Shredder

Bonsaii 10-Sheet Cross-Cut Shredder

Like our top pick above, this Bonsaii also has an ergonomic handle and see-through waste bin, but it can handle up to 10 sheets at a time rather than eight.

Key Features:

  • 10-sheet, cross-cut paper shredder
  • Includes ergonomic handle for easy lifting
  • See-through five-gallon bin
  • Overheat and overload protection

Cost: $65

AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Paper Shredder

AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Cross-Cut Shredder

This cross-cut shredder can manage eight sheets at a time, providing a P-3 security level. The user-friendly design includes a three-mode control switch (auto, off, reverse), with an LED overheat indicator.

Key Features:

  • 8-sheet, cross-cut paper shredder
  • Up to three minutes of continuous run time
  • See-through 4.1-gallon bin
  • Overheat and overload protection

Cost: $40

RAGU 6-Sheet Paper Shredder

RAGU Paper Shredder

This is a little smaller shredder than most, but it may be just the size you need for a small corner home office. It still offers cross-cut security (P-4) and can destroy credit cards one at a time.

Key Features:

  • 6-sheet, cross-cut paper shredder
  • Offers two minutes of continuous operation
  • See-through 2.9-gallon bin
  • Auto-start and jam-proof

Portable Paper Shredders

Aurora High-Security Paper Shredder

Aurora High-Security Paper Shredder

Enjoy portability and a handy pullout bin with this 10-sheet micro-cut shredder. Offers five minutes of continuous run time.

Key Features:

  • 10-sheet, cross-cut paper shredder
  • Rolls on casters from room to room
  • See-through, pullout 4.5-gallon bin
  • LED indicators for standby, overheat, overload, door open, and bin full
  • ShredSafe advanced safety feature

Cost: $90

Bonsaii EverShred Pro

Bonsaii EverShred Portable Shredder

Take this handy shredder wherever you need it and feel completely secure. The micro-cut mechanism makes short work of papers, credit cards, and more, with a whopping 60 minutes of continuous run-time.

Key Features:

  • 6-sheet, micro-cut paper shredder provides high P-5 security
  • Rolls on casters from room to room
  • Continuous shredding for up to an hour
  • See-through, pullout 4.2-gallon bin
  • Auto-start and manual-reverse function
  • Ultra low-noise operation

Cost: $150

Sentinel 15-Sheet Shredder

Sentinel Portable Shredder

Portable doesn’t have to mean “limited capacity.” This Sentinel Shredder will manage up to 15 pages at a time with a cross-cut mechanism providing P-3 level security.

Key Features:

  • 15-sheet, cross-cut paper shredder
  • Rolls on casters from room to room
  • Provides two minutes of continuous run-time
  • See-through, pullout 4-gallon bin
  • Manual-reverse function

Cost: $98

Budget Paper Shredders

AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Strip-Cut Shredder

Spend less on this strip-cut shredder. It offers only a P-2 level of security, but that may be all you need. Also destroys CDs, DVDs, and credit cards.

Key Features:

  • 8-sheet, strip-cut paper shredder
  • 2-gallon bin
  • Runs for about two minutes continuously
  • Automatically shuts off to protect from overheating

Cost: $40

Aurora 8-Sheet Cross-Cut Shredder

Aurora Budget Shredder

You get a quality shredder for a low price with this Aurora. It shreds up to eight sheets per minute while providing cross-cut security.

Key Features:

  • 8-sheet per minute, cross-cut paper shredder
  • See-through bin
  • Safety angled feeding bin helps prevent accidents
  • Features overheat protection, auto start, and manual reverse

Cost: $33

Nakabayashi Manual Shredder

Nakabayashi Manual Shredder

Like our top pick in the budget category, this shredder requires muscle power. Simply turn the crank and watch the blades go to work.

Key Features:

  • Cross-cut technology also shreds credit cards
  • Fits easily on a shelf or in a small spot
  • Includes 0.87-gallon see-through bin
  • No power needed to run

Cost: $35

Aurora 8-Sheet Strip-Cut Shredder

Aurora White Budget Shredder

The second strip-cut option on our list, this Aurora offers less security but a nice-looking white and gray design. It can shred up to 8 sheets at once and has a 3.20-gallon basket.

Key Features:

  • 8-sheet, cross-cut technology also shreds credit cards
  • 2-gallon basket
  • Manual forward and reverse buttons to clear paper jams
  • No power consumption in standby mode to save energy

Cost: $32

Pullout Basket Paper Shredders

AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Shredder with Pullout Basket

AmazonBasics High-Security Pullout Basket

Get a higher level of security with this AmazonBasics shredder. It has a micro-cut mechanism that meets level P-4 standards, as well as a see-through bin and casters for easy portability.

Key Features:

  • 8-sheet, micro-cut paper shredder
  • 5 minutes of continuous operation
  • See-through, pullout 4-gallon bin
  • Casters included for easy portability
  • LED status indicators for overheat, overload, bin full, door open, and power on

Cost: $74

Bonsaii Micro-Cut Shredder with Pullout Basket

Bonsaii Pullout Shredder

This Bonsaii is similar to the AmazonBasics model above, as it cuts up to eight sheets at a time with micro-cut technology, includes a see-through pullout bin, and comes with four castors.

Key Features:

  • 8-sheet, micro-cut paper shredder
  • 5 minutes of continuous operation
  • See-through, pullout 4-gallon bin
  • Casters included for easy portability
  • LED status indicators for overheat, overload, bin full, door open, and power on

Cost: $80

Wolverine 18-Sheet Shredder with Pullout Basket

Wolverine Pullout Shredder

If you’re looking for more capacity in your pullout basket shredder, choose this Wolverine. It can handle up to 18 sheets at a time while also providing all the conveniences of the other shredders listed in this section.

Key Features:

  • 18-sheet, cross-cut paper shredder
  • 60 minutes of continuous operation
  • See-through, pullout 6-gallon bin
  • Casters included for easy portability
  • Ultra-quiet performance

Cost: $225

EZBasics 5-Sheet Paper Shredder

EZBasics Cross-Cut Shredder

If you’re looking for a little different design, you may prefer this small black-and-white paper shredder. It’s designed to be super quiet while still offering cross-cut security and a pullout bin.

Key Features:

  • 5-sheet, cross-cut paper shredder
  • Unique black-and-white look; compact and stylish
  • See-through, pullout 3-gallon bin
  • Ultra-low noise
  • Auto-start and manual reverse

Cost: $80

Heavy-Duty Paper Shredders

Bonsaii 18-Sheet Heavy-Duty Shredder

Bonsaii Heavy Duty Paper Shredder

Shred for 60 minutes nonstop with this heavy-duty cross-cut shredder. It will handle up to 18 pieces of paper at a time, and delivers a 62 dB low noise level.

Key Features:

  • 18-sheet, cross-cut paper shredder
  • Provides 60 minutes of nonstop run-time
  • See-through, pullout 6-gallon bin
  • Low noise level
  • Portable with four castors
  • Auto-start and auto-reverse; overheating and overloading protection

Cost: $165

Bonsaii 14-Sheet Heavy Duty Shredder

Bonsaii 14-Sheet Heavy Duty Shredder

If you’re willing to settle for just four sheets less per pass, this 14-sheet heavy-duty shredder will save you some money. It runs for 30 minutes continuously and has a sharp black-and-silver design.

Key Features:

  • 14-sheet, cross-cut paper shredder
  • Provides 30 minutes of nonstop run-time
  • See-through, pullout 4.8-gallon bin
  • Sharp black-and-silver design
  • Overheating and overloading protection with LED indicators

Cost: $110

Fellowes Powershed 99Ci

Fellowes Powershred Heavy Duty Shredder

The Fellowes brand has a good reputation when it comes to shredders, which may be why this shredder is a little higher priced. Reviewers love its reliability, though, along with the monstrous nine-gallon pullout bin and castors too!

Key Features:

  • 18-sheet, cross-cut paper shredder
  • Provides 30 minutes of nonstop run-time
  • See-through, pullout 9-gallon bin
  • Portable with four castors
  • SafeSense Technology stops the shredder when hands touch the paper opening

Cost: $270

AmazonBasics 24-Sheet Heavy-Duty Shredder

AmazonBasics 24-Sheet Heavy Duty Shredder

Perfect for impatient folks, this heavy-duty shredder can take up to 24 pages at a time and will run for 40 minutes nonstop. It also features a see-through bin and four casters for easy portability.

Key Features:

  • 24-sheet, cross-cut paper shredder
  • Provides 40 minutes of nonstop run-time
  • See-through, pullout 7-gallon bin
  • Portable with four castors
  • Features anti-jam and auto-reverse technology

Cost: $175

Boxis AutoShred 140-Sheet Shredder

Boxis 140-Sheet Heavy Duty Shredder

Like our top pick in the heavy-duty category, the Boxis Shredder can hold up to 140 sheets in the auto-feed tray, allowing you to set it and forget it as it shreds. When feeding manually, you can do up to 10 sheets at a time.

Key Features:

  • 10-sheet, micro-cut paper shredder
  • Holds up to 140 sheets in the auto-feed tray
  • Provides 20 minutes of nonstop run-time
  • See-through, pullout 6-gallon bin
  • Portable with four castors
  • Equipped with an overheat indicator

Cost: $170

Royal Sovereign 120-Sheet Shredder

Royal Sovereign Portable Shredder

If you’ve got a lot of papers to shred, simply stack them into the 120-sheet auto-feed tray and go about your day. The cross-cut shredding mechanism makes short work of your pile, changing it into P-4 level secure pieces.

Key Features:

  • 120-sheet auto-feed tray; takes up to 5 sheets at a time manually
  • Rolls on casters from room to room
  • Quiet operation for up to an hour at a time
  • See-through bin
  • Auto-start and manual-reverse function
  • Ultra low-noise operation

Cost: $121

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