The best paper shredders for your home or small office

  • Whether you have a home office or just need to dispose of documents containing personal information, a paper shredder for home use can save you time while keeping your information safe.
  • Our top pick, the Bonsaii Paper Shredder, offers generous capacity and a long run time, making it ideal for home offices, personal use, and more.

With data breaches becoming increasingly common, it seems to be more and more difficult to keep your personal and financial information safe. There's no foolproof way to protect yourself (especially with personal data now stored digitally), but a paper shredder can be your first line of defense in keeping printed information private. When a paper shredder could potentially prevent a case of stolen identity or fraud, this is an investment that you can't afford to go without.

From shredding junk mail to getting rid of business files and documents, a paper shredder isn't just a home convenience, it's a necessity. Maybe it's time to clean out your old filing cabinet, or maybe you just want to keep up with your business' document turnover. Regardless of how you plan to use it, you'll need to have the right shredder for the job.

We looked for shredders that offer dependable performance, are versatile, and accommodate different budgets. Some of these shredders are high-capacity machines that need no cool-down time, while others are more basic. Most are multipurpose machines that can also tear up CDs, credit cards, staples, and paper clips, saving you valuable time. 

Here are the best paper shredders:

  • Best overall: Bonsaii Paper Shredder
  • Best jam-proof: Fellowes Powershred Jam Proof Paper and Credit Card Shredder
  • Best high-volume: Swingline 20-Sheet Cross-Cut Commercial Shredder
  • Best manual: Nakabayashi Co. 3-Way Manual Shredder

Updated 9/9/2020. We updated prices and links and added a selection of relevant buying guides. We also removed Pen + Gear 6-Sheet Crosscut Paper/Credit Card Shredder as our best budget pick due to it currently being out of stock.

The best overall

With 240 minutes of continuous run-time and the ability to shred credit cards, CDs, and more, the Bonsaii Paper Shredder offers the capacity of a commercial shredder at an affordable price.

The Bonsaii Paper Shredder offers large-scale capacity and superior performance when compared with other home paper shredders, yet still comes in at under $300. The 4S30 model offers a 10-sheet shredding capacity, so you can quickly shred even larger documents. Additionally, this shredder is strong enough to cut not only paper, but also credit cards, CDs and DVDs, clips, and staples, saving you time and making disposing of junk mail, files, and documents easy. The micro-cut shred creates tiny particles, protecting your personal information.

The shredder's 240-minute continuous running time allows you to shred large amounts of material in a single session. After 240 minutes, the shredder only needs a 10-minute cool-down time, so it's a great choice if you have large shredding jobs or plan to use the shredder frequently throughout the day.

Automatic jam detection identifies when the machine is overloaded, preventing the jam from happening. And, online customer reviews mention the shredder's relative quietness, pointing out that it's easy to have a normal conversation while it's running. 

Pros: Shreds into micro-pieces instead of long strips, continuous run-time of 240 minutes, automatic jam detection, energy-saving system, capable of shredding paper, CDs, staples, credit cards, and more

Cons: Larger casters would roll more smoothly, no safety shutoff

The best jam-proof

The Fellowes Powershred Jam Proof Paper and Credit Card Shredder has a unique design for preventing jams, so you can work without interruption.

If you have ever tried to undo a jam in a paper shredder, you know that it can take valuable time out of your day. The Fellowes Powershred Jam Proof Paper and Credit Card Shredder is designed to prevent jams from happening in the first place. This machine's jam-proof system helps to eliminate them and has the power to work through tough jobs. It can handle up to 12 sheets of paper at a time and is tough enough to shred credit cards, CDs, paper clips, and staples.

One of the most valuable features is its SafeSense Technology, which disables the shredder when hands touch the paper opening. Additionally, the shredder is equipped with an Energy Savings System to keep power consumption down.

This shredder can run for up to 10 minutes at a time before requiring a 20-minute cool-down period. Its cross-cut design eliminates the long pieces that other shredders create, making for a more secure shred.

Pros: Jam-proof system, safety shutoff when hands touch the paper opening, pull-out bin for easy cleaning, capable of shredding 12 sheets of paper and credit cards, CDs, staples, and more

Cons: Needs to cool down after 10 minutes of use, long cool-down period

The best high-volume

For large jobs and high performance, the Swingline 20-Sheet Cross-Cut Commercial Shredder is up for the task.

The Swingline 20-Sheet Cross-Cut Commercial Shredder is a heavy-duty shredder capable of handling high-volume jobs. The generously sized 19-gallon bin allows you to shred for long periods of time without stopping, and the shredder can process up to 20 sheets of paper at a time. The nonstop jam-free technology is designed for continuous, seamless operation, so you can focus on feeding it more documents, rather than dealing with paper jams.

This shredder is ideal for a home office where you need to quickly shred large volumes and need a shredder that's dependable and easy to operate. This Swingline shredder can handle DVDs, CDs, credit cards, paper clips, staples, and paper. The cross-cut design results in a small shred size of 0.16 inches by 1.75 inches, for maximized security. This shredder is also equipped with a bin sensor that alerts you when the bin is getting full.

The unit is backed by a two-year limited warranty, and the cutter comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Pros: Continuous operation without cool-down, capacity to shred 20 sheets at a time, nonstop jam-free technology, shreds credit cards, CDs, and more

Cons: Requires oil to function, extremely pricey (and overkill) for casual home use

The best manual

For light shredding needs, the Nakabayashi Co. 3-Way Manual Shredder is portable and lightweight, and it operates without power.

Most paper shredders are pretty bulky, which can be an issue if you're tight on space. If you only use a shredder occasionally and don't want to sacrifice floor space to a unit that you don't need often, the Nakabayashi Co. 3-Way Manual Shredder could be an ideal solution. This manual shredder requires no power, is compact, and is portable. Measuring just 12.6 by 7.6 by 5.9 inches in size, it's small enough to tuck into a drawer for storage.

Though this shredder is small, it can shred a standard piece of A4 paper, CDs, and credit cards. Because the shredder operates by hand-turning the handle, it creates less noise than other electrically powered units.

Buyer reviews mention that it's silent and performs well, but stress that it is for very light-duty shredding.

Pros: Compact, no need for electricity, quiet operation, capable of shredding paper, credit cards, and CDs

Cons: Suitable only for smaller-volume shredding, cannot shred paper larger than A4 size, handle is small

See more great home office buying guides

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