Did you know that scammers and identity thieves stole upwards of $15 million in just 2015 alone? That's pretty terrifying, isn't it?
So now that you know the hard truth, what can you do to protect yourself? Paper shredders are the best way to protect sensitive data. Unless someone really has a strong desire to put all the pieces of your documents back together (like you see in the movies), shredding your papers is all but guaranteed to keep your information safe.
Consumer Reports suggest shredding documents like bank statements, investment statements, credit card bills, household receipts, loan documents, and tax returns.
All of these documents contain information that, in the wrong hands, can be used to steal your identity—and ultimately your money.
What's the bottom line?
With the right paper shredder, you can keep your identity from being stolen, and protect your assets.
Not sure which is the best paper shredder for you? Don't worry: we've done the work for you! We've gone through thousands of paper shredder reviews and even tried a few models out ourselves.
Read on to find out our list of the best paper shredder choices for you.
Beautifully affordable, cross-cut shredder turns documents into small strips, user-friendly operation, can handle credit cards and heavier paper, and provides decent waste bin capacity.
Shreds papers in perfectly straight, easily legible strips; designed only for household use.
This is NOT a heavy-duty commercial shredder, but it's the inexpensive option that will be perfect to have at home. It can only handle up to 6 pages at once, though you're better doing 2-3 pages at a time. However, it can handle credit cards, junk mail, and heavier card stock, so you get a decent performance from this well-priced shredder.
The design is simple and user-friendly, and it works like a dream. You can shred anywhere from 10-30 documents before it needs to rest for a few minutes, but the cool-down time is very short: just 30 minutes. The thermal protection built into the shredder will reduce the risk of overheating and keep the machine running well for years to come.
The controls are user-friendly and easy to learn. The auto-start feature sets the shredder running the moment the paper passes through the sensor, and the machine will automatically shut off if it starts to overheat. The paper feeder is wide enough for legal and letter-sized documents. The waste bin holds less than 4 gallons, but you can get through a decent number of papers (40-50) before needing to empty it.
If you want the perfect combination of lightweight and inexpensive, this is the machine for you. It's built for many years of shredding, and you can't argue with the $30 price tag!
Beautifully portable, cheap, can handle credit cards and staples, great for household use, works with any wastebasket, and lightweight. Overall, fast and efficient shredding.
Noisy, and the extension rod (to adapt to wastebasket size) lacks durability.
If you need speed and efficiency, this is the shredder for you. Simply place it on top of any waste basket, turn it on, and get shredding! It can handle up to 6 pieces of regular paper at once, and it can even slice through staples and credit cards.
The shredder weighs less than 4 pounds, and it's compact enough to fit into your briefcase. It's ideal for home and office use. It doesn't have the longest run time, but it will turn any mail, junk mail, or documents into small strips.
The shredder is expandable, meaning it will fit almost any wastebasket you have. However, be warned: the extender arm/rod has a tendency to break. If you can find a wastebasket that the shredder fits without needing to extend the arm, you'll increase the durability of the machine significantly.
The shredder has an auto-start/stop feature to reduce both paper jams and user injuries. Plus, the thermal protection will prevent it from overheating.
At less than $25, this is an awesome little shredder. It's definitely not going to keep up with heavy-duty use, but it's ideal for those who need to keep their home or office/home office free of clutter.
Can fit on any desk or table, lightweight and compact, inexpensive, easy to keep clean thanks to the built-in cleaner tool, quiet operation, slices paper with ease, and features a built-in handle for maximum portability.
Narrow feeder mouth, and it can only handle 1-2 pages at once.
For those who want to shred receipts, bank statements, or other documents at home, this is the shredder for you. The feeder mouth is just 4.5 inches wide—ideal for receipts, though you'll have to fold regular papers in half. It's not going to power through multiple pages at once, so prepare to shred one or two at a time.
However, the portability of this compact, lightweight shredder makes it ideal for home or office use. It has a decent run time (10-15 minutes), so make sure to shut it off before it overheats. However, it's beautifully easy to clean, slices through paper rather than simply ripping it, and makes it easy for you to keep your home free of clutter and sensitive documents.
The built-in handle allows you to move it around your home or office with ease. Though the wastebasket is small (can only handle 40 pages before needing to be emptied), it's easy to remove, empty, clean, and replace.
This is a no-fluff shredder designed to turn your receipts and documents into small pieces. It's not loaded with features, but it gets the job done!
At just over $20, this is a beautifully inexpensive shredder. It's only built for occasional, household use, but it's a good appliance to have at home.
Longest continuous run time of any shredder on the market, can handle up to 18 sheets of paper at once, auto start/reverse/stop function, can shred anything, beautifully quiet, well-built and durable, powerful, good for office and commercial use, and excellent storage capacity.
Pricey, and the paper feeder angle is a bit uncomfortable.
If you're running an office, this is the shredder you want. It's designed to handle up to 18 sheets of regular-stock paper, but you'll find that it can also slice through slick paper, credit cards, CDs, DVDs, heavy weight paper, card stock, staples, and the list goes on. Feed whatever you want into the shredder, and it will come out sliced and diced into tiny confetti.
The motor isn't heavy-duty, but it can still handle up to 5.3 feet of paper per minute. Despite the power, it's a surprisingly quiet machine. It's big, bulky, and a bit heavy, but it will get the job done. Perfect for commercial use!q
The feeder is big enough to handle any letter or legal-size documents, though the feeding angle is a bit awkward. The machine has an auto-start, stop, and reverse feature built in to reduce paper jams. Add to that the power of the shredder motor, and you have an excellent machine that can handle just about any task.
With 60 minutes of continuous run time, you can shred anything you want without waiting. The wastebasket can hold up to 6 gallons, and it's easy to dispose of the waste. Overally, this shredder is durable and hard-working, with the features to match!
At $163, this is slightly cheaper than the heavy-duty model. However, it's designed with commercial and office use in mind, so it's bigger and bulkier than you might want in your home office. However, if you want a machine to keep up with your business needs, this is the shredder for you!
Shreds 16 pages at a time, Security level P-4 cross-cut, 20-minute continuous run time, designed to be jam-proof, auto shut-off to reduce risk of injury, huge storage bin, and strong enough to shred staples and paper clips.
Large, heavy, and high-priced.
If you want a solid, durable machine, look no farther than this heavy duty paper shredder by Fellowes. Not only will it slice through paper (turning it into micro-cut confetti with ease), but it can shred CDs, DVDs, staples, and paper clips. It's designed to handle up to 16 pages at a time.
The system is designed to be jam-proof, and it has the shredder strength to power through even tough jobs. Yet it's beautifully quiet compared to other shredders and can run for up to 20 minutes without overheating. It's a little heavier than other shredders, but the wheels make it easy to move it around. You won't find a better-performance paper shredder for your home office.
The safety features included in this shredder are a major plus. The SafeSense Technology integrated into the shredder will shut it off if your fingers pass the feeder sensors, reducing the risk of injuries.
The 6-gallon bin will handle a surprising amount of paper before it needs to be emptied, and the LED light will let you know when it's time to empty the bin. The cool-down period isn't as long as other shredders (which have up to 60 minutes of rest time before they can shred again), so you can keep shredding after just 30 minutes.
The price tag of $180 makes it the priciest shredder on the list, but the quality, performance, and features make it worth the cost. Definitely a great option if you're looking for a heavy duty shredder!
Can chop through CDs/DVDs and credit cards and the micro-cut feature will turn your papers into confetti! Additionally, this shredder can handle up to 8 sheets of paper at a time, includes a 3-gallon storage bin, is easy to empty and clean, features auto shut-off to protect against overheating, is compact and lightweight, and above all, inexpensive.
Short run time before it overheats.
If you're looking for a shredder to handle your monthly bank/credit card statements and other important documents, this is the one for you. Make no mistake: it's NOT a heavy duty commercial shredder. You're better off shredding 4-6 pages instead of 8 advertised, but it will turn them into tiny confetti with efficient ease. And the shredder will overheat after 15-20 minutes of shredding. (Note: The instructions say 2 minute run-time!)
However, you'll love micro-cut shredding, and you'll always have plenty of confetti on hand thanks to this bad boy. It's great for shredding everything from single papers to envelopes to bank statements to laser discs. For home use, it's as good as it gets!
With a its 3-gallon storage bin, this shredder only needs to be emptied once every month or two (with regular use). The auto shut-off feature built into the shredder will keep it from overheating, and you'll find the "auto reverse" feature makes it easy to avoid paper jams. The feeder mouth is 8¾" wide, meaning you have more than enough space for your documents.
The shredder also comes with thermal protection to reduce excessive heat production, giving you a slightly longer continuous run time. It's beautifully compact (less than 18 inches tall and 13 inches wide), and the micro-cut shredder will turn your paper into pieces 5/32" by 8/32". A single sheet of paper becomes 360 individual pieces!
At $70, this is a very reasonably priced shredder. You're not paying a fortune for a heavy duty shredder, but the appliance delivers excellent performance at good value. Plus, it comes with AmazonBasics' 1-year warranty!