Best Paper Shredder for Home Office
Authors Pim Brouwer
Are you looking for a paper shredder for shredding your daily confidential papers or during your yearly office cleanup? To safely dispose of your confidential paperwork at home or at work, you need a reliable and powerful paper shredder that can keep up with your daily shredding needs. For data security, we recommend at least a paper shredder with security level P-3 or higher that offers cross-cut shredding.
Our team selected the ideal shredder for most people at home or in the office. This paper shredder is compliant with GDPR standards, boasting security levels P-4, ensuring thorough shredding into tiny particles. This shredder is ideal for securely disposing of both personal and business documents.
Aurora AU1210MA | Best Overall Paper Shredder for Home and Office
Security Level: P-4 | Capacity: 12 sheets | Bin: 5 gallons | SKU: AU1210MA
The Aurora AU1210MA stands out as the top-performing paper shredder based on our extensive research and testing. It boasts a compact design, impressive power, and rapid shredding capabilities, aligning with security level P-4 standards. What sets this shredder apart is its ability to shred up to 12 documents per pass consistently for an entire hour.
To prevent paper jams, we recommend shredding slightly fewer than 12 sheets at a time. Additionally, the Aurora shredder is versatile, handling CDs, DVDs, and credit cards with ease. Considering its price, it offers excellent value for money. This micro-cut paper shredder reduces your documents to particles measuring 5/32 by 15/32 inches, and its 5.0-gallon pullout bin can accommodate up to 300 sheets of shredded documents.
One notable feature is its quiet operation (60 dB), allowing discreet shredding at home without causing disturbances. The shredder also incorporates anti-jam technology to swiftly resolve any potential paper jams. The only drawback we observed is that it operates at a slightly slower pace compared to other shredders.
Why You Should Trust Our Recommendations
Recycling.com is a part of Brantjes Data-Vernietiging, a Dutch CA+ certified data destruction company specializing in paper shredding. Since 1988, Brantjes has been a specialist in certified and GDPR-compliant destruction of confidential paper for individuals and businesses. Our knowledge, experience, and expertise in paper shredding are applied to our recommendation for a great home and office paper shredders.
More About Paper Shredders
- Why do you need a paper shredder?
- What do you need to shred?
- Is a cheap shredder secure enough?
- What is the best shredder for you?
- Shredder guide
Why do you need a paper shredder?
It is important to shred documents with personal or sensitive information before recycling them. This prevents the possibility of identity theft and identity fraud. It is very insecure about disposing of your sensitive paperwork in a garbage or recycling bin because this is one place where identity thieves can easily obtain documents. That is why it is always recommended to shred before you recycle. A paper shredder is an excellent investment to securely dispose of and destroy your sensitive paperwork and provide you peace of mind.
Keep your sensitive information private and secure with a paper shredder.
For data security, we recommend using a paper shredder labeled as a cross-cut or micro-cut shredder. These shredders destroy paperwork into small particles. For shredding confidential documents thoroughly, it is not advised to use a strip-cut paper shredder. A strip-cut shredder doesn’t provide enough security to fully erase and destroy sensitive information printed on documents, such as personal names, bank account numbers, or addresses.
What do you need to shred?
Of course, you should shred paperwork with personal and sensitive information, such as your name, address, email address, social security number, bank account information, and other sensitive information. This infographic from the Federal Trade Commission shows some examples of what to shred.
We recommend shredding every paper document with personal information, even junk mail where your name and/or address is printed on.
Is a cheap shredder secure enough?
We don’t recommend buying a very cheap paper shredder for your shredding needs. From our experience, these cheaper models are more of an annoyance than it is a convenience for your household.
A cheap shredder costs around 30 to 50 dollars, and it is excellent for shredding a few sheets occasionally at home. But when you regularly want to shred your paperwork, you want a shredder that works and shreds without constant paper jams, interference, and too much noise.
Therefore it is better if you invest in a more powerful and reliable household shredder. Our list contains shredders between 100 and 200 dollars, which sounds fairly expensive. But when you read reviews from customers for cheap shredders, you can find many negative comments and complaints about these machines.
These user testimonials tell you that the shredder feels flimsy, or that the shredder can only shred not more than 3 sheets at a time, or that the shredder has a very short run-time of just a few minutes. Some people even point out security issues with some of the models. These complaints make paper shredding a hassle and not a fun task for you to do due to these shredders’ low performance.
What is the best shredder for you?
In our extensive shredder guide, you can read everything about shredder specifications and shredders’ important features. But for your convenience, we’ve selected important key features that are relevant for you, which we’ll discuss briefly below:
#1 – What do you want to shred?
What materials do you want to destroy in your shredder? Of course, you want to shred your confidential paper documents. But besides shredding paper, you might also want your shredder to destroy other materials such as staples, paperclips, credit cards, CDs, and DVDs. Not every shredder can do this, although most machines can handle a few stapled documents now and then.
When you regularly shred stapled documents or files with an attached paperclip, you should look for a shredder that can handle these harder materials to avoid any damage to your shredder.
#2 – How long do you want to shred?
Each shredder has its limits. These limits become visible when looking at the maximum run time, maximum sheet capacity, and machine bin capacity.
The run time tells you about the maximum amount of time the shredder can shred paper continuously. Basic shredders can run for just a few minutes, while some heavy-duty paper shredders can run for an hour or longer.
A shredder can overheat while in use, so to prevent this from happening, the shredder stops working automatically to let the motor cool down. The cooling downtime can take quite a while. Take into account 30 minutes or more.
We recommend a shredder with a run time of 5 minutes or more.
So when you want to shred a large pile of old documents, it isn’t convenient to use a budget shredder that can only run for 2 minutes. On the other hand, the short run time is just fine when you only shred a few documents incidentally.
Keep in mind that a paper shredder with a longer run time is more expensive, so consider yourself if you need the extra minutes.
#3 – How many sheets do you want to shred?
A shredder can only shred a few documents per pass. The number of records you can shred per pass is called the sheet capacity of the shredder. Basic shredders can shred around five to ten standard A4 documents at a time. But the higher-end models can shred through larger stacks of papers.
Keep in mind that you should interpret the maximum sheet capacity with a grain of salt to prevent the paper shredder from jamming. So instead of shredding the maximum amount of documents, we suggest shredding one document less.
The reason for this is that you might shred a document that is a bit thicker than usual, or a paper is folded in two and thus makes it a thicker pile.
#4 – What size waste bin do you prefer?
Do you want a compact-sized paper shredder you can quickly put under your desk or store away in a closet? Then you have to compensate for the capacity of the waste bin.
A smaller-sized bin can hold fewer paper shreds and thus needs to be emptied more often. This isn’t an inconvenience when you only shred a few documents a week. But when you use a shredder in your home office and shred it regularly, it can be annoying to empty the bin every day.
The average size of a home shredder is around 3 to 5 gallons. The amount of paper shreds or strips it can hold depends on the security level of the shredder. Smaller paper particles take up less space than long strips from a strip-cut shredder.
#5 – What security level do you prefer?
A paper shredder’s security level tells you about the size of the paper particles after shredding a document. Generally, shredders are divided into strip-cut, cross-cut and micro-cut shredders. But officially, shredders are classified with a DIN P-level, used worldwide to categorize paper shredders, such as a P-3 paper shredder. The higher the number of the level, the smaller the paper particles are.
The DIN P-level is part of the official German DIN 66399 standard (since 2012), the international standard for secure shredding of data media developed by the Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN), which translates to the German Institute for Standardization.
For most home shredding needs, we recommend a document shredder classified with P-3 or P-4. These types of shredders are cross-cut shredders and can shred your confidential documents into small particles.
For extra security, look for a P-5 micro-cut shredder. We suggest skipping any strip-cut shredder (P1 and P2) because these shredders are only meant for shredding non-confidential papers such as junk mail.
What to look for when buying a secure paper shredder? Read our Paper Shredder Guide.
- Gdpr.eu – What is GDPR
- Comparitech.com – Learn What to Shred
- Consumerreports.org – Don’t be a recycling identity theft victim
- CNN.com – Dozens of Amazon’s own products have been reported as dangerous
- Wikipedia.org – Deutsches Institut für Normung
- DIN.de – German Institute for Standardization
- NBCnews.com – How to Shred Documents and Stop Identity Theft
- Consumer.ftc.gov – A pack rat’s guide to shredding
- Atg.wa.gov – What to shred
- Fellowes.com – Personal shredders
- Auroracorp.com – Aurora Corp of America
- Bonsaiishop.com – Bonsaii Online Store
By Recycling.com/ 22 January 2024