Best Paper Shredder for Home Office
Authors Pim Brouwer
To safely dispose of your confidential paperwork at home, 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 P3 paper shredder that offers cross-cut shredding.
Our data destruction experts have selected the 10 best shredders for home office use. For all-round use, we recommend the Aurora AU1210MA shredder as the best option for most people
Top 10 Shredders for Home Use
Our Top 3 Shredders:
#1 Best Overall
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- Best Overall Shredder for Home: Aurora AU1210MA
- Best Desk Side Shredder: Fellowes Powershred 12C
- Best Budget-Friendly Shredder: Amazon Basics 12-Sheet
- Best Pick by Wirecutter: Amazon Basics 8-Sheet
- Best High-Capacity P-4 Shredder: AmazonBasics 15-Sheet
- Best Compact-sized Shredder: Aurora AU1200XD
- Best Basic Shredder: Aurora AU870MA
- Best High-Security P-5: Aurora AU1060MA
- Best Automatic Shredder: Amazon Basics Autofeed
- Best Premium Shredder: Fellowes Powershred LX22M
Aurora AU1210MA | Best Overall Paper Shredder for Home
Level: P-4 | Capacity: 12 sheets | Bin: 5 gallons | SKU: AU1210MA | Price: App. $109
The Aurora AU1210MA is the best overall paper shredder based on our research and tests. It is a compact, powerful and fast paper shredder that shreds in accordance with security level P-4. What makes this shredder so great is that it shreds up to 12 documents per pass for one hour straight.
We recommend shredding a bit less than 12 sheets to avoid paper jams from occurring. The Aurora shredder also shreds CDs, DVDs, and credit cards. And considering the price, this is excellent value for money. This small micro-cut paper shredder shreds your documents into particles measuring 5/32 by 15/32 inches. The 5.0-gallon pullout bin is large enough to hold 300 sheets of shredded documents.
We like that this shredder operates quietly (60 dB), so you can shred discretely at home without annoying anyone. The shredder also comes with anti-jam technology to clear any possible paper jams. The one downside of this shredder is that we find it a bit slow compared to other shredders.
Fellowes Powershred 12C | Best Desk Side Shredder
Level: P-4 | Capacity: 14 sheets | Bin: 5 gallons | SKU: 4014401 | Price: App. $89
The Fellowes Powershred 12C is a lightweight and powerful shredder that suits your home office shredding needs. Based on our research, this is the best quiet home shredder because it operates at a modest noise level (70dB), making this device also suitable for smaller office environments.
With the Fellowes shredder, you shred up to 12 sheets in a single pass into 5/32 x 1-9/16 cross-cut particles by security level P-4. This results in 377 shreds per shredded sheet. Besides paper documents, you can also shred staples, paper clips and junk mail. What we like about this shredder is the fact that it has a removable ‘pull-out’ basket. This makes emptying the shredder more convenient than a ‘lift-off head’ style shredder.
The most significant advantage is its long run-time of about 15 minutes. This means you can use the shredder also to shred and destroy larger piles of confidential documents. Please be aware that this shredder isn’t meant for shredding CDs or DVDs.
Amazon Basics 12-Sheet | Best Budget-Friendly Shredder
Level: P-3 | Capacity: 12 sheets | Bin: 4.8 gallons | SKU: AU1208XB | Price: App. $58
The Amazon Basics 12-Sheet shredder is pretty compact and popular in our list for several good reasons. If you don’t need to shred high sensitive documents we would recommend this shredder model from Amazon Basics that will provide you with everything for a home office setup. This shredder provides security level P-3 and comes at a very reasonable price for the functions it offers. This shredder shreds up to 12 sheets of paper and cut CDs/ DVDs and credit cards.
With this cross-cut shredder, you will be able to shred for as long as seven minutes at a time before leaving this item to cool down. If you exceed the maximum run time, this is not a problem. The shredder’s thermal protection will ensure that the shredder automatically turns off to protect the motor from overheating.
A tip to keep in mind is not to put too many (folded) sheets in the Amazon Basics shredder quickly after each other. The heat control system will protect the shredder from overheating, but you might have to wait 15-20 minutes for the paper shredder to cool down. Generally speaking, this shredder gets the job done and works very well for a small home office.
Amazon Basics 8-Sheet | Best Pick by Wirecutter
Level: P-4 | Capacity: 8 sheets | Bin: 4 gallons | SKU: AU860MA | Price: App. $57
The Amazon Basics 8-Sheet High-Security micro-cut shredder is the best pick for a home paper shredder by Wirecutter. They say that this shredder “offers the best balance of ease of use, sheet capacity, and price”. We agree on this but we’ve placed the shredder a bit lower in our list since we value a higher sheet capacity as more important.
This shredder will steadily shred your confidential documents into 5/32 by 15/32 inches pieces of confetti-like particles. The high-security level guarantees you safekeeping any information you insert while it prevents paper jams. The run time of this shredder is 5 minutes before the machine needs about 30 minutes of cooling down to ensure safe usage.
This small-sized shredder also allows you to shred CDs, DVDs, and credit cards, making it not only a secure but also a very practical shredder. Overall, this shredder is a great option when you have a moderate amount of paper to shred and need this done at a high-security level.
AmazonBasics 15-Sheet | Best High-capacity P-4 Shredder
Level: P-4 | Capacity: 15 sheets | Bin: 6 gallons | SKU: PBH-49976 | Price: App. $109
The AmazonBasics 15-Sheet is a high-capacity shredder for home office users. This shredder is perfect for intensive shredding work, and it can shred up to 15 sheets into confetti-like pieces measuring 3/16 by 1-7/32 inches.
Feed the shredding machine with up to 15 sheets of confidential documents, and it will run for a tremendous 20 minutes in one go, which is impressive for its price. Most home shredders only last 5 minutes until the device needs to cool down. The Amazon shredder comes with extra protection for overheating and overloading, so you won’t experience a paper jam with this device quickly.
Besides your documents, you can also shred DVDs, CDs, credit cards, staples, and small paper clips. Even for commercial office use, this shredder is an excellent option. This shredder is ‘Quality Tested’ by Amazon, this means that the shredder is tested and checked thoroughly before it is shipped.
Video: Best Paper Shredders for Home Office (Top 5)
Aurora AU1200XD | Best Compact-sized Shredder
Level: P-4 | Capacity: 12 sheets | Bin: 1.8 gallons | SKU: PBH-AU1200XD | Price: App. $108
The Aurora AU1200XD is a perfect pick when you are looking for a small paper shredder without compromising on features. Because this compact shredder is feature-packed, the shredder itself measures 11.8 H x 13.2 W x 9.9 D inches.
It shreds up to 12 sheets into small paper shreds (5/32 by 1-7/32 inches) in accordance with DIN 66399 security level P-4. In addition to paper, it also shreds CDs or credit cards without a problem. We recommend using this small shredder for occasional shredding at home since this shredder has a fairly short run-time of 5 minutes. So it is not meant for shredding high volumes of paper.
We really like the fact this shredder comes with anti-jam technology to clear any possible paper jams and it features ShredSafe which auto power off the machine upon forced entry. When you are done shredding, you pick it up easily and store it in a closet or under your desk. This is very convenient for rooms with limited floor space.
Aurora AU870MA | Best Basic Shredder
Level: P-4 | Capacity: 8 sheets | Bin: 3.9 gallons | SKU: AU870MA | Price: App. $92
The Aurora AU870MA is an affordable micro-cut shredder that shreds up to 8 documents in one single pass, perfect for incidental use at home. This means that this basic paper shredder isn’t meant for shredding high quantities of paper.
Besides shredding sensitive documents with personal information in this shredder, you can also shred old credit cards or other confidential plastic cards. The shredder shreds your documents into 5/32″ x 15/32″ confetti-like particles.
The Aurora shredder has a 5-minute continuous run-time, which means you can shred for 5 minutes. A LED overheat status indicator light lets you know when the shredder needs to cool down for a while. When a paper jam occurs you can manually reverse the micro-cut blades to solve the jammed paper.
Aurora AU1060MA | Best High-Security P5 Shredder
Level: P-5 | Capacity: 10 sheets | Bin: 6 gallons | SKU: AU1060MA | Price: App. $165
The Aurora AU1060MA is a stylish and modern-looking paper shredder that will suit well in your home office. The shredder offers high-security thanks to security level P-5. This means that a single document is cut into small pieces that measure 5/64 by 15/32 inches, more than 2500 particles per A4 document. In other words, if security is important for you, this is the shredder to buy.
With the Aurora you shred up to 10 sheets per pass and combined with the run-time of 60 minutes you can shred a lot of paperwork every day.
The anti-jam functionality clears any possible paper jams during shredding and the shredder is also capable of destroying credit cards. The only downside is that you can’t shred CDs or DVDs with it.
Amazon Basics Autofeed | Best Automatic Paper Shredder
Level: P-4 | Capacity: 150 sheets | Bin: 8.5 gallons | SKU: AU150MA | Price: App. $203
The Amazon Basics Autofeed shredder shreds high volumes of paper to a high P-4 security level. It allows you to feed up to 150 sheets (AutoFeed) and up to 10 sheets manually at one time, dumping the scraps into an 8.5 gallon-pill-out bin. What we like is that the Fellowes shreds paper into 5/32” by 15/32” cross-cut particles. This result is six times smaller than a standard cross-cut shredder. Besides paper documents, you are also able to shred staples, paper clips and credit cards.
The paper shredder can operate automatically for up to 60 continuous minutes before a 45-minute cool down. You can run this shredder for a manual operation for 10 minutes continuously. Still, the cool-down time after takes 45 minutes as well. Amazon Basics Autofeed contains a 4-mode control switch, an anti-jam auto-reverse, LED indicators, and an energy-saving sleep mode.
Fellowes Powershred LX22M | Best Premium Paper Shredder
Level: P-4 | Capacity: 20 sheets | Bin: 5 gallons | SKU: 5263501 | Price: App. $380
The Fellowes Powershred LX22M is a premium home office shredder suitable for 1-3 users. The LX22M is one of the more recent shredders from Fellowes. The LX22M Powershred is a secure and powerful paper shredder that shreds up to 20 sheets per pass and come with all kinds of features that optimize its performance, such as run-time indicators and jam-proof technology.
The LX22M series has security level P-4 and shreds each sheet into 5/32” x 1/2” micro-cut particles, approximately 1,257 particles per sheet. Also, the shredder shreds through junk mail, credit cards, and paper clips. Another great benefit of this paper shredder is that it features an innovative Intellibar with patented responsive technology, which includes zero jamming, maximum security and a run-time indicator.
The run time indicator warns its user when the LX22M has nearly maximized its run time of about 30 minutes. After half an hour the machine needs to cool down. This allows the user to optimize the shredding efficiency.
Why You Should Trust Our Recommendations
Simply, we have years of expertise and experience in certified paper and data destruction for businesses. With that being said, we have reviewed various paper shredders and gathered all the essential information for you into this shredder guide. Besides, we update this guide every time with the Top Picks.
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.
Paper shredders for home or office
- 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/ 12 April 2023