Cardboard Shredders & Perforators
Recycle Cardboard Waste into Eco-Friendly Packaging Material
Updated on Mar. 04, 2021 | Authors: Pim Brouwer & Brent Nijssen
Do you want to make eco-friendly packaging material from your cardboard waste? A cardboard shredder or perforator is a sustainable solution to repurpose and recycle corrugated cardboard waste into packaging or void-fill material. These machines pay for themselves and help to reduce the cost of packaging materials and waste hauling.
Do you want to know the price of a cardboard shredders? Or do you need more information about these machines? Then request a free quote with expert advice.
Top 8 Cardboard Perforators
Below we have listed our top recommendations for the best cardboard shredder machines and perforators to convert cardboard boxes or sheets into eco-friendly packaging material. Please note that our number one pick might not be the best one that suits your personal needs and preferences.
That is why we recommend to contact us for expert advice. Do you want more information about cardboard shredder, then check our guide below.
Our top-rated selection is based on these requirements:
- For light, medium and heavy use – Find a product that suits your needs
- Trusted manufacturers – Powerful and durable shredders
- High-rated customer reviews – Minimum of 4 stars
Best quiet perforator for 2-3 layers
- Capacity: 1-3 layers
- Motor: 1.4 kW
- Power supply: 110-120 V
- Intake width: 16.73 in
- Weight: 399 lbs
The HSM ProfiPack P425 is a robust free-standing perforator that turns discarded cardboard into sustainable packaging material, such as a padding mat or padded filling material. You can shred any cardboard size because the HSM will cut off excess cardboard while the machine perforates the corrugated material.
This cardboard converter machine is a larger model that is relatively quiet (64 dB), demands little power, and is quite fast as it perforates 39 feet of cardboard per minute. The device is “Made in Germany” and is equipped with solid steel cutting rollers and heavy-duty steering rollers for mobility and flexibility.
Light-duty cardboard perforator
- Capacity: 1-3 layers
- Motor: 1.1 kW
- Power supply: 115 V
- Intake width: 12.60 in
- Weight: 209 lbs
The AABES Cushion Pack CP316 2Si+ perforates your cardboard waste into a soft void without any problem at a speed of 26 ft/min. This compact ‘Green Champion’ converts 1-phase power into 3-phase power, the advantage is that the motor runs quieter and it saves about 30% of the electrical consumption while operating the perforator. The 3 phase motor operates with inverter technology on a standard 115V office supply.
The shredder cuts of the excess for you, which results in nice and even packaging material. This perforator can produce cushioned material and flattened material.
Sturdy perforator with lockable master switch
- Capacity: 1-3 layers
- Motor: 2.2 kW
- Power supply: 220 V
- Intake width: 16.73 in
- Weight: 309 lbs
The Intimus PacMaster S 220 converts your cardboard waste, such as boxes and sheets, into flexible packaging and filler material. This easy-to-use cardboard converter is able to shred high volumes of cardboard waste at a speed of 35.4 ft/min. The build quality of this machine is great, its housing is made of robust steel plates which makes the shredder perfect for heavy-duty use.
You can easily move the PacMaster around thanks to the heavy-duty casters. The Intimus PacMaster is also available in a ‘VS’ edition, which has more power.
Compact tabletop perforator
- Capacity: 1 layer
- Motor: 1.2 kW
- Power supply: 110-120 V
- Intake width: 16.34 in
- Weight: 102.85 lbs
The HSM ProfiPack C400 is a compact cardboard perforator for converting cardboard waste into eco-friendly packaging material. The ProfiPack C400 is a tabletop unit that can fit easily on a counter or table, with its sturdy feet it ensures you that the machine will not slip. This shredder has a 1.6 horsepower motor, which can shred 31.5 feet of cardboard sheets and corrugated boxes per minute.
With its weight of around 100 lbs, it is reasonably easy to move the machine around in your facility, you can lift it up via the side recessed handles. The perforator is easy to operate and produces flexible padding mats.
Heavy-duty, fast and powerful perforator
- Capacity: 2-3 layers
- Motor: 4.0 kW
- Power supply: 240 / 480 V
- Intake width: 16.90 in
- Weight: 755 lbs
The AABES Cushion Pack CP440 S2+ is a high-capacity and super fast corrugated shredder. It is one of the strongest perforators in the industry with over 5.36 HP motor. The CP440 is able to process thick sheets of cardboard with a speed of 52 ft/min into cushioning packaging material, the hourly throughput rate is 6-10 cubic yards per hour.
This machine really can save your company a lot of money on packaging costs. The cardboard perforator is convenient to operate and processes your cardboard waste safely and easily.
Freestanding unit features heavy-duty casters
- Capacity: 1-2 layers
- Motor: 0.7 kW
- Power supply: 115 V
- Intake width: 16.90 in
- Weight: 271 lbs
The Formax Greenwave 430 is a freestanding cardboard perforator on wheels. With this mobile shredder, you convert cardboard waste into high-quality and eco-friendly packaging material. The Formax perforator perforates and trims cardboard sheets up to 16.9″ wide and up to 0.79″ thick. It perforates cardboard sheets at a speed of 40 feet per minute.
This machine features an all-metal cabinet, it has solid steel blades and rugged metal gearing to perforate all of your corrugated shipping cartons into sustainable packing materials. This perforator is also available in a compact-sized model that you can place on a table: the Greenwave 410.
High capacity cardboard perforating machine
- Capacity: 1-2 layers
- Motor: 1.8 kW
- Power supply: 240 / 480 V
- Intake width: 16.50 in
- Weight: 390 lbs
The AABES Cushion Pack CP422 Series2+ sits in the middle of the Cushion Pack machines, which makes it a popular model. It perforates high volumes of cardboard and corrugated boxes. This makes the machine ideal for shipping departments and manufacturing facilities.
The medium-duty, 3-HP CP422 is simple to operate, it is just a matter of plug-and-play and the motor runs smoothly and quietly. The shredder is available in two versions, a 240 voltage or a 480 voltage. The difference is that the 240 runs a bit slower and is less powerful than the 480.
When a possible jam occurs, you can hit reverse to reverse the cutting cylinders so you can remove the jammed cardboard.
Heavy-duty perforator with a high powered motor
- Capacity: 2-3 layers
- Motor: 3 kW
- Power supply: 240 V
- Intake width: 16.90 in
- Weight: 660 lbs
The AABES Cushion Pack CP428 can repurpose and recycle all of your cardboard boxes and other cardboard waste materials into a shock-absorbing sheet for protecting products during shipping and transport. This cardboard perforator converts your cardboard into netting at a speed of 46 ft/min.
The CP428 perforator has three power supply options and is built for frequent and heavy-duty use. It has a 3 kW motor and it can shred cardboard up to 16.9″ in width.
Cardboard Shredder and Perforator Guide
A cardboard shredding machine works a bit like a paper shredder for your discarded cardboard boxes. The machine upgrades your cardboard waste into high-quality and eco-friendly packaging material or void fill material, such as strips, netting, or chips.
This sustainable material is an economical and ecological alternative to plastic packaging material such as foam peanuts, bubble wrap, and styrofoam blocks.
Reduce waste, save on shipping materials and reduce the cost on cardboard waste collection.
- What is a cardboard shredder?
- Cardboard shredder or perforator?
- How does a cardboard shredder work and how do you operate one?
- Why use a cardboard shredder?
- Pros and cons of cardboard shredders/perforators
- Recommended for dispatching and warehouses
- Cost, maintenance and leasing
- Buying a cardboard shredder/perforator checklist
- Tools, supplies, and accessories
- Manufacturers of cardboard shredders/perforators
What is a cardboard shredder?
A cardboard shredder is a commercial or industrial machine that lets you instantly recycle and repurpose your cardboard waste into packaging material. These cardboard recycling machines can produce cushioning netting, flat netting, chips, or strips.
A cardboard perforator converts cardboard into flexible, cushioning, shock-absorbing cardboard netting. On the contrary, cardboard shredder turns cardboard into small shreds or strips.
The netting can be used as a durable packaging material to roll your products into that you want to ship. The chips can also be used to fill up voids inside a box. The cardboard chips or strips can also be used as a void fill. These small shreddings can quickly fill up even the tiniest gaps to protect your product in its package.
Void fill is the cushioning material that fills the void around the product and its package. The material fills the space to protect the product during transit.
Is a cardboard shredder the same as a paper shredder?
A cardboard shredder, perforator, or converter isn’t meant to shred paper or confidential documents, so don’t confuse this machine with a paper shredder because these are different devices.
While the purpose of a regular paper shredder is to destroy confidential paper documents by cutting them into unreadable particles or confetti to protect people’s privacy, the purpose of a cardboard shredder is to make your packing and void fill material.
This difference means you can’t shred cardboard with a standard paper shredder device.
Some cardboard boxes can contain a sticker with confidential information, such as a name or address. A cardboard converter can be used, in this case, to destroy this personal information.
Perforated cardboard is an sustainable packaging material to safely ship heavy and fragile goods.Recycling.com
Use cardboard chips instead of plastic peanuts.
Although a cardboard shredder is not a paper shredder, it does operate a bit like one. The machine’s gearbox, motor, and cutting block work together to cut the cardboard material.
The cardboard is transformed into tiny chips, long strips, or perforated sheets, depending on the type of shredder used. The purpose of the machine is to reuse the processed cardboard as a free packaging material.
Cardboard packaging material is not only cheaper but also more environmentally friendly than using plastic. So, if your business uses a lot of packaging material for shipping products and you have lots of cardboard waste.
A cardboard shredder is an ideal solution to reduce costs on this material and waste collection of your scrap cardboard.
You can insert almost any piece of cardboard into the opening of the shredder, and the machine perforates the material in cushioning netting, or it can shred the cardboard in square-shaped chips, among other forms. These chips fall into a plastic bag or another container, which acts as void filling material to protect products and goods in cardboard boxes that need to be shipped.
Any excess cardboard is trimmed off and can be shredded again. Keep in mind that these machines also have limits and can be overloaded, leading to jamming. Most of the perforators or shredders can run continuously for multiple hours.
Cardboard shredder or cardboard perforator
When you want to convert cardboard into packaging material through a machine, you have to choose between a cardboard shredder and a cardboard perforator. But, what is the difference?
Both machines repurpose cardboard sheets or boxes into high-quality packaging material. Deciding which device you want to buy depends on what kind of eco-friendly packaging filler you wish to use.
Do you want perforated cardboard that is a shock-absorbing and flexible netting? Or do you want shredded cardboard void fill, which exists of strips or chips?
The question is, do you need void fill material or netting as a flexible, cushioning shock absorber?
While there are cardboard shredders that can also perforate, a cardboard machine can either shred or perforate more often than not. So, you need to figure out which type suits your needs.
A cardboard shredder cuts or shreds your cardboard waste into (long) strips or (small) chips. Both the strips and the chips are great to use as void fill and can easily replace plastic packing peanuts.
- Shreds cardboard into strips, confetti, or chips.
- Use it as void filling material for packing and protecting products in shipping boxes.
- It avoids the reuse of cardboard boxes with confidential on them, such as addresses.
A cardboard perforator turns your cardboard scraps into a kind of matting or netting. This machine doesn’t shred but instead perforates the carton to give it a more cushioning characteristic. The netting can be used as a shock absorber box’s bottom or to roll a product in to protect it. The perforated cardboard replaces bubble wraps and packaging air bags.
- Perforates cardboard into elastic matting, mesh netting.
- Use it as a shock absorber for packing and protecting products in boxes.
- Very flexible and cushioning material.
Recycle and reuse cardboard scrap as free and eco-friendly packaging material.
Different sizes and models
Both cardboard shredders and perforators come in different sizes and models. Models are available in a small, compact, and portable tabletop shredder for small business or domestic use.
You can get a perforator with castors (small wheels) for easy mobility. But there are also large industrial cardboard shredders and perforators for heavy-duty use and processing high volumes of cardboard waste.
These industrial machines can process multiple cardboard layers and have long-lasting steel blades and special gears for heavy-duty cycles.
How does a cardboard shredder work and how do you operate one?
So how does a cardboard shredder work and is it difficult to operate? Both cardboard shredders and perforators are user-friendly and very easy to operate, not to mention also safe to use. Here is how easy it is to operate:
- Turn the machine on by switching the on/off switch.
- Grab a piece of cardboard and feed it into the front opening of the shredder or perforator.
- That’s it! The converted cardboard falls out of the back of the machine.
How does a cardboard perforator work?
The perforating machine uses a heavy-duty cutting cylinder, so the cardboard isn’t shredded but only perforated by the blades. The result after the piercing is a honeycomb-like structure in the cardboard.
The form gives the cardboard flexible, stretchable and cushioning properties. The processed cardboard can now absorb shocks, which makes it perfect for protecting goods during transport and shipment.
The cardboard netting is also ideal for filling in ‘the void’ between the cardboard box and your product. You can perforate a sheet of cardboard in one go, and just like with the cardboard shredder, any excess cardboard is trimmed off automatically, for example, when a piece of the carton is wider than the opening.
This HSM video shows how you use a cardboard perforator and what you can do with the cushioning material. The model used in the video is the HSM ProfiPack C400 cardboard perforator, a compact but powerful cardboard converter that is ideal for smaller shipment departments.
Do you need to remove staples?
We strongly recommended removing all staples and other hard metal objects from the cardboard to prevent wear or damage to the cutting heads. Occasional shredding or perforating of stapled cardboard will likely not cause any problems. Still, constant cardboard processing with metal items, such as staples, is likely to damage the cutting cylinders.
It is better to remove staples and other sharp metals because you will use the shredded cardboard as packaging material for products that might be fragile, where the metals could scratch what you are shipping.
What can you shred or perforate?
Cardboard shredders can shred any (corrugated) cardboard. The only requirement is that the cardboard is flat, such as flattened cardboard boxes, sheets, and paperboard. Therefore, thick cardboard rolls can’t be processed by these machines because they are too thick. It should also be noted that craft paper can’t be shredded or perforated because it is too thin.
You can shred or perforate:
- Cardboard boxes (brown and colored cardboard)
- Cardboard sheets and plates
- Corrugated cardboard (single and double wall cardboard)
- Paperboard, chipboard or fiberboard (gray cardboard)
Why use a cardboard shredder?
While most cardboard converters produce cardboard matting from your cardboard scrap, for instance, from cardboard boxes, some cardboard box shredders can also have chips and strips instead of netting. This way, you can use your cardboard shredding machine to quickly make your void fill material in different shapes and sizes to protect products in transit while at the same time repurposing and reusing your cardboard waste in an environmentally friendly manner.
Did you know that 77% of all cardboard is recycled.
Why reuse cardboard as packaging material?
By reusing cardboard as packaging material, you can extend the additional value of cardboard. How so:
- Sustainable packing material – Cardboard is a more environmentally friendly and sustainable material than plastic. So, you are protecting the environment when you use cardboard as void fill material instead of plastic packaging material such as bubble wrap, EPS packing peanuts, Styrofoam blocks/sheets, or foam wrap.
- Reduce packaging costs – Besides being sustainable, it is also economically more attractive to recycle your cardboard waste into free packaging material since you need to buy less or no packaging material elsewhere. So you will be saving money on cardboard disposal costs, as there will be less cardboard to collect by your local waste hauler. Want to read more about reducing shipping filler costs?
- High-quality material – Cardboard is a fantastic shock absorber and is very flexible. Therefore, it is an excellent material for protecting heavy or fragile products, especially those you want to ship or transport safely.
Did you know that paper fibers can be recycled around 7 times before it loses it’s robust qualities?
Costs of package filling materials
- Perforated cardboard – FREE (excl. costs of cardboard perforator machine)
- Air pillows – approx. 27cents per cubic foot
- Styrofoam peanuts – approx. 22cents per cubic foot
Pros and cons of cardboard shredders/perforators
Pros of a cardboard shredder/perforator:
- Very easy to operate.
- Re-purpose your own cardboard waste.
- Reduce costs on packaging and shipping material.
- Reduce costs of cardboard waste hauling.
- Save money and save the environment.
- Powerful motors for continuous shredding.
- Cardboard is a fantastic packaging material.
- The machine pays for itself because of free packaging material.
- Feed cardboard without cool downtime, it can run continuously.
Cons of a cardboard shredder/perforator:
- The machines create dust while shredding.
- Most cardboard shredders can only produce netting.
- The cardboard shredding machines are heavy.
- Expensive machines.
Cardboard perforators reduce the need for costly packing materials. Reuse and recycle your own cardboard instead of buying new packing materials.
Recommended for dispatching and warehouses
Who will benefit the most from a cardboard shredder? These shredding machines are beneficial for industrial businesses or departments in the logistics sector with large cardboard waste stocks. Such as manufacturing facilities, recycling plants, warehouses, shipping departments, distribution centers.
However, offices can also use a carton shredder for the received and send packages, such as e-commerce shops with their shipping departments. Much cardboard typically gets discarded. Therefore, we recommend these machines to anyone with lots of scrap cardboard and can use the shredded or perforated material as packaging or void fill.
We recommend these machines when you have lots of scrap cardboard and can use the shredded or perforated material as packaging or void fill.
Can you use a cardboard shredder at home?
Typically, a corrugated shredder or perforator is used in industrial or commercial environments. However, if you would like one for home use, a smaller compact cardboard shredder model would be appropriate, such as a tabletop cardboard shredder.
Although somewhat unconventional for home users, the produced cardboard shreds may also be useful for composting, worm farming, or bedding for pet cages or even horse stables. However, keep in mind that these shreds and perforated sheets are quite large (approx. 1 x 1 in.) and come in different shapes (elastic mash, strips, confetti).
How much does a cardboard shredder or perforator cost?
A cardboard shredder is not a small investment. Prices start at around $2,000 and can go up to $10,000. The price mainly depends on the size and capacity of the cardboard perforator or shredder.
They are a pretty significant investment, but they will allow you to reduce costs from buying packaging material and paying for cardboard waste collection. Therefore, you will find that the machine pays for itself in the long run.
However, suppose it is still too much of an investment for you. In that case, you may even want to consider the option of purchasing a second-hand shredder/perforator or leasing one for a fixed monthly rate from one of the manufacturers.
Suppose you are considering buying or leasing a shredder or perforator but aren’t sure about maintenance and the possibility of repairs. In that case, you may want to inform yourself about a maintenance contract that some manufacturers and resellers offer.
These maintenance contracts allow you to be worry-free when it comes to maintaining or repairing these machines, as a manufacture approved technician will visit the site to take care of everything for you.
Nevertheless, if you are still curious about these machines’ maintenance, here is a video you may find interesting. However, be careful. These machines can be dangerous, and any action is at its own risk. Therefore it is advised to leave these activities to a professional.
Watch the Cushion Pack CP316 S2I+ on Youtube
Buying a cardboard shredder/perforator checklist
- Build quality – Since these machines are used in warehouses and industrial areas, they need to withstand heavy-duty usage. Therefore, it is recommended to have a rugged metal housing and hardened cutting rollers or perforating blades and heavy-duty gears.
- Maximum cutting width – A corrugated shredder machine or cardboard perforator has a maximum feed width it can shred or perforate. A measuring scale above the opening tells you how wide the cardboard netting will be.
- Capacity – How many sheets of cardboard can the machine handle in per pass? Most cardboard shredders can handle 1-3 sheets of cardboard.
- Speed ft/min – How fast does the machine operates?
- Noise level – How many decibels makes the machine while in operation?
- Mobility – Do you want to be able to move the cardboard shredder around? Then look for a machine with castors.
- Warranty – Number of years you receive manufacturer’s warranty.
- Safety features – Does the machine comply with safety guidelines?
- Maintenance – How easy it is to clean the machine?
Tools, supplies and accessories
To make your cardboard shredder or perforator more comfortable and convenient, there are a few tools and accessories that you can opt for.
- Both cardboard shredders and perforators have the option of an attached vacuum kit, which will collect any dust that it produces. While some manufacturers sell complete equipment, including the vacuum, others only ship an attachment, which you will still need to connect to your industrial-grade vacuum cleaner or dust extraction system.
- For a clean and organized production of shreds or perforated sheets, a container to catch the new product is handy. A container may be a simple plastic bag or larger cardboard box but could also something more convenient and appropriate for heavy production, like a box made of plastic, wood, or framed cloth with wheels or integrated pallet bottom.
- A simple table in front of your machine can also simplify the use it. Having a tabletop within proximity can help you prepare the cardboard (flattening it and removing metals) and feeding it to the machine.
Manufacturers and suppliers of cardboard shredding machines
Cardboard Shredder Product Videos
- HSM ProfiPack P425 | Perforator
- HSM ProfiPack C400 | Perforator
- Intimus PacMaster S 220 | Perforator
- AABES Cushion Pack CP316 S2i+ | Perforator
- AABES Cushion Pack CP440 S2+ | Perforator
- Formax Greenwave 430 | Perforator
- AABES Cushion Pack CP422 Series2+ | Perforator
- AABES Cushion Pack CP428 | Perforator
Cardboard recycling advice
What can your business do to improve the reduce, reuse, and recycling of cardboard? Read our Cardboard Recycling Guide.
Recycling solutions for warehouses
By Recycling.com/ 9 March 2021