One of the things we haven’t really ever touched on was paper shredders. There are so many options out there and most of them get the job done just fine. It never really became something we could highlight until a specific model caught our attention enough that we couldn’t stop talking about it. That’s when we realized, we found our “favorite” consumer paper shredder when it comes to both sheer power, features, and price.
Its price isn’t really what you might expect us to highlight since the price is a bit higher than a lot of the normal retail models you find on the shelves. However, what you are getting for this price and how it compares to the competition, is where it wins.
This shredder is the AmazonBasics 150-Sheet Autofeed Micro-Cut Paper Shredder. Amazon’s own generic name, but this shredder is no generic run the mill product. It is a workhorse that can really take the work out of shredding, as well as any worry about the information on what you are feeding it.
It has proven to be such a user-friendly shredder. So far, it has beaten out the rest of our shredders, including the commercial one we have for heavy projects. Our commercial one can run for a longer period of time before it starts to get too hot, but this one can ride its tail pretty closely.
This one can take on quite the load, lasting up to an hour of use before it gets too hot (depending on how much you are feeding through it during the hour. It does do so much from the manual feeder, as it can only take 10 sheets of paper at a time, which initially seems a bit weak. However, its strong point is being able to set in a stack of paper (up to 150) and simply walk away.
The top cover pops open revealing a tray to load paper into, similar to what you’d find with a printer. You stack up to 150 sheets of paper into it and close the lid. It then pulls each sheet in, one at a time, completely devastating the paper into tiny pieces that are smaller than what the commercial unit we have accomplishes.
We have a few other micro shredders kicking around, but they are typically the smaller options that take around 10-12 sheets at a time no matter how you use them. They all do a great job at their job when it comes to shredding things down to the times of pieces. However, none of them offer the inner tray except for this one. There are a few units out there that have a top-loading tray, similar to smaller printers. But this is the first we have seen of this kind, and we really like it.
This is a P4-rated shredder when it comes to security, cutting those pieces down to just 5/32 by 15/32 inches (4 by 12mm) in size. In the palm of your hand, they are tiny and literally impossible to piece back together.
The size of the bin it comes with is also quite useful and a must, given the number of sheets you can process through it.
It hasn’t over-heated yet on us, although it can sometimes get stuck on a sheet here or there within the feeder. Usually, sheets that were previously folded and the crease lifts it away from the rollers somehow so that it keeps trying to grab that next sheet, but missing, until it gives up and the motor stops with a light that comes on letting you know something is funky with the load. However, never has this happened outside of a few of these creased sheets.
Sadly, the only catch is finding it since it seems to have been one of those products that have been affected by COVID-19 and haven’t been as openly available as of late. So it’s a game trying to catch it in stock. Most of the time it sits there as “Currently unavailable”. So hopefully as things smooth throughout the world, we might see its stock become more available. This also means the price has jumped around quite a bit. The normal price is around $175, so don’t let a higher price fool you. It has also dropped in price a few times as well, as low as $139 once (November 2019).
In the meantime, since it is hard to find, we have also picked a “Second Best” model after much discussion on the topic. It wound up being the TRU RED 100-Sheet Micro-Cut Autofeed Commercial Shredder (available at Staples). It’s a tad pricier at around $215, but it is also a workhorse. It just uses a vertical top-fed tray versus an internal one like the Amazon model. It only comes second to the Amazon model, but it still comes close enough and it is at least available.
If you find $175 is too much and don’t ever see yourself shredding up to 150 sheets at a time, then you should stick to a smaller model. Amazon makes a few others around the $50-$60 that does just fine with much smaller loads. The bins are smaller, so you’ll be emptying them more often, but they are small, affordable, and perfect for small homes.
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*Average price is based on the time this article was published
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is there a reverse on this shredder? from pictures, I don’t see a reverse
Yes, there is. There are two options within touch-controls on the front that appear on each side of the power button. They look like reward and fast-forward icons, and these are for forward and back. There is a delay of a few seconds as the motor confirms it is stopped, then audibly switches and begins to operate in the other direction as you press it.