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home paper shredder

Updated on July 2, 2010
A home paper shredder
A home paper shredder

Home paper shredders have become a necessary piece of home equipment. Today, identity theft is on the rise. It pays better for white collar crime and is less risky for thief. At first, I didn’t think too much about getting a paper shredder for the house. After all, its not like I’m rich and people want to steal my information. Then again, the false sense of security I have was broken when I stayed home for a week.

I notice dumpster divers rummaging through everyone’s garbage cans on my street. Then I realized that it won’t take much effort for a would be thief to piece together my bank statements, my credit card bills plus all the other junk mail from banks that have my address on it. All it takes is a slip up from someone at the bank when verifying a caller and I would have been a victim of information theft.

After discussing it with my other half, we finally decided to get a home paper shredder. We have put off getting a paper shredder because we knew that most cheap paper shredder don’t really last. Since we are using it for the home, we didn’t want to spend too much on a paper shredder. Yet on the other hand, neither do we want a shredder to work for 3 months of light duty and give up the ghost.

So we did our homework and found that the difference between an office use and a home use shredder is just the amount of paper you intend to shred. Off course if you work at home and the information you keep is really sensitive the best options would be to get micro cut shredders. This type of shredders will make it really tough even for a motivated person to put you documents back into one piece. These are generally more expensive and have a lower capacity per hour compared to strip cut shredders.

Since we don’t fall into that category and we just want to reduce the risk of someone stealing out information, we decided on either a strip cut shredder or possible a cross cut confetti shredder. A strip cut shredder while not as secure in shredding documents compared to a cross cut shredder has the advantage of simpler mechanism and is less likely to cause paper jams. You can also use the shredded paper as bedding material for pets or as packing material for sending things in the mail. With strip cut shredders, that paper that comes out are in long strips. If you accidentally tip over the waste paper basket, you can still pick up the pieces without creating a mess. The main disadvantage is off course it is easier for someone to piece together your documents.

We look and found that these home shredders are worthwhile to consider, depending on the volume of document and how fast you want to shred them. One thing to note is that paper shredder manufacturers will often quote how many pieces of paper it can shred at a go. From our experience, it would be better to use half the advertise figure especially for budget home paper shredders. This means you do not over load your shredder and it will last longer. Personally we went for a range higher so that we don’t have to spend too much time waiting at the machine to chew up the files.

If you can't afford to spend a bit more to get a better shredder, then don't get one! They just don't last and perhaps can shred only 1 or 2 sheets of paper at a go. It is a waste of time and will probably stop working in a very short time. Get those that are at least 1 to 2 levels up and your home paper shredder will last a few years if you take care of it.

Here are a selection of shredder we went through and also our final choice. You choice might be different but the pointers here are valid. When you buy a shredder, don’t forget to get the right type of oil to maintain the cutting wheels.

Almost forgot, yeah, we went for the Fellowes Powershred DM-12C.

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