The 6 Best Paper Shredders for Your Home Office

The Amazon Basics 8-Sheet High-Security Micro-Cut Shredder is our top pick for destroying sensitive documents.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Best Paper Shredders for Your Home Office
amazon.com

Paper shredders may seem like the kind of office equipment that you only need if you're doing top-secret work, but they're helpful for anyone who wants to safely dispose of sensitive documents. Whether you need to get rid of bank statements, tax records, work files, or even old credit cards, a high-quality shredder will help you tackle paper clutter in your home or office.

To find the best paper shredders, we thoroughly researched the market and rounded up our recommendations based on factors like cut type and paper capacity. We also spoke to Kyle Mitchell, product specialist at the information security company Whitaker Brothers, for expert advice.

Paper shredders are "protection against identity theft," says Mitchell. Even if you don't think that you deal with many ultra-sensitive papers, "if someone has your name and your address, they are already halfway to opening up a credit card in your name," the expert adds. "Having a paper shredder at home is your only defense."

Our top pick is the Amazon Basics 8-Sheet High-Security Micro-Cut Shredder. This reasonably priced model can run for five minutes straight, destroying eight sheets of paper at a time. It can also shred thick items (like credit cards) through a designated slot.

Here are the best paper shredders for your home office needs.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall Paper Shredder: Amazon Basics 8-Sheet High-Security Micro-Cut Shredder

Best Paper Shredders for Your Home Office
amazon.com

Who it's for: People who want a mid-priced shredder that has all the essential features.

Who it isn't for: People who want a paper shredder that won't take up much space.

This Amazon Basics paper shredder earned the top spot on our list because it's a moderately priced model that shreds documents with a secure micro-cut style. The machine can shred up to eight sheets of paper at a time into minuscule 4-by-12-millimeter pieces. There's even a dedicated slot to shred thick items like CDs, DVDs, and credit cards. (FYI: We're focusing on the eight-sheet version here, but this shredder is also available in six-, 12-, 18-, and 150-sheet models, each with slightly different features.)

The paper shredder can run continuously for five minutes before needing a 30-minute cooldown period, and it'll automatically shut off past that mark to prevent overheating. It comes with four power modes, including a reverse function to remove papers that might be jammed. There are also LED indicators to let you know when the motor is getting too hot and the power is on, for example. The machine even includes a four-gallon pull-out bin that makes it easy to collect (and dump) all the paper shreds.

Price at time of publish: $64

Product Details:

  • Paper Capacity: 8 sheets
  • Cut Type: Micro-cut
  • Bin Capacity: 4 gallons
  • Dimensions: 12.95 x 8.9 x 19.49 inches

Best Budget Paper Shredder: Amazon Basics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper and Credit Card Shredder

Best Paper Shredders for Your Home Office
amazon.com

Who it's for: People who want an inexpensive shredder that does the basics well.

Who it isn't for: People who want a shredder with a high capacity or extra features.

If you're trying to keep costs low but still want a top-notch paper shredder, consider this model from Amazon Basics that's less than half the price of our top pick. The cross-cut shredder is available in multiple sheet sizes, but the six-sheet model is the most affordable. Despite its low price, this shredder is powerful enough to handle documents held together by small paper clips and staples—and it cuts paper into small 5-by-47-millimeter pieces. There's also a designated credit card slot for when you need to get rid of old cards.

The shredder has reverse, forward, and auto modes so you can have complete control over the process. It has a three-minute runtime, so it will automatically cool down for 30 minutes after running for three minutes to avoid overheating. And when the bin is full, you can just lift the shredder head to empty it. Since this is a lower-priced model, the paper shredder doesn't have any fancy bells and whistles, but it's still a reliable option that'll fit most home office needs.

Price at time of publish: $32

Product Details:

  • Paper Capacity: 6 sheets
  • Cut Type: Cross-cut
  • Bin Capacity: 3.8 gallons
  • Dimensions: 12.1 x 7.7 x 15 inches

Best Heavy-Duty Paper Shredder: Aurora Professional Grade 12-Sheet Micro-Cut Paper Shredder

Best Paper Shredders for Your Home Office
amazon.com

Who it's for: People who want a high-quality machine that can continuously shred a lot of paper.

Who it isn't for: People who don't expect to shred documents very often.

Although Aurora's paper shredder is a little bit pricer than most others, it's for a good reason: The machine is a heavy-duty, high-security shredder that is equipped to handle a large number of documents, CDs, DVDs, credit cards, and more. It can shred 12 sheets of paper per pass, cutting them into super small 4-by-12 millimeter pieces. Plus, this shredder can run for a whopping 60 minutes before needing to cool down, which is much longer than the average shredder (and the most impressive on our list by far).

The paper shredder also has an auto-reverse feature to prevent paper jams, which is especially helpful so that you don't have to keep a close watch while shredding. Best of all, its pull-out waste bin holds five gallons (or 300 sheets) before it needs to be emptied—and there's even an LED indicator to tell you when it's full. Even though it's on the larger side, this device has handy wheels so you can move it from room to room with ease. Overall, this paper shredder is a great choice for people who need to safely dispose of a lot of documents at once.

Price at time of publish: $137

Product Details:

  • Paper Capacity: 12 sheets
  • Cut Type: Micro-cut
  • Bin Capacity: 5 gallons
  • Dimensions: 11.02 x 14.41 x 19.33 inches

RELATED: The 6 Best Office Chairs, According to Our Testing

Best Small Paper Shredder: Aurora 4-Sheet Light Duty Cross-Cut Desktop Shredder

Best Paper Shredders for Your Home Office
amazon.com

Who it's for: People who want a compact and lightweight paper shredder.

Who it isn't for: People who want a shredder that can handle heavy-duty loads.

Not all paper shredders have to take up a ton of space in your home office. If you want a model small enough to stow away under (or on) your desk, consider this affordable shredder from Aurora. Weighing just over 5 pounds and measuring 9 x 7 x 10 inches, this machine is compact yet still powerful enough for basic shredding needs (like getting rid of junk mail). This machine cuts paper into 5-by-47-millimeter shreds, and it can handle four sheets or one credit card at a time. The machine has an automatic shredding mode and a manual reverse mode, and it can run for about two minutes at a time. However, it's important to note that you'll need to fold up standard-size papers to fit them through the slot.

This shredder comes with a 1.3-gallon basket, which is big enough to hold the shreds of about 40 sheets of paper. We appreciate that the basket has a convenient carrying handle so you can easily transport it to the garbage once full. It also comes with a letter opener, which is helpful for people who plan on shredding papers that come through the mail.

Price at time of publish: $37

Product Details:

  • Paper Capacity: 4 sheets
  • Cut Type: Cross-cut
  • Bin Capacity: 1.32 gallons
  • Dimensions: 9 x 7 x 10 inches

Best Micro-Cut Paper Shredder: Bonsaii 12-Sheet Micro-Cut Paper Shredder

Best Paper Shredders for Your Home Office
amazon.com

Who it's for: People who want a powerful shredder that tears papers into tiny pieces.

Who it isn't for: People who want a compact shredder that takes up little space.

If you want your sensitive documents to be cut up into tiny unreadable pieces, then a micro-cut shredder is the way to go. Bonsaii's paper shredder cuts up to 12 sheets at a time into 4-by-12-millimeter pieces—an impressive six times smaller than standard cross-cut shredders. Thanks to its internal cooling system, this paper shredder can run for 30 minutes straight before it needs to cool down for 20 minutes. It can handle credit cards, paper clips, staples, and more without jamming.

This shredder comes with a 5.3-gallon pull-out basket, which is big enough to fit over 400 sheets of paper. Emptying it takes hardly any effort, thanks to the four wheels attached to the basket and transparent window that lets you see when it's getting full. As an extra safety feature, the shredder will stop running when you pull out the bin.

Price at time of publish: $120

Product Details:

  • Paper Capacity: 12 sheets
  • Cut Type: Micro-cut
  • Bin Capacity: 5.3 gallons
  • Dimensions: 10.4 x 14.5 x 20 inches

Best Splurge Paper Shredder: Fellowes Powershred LX20M Micro-Cut Shredder

Best Paper Shredders for Your Home Office
amazon.com

Who it's for: People who want a high-quality paper shredder with extra features.

Who it isn't for: People who don't expect to shred documents very often.

If you're willing to spend more for a high-end paper shredder, we recommend this powerful model from Fellowes. It can shred 12 sheets at a time, cutting up the pages into ultra-tiny pieces. The machine will even tell you if it can handle more sheets at a time to boost its efficiency. It can shred for up to 10 minutes at a time before its necessary cooldown period, and it's powerful enough to handle staples, paper clips, credit cards, and more.

One of the best aspects of this shredder is its patented safety technology, which is especially helpful for households with pets or children: The machine will automatically stop shredding if it detects hands (or paws) near the paper slot. It also comes with a pull-out waste bin that catches the paper particles, making cleanup about as simple as it gets. This paper shredder is available in white and black, so you can choose the color that best matches your home office—and it comes in 16- and 20-sheet versions, too.

Price at time of publish: $260

Product Details:

  • Paper Capacity: 12 sheets
  • Cut Type: Micro-cut
  • Bin Capacity: 5.8 gallons
  • Dimensions: 14.5 x 10.25 x 20.69 inches

RELATED: The 5 Best Standing Desk Converters to Upgrade Your Home Office

Final Verdict

Our top pick is the Amazon Basics 8-Sheet High-Security Micro-Cut Shredder because it's a moderately priced model with all the essential features, like a micro-cut shredding style, an eight-sheet capacity, and a pull-out waste bin.

How to Shop for Paper Shredders Like a Pro

Cut Style

When shopping for paper shredders, one of the most important factors to keep in mind is the cut style, which could be strip-cut, cross-cut, or micro-cut. Strip-cut shredders shred paper into long, vertical pieces, while cross-cut shredders (the standard in the U.S.) make smaller pieces that are cut diagonally. Micro-cut shredders are the best option for those who need extra security because they turn paper into tiny, confetti-like pieces.

Size

It's also essential to think about what size shredder will work best for you and your space. If you're in a small home office and don't want clutter, look for a compact shredder that can fit under or on top of your desk—but keep in mind that the device will have a smaller capacity than a larger model.

Besides the dimensions of the machine, you'll also want to consider the number of sheets it can accommodate. For personal use, you'll be fine with a shredder that fits anywhere from four to eight sheets of paper at a time. But anyone who anticipates destroying a lot of paper (like those who run a business from home) should look for a heavy-duty shredder that has a capacity of 12 sheets or more.

Use

If your primary goal is to shred paper every now and then, you can go with one of the many great regular-use shredders on the market. But if you think you'll also be shredding up credit cards and thicker documents, make sure you pick a model that has designated slots for those purposes. If you plan to use your paper shredder frequently and have many documents to shred, look for a heavy-duty model that can handle more papers at once.

Features

While not every shredder has extra features, some machines do come with waste bins, wheels, safety locks, or even letter openers. If you'll be transporting the shredder from room to room, you may want one with a pull-out waste bin or a carrying handle. If you have children or pets in your home, you might want to look for a paper shredder with safety features like automatic shut-off.

Questions You Might Ask

Who should get a paper shredder?

Anyone who deals with sensitive documents such as bank statements and social security cards should get a shredder, says Mitchell, as "it's not safe to just throw those in the trash." It's also a good idea for business owners to have a method for securely destroying documents.

What can you put in a paper shredder?

"In most cases, you're safe with paper, paper clips, and staples," Mitchell says. "Most shredders can also handle CDs and credit cards, too, however only in limited quantities, because the cutting heads on these shredders aren't made to destroy those in high volumes." If you need to shred plastic, CDs, or even hard drives, look for heavy-duty shredders that specialize in those areas.

How long do paper shredders last?

The average paper shredder will last around five years before needing to be replaced, according to Mitchell. If you're looking for a longer-lasting device that can last a decade or more, you might have to pay around "10 percent more" for a more durable and higher-quality machine.

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Rachel Simon, a writer for Real Simple, Better Homes & Gardens, The New York Times, and many other publications. She frequently covers home products and did significant research on paper shredders for this story. Rachel narrowed down the list by considering factors like cut style, size, and features. For expert advice, she spoke to Kyle Mitchell, product specialist at the information security company Whitaker Brothers.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles