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Paper shredders review

A paper shredder can help keep your personal details out of the wrong hands.
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01.Introduction

Paper shredders
We have test results for 15 paper shredders suitable for the home or small office, priced from $20 to $289.

On this page, you'll find:
Through our rigorous testing, we reveal which shredders:
  • shred quickly and reliably
  • are easiest to use.

You might think your information is of no interest to criminals. But personal data such as your name, date of birth, bank accounts and credit card numbers can be used to take money from your accounts or make fraudulent transactions that affect your reputation or credit history or even create a criminal record. This is known as identity theft, and the impact on the victim can be severe.

Fortunately, it only takes a few simple steps and some common sense to secure your personal information:

  • Use up-to-date anti-virus software on your computer and be alert to phoney emails and websites (phishing), as well as to phone calls or door-knocking from people claiming to represent your bank, the government or other entities. Don’t give your details to anyone you don’t know or aren’t sure of.
  • Shredding all documents containing personal data will help protect you against identity thieves. Bank statements and tax returns should always be destroyed before you bin them, to keep your details private.
For more on identity theft and other scams, visit scamwatch.gov.au.

Strip-cut or cross-cut?

  • Strip-cut shredders cut the paper lengthways into long strips, usually 6-7mm wide.
  • Cross-cut and diamond-cut shredders cut it into smaller pieces (in this test, from 11 to 52mm long and 2.7 to 6.9mm wide) and are more secure. 
  • A cross-cut model is best for shredding old credit cards. Some strip-cut models can do this, but if you feed the card in lengthways, the number or magnetic stripe could be left intact on a strip.

In this test, cross-cut models generally work better, but one strip-cut model also proved to be a good performer.

Brands and models tested

  • Dick Smith Electronics XP0678
  • Fellowes Powershred HD10Cs 
  • Fellowes Powershred P-35C
  • Fellowes Powershred P-48C
  • GoECOlife GQW80B
  • HSM Shredstar X5
  • Ideal Shredcat 8240
  • Keji KESC5SHBK
  • Ledah PX880
  • Ledah XC1000
  • Lowell S360A
  • Rexel Auto+100 2102559AU
  • Rexel Prostyle+ 2102563AU
  • Rexel Style 5 2101942AU
  • Zipp Ditto VS503SB

How we test

Our tester, James Thomson, rates the shredders for their performance and ease of use.

Performance is made up of:

  • Shredding a single A4 sheet (scored on time taken and quality and size of cut)
  • Shredding 100 A4 sheets (in batches of the maximum number allowed at one time, scored on time taken)
  • Shredders’ ability to shred credit cards, CDs, staples and paperclips, where the model claims to shred these. This is commented on but not scored, since not all models can handle these items.
Ease of use is made up of:
  • Ease of feeding paper into the shredder (including tendency to jam and ease of clearing jams)
  • Ease of using controls
  • Ease of emptying bin
  • Stability
Safety We use probes to see whether the blades are accessible to a child’s fingers. No model in this test has accessible blades, athough we have found some in past tests, so it still pays to be careful. We also note models with an automatic feed (which grabs and shreds paper as it's put into the feed slot), as this may be a hazard if hair or clothing is accidentally caught.

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