The best shredders for small offices in 2024


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Small office setups have one big problem: limited space for all the computers, printers, paper shredders, etc., that need to fit in them. A functioning home office is necessary now that so many of us work from home or have taken on flexible working schedules. Luckily, working from the kitchen table is no longer your only option, and efficient accessories—like the best shredders for small offices—have become essential.

From selecting ergonomic office chairs and innovative desk accessories to the best paper shredder, your productivity and well-being are shaped by your carefully chosen office equipment and tools. And when it comes to protecting your identity, a shredder is an important consideration for your home or small office. Whether it’s details on the competition, company proprietary information, or financials, you’ll want to keep secure information, well, secure. The best shredders for small offices can also be used to protect your personally identifiable information (PII) like medical information, credit card bills, and banking details. Read on for our top picks and how to pick one.

How we chose the best shredders for small offices

Our best shredders for small offices are based on extensive research. We surveyed peer recommendations, critical reviews, and user impressions to create a list of contenders and then put them through their paces. Read on to find the best paper shredders that balance efficiency, security, and affordability, ensuring your documents are disposed of safely and seamlessly. 

The best shredders for small offices: Reviews & Recommendations  

Looking for a paper shredder to complete your small office setup? We’ve got you covered with the top-rated small shredder machines on the market. Let our comprehensive reviews help you narrow your options when choosing your next shredder for your small office.

Best overall: Amazon Basics 24 Sheet

Amazon Basics 24 Sheet Shredder on a plain white background.

Specs

  • Cut Type: Cross Cut
  • Capacity: 7 Gallons
  • Special Features: Automatic Start Stop

Pros

Cons

  • Can overheat and will then shut off

The Amazon Basics 24-Sheet Cross-Cut Shredder is a powerful machine offering impressive capabilities and advanced features to meet the demands of any small office or home workspace. 

The robust cross-cut shredding mechanism efficiently powers through documents, transforming them into confetti-like pieces. It can shred up to 24 sheets of 20-pound bond paper at a time, so it effortlessly tackles large volumes of documents with ease. It can also easily power through staples, CDs, DVDs, credit cards, and small paper clips. Its exceptional power may even be considered overkill for typical low-volume shredding needs. Still, the thorough shredding is impressive for small businesses with lots of documents to destroy and for unparalleled peace of mind.

The low noise level sets it apart; it emits a quiet hum that is relatively unobtrusive compared to other shredders. This makes extended use more comfortable and minimizes disruptions in the workspace. You won’t have to put on those headphones for work (though you still might want to for inspiration).

The shredder’s intelligent design includes a 4-mode power switch (auto, off, reverse, forward) and features such as auto start and anti-jam auto reverse to minimize and clear paper jams, ensuring smooth operation. If it overheats (which it does occasionally), the auto shut-off will protect the motor. With exceptional shredding capabilities, versatility, and user-friendly features, this shredder stands out among the best you can buy.

Best splurge: Fellowes ‎Powershred LX22M

Black Fellowes ‎Powershred LX22M 20-Sheet 100-Percent Jam-Proof Micro Cut Paper Shredder on a white background

Specs

  • Cut Type: Micro Cut
  • Capacity: 8 Gallons
  • Special Features: SafeSense 

Pros

  • Looks good
  • Large capacity
  • Quiet

Cons

This shredder model is on the pricey side at almost $400, but as our premium pick, it earns its place with an impressive 20-sheet capacity and an ample 8-gallon bin. The Fellowes Powershred LX22M shredder prioritizes productivity and efficiency and has a sleek design that sets it apart from conventional office equipment. 

Real-time status LED indicators on the “efficiency meter” ensure optimal shredding and prevent you from exceeding the sheet capacity. It quickly and effortlessly blasts paper into over a thousand shredded pieces, achieving a robust P-4 security rating for dealing with even the most confidential documents. Additionally, it’s a quiet worker with one of the lowest decibels emitted among tested models. You can also rest assured that children and pets will be safe as the SafeSense setting prevents shredding when little hands or paws get too close to the paper entry. It can continually shred for up to 30 minutes for total efficiency. This model is a serious contender if you need a hardworking shredder for many documents.

Best quiet operation: BONSEN 10-Sheet Super Quiet Micro-Cut Paper Shredder

BONSEN 10-Sheet Super Quiet Micro-Cut Paper Shredder on a plain white background.

Specs

  • Cut Type: Micro Cut
  • Capacity: 5.3 Gallons
  • Special Features: Jam proof

Pros

  • Very quiet
  • Fast operation
  • Bin empties easily from the front

Cons

Equipped with a robust 10-sheet shredding capacity, this professional small office shredder effortlessly handles various materials, including credit cards, staples, junk mail, and receipts, ensuring comprehensive document destruction with ease. It offers an impressive security level, reaching P-5 standards, meticulously shredding paper into tiny confetti, and providing the ultimate protection against data breaches. It does all of this whilst making surprisingly little noise. 

Although the 5.3-gallon bin is on the smaller side, it features a visible window, offering a convenient way to know when to empty the paper. The shredder’s advanced features include a jam-proof system and overheating protection, allowing you to continue shredding for up to 40 minutes without interruption. 

The BONSEN 10-Sheet Micro-Cut Paper Shredder combines advanced security features, whisper-quiet operation, efficient operation, and a user-friendly design, making it a top choice for home and small office use.

Best for high volume: Fellowes Powershred 99Ci

Home photo

Specs

  • Cut Type: Cross-cut
  • Capacity: 9 Gallons
  • Special Features: Handles large volumes

Pros

Cons

If you only occasionally need to shred a few pages, you’ll be hard-pressed to justify purchasing the Fellowes Powershred 99Ci. But this hardworking powerhouse is your best option for high-volume users who need to destroy piles of documents at a time. 

With its 16-sheet capacity, this shredder is tailor-made for people with high-volume shredding needs. The “jam-proof” technology ensures that paper getting stuck will never slow you down.

Once shredded, the particles are not as small as those from some machines, which may mean this shredder is not as suitable for the most high-security requirements. However, with its blazing speed and ability to handle staples and paper clips effortlessly, it’s a productivity win.

Including wheels allows for easy mobility around the office, although its size may pose challenges in tight spaces. Overall, the Fellowes Powershred 99Ci offers a perfect blend of power, efficiency, and safety features, making it a standout choice for demanding shredding needs. 

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

Amazon Basics 8 Sheet High Security Micro Cut Shredder.

Specs

  • Cut Type: Micro Cut
  • Capacity: 4 Gallons
  • Special Features: Automatic Start Stop

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Mobile due to castors
  • Credit card slot

Cons

At an affordable price point, this shredder works perfectly for home use and small offices. However, it has a short run time of only five minutes before it needs a 30-minute cooldown, which can be frustrating if you have lots of documents that you need to shred fast. 

Micro-cut shredders, like this one, also known as particle-cut or security-cut shredders, operate by diagonally cutting paper from both corners, yielding minuscule square-shaped particles that are nearly indecipherable. It easily works through sensitive documents and personal information up to eight sheets at a time. The convenient paper window lets you see when it needs to be emptied.

The castors make it easy to move the shredder around the office or even to another room. As a shredder is used fairly infrequently, the wheels also allow you to wheel it away when not in use.

And you can complete that best budget home office with our selections of office chairs under $200 and a chair mat so you can easily swivel from desk to document shredder.

What to consider when choosing a shredder for small offices

When selecting a shredder for small offices, keep these factors in mind: 

Shredding capacity

Select a shredder with an appropriate capacity to accommodate your workload without frequent emptying or jamming.

Shredding type

Decide between strip-cut, cross-cut, or micro-cut shredders based on your desired level of security. Strip-cut shredders offer basic security, while cross-cut and micro-cut shredders provide higher levels of protection by shredding documents into smaller pieces.

Security level

Consider the sensitivity of the information you’re shredding and choose a shredder with a security level that meets your requirements. Security levels range from P-1 to P-7, with higher numbers indicating smaller particle sizes and greater security.

Bin capacity

Assess the size of the shredder’s waste bin and choose one that suits your needs. Larger bins require less frequent emptying, while smaller bins may be sufficient for occasional use.

Size and portability

Evaluate the available space in your home or office and choose a shredder that fits comfortably within that space. If portability is important, look for models with wheels or a compact design for easy movement.

FAQs

Q: Which is better: micro-cut or cross-cut shredder?

Micro-cut and cross-cut shredders offer effective document destruction, but the choice depends on your security needs. Micro-cut shredders provide higher security by shredding documents into smaller particles than cross-cut shredders, making reconstructing more challenging. 

Q: How much should a good shredder cost?

The cost of a good shredder can vary depending on factors such as brand, shredding capacity, security level, and additional features. Generally, basic shredders suitable for home use may range from $30 to $100, while more advanced models designed for office use can cost anywhere from $100 to $500 or more. 

Q: Which type of shredder is most secure?

Micro-cut shredders are generally considered the most secure type of shredder. They shred documents into tiny particles, providing a higher security level than strip-cut or cross-cut shredders. 

Q: What is the maximum run time for a shredder?

The maximum run time for a shredder varies depending on the model and manufacturer. Most shredders are designed to operate continuously for a specific duration, typically ranging from 5 to 60 minutes, before requiring a cooldown period to prevent overheating. 

Q: Does a shredder use a lot of electricity?

Shredders generally consume minimal electricity, especially compared to other office equipment. Their energy usage depends on factors such as shredding capacity, motor power, and usage frequency. While shredders may contribute to overall energy consumption in an office environment, their impact on electricity bills is typically negligible. 

Final thoughts on the best shredders for small offices  

From compact designs to those with powerful capabilities, we’ve gathered paper shredders for small offices, with options tailored to meet the unique needs of your remote work setup. Our favorite overall best shredder for small offices is the Amazon Basics 24 Sheet. We chose it for its robust performance and user-friendly, advanced features. But once you weigh the options, we know you’ll find one that perfectly suits your needs.

Why trust us? 

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now. 

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.





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