Pros: makes documents unrecognizable
Cons: top heavy, awkward to move around
I bought the Aurora Cross Cut Paper and CD Shredder in January of this year at Bed Bath and Beyond. It has worked pretty well since then, having its pros and cons.
The machine it self is obviously the size of a waste barrel and fits easily tucked in the corner of a desk. The top of the shredder (where the shredding happens) is quite heavy and makes the machine awkward to lift. The top is also somewhat hard to clean (as I imagine any shredder would be). I occasionally try to pull out some of the paper that never fell into the barrel - still stuck in the machine. This is generally a hopeless case, but has no effects on the shredder itself.
The cross shredder features three buttons "Auto, Rev, and Off." Rev is very helpful for the times you know you've overloaded it. It is kind of like the rewind button. Usually this feature brings the papers right back out, but sometimes it is a touch-of-war. Auto is just like having it on and although I usually switch it to off before lifting out the barrel to remove the wastes, I find that the shredder will not work without the barrel attached. I'd still keep it far away from children at all times though.
The other features is a slot for credit cards and CD's and a slot for papers (up to 10 sheets). The credit card shredding feature is quite useless and I find scissors are much better for this need. The CD shredder tends to give one good cut through the CD so it is unusable. It doesn't hide the fact that you've shredded a CD if that's what you were hoping.
As for the cross cut paper shredder it works fabulously, although you have to remember not to go overboard. (I had bought this machine last year and broke it after only a month because I put the whole envelope from credit card companies right into it. This is not what is is designed for and you have to throw the envelope away separately, especially if you have a plastic window envelope.)
When used the way it was intended, the paper shredder grind up to 10 sheets of paper at a time and will even forgive you if you put 11 or 12. Also, after grinding up the papers, you wouldn't be able to make out any word over 2 letters. The barrel is a decent size and I generally only remove the grindings once a month. Obviously it depends on how much you use it.
I would definitely recommend this machine for home use. It is convenient and easy to use. It is also dependable when used as instructed.