By now I think I've bought/used just about every shredder Fellowes makes. My personal favorite, and the one in my home, is the PS60-C (here's a review on that one: http://www.epinions.com/content_105897496196), however, when I needed to purchase one for work recently I decided that the higher cost wasn't necessary as we weren't going to need all of the features the higher-end model had.
HOW DID I DECIDE?
Shredders have what's called a duty cycle--this information is usually within the advertisement. This number tells you the number of passes (pages through the shredder) the machine can handle. Go over that and you'll risk burning up the motor and being frustrated.
It also has a maximum number of sheets which can be passed through at a time. Read the fine print here--it's usually 20# standard copy paper. Junk mail is usually sturdier stock so you won't get as much to go through at a time.
Buy according to your future use, not just your current need. If you think in the future, you'd like to shred 100 pages a day, but a machine that can do it. If you'll want to put unopened envelopes (like credit card offers--I get several a day!) in without even opening them, you'll need a machine rated for it.
THIS ONE FIT THE BILL
This machine has a 5-sheet capacity (remember 5 thin copy paper sheetsactual usage is less) with and entry width of 9-1/2. Larger items can be folded to fit. Whats important is its shredding passes per day rating. In this case, it is 10-20 shredding passes (20 * 5 = 100 total sheets MAXIMUM a day). Should you try to do all 100 at a time youll overheat it. It, like all other shredders, needs time between passes to cool down. I have never done more than 10 at a time and then I've given it a 20-minute cool down. The manual recommends a run time of 5-7 minutes with a minimum of 15 minutes rest. I just place the items to be shredded on top of it and as I walk by, I put a few sheets in. It works for me, but I have low shredding needs. Were I to need more capability Id have to buy a new machine.
The machine will shut itself off if you work it too harddont count on it to keep you from ruing it, shut it down before it needs to.
For a low-end machine, it works wellit even makes it through a missed staple or two but cannot handle paper clipscheck your documents carefully before sticking them it. It shreds consistently to a 5/32 x 2 size and is confetti cut (considered the safest kind). It has an auto startif its on it sits there quietly until you stick something into its feeder. Once sensed, it gobbles it up. If it doesnt auto start you probably have a small piece of paper in it blocking the sensor. Unplug it and take a look.
It comes with its own containerno peek-a-boo window like its higher-end model. The only way to know if its full is to look every now and then. Its important to lookleave it too long and the shredding will start backing up into the machine. Leave it long enough and it will complete jam the shredding head and will take you HOURS to clear (trust me on this onelearned the hard way on another shredder).
Jams will occurtoo thick, paper clip, and just when if feels like being cranky. Use the toggle switch on the top, set it to reverse, and hopefully that will clear it. If not, youll need to unplug it and yank it out.
Recommend it? Sure, its cheap and shreds what the average home would need. Do I have it at home? Nope, I have a better oneone that can take the wear and tear of a family who throws stuff at it without a glance or a care. This one requires too much involvement.
height 14 1/4"
width 13 1/2"
maximum speed 12 fpm
Fellowes Manufacturing Company (the Company) warrants the cutting cylinders of the machine to be free from defects in material and workmanship for 3 years from the date of purchase by the original consumer. Fellowes warrants all other parts of the machine to be free of defects in material and workmanship for 1 year from the date of purchase by the original consumer. If any part is found to be defective during the warrant period, your sole and exclusive remedy will be repair or replacement, at Fellowes option and expense, of the defective part.
Purchased from Office Depot 08/03
The Office Depot site erroneously reports that this shredder has several features which in fact it does not--these would be full-bag indicator and paper clip capability.
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Purchase Price (if leased, monthly payment): 39.99
Machine age (Months in use): 1