A shredder may be a shredder, but if not pushed too hard, the Fellows S701CM is a good buy that won't shred the cash in your wallet.
Recommend this product?
I bought the Fellowes S701CM Shredder at a discounted price at Best Buy. Cheap enough for an impulse buy and it seemed about as good (give or take) as all the others on the shelf. (i put the full retail price at the end of the review because i can't guarantee that you will pay what i paid.)
I took it home, pulled it out of the box and was pretty impressed. The shredder itself was a brushed steel that fit over a squared off black mesh bin (included). The look matched my computer perfectly and was small enough to fit under my printer table without being too small for normal use. The only controls are a simple switch that slides left and right and some black lettering with the model number. Classy!
Simple enough to use, the Fellowes S701CM has a switch that has three positions: Off (middle position), Auto (to the left) and Reverse (to the right). Off is fairly self explanatory (it means off!) Auto means the shredder is shredding paper. The final position, Reverse, is actually very useful. If the shredder gets stuck you just slide the switch to Reverse and the paper pushes itself out so that you can try again. Thats the good news. The bad news is that the shredder gets stuck a lot. Dont even think about trying to push this shredder beyond its limits. One tissue over the suggested seven sheets at a time rule, and the machine begins to whine and beg for mercy. The shredder is pretty loud to begin with, but if you follow the guidelines on the box, at least the neighbors wont call the police.
The Fellowes S701CM has two great safety features. If you are shredding more than you are supposed to for longer than youre supposed to (remember the rules?) the unit gets real hot and stops working. It took me a while to realize that this was actually intentional. The shredder will resume shredding in a few minutes once it cools down. Shredded paper good. Fires bad.
The second safety feature is unfortunately useful for the wrong reasons. When the unit is lifted off the waste bin, the blades will not spin and you can not shred anything. This is good because you will spend a lot of time with your fingers in the blades fishing out shreds of crosscut paper that inevitably gets stuck inside. Oh well. Safety is safety I suppose.
One thing definately lacking in this shredder is the ability to dispose of old credit cards using one of those credit card slots. Those are extremely useful, and while I knew that it didn't have it when I bought the machine, it would have been nice.
To Shred or not to Shred
Overall, the Fellowes S701CM is a good shredder for sensitive documents and the normal disposal of bills, credit card receipts and other light-duty shredding. As long as you dont overtax (pardon the pun) the machine, it should last a couple of tax seasons before you have to shred the shredder itself.
Purchase Price (if leased, monthly payment): 50 (around)
Machine age (Months in use): 3 months