Things to Consider Before Buying a Heavy-Duty Paper Shredder

When throwing away old documents, you have to be extremely careful not to expose any personal information. It’s so easy for people to dumpster dive and get ahold of things that are not meant for their eyes to see.

This is where paper shredders come into play. Not only should you have one that can get the job done, but one that will do it well. This is why you should consider having a heavy-duty paper shredder in your home and at work.

We know why it’s important to have one, but finding the perfect shredder isn’t always an easy task. Here are some helpful factors and questions to ask before purchasing your own heavy-duty paper shredder.

What Kinds of Things Should I Shred?

You’ll want to shred some of your junk mail (if it has personal information on it) and old bills. Anything with tax or credit card statements should be shredded as well. The nice thing about a heavy-duty paper shredder is that you can destroy several papers at once. You can also shred old credit cards, as well as CDs and DVDs.

How Small Should the Cuts Be?

Honestly, the smaller, the better. We recommend that you have a shredder that does cross cuts, which cuts them into small pieces instead of just strips. A cross-cut shredder does take longer to cut than a strip-cut shredder, but we think it’s better to be safe than sorry. Also, with a heavy-duty paper shredder, you can shred more papers at a time compared to a light-duty one, which only takes up to six papers at a time.

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How Powerful Is a Heavy-Duty Paper Shredder?

On average, this kind of paper shredder can take up to twenty sheets at a time. Not bad if you ask us! It can also run constantly for about ten to twenty minutes before its motor needs a cool down.

How Much Should I Expect to Pay?

This all depends on the kind of model that you buy. Typically, you can expect to pay between $200 and $600 for a quality heavy-duty paper shredder.

How Long Will It Last?

On average, a good paper shredder can last up to ten years, if well maintained. Here are a few things you can do to keep it running smoothly:

  • Empty the Shred Bin Regularly: This will prevent unnecessary jams from happening.
  • Remember the Sheet Capacity: Don’t get impatient and try to shove too many papers in.
  • Oil Your Shredder: Squirt a small amount of oil on a single sheet of paper and run it through. Aim to do this once every other week.

Can It Shred Staples?

Just because a shredder is heavy-duty doesn’t mean that it’s incapable of breaking. Before risking it, make sure that you read up on the paper shredder and find out what kind of materials it can/cannot handle. Typically, it should be fine to put staples through, but each brand is different. Do your research beforehand!

Where Can I Buy a Heavy-Duty Paper Shredder?

There are several great places where you can look. We recommend Amazon, as it has many options at affordable prices. Other places include Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, and Walmart.

What Are Other Features to Consider?


If you have young children or pets at home, safety is a big thing to consider before purchasing a shredder. There are shredders out there with features such as automatic shut off when fingers get too close to the blades. There’s also some that are equipped with keys and locks.

Noise Level

Most of us can agree that a paper shredder isn’t the prettiest thing to listen to. Therefore, if the loud noise bothers you, you’ll want to look into one that’s quieter or that you can control the volume on.

Paper Jams

Paper jams all depend on how many sheets can be placed into the shredder at once. If you go over the maximum amount, it’s very likely that a paper jam will occur. Make sure you’re aware how many sheets of paper you’re putting in at a time.

Summing Up

We hope that this helped you decide what kind of heavy-duty paper shredder is right for you. As you can see, there are many factors to consider. If you’re aware of these before purchasing, it’ll make the process that much easier. Now, what are you waiting for? Get your heavy duty paper shredder and shred those old papers away! 

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Kylie Johnson

I enjoy the outdoors, especially when I can go on a fun hike or adventure. I like to focus on the perks of green living. I feel it is so important to take care of our earth and hope to spread more awareness as I edit and write.

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