The Good Housekeeping Research Institute Engineering Lab put 26 six- to 12-sheet cross-cut shredders through their paces. We spent 40 hours feeding 'em paper (sometimes stapled or paper-clipped) and CDs to assess speed, safety, and noise levels. We also noted how easily they jammed or overheated and how much mess they left in their wake around the recycling bin.
Protect your identity with one of the five document-demolishing devices that aced our tests.
At 16" x 13" x 4", this stylish, lightweight device is ideal for small spaces and rolls easily to where you need it. Its pullout bin makes cleanup a snap - and we love the brilliant color.
2. Fellowes Powershred 73CI
16" x 21" x 11"; 12 sheets ($200, amazon.com)
A top choice for any office prone to pop-ins from pets or kids, it shuts off automatically if the paper slot is touched. Plus, it won't allow "overfeeding," so essentially, it can't ever jam.
3. Ativa MD Pro 1200
14" x 22" x 11"; 12 sheets ($190, officedepot.com)
This model is virtually silent and has built-in handles for portability. (Almost as quiet: The ultra-tidy MD 1200 [13" x 12" x 10"], $90, signals when it's time to empty the bin.)
Related: Clean Your Home Office - Fast
Shredding a mountain? In our tests, this powerhouse quickly cut 800 sheets before taking a break. (The average shredder we tested managed 235 sheets before needing a rest.)
This unit rips through 28 feet of paper per minute (compared with an average of 16). A translucent bin lets you easily see when it will soon need emptying.
What's the best paper shredder? Let us know in the comments!
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