Jim has a physics degree from MIT, as well as a Master of Science and a Ph D in mathematical physics from UCLA.With his help, we tested how easily each shredder overheated, the maximum number of sheets of paper each model could shred without jamming, the noise level, and if it could destroy a CD or a credit card.
To find the best tools for this job, we started by consulting editorial reviews, which helped us form a list of things to look for in a paper shredder: Once we had a basic list of features to look for, we called in all the hardware that met the requirements.
Then, we turned the reins over to a frequent partner in crime, Jim Shapiro.
It has both manual and automatic reversing for stubborn paper jams, and an energy control management system to reduce electricity usage.
The Fellowes 79Ci uses a Safe Sense technology to stop it when hands touch the paper opening, making it a good choice for those with small kids running around.
The front features a convenient viewing window on the waste bin, so you always remember to empty it before it becomes overloaded.
Capable of accepting both letter- and legal-sized documents, the multipurpose Bonsaii C149 can be used continuously for up to one hour and take care of up to 18 pages in a single pass. The Swingline Pro Style has a sleek and attractive curved front, which you'll appreciate if you have to leave this equipment out in plain sight.
This model can turn paper into 0.47-by-0.16-inch bits of confetti, 12 sheets at a time.
The particles are roughly one-sixth the size of those from a cross-cut shredder, making it basically impossible for a thief to reassemble a readable document.
It'll do staples too, but as with all of the models we tested, the manufacturer recommends against attempting to do so if you can avoid it.
A cross-cut shredder makes it very difficult for an identity thief to steal your information, but you can opt for an even higher level of security: a micro-cut shredder like the Amazon Basics 12-Sheet High-Security Micro-Cut Shredder.