Identity theft is a very real concern these days. We try to use common sense, like regularly monitoring our bank accounts and shredding personal documents, but I keep breaking our shredders. “You get what you pay for” is definitely a good motto when it comes to motorized paper chomping machines, so we sprang for a decently equipped Amazon Basics Shredder.
The label may be Amazon Basics, but the shredder is top-notch. It can handle up to 8 sheets at a time, though I’ve definitely pushed it to shred more, and while it complained it did chew them up nicely. I’ve even shoved whole credit card offers in with the envelope unopened, and the shredder had no problem leaving them totally destroyed. There are slots to shred old credit cards and CDs as well, so anything with even the slightest bit of personal information can be mulched into oblivion.
This is a micro-cut shredder, so instead of just leaving little strips the paper is chopped into confetti. It’s significantly more secure, since you’d need a great deal of time and patience to put those jigsaw puzzles back together. Amazon says one sheet becomes 2,000 tiny pieces, and while I haven’t counted it, it certainly mulches shredding down to very tiny bits. It also means the shredded bits compact nicely, so you don’t need to empty the bin as often (the bin itself holds about 3 gallons of shredded material). There’s also a little window so you can see how full it is as you work. This is key, since one of the shredders I broke didn’t have this and overheated after getting too full. The actual mechanical parts of the shredder are also covered by a plastic overhang, protecting fingers and other objects that shouldn’t be shredded from getting pulled in (and yes, accidentally shredding a plastic bag is how I killed another shredder).
The Amazon Basics Shredder is quite well built. It performs exactly what it says, at less than the competition, and with excellent quality. You can buy a cheaper shredder, but if you want one that offers micro-cut shredding, handles a fair amount of paper, and doesn’t overheat after two pieces of mail, you need to accept that you have to pay more. At that point, you could pay $75+ for a competitor’s shredder, or $65 for this one. If, like me, you’ve had rotten luck with shredders, head to Amazon and give this one a shot. It helps protect your identity, saves you a few dollars, AND you end up with a lifetime supply of shredded paper packing materials!
MSRP: $64.99, free shipping with Prime
What I Liked: Solidly built; metal shredders covered by plastic overhang; chews through several thick pages at once; leaves personal paperwork irrevocably destroyed
What Needs Improvement: Nothing
Source: Personal purchase