Fellowes PowerShred 79Ci: The Cross-Cut Shredder for All of Your Secrets

I’ve been in the market for a new cross-cut shredder for a couple of months; my old one decided that if the power was on, it should continuously grind — even when no paper was present. Being offered the opportunity to review the Fellowes PowerShred 79Ci seemed like kismet. But would it be able to handle my document load?

Fellowes PowerShred 79Ci Jam Proof Cross-Cut Shredder

Identity theft and credit card fraud are huge issues. If you haven’t ever had to deal with it yourself, then you should consider yourself lucky … and know that it is only a matter of time before it might happen. The best way to prevent identity theft is to take the proper precautions to make sure that your information doesn’t fall into the wrong person’s hands.

I always shred anything that has my address, credit card info, or other sensitive information on it. Anything that I can’t shred (because it needs to be saved for taxes and possible future IRS audits — eek!) is stored somewhere secure.

And that’s where the Fellowes PowerShred 79Ci comes in. So let’s unbox that sucker!

Besides the three pieces that make up the shredder itself, it includes removable wheels if you need them (I don’t), shredder mechanism oil (Fellowes’ recommends that you use this every time you empty out the bin), and plastic bin liners.

The shredder’s bin is composed of two lightweight matt black with gray trim plastic pieces which fit together to create a base with removable 6 gallon bin.

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The substantial shredder head seems like it weighs a good 10-15 pounds; it simply rests on the top of the base. This cross-cut shredder is able to gnaw through up to 16 sheets at once at 10 feet per minute, rendering your sensitive documents into 5/32″ x 1-1/2″ mulch. The shredder can handle staples, credit cards, paper clips, CDs and DVDs.

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The Fellowes PowerShred 79Ci Features:
  • 100% Jam Proof System eliminates paper jams and powers through tough jobs
  • SilentShred™ offers ultra-quiet shredder performance for shared workspaces
  • Energy Savings System provides optimal energy efficiency 100% of the time-in use and out of use
  • SafeSense® Technology stops shredder when hands touch the paper opening
  • Shreds 14 sheets per pass into 5/32” x 1-1/2” cross-cut particles (Security Level P-4)
  • Maximum run time: 12 on / 20 off
  • 6 gallon pull-out bin

Once the shredder head has been placed on the base (and a bag has been inserted in the bin), you’re ready to shred all of those credit card company checks, credit card offers, 15-year-old tax returns, love letters from your ex, or anything else that you would rather not fall into some stranger’s hands.

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Without the wheels installed, the shredder measures approximately 19″ tall (it’s 21.31″ with wheels) x 15.38 wide x 10.44 deep. It doesn’t look ugly or obtrusive, so it will fit in with any home or office decor.

And how does it perform? Well, in the process of preparing to do this review I had saved a collection of paper and plastic items that I wasn’t comfortable putting directly into the trash. The Fellowes PowerShred 79Ci chomped through my papers (complete with paperclips and staples) with no problem. It also made short work of the expired credit cards I’d been holding onto.

When shredding papers you use the regular, open feed.

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When shredding CDs, DVDs or credit cards, you flip down the CD/card safety flap.

Fellowes PowerShred 79Ci Jam Proof Cross-Cut Shredder-018

This would be a good time to mention the Control Panel and LEDs on the shredder head. There are lights that show when the shredder is overheating, the bin is open, the bin is full, paper is backed up and you need to press the forward or reverse buttons to move it, and a yellow SafeSense indicator.

SafeSense operates when the shredder is turned on; if a hand is placed in the SafeSense area for more than 3 seconds, the shredder will shut off. It should go without saying, though, that you really should never allow pets or small children around any shredder. Period.

The Fellowes PowerShred 79Ci also has a sleep mode that will shut the shredder down to save energy after 2 minutes of inactivity.

It looks like the only thing this shredder isn’t made to handle are those greeting cards that have batteries and microchips in them; you know, the ones that play music or shout out obnoxiously when you open them? So if you get one of those that you don’t ever want to see (or listen to) again, you’ll need to throw it away or tear it up by hand.

I’ve been using the PowerShred 79Ci for several weeks, and I haven’t run into any snags yet. It has more than managed to keep my sensitive document paper load under control, and the added benefit is that the shreds can go into Kev’s and my compost bins.

The Fellowes PowerShred 79Ci retails for anywhere from $250 to $175 at AmazonFellowes PowerShred 79Ci: The Cross-Cut Shredder for All of Your Secrets [affiliate link].

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Easy to set up; easy to operate; powerful; doesn’t jam; can handle up to 16 sheets of paper along with paperclips and staples

What Needs Improvement: Nothing that I have found; it works well

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct smaller.com; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.