In this day and age of identity theft, stolen passwords and pins, and malicious record and document harvesting, protecting oneself against white-collar crime has become both necessary yet difficult. That is why one tool every person should have to guard against these types of concerns is a cross-cut paper shredder. Many people believe tearing up a sensitive document is enough to avoid having somebody else steal information from it, but the truth is any dedicated criminal will take the time to piece the paper puzzle together and still find a way to use your information against you. That is a where a cross-cut shredder becomes important. Cross-cut shredders will rip apart any paper not just vertically, but also horizontally, cutting into hundreds and even thousands of pieces any piece of document. Another plus for cross-cut paper shredders is that the cutting devices in most cross-cut shredders creates uniform pieces, making it all the more difficult (and quite impossible, really) for any unscrupulous person to read what was on the document. Don’t forget, junk mail and credit card offers can also put you at risk—so shred these, too! Here are my 5 picks for good paper shredders.
Staples 20-Sheet Cross-Cut Compacting Shredder
If your paper-shredding needs are office-duty heavy, you will need a high-quality, industrial-strength device to destroy not just paper, but CDs, credit cards, and the like. That is where Staples’ 20-sheet cross-cut compacting shredder comes into the fold. The Staples 20-sheet machine can handle, 20 sheets at a time and 100 uses every day. It comes with a 9-gallon bin for disposal, and makes virtual confetti out of your paper: the cross-cutter creates 5/32″ by 1-19/32″ pieces—you will foil any identity thieve with this machine! Staples is selling this machine for $249.99.
Ativa V-120 Cross-Cut Shredder
Here is a handy device for marathon paper shedding runs. The Ativa V-120 Cross-Cut Shredder can handle up to 7 sheets of paper at a time and up to 12 feet of paper per minute. That equates to about 100 sheets of typical 8-1/2″ by 11″ paper being shredded every 60 seconds. The Ativa, which has an automatic starting option (so you do not need to push a button when you want to start shredding) keeps the job moving fast, and with a 5.67 gallon wastebasket, you will be able to destroy many documents before you need to empty the trash bin. The shredder minces the paper, too; it creates shreds measuring .1562″ by .9844″. The Ativa V-120 Cross-Cut Shredder costs $339.99 at Office Depot.
Aurora 6-Sheet Cross-Cutter AS662C
This Aurora cross-cutting paper shredder is much like an Aurora cross-cutter my family purchased years ago—and it still works well. This is a fine machine for typical home, private use. The Aurora 6-sheet cross-cutter AS662C can destroy 6 sheets per run (and staples and paper clips) and renders documents virtually unreadable with a 1/5″ by 1-17/20″ shred measurement. Like our machine, the Aurora AS662C has overheating protection and includes a small wastebasket. Therefore, the shredder will stop working if it gets too hot. The Aurora AS662C may take you a while to destroy a whole banker’s box worth of documents, but it a beautiful device for any home and cost-effective, too, at only $39.99 on Target’s website.
Royal KS7 7-Sheet Cross Cut Paper Shredder
This Royal cross-cut paper shredder is another great device for home use. Sold with a 10-gallon wastebasket, the Royal KS7 includes an automatic-feed feature and can deftly handle 7 sheets of paper at a time. The Royal KS7 also offers a special safety guard and the ability to cut staples and credit cards. The Royal KS7 cuts paper to a size of 1/8″ by 1″.Wal-Mart is selling the Royal KS7 for $52.80.
Staples MAILMATE M3 Shredder
A good low-to-middle price-range paper shredder for both home of office use is Staples’ MAILMATE M3 model. This cross-cut shredder can tackle 12 piece of paper at a time, can destroy CDs, DVDs, credit cards, staples, and even unopened envelopes with mail still inside! With a 1.8 gallon wastebasket and .2″ by 1″ shred size (note, .2″, not 2″), the Staples MAILMATE makes for a great purchase at only $79.99 on the Staples website.