The Bonsaii 10-sheet shredder is a great option for a home office. The machine has a continuous run time of four minutes followed by a 40 minute cool-down period. The runtime can be extended by giving it periodic breaks rather than letting it run continuously. Users have pointed out that it is quieter than many competitor models on the market, and will fit nicely under a desk. Users have also commented that the feeder slot is a bit narrow, which makes it difficult to feed the max of 10 sheets in at once. However, most recommended shredding fewer sheets at once to avoid overheating anyway. This unit won't be winning any stamina awards but for the price, your home office will certainly remain secure.
If you are looking for a workhorse and are willing to shell out a good amount of money, then the Fellowes Powershred 99Ci is a great option. The machine puts safety first, with SafeSense technology that will stop shredding if a hand touches the paper opening. This can be sensitive, so just ensure you keep your hands well away from the opening during operation and you should be in good to go. It can handle up to 18 sheets at once, will handle paperclips and staples, and will even take care of credit cards and discs. The nine gallon bin can be easily removed and dumped to make room for additional paper. It is designed to run continuously for up to 30 minutes before needing a cool down which alone may make it worth the higher price tag.
The Royal 1840MX model is another pricey model that provides the power to back up the sticker shock. This machine can shred up to 18 sheets at once and the waste bin will hold 8.5 gallons of shredded waste. A common complaint is that the paper feed is narrow which requires the paper stack to be perfectly straight in order for it to not jam when running through large stacks. The biggest win for this model is that it is designed to run for 60 minutes without overheating which is a big improvement from other shredders on the market.
Don't let the number of shredder options overwhelm you. Shredder options ultimately are not that confusing, if only you know what features you are looking for. Make sure to consider such factors as the frequency of use, desired security, and safety features that are important to you before making your purchase.
How often you plan to shred is an important factor to consider. If you need to shred the occasional junk mail and/or receipt, there is no need to invest in a $200 power shredder. But if you work out of the home and regularly deal with invoices or order forms, or if you are looking to clean out a plethora of old files and paperwork, then a larger, more powerful machine is likely necessary as the smaller units tend to have shorter run times before overheating.
Know what you need to shred. Most 2020 machines can handle staples, but it is important to check that the machine you are going to purchase will if you don't want to spend hours pulling staples out of documents prior to shredding. Additionally, if you plan to shred windowed envelopes, verify that the shredder is rated for them. Some shredder descriptions will claim that they are good for "junk mail" which generally means that they can handle an entire un-opened envelope of junk mail including plastic envelopes and all. If you are simply going to shred paper in small quantities, the smaller units will be more cost effective.
Machines generally shred to one of three sizes: strip, cross-cut, or micro-cut. Strip shredders are the least secure as the strips can often be easily reassembled without much trouble. However, these units often run more quickly while being able to accept more paper at one time. Cross-cut takes advantage of shredders moving in different directions to ensure smaller pieces that are more difficult to piece-back together. These machines can take longer to run and require more regular oiling to ensure the cutters stay in top working order. Micro-cut shredders are actually just a cross-cut shredder that provides the smallest possible shred size for the highest security. Micro-cut shredders can be the slowest but most secure. One other thing to consider is that some micro-cut shredders may not accept staples and other metal so keep this in mind.
Safety features can be important for some, especially if young children or pets will be in the vicinity of your office. Look for safety features such as a feeder slot that is indirect or narrow to avoid unintentional items such as fingers or clothing from entering into the shredding mechanism. Some units will shut off if skin comes in contact with the top of the paper feeder which is very affective. Others have an automatic shutoff when the waste bin is removed to ensure that nothing winds up inside the cutters from underneath. If you are concerned about safety, look for features such as automatic shred that come on some models for convenience as they may have an adverse effect on safety with young children and it might be better to forgo the convenience for an added level of safety.