* Prices may differ from that shown
OK, shredders are not sexy tech, but unless you want some oik posing as you, clearing out your bank account, or maxing out your credit cards they are now an essential thing to have next to your bin.
Strangely, shredding can also become quite addictive - I have got over zealous before and actually shredded stuff I wanted to keep, but that's another story...
As you are reading this review, what do you really need to know? In brief -:
1. Doing the job - it does not seem to get jammed - obviously if you ram a copy of war and peace into it's slot it may struggle, but if you are sensible it is actually a powerful little machine - it can handle 5 sheets with ease - I did try 7 and it moaned so don't.
2. Noise - actually not too bad - does not compete with the bin lorry or vibrate the furniture so I score it highly on this.
3. Bin capacity - I used to have a strip shredder which seemed to coil the shreddings, but as this is a cross cut, the bin holds a surprising amount before you knock it all over the floor and need to get the hoover out.
4. Value - yes - good!
5. Looks - really? OK, it's styled like a Porshe 911, but don't expect the same exhaust note!
Security is pretty essential these days, especially with there being so many people out there that want to look at you most personal information, such as bank statements, credit card bills and even utility bills, (shame they don't want to pay those bills for us).
It's amazing, in a weird sort of way, that certain easy to find information can bring an almost complete profile of a persons financial circumstances. All that is needed is a few pieces of 'certain' papers, such as bank statements, ATM slips, even letter that you don't even think hold that much information about you, maybe a delivery note from your local diy shop.
But each little piece of paper that has your name on it may be worth something to someone if they are hell bent on taking your name on a trip down fraudster road.
So keeping that information from those prying eyes is a must, and that is why getting something like a paper shredder is a good idea, unless you own an open fire where you can simply throw your paper on and let it burn. But as many people don't own an open fire we have to put up with hiding our detail by shredding the paper into the smallest pieces of paper possible.
I've used several shredders, even manual ones where you turn a handle to get the paper through the shredders teeth, but my favourites are without a doubt the electrical ones as they take more paper without your arms getting tired.
One of those electric paper shredders I am using at the moment is a shredder made by a company I had never heard of, but as I paid a good price for this one, plus I trusted the friend I bought it from, I decided that I would give this one a go. Which I'm glad I did as this is not a bad little bit of kit.
The shredder I am talking about is in fact the Acco Rexel V35 cross cut shredder with automatic feature
What does it look like then..?
It looks like a black bin with a 'bulky' looking lid slapped on top of it, but it's this lid that is actually the shredder as the bin underneath it is just a bin.
It's not massive, being about 380mm high, with the actual shredder sitting on top, by 300mm wide and 125mm deep, so it's pretty good for families but may become over worked in a business.
The shredder itself if pretty straight forwards to use, with a slot for the paper to be fed into and a little slider which controls the unit.
The controls are
* Off, which is what it says, it switches the machine off.
* Standby, means the machine is on but will only start working when you push a bit of paper into the jaws.
* On, as it says, the machine is on
* Reverse, this feature is there in case there is a paper jam).
Apart from the little control slider there are several little images along the paper cutting slot which tell you what you can put in and what you can't, for example...
You can shred...
Thin card board
Or similar thin (ish) materials
You can't shred...
Or other thicker materials
What about using the shredder..?
This is as easy as posting a letter through one of those horizontal holes in the middle of a front door, you simply put the shredder itself on the top of the black box type container bin thing, switch the machine on and put a piece of paper near the slot. The automatic function should kick in and take the paper gently from your grasp, shredding it as it goes through the jaws of 'paper' death.
That's it, you can go about shredding those delicate bits of information that you don't want others to see.
In fact, it is so easy to use that if I owned a monkey I would definitely let him use this as he wouldn't struggle one bit and he's probably eat the shredded pieces as well.
The noise levels aren't too bad, depending on the thickness of the paper that it's chewing through, the more paper sheets, or the thicker the card, the more the motor has to work and the noisier it becomes. But it's never too excessive enough to become horrid.
This is a rather fine way of keeping all your personal information away from prying eyes, even if it's not the most powerful of shredders, capable of only taking up to 5 sheets of paper at a time, although I've managed to get 8 sheets through it without it having too much trouble, but it did sound like it was on the verge of packing up at one point.
The standby feature is great as you can simply leave the machine on that setting and it stays silently in the corner, waiting for you to insert a piece of paper, bringing the shredder into life.
The 'waste' bin isn't the biggest but as the shredder is a cross cutter the pieces are smaller and the bin seems to be able to handle quite a lot of those small pieces.
This cross cutting feature gives that extra bit of security as it not only shreds the paper up and down, it shreds it from side to side as well, leaving you with what is technically a lot of tiny little squares of paper... think confetti.
Emptying it is just like emptying a bin. You just take off the lid, in this case the shredder, then pour the contents into the paper recycling bin.
It's quite quick at shredding paper, especially when it's taking one or two pieces, munching through them in less than 10 seconds. And the reverse feature has come in handy a few times, especially when I've tried to shred a few more that five sheets and it has jammed up. But with the reverse feature it releases the paper back the way it went in, thus unblocking the jaws.
I do have to say that as the main weight is the shredder itself, which sits on top of the plastic, almost weightless bin, it can easily be knocked over and the shredder will drop off the bin. But as you're only shredding paper there shouldn't be too much mess if this does take a tumble.
As for the price, this rather fine looking shredder which will protect your personal details from prying eyes sells for around the £40.00 region, which, for peace of mind is a price well worth paying.
In all, a fine way to keep your secrets secret.
But what I really like to do with this is shred all my bills that come flopping through my letter box, even though I still have to pay them.
© Blissman70 2012
A few years ago we bought a shredder for our office. We didnt pay a great deal for it as it was a straight shredder and to be honest we got what we paid for it didnt work very well at all. At first it used to cut up the paper but towards the end of its life it just used to frighten it a bit!
Anyway we saw more and more programs on TV stressing the need to destroy any documents containing personal details before putting them out in the bin. We also learned that the paper from straight shredders was relatively easy to put back together and reconstruct the paper containing the very information you had tried to destroy.
It was for these reasons that we decided to treat ourselves to a cross shredder both for the protection of personal details and those for our business.
We decided to go for a Rexel V35 which is currently retailing at various places on line for £39.99. We got ours from Staples but it doesnt look from their website as though they stock this model these days. I cant imagine why as it is an excellent piece of kit.
To set up the shredder is of course simplicity itself. We just had to take it out of the box, put the shredder on top of the waste bin provided, plug it in and we were ready to try our first shred.
The whole thing is approximately 15 inches tall by 5 inches deep by 12 inches wide so it sits just nicely in the space between our two desks in the office upstairs. This makes it easy to reach and use. I cant stand having gadgets that have to be put away after use as I end up using them a couple of times and then thinking oh I cant be bothered and they get left in the cupboard.
As you can see from the photograph next to the heading of this review the shredder looks smart and professional.
The shredder takes 4 to 5 sheets of paper at a time. It will take a couple more but you can really hear it struggling so it is best to put sheets through a few at a time. The sheets travel through the machine very quickly so this isnt any hardship.
The slide control on top of the shredder has four options off (0), on standby (I), on constant (F) and reverse (R). When I am using the machine I tend to leave it on standby. The cutters start immediately when you put paper in the machine and stop as soon as the paper has passed all the way through. I think you would only need to put it on constantly when you had a pile of paper to shred a few sheets at a time.
The reverse setting is used if there is a blockage of paper in the shredder and this makes it come back out of the machine to be either sent back through or removed from the machine.
All the waste paper is collected in a bin at the bottom of the shredder which obviously needs emptying form time to time. To do this you must turn off the power as the shredder blades are very sharp and I dont thin you can claim on the warranty if you shred your fingers! LOL!
When the power is off just remove the shredder from the top of the waste bin and empty the bin into your dustbin or wherever (I will return to that remark later says she mysteriously) The only problem here is the fact that some paper is always stuck in the shredder blades and whilst I dont actively try to remove this it does tend to drop out leaving bits everywhere. The shredded bits are by their nature small pieces of paper so be careful because if you drop any they are a devil to pick up.
You then just put your machine back together, reconnect the power and off you go again.
The leaflet that comes with the shredder to explain usage and safety etc. unfolds to an A3 sheet and has the instructions in 10 different languages. This isnt too much of a problem as I just located the English version and refolded the sheet with that version on top.
The safety stuff is pretty obvious and includes such gems as keep your hands away from the shredder blades, do not immerse the shredder in water you get the picture!
The shredder is guaranteed by Rexel for two years from the date of purchase and there are a set of worldwide telephone numbers on the instruction leaflet so that you have the information to hand should there be a problem.
I will just return briefly to the disposal of the shredded paper as I bet you are dying to know my other uses for it. Well the obvious one is to use it for packing delicate items sold via EBay ready for transit. It is ideal for this as it packs into every nook and cranny. What mess the recipients get into when opening it I dont know but at least they get their valuables in one piece!
Since the shredding is done primarily for security purposes how is this for the ultimate in security I feed the shredded paper to the worms in my wormery! They need 25% paper cuttings to 75% kitchen scraps so this is ideal and you cant get much more secure than that can you? And of course it is environmentally friendly too!
Update in response to the comment left.
The shredder is not unstable when it is empty. The weight of the shreddings don't actually make much difference either way, but it is stable enough anyway!
I would say that the noise is about average for the shredder. It is not quiet but then a shredder is never going to be quiet is it? Having said that it isn't horribly loud either - it's acceptable.
Shred up to 5 sheets at a time in a 'cross-cut' method. The 18L bin holds approximatley 145 sheets of shredded paper and has an auto start/stop and manual reverse.