“ Manufacturer: Cathedral / Type: Shredder „
I think the majority of people nowadays are aware of the risk of Identity theft, I was unlucky enough a couple of years ago to have my debit card cloned and it was only when my bank called me to check some suspicious activity that they had picked up on that it hit home to me how important personal security actually is. Someone had managed to get my debit card details and attempted to pay for a £2000 holiday using my card online and it was only because the balance of my account couldn't cover the payment that the anti-fraud department at Yorkshire bank rang me to notify me of the situation. I was relatively lucky, the scammers who had my details were greedy and attempted to make a transaction my bank couldn't honour and as soon as I confirmed that I hadn't tried to pay for a holiday my account was frozen, my old debit card was deactivated and I was sent a replacement one through the post. To be fair, I hadn't actually done anything wrong, I was always careful to rip up statements and unneeded bank statements in the past but my card details had been cloned whilst I used a cash machine that been fitted with an illegal device but being extra cautious I decided that I should buy a shredder for use at home.
Because my history of personal finances has been somewhat rocky in the past I no longer have any credit or store cards and nowadays only have a single current bank account, I have a deep-rooted mistrust for any financial institutions so prefer to keep my personal finances as simple as I possibly can and no longer recieve much post which actually contain any personal information that could be misused if it fell into the wrong hands. It was with this in mind that I decided that I didn't need to buy an expensive shredder, something basic would more than fulfil my needs and rather than buy one of the manual shredders with a turning handle I decided that I would settle for the cheapest electronical one I could find and ended up buying the subject of this review, Rymans own Cathedral SC5 Personal Shredder. It cost a little under £13.00 which I thought was reasonable at the time of purchase and although it's not without its faults it does do what you would expect a shredder to do.
It's very basic in design, simply a rounded-edged rectangular block of moulded plastic which has an opening along the top which is designed to feed paper through. There are steel cutters which shred paper in strips measuring 7mm and Rymans claim that it can cut its way through 5 sheets of paper at a time although personally I find that to be overly optimistic and in practice it seems to struggle with any more than 3 or 4 at a push. On the top of the shredder is a simple button mechanism which moves to either the auto or reverse functions and the mains lead that is attached is of a decent enough length to allow it to sit comfortably away from a wall socket. The shredder comes packaged in a large cardboard box and comes supplied with a black plastic bin which has an 11 litre capacity. It's easy to operate once plugged in and selecting the auto function allows you to feed paper through the opening where it is grabbed and then cut into strips before falling into the bin and anyone who has used a shredder before would be able to use this one without giving much thought to the matter.
In use I have to admit that the shredder is quite noisy, even when its stood waiting for paper to be fed through it makes quite a racket and during the cutting process it often sounds laboured and there are times when I think its about to give up the ghost and stop working. It's also slow at shredding paper which can make the process rather laborious, and as already mentioned, it doesn't like too many sheets being fed through at any one time. The best approach to using this particular model is slow and cautious and whilst this is fine for me and the limited amount of documents I need to shred I do think that this is perhaps a little too basic for anyone who has mountains of paper to get through or if you intend to use this in an office at home. The reverse function does work well though and should a piece of paper get jammed in the mechanism it seems to cope well with feeding it back up through the opening and whilst it can be annoying when this happens I find that it doesn't jam all that often unless I'm in a hurry and am attempting to make it work quicker than it actually wants to. It doesn't like staples at all as I found to my cost one day when I attempted to put a couple of pieces of paper that were attached together and ended up jamming the machine completely and it won't cut anything other than paper so don't try to put any plastic cards through it otherwise again it will jam and you'll be forced to put it into reverse. All in all it is a basic but functional shredder that copes with what I give it although it is difficult to give it a glowing recommendation simply because of its limitations.
For its price there's little to complain about really, I didn't have high expectations from this and bought it simply due to its low price when I was on the look out for something that would protect me against identity theft. It works well-ish, is a bit noisy and doesn't like to be rushed but it shreds the paperwork that I don't want anyone else to see and it's on that basis that I would cautiously suggest this model to anyone to check out if they're looking for something to use on an semi-regular basis. If you want something top end that can whizz its way through paper at a magnificent rate of knots then this isn't the shredder for you, on the other hand if you have a few pieces of post a week that you want to destroy and are willing to put up with the machines foibles then its probably £13.00 well spent and a good deal cheaper than a lot of other electronic shredders that are available to buy.
All in all 3 stars seems fair basing this on everything mentioned in this review. Do be aware though that this particular model is a 'strip cut' shredder rather than a 'cross cut' one and although does reduce sheets of paper to long shreds they can easily be put back together unless you mix them up in your bin. Don't rely on this shredder to completely destroy any paper you don't want anyone else to see without first making sure it can't be pieced back together would be my advice or instead pay a few extra pounds and buy a cross cutting one as they do obliterate paper making it virtually impossible to piece back together. Mine still works but should the day come when it decides not to shred paper any more I won't be sorry to get rid of it in all honesty but for now I'll put up with it and it's temperamental nature as any shredder has to be better than none when you are wanting to protect yourself against identity theft.
Thanks for reading my review, please note that this may also appear on ciao under my username.