“ Manufacturer: Cathedral / Cut Style: Cross-cut / Max Sheet Capacity: 6 „
After many years of dismissing paper shredders as 'elderly person's paranoia', the repeated misuse of my address for identity fraud became too much for me, and I succumbed, investing in a very basic paper shredder that has ended up as an essential household item.
I decided to buy my shredder at Rymans. The cheapest they had to offer was the Cathedral SC6 at £9.99, reduced from £12.99, and after a short discussion with the salesperson I saw no reason to spend more.
The unit was well-packaged and very easy to set up. I simply unwrapped the cutter unit and placed it on top of the waste basket in the indentations provided. I then plugged it into the electricity socket, and it was ready to go.
The SC6 is a discrete little number; the slim back bin with the silver motor tucks nicely away next to the arm of my sofa, and most of the time I don't even realise it is there.
The bin part of the shredder is made of black plastic and measures 32cm by 32cm. It is 15cm deep.
The silver motor and shredder blade unit simply sits on top of the bin, with only its weight to attach it. Nevertheless, it slots in comfortably and remains stable and sturdy during use. A number of frightening symbols adorn the top unit, just next to the paper feed - I have never read the manual to see what these mean, but the pictures of hands, babies, paperclips and spray cans speak for themselves, and I would never insert my fingers or my baby into the slot containing the shredder blades.
From a safety point of view, the shredder seems fairly foolproof. The sharp blades are completely encased in the plastic unit, and there are no sharp parts which can be accessed. Despite the warnings, it would be impossible for adult fingers to be accidently inserted into the paper feed slot, which is only about 4mm wide. I believe that even baby fingers would have difficulty in fitting inside the slot.
The only other thing on the cutter unit is a written warning, saying "maximum 6 sheets" - and the on/off button. This sliding button has three settings, REV / OFF / and AUTO.
I usually keep my shredder set to the AUTO function. This means that I simply have to switch the power on, using the socket on the wall, and insert my documents. Automatic paper detection means that the shredder readily grabs the edge of the paper and the blades draw it into the machinery and enthusiastically chew it up.
I imagine the REV function is in case more than 6 sheets at a time are fed into the blades, and get stuck. It is then possible to reverse the stuck pages out of the machine without damage. As I always follow instructions, I have never had a need to REV.
The unit is very efficient, but very noisy. An alarming grinding noise echoes through the house every time it devours a sheet, but as this only takes a couple of seconds there is really no problem. Curly strips of unreadable 6.8mm strips are collected in the bin, which has a 10 litre capacity. I find that the bin can hold quite a lot of strips, and rarely needs emptying.
The paper feed opening is 23cm long, which is plenty for most letters and bills. The speed is 3.8metres per minute and the paper whisks through the blades in a very satisfactory and speedy manner.
I am extremely glad that I bought this little shredder. Every bill and unwanted personal document goes into it, and the process is quick and easy.
The SC6 is not suitable for shredding thicker items such as credit cards and cardboard, and I understand that some more expensive products do this. However, I rarely need to shred cardboard, and I am more than happy to cut my credit cards in half with a pair of scissors every 5 years or so.
The usage recommendation for this shredder is 2 minutes continuous use and then a 25 minute rest period, but as a light user I have never needed to use it for more than 2 minutes, so this is not a problem.
This unit is fairly maintenance free; there is no need to maintain the cutter unit, as it is completely encased. All I need to do is empty the bin every once in a while.
Overall I am extremely happy with my purchase. It has remained reliable and trouble free for over 6 months. However, as I have mentioned, I am a light domestic user - anybody who regularly needs to shred cardboard, plastic or a large amount of paper, would need to upgrade to a pricier model.