Product Type: Fellowes shredders
Newest Review: ... but to go shopping (yes, ACTUAL shopping) for one. Having paid £50 at PC World for a Fellowes P-48C, I was somewhat annoyed to f... more
Fingers Crossed For A Longer Life This Time
Member Name: Nibelung
Advantages: Reassuring build quality, Good sheet capacity, Good safety features.
Disadvantages: Shredded plastic gets mixed with shredded paper.
LET'S SEE HOW LONG THIS ONE LASTS!
I've grown tired of buying one shredder after another. I've tried fairly expensive ones from reputable 'office machinery' companies like Rexel, I've tried cheap ones from Tesco, and frankly, none of them lasts like you'd expect them to, especially since they are, to use that phrase, hardly rocket science.
I'd long ago concluded that a cross-cut shredder was what was needed, ever since I saw a demonstration of someone sticking back the strips of A4 sheet from a linear shredder making it into a legible document again.
My latest 'cross-cutter', a Tesco job lasted about 18 months. During that time, I've lost count of how often I've had to knock out dents to its flimsy wire basket, and not just for cosmetic reasons. Dent it strategically near the top rim, and the safety cut out refuses to let you use it permanently, thanks to the peg welded to the frame failing to mate with the safety switch slot on the head unit.
It blotted its copy-book big style when, during a recent frenzy of shredding, it decided to jam up and burn out. The first sign was that nothing was dropping into the basket, preferring to cluster around the cutters. Finally it jammed, and no amount of reverse 'thrust' was going to shift the jam.
So up the dump it went.
As I was in the middle of a large shredding job at the time, it left me little alternative but to go shopping (yes, ACTUAL shopping) for one. Having paid £50 at PC World for a Fellowes P-48C, I was somewhat annoyed to find it £10 cheaper in Argos a few days later, but that's what you get when shopping 'with your back to the wall'. This also tarnishes the image of having bought something more prestigious and lasting under the old adage of 'you get what you pay for'. I find it difficult to believe that this product also has the audacity to have an RRP of over £100! Apparently, what's actually happened is that I've been overcharged (or undercharged, depending on your perspective) for something that, at Argos at least, is now only really £15 dearer than the previous piece of junk from Tesco!
Maybe I'm clutching at straws here, but at least the 'bucket' is a robust plastic affair, rather than flimsy wire mesh. You can still see how full the bin is through a transparent slot at the front near the top.
Its motor certainly sounds like it means business, and with an 8-sheet capacity, it doesn't even flinch at devouring 5 sheets at a time. There's an overheating warning light too, to prevent over-zealous continuous use and a reverse switch to help clear log-jams.
According to the sign language at the top, it can chop up old credit cards, and presumably CD-ROMS containing details of MI6's payroll. There's just one problem with this new-found omnivorous behaviour, and that is that it then mixes shredded plastic in with shredded paper, which may or may not give you recycling problems. I know I've implied that the Tesco machines are rubbish, but at least their 'up market' version routes plastic shredding into a smaller pouch preventing it contaminating the purely paper waste.
The only way to avoid this is to keep the two jobs separate, having emptied the bin first.
(Subtitled 'The World's Toughest Shredders', but before you get too excited, that's marked with a TM so I'd treat it with the same caution as 'Probably The Best Lager In The World' )
To be fair, the unit carries a two-year general maker's warranty, and a 3-year warranty on cutting blades, subject to provisos, like not trying to shred things you shouldn't.
The top of the unit is adorned with dire warning pictograms, some of which seem rather obvious, although the picture of what appears to be a child crossed through could be:-
a) Don't shred cuddly toys
b) Don't shred children or
c) Don't let children use this.
There's also a 'don't stick your fingers in it' sign, but mercifully, even a baby would have trouble getting their fingers into the slot designed to take a maximum of 8 sheets of paper as it's pretty narrow. They've also gone to the trouble of making it a two-handed affair to get it running initially, with a safety catch that prevents it being switched on. This does however stay put once deployed, but there's also a safety cut-out should it still be running when someone lifts the business end off its bin.
Coming round to the written instructions, these include useful tips like how often and where to lubricate the machine (i.e. down the slot, every time the bin is emptied) and with what (a non-aerosol, i.e. not WD40, and vegetable based oil - still not WD40!) I've got some 'green' bike oil that would appear to fit the bill.
As I said at the beginning, let's see how long this one lasts. At least the omens are good for getting at least 2-3 years out of it, and I've got the paperwork to prove it if it conks out in that period!
Summary: 8-sheet cross cut shredder for home or home/office use