I have used a number of shredders over the past 15 years or so. The reason for having more than one of these appliances is not because they have broken but because I have moved several times between continents. This review is about the Fellowes P500 as it relates to my at home use for general household documents and also for some medically sensitive documents.
As expected, this basic shredder has two components - the operating, shredding part sits on top of the black bin-like receptacle.
Things my husband and I liked about this shredder include the fact that the feed can be operated forwards and backwards, with the latter being most useful if a page or two had become stuck. This did happen occasionally if I placed more than the recommended seven pages into the shredding component. It also happened if for example I was trying to shred an envelope containing folded letters or other pieces of paper.
In terms of the shredded result, I was always happy enough with the thin, parallel strips that were produced by this unit. I never feel the need to have my documents shredded to a smaller size such as little squares which I understand some more-modern and more-expensive shredders are able to do.
The shredder was never loud enough to annoy me, although it did make enough noise to be heard through the walls in our house.
Finally, I used this shredder for several documents as needed throughout the week so I cannot comment as to its performance or overheating when shredding for longer “sessions”.
Our family was given this shredder from my Grandad after four years of use. He passed it down as he wanted to invest in a shredder that not only shredded paper vertically, but also horizontally. It has now been in our house for five years and is still going strong. It cost him £50, 9 years ago.
The shredder comes in two parts, the base (effectively a bin) and the lid. The lid contains the motor, the shredder blades, the on/off switches and the power pack. As a result, it is very easy to empty the shreddings when the bin gets full. The shredder is two directional, forward and reverse, and this helps to release the paper when you get over ambitious trying to shred more than the recommended 7 sheets of paper in one go. The shredder cuts the sheet of paper in to approximately 20 strips parallel to the angle the paper is inputted in. If you are shredding extremely important documents then you might prefer to splash out and get a more advanced shredder that shreds both perpendicular and parallel leaving tiny squares of paper rather than strips. It all comes down to personal preference I guess.
It can be a bit loud when shredding but how frequently will you use it? If it's just sat in your study ready to shred the occasional credit card statement, then it is fine.
In conclusion, if you are after a basic shredder that will keep on shredding and shredding, this is the shredder for you.
Excuse the title, but I have to first let you know about the one problem I have with this shredder, and it's the only negative I can think of. Overheating. It has a fail safe function so that when it gets hot, it stops working (thats a good safety feature) BUT: it cuts in too early.
120 odd sheets in and already it stops working, cuts out and spends about ten minutes faffing around getting down to temperature.
This is not good in an office where it's in use all day long. The shredder tends to get slightly warm to touch and then shut off which I personally think is too early. Granted its a simple shredder for home use not by industrial offices but I'm sure it could get more out of it.
Although it does do a very good job indeed of shredding. The whole reason i bought this was because my wife had had enough of the years old letters, bank statements, receipts, tax stuff, the lot. To put this in perspective, this little, (and tough) shredder had to go through FIVE box files of paper over the course of a few days.
It is still just as sharp today, cuts through several sheets of paper easily, and has never broken down to the point where the blades stopped working, or the components fried. Despite overheating numerous times it copes through it.
I was surprised a just how much of a thrashing this thing can take when you consider it's size and build quality. Even today we still use it now and then, and it still does not need it's blades replacing or sharpening, and it cuts through paper easily.
The noise it makes, is about what I'd expect from any shredder. The more paper you feed in at once the slower it goes and the less noise it makes, but generally when you shove a single sheet in there, it's not loud, and people next to you can still be heard.
I would not recommend this for an office, but would recommend it for occasional shredding at home. Without the overheating by using it less, this shredder can be absolute delight t have around the house and I'd strongly recommend it.
I use this shredder at home and its well equipped to handle all of my day to day shredding needs. Unlike some shredders which state that they can handle 8 sheets of paper but immediately jam as soon as they're confronted with this many sheets, the Fellowes P500-2 operates comfortably at its maximum sheet capacity. I've had it for a few months and it hasn't jammed in than time. It's an automatic shredder (as in you don't have to press down a button to shred your paper) and I have sometimes found that the shredder continues to operate after my papers have been shredded. I then have to unplug the machine and replug it to make it stop shredding. This isn't too big of a problem but it can get quite annoying.
I should also say that although loud noise is something you can't escape with the use of a shredder, I think it makes a fair amount of racket for a home use shredder.
As such, I think it may be a better option if you need a shredder for your workplace. If you need a shredder for infrequent use, there are probably smaller, quieter though granted, less high quality shredders that would suit your needs.
The Fellowes P500-2 shredder is very good at shredding paper, which is good I hear you all say, but it's how good it is that really matters.
I run my own business, so sensitive documents are in abundance here, and disposing of them safely just got easier with the P500-2 shredder.
Gone are the days where you were safe to just rip the paperwork in half and throw it in the bin, with identity theft at an all time high, and some banks leaving too many of your details on letters and statements, having a good quality shredder is a must to protect yourself.
Now the Fellowes P500-2 is more than capable of taking car of the heaviest of documentation, in fact it's specified to be able to handle eight sheets at once, but I have witnessed it making light work of even ten page bungles. The P500-2 is able to shred the paper / documents down to 6mm strips which will give even the most dedicated identity thief a lot of work to get their hands on your details.
Speed wise, it's reasonable, taking around six seconds to shred one sheet and around eight to shred a stack of seven pages.
Features include auto-start and stop when feeding in a document, forward and reverse modes very handy if something gets stuck or you realise you haven't removed a staple and you want to stop it before it goes through. Also has a modest 17 litre capacity apparently.
Safety wise it's excellent, the blade unit is fully enclosed so even child safe as there is next to no risk of injury unless you go putting things through it that you shouldn't...
Mouth opening on the P500-2 is 220mm wide so comfortably fits a normal A4 page.
Excellent Shredder for the money highly recommend, used for 3+ years with not one problem.
Prices vary widely so shop around, most seem to list it at £60 but I've seen it as low as £25 in places.