“ Manufacturer: Fellowes / Cut Style: Cross-Cut / Shred Size: 0.16 x 0.88 in. / Max Sheet Capacity:5 Sheets „
We have had this Fellows P50cm cross cut shredder for about 4 years now and it is still going strong so hence its time I wrote about it and how we use it.
In these days of identity theft and tabloid journalist rummaging through bins for information shredding has become much more a part of everyday life for most of us who don't want some one to possibly steal our bank details, or our torrid love letters from Brad Pitt to end up on the front page of The Sun. Shredders can be either straight cut but really this isn't much better than ripping it up by hand as someone can easily put these pieces tighter if they had the time and inclination. This shredder is what is referred to as a cross cut shredder which means as well as cutting the paper into lengths it cuts it on the diagonal as well and produces a wonderful confetti type of end result that even a world jigsaw champion may struggle to put together. It is precisely for this reason of the cross cutting security that we choose one of this model
The instruction manual that came with this was easy to understand and putting together the shredder was really a matter of minutes as the heavy top of the shredder fits nice and snugly on the basket below. The manual includes a warning about the overload protection and advised to use this for about 5 minutes at a time maximum more of this later.
Features and use
At 39 cm high by 33cm wide and a depth of 19cm it is a nice small tidy bit of equipment really and stores neatly in our house with out causing any difficulties and fits nicely under a desk to be pulled out as needed.
The basket itself can hold up to 18 liters of cut paper and I find that this is more than adequate if I am just shredding things on a monthly basis but if I am having a mass clear out I often end up having to empty it several times. Emptying generally is a bit tricky if it is full to the top and often bits of paper can end up all over the room if a the bin bag has not been placed full over the top of the basket. I actually find most of the time it is easier to use a small carrier bag such as a Sainsbury's carrier as this fits snugly over the top and reduces leakage as the basket is turned over. As the basket is a meshed design it is nice and easy to see the volume building up inside the basket to let you know when to empty it. As the basket is made form metal is lovely and robust too and copes well with any knocks or bumps without falling over and spreading paper across the floor.
It has an overload protection device and this seem to kick in after about 5 minutes of shredding if I am doing a big batch and whilst this is slightly annoying if I want to get things done it does protect the motor and stops me breaking it. What I find is it is best to then leave it for about 10 minutes before it is ready to use again as whilst it may have cooled down slightly it will only maybe do one or two more before shutting off again. Because of this overload protection it and the rate it kicks in this shredder in my opinion is only suitable for home use or a small office where not a lot of shredding occurs each day. It is engineered to shred up to 100 sheets a day and hence it's designed for home use really.
The button to turn it on is a sliding button across the top it is either on or off or reverse mode if you need to extract something from the shredder. This is easy to use and has never jammed or failed to work in the time we have had it. There is not child safe features on this and hence unless this is being used by myself or my husband we keep it unplugged to stop our curious 3 year old investigating it and hurting himself and if you have a small children this is the only way to stop things being put in by mistake or them hurting themselves. The only safety feature really it has is a hidden button that is depressed by a slot on the basket as it goes on top. This stops the shredding motor being operable whilst it is not attached to the basket this is something I find handy if I am taking bits out of the shredder as I am emptying the basket.
The shredder is capable of taking up to five sheets at a time and I wouldn't recommend exceeding this as a one time when I was impatient I did try to do about 7 or 8 and they got jammed meaning an unplug and a bit of hauling of paper to get it them unstuck. The shredder can also cope with small staples I have found this too is true but I haven't risked large ones that come with a lot of huge documents.
It does say it will cope with credit cards but it is a bit of a struggle if I am honest and it really can only cope with one going through by itself at a time with no other paper or plastic being shredded at the same time.
Noise wise it isn't the quietest of machines and you can definitely tell you are shredding when you are standing by it. Conversation is possible but it will be interrupted by the whine of the machine so be prepared.
As it is a cross cut shredder I find that my local council still collects the paper I produce. But on occasions I do empty into out compost bin as the small bits seem to decompose very well.
I would definitely recommend this shredder it does its job very well as a small home shredder but I do think it isn't really cut out for office use due to the small amount it can shred a day of 100 pages and how quickly it would over heat and whilst you can stagger shred at home this is something that I don't think is possible in a work place. I am deducting a star for this. It doesn't have any child safety devises to it and whilst when I bought this I didn't have my son it is now a feature I would actively look for on machine if I had to replace this one. I bought ours at Argos but they now longer sell it however it is available from on line retailers such as the shredder warehouse for £47.
In this, the day and age of fraud and identification theft, it makes real sense to get a document shredder to destroy any personal documents containing information which may be used by thieves for a variety of fraudulent activity. The Fellowes P50CM shredder is one such device. It is ideal for home or office shredding. The shredder comes with the main head unit which contains the on / off / reverse sliding button, the mains lead and the blades. It also comes with a 17 litre mesh waste basket into which the shredded paper collects. The main head unit sits neatly onto the basket and one very good point is the head unit has a cut out switch, so remove the head unit from the basket exposing the blades and the device will stop working. The approximate size of the shredder is Size (W)30.5cm (H)38cm (D)18.5cm which means it can fit neatly under a desk.
The P50CM shredder has a 5 sheet capacity and blade cut of 3.9 x 48mm using a cross cut style. This is recognized as one of the most affective cutting styles in the shredding industry as the paper is shredded into fine pieces of paper as opposed to long strips which are produced when the cutter is a strip cutter. The width of the mouth of the shredder is 230mm wide, this is more than big enough to comfortably take A4 sized paper, anything bigger and you can simply fold and place into the shredder. The shredder also takes staples, this is very useful as it means you do not need to remove staples from documents before shredding, this saves you time.
Once switched on, the shredder has an auto-start/stop feature, that is simply place the paper into the mouth of the shredder and the shredder automatically starts working and pulls the paper into the blades. Once the page has been shredded, the blades continue for a few seconds before coming to a rest. It also has a reverse feature, if there is too much paper in the blades and they get jammed, switch the switch to reverse and the motor reverses and attempts to push the paper back, this always seems to clear any jam, virtually straight away you put the switch into forward mode and the paper soon gets mashed.
I have owned this particular shredder for about 18 months now and it is still going strong. I would class myself as a medium use shredder on average shredding about 20 to 40 times a week. It will shred 5 sheets at anyone time as stated, though this does seem to be a bit much. The motor, although it does work, seems to struggle and get hot quicker. I find it is better to feed a maximum of 3 sheets in at anyone time when shredding a pile of paper. The motor doesn't struggle as much and the paper goes through the machine quicker. Fellowes also recommend a maximum of 100 sheets per session, again I would say this is less if regularly shredding 5 sheets, as the motor soon becomes very hot, though I have shredded more than this in one sitting but again shredding less pages in one pass.
The mesh basket collates the shredded paper and is easy to empty, though as expected the shredder also creates a fine paper dust so after a few goes there is paper dust in the basket which can get into the air when emptying causing a sneezing fit.
I picked this shredder up for approximately £35, though have since seen it costing anything from £30 - £55 so do look around before buying one.
Overall this is an excellent shredder, treat it right and it will last. My only negative comment is that is can seem a little noisy at times, though to be fair I have not had another shredder to compare it to. I would definitely buy another Fellowes shredder when this one finally bites the dust!