“ Brand: ProAction „
At work we have loads of documents and sheets of paper which have customers details printed on them. Obviously as these documents have customer's personal details on them we need to destroy them, and the best way to do this safely in a shop environment is by shredding them. The shredder we decided to buy was one from Argos, which cost us about £20. We went down to our local Argos store one afternoon when the shop first opened, and picked one up. We had been recommended to buy this shredder by a friend from another shop, who told us it was a good value for money, practical shredder which had served them well and lasted a long time in their shop.
The shredder is black and quite big. We keep it out of the way and please be aware that shredders are dangerous - they have sharp moving blades so please keep away from children, and don't go putting your fingers into the same place where the paper goes, as you won't have fingers anymore! Also if you want to move the shredder, or the lid, make sure it is unplugged before you do so as this is always a danger.
The shredder fits A4 size paper only, so if you have any documents bigger than this you will have to fold them before putting them in. Also, you can only put up to 5 sheets in at once. There is also a reverse function, which is there for if anything ever gets stuck. Luckily nothing has ever got stuck in all the times that I have used this, but its good to know that function is there if ever I would need to use it.
It starts automatically so as soon as you put the paper in it swallows it, shreds it and you don't need to press a button to do this. But like I say, be careful as you don't want it to shred the wrong thing (body parts included). If you put the lid on the wrong way round, the shredder won't work, so just be aware of this. Its not broken, the lid just needs swapping round. As soon as you plug it in, the green light should come on, and that's when you know it is ready to use. It is easy to take the lid off to empty the basket (which contains 21 litres).
Overall this is a great shredder which has been very durable and lasted us a good few months (and we shred loads each day). I would definitely recommend this to you, just like my friend recommended it to me.
I have quite a bit of paper work, both personal and business, which I tend to want to keep away from prying eyes, be that bank statements credit card bills, business letters, tax details and more, in fact, anything that Mr low life tea leaf might want to have a little look at.
So what's the answer?
Well, I have though about actually eating the piece of paper, which would work as I'd like to see Mr tea leaf reading my credit card statement after it been through 28 feet of intestine, into a white basin and flushed down the sewer... go on Low Life, give it a go.
But then I though that maybe eating all that paper may not be that good for me, too much fibre, more than the governments recommended daily allowance. So eating too much paper was out of the question, even though it probably would taste better than some of those high fibre breakfast cereals they sell in Asda.
That left me with the options of either burning all the paper, which I used to do in one of those garden 'chiminea' things, but when my chiminea rusted away to almost nothing I decided not to get another one. This meant that I know had to find another way to dispose of my paper work so our friend, Mr Low Life, can't pretend to be me.
This is where I came up with the idea of getting a shredder once more, as I had used them before and found them to be pretty useful indeed, using the shredded material for either burning or giving it to my friends daughter for her rabbit hutch and gerbil cage, although I think her gerbil's dead now as I haven't heard him mention it for a while. But I know the rabbits are still there as they run around the garden all day long.
Anyway, my latest shredder is your basic one, with a bit of a twist, as it is what is called in the trade as a cross-cut shredder, which makes normal shredders look like a waste paper bin.
My latest shredder is in fact a name that I have heard of before, having actually used other devices with the name of Pro Action on them. That's right, 'Pro-Action' is the name and shredding paper is the game.
Firstly, let's take a look at this shredder...
It looks like many other household shredders, being a heavy (ish) machine that sits on top of a waste bin in order to catch the paper as it gets take through the machines teeth.
This entire machine, with the shredder unit sitting on the bin, stands at a room tidy 390mm high by 320mm wide and 195mm deep.
The controls on the top are simple, with there being only a slider button which is more towards the left hand side of the top shredding section. This slider control has three positions, Off in the centre, Automatic, (AUTO) to the left and Reverse, (REV) to the right. Underneath the slider control there is a green light that glows up when the machine is shredding.
To the right of the controls there is a lovely little piece of writing which tells the user what the machine is capable of, such as the fact that this can take 5 sheets of A4 paper, and also the safety features of the unit, such as the fact that it will automatically stop if the motor becomes too hot, which is not something that happens that often so it's not worth worrying about really.
There's also a few little icons which are underneath the white writing, although these icons are pretty well disguised as they are made of the actual plastic of the machine itself.
Below all this there is the 220mm slot for the paper to slide into, the teeth of the machine that help hide all those important bank details away from prying eyes.
It shreds paper pretty fine, less than 5mm square pieces of paper, or confetti as the leaflet that came with this machine like to call it, which I then shredded to see what happened.
Now for the collection bin, which the shredder sits neatly on. This is made of a wire mesh which is strong, yet lightweight, and can take a lot of shredded paper, 21 litres in fact, which sounds like a measurement for water but I wouldn't recommend putting water into this bin as it would seep out of the holes in the wire mesh.
And that's what it look like...
* Is it easy to use..?
Yes, it is a simple machine to use and has only three controls as I said, those being Auto, off and reverse.
When you slide the control to 'auto' the machine will only work when you place paper you want shredding in the gap on the top. Then, when the little censor that is just inside the gap sees the paper, it automatically switches on, slowly dragging the paper into the gap, through the teeth and out of the bottom end, dropping little bits of paper into the waiting bin below.
If you want the machine off then you simply put the slider in the centre.
Then, if the inevitable happens and a piece of your credit card details gets jammed half way through shredding and won't budge, no matter how hard you pull on the only bit that's left showing, you can use the reverse feature which, as the name suggests, will set the teeth into reverse and push the paper back out the way it went in. thus, unclogging any jamming.
And that's how you use it ...
* What about cleaning..?
It doesn't need to be soaked in hot water over night in order to keep it clean. In fact, if you do drop the machine section in water then you can kiss goodbye to the shredder, and possibly your life too, so don't be washing this as you would a dirty pan of old burnt soup.
To be honest, it doesn't need cleaning that much, maybe a bit of a wipe over every so often, pulling out any excess, stuck piece of paper that may have become stuck in the teeth. In fact, the only real mess is the bits of white that come off the paper over time, but a quick wipe with a cloth and the body work is as good as new. Almost.
The bin that the machine rests on is cleaned the same way, emptying the contents like you would any other bin in your household, then maybe wiping out with a cloth. Although it's not essential all the time as the paper stuff should just drop out, unless it's wet or damp of course.
* Does it cut well..?
Yes, it's what's known in the trade as a 'cross-cutter'. which doesn't mean that it is a well known cheap shopping place, it means that it not only cuts the paper up and down, like many other shredders, it also means that it cuts from side to side as well. Hence the cross cutter name.
* So what's the difference..?
Cross cut or not..?
The main difference with a standard shredder and a cross shredder is that it is harder to piece together the paper after going through the cross-cutter than it is after going through a standard cutter.
A standard cutter shreds paper up and down, leaving long strips of paper which, with patience, a bit of glue and a steady hand, can be slotted back together like a 25 piece jigsaw puzzler with a picture of Winnie Pooh on it.
Bit with a cross cutter it cuts up and down but also across as well at the same time, leaving little square bits of paper in the bin rather than strips. This means that it is going to take you a lot more time, a lot more glue and more patience than mother Teresa herself, in order to get the pieces to resemble the original piece of paper.
* Is it loud..?
Well, this depends on a few things, such as how much paper you're trying to ram through it? Or maybe even how thick the paper is? If there's a stable in there somewhere and, most importantly, if the machines actually on.
But no matter what you slide through the jaws of destruction it's never louder than a fat mans fart... so to speak, with the odd sound of metal on metal when you strike a hidden staple, which does happen but, in my experience, it doesn't do any harm to the teeth of the machine, although I wouldn't keep ramming staples through the teeth for too long.
* Is it safe..?
It is as safe as any other shredder that I've used.
It has an overheat function, which cuts out the machine if the motor becomes too hot due to over use, serious paper jamming or just total break down, so there a very low risk of the motor bursting into flames.
Then there's another cut off feature that means that the machine can not be used unless it is sat on the bin itself. That's right. If you take it off the bin then the motor cuts out and the machine stops shredding.
Although to be honest, as the shredding teeth are well and truly hidden inside the plastic casing and the slot on the top and bottom are only wide enough for a few sheets of paper, then there's very little danger of losing a finger no matter what you do with this one.
* What do I think then..?
For a shredder this one really does make a mess of all the paper that goes through the teeth, which is what a good shredder should do really so that Mr Low Life stays out of your life.
The top section does all the work and, due to its good weight, it stops the bin from toppling over when it is full of paper, even though the bin weighs next to nothing.
The way that it cuts, or more shreds the paper is great, making sure that it would take a genius with the patience of a saint, the eye of a sniper and more time than at the end of 90 minutes at Old Trafford when United are 1 nil down with Mike Dean as the referee glancing over to Fergie for indication of when to blow for full time....
And it's the way that it cross cuts, dropping little bits of paper into the bin rather than strips, which are easier to piece back together, that I really like, knowing that my life's details are a lot safer when it comes to me dropping all this 'confetti' into the recycling bin on a Sunday night. Meaning that I don't have to stand guard all night, hose pipe and rolling pin in hand, until the recycling van comes in the morning to take my papers away, just so Mr Low Life doesn't beat them to it.
Then there's the easy to understand and even easy to use control. I mean, you can't really go wrong when you're faced with three options can you, especially when one of those options is 'Off'. but to make things easier, the slider control has clear writing along the top of it so you know which way to slide it, be that left or right.
As for emptying the bin, or basket, as that is what it is really, a mesh of metal that is a basket. Well, to empty this you simply take off the shredder unit, which will make the shredder stop working, due to the safety feature, and then simply empty the basket of shredded paper into your paper recycling bin. The bits of paper should all just fall out of the basket and into the bin, leaving nothing but a sort of white powder coating inside the metal mesh of the bin.
It does state that it doesn't like to eat staple, or thin pieces of metal like that. But to be honest I've accidentally slipped several staples through the teeth, even going as far as forgetting to remove paper clips from the pieces of paper that I wanted to shred, and this shredder has eaten through the lot of them without faltering at all, although it did make a few strange noises whilst it chomped away. It doesn't destroy the paper clips, nor will it make the staples look like shreds of burr from a copper pipe, but it does allow the clips and staples to pass though the teeth of the shredder without doing too much damage.
But, from the noise that the machine makes when a staple goes through it I would not recommend throwing too many bits of metal through teeth as it will cause damage after too long.
* So what about the price of this private life hider..?
This shredder sells for a nice low £15.00, roughly, give or take a few pence, which is about right for the style of shredder.
* Is it worth buying then..?
Yes, without a doubt.
If you want to shred your important bits of paper so that there's no chance of your average person putting it all back together then a cross shredder is well worth investing in, and this one is one worth seriously considering when you're in the process of buying one.
It does exactly what it is supposed to do and cost about the same price as a few bottles of Aldi wine.
Its a sign of the times that home shredders are big business now and after our old one shredded its last the junk mail soon piled up so a new one was in order. We bought the ProAction 21 litre Shredder from Argos where it cost £19.99.
The ProAction Shredder came well packed in a cardboard box with instructions, I have long dispensed with the box but the information leaflet tells you all you need to know and the shredder is quite basic so its not complicated to put together or use.
The shredder is much the same as most others and is in 2 parts, the motor unit and the bin which will hold 18litres of shredded paper. The shredder comes complete with a plug already attached, the cable is approximately 141cm's long, not overly generous but personally we keep our shredder in the garage right next to the sockets so the cable length is no problem.
The motor unit measures approximately 29 x 15 x 7cm's, it has a slide button on the top which is used for turning the shredder on, off and reverse which is handy if the paper gets jammed, a quick burst in reverse often solves the problem.
The top of the motor unit has some warning symbols on it which are basically common sense, keep your hands away from the blades, don't let ties, hair or jewellery fall into the turning blades and don't put paperclips or cd's in the shredder.
The basket will hold 21 litres of shredded paper which is quite a lot, the basket measures approximately 36 x 28 x 14cm's and is made of a black metal mesh.
This shredder is a cross cut shredder and shreds paper into pieces approximately 4mm x 40mm, it copes with all sort of paper and even thin card.
I've been pleased with the ProAction shredder so far, in my experience home shredders never cope with 5 sheets of paper at once and although this one struggles a bit with 5 sheets it does work better than the last one we had. My husband wasn't keen on the mesh basket for some reason but personally I find it strangely relaxing to watch the bin slowly fill up.
The shredder is supposed to cut out if it overheats but this has never happened while I've been using it and we do get quite a lot to shred so I can only assume that the shredder will work for quite a long while before this happens, if you find the shredder stops due to overheating the instructions state you should switch it off and leave it for 30 minutes before using it.
If you are looking for a home shredder then I would recommend this one from Argos, its reasonably priced and as shredders go it works well, if I had to pick a downside to it I would say its quite noisy but personally I don't have a problem with it.
We were desperately in need of a shredder after my old one (one of those terrible ones that only take a couple of sheets and have to be perched over a bin) bit the dust about a month ago. When we started to shop around, we were very pleasantly surprised to see just how much shredders had come down in price, not to mention how much easier and more functional they looked.
We were buying a few other items from Argos and decided to take a look at the shredders they had on offer there, and caught sight of this ProAction shredder for just £19.99- that seemed like a pretty good price for a sensibly sized shredder that would take five pages at once. One of the most appealing things was the size of the paper bin underneath the shredder. It can get really frustrating if you have a lot of documents to shred and have to keep stopping to empty the shredder. (To be fair, this would be less of a problem for me if I was a little less lazy and shredded all my documents in a timely sort of manner instead of letting the shredding pile just build up and up... but I suspect I'm not the only person out there who does this).
We collected our shredder from Argos, along with a few other items- even though it came in a big box, the shredder itself actually isn't that heavy so there were no problems carrying it to the car. For anyone who doesn't have access to their own car, or who doesn't have a local Argos, Argos do carry out home deliveries.
As I said, the shredder is not particularly heavy, so it was easy to carry upstairs once we got home, and required very little setup. Find a spot for it, put the mechanical shredder on top of the wire basket, plug it in and off you go! The wire basket/bin underneath the shredder is sturdy and secure, and even though the shredder cuts your documents into pretty small pieces, the basket holds it all in and prevents mess.
The shredder is very simple and easy to operate- there are function controls on the front labelled Auto, Off and Rev (reverse), which operate as you'd expect. Auto is the general shredding setting, and causes documents fed into the shredder to be automatically grabbed and shredded; Off turns the shredder off; Rev will reverse the motion of the shredder, which is really handy if you accidentally feed through too much paper and it becomes jammed! In addition to this, there is a power light on the front, and written reminders that the shredder will only take a maximum of five sheets.
I have used this shredder a lot since we got it, and now I don't know how I ever coped with my old one. This shredder is efficient and quick, and in addition to that, having a nice, matte black finish, it doesn't look too out of place in my house- in fact, it actually looks quite nice. I've also noticed that the ProAction shredder operates quite smoothly, which means that it doesn't make a massive amount of noise.
My only (slight) niggle is that when the shredder was new, there was a bit of a strange, almost rubbery smell when we started to use it, but after a couple of weeks this wore off, making me think it was perhaps something to do with the original packaging.
On the whole, I am really happy with this purchase. I don't think it was the cheapest shredder out there but it does the job (and does it very well too) and it looks good in the home. Or at least as good as a shredder can! I've been very happy with this purchase.
I would definitely recommend this to anyone who has documents they need to shred- just about everyone really since in this day and age identity theft is a real possibility. I found the ProAction shredder really made shredding quick and painless.