“ Ryman MS-500M Cross Cut - Shreds up to 5 A4 Sheets - Auto Start-Stop - 222 mm Throat Width - Standby and Reverse Work Cycle - 2 Mins Shred / 20 Mins Rest - Silver Mesh basket - 1 Year Warranty „
Hubby and I try to be security minded. We aren't paranoid, wear-tinfoil-hat, use-codewords-so-the-eavesdropping-CIA-don't-understand-us types but we don't want to give our personal details away on a plate!
We've managed to destroy several shredders over the years (OK...*I've* destroyed several shredders over the years) so last time one went 'bang' Hubby bought this bad boy from Rymans.
The Ryman MS-500M Cross Cut cost around £30 two years ago. It has two parts, a mesh basket and a shredder/power unit which fits snugly on top. The whole thing is mains powered and is operated via a simple three-way switch. The settings are on, off and reverse; the latter being very useful when paper gets stuck.
The shredding blades themselves are tightly packed and slice documents into rectangular fragments of approximately 3mm x 5mm.
The machine is designed to handle up to 5 pieces of A4 paper at a time through the slot on the top.
USER EXPERIENCE...THE BAD...
First off, this shredder is *HEAVY*. All our previous shredders have been weighty but this one takes the biscuit! The shredding blades are so heavy-duty that the top unit weighs several kilos, and, for me, therein lies the problem.
The top unit fits very snugly onto the basket. Actually, it fits too snugly, as there are no finger grip points anywhere around the base of the shredding unit! When I go to replace the top onto the basket, nine times out of ten I trap at least one finger under the heavy shredding unit. Ouch! Also, the top is contoured such that it only fits one way onto the basket, and as it's near-as-darn-it visually symmetrical I usually manage to put it on upside-down, resulting in a second round of finger trapping!
Once the machine is assembled it shreds extremely well. As it's a heavy-duty machine the motor makes quite a racket. I usually shred papers in my upstairs office but I can't do it if Hubby is downstairs working as the vibrations rumble through the floorboards and ruin his concentration.
The shredder also heats up very quickly. Once I've processed a couple of dozen documents the machine is noticeably warmer, and after another couple of dozen the machine often overheats. At this point the safety mechanism forces the machine to cut out; a good safety feature but there is no warning and more often than not it dies mid-shred!
I've found that it's possible to ease the overheating issue by very carefully clearing the blades of bulky debris. To do this you MUST unplug the unit from the mains! It would be insanely dangerous to put fingers anywhere near the blades when there is the slightest risk of power going into them!
Emptying the basket of shredded paper has two drawbacks: first, the aforementioned finger-squashing risk and secondly the machine shreds paper so well that there is always a significant amount of super-fine dust that billows up when the basket is emptied. For someone like me who has asthma this is a Very Bad Thing. I've found that covering the basket with a plastic bag *then* turning it upside-down reduces the dust, but it's far too easy for the bag to slip and shredded paper to spill everywhere.
...AND THE GOOD
This shredder absolutely destroys all documents thoroughly and effectively. Even after two years of heavy use it's still going strong. It was a good price and it's lasted longer than any other shredder we have ever owned.
This shredder does the job but operating it can be hazardous!
We used to have a standard (Non cross) shredder which we had used for about 10 years before buying this shredder last year. We decided on getting this one purely because it had cross cut and it was cheaper than the Bulldog shredders which do seem to be the best on the market (Most advanced) - we wanted extra security when shredding documents such as bank statements and so on.
Setup of the shredder was simple. Stick the lid on the bin and plug it in (Hey, that rhymed!). It was that simple. Once we had done that we could put multiple sheets, we usually do about 5 at a time and it handles it well, in the top of the shredder and it quickly shreds the sheets into multiple confetti-like pieces before our eyes. It only takes a second or two to cut its way across an A4 piece of paper which is it's size limit. It can also cut any paper smaller than A4 too in less time.
The bins capacity is surprisingly large, this is greatly aided by the cross cut which packs the pieces even tighter together and means that I do not have to empty it anywhere near as often as my old shredder which actually had a similar sized bin.
I find that shredders, due to having all of its real components at the top, to be top-heavy and unstable - leading to them being easily knocked over, especially when full. This shredder undoubtedly is still top-heavy but it still has decent stability and I haven't knocked it over yet.
The shredding blades are covered by the plastic casing so that only paper can fit down it, so you needn't worry about children or animals getting pulled in through their curiosity. However as a precaution I always switch it off at the wall when I'm done.
I have to admit being quite paranoid about identity theft, as I know people who have been victims of having their credit card details misused. It's a bit ironic as according to my Dad when I was about 5 years old I was a potential identity thief. Apparently I'd got hold of a credit card application that he'd been sent in the post and I'd tried to fill it out in the hope of getting a card for myself to use. He quickly cottoned on to what I was doing as I would scamper off into my room and then every few minutes I would emerge to ask him a personal question: Daddy, what's your date of birth? Daddy, what's your Mother's maiden name?
I'm proud to say that since then I have stayed on the right side of the law and am doing my best not to aid criminals in their evil plans. Hence the purchase of this lovely new shredder. We used to have a shredder that only cut the paper into strips, but this wasn't very good at destroying personal information as the strips could easily be taped together again (well it always happens in the movies!).
So we opted for a decent cross cut shredder and this one chops up paper into 4 x 32mm little pieces so it looks like rather chunky confetti. It can shred up to 5 A4 sheets easily and the throat width of the shredder is 222mm so A4 paper easily fits into the throat. The sensor on the throat is pretty sensitive, so it detects the paper you're going to feed it before you've actually inserted it and the cutting action starts. This is great as it's hungry for the paper; rather you having to force-feed it like a fussy toddler.
The official shred speed is 2.5m per minute and I don't know how that fits into the World record times of Shredder Racing, but it seems pretty quick to me.
You can also shred credit cards, which is much better than trying to hack the card up with a pair of scissors.
The silver mesh basket is a massive 34.6cm (H) x 31.3cm (W) x 18.3cm (D), which means it can hold 16 litres of paper and that equates to 180 sheets. I like the fact the basket is a mesh as it's easy to see how full up it is, but the shredder has an automatic stop when the bin is full, so you can't put off emptying it forever!
This shredder is quite a heavy beast, but it's not something I'm likely to be moving around so that doesn't bother me. You can leave it plugged in as you can have the large switch in the Off position to save energy. When the switch is in the Auto position the LED light comes on and the paper is automatically sucked into the shredding teeth when you insert it into the mouth. The other position is Reverse, to be used just in case the overheat cut-out kicks in and you need to manually reverse the paper out.
This shredder comes with a 12 month warranty on the cutting head. The work cycle for this shredder is 2 minutes with a rest time of 20 minutes, so it's for light use really and as long as you don't overwork the shredder then it will last a long time.
It is £19.99 from Rymans and I think it's very reasonably priced for an excellent shredder.