Your Complete Guide to Buying Best Cross-Cut Shredder

shredding a document

Are you thinking of buying a new cross-cut shredder? Well, we’ll warn you: the choices can be overwhelming and for the unknowledgeable buyer, it will be easy to be lured by false marketing tactics. With such, in buying the best cross-cut shredder, we recommend that you take time in being able to differentiate your choices, which will increase the likelihood of making the right decision.

Don’t know which one to buy? Well, keep on reading and we will provide you with top recommendations on the best cross-cut shredder that is available in the market today. We have gone through the features of these products, as well as feedbacks from other users. With confidence, we can say that these will indeed be the best choices.

What Makes a Cross-Cut Shredder Different

So, you need a shredder? By now, you are most probably thinking what makes a cross-cut shredder different. Keep in mind that there are various types of shredders available in the market and they differ in terms of how they shred papers.

Generally speaking, there are three types of shredders that are available in the market: micro-cut, strip-cut, and cross-cut. Between the three, cross-cut is at the middle when it comes to shred size and speed. It is also known as a confetti-cut shredder because of the shredded outputs that you can expect from its use. It offers a high level of security because the documents is shredded into a size that is smaller than strip-cut, although larger that a micro-cut.

Why You Need a Cross-Cut Shredder

Red confidential folder placed in a shredder.

Red confidential folder placed in a shredder.

Among other things, the use of a cross-cut shredder is highly recommended because it protects confidential information. Whether it is for offices or for personal use, it is a safe way to dispose sensitive documents, providing you with the assurance that identity thefts will not be able to use any information.

More than just data protection, the use of cross-cut shredders is also a necessity because it is a legal obligation. Although the laws may vary depending on which country you are from, generally speaking, businesses are obliged to responsibly dispose documents that contain confidential information not only about the organization, but about their clients as well.

It is also important to note that investing in the best cross-cut shredder is tantamount into enhanced waste management within homes and offices. Papers represent a bulk of waste, especially in offices. With a shredder, you can minimize paper documents, and more importantly, you can keep the place organized and clean.

For businesses, if your clients know that you are using a cross-cut shredder in disposing documents, this can be equal to establishing a sense of trust. They will be highly satisfied knowing that you have an excellent way of managing confidential information. They can be confident that information shared to your business will not be accessed by any unauthorized party.

There are also significant cost reductions that can be enjoyed with a cross-cut shredder. In order to properly dispose documents, there will be two options. You can opt to hire a professional shredding company. A cheaper alternative, however, is to invest in a high quality cross-cut shredder, which can be functional for years.

Factors to Consider in Buying Cross-Cut Shredder

Electric or Manual Cross-Cut Shredder

Your choice of which will depend on a variety of factors, such as the budget that is allotted, extent of shredding that will be done, and whether it is going to be used for personal or business purposes.

A manual cross-cut shredder, as the name implies, is operated manually with the use of your hand. It is small and cheap, but will require effort on your end. This is recommended if you do not want to spend a lot and if you only have minimal requirements for document shredding. Nonetheless, keep in mind that it is labor intensive and slow.

An electric cross-cut shredder, on the other hand, will be the perfect choice for businesses with extensive needs. It can shred tons of documents instantaneously and more importantly, without having to exert too much effort. Most of the models have an integrated large bin that will keep the area clean as you shred.

Features for Safety

It is also important to pay attention to the features that will guarantee the safety of the user. It is important to choose one that is equipped with a safety sensor, especially if it is going to be used at home with kids and pets. The sensor automatically detects hands if they come in close proximity and it immediately shuts down.

You can also choose one that comes with slim slots, which will make sure that it will shred only papers and never fingers!

Power of the Shredder

There are different things that will be indicative of how powerful your cross-cut shredder is. Among others, it would be based on its speed. If you have extensive requirements for document shredding, such as in large companies, invest in a model that can shred quickly. The speed of shredders are often measured in feet per minute.

In addition, you should also look at the sheets per pass. Obviously, this would be indicative of how many sheets of paper can be shredded in one pass. For light-duty crosscut shredders, they can often take six to eight pages. On the other hand, for heavy duty options, they can shred up to 20 pages in a single pass.

Do not also forget to consider the duty cycle of the cross-cut-shredder. This is a technical specification that will be indicative of the number of pages that can be handled by the machine in a day. Ideally, to prolong its functional life, make sure to follow the duty cycle that is identified by the manufacturer. Its functionality can dwindle once it has come past the specified duty cycle.

The continuous run time will be another feature indicative of the power of the cross-cut shredder. As the name implies it simply refers to the duration at which the shredder can run continuously. If used more than the time that has been specified, there is a high risk of overheating.

Top 5 Choices for the Best Cross-Cut Shredder

Amazon Basics 12-sheet Cross-Cut Shredder

AmazonBasics 12-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper, CD, and Credit Card Shredder

AmazonBasics 12-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper, CD, and Credit Card Shredder

Staying true to the name of this product, we liked how it can cut up to 12 pages simultaneously, which is reflective of its powerful performance. Aside from just shredding paper, it can also tackle CDs and credit cards in a manner that is almost effortless.

One of the most amazing features of this model is its ability to cut through staples in the absence of negatively affecting its functionality. There is no more need to manually remove staples in sheets of paper!

The machine has a 5/30 rating for duty capacity. Simply put, you can shred for 5 continuous minutes without worry of overheating. Once it is operated for longer than five minutes, it is going to cool down for 30 minutes.

The machine also offers protection against jamming and overloading. Once it detects that the sheets are too thick to be shredded, it automatically halts operation and you can see a notification light blinking. You need to use the manual reverse to get rid of the jam.

Another notable feature is the ShredSafe, which essentially makes it a safe product to use. It has the ability to determine if there is force entry and when it is detected, the machine will automatically stop operating.

Things We Liked

  • Can shred even credit cards
  • Compact desgin
  • Abundant with safety features

Things We Didn't Liked

  • Produces a loud noise as it shreds
  • The top part is quite heavy

Fellowes Powershred W-11C Cross-Cut Shredder

Fellowes Powershred W-11C 11 Sheet Paper and Credit Card Cross-Cut Shredder

Fellowes Powershred W-11C 11 Sheet Paper and Credit Card Cross-Cut Shredder

This cross-cut shredder is designed with contra-rotating cutters, which are made from sturdy materials. With the latter, you can be confident about its powerful shredding capability, even through staples and cards.

As indicated by the manufacturer, it has the ability to shred p to 11 pages of paper in one pass. Nonetheless, we highly recommend to not maximize its capacity. Instead, keep it to just around 70%. At its capacity, it can cut more than 800 pages of paper in just five minutes.

It has a safety lock feature, which will allow the device to automatically shut down once it is able to detect unusual objects. This is an important feature if you are going to use it at home and when there are kids who are always playing around.

The product also comes with an integrated trash bin that has a capacity of 4.75 gallons. This will make shredding less messy and it might take a while before you need to have the bin emptied.

The shredder can run for five continuous minutes. After such, it will stop functioning and will only power on after 20 minutes.

Things We Liked

  • Integrated handle for easy lifting of the top part
  • Excellent customer support

Things We Didn't Liked

  • Cannot shred CDs and clips
  • Quality issues for mechanical lever sensor

Bonsaii DocShred C156-D Cross-Cut Shredder

Bonsaii DocShred C156-D 12-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper/CD/Credit Card Shredder, Overload and Thermal Protection, 5.5 Gallon Wastebasket Capacity, Basket Window

Bonsaii DocShred C156-D 12-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper/CD/Credit Card Shredder

Whether it is paper, CDs, or credit cards, this will be another great choice for a cross-cut shredder. It has the ability to shred up to 12 sheets of paper in one pass.

The blading technology of this machine, which is a technology exclusively developed by the manufacturer, is one of its most distinct features. The latter is basically the one that is responsible for allowing it to cut objects effortlessly.

Another excellent feature of this shredder is the basket window. With this, it will be easy for you to see how much paper has accumulated inside, letting you know in a snap if there is already a need to empty the bin. The bin has the ability to hold up to 5.5 gallons.

When it comes to ease of use, this product is also unrivalled. It lacks complications, making it a snap to operate even for beginners.

Things We Liked

  • Powerful blades
  • Operates quietly

Things We Didn't Liked

  • Frequent jamming
  • Can overheat easily

Fellowes 79Ci Cross-Cut Shredder

Fellowes 79Ci 100% Jam Proof Heavy Duty Paper and Credit Card Shredder, 16 Sheet Cross Cut

Fellowes 79Ci 100% Jam Proof Heavy Duty Paper and Credit Card Shredder, 16 Sheet Cross Cut

This cross-cut shredder has the ability to shred up to 16 pages of paper, which makes it one with the highest capacity amongst all the products that we have recommended in this review.

The best feature of this model is perhaps its 100% jam-proof system. Regardless of the amount that is shredded, as long as it is within the stated capacity, you never have to worry about disruptive operations because of jamming.

Another revolutionary feature of this product is the SilentShred technology. As the name implies, you can expect the product to work in the absence of creating loud and annoying noise.

It also incorporates SafeSense technology. With the latter, it will automatically shut down once it is able to detect that a finger is inserted in the mouth.

The Energy Efficiency System of this product is also worth highlighting. It is one-of-a-kind because of its ability to save energy while it operates.

The bin has the ability to hold up to 6 gallons of waste. You can easily see the contents as it comes with a small transparent window.

Things We Liked

  • Durable construction
  • Excellent shredding speed

Things We Didn't Liked

  • The lid is heavy
  • Casters can be difficult to attach

Royal 1840MX Cross-Cut Shredder

Royal 1840MX 18-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper Shredder

Royal 1840MX 18-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper Shredder

If you think that a 16-sheet shredder is also powerful, wait until you learn about this model. This cross-cut shredder has the ability to shred up to 18 sheets of papers, which is reflective of its power.

When it comes to portability, you will have another good reason to have it considered. We liked the fact that it has built-in casters, making it effortless to have it moved around. In addition, with a weight of just 42 pounds, it can be easily relocated from one place to another. It also comes in a compact design, which makes it efficient when it comes to space consumption.

Another thing that is commendable about this cross-cut shredder is that it can operate continuously for up to 40 minutes without having to be worried about overheating. Many of the conventional models within the product category can only last up to five minutes of continuous operation.

It also comes with an intelligent design as it is integrated with a roller that can effectively reduce the possibility of jamming. The basket is also huge as it has a capacity of 8.5 gallons, making it the biggest amongst the products that we have reviewed.

Things We Didn't Liked

  • Ultra-quiet operation
  • Portable design
  • Jam-free shredding

Things We Didn't Liked

  • Paper slot is a bit narrow
  • Customer support could be improved


Given the various uses of a cross-cut shredder there is no doubt that you should have one. While there is no question about its importance, many are unsure with regards to which one to pick and how to choose one. With such, keep in mind the essential considerations we have mentioned above and limit your choices to what we have earlier recommended for the best cross-cut shredder.