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The best paper shredder in 2021

Included in this guide:

Best paper shredder: Woman using paper shredder
(Image credit: Fellowes Powershred 79Ci)

Finding the best paper shredder is hugely important in 2021. Using one will protect you from identity theft, and other threats to your personal and business security. In short, it's better to shred than be sorry, and on the plus side, destroying documents can be quite a fun and cathartic activity if you're in the right mood for it.

The good news is that paper shredders are more compact, user-friendly, reliable and affordable than ever before. But what's the best shredder for your needs? In this article, we'll present what we consider the best paper shredder of 2021 in a range of categories, and for a variety of budgets. 

Read on to find out the best shredder for home offices, the best shredder for small-to-medium offices, the best shredder for those on a budget, and more. Then, to complete your setup, don't miss our guide to the best printers, our roundup of the best desks and our take on the best office chair of 2021.

The best paper shredder right now

Fellowes Powershred 79Ci Paper shredder

(Image credit: Fellowes )

01. Fellowes Powershred 79Ci Paper shredder

The best paper shredder for home use

Capacity: 23L
Maximum sheet input: 16
Maximum run time: 20 mins
Reasons to buy
+Shred 16 x A4 at once +Use for up to 20 minutes +Shred credit cards & CDs 
Reasons to avoid

The Fellowes Powershred 79Ci offers everything most people will ever need from a paper shredder. And while it’s quite expensive, it offers excellent value for money. It can shred 16 sheets of A4 at once into 4 x 38 mm pieces; the best paper shredder micro cut confetti we've seen to date. And you can use it continuously for up to 20 minutes before you need to give it a 30-minute cool-down period. 

The 79Ci features the proprietary Fellowes “100 percent jam proof” system to eliminate paper jams. And as well as paper it can also shred staples, paper clips, credit cards and CDs. All this, plus a generously sized 23-litre bin, and four casters to move it around with, make this our clear choice as the best paper shredder for home use today.

Robert Dyas 6-sheet Cross-Cut Paper Shredder

(Image credit: Robert Dyas)

02. Robert Dyas 6-sheet Cross-Cut Paper Shredder

The best cheap paper shredder

Capacity: 15L
Maximum sheet input: 6
Maximum run time: 2 mins
Reasons to buy
+Low price +15-litre bin +Useful handle 
Reasons to avoid
-Basic overall

Short of cash? This shredder is available at a tiny fraction of the price of our number one choice, the Fellowes Powershred 79Ci. And yet it still does a pretty decent job.

You can shred up to six pieces of paper at once, and the 15-litre bin capacity means you won’t have to empty it too often. It runs for about two minutes before needing a cooling off period. It has a useful handle for carrying it. And, well, that’s about it. But for such a low price, that will still be fine for most people who only need to shred paper now and again.

Fellowes Powershred 99Ci shredder

(Image credit: Fellowes )

03. Fellowes Powershred 99Ci

The best paper shredder for small to medium-sized offices

Capacity: 34L
Maximum sheet input: 18
Maximum run time: 30 minutes
Reasons to buy
+34L bin +30 minutes running time +18-sheet input 
Reasons to avoid

Seeking the best shredder for a small or medium-sized office? The Fellowes Powershred 99Ci is the most expensive on our list, but if the business is paying, then we'd say it's the one to go for. 

This heavy duty paper shredder is super-quiet in operation, and deals with multiple sheets (18 at a time) quickly and smoothly. You can run it for 30 minutes, with a 40-minute cooldown. It’s very energy efficient, and paper jams are a true rarity. Plus the 34-litre bin capacity is the most generous on our list. 

For people wanting something to use in their home office, these advanced specs will be overkill, and we’d instead recommend its more affordable sibling, the Fellowes Powershred 79Ci (number one on our list). Unless money is truly no object, in which case: knock yourself out.

Rexel 2101942UK

(Image credit: Rexel )

04. Rexel 2101942UK

The best paper shredder for compact storage

Capacity: 12L
Maximum sheet input: 7
Maximum run time: 2 mins
Reasons to buy
+Compact+Low price
Reasons to avoid
-Quite basic-Only runs for 2 mins

Short on space in your home office, and don’t want to take up too much room? Then the best paper shredder for your needs will be the Rexel 2101942UK. 

Measuring just 42.8 x 25.8 x 48cm (16.8 x 10.1 x 18.8 inches), it’s small but perfectly formed. It will shred a sheet of A4 into approximate 400 pieces, of around 4 x 23 mm in size. It will run for about two minutes before needing to cool off, and there’s an auto start/stop and reverse function for clearing paper jams. 

Again, this isn't the best shredder for advanced features, but that’s reflected in the relatively low price. And if you want something you can store away easily when you’re done, it’s a beautifully compact choice.

Bonsaii Evershread C169-B

(Image credit: Bonsaii)

05. Bonsaii Evershread C169-B

Best paper shredder for long shredding sessions

Capacity: 17L
Maximum sheet input: 14
Maximum run time: 30 minutes
Reasons to buy
+Runs for 30 minutes at a time +Shred credit cards & staples +Reasonable price
Reasons to avoid
-Not the largest bin

Do you need to shred a LOT of paper in one session? Then you’ll want the Bonsaii Evershread C169-B. It can keep shredding paper for a full 30 minutes before needing to cool down. (Yes, the Powershred 99Ci, number 3 on our list, offers the same spec, but at a much higher price.)

With the C169-B, you can shred up to 3,500 documents in one go; each into tiny, 5mm x 50mm pieces. It can handle 14 sheets in a single pass. You can shred credit cards and staples, as well as paper. And with a decent 17-litre bin, you won’t have to empty it too often.

Amazon Basics Cross Cut paper and credit card shredder

(Image credit: Amazon)

06. Amazon Basics Cross Cut paper and credit card shredder

The cheapest paper shredder that works on credit cards

Capacity: 14.4L
Maximum sheet input: 6
Maximum run time: 2 mins
Reasons to buy
+Cheap+Shred credit cards
Reasons to avoid
-Only 6 sheets a time-Only runs 2 mins

Want a nice cheap paper shredder than also works on credit cards? Then we recommend this highly affordable model from Amazon Basics. 

As the name suggests, it’s quite a basic device. So it only offers two minutes’ continuous run time, with 30 minute cool down time. And you can only load in six sheets at a time. On the plus side, though, it comes with a dedicated slot for safely disposing of your credit cards. And it does a decent job of paper shredding, splitting sheets into strips measuring 0.22 x 1.84 inches (5.56mm x 2.14 cm). You can use it on CDs and DVDs, too. 

Fellowes Powershred 73Ci Paper shredder

(Image credit: Fellowes )

07. Fellowes Powershred 73Ci

Premium paper shredder offering top-class features

Capacity: 27L
Maximum sheet input: 12
Maximum run time: 10 mins
Reasons to buy
+27-litre bin +Shred credit cards +Jam proof system
Reasons to avoid
-99Ci offers more

We couldn’t resist including one more Fellowes Powershred paper shredder on our list. Because while it doesn’t excel at any one thing, the 73Ci offers great range of features and capabilities overall. 

The main attractions here include a 27-litre bin capacity and the same ‘100% Jam Proof System’ and ‘Energy Savings System’ found in all Fellowes paper shredders. It shreds 12 sheets of paper per pass into 397 cross-cut pieces. It runs for up to 10 minutes before a 20 minute cool down period is needed. Plus you can use it to shred staples, credit cards, paper clips, staples, CDs and DVDs.

ProAction 5 Sheet 10 Litre Strip Cut Shredder

(Image credit: ProAction)

08. ProAction 5 Sheet 10 Litre Strip Cut Shredder

The cheapest paper shredder we can recommend

Capacity: 10L
Maximum sheet input: 5
Maximum run time: Not specified
Reasons to buy
+Very cheap +Reverse function 
Reasons to avoid
-Small bin-Basic overall

Short of cash? We’ve picked the Robert Dyas model (number 2 on our list) as the best cheap paper shredder overall. But if even that’s too expensive for you, then this super-low-priced device is worth checking out. 

Yes, you’re limited to a relatively small bin (10 litres) and only being able to load five sheets at a time. But it does the job, plus it comes with a reverse function for unblocking paper jams. And for this low price, you can’t say fairer than that.

Tom May

Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in design, photography and tech. He is author of Great TED Talks: Creativity, published by Pavilion Books. He has previously been editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine.