What are some tips for maintaining my shredder?

posted this on Jul 23, 2015

For the most part, paper shredders aren’t too difficult to take care of. There are, however, a few basic things you can do to ensure that your shredder will stay in peak operating condition for as long as possible.

Clearing the Cutters:

One of the simplest ways to take care of your shredder is to periodically make sure that the cutting heads are clear of debris. In most shredders over time, paper particles will collect between the blades and can cause all sorts of problems, such as decreased functionality and causing the motor to work harder than normal leading to overheating and shortening the life of the shredder. Clearing out the cutting heads is not something you want to do by hand, of course. The easiest method for clearing debris is to simply run the machine in reverse for 30 seconds or so. This should be enough to remove a great deal of the collected particles from the heads and improve the function of the machine right off the bat. As always, refer to your manual to see if your manufacturer recommends this method, or if they have a different method they recommend.

Oiling The Heads:

The following is something that almost everyone is surprised to learn, and some learn too late to save their machines: All shredders need to be periodically oiled. Oiling your shredder keeps the machine’s cutting heads lubricated and clean and operating in peak condition. Luckily this part of shredder maintenance is not a particularly complicated process. Depending on your machine, often you can oil your shredder by simply squirting special shredder oil in a zig zag pattern on a normal piece of paper and putting it through the shredder, and then running the machine in reverse for a short time.

Depending on the size and model of your shredder, it may have come equipped with a self oiling system. If that is the case, you simply need to make sure that the oil bottle is full and the system is operating as it should. In many cases these types of shredders will have a warning light indicating when the bottle needs to be replaced.

In any event, it is recommended that you oil your shredder every time that you empty the waste bag. This is a great way to remember this vital part of shredder maintenance.

Run Time:

Unless your shredder is specifically rated for continuous operation you need to be aware that these machines are designed to be run for a certain amount of time before they will need to be shut down in order to keep from overheating. Even shredders that are indeed advertised as continuous run machines will likely need a period of rest every so often. This is probably the number one reason for service calls, and often, the machine is back up and running by the time the technician arrives. To find out your machine’s run time, you need to check the shredder’s manual. If it is not listed, it may be worth a call to customer support to find out.

Shredding Capacity:

Never exceed your device’s shredding capacity. If you try to shred too much, you may experience a paper jam. Also, shredding too much is hard on the machine and the motor can burn out if you’re not careful.

 

Check the Machine's Instruction Manual

Some shredders can handle non-paper items but not all of them can. Consult your machine’s instruction manual before you try shredding CD’s and the like.

Get Familiar with Your Shredder's Warrranty

Finally, become familiar with the terms of your shredder’s warranty. That way, you’ll know what’s covered and what isn’t.



Maintaining your paper shredder is easy if you follow the above tips. Give them a try so you an get the most out of your machine. Happy shredding!

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