What are some troubleshooting tips for my paper shredder?

posted this on Jul 22, 2015

Paper shredders are great machines that can help keep everyone’s private information under wraps. However, it doesn’t matter if you own a personal-sized device or a large departmental one, you probably will experience some problems with it at some point. Here are five common problems and some ideas on how to fix them.

        1. 1. The shredder won’t operate – at all. 
          • This is a very common problem and it often can be solved very easily by ensuring the device is securely plugged into the wall. This alone fixes the problem a lot of the time. 
          • You should also ensure that the cutting head is situated properly since some machines won’t operate if it’s out of place for safety reasons. 
          • You can also check your owner’s manual to see if it could be something else if these two options don’t work.

 

        1. 2. The machine suddenly stops in the middle of a job. 
          • If this occurs, chances are your shredder just needs a break. Most of the smaller ones lack continuous-duty motors and can need as many as 20 minutes before they’re ready to go again. 
          • You should also check to see if the machine is jammed or if the waste basket is full. A lot of devices will cease operating when the bin fills up to give you a chance to empty it.

 

        1. 3. There’s a paper jam. Even if you have a jam free shredder, you might still have to deal with a paper jam at some point, depending on your usage. 
          • Most jams can be cleared up by simply running the machine in reverse and removing the paper.
          • If the shredder keeps jamming, you can help resolve things by oiling it. (The next section contains information on how to do this.)

 

        1. 4. The shredder makes too much noise. Some of the units out there are noisy from the get-go. However, if your machine is making more noise than usual, there could be something wrong with it. Or it could just need to be oiled. It’s important to oil your shredder on a regular basis so that it stays in good working condition. (And to make sure it runs as quietly as possible.) Your instruction manual should have some information on how to oil the device, but if it doesn’t, all you need to do is soak a sheet of paper with oil and run it through the device. Follow that up by running a dry sheet through it and you should be good to go. (Note: don’t use anything but shredder oil. Using other liquids could damage the machine.)

 

      1. 5. The device won’t take in any paper – at all. Finally, if your shredder refuses to take in any paper, it may have stripped gears or be damaged in some other way. If the cutting mechanism isn’t rotating, you’ll probably need to have the machine serviced. (Or, in some extreme cases, you might have to replace the device.)

 

For repairs and parts, contact customer service.

To shop new shredders, take our quiz to find the best shredder for your needs.

 
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