What to Keep in Mind When Using a Paper Shredder?

posted this on May 30, 2016

Are you wondering how to use a paper shredder? The good news is that it’s actually very easy. With most of them, you can simply turn the machine on, insert your paper, and it will get shredded. However, there are some things you should keep in mind to keep the device in good condition and to ensure your safety. Here they are….

  • The machine’s shredding capacity is a very important consideration. This refers to how many sheets of paper the device can shred at one time. Never shred more than is recommended. In fact, you should actually shred a couple of pieces less than the specified amount. This is because if you try to force too many sheets into the device, you could experience a paper jam. Or, if you’re really unlucky, you could burn out the motor. So play it safe and don’t shred more than you should. Some machines even have overfeed indicators that can help you gauge if you’re trying to shred too much.
  • There are some shredders that are designed to deal with items such as CD’s and credit/debit cards. If your device can handle these materials, go for it. However, if it can’t, don’t try to shred them. This can be dangerous (imagine little bits of plastic flying everywhere) and it can wreak havoc on the machine.
  • It’s really important to stay safe when using a shredder because these machines can do some real damage if you’re not careful. For one thing, if your device has an interlock switch to prevent unauthorized use, be sure to take advantage of it. When shredding, make sure that your hands don’t get too close to the feed opening. Likewise, be sure that no jewelry, neckties, or hair can get near the opening. And if you’re using a shredder at home, it’s a good idea to keep it out of the reach of children and any pets you might have. Don’t rely on interlock switches or other safety features to keep your little ones safe.
  • When it comes time to oil your shredder, it’s vital that you use lubricant that’s been formulated for your device. Never use anything other than shredder oil. That includes various types of cooking oil (olive, canola, etc.), anything you’d use in your car, and so on. Using these kinds of lubricants is extremely risky and it can void the device’s warranty. Your instruction manual should have some information on when you need to oil the machine (and it may even have some suggestions on which brand of oil to use), so make sure you follow the recommendations.
  • Many of today’s shredders have the ability to turn themselves off when all of the materials have been destroyed. However, not every machine has this feature, so you’ll want to make sure yours is turned off after you’re done using it. This will prevent the motor from running constantly which can cause it to overheat. It will also reduce the risk of injury and fire.

Using a paper shredder is easy, but you need to keep some things in mind so you can both use it properly and reduce the risk of injury. Now that you know what they are, you should be able to enjoy a safe, trouble-free shredding experience. Good luck!

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