How we test shredders
A paper shredder has to work hard in order to earn our Best Buy status. But, as our tests prove, you don't always have to break the bank to pick up a shredder recommended by Which?.
We put a range of paper shredders from big-name brands through their paces to see if they deserve a spot in your home office.
Our reviews answer the most crucial questions about shredders:
- What type of shredder should I buy?
- What makes a secure shredder?
- How quick is the average shredder?
- How long do shredders last?
- Should I buy it?
What type of shredder should I buy?
Shredders come in all shapes and sizes, and the type you purchase will have an effect on overall security.
Micro-cut shredders create the smallest confetti of any paper shredders that we test, beating cross-cut models (sometimes known as diamond-cut) in this regard. Strip-cut (sometimes known as ribbon-cut) is the least thorough, which means that the confetti produced could potentially be pieced back together with minimal bother.
What makes a secure shredder?
If you're planning on destroying sensitive documents, our expert reviews can ensure you pick up a truly secure shredder. Our security score for shredders is based on the size of the confetti produced and how consistent it is. One of the best models we've tested to date produces confetti measuring a miniscule 8x3mm, making it very tricky to piece back together.
How quick is the average shredder?
When it comes to picking a new shredder, you'll want a model that can get to work sooner rather than later. Our own speed rating for shredders is based on how quickly it takes to shred 25 consecutive A4 sheets of paper.
At the time of writing, our speediest shredder tested takes less than a minute (54 seconds) to shred 25 consecutive sheets of paper.
How long do shredders last?
Our overall durability score for shredders is based on how well the machine lasts over a 1,000 page-run in 50-page batches. For every model we test, shredders are penalised for overheating during operation and for developing paper jams.
It's not unusual to see our Best Buy shredders fly through these durability tests. In fact, our highest-rated model to date didn't encounter a single blockage when shredding those 1,000 pages.
Should I buy it?
For each shredder that passes through our test lab, we pay close attention to its key features to see if it's worth of Best Buy status. Only the shredders that are easy to set up and proven to be secure make the grade. See below for a breakdown of what makes up our test score:
- 20%...ease of use
A shredder has to achieve 75% or more to earn our Best Buy recommendation, and anything scoring below 45% is highlighted as a Don't Buy that we think you should steer clear of. For more tips on picking the perfect model for you, see our guide on .