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Top five best shredders for 2019

By Andrew Laughlin

The top shredders we've tested are perfectly suited to destroying sensitive information. These are the best shredders money can buy.

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

Picking a new shredder that can shred documents securely without making a racket needn't be a struggle. We've tested shredders from big-name brands including Fellowes, Rexel and Staples, and only the best models are worthy of being Best Buys.

Below, we've rounded up some of the best shredders to pass through our test lab. None of the models mentioned will leave you waiting around for too long, and our experts guarantee they're perfectly secure. 

Your privacy and data security are worth taking seriously, so never take your chances with a sub-par shredder. We've also named underperforming shredders worth avoiding, so keep scrolling for the details.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.

Best cross-cut shredder

76%
£30.00
Reviewed

Being on a budget doesn’t mean you have to skimp on quality – as this cross-cut shredder proves. You may not have heard of the brand that makes it, but you’ll be pleased with the way it securely shreds all your documents.

Best micro-cut shredder

79%
£56.00
Reviewed

Proving that micro-cut shredders don’t have to cost a fortune, this big brand model offers fantastic quality for the price. It can comfortably chew through up to eight sheets of paper at once, so will handle most shredding jobs with ease.

Best strip-cut shredder

61%
£26.00
Reviewed

Being compact and cheap, this paper shredder might seem a good choice. It cuts documents into thin strips but does that give enough security over alternative shredder types? Log in or sign up to find out.

Should I buy a strip-cut shredder?

When buying a new shredder it's important to know that the type of shredder that you purchase will have an effect on overall security.

Strip-cut (sometimes known as ribbon-cut) models are the traditional type of shredder. They shred the paper into narrow, thin strips.

Although it would require patience, it would be possible to reassemble them into legible documents, making them less secure than cross-cut or micro-cut models.

Cross-cut vs micro-cut shredders

Cross-cut models (sometimes known as diamond-cut) are more secure than strip-cut models, as they reduce the paper to small, confetti-style pieces that would be harder to reassemble.   

However, the most secure type is micro-cut, as these shredders create even smaller confetti bits that would be very hard to put back together.  

For more tips on picking the perfect shredder for you, see our guide on how to buy the best paper shredder.

Should I buy a cheap shredder?

Some shredders can cost hundreds of pounds, but Best Buys are available for £60 or under, including even high security, micro-cut models. The superb Best Buy shredders in the table below won't blow your budget.

At the cheaper end of the shredder scale you do miss out some more premium features, such as a larger bin for more paper or a document feeder that automatically loads in the paper to be shredded.

However, you only really need functions such as these if you plan on shredding a lot of paper. Therefore, a cheap shredder should be more than enough for most people's needs.  

Best cheap shredders

79%
Reviewed

Micro-cut shredders don’t have to cost a fortune - this big brand model offers fantastic quality for the price. It can easily chew through up to eight sheets of paper at once, so will handle most shredding jobs without breaking sweat.

77%
Reviewed

Considering that it costs comfortably under £50, this high-quality, micro-cut shredder is a real bargain. It's easy to use, has a high level of security and its large bin can hold more than 100 sheets of shredded paper.

76%
Reviewed

Just because you're on budget, you shouldn't have to accept a sub-par shredder. You may not have heard of the brand that makes this cross-cut model, but you’ll be delighted with the way it securely shreds all your documents - and it costs well under £50.

75%
Reviewed

This large shredder is a brilliant all-rounder that can churn through loads of paper. Although it’s very noisy when running, it turns paper into tiny pieces that would require a lot of effort for a fraudster to piece back together.

75%
Reviewed

With a 15-litre bin, 230mm throat and claimed eight sheet-per-pass capability, this is an extremely versatile home shredder for the price. If you’re on a budget, then get it on your shortlist.

And here are three shredders to avoid

Without the help of our expert reviews, you risk buying a shredder that's a pain to use and won't securely shred your documents. 

The worst models we've tested produce confetti that's easy to reassemble, while making an excruciating noise that will leave you with your hands over your ears.

Keep scrolling to see which shredders just aren't worth your money.

Shredders to avoid

55%
£18.00
Reviewed

This strip-cut shredder is small, yet not perfectly formed. We can forgive its tiny bin capacity, but not the lack of security. The strips it produces are better than ripping your paper in half, but only just. Better options are available elsewhere.

53%
£25.00
Reviewed

This may be one of the cheapest shredders to pass through our test lab, but it's also one of the lowest-scoring. It's slow, has a tiny waste bin, and simply isn't secure enough to recommend. Thankfully, we've found plenty of alternatives that are more secure but just as affordable.

46%
£20.00
Reviewed

We’re not impressed with this strip-cut shredder. It scores poorly for security and lets out a high-pitched whirr while it's at work. To add to its list of issues, it isn't exactly versatile - the brand makes no claims about it being able to destroy credit cards, stapled documents or CDs.

How to buy the best shredder

If you're looking to buy a shredder, you'll want a model that can destroy sensitive documents effectively. Different types produce different sizes of confetti, with cross cut (or diamond cut) models being the most common on sale. Our testing shows that you're better off avoiding strip or ribbon-cut shredders - the strips they produce can be put back together without much trouble. Key features to look out for include:

  • autostop - this will ensure the shredder stops working if it detects a jam
  • interlock - find a model with an interlock and it will only work when the bin is attached
  • credit card and CD slots - not every shredder is powerful enough to slice up cards

For more advice on picking a shredder for the office or your home, see our guide on how to buy the best shredder. Alternatively, pay a visit to our Best Buy shredders page to see our highest-scoring models.

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