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.
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
Best micro-cut shredder
Best strip-cut shredder
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
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.
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
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.
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.