5 Best 12 Sheet Paper Shredders: Time To Destroy Dozen Documents Simultaneously

Is the 12-sheet paper shredder optimal for your needs, but you need more information?

Here we will describe some features which every good shredder should have. There are different models, small, home, micro-cut, cross-cut and others. But it would be useful if you read the buying guide first, then check out those models.

Our Top Picks

Royal 112MX picksRoyal 112MX 12 Sheet Cross-cut Shredder
Royal is perfect for a small office or home use, it features auto-start/stop and separate slots for CDs and credit cards.
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Fellowes LX20M Powershred picksFellowes Powershred LX20M Shredder
Besides the highest security level, this shredder has a jam-proof design and SafeSense technology.
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Aurora AU1210MA picksAurora AU1210MA Paper Shredder
This professional-grade paper shredder is able to run 60 minutes and has advanced features.
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What Kind Is A 12-Sheet Shredder?

It has a maximum capacity of 12 sheets per pass. It shreds paper by sucking it into the blades where it is shredded up. Then, shredded particles go into the bin under the shredding blades. Depending on a model, it may take shorter or longer to destroy those 12 sheets; some need six seconds and some can even do it in less time.

Medium Sheet Capacity For Small Office

This is a good option if you have a small office. It is not too big (so it doesn’t take up too much space), but it can chew up more paper than smaller models. For instance, it can destroy 12 sheets in one go, while small and mini models have a 2-sheet capacity.

12 sheet shredder for small office

12-Sheet Vs. 15-Sheet

If you are in a dilemma between a 12-sheet and a 15-sheet option, here is what to keep in mind. The difference between shredding 12 and 15 sheets per pass is not much. However, when combined with a longer duty cycle, 15-sheet models will slice more documents than 12-sheet ones, for one cycle more.

Get A Micro-Cut For Maximum Security

If you are interested in destroying paper securely, go for a micro-cut mechanism. Why? It will slice up your documents into very small fragments so they can become impossible to put back together. You can safely dispose of your personal documents, confidential data, business data, secret documents, and more.

What Other Cutting Options Are There?

Besides a micro-cut, the market also offers strip-cut and cross-cut models. A strip-cut cuts paper into long strips. This is fairly easy to put back together so strip-cut offers low levels of security for paper destruction. On the other hand, cross-cut has a medium level of security. It destroys paper into shorter strips (also called confetti-cut), or diamond-like shapes (diamond-cut).

types of paper shredder cuts (strip-cut vs cross-cut vs micro-cut)

Where Can You Use It?

A machine that can destory a dozen of pages per pass has different benefits and uses. First of all, you can use it for shredding unopened mail envelopes in your home. For home use, it will also easily shred through personal documents and other paper you want to get rid of. It shreds faster than small models with a lower sheet capacity. This makes it advantageous compared to smaller shredders for personal use.


This shredder is not recommended for shredding more paper at once than recommended. If you were planning to do so, go for a 20-sheet shredder or larger. Likewise, do not use it to shred top-secret and secret information in government agencies, as you need a shredder with level 6 security for this approved by the NSA, according to law. Likewise, this type of shredder cannot be used for continuous running, like you can with a heavy-duty one. Finally, they are not supported for use by multiple users.

What Should You Get?

When choosing between the models available on the market, you might get overwhelmed by all the specs, features, and other things that manufacturers mention. To help you, we broke down all the features so that you can understand them easily.

Bin Capacity

As they have a medium sheet capacity, these shredders also do not come with very large wastebaskets. The average bin capacity is between 3 and 5 gallons. You can fit more micro-cut shreds than strip-cut shreds of paper into a 3-gallon bin, so keep that in mind, too. You can choose between pul-out and lift-off bins.

Shredding Different Media Types

Besides shredding paper, you can also use them to destroy CDs, DVDs, credit cards, paper clips, staples, etc. However, this is not possible with every shredder. If you want to cut these materials, make sure your shredder is suitable for them.

paper shredder shreds other media

Duty Cycle

Because of this dozen pages capacity, they aren’t designed to run for up to 120 minutes. But they offer different shredding times. Their run time lasts from 5 minutes to 60 minutes. If you shred frequently, consider 20+ minutes of run time.

Cooldown Time

As they cannot run continuously, it is important for them to cool down after they have reached their maximum duty cycle. Different models have different recommended cooldown times. If you need to get back to shredding fast, look for models with a cooldown time of less than 15-20 minutes.

cool down paper shredder

Safety Features

To ensure easy and safe operation, get a model with some of the following safety specs. It can be pretty annoying if you need to stand near the shredder during its work. Consider the paper shredder with overload and overheat protection. Also, some models use sensors located around the paper entry, if your hands touch it, the device will shut off.

Noise Level

Having a loud paper shredder can give you headaches, distract you from work, or even give you hearing problems with time. We recommend you go for a quiet shredder that produces noise of no more than 60 decibels.

Casters For Portability

It is common for 12-sheet units to feature small wheels. They are really helpful if you want to move the shredding device around the office, from one desk to another, etc.

5 Best 12-sheet Paper Shredders

Royal 112MX 12 Sheet Cross-cut Shredder


Security Level: P-4
Shred Type: Cross-Cut
Dimensions: 7.7 x 12 x 16.5 inches
Weight: 16.5 Pounds
Bin Capacity: 3.25 Gallons
Sheet Capacity: 12 sheets

Classic Console Design
The Royal 112MX features a sturdy classic console design. It fits great in any home or any small office. You can easily operate and maintain this shredder. The power cord is built-in and the instructions are included in the package. You get all that with an affordable offer.

Royal 112MX

Separate Slot
Royal dimensions are 7.70 x 12 x 16.50 inches and it weighs 16 pounds. This office unit is mounted on the wheels, so you can easily move it wherever you need it. Royal has the ability to shred paper, paper clips, staples, credit cards, CDs and DVDs. There are two separate slots for credit cards and CDs.

1/2 HP Motor
The paper opening is 8.4 inches wide. It s easy to empty the wastebasket, just pull it out. Its capacity is 3.25 gallons. There is a small transparent window, located on the front. You can see if the bin is full. Royal uses a powerful motor that delivers 1/2 horsepower.

Royal 112MX review

No Maintenance
Royal shreds the paper into small particles of 5/32 x 1-1/2 inches. The machine will start to shred when the sensors detect the paper. Also, it will stop automatically when there is no paper on the device. The good thing is that it doesn’t require maintenance, so don’t use oil or lubricated sheets.


Overall: ★★★★★
Safety: ★★★★★
Power: ★★★★★
Size: ★★★★★
Weight: ★★★★☆
Funcionality: ★★★★★


approx: $80 – $90
determined by online offer (Amazon, Walmart) and seasonal sales

Highlighted Points:

  • the cross-cut shredder for an affordable price
  • it shreds CDs, DVDs, clips, staples and credit cards
  • there are separate slots for credit cards and CDs
  • auto-start and auto-stop features
  • this device doesn’t require maintenance
  • the pull-out waste bin of 3.25 gallons

Fellowes Powershred LX20M Shredder


Security Level: P-4
Shred Type: Micro-Cut
Dimensions: 14 x 10 x 20.75 inches
Weight: 25.7 Pounds
Bin Capacity: 6 Gallons
Sheet Capacity: 12 sheets

White Model
The Fellowes Powershred LX20M is available in white. This model looks elegant and fits in any office decor. If you don’t like white color, there is a model in black color with the same characteristics. The dimensions are 20.75 inches of height, 14 inches of width and 10 inches of depth.

Fellowes LX20M Powershred

Enhanced Security
This micro-cut white elegant shredding machine provides a high-security level, P-4. That means you can insert your confidential documents without stressing out. Fellowes destroys the paper into the unreadable particles of 5/32 x 1/2 inches This paper shredder is intended for one or two users.

100% Jam Proof
The max number of sheets you can insert into the device is 12. Also, LX20M shreds paper clips, staples and credit cards. It runs 10 minutes continuously, then let the device to cool-down. The jam-proof design prevents paper jams and ensures smooth shredding.

Fellowes LX20M Powershred review

Run Time Indicator
There is a run time indicator on the control panel. It will warn you when it needs a cool-down time. The overload sensors indicate when there is too much paper in the machine. If your hands or your pet paws touch the paper entry during shredding, the device will shut down immediately.


Overall: ★★★★☆
Safety: ★★★★★
Power: ★★★★★
Size: ★★★★★
Weight: ★★★☆☆
Funcionality: ★★★★★


approx: $240 – $280
determined by online offer (Amazon, Walmart) and seasonal sales

Highlighted Points:

  • white micro-cut paper shredder
  • it shreds paper, paper clips, staples and credit cards
  • run continuously for up to 10 minutes
  • the jam-proof design ensures jam-free shredding
  • LED indicators for easy control

Aurora AU1210MA Paper Shredder


Security Level: P-4
Shred Type: Micro-Cut
Dimensions: 14.4 x 11.0 x 19.3 inches
Weight: 22.4 Pounds
Bin Capacity: 5 Gallons
Sheet Capacity: 12 sheets

Mobile Shredder
Aurora AU1210MA has 14.41 inches of width, 11.02 inches of length and 19.33 inches of height. It weighs 22 pounds, so there are casters for easy mobility. This shredder is able to destroy credit cards, CDs, DVDs and small paper clips.

Aurora AU1210MA Review

Non-stop 60 Minutes Non-stop
It destroys the paper into the small particles of 5/32 x 15/32 inches. It is a micro-cut shredding type that provides the highest security for your sensitive documents. This device is a good choice for small and medium-sized offices, it shreds 60 minutes without stopping.

5-gallon Waste Bin
The wastebasket is large and holds up to 5 gallons, which is approximately 300 sheets of paper. You don’t have to empty it so frequently. On the bin is a small transparent window, it’s easy to see if the waste bin is full. The LED indicator shows bin status.

Aurora Au1210MA Paper Shredder

Anti-jam Feature
There are more LED indicators for standby, overheat, bin-full, door open status. It is very easy to control this quiet paper shredder. Against paper jams, there is an auto-reverse mode. It will reverse the blades and shred the paper again. Aurora runs quietly, it won’t disturb you or your colleagues.


Overall: ★★★★☆
Safety: ★★★★★
Power: ★★★★★
Size: ★★★★★
Weight: ★★★★☆
Funcionality: ★★★★☆


approx: $120 – $150
determined by online offer (Amazon, Walmart, eBay) and seasonal sales

Highlighted Points:

  • micro-cut paper shredder for sensitive papers
  • shreds paper clips, staples, CDs, DVDs and credit cards
  • LED lights for overheat, overload, bin-full, door open status
  • wastebasket holds up to 5 gallons
  • automatic reverse feature for paper jams

AmazonBasics 12-sheet Shredder


Security Level: P-3
Shred Type: Cross-Cut
Dimensions: 9.3 x 13.3 x 14.6 inches
Weight: 12.8 Pounds
Bin Capacity: 4.8 Gallons
Sheet Capacity: 12 sheets

Fits Anywhere
AmazonBasics is a compact device that fits on your desk, under the desk or on the shelf. It measures 14 inches of height, 13 inches of width and 9 inches of depth. This device weighs only 12 pounds. It isn’t heavy, so you can move it easily. The price is affordable.

AmazonBasics 12-Sheet

Confetti-size Pieces
It is a cross-cut machine that turns the paper into the confetti-sized pieces of 3/16 x 1-9/16 inches. AmazonBasics paper shredder meets the basic P-3 security level. It shreds up to 12 sheets of paper per single pass. Also, you don’t have to remove paper clips or staples.

Run Time – 7 Minutes
Besides the paper, this shredder has the ability to destroy credit cards. The run time lasts 7 minutes. After this time, leave the device to cool down for up to 30 minutes. If you leave it to work, the shredder will start to overheat and automatically shut off.

AmazonBasics 12-Sheet shredder review

Four Modes
AmazonBasics has a user-friendly design with 4 modes: off, auto, reverse and forward. The anti-jam auto-reverse technology will prevent paper jams and ensures optimal performance. The LED lights indicate overheat, overload, door open and bin full status. The bin of the model under a hundred bucks holds up to 4.8 gallons.


Overall: ★★★★☆
Safety: ★★★★☆
Power: ★★★★★
Size: ★★★★★
Weight: ★★★★★
Funcionality: ★★★★☆


approx: $50 – $70
determined by online offer (Amazon) and seasonal sales

Highlighted Points:

  • small cross-cut paper shredder
  • user-friendly design with four modes
  • automatic reverse function for paper jams
  • LED indicators for easy use
  • the run time lasts 7 minutes

Ativa A12MC19 12-sheet Shredder


Security Level: P-4
Shred Type: Micro-Cut
Dimensions: 17.25 x 13.25 x 24.25 inches
Weight: 13.9 pounds
Bin Capacity: 6 gallons
Sheet Capacity: 12 sheets

Micro-cut Shredder
Ativa 12-sheet A12MC19 is a micro-cut device. It shreds your sensitive documents into the unreadable particles of 0.16 x 0.47 inches. It is able to destroy the paperclips, staples and credit cards. The price is affordable and the warranty lasts 1 year.

Ativa 12-Sheet review

Pull-out Bin
When it’s time to empty the bin, just easily pull the bin out and throw the shredded papers. The wastebasket has a capacity of 6 gallons. The paper entry is 8.66 inches wide. Ativa offers a good shredding speed, it shreds up to 6 feet per minute.

20 Minutes Of Shredding
This micro-cut for home office has a long run time, it shreds 20 minutes without stopping. Of course, after that time, you need to leave the device to cool down. The sensors automatically detect overload and start to reverse blades. This feature cleans the paper jams.

Ativa 12-Sheet

Shredder Bags
There is an LED light inside the wastebasket. It lights up when the shredding begins and starts to fade away when the task is finished. This model is compatible with Ativa shredder paper bags, but they aren’t included in the package. The dimensions are 17.25 x 13.25 x 24.25 inches.


Overall: ★★★★☆
Safety: ★★★★★
Power: ★★★★☆
Size: ★★★★★
Weight: ★★★★★
Funcionality: ★★★★☆


approx: $150 – $224
determined by online offer (Amazon, Walmart) and seasonal sales

Highlighted Points:

  • it provides the highest security level
  • casters for easy mobility
  • overload and power indicators
  • shredding speed – 6 feet per minute
  • shred continuously for up to 20 minutes
  • pull-out basket features 6 gallons of capacity

Maintenance: Use Oil For Optimal Performance

Any shredder cannot run properly for long without maintenance. If you want to prolong its lifespan and make its operation as smooth as possible, you will have to oil it quite frequently. For example, a cross-cut type requires oiling after every 30 minutes of use. Also, micro-cut after every 15 minutes of use. Check the recommendations of your model to be sure which rule is for it. By oiling the blades, you will also prevent paper jams and squeaking.

Which Shredder Oil Is Recommended?

There is no universal oil recommended for every model on the market. The best thing you can do is to get the shredder oil from the same manufacturer as the paper shredder itself. If you want a different oil, make sure it is compatible with the unit you have at home.

Final Verdict

Choose the dimensions and features you need, we suggest the Royal 12-sheet cross-cut shredder. It features auto-start and auto-stop modes, separate slots for CDs and credit cards and it’s not expensive. If this topic is interesting for you, read the post about home office paper shredders. Also, read the reviews of the best shredders for business.

Melissa is a freelance writer with a Bachelor of Economy. She became one of the OfficeNeedle team members in 2020. Her expertise in business management lies in 6-year experience working in 3 companies which allowed her to improve her business skills. The knowledge she has received through her work, she presents in the educational articles helping many people who start or run a business. Her secret love is design so she writes also about office furniture and equipment.