Are you looking for a budget-friendly shredding machine?
You don’t have to spend all your money on this device, there are good paper shredders under $100. But, you should know which features are necessary, so read our buying guide first. We chose the best 5 affordable options with good features and reviewed them.
IN THIS ARTICLE:
Our Top Picks
Can You Be Safe With An Item Under $100?
By paying below $100, you will mostly have to sacrifice its size, as they won’t come with very high-capacity bins. However, you will also be able to get micro-cut models which offer a higher level of security. Moreover, by paying less than a hundred dollars, you will still be able to choose a model that can shred even 10+ sheets of paper at once. Finally, if you want a heavy-duty model or a level 6 security shredder, you will have to spend hundreds and sometimes even thousands of dollars.
How Much Do They Usually Cost?
Of course, the answer depends on the features, size, durability, and type of cutting mechanism. But, in general, you won’t have to spend more than $100 to $500 to get a good shredder.
What Can You Get A Price Of Around $100?
There are a few different kinds you can score by paying less than a hundred bucks for. Here is what to expect:
Strip-cut mechanism – small devices with a low level of security, usually cost around $30
Basic cross-cut models – offer a medium level of security and you can find them for around $50
Very basic micro-cut – with a high level of security (P-5), usually cost around $100
Shredder suitable for home office – the price of the items for working from home start at $50 onwards
Shredders for junk mail – cuts unopened mail and other personal mail at home; can be found for around $80
Manual and handheld shredders – small in size, quiet and portable; usually found for around $20 or less
What Are The Benefits Of Owning An Affordable Shredder?
Before you make the purchase, consider the pros and cons of spending less than $100 on the device.
- low price – you won’t have to break the bank to shred paper
- many offers – the market offers various types and models for this price
- safe for disposal – by using cross-cut or micro-cut, you can safely dispose of your sensitive and confidential documents
- saving time and space – free up space in your home/office by getting rid of unnecessary papers, save time it would take you to shred by hand
- environment-friendly – recycle paper so that it can be reused for producing eco-friendly paper
- no level 6 – shredders with the highest level of security are way more expensive
- no big shredders – high-capacity shredders are also more expensive
Are Affordable Options Reliable?
Yes, even affordable shredders are reliable to use, manufacturers produce them securely. Due to the reduced price, however, these models will mostly have fewer features and lower specifications. If this is not a problem for your shredding needs, then even a budget-friendly option will work great for you and be reliable.
What Can You Expect?
For a manufacturer to be able to sell a shredder for a low price, they will have to optimize the number of features (fewer features) and make the run time shorter and the sheet capacity lower, etc.
Up To 12-Sheet Capacity
It is nearly impossible you will find a shredder that can destroy more than 12 sheets of paper per pass for a price under $100. However, even up to 12-sheet capacity will be enough for shredding at home or for small offices.
Lower Bin Capacity
They usually have a bin capacity of under five gallons. If you are going to use it in your home and for light-duty shredding, this will be enough. Otherwise, you might have to invest more money to get a shredder with a higher bin capacity.
The affordable paper shredder usually has a shorter run time. It goes from 2 minutes to 10 minutes. Paired with a higher sheet capacity, it will shred more at the same time as a model with a lower sheet capacity. Make sure not to use your shredder for longer than it is intended as it can overheat. Likewise, leave it to cool down for the recommended number of minutes.
What Can They Shred?
Usually, they can cut more than just paper. It is common for models to also be able to cut through credit cards, paper clips, staples, CDs, and DVDs. Usually, the more materials they can handle, the more expensive they are. Check the manual before feeding your device with different materials to see if it is suitable for that action.
Look for models that offer auto shut off and reverse settings that will help to keep you safe and help you clear paper jams in case they happen.
Look for models that are quiet, producing noise at around 60 decibels at most. Such models are available for wanted price.
Type Of Cutting Mechanism
Nowadays, you can get all three types of cutting mechanisms for under $100. The first type is strip-cut, the cheapest model with the lowest level of security. It cuts paper into long strips so it is possible to reassemble. The second type is a cross-cut, cutting paper into confetti shapes or diamond shapes of small sizes. They offer a medium level of security. Finally, you can also go for a micro-cut that shreds paper into tiny particles, offering the most security as the documents are impossible to put back together. This type is great for shredding highly confidential documents.
Best 5 Paper Shredders Under $100
Bonsaii DocShred C220-A Shredder
Shred Type: Cross-Cut
Dimensions: 13.2 x 8.7 x 17.8 inches
Bin Capacity: 3.5 gallons
Sheet Capacity: 12 sheets
Home Office Use
The Bonsaii DocShred C220-A is easy to use, it is the ideal shredder for the home office. Its dimensions are 13.20 x 8.70 x 17.80 inches. It weighs 13 pounds, so it isn’t heavy, but there are casters for easy mobility. The casters are universal and removable. You can lock front wheels.
P-4 Security Level
It is a office shredder that accepts 12 sheets of paper per single pass. Also, it shreds paper clips, staples and credit cards. The paper will be shredded into tiny particles of 5/32 x 1-37/64 inches. This device meets the P-4 security level, you can shred your confidential documents.
It runs continuously for up to 5 minutes, then you should leave it to cool down for 45 minutes. The paper drops into the pull-out waste bin of 3.5 gallons. There is a transparent window so you can see if the bin is full.
There are sensors around the paper entry, when you put the paper near the slot, the Bonsaii starts to shred. The manual reverse feature prevents paper jams. If you leave the device to work longer than its limit, it will shut down by itself. Also, there is overload protection.
- big cross-cut for home office use
- four universal removable wheels
- overheat and overload protections
- 12 sheets of paper at the time
- wastebin with 3.5-gallon capacity
GBC 1757394 Paper Shredder
Shred Type: Cross-Cut
Dimensions: 19 x 10.8 x 18.60 inches
Bin Capacity: 5 gallons
Sheet Capacity: 12 sheets
The GBC Personal Duo is a small and compact device, perfect for home use. You can place it on your desk, on a shelf or under your desk. Choose between two colors, light blue and black colors. It measures 19 x 10.8 x 18.60 inches. The warranty lasts 1 year.
Confidential Security Level
This super cross-cut meets everyday security needs, it has a P-4 security level. The Duo shreds paper in two directions. It shreds credit cards, CDs, DVDs and paper with clips and staples. Also, it shreds unopened junk mail, you don’t have to take it out of the envelope.
4-minute Run Time
You can insert 12 sheets of paper per single pass. But you can insert only one credit card or CD at a time. The GBC Duo runs 4 minutes continuously. The cool-down period lasts 45 minutes. The lift-off waste bin has a capacity of 5 gallons.
Low Noise Level
You don’t have to open the desktop paper shredder to see if the bin is full. There is a small transparent window for that. The cool-down indicator will show you when the device is ready for use. The GBC won’t disturb you with annoying noise, it runs quietly.
- compact supper cross cut machine
- LED indicator shows when the device is ready to use
- the waste bin capacity holds up to 5 gallons
- it shreds credit cards, CDs/DVDs, clips and staples
- improves a comfortable environment with low noise
- runs 4 minutes continuously
Sentinel FM104B Micro-cut Shredder
Shred Type: Micro-Cut
Dimensions: 13.2 x 17.3 x 7.9 inches
Bin Capacity: 5 gallons
Sheet Capacity: 10 sheets
Sentinel FM104B is a bigger device with has 13.20 x 17.30 x 7.90 inches. It is available in black color. It has a UL certificate and it is tested. This shredder comes in two versions, with 10-sheet or 8-sheet capacity. We focus on the 10-sheet shredder.
It shreds 10 sheets of paper per single pass. Also, you can insert one CD/DVD or credit card at the time. Sentinel is a micro-cut, so you can shred your highly secure documents. The security level is P-4 and the shredded particle has 4 x 10mm.
72 Sheets Per Minute
The shredding speed of this cross-cut or diamond-cut is 6 feet per minute. That means 72 sheets per minute. The auto-start will start shredding the moment you put the paper near the entry. Also, this affordable machine has an auto-stop feature, it stops when there is no paper between the blades.
The manual reverse feature will clean up the paper jams. If you forget to turn off the device, the LED light will indicate if the motor starts to overheat and shut off the device. The Sentinel works quietly, it won’t disturb you or your colleagues. It features casters for easy mobility.
- a big device with casters for mobility
- it accepts 10 sheets per pass
- micro-cut shredder with high-security level
- shredding speed is 6 feet per minute
- auto-start and an auto-stop feature
Fellowes Powershred W11C Shredder
Shred Type: Cross-Cut
Dimensions: 8.50 x 13.75 x 18 inches
Bin Capacity: 4.75 gallons
Sheet Capacity: 11 sheets
Credit Cards & Staples
Fellowes Powershred W11C is a cross-cut able to shred credit cards and staples. The width of the shredded paper is 1 x 3/8 inches. This device weighs 14 pounds and measures 8.50 x 13.75 x 18 inches. The warranty lasts 1 year for the machine and 3 years for cutters.
Home Office Shredder
Fellowes is a great shredder for small office use. It features Safety Lock. If you use this function you will disable the shredder for added security. So while it shreds the paper, it is impossible to open it. That prevents accidents and injuries.
The W11C runs 5 minutes continuously, then the device needs to cool down. Leave it for at least 20 minutes before you can use it again. The lift-off waste bin has a capacity of 4.75 gallons. Open the bin with a convenient handle.
11-sheet Of Paper
This electric model is designed for light use. Also, it produces a bit higher noise. There are 72 decibels, but it isn’t unbearable. The Fellowes Powershred is perfect for personal use. It shreds up to 11 sheets of paper per single pass.
- it shreds up to 11 sheets of paper at the time
- lift-off waste bin with 4.75 gallons
- a bit noisy paper shredder with 72 dB
- runs 5 minutes continuously
- safety lock adds more security
AmazonBasics 12-sheet Paper Shredder
Shred Type: Cross-Cut
Dimensions: 9.9 x 13.2 x 11.8 inches
Bin Capacity: 1.8 gallons
Sheet Capacity: 12 sheets
AmazonBasics is a cross-cut desktop size paper shredder. You can place it wherever you want, on the desk, under the desk, on the shelf, on the floor. It fits anywhere. It is 13 inches high, 11.7 inches wide and 9.92 inches deep and 17 pounds heavy.
This small paper shredder machine shreds junk mail, credit cards, CDs, DVDs, credit cards, small clips and staples. It shreds paper into criss-cross particles of 5/32 x 1-7/32 inches. You can insert your confidential documents, the security level is P-4. The paper entry width is 8.7 inches.
Continuous run time last 8 minutes before required a cool-down period of 45 minutes. This affordable device will start to shred automatically when the sensors detect the paper. For anti-jam, there is an auto-reverse feature that reverses the blades and cleans the paper jams.
The pull out waste bin is transparent, so you can see when it is full. The capacity is 1.8 gallons. The thermal protection will shut off the device and prevent overheating. AmazonBasics has four modes – auto, forward, reverse and off. The LED lights indicate overheat, overload, door open and standby status.
approx: $60 – $160
determined by online offer (Amazon) and seasonal sales
- four modes – auto, forward, off and reverse
- the waste bin with a large transparent window
- runs continuously for up to 8 minutes
- high-security level, P-4
- compact device for CDs/DVDs, staples, clips and cards
How Do I Maintain It?
Tese devices require at least some maintenance so they can have a long lifespan and shred paper without problems such as paper jams. This means that you will have to oil the blades regularly. For cross-cut models, this is at least after every 30 minutes of use, and after 15 minutes for micro-cut.
Also, run the shredder in reverse from time to time to prevent paper jams. Likewise, emptying the bin before it becomes too full will also prevent that. Furthermore, run it only for the recommended number of minutes of its duty cycle and give it enough time to cool down. Do not use it to shred materials it is not suitable for.
3 Tips for Proper & Easy Paper Shredding
Here are some quick tips to make shredding even easier than before.
Which Documents Should You Keep?
Before shredding any document you might need in the future, make sure you have it saved in a digital copy. You should keep the documents that your accountant could need at any point in the future, though.
Shred Junk Mail Straight Away
When you get junk mail, it is pointless to leave it lying around if you are never going to open it or need it. Moreover, shred notes that could contain sensitive information (such as your passwords) before they end up in the wrong hands.
Keep Your Sensitive Data Secure Even Before Shredding
Before you cut the paper and make it impossible to put back together, don’t just leave it lying around anywhere. Instead, lock it in a filing cabinet to keep it away from prying eyes.
All of these affordable options have good features, they won’t disappoint you. But, we recommend the Bonsaii DocShred C220-A. It has removable wheels with lockable front wheels, auto start and manual reverse features. If you want to check out other non-expensive shredders, read the review of the best home office shredders. In the post about shredders for your hands, you can find small and affordable options too.