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When my garbage is sensitive, this paper shredder helps

This AmazonBasics shredder can shred 6 sheets of paper at a time — and easily handles plastic credit cards.
The mail that piled up on my ottoman table was gone within minutes once I bought this shredder.
The mail that piled up on my ottoman table was gone within minutes once I bought this shredder.

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Of all the things I’ve bought for my apartment, I never predicted wanting a paper shredder — nor how much I’ve come to rely on it. Throwing away mail can make me feel vulnerable. From bills, old pay stubs, medical bills to just plain junk, I receive a lot of mail with sensitive information on it. Even the most innocuous mail like a menu or advertisement will often still show my name and address, information I don’t want just anyone to be able to see. About a year ago, I started ripping up my mail before throwing it in the trash, but that’s a time consuming endeavor — predictably, mail started piling up and soon old mail filled my entire ottoman tray. I needed a better solution to keep my apartment from turning into a mailroom.

SKIP AHEAD Other paper shredders to consider

A paper shredder seemed like a sensible answer. I didn’t need anything huge, just something that could handle a few sheets of paper — and the occasional credit card — and that didn’t take up too much space. After settling on the AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Home Office Shredder, I finally cleared my ottoman tray of old mail. Since then, the shredder has more than met my needs.

AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Home Office Shredder

Shredding paper even turned into a fun afternoon activity for my partner and me — we’ll just sit around a stack of old bills and junk mail and take turns obliterating every last page. My shredder can shred up to 6 pages of paper at a time — hence the name — and one plastic credit card at a time when it’s put through the credit card slot. It has had no trouble shredding through staples, in my experience, and the company says it can also shred paper clips. The four-mode sliding power switch can turn the shredder on, off, in reverse or in auto mode. Twelve inches wide and just half that in depth, and weighing in at 8 pounds, it’s compact enough for my smaller apartment — I barely feel like it’s there unless I’m using it.

And while the capacity isn’t huge — we once got paper shreds everywhere when we took off the lid to an overfilled bin — and the machine does need time to cool down sometimes, it’s completely solved a problem I was having in my home, and that’s really about as much as you can ask for.

Other paper shredders to consider

If you’re shopping for a paper shredder and looking for something slightly smaller or that can handle more sheets of paper, here are some other highly rated options to consider.

bonsaii 6-sheet Paper Shredder

This paper shredder can handle 6 sheets of paper at a time, as well as plastic credit cards, according to the company. The shredder measures 14.1 inches by 11.8 inches by 7 inches, weighs less than 7 pounds and has a bin capacity of 3.4 gallons, according to bonsaii. The shredder has a 4.5-star average rating from over 12,000 Amazon reviews.

Aurora AS890C 8-Sheet Paper Shredder

Aurora says this shredder can shred 8 sheets of paper at once, as well as plastic credit cards. It measures 12.6 inches by 7.48 inches by 14.78 inches and weighs 7 pounds, according to the company. The shredder comes with a 4.6-star average rating from over 22,000 Amazon reviews.

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