Has your paper shredder stopped working?

Shredders that are available on the high street are prone to breaking down. They require regular maintenance, cleaning and lubricating, have only short bursts of shredding time before they must enter a cool-down cycle, and generally can only shred a few sheets at a time. The blades also tend to dull after time, making them slow and more prone to jamming.

If your paper shredder has stopped working, it might be time to outsource your shredding to a fully certified supplier of commercial and domestic shredding services. These services can be a lot cheaper than you’d think!

What are the mechanisms inside a small paper shredder?

There are many reasons your shredding machine may have stopped working. A standard office shredder is typically powered by a small electric motor that runs two rotating rows of blades. These rows of blades rotate towards each other, pulling materials into the space between them. The shredded fragments that have passed through the blades then fall into the container at the bottom of the shredder.

As these machines are so small and the container at the bottom doesn’t let out any air, they can quickly fill with shredded paper and very fine paper dust. This dust can work its way into the motor, building up over time. In addition to being a fire hazard, the dust can also wreak havoc on the other components of the devices, causing jams, blockages and overheating.

How does this compare with industrial shredders?

Industrial shredders are much more powerful than the ones you can buy on the high street. As a quick comparison:

  • Standard home shredder: 450 sheets per hour
  • Our on-site vehicle shredders: 600,000 sheets per hour
  • Our destruction facility shredders: 2,000,000 sheets per hour

The numbers above speak for themselves. Industrial shredders can make light work of your shredding requirements, big or small. Not only are industrial shredders incredibly fast, large and powerful, but when you use a company that has industrial shredders, you also rid yourself of the constant work and maintenance costs.

Industrial shredders also have different mechanics from small office shredders. For instance, our shredders use a multi-cut method of destruction – shredding materials into small confetti-sized pieces. They also have a screen that works like a giant sieve but with larger holes. Only once paper or other materials are small enough to pass through the holes in the screen will they exit the shredder.

Image to show comparison of shredding machine capabilities

What are the real costs of using a paper shredder?

As well as the initial cost of purchasing a paper shredder, you must also buy a lot of oil – and not just any oil. WD-40 and other oils are not suitable for paper shredders because they cause the paper dust particles to stick together which can jam the machines.  You must use oils specially formulated for shredders to keep the mechanisms lubricated. These oils can be expensive – around £8-£13 per bottle – and most manufacturers recommend oiling your shredder every time you empty the waste basket! With oil needed so frequently, costs will quickly add up.

Along with the costs of the shredder and the oil, you also need to consider the value of your or your employees’ time. If your shredder can only process a few sheets at once, it would take hours for a person to shred even a single box of paperwork. Smaller shredders can overheat very quickly, so even if you want to complete your shredding in one day, you’d have to keep waiting for the machine to cool down. This is before considering the time taken to remove paperwork from plastic wallets, taking out staples and removing paper clips!

Along with these costs, there is also the environmental cost of disposing of the shredded fragments, and the cost you would incur if these documents were reassembled. If you are shredding at home, you will likely be putting these fragments in an unlocked outside bin. Many councils in the UK will not even accept shredded paper in recycling bins. This means you may end up sending recyclable materials to landfill. For business waste, you won’t have any proof of destruction for your audit trail. You may also find it difficult to find a commercial recycler who will accept loose shredded paper in recycling bins.

How much would it be to have a shredding service instead?

While our shredding services are incredibly affordable, not all shredding service providers are the same. As you can read for yourself in our customers’ reviews, our services are often the most competitively priced in the market. Crucially, we also price competitively without compromising on security or quality of service. At Shred Station, our quotes are bespoke depending on the quantity you have, what materials you need to destroy, what service you want and how often you want it. Whatever service you require, we keep our prices as low as possible and deliver all services CarbonNeutral® certified.

Our cheapest service is our depot drop-off service. This is where you bring your materials to us. If you’d rather work through your shredding at a pace to suit you, we can even offer a fully tracked postal shredding service. This service, known as Ship2Shred, is suitable for small volumes of paperwork and hard drives.

For time-saving and the best value for money, we can offer regular, scheduled services at highly competitive prices. With regular services, you can also access our customer portal to view all of your important service documents, your upcoming schedule and much more.

If you’d like a bespoke quote that ticks all your boxes, please feel free to get in touch with our sales team.

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