Do I need an Auto Feed paper shredder? Whats the go?

The short answer for most is simply yes, especially if you want to save almost 100% of your time shredding. To avoid disappointment, it is prudent before purchasing an auto feed shredder to first do some research on popular professional shredder brands to determine the ability of the machine to automatically feed what you need to shred.

Most professional auto feed shredder brands feed from the bottom of the stack loaded into the feed tray. Professional auto feed shredder brands include: Rexel Optimum AutoFeed+  Fellowes Automax  Dahle Shredmatic and INFOSTOP Automaster . These brands can self-feed up to A4 sized office paper and if the paper is fastened with a staple of paper clip, these A4 documents can usually still auto feed.

Some self-feeding shredder brands can also auto feed smaller sized documents and this needs to be researched by brand if for instance A5 documents can be auto fed?

Limitations and tolerances be aware of include:

  • Ability to auto feed higher gsm papers, for instance thicker than 80gsm.
  • The maximum number of pages fastened when auto feeding.
  • Larger than A4 sized documents usually wont reliable auto feed.
  • Continuous run time and how this is expressed.
  • Shredding adhesive labels and laminated paged is not recommended by most shredder brands.

HOT TIP! Product limitations are not usually included in product marketing, however searching for the model’s user manual can provide those extra details needed to make a more measured decision.  

In summary when the majority of paper you need to shred is A4, an auto feed shredder is likely the best time saving solution for use at home or at the office. There are many sizes of auto feed paper shredders to choose with the following brands offering P-4, cross-cut and P-5 micro cut, in addition the brands offer the following loading capacities:

INFOSTOP Automaster:            50, 100, 150, 190, 200, 300, 370, 650 and 1000 sheets capacity
Rexel Optimum AutoFeed+:       50, 100, 150, 225, 300, 600, 750 sheets capacity
Fellowes Automax:                    100, 150, 200, 350, 550, 600 sheets capacity
Dahle Shredmatic:                     90, 150, 300 sheets capacity

Most auto feed shredders include castors for easier mobility with the exception of Rexel Optimum AutoFeed+ 50x, 100x and 100m models.

If time is of the essence to have your documents instantly shredded under supervision, auto feed paper shredders may not be for you. Typically, auto feed paper shredders require 15-25 minutes to shred 500 to 750 sheets and with this amount of time required to automatically feed this number of pages doesn’t meet your expectations, its all the more reason perhaps to purchase a manual feed shredder which typically, is a much faster option to shred the same 500 - 750 sheets under supervision. In fact, a large office shredder can shred up to 500 sheets per minute.

Another consideration is the noise level of the auto feed shredder given the 15-25 minutes required to shred 500 - 750 sheets. That said the above brands generally operate at quiet enough levels to be considered as quiet enough to function in the home, government or business office without the causing negative distraction.

To further reduce time spent to automatically shred, choosing a micro cut auto feed paper shredder will easily halve the time spent emptying your shredder. This is due to the superior compaction characteristics of micro cut shredded paper. Take it a step further and auto feed paper shredders with an auto sweeper will better distribute the shredded paper throughout the bin before turning off when full.
Cross Cut and Micro Cut shreds comparison

The automatic bin sweeper stops paper piling in the middle of the bin to better use spare bin space before turning off when full. The result when removing the bin is an even and level load of shredded paper with all available bin space used which means at least half the emptying.