Thankfully, the technology behind paper shredding is getting better by leaps and bounds ever year. Now, many machines are boasting near-silent operation that’s been turned down to a relaxing, whisper-quiet source of white noise. Great shedders should be reliable, allow for continuous use, and quiet enough to use at any time of day.
How to Select the Best, Most Quiet Paper Shredder
Before you buy just any shredder, you should know that there are massive differences in quality between different products. After all, a shredder that’s perfect for home use will likely not be built to accommodate the high traffic of large businesses with lots of sensitive data to protect.
First and foremost, you should opt for a shredder that is as quiet as possible. Many quiet shredders are built in order to run smoothly and jam free. It’s best to select a shredder that creates no more than 70 decibels of noise when in operation – and many can do much better than that. The manufacturer specifications should be transparent about how much noise the machine produces.
Often, silent shredders are advertised with specific functionalities that make their operation even more quiet. Frictionless blades or multifunction blades produce the least amount of noise.
Additionally, the type of paper cutting the shredder does will have a huge influence over the noise generated. Strip-cut shredders tear documents straight across into uniform ribbons, which creates the least noise. On the other hand, micro-cut shredders create extremely small tears that requires more intensive labor by the shredder, often creating slightly more noisy operation.
Ultimately, you should balance your need for high security with how quickly and silently you’d like the machine to run. Security levels are ranked as P$, P%, and P6 that progressively tear the paper into less readable chunks.
Make sure to opt for shredders that accommodate a high consecutive sheet capacity and long continuous runtime. The average shredder can take 10 sheets of paper at once, yet very high performance ones may shred more than 20 sheets. The benefit of high sheet capacity is that you won’t have to spend as much time shredding documents in a quiet office.
Reviews of the Best Quiet Paper Shredders
Here, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular, quietest shredders that are currently available on the market. We’ve made sure to balance concerns over runtime, safety, speed, and cost efficacy in addition to considering noisiness of the machine.
The Bonsaii is one of the most popular paper shredders for corporate purposes, period. And it’s for a good reason to.
With over sixty minutes of continuous run time, the quiet operation at less than 58 decibels will give you one of the most smooth shredding experiences ever. The ultra high security cross-cut paper shredder with twelve sheets capacity cuts paper into tiny particles measuring 5/32 by 19/50 inches.
In addition to paper, the Bonsaii can handle credit cards, CD/DVDs, clips, staples, and more. At over 7.2 feet per minute, this machine makes all shredding as seamless, fast, and quiet as possible. If any malfunction every occurs, rest easy because the three year no-questions-asked warranty is there for you.
Utilizing a jam protection system with auto reverse, you’re protected from frustrating paper jams, overheating, and overloading with patented technology. Additionally, the overheating protection allows the machine to vent and increase its longevity by several years.
The 4.2 gallon pull out wastebasket boasts easy emptying with a transparent base to make it easy to see when the device is full.
- Comes with thermal protection guarantees, allowing the machine to be used continuously for sixty minutes
- Generous three year warranty covers accidents and hardware failures
- Powerful enough to quietly shred CDs, electronics, staples, and other malleable metal products
- Feet rollers are unidirectional, making it somewhat difficult to position the shredder appropriately
The Fellowes 100 percent jam-proof system eliminates the frustratingly frequent problem of shredding jams. With enough power to get through tough jobs and thick paper, the whole machine is a patented SilentShred product that offers ultra-quiet performance that’s perfect for shared workspaces.
Through employing optimally energy efficient practices, the savings program helps to decrease power use whenever the 79Ci is not being used. You can rest assured knowing that the shredder won’t cause unwitting increases in your company or home’s monthly energy bill.
Additionally, the Fellowes is built first and foremost with safety in mind. Offering SafeSense technology, the shredder always stops whenever hands touch the paper opening.
The average shred speed on the device is 4.3 mpm with an auto-reverse function that’s just as fast. The shredder can handle 16 sheets per pass that it cuts into 5/32 inch by 1/2 inch cross-cut particles. The shredder is a certified Security level P-4 device.
At only 21.31 by 15.38 by 10.44 inches, the compact shredder works well for small offices and can slip unnoticed under small desks for optimal space saving.
- Features SafeSense technology that automatically disables the shredder when hands touch the opening
- Using energy efficient mechanisms to decrease power use when the machine isn’t being used
- Produces cross cut shreds, which are much more secure than strip-cut shredders and faster to produce than micro-cut shredders
- Offers twenty minutes of continuous shredding before having an auto-overheat mechanism power down the device, which may make it inconvenient for large shredding tasks
The Sentinel can shred up to twelve sheets of paper, one CD/DVD, and one credit card in just a single pass with no stutters, glitches, or skips. Creating 4mm by 10mm micro-cut shreds, this security level P-4 device can shred up to six feet per minute (or 72 single sheets per minute).
With auto-start and stop, manual reverse, and a manual overheat indicator, the incredibly silent Sentinel caters to every type of shredding task. Customers love the Sentinel because, out of all the corporate shredders they’ve tried, the Sentinel has a higher degree of user feedback.
With multi-colored lights, you’ll always be able to pinpoint any issue that occurs – whether it’s the safety mechanism locking, overheating, jams, or other mechanical failures.
The spacious five gallon slide-out wastebasket comes with a window that allows you to see whenever the container is full. Most customers state that the shredder can last up to 450 shredded sheets of standard dimension paper.
If you’re not satisfied, rest assured that the Sentinel comes with a one year limited warranty that covers a wide range of hardware malfunctions.
- Creates micro-cut tears that make it suitable for high-security environments and workspaces
- Spacious wastebasket allows for use without requiring frequent basket removals
- Features a high degree of user feedback through manual, light-up error symbols that always let you know what’s happening
- Some customers complain that the Sentinel overheats too frequently after only fifteen to twenty minutes of high volume, continuous use
The GoECOlife shredder is perfect for high security workspaces and the most sensitive information that needs to be disposed. Shredding into completely unreadable, confetti-sized particles, it’s easier than ever to shred credit cards, CDs, staples, and thick-cut paper at any time.
The micro-cut shreds also allow for the wastebasket to become much fuller of a high volume of paper rather than traditional cross cut shredding techniques. Like standard shredders, 12 sheets can be input per pass which are rendered into tiny 0.16 inch by .39 inch particles.
Additionally, GoECOlife prides itself on being produced through purely carbon neutral processes while boasting a high degree of energy savings. The device is assured to cut out all sources of “vampire energy sucking” from wall outlets, resulting in monthly energy bill savings. You can feel good using the GoECOlife since a small percentage of the shredder’s profit goes directly towards local reforestation projects.
Though micro-cut shredders are often considered louder, the GoECOLife is highly valued by customers for it’s dead-silent operation. The device is quiet enough to be used in workspaces at any time of day or even during meetings.
- Produced from carbon neutral processes and using energy savings technology to reduce vampirism from the wall outlet
- Cuts paper into minuscule micro shreds that make it suitable for the highest level of security clearance
- Features separate input slot for CD/DVD and credit cards in order to provide the most specialized shredding
- Limited edition production means that the shredder may be unavailable if the manufacturing deal is not renewed by the company (meaning that customer warranties may become void somewhat soon after purchase)
The SimplyShred PSC418D is a multi-functional, high quality shredder that accommodates 18 pages at once. This cross-cut shredder accepts paper, CD/DVD, staples, and credit cards. Shredding to the tiny size of 4 mm by 44 mm (Security level 3), SimplyShred is perfect for businesses and home use.
Tearing up to 8.5 feet per minute, this 7.4 gallon bin shredder can handle up to forty minutes of continuous use. Feel free to shred quietly in any environment with the SimplyShred, since its noise level is certified to be below 58 decibels.
Featuring motor dampening and shredding encapsulation, it’s hard to beat the SimplyShred in terms of noise production. The SimplyShred has auto start, stop, motor reverse, and safety sensors that make it pleasure to use.
You can rest assured knowing the SimplyShred will last years, since it features automatic jamming protection, full bin LED indicators, as well as overheat and overload protections.
Though it may not be well-suited to the highest security level shredding tasks, SimplyShred is one of the most cost effective shredders that small businesses and individuals can opt for.
- Very quiet operating noise of less than 58 decibels, making it appropriate for polite use in quiet workspaces at any time of day
- Very high continuous shredding time of 40 minutes before needing an hour cool down
- Accommodates up to 18 sheets of paper at once at a shredding rate of 8.5 feet per minute
- Not suitable for shredding paper of the highest security clearance levels
- CD and credit card slot is not compatible to shred paper
If you need to shred papers at home for individual purposes, it doesn’t get much better than the SimplyShred. Ultra quiet and quick, the SimplyShred can shred paper at a whopping rate of 8.5 feet per minute with a continuous operation time of forty minutes.
For high security clearance information, it’s best to opt for shredders that cut paper into industry standard micro-tears. The Sentinel provides a quiet, effective option for larger businesses and more sensitive data.