The Best Microcut Paper Shredder

The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute's tests reveal the one Microcut Paper Shredder that can, in its opinion, be called The Best. The Institute forwards its recommendation to Hammacher Schlemmer's buyers so they can procure the product for The Hammacher Schlemmer catalog, web site, and retail store. The Microcut Paper Shredder that is currently The Best can be found here.

The Best Microcut Shredder

Overall Results

Candidate

  • Model C
  • Model A
  • Model D
  • Model B
  • Model E

Security

  • DQ
  • DQ

EaseOfUse

  • DQ
  • DQ

Capacity

  • DQ
  • DQ

Noise

  • DQ
  • DQ

Ranking

  • DQ
  • DQ

Preliminary Testing and Evaluation

Before undertaking testing, The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute surveyed consumers to learn which attributes are most critical when purchasing a Microcut Paper Shredder. They responded that Security is by far their most important concern, followed by Shred Capacity, Ease of Use, and Noise. These attribute rankings were applied to the data collected for this test.

Microcut Shredder Expectations


Respondents were also asked which features matter most in a Microcut Paper Shredder. Based on their answers, The Best model must shred papers as well as CD's and credit cards, be no taller than 25" in order to fit under a desk, and shred at least 14 sheets of paper at once.

The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute then researched the marketplace from a reasonably wide range of competing product and obtained Microcut Paper Shredders that possess these desired attributes and features. Prior to testing, the Institute eliminated from consideration any models that did not have a required attribute or feature or if it had an obvious quality issue. Conversely, if a sample offered a unique benefit that distinguished it from other models, The Institute, at its discretion, may have included it in testing even though it may have been lacking a critical feature or attribute.

Testing Methodology

Testing involved evaluations by Institute analysts. Each Microcut Paper Shredder was rated for its Security, Shred Capacity, Ease of Use, and Noise.

Security

Analysts measure the length and width in centimeters of a Microcut Shredder's smallest and largest shreds. They then rate each test model on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 indicating the smallest shred size. The model that produced the smallest overall paper shreds was ranked first. Each model scored the same for shredding a CD.

Analysts then took the average of the scores and determined a final Security score.

Candidate

  • Model C
  • Model A
  • Model D
  • Model B
  • Model E

Smallest

  • DQ
  • DQ

Largest

  • DQ
  • DQ

CD

  • DQ
  • DQ

Ranking

  • DQ
  • DQ

Ease of Use

For each Microcut Paper Shredder, analysts determined how easy it was to:

Analysts assigned a score each step, with lower scores indicating a process was very difficult and higher scores indicating it was very simple. After testing, analysts calculated an average ease-of-use score for each Microcut Paper Shredder.

Candidate

  • Model C
  • Model A
  • Model D
  • Model B
  • Model E

Instructions

  • DQ
  • DQ

LoadPaper

  • DQ
  • DQ

When Full

  • DQ
  • DQ

Remove

  • DQ
  • DQ

Blades

  • DQ
  • DQ

Maneuv.

  • DQ
  • DQ

Candidate

  • Model C
  • Model A
  • Model D
  • Model B
  • Model E

Features

  • DQ
  • DQ

Ranking

  • DQ
  • DQ

Shred Capacity

Analysts noted how many sheets of paper each model claimed could be fed into each model until it jammed, then fed the claimed amount into each model, adding one more sheet each pass until it jammed. Once jammed, analysts removed one sheet and shredded numerous times to make sure units did not jam. Analysts also noted how many sheets had been processed prior to the jam and the capacity of the bin.

Analysts then took the average of the scores and determined a final Shred Capacity score.

Candidate

  • Model C
  • Model A
  • Model D
  • Model B
  • Model E

SheetsFed

  • DQ
  • DQ

Capacity

  • DQ
  • DQ

Ranking

  • DQ
  • DQ

Noise

Analysts used a sound meter to detect the highest amount of noise (in dB) each model produced while shredding one sheet of paper and 10 sheets of paper. They then rate each test model on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 indicating the lowest amount of noise.

Analysts then took the average of the scores and determined a final Noise score.

Candidate

  • Model C
  • Model A
  • Model D
  • Model B
  • Model E

Shred1

  • DQ
  • DQ

Shred10

  • DQ
  • DQ

Ranking

  • DQ
  • DQ

What to Look For in a Microcut Shredder

The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute recommends that you consider these features when shopping for a Microcut Paper Shredder to ensure you will be completely satisfied with its performance:

About Microcut Shredders

A microcut shredder keeps personal information secure by shredding paper down the smallest size possible using a series of crosscutting blades that make each shred unrecognizable. Better shredders minimize the length and width of paper shreds while lesser models generate larger shreds. Shredders that inform its users with well-written instructions and indications of when a bin is full are easier to use than ones that do not. Shredders that have blade maintenance routines and can be easily moved are also easier to use. The more paper a shredder can process without jamming and the larger its bin is, the fewer times you will need to fix a jam or empty a bin. Look for models that produce the least amount of noise – this indicates well-machined and well-lubricated cutting blades.

Before Use

As with any product, customers must read and follow the product's user guide, marking and labeling prior to use.

About the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute

The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute was founded in 1983 as an independent, not-for-profit corporation to provide independent testing and consulting services for Hammacher Schlemmer. The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute was founded in 1983 as an independent, not-for-profit corporation to provide independent testing and consulting services for Hammacher Schlemmer. Although funded by Hammacher Schlemmer, the Institute functions independently of Hammacher Schlemmer. The Institute consults Hammacher Schlemmer and fulfills its mission statement without regard to product prices, brand names, margins, or other commercial considerations. Decisions on specific products to test, the types of test to perform and how to interpret the results lie exclusively with the Institute's research staff. In addition, the Institute's status as a separate entity from Hammacher Schlemmer prevents access to sensitive information, such as inventory levels or product cost, which might influence testing decisions. The Institute's independence assures products are researched, evaluated, and rated objectively without commercial bias.

The Institute consults Hammacher Schlemmer and fulfills its mission statement without regard to product prices, brand names, margins, or other commercial considerations.