AmazonBasics 12-Sheet Shredder

Last updated date: April 16, 2019

DWYM Score
8.2

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We looked at the top 1 Paper Shredders and dug through the reviews from 12 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, New York Times Wirecutter, Engadget, Lifewire, Review Lab, Beasts Live, Recycling.com, Digital10z, All The Stuff, Easy Shredder Mart, Home Generosity, Tech Hub and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Paper Shredder you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 75 expert reviews, the AmazonBasics AmazonBasics 12-Sheet Shredder placed 7th when we looked at the top 9 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note August 12, 2019:
Checkout The Best Paper Shredder for a detailed review of all the top paper shredders.

Expert Summarized Score
7.8
12 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.8
4,415 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Micro shredding enhanses security.
- BestReviews
This shredder produced the least amount of operating noise of any machine we tested: 57 decibels.
- New York Times Wirecutter
October 11, 2018 | Full review
This model also produced the least amount of operating noise of any machine we tested.
- Engadget
March 9, 2018 | Full review
Fortunately, the 6.7-gallon bin holds more than enough space to add in both shredded credit cards and CDs for good measure.
- Lifewire
January 15, 2019 | Full review
Security level. The P4 security level means your documents will be shredded into tiny pieces that are virtually impossible to piece back together, ensuring your private data is well protected.
- Review Lab
Micro-shredding enhances security. Our noise test revealed that the AmazonBasics produced just 60 decibels of sound, one of the lowest levels among our contenders.
- Beasts Live
This shredder is quiet, solid and it runs smoothly.
- Recycling.com
January 4, 2019 | Full review
It is a very high-security paper shredder as it shreds documents into micro-sized cuts
- Digital10z
October 3, 2018 | Full review
The Safe Sense feature means that this shredder doesn’t need to be turned off or locked when not in use.
- All The Stuff
January 24, 2019 | Full review
Auto start feature means it can stay on for standby purposes and has sensors to detect when a paper is close to its opening which triggers the machine to begin shredding. Manual reverse lever functions to get rid of paper jams that hinder productivity.
- Easy Shredder Mart
The capacity of this is also huge enough as it can handle 12 sheets with 8 minutes run time this is really a good one.
- Home Generosity
The tasks can be operated within less time because multi pages can be shred quickly and there is no need to remove staples.
- Tech Hub
January 15, 2019 | Full review
What experts didn't like
Relatively short shred cycle ( 8 minutes)
- BestReviews
The bin, which is designed to slide out of the shredder’s chassis, has a 6.7-gallon capacity according to Amazon’s claims. Our testing, however, revealed that the bin could hold only 4.8 gallons of shredded material.
- New York Times Wirecutter
October 11, 2018 | Full review
No-lock casters. Casters cannot be locked, which proved to be a problem for reviewers with non-carpeted floors. However, pads can placed under the casters to keep them from rolling.
- Review Lab
The manufacturer's estimated shred cycle is eight minutes; its cool-down period is purported to be 45 minutes. Our in-house tests added a minute or two to the shredding portion of the duty cycle, but the machine struggled with larger stacks of paper as the blades overheated. We urge potential users to keep the AmazonBasics' blades lubricated between sessions.
- Beasts Live
The shred cycle is very short. It means you can only use it for 8 minutes and then have to wait 45 minutes to let it cool down.
- Digital10z
October 3, 2018 | Full review
Independent testing carried out by consumers revealed that this shredder operates with a noise level of about 82 dBA.
- All The Stuff
January 24, 2019 | Full review
The shred cycle is very short. It means you can only use it for 8 minutes and then have to wait 45 minutes to let it cool down.
- Easy Shredder Mart

From The Manufacturer

AmazonBasics brings you everyday items at a great value. An Amazon Brand.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Royal 18-Sheet Shredder
Overall Score: 9.6
Expert Reviews: 7
2. AmazonBasics 8-Sheet shredder
Overall Score: 9.6
Expert Reviews: 8
3. Fellowes Powershred 79Ci
Overall Score: 9.4
Expert Reviews: 13
4. Sentinel 12-Sheet Shredder
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 3
5. Aurora 8-Sheet Shredder
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 2
6. Swingline 14-Sheet Shredder
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 4
7. AmazonBasics 12-Sheet Shredder
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 12
8. AmazonBasics 17-Sheet Shredder
Overall Score: 7.7
Expert Reviews: 4
9. Bonsaii 6-Sheet Shredder
Overall Score: 7.2
Expert Reviews: 7

An Overview On Paper Shredders

About one in 15 consumers fell victim to identity fraud in 2017, with a new victim every two seconds. With details like your Social Security number, bank account numbers, date of birth and contact information, a criminal can take out a loan in your name. Using only your credit card number, fraudsters can start spending, especially if they have the card verification value (CVV) number on the back.

Data theft poses such a big problem, many consumers have realized the importance of securing their information. This extends to the paper documents they toss in the garbage, which can easily end up in the wrong hands somewhere between the house and the landfill or recycling center. Ripping up every sheet of paper can be time-consuming, especially if you deal with a significant amount of paperwork on a monthly basis.

There are several things to consider when you’re looking around for shredders, though. Perhaps the most important is capacity. Some shredders can handle large stacks of paper, while others make you feed only one or two sheets at a time. If you plan to shred items like credit cards, you’ll need to seek out a shredder with that capability.

One of the biggest issues with paper shredders is jamming. Unfortunately, most shredders will eventually jam, especially if you exceed their capacity or they overheat. It’s important to find a shredder that can help you easily recover from those jams. Another issue specific to all shredders is that they have a limited runtime, after which you’ll need to wait while they cool down before you can insert another document. This can understandably be inconvenient, so make sure you’re aware of the limits of whatever shredder you choose.

It may not seem a top priority at first, but shredders come in various sizes. If you plan to slide your shredder under your desk or set it on a table, measure in advance to determine the maximum space you’ll need. Some shredders also include wheels, making them easy to maneuver around as necessary.

DYWM Fun Fact

You may not realize it, but paper shredders have been around since 1906, when a Brooklyn entrepreneur came up with the idea and later patented it. However, the first shredder wasn’t manufactured until 1935. That was when a German man wanted a way to safely dispose of the anti-Nazi propaganda he was creating. His version of the shredder was based on the design of a pasta maker. He began selling his shredder soon after, with government agencies and financial institutions eventually buying them. The need to revolutionize shredding beyond thin strips of paper came from a 1979 raid of the American Embassy. The Iranian revolutionaries were able to put together the shredded documents and decipher what was on them.

The Paper Shredder Buying Guide

  • If you’ve ever shredded a stack of paper, you likely know the tedium that can come from the task. The more pages you can slip through the feeder at once, the quicker you can move on to other tasks. The Royal 18-Sheet Shredder promises to shred as many as 18 sheets in one pass. It also can shred one sheet of paper in less than five seconds. The Fellowes Powershred 79Ci comes close at 16 sheets, while the Sentinel 12-Sheet Shredder can handle 12 at once. The AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Shredder can only handle eight, although you may be able to squeeze in up to 10.
  • Paper isn’t the only thing shredders can tackle. The AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Shredder and Fellowes Powershred 79Ci can shred credit cards, as well. You don’t even have to remove your staples or paper clips with the Fellowes Powershred 79Ci, which can shred these supplies along with the paper connected to them.
  • Traditionally, shredders cut paper into long strips, which was great, but not nearly as secure as today’s cross-cut shredders, which slice paper both horizontally and vertically. The AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Shredder cuts paper into 3/16″ x 1-27/32″ strips, while the Fellowes Powershred 79Ci creates 5/32″ x 1-1/2″ pieces. The smallest shredding capacity, though, comes from the Sentinel 12-Sheet Shredder, which is highly rated for its security, producing microshreds sized only 4mm x 15mm.
  • Capacity isn’t just about the number of pages your feeder can handle. The size of the waste bin also matters. The larger the bin, the less frequently you’ll need to stop to empty it. The Royal 18-Sheet Shredder has an 8.5-gallon bin, making it the largest, while the Fellowes Powershred 79Ci still impresses with a bin that holds 6 gallons of paper. The AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Shredder and Sentinel 12-Sheet Shredder are on the smaller end, with bins that only hold around 4 gallons.
  • If you plan to slide your shredder under a desk, the Royal 18-Sheet Shredder has the edge, thanks to a front-loading feeder that will let you use it without sliding it out.
  • If you do need to maneuver your shredder around, consider the sheer weight the bin has before you have even put the first sheet in. The AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Shredder is by far the lightest, at only 9.74 pounds. This is followed by the Sentinel 12-Sheet Shredder, which weighs only 16.3 pounds. Both the Fellowes Powershred 79Ci and the Royal 18-Sheet Shredder are pretty heavy, at 28.2 pounds and 38 pounds respectively. However, it’s important to note that all of the shredders but the AmazonBasics one have wheels, so their weight likely won’t be an issue as long as you keep it in the same general area.
  • Ideally, your shredder will rarely jam. If it does happen, though, it will help to have an easy way to get the pages out. The AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Shredder and Fellowes Powershred 79Ci each build in reverse features so that you can back your pages back out in the event of a jam. However, the Fellowes Powershred 79Ci and Royal 18-Sheet Shredder are designed to prevent jams.
  • Every shredder only has a short runtime before it needs to cool down. With the Fellowes Powershred 79Ci, you can shred for 20 minutes before allowing it to rest for 30 minutes. The Royal 18-Sheet Shredder extends that to 40 minutes. The AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Shredder and Sentinel 12-Sheet Shredder are considerably shorter, though. Amazon’s shredder runs for three minutes before cooling off for 20 minutes, and the Sentinel 12-Sheet Shredder is two minutes on, 30 minutes off.
  • Since shredders can vary dramatically in price, the cost may heavily influence your decision. On the low end is the AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Shredder, which retails for less than $50, and the Sentinel 12-Sheet Shredder, which sells for between $50 and $100. The Fellowes Powershred 79Ci and Royal 18-Sheet Shredder sell for between $100 and $200.