How to Use a Paper Shredder

How to Use a Paper Shredder. In today's world where identity theft is more of a threat than burglary, it is crucial that sensitive information regarding yourself or your company be shredded. There have been many horror stories of secrets leaking through fraudsters dumpster diving, and the best way to protect yourself is by using a paper shredder.

Read the instructional manual for your paper shredder. Every shredder operates slightly differently, so take the time to familiarize yourself with how your shredder works. Is it touch activated? Or must you turn the shredder "on" to place paper through the slit to be shredded? The more you know, the more use you'll get out of it.

Place the paper shredder over a trash can. Most paper shredders have a sliding arm that will help fasten it to the top of a trash can. Since all trash cans are different sizes, this will allow the paper shredder to fit many different cans. Slide the arm so that it fits snugly over the can.

Plug your power cord into the wall. Some paper shredders have battery power alternatives, but for the most part you will need to plug your shredder into an outlet.

Place sheets of paper through the slit. Be sure to read in the instruction manual to determine how many pages can be shredded at once. As the pages "touch" the blades or pass through an inner sensor, the machine will start to shred automatically. Do not force the pages in; simply allow the machine to "take" the pages from your hand.

Empty the waste paper basket. Do not allow the basket to become so full that shreds of paper are backing up into the machine. Simply unplug the paper shredder for safety, remove the shredder from the trash and empty the basket in the appropriate place. Then reattach the paper shredder as previously described to continue shredding.


  • If you work in an office, save your shredding until the end of the day. Rather than constantly making trips to the paper shredder, make a pile and shred the paper on your way out of the office.


  • Do not try to shove too many pages in the shredder, as it can be dangerous to you or other family or office personal. Never let children near a paper shredder. While many paper shredders have an automatic shut off, children's fingers may be small enough to fit through the paper shredding slit. Always supervise them carefully.

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