While more and more business is conducted online these days, there is still a need for paper documents in many small businesses. In order to curtail identity theft and ensure your private information is safe, it’s best to shred documents that contain sensitive details about your business and your customers. If you’re having a problem with your Fellowes shredder, be sure to try to troubleshoot the issue or seek help from an expert.

Unclog a Fellowes Shredder Jam

One of the most common issues you may come up against is a paper jam. While many Fellowes shredders include jam-prevention features, there are times when you just can’t avoid it. If your shredder is jammed, press the “reverse” button for two seconds. As the shredder reverses the paper, gently pull out the uncut portion.

If reversing the paper does not unclog the jam, try toggling between “reverse” and “auto forward” for two seconds each. This will help to clear the paper from the blades. You can gently pull out the uncut section of the paper and then try inserting it again.

Make sure that you’re not inserting too many pieces of paper into the shredder at the same time. If you exceed the machine’s capacity, you’ll likely cause a paper jam. You should also empty the waste bin frequently so that you don’t block the cut pieces of paper. Always shred only machine-approved materials; many shredders cannot handle paper clips, CDs or credit cards.

Troubleshoot Common Issues

If your paper shredder is not working for another reason, there are a number of ways to diagnose and solve the problem.

  • Paper shredder only works in reverse: The auto run sensor may not be working properly in this case. Make sure there is no paper blocking the sensor. Use tweezers to take out any pieces of paper that may be stuck underneath the sensor.

  • Shredder won’t turn on: The safety interlock may not be engaged. The switch is located inside the basket. Once it is engaged, your shredder should turn on.

  • Shredder stops working while shredding: Your shredder may need to cool down if it has exceeded its maximum run time. In this case, you may need to wait an hour before using the machine again. You could also have a paper jam.

Ensure Your Shredder Is Properly Oiled

Ensure your cross-cut or micro-cut machine operates properly by oiling it frequently. It’s best practice to oil your Fellowes shredder every time you empty its basket. If you hear the shredder making a loud, unpleasant noise, it’s likely because the blades need to be oiled. Remember that strip-cut shredders do not need to be oiled.

Do not use oil from aerosol containers or petroleum-based oils, as that can be a fire hazard. Fellowes recommends using Fellowes Powershred Oil #35250 or a vegetable-based oil as a substitute. Always place the oil in a plastic bottle with a long, narrow nozzle.

In order to oil your machine, you need to hold the “reverse” button and squeeze the oil gently across the paper entry slot. Continue doing this for 10 seconds. You can also press the “auto forward” button and squeeze oil gently across the paper entry. Then, shred one piece of paper and press the “reverse” button for three seconds.

Seek Help From a Professional

If you’re having trouble fixing your Fellowes shredder on your own, contact Fellowes directly to speak with an expert who can guide you through the process. You can also order replacement parts, such as a paper shredder sensor replacement, directly from Fellowes. Whether Fellowes has the replacement parts you need will depend on the model of shredder you have.