How to Fix a Fellowes Shredder

Paper shredder image by patrimonio designs from

The rise of identity theft has made a paper shredder a virtual necessity for any workplace or home office. A shredder can help prevent personal or confidential information getting into the wrong hands, and can safely dispose of some documents which by law must be shredded. If you are having problems with your Fellowes shredder, try fixing it yourself.

Empty the waste basket and switch the shredder into "Reverse" in order to clear any paper jams. Slowly alternate between the "Auto" and "Reserve" switches to work the jammed paper free. If the jam holds, unplug the shredder and carefully pull out the lodged paper with tweezers. Turn the shredder on "Auto" to remove any remaining traces of paper. If the cutting cylinder on your shredder jams frequently, it may need oiling.

Empty the basket and ensure that the shredder head is in the right position, and that the shredder is connected to a source of power. If the tab of the shredder head is not in the right position, it will not shred. Move the switch to "Auto" and insert paper into the feeder. If the shredder stops shredding but there is no paper jam, allow it to rest for 20 to 30 minutes.

Oil the shredder to stop any squeaking or loud noises. Use shredder oil or a vegetable-based oil, like corn or canola, in a non-aerosol container. Use an extension nozzle to get the oil into the shredder head. Press and hold the "Reverse" button, then put the tip of the oil in the paper entry. Make two or three sweeps across the shredder. Put the switch to "Auto" and let the shredder run for three seconds. Put the shredder back in "Reverse" for three seconds. Repeat the "Auto" and "Reverse" process at least three times.

Clear any blockage by placing the power switch in "Auto" and pressing the "Manual Forward" button for about five seconds, if the shredder only works in reverse. The sensor at the center of the shredding console must be engaged to activate the forward shredding process.


  • If the shredders are not turning at all, the gears may have become stripped and may need replacement.


  • Never use synthetic or petroleum-based oil, or aerosol lubricants such as WD40, to oil the blades; they may combust and cause serious injury and damage.


About the Author

Orlando Bogue has been writing blogs and poetry since 2008. He has written articles for various websites and is a graduate of Indian River State College with a degree in business administration.

Photo Credits

  • Paper shredder image by patrimonio designs from