Paper shredders are convenient tools for the home office. They allow you to destroy documents containing sensitive personal information such as Social Security numbers or bank account details. A shredder can "freeze" for a number of reasons. The most common causes include paper jams and dry cutting heads. These repairs are quickly and easily performed, and apply to all Xerox shredders as well as those produced by other office supply manufacturers.

Things You Will Need
  • Compressed air

  • Shredder lubricant

Step 1.

Turn off the machine. Remove the shredder's power cord from the electrical outlet. Allow the machine to cool for an hour or so.

Step 2.

Open the lid to the shredder. Some Xerox machines have a locking lever to the side that you must move in order to open the lid.

Step 3.

Remove the paper jam by gently pulling away the paper from the cutting heads. One of the main causes of a jam is the lodging of a staple or paper clip in the shredding teeth. Use bursts of compressed air to blow away any metal fragments.

Step 4.

Apply several drops of lubricating oil to the cutter heads once the jam has been cleared. Allow the oil to penetrate the heads for a few minutes before replacing the shredder's lid.

Step 5.

Plug in the machine and shred a test page.


Refer to your Xerox owner's manual for more detailed troubleshooting and repair tips. You may wish to contact a Xerox technician if your shredder requires more extensive repairs.

Avoid using your shredder immediately once you have repaired it. These machines can easily become overworked, and they should be given several days of rest now and then.

Lubricant for cutter heads can be found at any office supply store.


Do not try to remove a jam or lubricate the cutter heads while the machine is plugged in and powered on. Doing so is an electrical hazard.