Shredding can be an easy way to dispose of unwanted or confidential paperwork in your business. But there are some operational precautions to keep in mind, such as not exceeding the maximum number of pages that can be fed into the machine in one batch. Users are also encouraged to remove metal objects like staples or paper clips from documents prior to shredding, as these can damage the device.

Press reverse when you hear the higher-pitched grinding noise of the blades connecting with something metallic. This could cause whatever the shredder is chewing on to back up and come out, or at least prevent further damage.

Unplug the device. This will stop the blades or teeth from turning and prevent further damage to the shredder blades. It also can reduce possible damage to the motor if the metallic object is preventing the blades from turning.

Use a screwdriver or similar tool such as a needle-nose pliers to reach into the paper slot to try to dislodge the metallic object. It may be necessary to remove the shredder head to access the blades; consult your user's manual if you are unsure how to do this. Use caution when probing the blades to make sure you don't bend or damage them.

Plug the shredder back in and turn it on, then alternate the feeder forward and reverse. This will let you see if the metal object has been cleared or if other objects are still causing a jam.


Some higher-strength shredders for higher-security workplaces are designed to be extra sturdy to handle everything from a stray staple to optical media, such as a CD or DVD-ROM, or even plastic items like credit cards.


Make sure the shredder is disconnected from power when trying to repair it. Dangling objects such as ties or scarves should also be removed when repairs are attempted, as they could catch in the teeth.