I’ve come to the conclusion that electrical products have an built in self destruct chip. A few weeks ago the iron packed in and now its the turn of our paper shredder. Is it a coincidence that both were purchased in 2006 and both expired in 2012? As conspiracies go its not exactly up there with the “grassy knoll” I know, but suspicious all the same.
I’m being a bit harsh on old shreddie. Six years of relentless use is not too bad. I guess not oiling the blades or stuffing plastic bubble wrap and equally non shredder type material down its mouth didn’t help! Nevertheless it chewed it all up and spat out strips with aplomb – albeit noisily – coupled by a few creaks and groans along the way.
There isn’t a huge selection of home shredders out there. So choosing a new one was based on looks (how shallow). Not how pretty it was nor how it would fit in with my study, no, it had to “look” durable for the job in hand. A lot of supermarkets sell non branded budget shredders and while the “under a tenner” models represent good value, I don’t see them lasting the course of time.
Our previous paper shredder was the Fellowes P70CM – a compact device with its own cool looking wire basket. In fact it was so cool, I almost kept the basket as a backup waste bin. Common sense prevailed and fearful of becoming one of those freaky hoarders you see on the TV it went to the tip.
I must say I liked the P70CM, so much so, that I almost purchased an identical replacement. That was until I saw the Fellowes P-48C. On the face of it the models are fairly similar in performance terms (and funnily enough price), but the P-48C PowerShred just looks a bit more commercial, more hard. It gives the impression it could eat the box it came in let alone a few A4 sheets (please note shredding cardboard is not recommended).
Anyway, the wife and I decided this was the one. Upon arrival I quickly unpacked it. The speed was in part due to the pile of paperwork that had accumulated over the past week more than my boyish enthusiasm for a newly found review project.
The shredder itself is composed of two parts. The shredding engine and a generous 18 litre waste bin. The latter is made of a flexible plastic and the motor/shredder unit literally pushes on top of it. I found that the two need to be manipulated and squeezed a bit to fit securely due to the flexible nature of the bin. The top section has a built-in handle (handy as its quite heavy and awkward) so that removal and bin emptying is straightforward.
This particular model incorporates a child safety/accident prevention locking system which stops the auto shredding switch from operating. How to use: firstly flick the on/off switch situated at the rear to “on”. Then press the black safety lock button and push the slider upwards. The auto-on/reverse switch is now enabled (unlocked) and ready for paper insertion, incidentally a green standby LED will also light up.
The P-48C is a cross-cut type shredder (Security Level 3 – Higher Security) and paper is cut into 3.9 x 50mm pieces as opposed long strips. It can handle eight (8) A4 (70g) sheets at a time and will also shred staples, paper clips and credit cards (there is a specially marked area for this in the middle of the throat). The throat width is 225mm and a sheet capacity gauge helps prevent paper jams.
A clear Perspex window is provided so the results of your labour can been seen falling like confetti (albeit of the bank statement and shopping receipt kind). I can only wish this unit had a bright blue LED to illuminate the scene on a dark winters eve. On a serious note however, the viewing window is very useful for knowing when to empty the basket. Talking of which no sample waste bags are provided. The user manual mentioned these can be purchased separately (Fellowes #36052). That’s the only slight downside at present. The P70CM basket would take a standard carrier bag, but the P-48C’s waste bin is too wide. Currently I’m using it without a bag and will have to dispose of the contents directly into a larger bag.
If like me you get carried away shredding you may find that the over temp LED comes on (red). This prevents the shredder from going into meltdown and a 15 min cool down period is initiated.
Noise levels are consistent with any home shredder. Maybe not quite as noisy as the old one we used, but then again this is a tool and it was and is expected.
So far so good, like I always say… time will tell!
The Fellowes P-48C comes with 2-year full warranty and a 3-year cutter warranty.