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SALT & PEPPER

George Sowden’s colourful salt and pepper mills are made from stainless steel and feature a ceramic grinder that enables you to adjust the size and coarseness of the salt or pepper grain. Available in two different heights in a choice of colours.

SALT & PEPPER

  • Image Bank & Product Information (All product-related downloads / May include images, videos, 3D & 2D and Revit files)
  • Find product details under each variant

SALT & PEPPER / Variants

SALT & PEPPER / M YELLOW

SALT & PEPPER / M TERRACOTTA

SALT & PEPPER / L LIGHT GREY

SALT & PEPPER / L SAGE GREEN

SALT & PEPPER / Designer

George Sowden studied architecture at Gloucestershire College of Art. In the 1970s, Sowden moved to Milan to work with names such as Ettore Sottsass and Olivetti, and in the 1980s he became one of the founders of the design collective, Memphis Group. He has won numerous design prizes including the prestigious Compasso d’Oro Award. Today he continues to live and work in Milan. For HAY, Sowden has designed the Coffee and Tea Pot, Sowden Bottle, Travel Cup, Tin by Sowden, Salt & Pepper, Sowden Toaster and Sowden Kettle.

George Sowden’s colourful salt and pepper mills are made from stainless steel an, Product specs, Find dealer

The Best Paper Shredders

Updated September 15, 2020

We’ve reached out to Amazon regarding a CNN report on AmazonBasics products that have overheated and caught fire, including two shredders that we recommend—the 12-sheet and 6-sheet micro-cut models.

We’ve reached out to Amazon regarding a CNN report on AmazonBasics products that have overheated and caught fire, including two shredders that we recommend—the 12-sheet and 6-sheet micro-cut models.

While a small number of owner reviews do mention such incidents, we are keeping these models as picks and recommending some basic care and maintenance tips we think can help prevent overheating. We’re also researching new paper shredders to test, including a new model that may be replacing our now out-of-stock AmazonBasics 12-sheet pick.

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Even if you’re not a secret agent and don’t think you have anything to hide, you need a paper shredder. Garbage and recycling bins full of bank statements and credit card offers are treasure troves for identity thieves. Your best defense: a paper shredder, which chomps through sensitive documents and spits them out as confetti. After researching 25 shredders and running more than 2,000 sheets of paper (along with staples, paper clips, CDs, and credit cards) through eight of them, we recommend the AmazonBasics 15-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper/CD/Credit-Card Shredder for personal and home-office use.

Our pick

AmazonBasics 15-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper/CD/Credit-Card Shredder

The best home-office paper shredder

This cross-cut shredder offers an easy-to-use, quick, and safe way to dispose of sensitive paperwork, old credit cards, and data DVDs. It can run jam-free 15 sheets at a time for over 20 minutes without overheating.

Buying Options

*At the time of publishing, the price was $110 .

The AmazonBasics 15-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper/CD/Credit-Card Shredder is worth the price because this model makes it easy to keep up a shredding habit—a cheap, frustrating shredder isn’t worth the savings if you never use it and just chuck your crumpled bank statements into your recycling bin. It chows down on large stacks of documents and can run through hundreds of pages without overheating. The cross-cut shreds, measuring around ⅛ inch wide and an inch long, are secure enough for the common documents most people need to shred—much smaller than strip-style shreds—and cross-cut shredders are generally less expensive than micro-cut models, which make even smaller pieces. Plus, ample warning lights tell you if you’re trying to feed more paper than the shredder can handle, if the motor is overheating, or if the bin is full or incorrectly situated.

Also great

AmazonBasics 12-Sheet High-Security Micro-Cut Paper/CD/Credit Card Shredder with Pullout Basket

The best high-security shredder

This micro-cut shredder renders documents all but impossible to reassemble. The large bin is easy to pull out and empty, but this machine runs slower and can’t shred quite as many sheets at a time as standard cross-cut shredders.

Buying Options

*At the time of publishing, the price was $100 .

If you have extremely sensitive documents or you’re just more concerned about security than shredding capacity, you might sleep better at night knowing that your personal or business papers have been totally obliterated. In this case, the AmazonBasics 12-Sheet High-Security Micro-Cut Paper/CD/Credit Card Shredder with Pullout Basket is the best choice. It can turn 12 sheets at a time into bits of confetti measuring 5/32 by 15/32 inches—around half the size of cross-cut shreds—and collect them until you fill out its 6.7-gallon pull-out bin. Credit cards and CDs are also no match for its grinders. The smaller shred size and higher security come at the cost of speed; this shredder is a little slower than the AmazonBasics 15-Sheet Cross-Cut model, and it needs to stop and cool off after about eight minutes of shredding instead of 20.

Budget pick

AmazonBasics 6-Sheet High-Security Micro-Cut Paper and Credit Card Shredder

The best small, light-duty shredder

This compact shredder offers more security than similarly priced cross-cut shredders. Because of its small page capacity, it’s best for occasionally shredding a few documents at a time.

Buying Options

If you have light shredding needs—for example, you get most of your statements and other paperwork digitally—the AmazonBasics 6-Sheet High-Security Micro-Cut Paper and Credit Card Shredder is the most powerful option for occasional use at home. In our tests, this shredder ran for six minutes before needing a cooldown break, and it even plowed through stacks of eight pieces of stapled paper. Although the shred sizes were inconsistent—ranging from standard micro-cut size to small cross-cut rectangles—this smaller, high-security shredder comes at a reasonable price.

Everything we recommend

Our pick

AmazonBasics 15-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper/CD/Credit-Card Shredder

The best home-office paper shredder

This cross-cut shredder offers an easy-to-use, quick, and safe way to dispose of sensitive paperwork, old credit cards, and data DVDs. It can run jam-free 15 sheets at a time for over 20 minutes without overheating.

Buying Options

*At the time of publishing, the price was $110 .

Also great

AmazonBasics 12-Sheet High-Security Micro-Cut Paper/CD/Credit Card Shredder with Pullout Basket

The best high-security shredder

This micro-cut shredder renders documents all but impossible to reassemble. The large bin is easy to pull out and empty, but this machine runs slower and can’t shred quite as many sheets at a time as standard cross-cut shredders.

Buying Options

*At the time of publishing, the price was $100 .

Budget pick

AmazonBasics 6-Sheet High-Security Micro-Cut Paper and Credit Card Shredder

The best small, light-duty shredder

This compact shredder offers more security than similarly priced cross-cut shredders. Because of its small page capacity, it’s best for occasionally shredding a few documents at a time.

Buying Options

The research

Why you should trust us

I’ve written about technology and home-office topics for more than 12 years for sites such as Lifehacker, PCWorld, and Laptop Magazine, and I’ve tested and reviewed various gear for Wirecutter for over four years. As someone who still gets way too much mail containing personal or sensitive information, I came into this guide with a vested interest in finding the best paper shredder for my household and home office.

For this guide, we consulted several experts in the security field: Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy at Privacy Rights Clearinghouse; cybersecurity expert John Sileo; identity theft and scam consultant Rob Douglas; and Robert Siciliano, security awareness expert and CEO of Safr.me. All of them offered their advice on the importance of shredding documents and the best ways to do so.

Who this is for

Even in this digital age, when online bills are available from pretty much every major utility, bank, and service provider, a shredder is an essential tool for avoiding identity theft. And it’s so simple to use that everyone should use one to destroy financial statements, solicitations, medical information, and anything else with identifiable info in an effort to guard against identity theft; the FTC processed over 400,000 cases of identity theft in 2018 alone (PDF).

“Paper is still the path of least resistance when compromising identity,” said Robert Siciliano, security awareness expert and CEO of Safr.me. “Regardless of how many digital files are in circulation, what comes in and goes out in the mail and existing paperwork in your home and/or office—especially what people throw away—can be used to open new lines of credit or take over existing lines of credit.” The smallest bits of information—your name and address, an account number, your signature, a prescription number—can help criminals socially engineer their way into your life. “If I find your bank statement unshredded in the trash,” added John Sileo, a cybersecurity expert and consultant, “I can now call you, pretend to be the bank using a caller ID spoofing app, recite the last four digits of your account and get the information I need acting as the bank to close out your account on the very next call.”

You have other ways to dispose of documents with sensitive information on them, of course. You could throw them in the fireplace, rip them by hand and toss the pieces in with food or pet waste, or maybe even blend them with bleach and water until they’re pulp. Whether you plan on shredding a pile of documents occasionally throughout the year or you shred receipts and junk mail as they come in on a daily basis, a paper shredder is the most convenient option for most households.

How we picked and tested

We looked for paper shredders listed under $200 from major manufacturers. Shredders more expensive than that are meant for offices where whole teams need to shred stacks of documents throughout the day. In addition to the four shredders we tested and selected in 2017, we brought in four new paper shredders to test based on the following criteria:

  • Cut type: We focused on cross-cut paper shredders, which can shred a letter-size document into 400-plus pieces. All of the security experts we interviewed said that a cross-cut shredder was sufficient at home. We considered more-secure micro-cut shredders (which can shred a letter-size page into over 2,000 pieces) when they weren’t significantly more expensive, and such models are a better choice if you crave that higher security or work with particularly sensitive information such as medical records. Strip-cut shredders, which can cut a page into only a few dozen strips, tend to leave pieces that snoops can easily put back together.
  • Security level: Paper shredders are rated on a seven-step scale, from P1 to P7, with P7 being the highest level (think top-secret stuff). P3-level shredders are widely regarded as a secure way to destroy most general confidential documents, but P4 shredders are often available for slightly higher prices.
  • Page capacity: Having a shredder with a higher page capacity means you can shred more papers at once, including several folded sheets. We considered shredders that could handle six to 16 sheets at a time.
  • Run time: The higher the shredder’s run time, the more you can continuously shred before the unit needs to take a break and cool down. Less expensive shredders have run times under five minutes, while the best home and small-office models can shred for over half an hour.
  • Cooldown time: This is how long your shredder needs a timeout after you exceed the run time. The shorter the better, if you want to get back to your shredding job as soon as possible.
  • Ability to shred stapled documents, paper-clipped documents, CDs, and credit cards: Handling stapled documents is a must for a shredder. Many shredders can also grind up paper clips, CDs, and plastic credit cards, which we considered a bonus.

With eight shredders to test at our office, we asked the Wirecutter staff to bring in anything they had lying around at home that needed to be shredded. They brought in a couple thousand pages of bank statements, credit card offers, credit-line convenience checks, utility bills, tax receipts, prescription papers, pay stubs, junk mail, and more. To test each shredder, we did the following:

  • measured the size of the individual shreddings
  • put batches of letter-size paper through (based on the shredder’s recommended maximum load) in succession to see if the shredder would jam or overheat under normal operating conditions
  • evaluated how often the shredder jammed and how easily we could clear jams
  • timed the shredder’s run time and cooldown time
  • tested whether the shredder could destroy staples, paper clips, credit cards, and CDs (if the shredder advertised it could)
  • noted how easy it was to empty the wastebasket and how many pages the bin could hold before needing to be emptied

We didn’t test the shredders with any materials not recommended by the manufacturer, such as cardboard, adhesive labels, file folders, envelopes with plastic windows, laminates, X-rays, and greeting cards with sound chips or batteries. After shredding several reams’ worth of paper, we had enough confetti for a mini ticker-tape parade.

What’s with all the AmazonBasics shredders?

Through our most recent research and testing, we found that all of the best paper shredders turned out to be from AmazonBasics, one of Amazon’s house brands. Wirecutter doesn’t do sponsored content—brands can’t pay us to be reviewed or featured in our guides—and we make our picks independent of any affiliate compensation or business arrangements. (See more info about how we work.) So how did we end up with three recommendations for AmazonBasics models? As we do for all of our guides, we made our picks here based on extensive comparisons, research, and testing.

We considered brands and shredders at retailers with brick-and-mortar shops—stores such as Target and Staples—where we thought most people would go to buy a shredder. Turns out, there aren’t a ton of companies making shredders, with Fellowes, Aurora, and Bonsaii making most of the notable models. And in comparing shredders side by side, we found that when you’re looking for a shredder at a local store, the pricing, features, and owner reviews concerning reliability and ease of use made Fellowes the main competitor for AmazonBasics. But in our testing, the Fellowes models simply failed to prove they were worth the premium for home and home-office shredding in comparison with the models that Amazon brands and sells. You can read more about the models we didn’t pick, and why, in the Competition section.

We tested top shredders for use at home and in small offices and found that AmazonBasics has the most reliable, secure shredders at affordable prices.