How To Use a Paper Shredder?

You probably have one or two documents that need shredding, or you are looking to get rid of a few receipts. Using a paper shredder can be as easy as counting to ten. This article will guide you step-by-step on how to shred your documents safely. 

Here’s how to use a paper shredder:

  1. Checking the shredder blades.
  2. Knowing the limitations of your shredder.
  3. Plugging in the shredder.
  4. Turning on the shredder.
  5. Inserting the documents/copies.
  6. Turning off the machine.
  7. Emptying and recycling the waste paper.

A shredder can be used to get rid of sensitive documents or papers with information not for the public eye. Following these instructions, you can use your shredder safely and correctly, allowing you to destroy copies successfully.

A Few Safety Tips

Here are a few safety tips to get you started before using your paper shredder. These will make sure to stop any silly mistakes that could be made during the paper shredding process:

  • Review the information of your shredder, as this could resolve any worries or problems you may have before you start.
  • Always inspect your shredder for damage just before use. This could stop any accidents from occurring before they have even happened.
  • Keep the power cord away from foot traffic areas, as this could cause tripping hazards for any passers-by.
  • Keep the location of the shredder away from a wall to stop any chance of overheating.
  • Always have your full and undivided attention on the shredder; this will stop any chance of mistakes from a lack of awareness.  
  • Don’t ever put anything in the shredder except for paper. This includes body parts such as fingers, toes, and hair. Each shredder has a limit, so don’t put more than it can handle at once. 
  • Push the paper gently through the shredder one sheet at a time. This will allow the shredder to do its job properly. 
  • If you feel the machine getting too hot, turn it off immediately. Allow the shredder to cool down before turning it back on.
  • Always turn the machine off and unplug it after use. 

Read: How Long Can You Run A Paper Shredder?

1. Checking the Shredder Blades 

Who would want a shredder that doesn’t correctly shred? That’s like having a spoon with a hole in it.

It would be even worse if the shredder jammed mid-way through a document. Checking the shredder blade will undoubtedly help discover and stop any problems before the shredding has even begun. 

To check the shredder blade, you should first make sure the shredder is turned off and unplugged. Turning the machine off will ensure no fingers are lost if the shredder is accidentally activated. 

Open the shredder and examine the blades; if they are damaged or chipped, you should not use them. You can repair the shredder or replace the machine if repairing isn’t an option. Do not use the shredder as it may become jammed or incorrectly shred the documents. 

If the shredder blades are in working order, move on to the next step. 

Read: Jammed Paper Shredder Won’t Feed Paper. How To Fix It?

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2. Knowing the Limitations of Your Shredder

The problem with having so many different variants of the same machine is that each shredder will have additional capabilities. Some can shred a specific thickness, while others may not. 

When researching the limitations, you should focus on what you are looking to shred and find if your chosen shredder has this capability.

Putting something that doesn’t belong in the shredder may cause the machine to jam and get stuck within the blades. The item could also slip through the edges, causing them to become blunter. As the blades become duller, there is more chance of paper not being properly shredded.

Once you have checked your shredder’s limitations and are sure it has the correct capabilities, move on to the next step. 

3. Plugging in the Shredder

Who would’ve thought you’d need to plug a shredder in for it to work? Well, plugging a shredder is a crucial step in how to use a paper shredder.

Before plugging the shredder in, make sure the plug socket you are using is functional and supplying the correct voltage. This will ensure the shredder will be properly working and will not cause any electrical faults. 

After you have plugged in the shredder, you should move on to the next step. 

Read: How To Fix A Paper Shredder That Won’t Turn On?

4. Turning on the Paper Shredder 

After plugging in the paper shredder, the next step requires a bit of caution. Once you have turned on the machine, the shredder becomes a lot more dangerous as the blades will now work on request, making accidents more likely. 

Be careful with long hair, dangling parts of clothes and jewelry, and your fingers, as these could all get caught in the shredder. If they get caught, switch off the device, and unplug it before untangling the pieces. 

Depending on the type of paper shredder, you may have to switch on the shredder before use. Some paper shredders need buttons to be pressed while shredding, while others have a switch and sensor. Read the user manual to find out which type of shredder you have. 

Once you turn on your shredder, you can start the shredding process. 

Read: Why Do Paper Shredders Overheat? – Troubleshooting Guide

5. Inserting the Documents/Copies

As simple as shredding sounds, you must be aware of a few safety precautions before continuing your document shredding journey. You should keep your fingers as far away from the shredder blades as possible.

Make sure to avoid wearing dangling clothes that could also get jammed, such as a tie or hoodie drawstrings. These could all get stuck in the shredder blades simultaneously as you are using it. 

I don’t think that would be an ideal way to use a paper shredder!

Depending on the paper you intend to fragment, you should put the documents in the intended direction with an amount of force that will pull the copy into the shredders’ teeth grip. 

As the document goes through the shredder, the copy will be torn into hundreds of unreadable fragments, making it perfect for unwanted or more private records. 

Once you have shredded all the required records/documents, you should continue to the next step.

6. Turning Off the Machine

After you have finished shredding everything that was intended (hopefully no hair or fingers!), You should turn off the machine, saving both electricity and any safety problems that may occur. 

Turning off the device can be as simple as switching it off, using its built-in switch, or unplugging it from the socket.

I recommend you unplug the device as it will help stop any tripping hazards and make the next step easier to accomplish.

Read: Why HP Printer Not Communicating With Computer?

7. Emptying and Recycling the Waste Paper

The final step is essential for the health of your shredder. Emptying its contents can make it easier to carry, move and pack away. But making sure you put the contents into the recycling bin (if it is recyclable) is also essential.

Recycling is a neat way to ensure your documents are discarded safely, but the shreds can be recycled into new pieces of paper or other materials that can be used to help the environment. 

You must disconnect the bin from the main shredder top to empty the machine; if the machine does not open, perhaps the container slides out. Check the manual if you are unsure. 

Before doing this, you should ensure the device has been turned off, as messing with it while the machine is on and still plugged-in could cause a hazard for you and anyone around.

Final Thoughts

Well, now I hope this has helped you discover the correct way to use a paper shredder. As long as you follow these instructions and the safety tips, you should be able to use a shredder to its exclusive properties while keeping all the hair on your head and fingers on your hands. 

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