on November 11, 2011
I read lots of reviews on shredders here, consumersearch.com and on Consumer Reports. Eventually, I opted to go for a 2011 Fellowes shredder and was able to determine from the Fellowes website that this was a new model. I knew that I wanted (1) a front loading shredder (easier to unload), (2) a heavy duty one that could handle up to 15 sheets and (3) and one that wouldn't over heat after 5 minutes. We have a big Fellowes shredder at work so I was familiar with using a professional shredder, and wanted one that was closer to a professional grade but a household size. I'm happy with this purchase after using the shredder now for a week. I've been shredding every day with no problem. I ended up setting up a big collapsible garbage can beside the shredder and lining it with a big garbage bag. When the shredder is full, I dump it in the garbage bag. So I do NOT use bags in the shredder itself - there is no need. I rapidly discovered, though, that I would need a small hand-held vacuum to pick up the small bits of paper. The ones we had wouldn't pick up paper, so I ended up buying the #1 rated Black and Decker 18 volt Pivot Vac. It is like they were meant to be together! Highly recommended. The B&D pivot vac just sucks up the paper immediately no problem. All in all, the time invested in picking out the shredder and the hand-held vac are paying off. I'm very happy with these purchases. Next on the list is oil for the shredder.....
Update June 2102: Still very happy with this shredder.
on December 5, 2011
I was interested in a crosscut shredder capable of ingesting pages in the 15-20 range. A trip to Consumer Reports suggested a few possibilities, but after reading reviews from actual users, their recommendations didn't seem too relevant. One top rated 22-sheet model from a Major Office Supply Company's seemed to be especially bad in the field, with many reports of infant mortality on two or even three units in succession. So back to square one, and the reviews at various sites, which sort of steered me to this model. The capacity and physical size was about right, and the price was in range.
So it arrived today. The out-of-box experience was pretty good. Fellowes double-boxes these right from the factory and puts quite a lot of space and cushioning to allow for crushing injuries. The box mine came in was unscathed, so all was good there. It's heavy and unboxing took a bit of effort.
Once out of the plastic bag and plugged-in, I saw that there was some material in the bin, which was kind of jammed/stuck into the machine with no apparent handle to pull it out. Some determined wiggling got it out whereupon I found the owner's manual. Hmmm. The owner's manual will probably tell you where the bin handle is, eh? Nope. Turns out that it's in an un-obvious recess at the top of the bin window. Yep. Felt kind of stupid after finding it.
So the first task I set it to was shredding one of the most hated pieces of junk mail I get: Capital One credit card invitations. These things come, literally, every other week, despite my efforts to get them to stop. It's never a good idea simply to throw away CC applications, especially these pre-printed ones, which means that you have to open the stupid thing, find the application, and then shred THAT. That's with my old shredder, that is. This B-152C simply ate the entire envelope and with barely a sound, turned it into little bits of confetti. Yay! Take THAT, Capital One! After that success, I went and got a pile of other things awaiting shredding and fed them in, 10-13 (approx) sheets at a time. The whole process was rather anticlimactic. The machine just ate the stuff without a single complaint or even an elevated noise level. I filled up about half the bin that way, and so far, am pretty happy with this machine. Especially the noise level which is quite a bit lower than the Fellowes PS45 strip shredder I've been using.
Update: They advise caution with some of this type of junk mail due to sticky adhesives that are sometimes used to attach those stupid fake cards to the paper. While I didn't have a problem with the Capital One junk that does have some of that stuff in it, you'd probably be well advised to determine whether whatever you're shredding has that kind of sticky stuff in it and proceed accordingly.
Couple of observations: Fellowes recommends oiling the cutter mechanism at every bin-empty. They recommend their "vegetable" oil. Now you have to wonder why that is. The "vegetable" part, I mean. Odor? Certainly not for its lubricating properties since practically any nondetergent mineral oil will lubricate better than any vegetable oil. For the time being, I'm going to use a mineral oil, but maybe a phone call to Fellowes support will help clarify this.
Update: they say that flammability is the issue with mineral oil. FWIW, mineral oil will dissolve that sticky stuff in the junk mail and will probably prevent it from adhering to the cutters in the first place. Naturally, I'd NEVER advise that anyone disregard the manufacturer's instructions.
One minor gripe I have with this machine is its inability to a bin-liner bag. It's possible to kinda-sorta work one in, but it looks terrible hanging out and you can't see the amount of material in the bin any more unless you can find a clear bag that fits. This is analogous to the situation with bagless vacuums which I would never use due to the messy dirt disposal. Guess you can't have everything.
And one other minor gripe is the input "funnel". I'd like it better if it were wider and deeper. It's on the small side for "heavy" use and demands that you spend time arranging your papers before feeding them in. Certainly not a show-stopper, but it's a bit of an inconvenience when you have a lot to deal with.
On balance however, this looks like a very nice machine for home use so far. I'll update the review after I have more experience with it.
It has shredded an estimated 3000 sheets without a single hitch. Things that I thought would be annoying, are. That includes the too-small input funnel. It forces you to spend too much time arranging papers, especially if they're bent/folded. I've had it running continuously for the amount of time it takes to fill the bin without incident. It has handled some rather thick stacks of paper (I didn't count the number of sheets) without protest. It probably helps to have high line voltage (it's typically 125V here) to keep the motor happy.
The cutter is getting oiled at about every two bins of output. They recommend oiling at every bin, but I think that's excessive. I'm using nondetergent mineral oil designed for air tools which is working well. That includes, apparently, protecting the cutter against getting gummed up with that gooey adhesive they use with those stupid fake credit cards in the CC applications you get in the mail every other day. I suspect that the primary reason they want you to use their vegetable oil (aside from them making more money) is the odor of mineral oil. There's a bit, but it's not offensive to my olfactory processes.
The bin is too small. Of course, that's a tradeoff with the size of the machine, but you'll find that the cuttings tend to form a pile in the center of the bin and cause the full-bin sensor to shut the machine down prematurely. Then you have to pull out the bin and push everything down. It's a minor nuisance that's probably unavoidable in this class of machine. I'd have appreciated a handle on the bottom of the bin -- it would make dumping it into a bag a heck of a lot easier.
Bottom line: I'd still recommend this for household or light business use. It seems to be holding up well so far.
on November 26, 2012
after years of buying crappy shredders at the retailers, then being frustrated that they can't handle an envelope containing a credit card offer, then subsequently die; I recently got this fellowes. so far so good. only things that I think could be improved are it's size, it's speed, and the size of the cut.
it's too big for it's capacity - it could be lower profile and hold just as much as more (some of the cheapo shredders I had were better in this respect)
it's a bit slow, but maybe it has to be to handle so many sheets.
the chunks it cuts things into - they aren't that small. I could probably piece together a shredded document if I had the patience; and anything with small print wouldn't be securely shredded - for example a copy of a tax return - pretty sure I could steal a social security number from one.
I would say if you really want high security, spend the extra to get the shredder that chops things up finer. the nice thing about this one (and potentially the higher end models?) is that you can take those annoying credit card offers and feed them in without even opening them.
on January 7, 2013
PROS: Cuts paper into small pieces. Hasn't jammed after extensive uses. Seems to get close to 15-sheet limit without strain on machine. Simple to use.
CONS: "Bin Full" light comes on frequently, even when bin is not even remotely full. Pull-out bin often jiggles open and "Bin Open" light also comes on unexpectedly. Worst problem is the pull-out bin. Once opened it's difficult to close, at least on my machine.
on December 2, 2013
I bought this shredder Nov 2011 and it is still going strong as it did from the first day I bought it. The instructions for this shredder is to never run it continuously over 10 minutes at a time. If you try to run it beyond 10 minutes it will auto trigger a 30-min cool down period. Always use a shredder oil each time you empty the bin (using the oil right before emptying the bin would be better so you don't have to clean the oil out of the bin). I bought 2 bottles of oil in 2011, and I'm still using the first bottle. I shred something practically every day. I have burned up many shredders through the years not reading the instructions and had never bought oil until now. I chose Fellowes because it is one of the leading brands; this model is a cross-cut shredder shredding documents into unreadable pieces which is better than strip-cut shredders; it has a 5 gal bin; you can shred up to 15 pages at a time (It does not shred CDs or DVDs, but this was not important to me. Read the Capabilities list of what not to shred in the provided Instructions material).
on February 12, 2013
The lesson, don't by a cheap shredder. This is a replacement for a cheaper model I purchased and it is a delight to use as compared to the cheapo. Has casters so it can be moved around. No messy lifting off the top to empty the bin. To compress the material, one just pulls out the bin and pushes down the shredded paper. I haven't tested how many sheets it will shred at once and don't plan to, for my use it works great.
on August 16, 2013
A hearty shredder that cuts up to fifteen sheets at once without slowing down. It rolls well on it's casters and the see through front window allows you to easily see the shredded paper level. The large capacity bin does not require frequent emptying, and it slides in and out of the chassis confidently. Top mounted controls are simple to use.
Now, if Fellows can make a home user model with a self oiling feature, it will have everything!
on January 28, 2012
This is a quality product, looked at many other competiting types, glad I made this purchase. I do a lot of pages at once and it chews through the max amount of 15 at a time. I bought it for both business and personal use. According to the instructions, I lubricate it after every basket full, easy to do and I'm sure it keeps the cutters sharp. Should last me for a very long time.