Customer Reviews: Fellowes Powershred 225Ci 100% Jam Proof 20-Sheet Cross-Cut Commercial Grade Paper Shredder (3825001)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars73
Size: 20 Sheet|Style: Cross-Cut|Change
Price:$692.00+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on September 22, 2012
I'd bought this office for my office two years ago from another vendor who'd offered service and warranty for three years.

Sensors went foobar on me twice (just wanted to use that word).
First time was from using bags we'd gotten from Costco (those regular white 10-gallon trash bags, you know?) and something or another happened with the sensors and the techie came and told us we need to use the officially branded Fellowes 36054 Powershred Waste Bag. So, we bought a bunch, used them and it was working for... a while. This was just weeks out after getting the machine and the explanation was something about the material of the bags messing with the sensors. No replace or anything was done on the sensors here, just a replace on the bags.
Second time was from improper oiling of the machine. So, following the instructions provided, we'd poured oil right into the slot of the shredder, using of course the officially branded Fellowes Shredder Oil, 12 oz. Bottle with Extension Nozzle (35250) (how the Hell are there used ones being sold?!). A couple months later? Machine would run like nuts whether paper was in there or not. Only way to stop it was to turn it off and only turn it on when we needed to shred. Mind you, the whole point of having sensors was to automate this process. So, I got back from college and I called tech support. He came out here, ran the machine, and immediately knew that the problem was with the sensors. He explained to us that the instructions provided expect you to take apart the top of the machine and pour the oil directly onto the gears (not through the slot, directly onto the gears). Of course, removing the top of the machine would void our service warranty, so it didn't make sense for us to do that or even have that in the instructions. NORMAL people would do the same thing we did and just pour it in through the top. Now the problem with this? If even one drop of oil leaks down the side wall and gets near the two sensors, paper dust will collect on the oil and eventually ruin the sensors. So, fair warning, if you're buying this machine, do NOT pour oil directly down the slot.

So, some key notes:
1. Use Fellowes bags and Fellowes shredder oil. I'm pretty sure any oil will work and if you get lucky, you might find cheaper bags that work, but this is to be on the safe side.
2. When you want to oil the machine, pour oil on a sheet of paper you're going to shred, put another sheet of paper on top of it (oil sandwich), and put that through the shredder. If you want to properly do it, you need to take off the top, but there are wires hooked to the top and if you pull just a bit too hard, you'll disconnect them and the shredder won't work. So, again, to be on the safe side, paper and oil sandwich.
3. Clean the sensors. With the shredder off and a long cotton swab with an alcohol/water mixture. Dust will collect around the sensors, this is inevitable. So you will need to clean it off.

All in all, it's a really good shredder. Those problems happened in the first year and it's been over a year since we'd had any further problems with it. I'm actually getting one more for the office and one for my family to use at home now that the price has dropped. In my opinion, as I've had shredders ranging from less than $100 to over $2000 as well as contracted shredding services, this is the best affordable shredder. If you want to drop $1,500 or so, I highly recommend the Fellowes 38425 Powershred 425Ci 28 Sheet Cross-Cut Shredder. I got one of those same time I got the first 225Ci and haven't had a single problem with it. The only two reasons I'm not getting two of those? 1. I know that someone, family or one of my 40 coworkers, is going to mess with it in a way it shouldn't be messed with and I'll probably have to replace it anyways. 2. Because it's not like they'll know or appreciate the difference anyways, but my bank account sure will.
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on September 6, 2010
For a week straight after receiving this shredder, I had worked through a printer box worth of material a day and on the last day, two boxes worth. It took about 40-45 minutes non-stop each box, which could have gone faster if I did not spend so much time (re)reading some of the material before I destroyed it (you can never be too careful). It worked great. A few times there I got sloppy and inserted more than the 22-page limit, but it would either stop and warn me or reverse itself then feed them through anyway.

The five free bags it came with were sturdy, but instead of getting a replacement box of bags with the order, I bought a box of 200-count 33-gallon clear bags with built-in tie handles for much less at one of the big-box stores. The bin is only 22 gallons but the extra 11 gallons and the tie handles allowed me to cram more confetti into each bag, allowing less confetti to spill out when removing the bag from the bin and when tying it up. The 33-gallon bags were thinner than the ones made specifically for the shredder, but they did the job. There could be problems lifting a full bag out of the bin when the bags catch and rip on the lip of the trim that surrounds the top, which is easily fixed by using packing tape to cover the seams all the way around on the inside.

After each change of bag, I squirted the included vegetable-based oil across the opening, as recommended and continued on with the shredding. Very quiet. You hear more of the paper crunching on its way to the cutting teeth than you do the motor. Someone I showed it off to was surprised at how quiet it seemed to her.

After about the second box, the stray pieces of confetti that make their way out of the unit when changing the bag start to produce a bit of a mess, partly due to the static that builds up and attracts the pieces to the bin and to the inside of the bay, which all find their way to the outside. But two boxes is a lot of paper and that is such a minor issue for what you get in return, which is a great commercial-grade shredder that is quiet, solidly built, and comes with safety features. I like.
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on June 11, 2012
We purchased this machine from Amazon. It is still on warranty which is good, because it is back for service for the THIRD time already. Per the service center, the gears are made from sintered metal and the machines are produced in China. When they were made in Germany and the United States, they were good. Not now. There is a rumor that they may return production to the U.S. or Germany. If you are considering a Fellowes, I would wait until they make that move unless you have a lot of time for driving your shredder to the dealer and then going to pick it up. Depending on what they decide to do, I will be making my sixth trip there and back when I pick it up this time.
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on May 4, 2011
What a huge mistake we made in buying this shredder and what an ordeal it was to get a refund! This shredder stopped working properly after less than 30 minutes of use! It is supposed to shred up to 20 pages at a time, but after 20 minutes, we could only shred 2 at a time, and after 30 minutes, it would not shred even 1 page, but spit it back out the top of the shredder. We complained to our vendor and they arranged to send us a new shredder. After 30 minutes, it had the same problem as the first one! 2nd brand new shredder - right out of the box - and it didn't work! Our vendor stopped helping us at that point and we worked directly with Fellowes. They would not send us another, but sent out a repair person - actually we had to call the repair shop and make all of the arrangements, send faxes, etc. The repair person said that the problem was with the sensors and replaced them. After 30 minutes, it did not work again. Back on the phone to Fellowes - the sensors must be dirty - what?? - the machine has been used for less than 60 minutes now - how could they be dirty? The repair person comes back and replaces the sensors again. After 30 minutes, it stops working again. Now we ask for a refund, but Fellowes does not give refunds. We stomp around and mention possible alernatives that we have legally and they finally agree to send us a refund which they do after we return the machine at their expense. They send us a box and a UPS label and styrofoam. But, this shredder weighs 93 pounds and getting into a box is not easy especially when there are razor sharp edges on the bottom of it where one grabs onto it to lift it into the box! Thus my two cut fingers sprayed blood all over the styrofoam, but we got the damn thing in the box and sent it to its doom. If after reading this, you still want to buy this shredder - go right ahead, but may God help you! Oh, and by the way, after first receiving this shredder and after the first few minutes of use, it seemed to be a fine machine and I wrote a glowing review of it for the Fellows website - if you read, ignore it. I asked them to remove it, but the last time I checked, it was still there even though I asked them to remove it several times in several emails. So, since they would not remove it, I have written this review for to set the record straight.
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on September 19, 2014
Works like a charm, but the container it shreds into is CARDBOARD! I checked with the company and they only make it in cardboard and mine is already starting to get beat up. It is also not quite square and no other container that I have been able to find will fit properly. Then the bags; apparently once again due to the unusual shape only their bags (very expensive) will fit properly. So mechanically apparently a good machine, but they "get you" with the little things, very disappointing.
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on September 25, 2013
We wanted continuous run time and greater bin capacity with less noise than our old unit, and that's precisely what Fellowes Powershred 100% Jam Proof 225Ci Cross-Cut Paper Shredder (3825001) delivers.
(Note: The price does fluctuate; bought ours for $710 in September, and found it listed at $653.19 the following March, just FYI.)

Having read other reviews on Amazon and on Fellowes own site regarding this unit, we took a few precautions when ordering. Bought the 2-yr protection plan as relatively cheap insurance for any problems that could occur, including servicing or replacement. And because we prefer optimal functionality, we ordered a large box of the clear Fellowes bags, because problems can occur by using regular trash bags which are opaque and interfere with the bin capacity sensors. We also learned how to oil the unit properly and easily by creating an "oil sandwich" on sheets of paper fed through the shredder (do NOT squirt oil into the feed slot as the pictograph seems to illustrate), and have had no problems.

If its feed slot was another 1/2 inch wide, I'd like it even more, but it's been a welcome improvement over our old - VERY LOUD - and smaller Fellowes shredder, which frustrated the bejazus out of us with its 12-minute max run time before it overheated.

This unit shipped/delivered in a box the size of a tall dishwashing unit, marked for a 2 person lift; we guesstimate it at about 75-80 pounds. It ships with a small roll of bags and a bottle of oil, so you can get started immediately. There are little knockouts inside the cabinet door with elastic straps to hold the oil bottle and the roll of bags -- nice touch; plenty of room, enough for the extra bottle of oil we purchased with our order.

The bin that catches the particles is very easy to work with. Sensors will stop the machine when the bin fills to a certain height, regardless of how much empty space is available at the corners, so we push down the mound of shredded bits to get more capacity out of each bag -- not a big deal. And there is virtually NO MESS with this unit -- all the little pieces fall into the bin without fail. That's a huge improvement over our old, very messy to work with unit.

As for the noise, of course it makes some noise, there's a powerful motor at work inside, but it's easily tolerated and a BIG improvement over our old unit, so we're pleased. It's difficult to describe sound in writing, but I'll say it's in the lower range (bilge pump motor) without the shrill whining that makes you want to run out of the room (blow dryer).

We're happy with this unit and while we would buy it again, we hope it lasts and runs for years, so we won't have to.
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on January 30, 2010
The first one I ordered came DOA - no power when I plugged it in. From the packing, this item had been shipped to someone else before. Amazon was very efficient about the return, and shipped a "new, improved model" by next day shipping. It really was brand new, and it had power, but when I plugged it in it ran briefly with no paper, then jammed. Turns out, it ate a large rubber gasket that sat inside the housing, completely jamming the blades. The gasket had come loose, despite the shipping screws. Amazon wouldn't ship a third one, even if I had wanted it. So, I ordered the SB-80, and it has been working fine since it arrived. Order this item only if you like to gamble, and shine a flashlight in the opening before you plug it in, to be sure that gasket isn't loose.
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on July 16, 2010
We've purchased several units from the Staples, OfficeMAX and Sam's Club.
No matter how large a unit you purchase they just don't shred the sheet counts as advertised nor hold up as commercial units. This is a heavy unit that works as the specifications say for not that much more than the "commercial units" at the office supply stores. GREAT UNIT with a GREAT WARRANTY!
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on August 18, 2012
Well, it's huge - started to return it because it's too large to fit under the table (should have measured better), but decided the return shipping charges were crazy and would try it. Then, when we shredded the first pieces, I decided it cuts really large too and gave up and decided it had to go, return shipping or not. There was there alot of readable print, and the long pieces would really fill up the bin too fast - as another user mentioned. It was quiet and the safety features are great. We love Fellows shredders. They last great and work great when used properly. My daughter got a little carried away with the old one and WAY overfeed the unit, or else it would probably still be working fine after about 5 years of daily use.
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on January 7, 2015
Review after 1 week:
This shredder is much nicer than the store brand we had prior. The "blades" are more akin to an industrial type shredder where they are thick metal wheels rather than flimsy thin blades.

The shredder is very quiet which is nice as it resides in a shared office area and the old shredder disrupted phone calls, thought process and conversations when running.

Having a 16 gallon waste basket, although it is made of cardboard, is very nice aswell. Means less times it has to be cleaned out which equals less mess.

The shredder was sold by Amazon and shipped by Amazon. It was packaged very robustly for an almost 80lbs machine. Amazon offered a price that was not matchable by any other vendor.

It shipped with a roll of 10? bags which are optional to use.

Be sure to remove the shipping bolts before use!

We will be using Canola oil on a piece of paper to oil ours per an investigation into the Fellowes brand lubricant's MSDS sheet.

I plan on updating this review as the years go on. If no edits are made please alert me!
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