A host of key features such as the clever LED indication to ensure no paper jams, SilentShred technology for silent shredding, SafeSense technology that stops the machine immediately when hands touch the paper opening and an energy savings system wins this product an 'Editor choice' award.
- Very quiet
- Continuous operation mode
- 100% Jam Proof LED system
- 'Safesense' safety feature
- Supplied with disposal bags and oil
- Expensive for light domestic use
- Difficult to attach supplied wheels
- Claimed 16 sheet capacity is optimistic
It is a little on the pricey side (I paid £179.99 from Argos) for a home shredder but you definitely get what you pay for. It comes with a host of neat little features such as an LED indicator on the side of the paper feed, which indicates if you are feeding too many sheets of paper.
The indicators act as a scale and if you keep the lights in the orange/amber area, then you are good to go. If the lights reach the red zone then you have too many sheets of paper inserted and should remove a few. Green means you can add more sheets for optimal performance. It almost becomes a game where you’re constantly pushing the limits of the paper feed to get it into the orange/amber zone!
Another great feature of the Fellowes Powershred 79Ci Cross-Cut Shredder, is the SafeSense Technology operation. This sensor stops shredding immediately when hands touch the paper opening. One of the most common concerns about owning a paper shredder is getting a hand or fingers trapped in the teeth of the machine.
The manufacturer (Fellowes) also boasts SilentShred Technology with this model. To you and me, that means it should be pretty quiet when operating. I feel I need to manage expectations here, for anyone that hasn’t owned a paper shredder before. While this is a relatively quiet machine compared to others, paper shredders are not exactly the quietest product around!
Now if I was going to be picky, I do have a few very minor grumbles about this product. The first issue is related to the 4 wheels you have to attach to the base. Granted, it’s not quite the Ikea-level of frustration when putting a product together but it can be a little challenging. My advice would be to ignore the five steps you see in the manual and put the wheels on before you put the main head of the shredder onto the base. Tilt it upside down and then put the wheels in place and start putting downward pressure on the wheel, until it clicks in. It’s probably best to do this with the base upside down and on the floor so you can put a bit of body pressure on.
The second very minor grumble is the claimed maximum capacity of 16 sheets of A4 paper. To be fair, the manual does include an asterix with the following note:
*A4 (70g), paper at 220-240V/50/60 Hz, 2.0Amps; heavier paper, humidity or other than rated voltage may reduce capacity.
As a test, I took 16 sheets of Tesco Value paper and it flashed red on the LED indicator i.e. too many sheets. In Fellowes’ defence, the paper from Tesco is 75Gsm and not 70, as specified in the manual. Next time you’re in Tesco, have a look at the quality of that paper and I would be extremely surprised if any of the types of documents you need to destroy, are printed on paper that thin yet alone at 70Gsm! It’s almost like those fuel economy numbers you see quoted for new cars, sure you could probably get 200 mile per gallon under optimal circumstances, in a glass cage with zero gravity! However, this is the real world and documents with sensitive information is usually printed on paper that’s at least 100Gsm not 70.
I know that one Amazon reviewer complained about what he considered to be a stingy amount of bags (3) and oil supplied but I actually considered it to be a rather nice touch and surprise. In this day and age you’re lucky to get any additional ‘accessories’ included, so I thought it was pretty decent of the manufacturer to include those with the product. In terms of the bags, I would recommend reusing them and emptying their contents into a larger bin bag. They are quite small, as they are designed to fit the bin of the shredder perfectly, so it’s probably more efficient to just reuse them.
Anyway, aside from the minor grumbles above, this is a really great product and I would definitely recommend this for anyone looking to get a serious shredder for home use. Sure you can get a much cheaper product, if cost is a factor, but this product works well and lasts. You may just find that once you purchase this product, you’ll never need to buy another shredder again.
- 100% jam proof system eliminates paper jams and powers through tough jobs
- Silentshred technology minimises disruption in shared work spaces
- SafeSense technology immediately stops shredding when hands come into contact with the paper entry