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HARDWARE

4 Cutting-Edge Shredders

Models from Black & Decker, Fellowes, and OfficeMax that offer fewer jams and more style.

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The unsung heroes of many offices, shredders don't get much attention. We tested a few of the latest models, which boast handy new features and sleeker designs.

Black & Decker Identity Theft Buster

Designed for junk mail, this desktop shredder devoured large envelopes and up to 20 sheets of unfolded paper at a time without jamming. It had the most stamina of the models we tested, running for 15 minutes before needing a 30- to 45-minute cooldown. One drawback: The 1.5-gallon bin fills up quickly.
COST: $79

Fellowes MicroShred MS-450CI

This microcut shredder, which has a roomy 4.8-gallon bin, produces smaller clippings than the crosscut models we tested but can handle just seven unfolded sheets at a time. It automatically senses imminent jams and reverses to eject excess paper. The unit, which shuts off when it senses a hand near the chute, lasts 10 minutes before needing a 25-minute cooldown.
COST: $230

GBC ShredMaster GSX168

The Shredmaster has an 8-gallon bin and can tackle up to 16 sheets of unfolded paper at a time. Its self-cleaning blades move back and forth to remove excess clippings when you open the bin to empty it. A red light is supposed to warn of imminent paper jams, but that feature did not work when we overfilled the chute. The pricey unit lasts just four minutes before needing a 20-minute rest.
COST: $500

OfficeMax 10-Sheet Cross-Cut Shredder

A double door and removable wastebasket make it easy to empty this shredder's 7-gallon bin. The unit automatically reverses if it senses a jam and tackled 10 sheets at once without a hitch. It runs for 10 minutes at a clip before needing a relatively lengthy 50-minute cooldown.
COST: $159

Last updated: May 1, 2010

JOHN BRANDON is a contributing editor at Inc. magazine covering technology. He writes the Tech Report column for Inc.com.
@jmbrandonbb




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