Effing paper shredder!

I am sick and tired of paper shredder drama. I will now be purchasing my fourth in 8 years. Sure I could buy the deluxe $1500 model if I had that kind of money but we seriously shred less than 100 pages a day. The cheaper one should (emphasis on should) work.

As for you my apparently illiterate staff-along with the nice pictures on the front of the machine with pictograms indicating not to put your hands (or apparently your baby) in the shredder, there is a nice picture of paper with the number 30 on it. That means that it can shred 30 sheets at a time. It does not mean that it will shred 80 sheets at a time, even if you really really want to go home early. The last time you left the shredder jammed and I carefully picked out all of the stuck paper I asked you nicely to shred no more than 30 sheets at a time. It was nice of you to come into my office to get the pliers; it would have been better if you told me before I had to ask why you needed them. It would have been best if you hadn’t left without fixing the jam and telling me you would do it in the AM.

As for myself-I should have known better. After 2 1/2 hours using a screwdriver, scissors, paper clips, and assorted garden tools I managed to free all of the paper. However, the damn thing still won’t work. If I had any sense I would have realized that chances were that I would have to buy a new one anyway and I could have saved myself the time, aggravation, fingernails and screwdriver.

About that screwdriver-what cheap ass screwdriver breaks when you use it to pry out paper? I’m not talking about the handle breaking or the metal breaking away from the handle. The tip actually broke off. Granted, it was part of a free gift for ordering over a certain amount but in the world of rock-paper-scissors I was not aware that paper beat screwdriver.

So in sum, I am mad at myself, my staff, my paper shredder, my screwdriver, the world in general, and of course Congress (who I am sure are to blame for this somehow). I believe I need chocolate now.

Ummm…I know it’s the Pit and you’re not asking for advice, but that actually sounds like a lot to me, certainly well above home use. Maybe you should think about the good one or a paper shredding service*.
*Or smarter employees, but the good shredder is probably cheaper. :wink:

FWIW, I do have a commercial-grade shredder, just not the really expensive one. That is wehy I am pissed at having to replace it.

If you consider a “free gift” screwdriver to be one that is capable of prying jammed paper out of a shredder, I can’t think of any advice to offer you.

And frankly, if you’re a business that is replacing your less than $1500 shredder every 2 2/3 years, I think you’re doing pretty well.

I was gonna suggest a fire pit. That’s how we get rid of our excess “paperwork”. Plus it makes for a nice evening sitting on the deck watching it burn and letting the dog mosey around in the yard. It’s cheap, too. But hey - to each his own, right?

The cheaper ones burn out really fast. I finally decided that efficiently stacking papers in boxes and having a professional service do the deed is the most economical. The problem is getting the employees to “stack the papers efficiently” in a box, not just toss them.

PFFFT!!! When you start wearing out a $24,000 shredder every 4-5 years, come back and we’ll talk.

Overfeeding is a problem with smaller shredders, but it shoulds like your staff really abuses it. Do you know to oil the blades on a regular basis? The one at work gets the blades oiled every hour and its torn open and lubed once a month. If you were unjamming it with a screwdriver, you might not be able to access the working parts, which means you need to be even more diligent about oiling it.

As to breaking the screwdriver…once SG wasn’t paying attention and the shredded paper got backed up against the back wall. Just the pressure of the paper was enough to bend 1/3 inch steel. Paper is tougher than it looks.

I think it was smart to use a cheap POS screwdriver than a higher-end expensive one to mess around in a dysfunctional shredder. What’s she out, a free screwdriver? No loss there.

This is the best thing I’ve read today.

Yay! I was hoping Shredder Guy would make an appearance in this thread.

At my last job, when the $2,000 shredder burnt out another motor because someone put too much paper in it, instead of replacing it we took the motor off and installed a crank handle (actually a bicycle crank with a cut-down pedal).

People would have contests to see who could shred the most paper in the shortest amount of time. It was fun.

Then there was all this fretting about osha regulations and the fact that we had people throwing phonebooks into spinning blades and management bought another shitty shredder that died in six months.

We got the idea from here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Hand-Cranked-Document-Shredder/

buckgully, that is a wonderful idea! * It sounds like loading a machinegun when you pull it out.* Is that a selling point or what?

I thought about this a little more, to the OP, have you considered calling the Lion’s Club and asking what they do with the paper they pick up? I don’t know how sensitive your documents are or what the audit trail is, but out here, the Lion’s Club takes the paper to a pulping plant before it gets sent off to wherever.

If that’s an option, not only will you save money on shredders and labor, you will be green and will help people see.

just so people know that I was stealth bragging, the county used to pay to have tons of shredded paper tossed in the landfill. Now the Lion’s Club come’s and picks up about 2 tons of shredded paper every week.

At my job it’s the copier that gets abused. Many thousands of dollars were spent until one person was chosen to do everything copier-related. Locks had to be installed to keep people’s mitts off the damned thing. After that, repairs were hardly ever needed, paper costs went down, etc.

Maybe the same thing can be done with your shredder. A little change in their job description, or using the last hour of the day… Something so that the number of operators is limited.

I have five years worth of old bills sitting around to be shredded. Despite the cool animal response I get from shredding stuff, I couldn’t find the time. So I googled for a free shredding service and found once a few miles away.

They normally do corporate shredding but allow regular folk to bring their stuff to be shredded on Saturday mornings. They let you watch and it goes down the conveyor belt into the shredder bin so you know it’s gone. So that’s what I’m doing in a couple hours.

Ah, copiers.

A few months ago we got a shiny new copier with every possible bell and whistle. It’s humongous and black, it looks like it came off the frickin’ Death Star. It does so much stuff we all actually had to take a class on how to use the thing. And guess what: nobody knows how to use the damned thing because it’s so fucking complicated, and frankly, none of us give a shit that it can collate and do double-sides and staple and multi-color and all that shit, we just want to make goddamned copies. Seriously, what was so wrong with the old-school Xerox we used to have where you just stuck your paper in and hit “Start”?!

I work in the recycling equipment repair industry. I have first hand proof that a bigger shredder will NOT help you. It will just create more expensive problems.

What you need is training on proper use, and hardcore enforcement.

I actually spent the last three days repairing a $50,000+ shredder with a 75HP electric motor and 10 blades that spin at 1000RPM. It took a while, a LOT of tools you obviously do not have, and technical know-how.

Bigger shredder just means bigger crap getting thrown in by bigger idiots.

If only we could shred the idiots…

Well, I guess I don’t feel so bad about the idiots in my small office that can’t handle a shredder. We only have one for shredding anything red flag related; credit card numbers and that sort of thing. Although pet medical records are considered confidential they do not fall under HIPAA so do not need to be shredded. However, everyone thinks everything must be shredded so they shred all extra copies or incorrect copies of records, heck I’ve even seen them shred scratch paper. However they never empty the bin which slides under the shredder part and has a nice handy handle so the shredder just keeps on shredding until there is a brick of paper below the blades and then it stops and you can’t empty the bin because of the brick of paper that won’t let you pull the bin back out.

After the last time spending 20 minutes trying to chip away at the paper slab by slipping my hand in the small opening and pulling out bits of paper and scraping up my hand all up, I swapped that shredder out for the cheaper one in the management office (since we have more stuff that actually needs shredding). That one will keep running (but not shredding) if it gets full. I figured since it was more vocal, they’d have to empty it. I even put a note on it about this. So, when that one got full, they just turned it off. Either they just ripped paper by hand, went to the back office to shred or threw stuff out whole, I do not know. They could not be bothered to take the lid off, pull out the plastic bag and take out the trash. Of course then they’d have to replace the trash bag and put the shredder lid back on. That’s a lot to expect.

“Don’t shred your babies,” sounds like good advice. If anything, I wish there were more devices with this warning label. However, what about using babies to do the shredding? Actually, I think two year-olds probably have the best combination of physical strength and pure, single-minded, wanton destruction. Given sufficient sugar, there’s nothing they can’t shred, and $1500 would buy a lot of cookies.

Get a few Labrador retrievers with separation anxiety. One of them can shred an entire couch if given enough time.

You can do what my old office did. Have a receptacle for confidential papers. Then have someone who is not an idiot open the box, and shred the paper in an appropriate manner. Seriously, if the thing can shred 30 pages at a time and you have 500 pages a week to shred, it should take all of 5 minutes of your time.

My office, of course, had to go whole hog, the receptacles were locked 5 foot high file cabinet shaped boxes with a trap door to drop your files in. I think they also brought the papers down to the basement and burned them, rather than shredding them.