Home Appliances: Light-duty vs heavy-duty

I bought a new document shredder today. I’m on a tight budget, so I got the cheapest I could find. It is marked “light-duty”. Okay, for the price I’m paying, I don’t expect high-quality or long-lasting parts, and I plan to run it until it doesn’t work any more. You get what you pay for, and I’m fine with that.

My question: The box says to limit myself to “25 uses per day”. I guess that’s how they define “light-duty”. But does it really matter if I use it 25 or 50 or 1000 times per day? Of course it will wear out in fewer days if I use it less per day, but will I get less use out of it? I figure the machine will last for a certain amount of shredding, and whether I spread it out over a few weeks or a few years doesn’t really matter.

But am I correct? My inclination is to use it 25 times, leave it off for a few minutes to let the motor cool down, and then tell the machine, “It’s now tomorrow.” I don’t think the machine will care. What do others think?

Well, the crappy cheapo 9.99 cross-cut shredder we got from the supermarket works just fine, but the instructions are somewhat adamant about it not being used for more than two minutes at a time (and then needing a 15-minute rest), and only being able to do a few pages thickness at a time. I suspect exceeding these parameters will result in strange smells and possibly flames.

I think you are probably right - providing you don’t exceed the operational limits, you are going to get a certain number of shredding cycles out of it, and all that will happen is that death will arrive in a shorter time period. Having said that, it might be that in the process of translation your box could have lost something like the time limits on mine, and if you run it more than 25 times in a normal 8-hour day it will conflagrate.

I’d imagine that running it more often would cause the drive train to warm and wear disproportionaly faster.

The motor will probably not burn out, the bearings may go much sooner, but you have to remember that much if the drive train is plastic, and even a small ris in temperature will increase the wear rate on all those sprockets and gears rather dramatically.

Heavy duty items will have either metal drive trains, or very much larger/wider wheels, gears and sprockets which will spread the load much more and reduce wear.

You’re correct. The machine can’t tell today from tomorrow. (That’s why they sell calendars :stuck_out_tongue: .) The problem is with continuous use. Make sure that it cools enough, which is more than just a few minutes.

You have the duty curve right, but watch out for shredders. They bust easily. The key is to never exceed the maximum sheet count, no matter how tempting. And while it may say it shreds credit cards, don’t try it.

If you can get a refund no questions asked, take it back.
Save $10 a month for 5 months, then get the $50 model.
The $50 model will likely last 3-5 years in home usage, but the $10 model likely won’t make it to Easter.