How much is there to really say about a paper shredder? You put whole pieces of paper in, and they come out shredded and that’s it, right? Well, that’s what I thought too, until I had to learn way more about paper shredders than I ever wanted to know. See, I work for a start-up, and have a pretty necessary skill, but one that’s not needed anywhere near 40 hours per week. As a result, I often end up having to do other tasks around the office to help out. I don’t mind, because these tasks are generally very easy, and I still get paid a full salary despite the fact that I only have to do about 10 hours of real work per week.
When our current paper shredder broke, I was put on the task of selecting a new one. Knowing that I had about 30 hours left to kill this week, I made sure that I really got down to it and found the absolute best paper shredder on the market. I went down to the local office supply store and asked them if I would be able to test out each model. They said this wasn’t a problem, so I immediately went and bought a stack of white paper with the intention of shredding it all, right there in the store (not very environmentally friendly, I know).
Stack of paper in hand, I got right down to shredding. I started out with one sheet at a time, but quickly realized when shredding only one sheet, there was very little difference between all the different models. So instead of simply doubling up, I started shredding 5 sheets of paper at a time. Then 6, then 7. Pretty quickly, some of the shredders revealed that they weren’t up to the task, so I took them out of the running. With the remaining ones, I moved up to 10 sheets and only one of them was really able to handle it: the Fellowes PowerShred Cross Cut Shredder. I focused on this one and put it through its paces. I even bought some manila envelopes and started shredding those. The guys in the store must have thought I was absolutely crazy, buying all this paper and office supplies and then shredding them on the spot. I bought the PowerShred and brought it back to the office and let everyone have a go on it.
I know it sounds wasteful, but we had a great time shredding old documents and things we didn’t need anymore (yes, we also sometimes get work done at my start up too!). I was almost a bit upset that next week I was going to have to go back to doing my real job, as I had so much fun picking out this new shredder. Every time I walk by it in the office now, I can’t help but remember the salesman’s face as I shredded all those things in the store. Awesome!