Fellowes Powershred 10M Paper Shredder, 10 Sheet Micro-Cut Shredder for The Home/Home Office with Safety Lock review
Assembling the very sturdily packaged Fellowes Powershred 10M was a breeze, all parts fit together perfectly. The assembly is simple and quick (4 bottom rollers, heavy-duty cutting head unit, pull-out bucket). There is also a 56-page manual in about 24 languages, with 2 pages of information reserved for each language
Fellowes Powershred is only about knee-high (49.8 cm), weighs around 8 kilos, and has a roughly 19 liter collection bin with an almost floor-level viewing window and handle to open it. The Micro-Cut particles fill the basket with up to shreds of 400 sheets – so emptying is rarely necessary. Every single sheet is cut into approx. 2000 shreds (security level P-5 with 2×12 mm).
In continuous operation, the shredder runs for 7.5 minutes at a time and then has to cool down for about 19 minutes before it is ready for use again. The Powershred 10M’s cutting motor doesn’t heat up very quickly, nor does it have much lag time – around 1 second after the paper has run through. Most other models have 2 to 3 seconds of “lag time”. This further reduces the noise of the Powershred 10 M.
Fellowes supplies the 10 M a professional-grade shredder with 4 plastic bottom rollers. The design fits seamlessly into any office. The quality of the shredder is good, but the basket in our shredder is a little loose – Fellowes should not have skimped on the wall thickness of the 10M.
Fellowes, like many other shredder manufacturers, relies on a collection bin in the form of a drawer. This drawer holds up to 400 sheets of shredded paper (a full folder is around 600 sheets) and is much easier to handle because you don’t have to lift the heavy cutting head unit to empty the bin, where small shreds tend to fall out more often than not.
With a feed of 6 to 7 sheets (70 gsm paper), the Fellowes 10M runs continuously without slowing down significantly. If you use the maximum allowed amount of paper (10 sheets at 70 gsm), the throughput speed drops quickly and the temperature rises noticeably and measurably.
Therefore, for our test purposes, we counted and threw in packs of 10 sheets at a time.
A stack of 10 can be destroyed in about 7 seconds (corresponds to 90 sheets per minute), i.e. with a continuous load of 10 minutes, about 820 sheets of paper could be destroyed.
However, the shred bin can “only” hold 400 sheets of paper, and the noise level of 71 dB is moderate when the machine runs idle. Like every shredder, the Fellowes Powershred 10M accelerates immediately after paper detection to have enough “momentum” for the stack of paper to come – the volume of 71 dB – after the stack has been detected, the volume drops to 67 dB until it comes to a standstill.
And this is important: after a day’s work, the shredder deserves a special feed, i.e. oil or the passage of a special oil paper for shredders. The instruction manual suggests doing this every time after emptying the paper shred bin – after 2 full bins, you can already hear the shredder working a bit rougher. According to other manufacturer recommendations, oiling should be done twice a month … So it’s best to order it at the same time.
TIP: Oil-paper is convenient and safe to use, but it costs about 60 cents per sheet. Oil from a bottle is cheaper; you apply it thinly in a zigzag on paper and then shred the sheet. There are many oils for shredders to choose from.
What we liked
(+) The powerful cutting mechanism, also “chops away” staples and paper clips.
(+) Good jam-proof – if you do put in too thick a pack, the device stops and pushes the “nibbled” sheets out again. Cheap machines cause paper jams at that moment, and you have to remove the paper residues.
(+) Touch guard stops reliably when a hand touches the feeder – in the office, children can therefore also feed the machine without hesitation, always under supervision, of course!
(+) The pull-out drawer (with a transparent fill level window) is also very positive. There is no need to remove the cutting head unit, as is the case with “cheap machines”.
(+) Enough room in the drawer for a thin bin liner.
(+) Shreds cards just as finely as paper, with cheap shredders the card is only cut into 3 to 4 pieces, and the card chip is often not cut.
What we did not like (complaining on a high level)
(-) The rather large collection bin has many nooks and crannies where paper debris tends to get stuck when emptying. Fellowes actually provides special plastic bags here that can be hooked in, which of course makes paper recycling absurd again.
(-) shreds plastic cards just as small as paper. This would actually be an advantage, but the shredded plastic ends up in the paper waste. So if you want to separate in an environmentally conscious way, you would have to empty the machine first and put an open lunch box in it.
(-) Fellowes should work more on the tightness to prevent fine paper dust from escaping into the room air.
(-) does not cut CDs/DVDs, but since shredders with cutting units for CDs/DVDs also only cut into 3 or 4 strips, you should use a pair of strong scissors, in case you don’t have to constantly shred these media.
(-) The unit does not switch itself off (only standby) and you always have to press the main switch, which is hard to reach on the back.
The Fellowes 10M has enough stamina to cut 820 sheets of paper within 10 minutes of processing time. This corresponds to 1.5 entire file folders at a continuous load until it overheats.
However, this continuous load until overheating should be the exception, but – it works. The manufacturer recommends a maximum workload of 250 sheets per day or 10 plastic cards. 250 sheets per day is much more in line with the amount of paper that a small office needs. It even shreds staples, so no more do you have to remove staples from your reams of paper. It has a safety lock, so it will stop any unfortunate accidents. It’s quieter than other shredders we’ve tested, and to be fair, shredders are never going to be fairly quiet under £250. Lots of space inside, so it will mean fewer trips to the bin. We also would suggest buying oil sheets to oil the blades from time to time.
Overall – full recommendation for SOHO – Small Office / Home Office use, if you need this high shredding capacity.