10 Best Quiet At-Home and Office Paper Shredders of 2022

Following the recent surge in identity theft cases, businesses and home offices have a huge demand for paper shredders. You don’t want to be tossing crucial documents directly into the waste bin. Paper shredders are lifesavers. They make it difficult for businesses to commit corporate espionage and help safeguard personal identity.

But shredders can be a real pain to your ears. The good news is we’ve scoured the options available to bring you the best low-noise paper shredders in the market.

This guide will also help you learn the key features to consider when buying a low-noise paper shredder.

Our Top Performers

It can be daunting to wade through the variety to find the best near-silent paper shredder. We have done the heavy lifting for you and lined up the crème de la crème of quiet paper shredders.

Amazon Basics 12-Sheet Quiet Working Office Shredder

The Good

  • 7 minutes run time
  • Auto start and anti-jam system
  • Thermal protection
  • Fast and powerful

The Not so Good

  •  The shredded material is a bit large – not ideal for sensitive files
  • Occasional jamming

With up to 7 minutes run time, the Amazon Basics 12-sheet Office Shredder can shred 12 sheets of paper at once into tiny particles P-3 security standards before cooling off for 30 minutes. Like other top-of-the-list quiet shredders, it will even munch on staples, credit cards, and clips.

This unit features an auto-reverse function which saves you the agony of dealing with paper jams.

Featuring 4 LED indicators, you can easily turn on the device and sort out any misalignment, overheating or overloading issues. The Amazon basics boast of low noise operation, so you can focus on your work without any distractions.

Bonsaii Evershred C 149-C Paper Shredder

The Good

  • 60 minutes run time
  • Near silent and easy to maneuver
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Smart cooling system
  • Fast and jam-proof

The Not so Good

  • Steep price
  • Paper basket fills up fast

Speed, efficiency, and low noise rolled into one: The Bonsaii C 149-C is a powerful heavy-duty cross-cut shredder great for office and home use. This versatile device can shred a stack of up to 18 sheets, including staples and credit cards, in one pass, into tiny particles (13/64 x 1- 37/64 inches).

The heavy-duty shredder is impressively efficient, offering a 60-minutes run time non-stop with a 62 dB low noise level for a quiet shredding experience.

The Quiet motor dampens the shredding and grinding noise to ensure a near-silent operation. The four casters enhance this unit’s convenience allowing you to move the shredder anywhere you want.

The 6-gallon pull-out paper basket has a transparent window where you can see when the bin is due for emptying or if there’s a paper jam on the cutter. Plus, it can hold 400+ sheets of A4 paper, saving you frequent emptying trips.

The jam detection system automatically reverses stuck paper to prevent jamming.

Another notable feature about this shredder is its innovative cooling system that protects the device from overheating and continuous shredding.

Fellowes Powershred 99 Ci Paper Shredder

The Good

  • Super quiet & efficient
  • Large wastebasket
  • Jam proof
  • Intelligent Safe-Sense technology

The Not so Good

  • Large and heavy duty
  • The cross-cut is quite large for sensitive documents
  • Poor construction quality – paper bin made of corrugated plastic board

If you’re looking for a near-silent shredder for a small work-group or micro-office, the Fellowes Paper Shredder is a great choice. The 99 Ci chomps down everything from paper to credit cards, staples, CDs/DVDs, envelopes with junk mail, and paper clips into cross-cut particles.

This unit shreds up to 18 sheets of paper in one pass into 5/32″ X 1- ½” inches, good enough for confidential documents but not secret files. It comes with four removable casters for convenient movement. You’ll also find a 9-gallon pull-out basket that carries a good chunk of shred without filling up fast.

This unit has the chops for heavy-duty shredding, in a 3-person office, with a shredding speed of 10 feet per minute (fpm).

It runs for an impressive 30 minutes before taking a 40-minutes cooling break.

Although shredders tend to be noisy devices, the 99 Ci is pleasantly quiet with a sound level of 54 decibels.

Bonsen 8-Sheet S3101-W Cross-cut Ultra Quiet Shredder

The Good

  • Superior construction
  • Compact and powerful
  • 4 minutes continuous run time
  • Safe protection
  • P-4 security level

The Not so Good

  • Occasional jamming
  • Overheats with use

The cross-cut paper shredder is designed to meet your home office needs where it can dice up to 8 sheets of paper into tiny fragments P-4 level security. You can rest assured your sensitive documents cannot be leaked.

It takes 4 minutes non-stop run time to chew through 210 sheets of paper before needing to cool down for 40 minutes.

Its 4-gallon waste bin is large enough to stack a good shred volume, so you don’t have to empty it too often. Plus, it comes with a transparent window to see when it’s full.

For a decent fraction of the price of A-list shredders like the Fellowes 99Ci Powershred, this unit boasts of superior hardness and exceptional wear resistance. It can also shred paper clips, credit cards, and staples.

On top of its exceptional attributes, Bonsen comes with a manual REV function to clear any paper jams.

Another notable feature about this model is its albeit quiet operation with a minimal output of 65 dB.

Bonsen 12-Sheet S3103 Crosscut Shredder

The Good

  • Level P4 security
  • One year warranty
  • LED indicators
  • Ultra-quiet operation
  • Large bin capacity

The Not so Good

  • Overheats quite fast
  • Prone to paper jams

The compact Bonsen 12-sheet S3103 Crosscut Shredder, which has a P4 security level, is an excellent option for getting rid of sensitive documents. Paper, credit cards, staples, ATM receipts, mails, and pay subs are no match for this powerful device.

The compact Shredder can handle 12 sheets in one run. The Bonsen 12-sheet model’s waste bin fits 6 gallons of shred, which is a generous capacity. This Shredder will stop working automatically to ensure your safety when lifting the machine’s top cover.

This unit is a solid buy if you’re looking for a whisper-quiet shredder. With a low dB noise level, the device will not disrupt your focus.

It also features an auto-reverse function to prevent paper jamming. If you exceed the maximum shredding capacity, the auto anti-jam system will instantly reverse to clear the paper jams.

Speaking of added functionality, this Shredder has convenient buttons (Power on/off, Reverse, forward) and dedicated functions for overloading, overheating, and full bin displayed by clear LED indicators.

Bonsaii 4S30 Micro-cut Shredder

The Good

  • 240 minutes continuous shredding
  • High quality, durable design
  • P-5 high security
  • Jam proof system
  • Ultra-low noise; 58dB
  • Removable casters

The Not so Good

  •  Easily overheats
  • The wheels are flimsy and lack a swivel

The Bonsaii 4S30 Micro-cut Shredder ticks all the right boxes to feature in our best quiet shredders review. Easy to operate, powerful enough to shred a variety of items, and whisper-quiet – the well-rounded 4S30 can work well as an office or home shredder.

According to Bonsaii, the 4S30 can shred for 240 minutes before it needs a 10 minutes cool-down period. Compared to its counterparts, it has a decent paper capacity and can shred a stack of 10 sheets in a single pass.

If you want to avoid identity theft and dispose of your classified documents, then the Bonsaii 4S30 is a solid choice. This device has an impressive security rating of P-5, meaning it can shred your paper, CD/DVD, clips, staples, credit card into tiny unreadable particles in an ergonomic 7.9 pull-out bin.

Even though this Shredder is heavy-duty, the ultra-low noise rating of 58 dB ensures you enjoy a quiet, distraction-free, and comfortable working space. When you put more paper than is allowed in the slot, the auto start/stop and auto-reverse function instantly reverse the Shredder to keep it jam-free.

You can quickly move the Shredder at your convenience, thanks to its four removable casters.

No doubt Bonsaii shredders are built to last, and the 4S30 is no exception. The cutter is durable alloy steel, which can easily shred any hard material and serve you a lifetime.

HSM X17 Shredstar Cross-cut Shredder

The Good

  •  User friendly and excellent value for the price
  • Near silent operation
  • LED indicator
  • Anti-jam technology
  • Automatic detection and shut down when the waste bin is full.

The Not so Good

  • Paper jamming is challenging to sort out
  • Cards not entirely shredded but cut straight- information is readable

HSM Shredstar X 17 Shredder is quite the diamond in the rough. It is reasonably compact at 11 X 15.6 X 21.7 inches and ideal for a small office with five users max.

The device can shred up to 17 sheets in a single pass for 15 minutes before needing to cool down for 30 minutes.

With a P-4 security level, this Shredder is reasonably secure to shred business files into confetti-cut particles. Plus, it’s designed to chop paper, clips, credit cards, staples, CD/DVD into a 6.9 pull-out paper bin. At 57 dB, it’s relatively quiet when in operation.

For seamless operation, the Shredder has an LED indicator that shows the appliance’s operating status: Power, Overheat, Overload, Door open, or Bin full.

We like that the unit comes with a separate CD cutting unit to shred cards and CD/DVDs. Even better, the shredded materials are held in a different CD waste bin.

Aurora AU1580MA Micro-Cut Shredder

The Good

  • 60 minutes run-time
  • Low noise operation
  • P-4 security level
  • Overload & overheat protection
  • LED indicators

The Not so Good

  • Big and heavy

If efficiency, low noise, and heavy capacity workload sound like what you’d like to see in a paper shredder, then the Aurora AU1580MA Micro-cut Shredder is that and much more.

It can handle 15 sheets at once with a continuous run time of 60 minutes. The device can also chow down credit cards, CDs, DVDs, paper clips, and staples into small pieces.

The shredded confetti-cut particles are remarkably tiny and meet P-4 security requirements making this unit ideal for handling sensitive files.

An 8.5-gallon pull-out bin holds the shreds. Also, there are LED indicators to show the door is open or the bucket is full.

Save on your monthly energy bill with the auto power shut-off function.

You can maneuver the device to your convenience, thanks to the four casters at the bottom of the unit.

The Aurora AU1580MA is amazingly quiet compared to its rivals and features overload protection to prevent paper jams.

Wolverine 18-Sheet Ultra Quiet Shredder

The Good

  • P-4 high-level security
  • 60 minutes run time
  • Ultra-quiet performance
  • Jam reverse operation
  • Durable high-grade steel alloy construction
  • Overheating protection

The Not so Good

  • Limited paper capacity
  • Not powerful enough to shred cards
  • Short lifespan

Able to rip up to 18 sheets at a go, the Wolverine Ultra Quiet Shredder gives you exceptional performance. Its cross-cutting capabilities can shred paper, clips, staples, CDs, and credit cards while meeting top security P-4 expectations ideal for protecting personal identity.

Aside from its efficiency, this Wolverine Shredder is ultra-quiet with a low noise level of 58 dB, allowing you to focus on your business needs entirely. Thanks to its patented cooling system, it has 60 minutes run and can munch on 8000 sheets of paper without overheating.

The overheating protection technology keeps the Shredder sustainable while prolonging its lifespan. The intuitive jam reverse system automatically detects paper overload and manually reverses to clear out paper jams.

The bin basket of this Shredder can hold up to 6 gallons of shred. It has a transparent window for easy viewing, and the pull-out design allows for easy emptying when full.

Fellowes Powershred 79 Ci Cross-Cut Paper Shredder

The Good

  • SafeSense innovative technology
  • Versatile
  • 3-level advanced jam protection
  • Energy saving
  • Ultra-quiet shred

The Not so Good

  • Not secure enough for crucial documents
  • Occasional jamming
  • Machine prone to overheating and shuts down

The Fellowes Powershred 79 Ci is an exceptional cross-cut model. Basically, the cross-cut technique makes paper “unreadable,” which is an excellent option for disposing of confidential documents. You can shred up to 16 sheets of paper in a single run with a security rating of P4.

The unit is also powerful enough to shred credit cards, staples, CDs/DVDs, paper clips, and junk mail. It will run non-stop for 20 minutes before needing a 30-minute cool-off.

Fellowes 79 Ci features an intelligent SafeSense technology that automatically shuts off when you touch the paper slot making it a safe choice if you have kids or pets.

With a 3-level jam prevention system, this Shredder can hassle-free power through the most challenging jobs. You get a worry-free 2-year service and product warranty when you buy this unit. Plus, the 21.5 inches tall Shredder comes with a 6-gallon pull-out bin for easy waste disposal.

Keep things whisper-quiet thanks to the SilentShred technology with a low noise level of 56 decibels.

Features to Consider when Selecting the Best Low Noise Paper Shredder

When searching for the best noise-free paper shredder for your home or office, there are crucial factors worth keeping in mind.

Read on to determine what to consider before buying a quiet paper shredder.

Level of Noise

Any appliance fitted with a motor is sure to produce some level of noise. The truth is no paper shredder is completely noise-free. But some have unique features to enable them to run almost silently.

One notable feature is an anti-vibration mat that cushions the motor. You can also find units fitted with internal insulation to dampen the noises.

Industrial shredders are made of metal and designed purposely for performance and durability. Metal is not the best at operating silently since it produces a lot of noise and vibrations. You’ll not find a shredder with metal parts on our lineup.

If you’re looking for a quiet shredder, its noise level should be between 50 to 60 decibels. Anything beyond 71 dB will be too loud and irritating.

Most units feature friction-less blades for a calm working experience. However, some models require occasional oiling to keep them from making noise.

Sheet Capacity

For quite a while, most at-home shredders could shred a single sheet of paper in a single pass. Now, most modern units can shred an average of 15 sheets in a single pass. They are efficient and fast and can munch dozens of sheets within seconds. This saves you a lot of time.

Well, there are exceptions to every rule, but this is what you can expect from a top-quality shredder. Choose a shredder that can handle at least five sheets of paper at once.

Rugged shredders can also shred credit cards (top tier security), pins, staples, CDs, and DVDs. They can also tear through thick envelopes of junk mail.

Cutting Styles

The amount of noise a paper shredder makes depends on how it cuts the paper. Here are the different cutting styles you’ll find in shredders:

Strip-cut Shredder: This is the most basic type of Shredder, and it shreds your paper into vertical ribbons, which you can reassemble with some effort. Due to the simplicity of the blades, this Shredder can handle a high volume of material. Since the operation of the edges here is straightforward, this type of Shredder is the quietest.

The strip cut shredder is ideal for quick and easy munching of non-sensitive files but not the best for personal documents. It is also the most affordable and requires minor maintenance compared to its counterparts.

So, if you are looking for a primary shredder for personal or office use, this is a good option.

Cross-cut Shredder: This is the most popular since it provides medium-level security at an affordable price. The blades cut vertically and horizontally, shredding documents into fragments that are difficult to piece together.

You can also expect some noise from this Shredder because of the blades’ complex operation.

As mentioned above, this paper shredder offers medium-level security, making it ideal for home offices and businesses with confidential files to shred. However, a cross-cut shredder is a bit slower than a strip-cut model.

Micro-cut shredder: It is the most secure since it produces the most jumbled shred. It can shred paper sheets to an average of 2000 particles.

The security level is top-notch since its shred material is impossible to reassemble. This is the best option to dispose of highly classified documents such as medical files, contracts, tenders, or government documents.

However, it’s worth noting that its price is quite steep and it takes longer to shred documents.

Security Level

The size of the waste particles determines the security level of a paper shredder after shredding. Essentially the strip-cut shredder is the least secure, while the micro-cut is the safest.

Manufacturers use a standardized system to determine shredder security. The DIN P-levels rank between 1 and 7, with DIN P-1 being the least safe and DIN P-2 being the most secure Shredder.

P1 to P3 rated shredders churning out 0.07, 0.23, and 0.47-inch particles. The next 3-level rating is P4, P5, and P6, producing 0.03, 0.07, and 0.23-inch particles. These shredders also further compress the shred into 0.01, 0.04, and 0.24 square inch particles.

Models with P7 rating release 0.03-inch shred, further compacted to 0.001 square inch sizes. You might not need a shredder with a P7 rating for your home or office, but the U.S. government uses it to eliminate top classified documents.

Furthermore, most units can also handle shredding credit cards, CDs, and DVDs. Ideally, the more complicated the cutting style is, the more noise a shredder produces.

Safety Features

The modern Shredder is made with user safety in mind. Manufacturers want you to keep all your fingers intact while shredding your documents. So, you’ll find most shredders have insertion slots that are too narrow for your fingers to get stuck inside. But, they are wide enough to handle the maximum sheet capacity. The design ensures a happy medium.

Better yet, some shredders feature hand detection sensors that automatically stop the blades when they sense your hand is too close. You will also find models with jam protection or automatic shut-off to keep you and your device safe.

Jam protection: Paper shredders are designed to tackle a specific number of sheets at a time. The feed can jam if you place more than the recommended sheets on it, shred papers with staples, or shred too thick documents.

A jam protection feature reverses the paper’s direction to allow you to remove some sheets or clips and staples from the feed.

Automatic shut-off: This feature is designed to shut down the shredder when it begins to overheat or when your hand gets in contact with the feeder slot.

The unit will stay off until it cools down or senses no hand on the feeder slot.

Size

Size is a crucial factor when picking the ideal shredder. Think about it- a shredder saves you space compared to tossing your paper directly in the wastebasket. Essentially, you’ll need more space for a stack of papers than for a bin full of tatters.

So how does the size of the shredder come into play? A taller shredder provides bigger storage space, so you wouldn’t have to empty the waste bin frequently. So, we recommend you get a taller shredder with a large paper basket.

The best quiet shredder compacts its shredding capacity into the smallest footprint possible.

Placement

Where you place your shredder matters regardless of whether it makes 50 decibels of noise or 80 decibels. It’s always best to keep it far from your working or rest area. Even if you have a low noise shredder, the buzzing sound can be irritating when you’re trying to focus on your work.

However, home shredders can be tricky to place on the perfect spot. But ensure you place it on level ground. If it’s slanting, it might vibrate against the floor more than expected. Alternatively, you can put it on the carpet or use a thick anti-vibration mat.

FAQs

If you’re shopping for the perfect near-silent shredder, read on for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions and answers to consider.

1. Can a paper shredder handle staples and paper clips?

It depends on the type of model. It’s always best to read the manufacturer’s fine print to verify which materials the shredder can handle.

2. Which is better between a cross-cut and a micro-cut paper shredder?

In terms of security, a micro-cut shredder takes the lead. It can shred a document into 2000 fragments which are impossible to reassemble, while a cross-cut shredder can shred it to only 400 particles.

However, a cross-cut shredder is faster and more affordable. Therefore, your choice of shredder boils down to your needs and budget.

3. What is the best quiet paper shredder?

Fellowes Powershred 99 Ci Jam Proof Paper Shredder with a sound level of 54 dB will give you exceptional performance while ensuring ultra-quiet operation.

Ensure to check out our lineup for top performers. We’re sure you’ll find the perfect shredder to meet your needs.

4. Do I need to oil my quiet paper shredder?

It’s best practice to oil your Shredder with regular use. You can space out the time frame to every two months to maintain outstanding performance.

Also, when you notice paper jams quickly or difficulty in shredding, it’s a sure sign you need to oil your device.

Last update on 2022-03-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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