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Should I buy a shredder? (Or are there alternatives?)
Old 01-13-2014, 10:03 AM   #1
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Should I buy a shredder? (Or are there alternatives?)

I have a copy paper box full of old mutual fund statements and other highly personal papers which I need to dispose of. The local Staples says they'll turn them over to a shredding service, which doesn't please me, since I lose control of the papers once I've turned them over. Is a copy-paper-box-full worth buying a shredder, or is there a way to rent a shredder?

Please, nothing about buying a used shredder at a garage sale or on Craigslist; I don't have the patience to winnow through listings, and could easily be bilked into buying a shredder which breaks down.

Thanks,

Amethyst
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Old 01-13-2014, 10:11 AM   #2
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Yes. I have been using shredder for any documents with account number, my name on them. It gives me a piece of mind.
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Old 01-13-2014, 10:14 AM   #3
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Our bank has shredding days where they bring in a shredding truck and you can watch your stuff get shredded.

If you have a wood burning fireplace, you can use the paperwork as kindling.
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Old 01-13-2014, 10:17 AM   #4
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Just be sure to use a crosscut shredder and not one that only cuts the paper into strips.
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Old 01-13-2014, 10:57 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
Our bank has shredding days where they bring in a shredding truck and you can watch your stuff get shredded.

If you have a wood burning fireplace, you can use the paperwork as kindling.
I am definitely in the burn it camp: Back yard fire pit and occasional camping trips get the job done, just be sure to stir to make sure everything burns if you dump a bunch on at one time.
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:13 AM   #6
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Our bank has shredding days where they bring in a shredding truck and you can watch your stuff get shredded.

If you have a wood burning fireplace, you can use the paperwork as kindling.
+1 on the first part. You can accompany your documents to the shredder and they have a camera that you can watch it being shredded.

Or you can DIY a little at a time with a personal sized shredder.

I tried burning some in our outdoor firepit and it didn't work real well and I certainly would not try to do a carton worth's in my woodstove.
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:19 AM   #7
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I have an electric shredder. If I had to do it over again I would buy a manual shredder from Amazon to save money and burn a few more calories. I will get that when this one dies.
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:22 AM   #8
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I wouldn't be without a cross cut shredder for anything we have/get with addresses (ours or anyone we know) or other personal info. When in doubt, we shred and recycle.

There's a local charity that shreds for local businesses at a small cost. Individuals can also walk in and they will shred smaller quantities for a small donation [edit: and allow the individual to witness shredding, I agree that's important]. So a few years ago when I had a box full of old brokerage statements that would have killed my home office shredder, they were glad to do it for a small donation.

I tried burning them in the fireplace but that was very messy and probably dangerous, so I gave up after a few minutes.
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:38 AM   #9
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I've burned up two shredders since starting the downsizing two years ago. I had to buy another while waiting to get moved and settled. I just couldn't throw financial data and credit card solicitations out without shredding. In retrospect, I would have saved a lot of time and the cost of a couple of shredders by taking my huge pile to a shredding place, but you have to know when and where they are going to be.
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:59 PM   #10
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I have a shredder. I recently bought a new one after our old one wore out. I do see that the newer ones are much better. For example, my new one will shred credit cards and CDs/DVDs. Also, it is much less prone to jamming.

Anyway, if you choose to buy a shredder, we've been happy with this one:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:29 PM   #11
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I have a copy paper box full of old mutual fund statements and other highly personal papers which I need to dispose of.
I agree with you: I wouldn't drop them off with anyone to be shredded later. Our county has occasional events where people can bring in papers to be shredded, you might check with whoever handles solid waste in your area. Taking your box to such an event and watching it be shredded would be my preferred option.
I'd strongly suggest you buy a shredder and "shred as you go" when you receive/print things that need to be destroyed. The consumer-quality crosscut shredders are just fine for this, but they are not suited to shredding hundreds of pages in a session (they overheat). Shredding things as needed assures the sensitive stuff doesn't pile up and the task doesn't become overwhelming. You could use such a shredder to get rid of the present pile, but it would be slow going and you'd probably only be able to do it for 10-15 minutes at a time.
Burning: Sounds good in theory, but it takes a lot longer than many people would think to get rid of a box or two of paper. Anyone who has been on a real "burn detail" can vouch for how messy and time-consuming it is. To burn a lot of paper completely and relatively quickly requires the right equipment (a ventilated burn barrel that can be rotated on a horizontal axis--or a thermite grenade!) and still is a sooty, dirty mess. If you just need to get rid of a small amount of papers then a fireplace might be fine, but a shredder would be less trouble.
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:52 PM   #12
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That looks like the one we have but with the Office Max brand name on it. The smaller one burned out so the next time we bought the heaviest-duty one the had. But I waited for it to go on sale for $129 during a one-day sale. That may have been a loss leader for them since they seemed a little miffed that I didn't buy anything else that day.
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Old 01-13-2014, 04:01 PM   #13
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I'll second the Fellowes shredder, I have a different model than what's listed above but it's been running strong for +7 years. The shredding gear is very beefy which is key. Just need to put a few drops of 3in1 oil in the gears occasionally. The key with a shredder is to stay on top of it and shred the documents as they come in. It's hard to get motivated to sit in front of a shredder with a big box full of documents. In that case I would probably just burn them as others suggested.
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:51 PM   #14
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I have a shredder, but its a lot more fun to burn documents out in the yard
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:07 PM   #15
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I've heard of people just putting their sensitive papers in a black plastic bag along with their baby's poopy/wet disposable diapers. After a few hours outside in the summer they were pretty sure anybody opening the bag would quickly move on to other options.
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:07 PM   #16
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Do not get paper copies of anything really. If I do I just shred it up by hand and toss it in recycle bin.
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:17 PM   #17
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I've been thinking about buying a shredder for some time now but never got around to it. Thanks to this thread I have ordered 12 sheet cross cut from Amazon.
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:31 PM   #18
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Just got a cross-cut shredder from the in-laws for Christmas. I'm a shredder...
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:46 PM   #19
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We are fortunate enough to have semi-annual environmental fair in our town that includes free, commercial shredding. I save up my stuff to be shredded in an old briefcase and take it to the fair twice a year. I can watch them shred it right then and there. Check and see if you something like that or a local bank or credit union.
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:37 PM   #20
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Buying a shredder has been on my to-do list for some time. Thanks to this thread I finally decided to do some online comparisons of different models and prices, read the reviews, etc. I think a micro-cut model is what I need; I have a backlog of financial documents to get rid of.

Does anyone have experience with the Dynex 10-sheet micro cut shredder, model DX-PS10MC? The prices on the Dynex shredders are more reasonable than the Fellowes shredders, and the reviews are just as good if not better in some cases.
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