Paper shredders, as with all electromechanical equipment, will not operate efficiently unless they are properly maintained. Frequently oiling the shredder or regularly changing shredder bags will keep the motor running and blades rolling for a long time.
Pay special attention to the capacity and quality of motor when choosing you paper shredder. Even "continuous rated" motors need a rest every once in a while. If you do not want to end up calling in a technician be careful to not use your paper shredder beyond it's capabilities. If you do over work your paper shredder, you will cause the parts to wear out. All moving parts on a paper shredder will wear down after time, but the nicer you are to them, the longer they will want to stay around.
All Paper Shredders need shredder oil to continue to function properly. It is very common for paper dust to build up inside of the cutting assembly. After time, this sediment can become packed together like cement. Oil serves to soften this packed dust, which allows the movement of the cutting head. The proper movement of this head will push the dust out of the paper shredder. The finer the cut the paper shredder makes, the more oil it will need.
The more frequent a shredder is used or the larger the volume of paper being shredded per day, the more often oiling is required. Additionally, the frequency of oiling increases as the media being shredded gets thicker or denser. I.e. the shredding of 20lb paper will require more oiling than if the end user were shredding only 16lb paper. If other media besides paper is being shredded (e.g. CD, Microfilm), more frequent oiling is recommended.
For a 1/4 in strip cut shredder, used only 1 or 2 hours per week only weekly oiling is required. It is recommended that crosscut shredders should be oiled every 15 minutes.
High security shredders (shredders with particles 1/32 x 7/16 or smaller) require oiling at least every 15minutes.
Oiling procedure: The process is really simple and any operator can do it. Keep your shredder's cutting blades properly lubricated by applying the oil directly onto the cutting head, through the paper entry throat, in a fine stream. It should take about 1-2 seconds to oil from one side of the paper throat to the other. Turn the paper shredder in reverse for about 10-15 seconds, as this will allow the oil to spread to the different areas of the cutting head. The final step is to shred a few sheets of paper to remove any excess oil.
Shredder oil: Shredder oil helps lubricate the shredder, extending its life and allowing the shredder to run smoothly and quietly. Shredder oil is of special formulation, which leaves no residue on the cutters. Other oils will attract paper dust and in turn clog the cutting head. All good paper shredders come with some kind of warranty from the manufacturer. A typical warranty will cover basic parts for a year and the cutting heads for up to five years. Many companies also offer service contracts to accompany their office machines.
Tips for Keeping a Paper Shredder Operating Smoothly Whether you have an inexpensive paper shredder or a pricier model, these machines can only shred a certain amount of paper at a time. The quantity of paper the shredder can handle is printed on the outside of the feeding mechanism and should be followed for the best performance. Overfeeding the shredder can result in damaging the shredder teeth or burning out the motor.
For a shredder to work efficiently, the paper being shredded must be able to drop freely in the wastebasket below. An overfilled basket impedes the shredders output, and can even draw already shredded paper back into the shredder, causing it to jam.
Envelope gum, labels, and other papers with adhesive or sticky substances should never be run through a shredder. This gummy paper can lead to paper jams which will bend the teeth and ruin the shredder.