I had to clean out a storage locker I have had for over 5 years that contained content including papers, mail and documents that were very old. Being security conscious and knowing how easy it is to phish identity data out of thrown away mails, bills, documents and whatnot I was in the market for a new paper shredder and I wanted one that can reduce the paper to very fine bits that had little to no chance of being taped together to make something cohesive. Something with a relatively large bucket I could shake up and further turn my random bits of shredded paper into a miasma of unrecognizable garbage was my ideal goal.
I came pretty close to finding the perfect paper shredder for under $60 in the Aurora AU820MA, which I will list the features.
Aurora AU820MA Paper Shredder Features
- High security micro-cut: Provides ultimate protection with particles 6 times smaller than typical cross-cut.
- ShredSafe advanced safety feature: Auto power-off upon forced entry, prevents accidents.
- Overload protection: Overload jam auto-stop prevents serious paper jams.
- Easy emptying: Integrated single-hand lifting handle for easy emptying wastebasket.
- LED Status Indicator:
- 5 Minute Continuous Run Time
The paper shredder head which sits on top of the can weighs 14.04 pounds and was a bit heavy for my wife, so take note of the weight. The thing has to have that much weight to grind through up to 8 sheets of paper at the same time and can chew right through paper clips, staples, and even DVD/CD’s with ease breaking them to bits.
It is one of the safest paper shredders in this class by really preventing any accidental chance of having fingertips or say long hair from accidentally getting pulled into the shredder because you don’t directly top load, and the cover/lid doesn’t open all the way making it to where you have to actually insert the items to shred at a slightly up facing angle. My wife was having our younger son help shred stuff so it is something you can be comfortable with kids as long as not too young to help with.
There is a separate loader for DVD/CD’s which shred one at a time, but paper itself you can shred up to 8 sheets at a time or if you have folded sheets you can shred half that if they are folded. Bills, college notes, old tax data or business records that are no longer needed all were chewed up within seconds.
Overall we shredded thousands of documents over several days and put this thing through the paces. One, we did have 2 overheats where it ran for 5 continuous minutes adding paper after paper and it eventually shuts of and has to rest a few minutes to cool down. It does get blistering hot, if you take it off the can, the dozens of tiny blades get very hot from grinding all that paper continuously so be careful there.
This high security paper shredder turns papers into very tiny bit sizes that are virtually impossible to piece together if you put them in the bucket and then shuffle everything around, bag it and toss it. It fills up the bucket fairly fast, and remember at 14 pounds you have to be careful to lift the shredder straight off the bucket and dump the bucket, or you can tip it and spill your shreds all over. The one feature I found to be relatively useless is the little “window” they advertise to see how full the bucket is, and the reason is that paper creates a lot of dust while it is being shredded.
So after doing a couple of rounds of shredding you can see the window in the below pic where you are supposed to be able to see how full the bucket is is completely obscured with paper dust, and it gets like this every time within minutes, you almost never can see how full the bucket is with the window due to it always being obscured with dust. This is the only mildly annoying thing about this otherwise fantastic paper shredder.
I also would highly recommend you do shredding outside on a patio or porch or backyard as paper dust gets everywhere, all over the lid, and general area especially when you take the shredder top off the can. So much fine paper dust just flies everywhere and some if is very fine like dust so you don’t really want to do this inside the house in a room unless you are planning on a dusting and vacuuming afterward.