By in Technology

Time to Buy a New Shredder? Apparently Not, Thanks to Amazon Reviews

I have a small-ish shredder in my home office (it can handle three sheets of paper at a time). It's been a workhorse for years, but last night, the poor thing started running more and more slowly, and, groaning, ground to a halt. Hmm, time to get a new one, I guessed. And frankly, a bigger one, as well. I only shred documents that have sensitive information on them, but since I am very assiduous about avoiding identity theft (I like my credit rating where it is, thanks), that does include a lot of documents. It gets a bit tiresome feeding three sheets at a time.

So, I get on Amazon looking for a new shredder, and I am cheap, so I filter my results by "Price-Low to High", and on the low end, I'm seeing a bunch of entries for "lubricating sheets" and "shredder oil". Um, what? Yes, folks, I am ignorant. I did not know this was a thing, this need to lubricate one's shredder. It does make sense, in a hindsight kind of way. So, maybe my little shreddy buddy can be saved instead of replaced?

I wasn't sure what to buy--the sheets were about $15 a pack and the cheapest oil was $9. I wasn't sure exactly how one applies oil, so I clicked on it to see if there were any directions. There was nothing in the directions, but frequently people write very helpful stuff in the reviews, so I scrolled down to those. Not only did I find out that "shredder oil" is just plain old canola oil, which I might have in my own kitchen (I have peanut oil, olive oil and coconut oil--gonna have to check for canola), one can easily make a "lubricating sheet" by putting canola oil on a regular old piece of paper (including, presumably, something I already want to shred). So, I'm going to see if it's not too late for the baby shredder. If it is, well, I wanted a bigger one anyway, and now I know I have to lubricate it, and how to do so, cheaply.

Thanks, Amazon reviews!

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MegL wrote on May 18, 2017, 11:52 AM

LOL, the internet is VERY useful at times!

AliCanary wrote on May 18, 2017, 2:14 PM

It sure is! I notice that the VigiLinks thingie is still working, here. Are you able to get some money from that, at least, to help pay for the web expenses?

MegL wrote on May 18, 2017, 2:42 PM

Unfortunately not. I have not accessed the coding at all. The site is working on autopilot at present and I am leaving it that way while I learn PHP or manage to persuade my daughter (who can program) to take a look at it. I see the main job at present as getting the site more visible on the Internet. If I can do that, then it will be time to look at monetising it.

AliCanary wrote on August 4, 2017, 2:37 AM

Just as a FYI follow-up to anyone who may read this, I did buy a small bottle of canola oil from the grocery store for a couple of dollars, simply poured it on some pages I wanted to shred, and it worked like a charm!

VinceSummers wrote on August 4, 2017, 8:14 AM

Three sheets at a time isn't enough? Man, you must have lots of sensitive documents! Still, I do hear you about the lubricant. Is it not too late if one waits until the device is failing? I would think lubricant can not sharpen cutting surfaces? Of course, I do not know the exact mechanics of a paper shredder.

AliCanary wrote on August 5, 2017, 6:14 PM

It lubricates the gears that turn the blades, I assume. It seems to have revived the little thing. If it were three full-sized (8 1/2 x 11) sheets, it wouldn't be too bad, but the opening is only 5" wide, so most sheets have to be folded in thirds. So essentially, it does only one sheet at a time.

VinceSummers wrote on November 12, 2017, 8:42 AM

I'm returning to make another comment on the shredder... I got to thinking... Maybe the oil also acts just like Lectric Shave does for an electric razor. I find that a hand razor, brand new, can be used to shave the whiskers while still (if they are not too long -- ouch!), but the razor blade has a short life expectancy. Use the Lectric Shave and the lifetime increases greatly. The paper takes a tole on the cutting blades. Paper is somewhat abrasive to the metal surface.

AliCanary wrote on February 2, 2018, 11:03 PM

Oh, I never knew that. Maybe that's It.