Fellowes P-8C Paper Shredder: Review

Thursday, June 10, 2010 Posted by Dina N

According to a recent 2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report conducted by Javelin Strategy and Research, identity theft impacted 11.1 million Americans last year, an increase of 12 percent from 2008. And while there isn't much you can do about it when your personal information leaks from your credit company's files, for example, there are steps you can take to minimize other risks.

One of the things I do is check out my credit report regularly. The thing is, once something irregular shows up there, your personal information is already in the wrong hands. So, an ounce of prevention: shred paperwork that includes important personal details, such as your social security number, credit card numbers, and checking account information.

I go a step further and shred credit card offers, old credit cards, store receipts, anything that can be of any use to an identity thief. It's important to have a decent shredder at home, so that I am not tempted to toss any sensitive paperwork in the recycling bin. Well, I do recycle it - AFTER I shred it.

I recently tried the new Fellowes P-8C deskside paper shredder. This compact little thing fits easily under the desk in my home office. I can even hide it in a filing cabinet, if I want. It's a cross-cut shredder that reduces paper documents into more than 300 particles per sheet and destroys credit cards, paper clips and staples without jamming.  Since I have kids at home, one of my favorite features is the patented Safety Lock that disables the shredder for added safety. All you have to do is push down and slide it to lock after you are done with the shredding. I also like it that the on / off switch is on the back - easy to get to yet hidden from little eyes and fingers.

The shredder is intended for home use, and takes up to 8 sheets of regular paper at a time. One of the most important things to ensure smooth operation is to never feed into the machine more that the maximum number of sheets. I usually don't feel like counting, so I shred 3-5 at a time. If a sheet of paper is folded, it counts as more than one, of course - fold it in 4, then it's four times thicker. It's good to remember this if you are shredding mail without opening the envelope and unfolding its content. The slot for paper is pretty narrow - another good feature. If you are trying to insert too much paper at the same time, it simply won't fit. If you do manage to push it in and it does get stuck, the handy reverse button helps to get the paper out.

There is an indicator light that turns green when the shredder is in auto-on mode - that is, will start shredding as soon as it detects paper in the slot. When the machine overheats, another LED light turns red. The shredder can be used continuously for up to 5 minutes. If you try to use it longer than that, a cool down  period of 15 minutes is triggered. For this reason, it is a good idea to avoid building a to-shred pile - just shred as you open your mail, for instance. That helps keep clutter under control at my house, too.

The ability to shred old credit cards with the Fellowes P-8C is very useful to me. The machine shreds one card at a time, and it needs to go in the center of the opening - this spot is clearly marked on the shredder. I got rid of old bank cards, club membership cards, and insurance cards with ease.

Another important thing you can do to ensure your shredder works well is to maintain it well. Empty the bin when full, and oil the shredding mechanism each time you do so. The company recommends using a non-aerosol vegetable oil in a long nozzle container, such as the Fellowes 35250.

If you are looking for a compact shredder for home use, check of the Fellowes P-8C. It has a suggested retail value of $59.99 and is available at Target stores nationwide.

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received a complimentary shredder to facilitate this review. The opinions are my own and others' experience may differ. No monetary compensation was provided for this post. 

9 comments:

  1. Pricilla said...

    Thanks for such a detailed review. It looks like a good one for the money.

  2. Jennifer Burns said...

    The shredder looks like a very high quality product. Wish I had one to shred the 2 paper bags of shreddables.

  3. Carole Spring said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  4. amanda said...

    i love that it shreds credit cards
    oheeyore at hotmail dot com

  5. Anonymous said...

    This review is fake. Fellowes is paying you to write these reviews. Crook!

  6. Anonymous said...

    The best site!

  7. Jeff McRitchie said...

    Terrific review. I really like how you also gave some information about identity theft.

  8. Anonymous said...

    I just bought one yesterday and it is a shredding DEMON. It does have some drawbacks. One, the window in the front of the bin shows the front of the bin, not the back. The back fills up much quicker than the front. It doesn't look full, but the back, below the blades is totally full. If you happen to reverse it for some reason, the shredded strips get sucked back up and clog the machine (Voice of experience). Two, the bin seems very hard to empty. The front is cut lower than the back and it's just not easy for me to dump it without making a mess. Three, after some usage, the motor seemed to labor, even with one sheet of paper. I looked under the head and on the left side, there was paper crammed between the cutters and the edge of the head (plastic). I cleaned that out with some tweezers and it seemed to free up. Recommendation - Keep the paper away from the left side.
    Other than that, great little machine for the price.

  9. Unknown said...

    Something I've found with this shredder is that it doesn't use an 'eye' to see if paper is in the slot to turn on the tines like my older Fellowes shredder. Instead, it uses a little white plastic lever that is located midway along the slot, when it gets pushed down from paper that you put in the slot, it turns on the tines. But guess what, if you reverse the tines, paper can go back up and guess what, now the lever is stuck up even if you try to push it down with fresh paper, so, the tines will no longer go forward and your shredder is useless! You have to take a screw driver or something to try to move the lever down enough to activate the tines, or take the whole shredder apart to clear it up.

    I guess this model is too cheap to have an eye (transmitter, receiver).

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