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7 Best Quiet Paper Shredders for Your Home & Office

Silent Home Hub Quiet Shredder

Even quiet paper shredders carry a unique place and importance at home or at the office.

Having the right kind of security is ESSENTIAL to keep your employee information secure and prevent identity theft or identity fraud.

Even more, ordinary sheets of paper can even be dangerous in the wrong hands!

With these 7 quiet paper shredders, you’ll get to shred documents EFFICIENTLY and EFFECTIVELY without those annoying and irritating noises!

Best Budget Pick
Amazon Basics 12 Sheet
Best Overall
Fellowes PowerShred 99 Ci Cross-Cut Paper Shredder
Most Quiet
Fellowes Powershred 79Ci Cross-Cut Shredder
Table of Contents

Reviews of the 7 Best Quiet Paper Shredders for a Silent Home & Office Space

After shredding thousands of old documents, here’s a rundown of the best paper shredders we can recommend. These are the PERFECT answers to get rid of that bothersome shredding noise.

1. Fellowes PowerShred 99 Ci Cross-Cut Paper Shredder

Best Overall

Capacity: 18 Sheets || 13 feet per minute || 30 min. duty cycle || 40 min. cool time || Security Rating: DIN P-4 || 56 dB

Price: $$$

Fellowes PowerShred 99 Ci 2

Let’s Talk Quiet: The Fellowes 99 Ci crosses the sound level with just 56 decibels as the quietest paper shredder.

The PowerShred 99 Ci scores perfect in performance, speed, shredding sheets of paper, and even easily chews on credit cards, DVDs, CDs, staples, and paper clips.

If you’re looking to shred a ton of documents in a day, THIS is the paper shredder for you.

You can rely on this powerful machine in terms of quality and large bin capacity of 9 gallons

Altogether, Fellowes demonstrates a superb heavy-duty quiet paper shredder.

Benefits:

  • Bin Capacity of 9 gallons with removable pull-out bin
  • 100% Jam Proof to eliminate paper jams
  • SafeSense technology using hand sensor function to prevent accidents
  • SilentShred technology minimizes sound level
  • Energy Savings system reduces energy consumption

| PROS

  • Impressive sheets speed
  • Easily shreds CDs, DVDs, credit cards, and paper clips without complaint
  • Superb quiet operation

| CONS

  • Heavy
  • Security level could be improved

Shredder Best Designed For:

  • 3-5 users in a home or small office
  • Those looking to cut a lot of documents in a day

2. Amazon Basics 12 Sheet

Best Budget Pick

Capacity: 12 Sheets || 6 feet per minute || 7 min. duty cycle || 30   min. cool time || Security Rating: DIN P-4

Price: $$

Amazon Basics 12 Sheet Shredder 2

Value and Quietness Rolled Into One: An inexpensive shredder that’s both quiet and can offer solid shredding speeds.

Although not nearly as fast as the 99 Ci, the Amazon Basics still packs a lot of punch for a micro cutting paper shredder.

Credit cards along with CD’s, DVD’s, and staples chewed on this machine are fairly respectable.

When you spend this much and have a speed level of 72 pages per minute, it’s no wonder it’s regarded as one of the top quiet paper shredders!

Benefits:

  • Auto start and anti jam auto reverse 
  • Thermal protection
  • 4.8 gallon pull out bin capacity 
  • Easy operation through simple interface design

| PROS

  • Great value for money
  • Inexpensive with solid capacity level
  • Minimal sound operation

| CONS

  • Small bin capacity
  • Cool down period is long

Shredder Best Designed For:

  • 1-3 users for personal or small office
  • Price-conscious and seeking good value for low price

3. Fellowes Powershred 79Ci Cross-Cut Shredder

Most Quiet

Capacity: 14 Sheets || 11 feet per minute || 20 min. duty cycle || 30  min. cool time || Security Rating: DIN P-4 || 54 dB 

Price: $$$

Fellowes 79 Ci Shredder 2

Quiet & Pleasant Humming: It’s a pleasant user-experience when it comes to the Fellowes 79 Ci.

Low-pitched sound and outstanding cutting speed are the highlights for this particular paper shredder. 

The 79 Ci is a recommended option with cross cutting technology and delivers great value for your home and office needs. 

Although if shredders of high volume like the 79 Ci feel pricey on your end, you can opt for one of the many decent, capable shredders Argos has on their website.

The Amazon 12 Sheet is also a recommended alternative for those on a budget.

Benefits:

  • 100% Jam-proof technology that completely eliminates paper jams
  • Shreds credit cards, CDs, DVDs, staples, and paper clips
  • SafeSense technology stop shredding upon entry of hands
  • SilentShred technology for a silent shredding 
  • Energy Savings System lowers energy consumption

| PROS

  • Great usability
  • Highly reliable safety features
  • Excellent shredding speed
  • Solid workload capacity
  • Quiet and low-pitched hums

| CONS

  • Difficult caster attachment
  • Lid is quite heavy

Shredder Best Designed For:

  • Looking for the quietest paper shredders on the market
  • Shredding heavy or bulky loads of paper, documents, sheets, etc. 
  • Ideal for 1-3 users

4. GoEcoLife GMW120P Micro-Cut Shredder

Capacity: 12 Sheets || 6 feet per minute || 5 min continuous run time || Security Rating: DIN P-4

Price: $$$

GoECOLife GMW120P Shredder 2

Let’s Talk Energy Efficiency: It’s no doubt the GMW120P is a quiet paper shredder, but it’s highly appreciated for its eco-friendly design,saving you costs even while using micro cutting technology. 

Sheets and credit cards are relatively easily shred, making this a good choice for home use and even adds visual appeal altogether. 

With Micro cutting capabilities, the GoEcoLife Micro-Cut shredder is a great option as well if you’re looking for secure shredding of your documents into unreadable particles. 

Benefits:

  • 5 gallon bin with pullout basket design to conveniently empty your bin
  • GoECO Power Saving technology greatly reduces energy consumption
  • Overall design is manufactured as carbon neutral protecting the environment

| PROS

  • Solid shredding into tiny particles
  • Silent and doesn’t disturb anyone beside you
  • Visually appealing
  • Energy efficient

| CONS

  • Poor capacity

Shredder Best Designed For:

  • A higher security level in shredding documents or sheets into unreadable particles
  • For home or small office use

5. Fellowes 99Ms Micro-Cut Paper Shredder

Capacity: 14 Sheets || 11 feet per minute || 20 min. duty cycle || 40 min. cool time || Security Rating: DIN P-5 || 56 dB

Price: $$$$

Fellowes 99Ms Shredder 2

Let’s Talk Security: The PowerShred 99Ms is perfect for security and solid endurance as a quiet paper shredder at only 56 decibels.

Financial, legal, or any highly sensitive documents can easily be torn into finer small particles with this micro-cut shredder’s power.

Most shredders can easily chew credit cards and staples just like the 99Ms; however, CDs and DVDs DON’T WORK on this paper shredder. 

If you prefer less security and more disc shredding, take a look at an Argos shredder for at least a second or backup option. 

The Fellowes 99Ms Micro-Cut Shredder has much to offer and a lot of quality design to make this a premium quality choice.

Price, on the other hand, can be a little heavy on the pockets.

Benefits:

  • SilentShred technology to offer quiet performance and minimize sound levels
  • Auto Reverse to prevent paper jamming issues
  • SafeSense to stop hands when paper opening is touched
  • 9 gallon bin with LED status indicators to indicate when full
  • Sleep mode feature that shuts down after 2 minutes of inactivity

| PROS

  • Great micro cutting security
  • Easy operation and superb medium duty shredding
  • Large bin capacity

| CONS

  • Expensive
  • Unable to shred optical disks

Shredder Best Designed For:

  • Shredding legal, financial, or highly sensitive sheets/documents
  • Ideal for a 3-person use or office setting

6. Bonsaii Evershred Pro 4S30 Micro-Cut Shredder

Capacity: 10 Sheets || 2 feet per minute || 240 min. duty cycle || 10 min. cool time || Security Rating: DIN P-5 || 58 dB

Price: $$

Bonsaii Evershred Pro 4S30 Shredder 2

Let’s Talk Consistency & Longevity: The Bonsai Evershred Pro delivers a sound rating of just 58 decibels adding to the list of efficient and quiet shredders. 

Most paper shredders run an average of 30 or 40 minutes on running time, but the Bonsaii runs at an impressive 240 minutes, the longest we’ve seen in paper shredders.

Consistency and reliability are your best bets with the Bonsaii Evershred 4S30 model against other shredders.

Similar to the Fellowes 99Ms model, price can be quite a cost but still, worth spending to meet your needs. 

Benefits:

  • 240 minutes run time to shred credit cards, CDs, DVDs, paper sheets, etc. consistently and continuously
  • Patented Cutting technology to shred your paper documents easily into tiny particles
  • Anti Jam protection system that prevents jamming, overheating, and overloading
  • 9 gallon basket capacity for reducing the rate to empty a lot 
  • 3 Year Warranty

| PROS

  • Low sound – 58 dB
  • Solid cutting and security
  • Outstanding run time; Efficient

| CONS

  • Expensive
  • Shredding speed could be improved

Shredder Best Designed For:

  • Mass-shredding
  • Looking for longer and efficient use of paper shredders
  • Easily shredding paper to discs for long durations of time; heavy duty

7. Aurora AU2280XA 22 Sheet Cross-Cut Shredder

 Capacity: 22 Sheets || 6 feet per minute || 30 min. duty cycle ||  Security Rating: DIN P-4 || Below 70 dB 

Price: $$

Aurora AU2280XA Shredder 2

Let’s Talk Size & Capacity: The Aurora AU2280XA Cross-Cut Shredder is ideally designed to offer a quiet and heavy capacity workload. 

It’s also considered to be one of the largest shredders with a superb bin capacity of 8.5 gallons.

It’s no wonder Aurora deems perfect for capacity among most shredders.

Because of its size, office use would greatly be beneficial having this around!

Although Aurora places as one of the larger shredders, the overall design is narrow enough to fit under your desk or around the office without causing any obstruction.

Benefits:

  • Anti-jam auto-reverse feature that aids in clearing paper jam issues
  • Auto Power Off system designed to save energy costs
  • LED indicator to indicate when shredder is overloaded, overheated, or open door status
  • 8.5 gallon basket capacity

| PROS

  • Decent energy saver
  • Superb workload capacity
  • Anti jam features
  • Silent operation

| CONS

  • More bulky compared to most shredders

Shredder Best Designed For:

  • For small to medium office use
  • Ideal towards heavy workloads or have a bulk of paper waste and documents 

Choosing Both a Quiet and Productive Paper Shredder

Hand holding shredded paper illustration

The majority of shredders in operation run with an average noise level between 60 to 70 decibels, which is considered quiet for a powerful machine.

Although we doubt silence is the ONLY thing you’re looking for, right?

The main purpose of a paper shredder is also a boost in productivity, which is what we’ll share here in the next section.

Understanding Shredder Scores

The Shredder Score tells you how efficient and productive your paper shredder is compared to various shredders in the market.  This is easily a calculable multiplication of values each shredder provides or in the “specifications” part of the discussed shredders.

Before we get into the formula, three metrics are important to understand:

  • Sheet Capacity
  • Feet/Meter Per Minute
  • Run Time

Sheet Capacity

The sheet capacity tells you the maximum number of paper/sheets you can feed into the shredder. This ranges differently depending on the type of shredder. 

When it comes to basic use shredders, expect at least 3 sheet capacity and with heavy-duty shredders, 10 or more sheet capacity.

Why Is It Important?
  • Better sheet capacity translates to more work done in lesser time
  • Better productivity
  • Maximize efficiency of high volume document shredding

Feet/Meter Per Minute

The Feet per minute metric is the speed rate your shredder shreds any documents, paper or waste. Most shredders give a rate of pages per minute and can easily be converted to feet per minute using the Sheet capacity metric.

Why Is It Important? 
  • Maximize the run time of your paper shredder
  • Quicker speed allows efficient handling of sheets of paper per pass to feeder

Run Time

Every paper shredder has what is known as the duty cycle or the maximum run time and cool down time. Just like every other machine, shredders can overheat, overload, and even malfunction in regards to paper jams. 

The duty cycle is the maximum amount of time your shredder can operate before needing to shut off and cool down. 

Personal-use shredders have an average of 10 minutes duty cycle before cooling down, while professional-use shredders average at 20 minutes but can go up to 30 minutes. 

Commercial or industrial shredders, due to high heavy use, can run continuously with minimal cool down sessions. It’s also important to note that a shredder with high security level affects run time. A DIN level P-4 needs to cool down more than a DIN level P-3 or 2.

Why Is It Important? 
  • A higher duty cycle allows more sheets of paper to pass through efficiently
  • A higher duty cycle is more time saving and maximizes energy/power usage
  • A higher duty cycle means more work or productivity done per session

Shredder Score Formula

Now that we have a basic understanding of the metrics contributing to overall shredder productivity, the formula is shown here:

Sheet Capacity x Feet/Meter per minute x Run Time = Shredder Score

Applications Using The Formula

In this section, comparing two shredders will help grasp the concept even faster and better. 

Example: Fellowes PowerShred99 Ci vs. Amazon Basics 12 

ShredderFellowes PowerShred99 CiAmazon Basics 12
Sheet Capacity1812
Sheet/FPM13 feet per minute6 feet per minute
Run Time30 mins.8 mins.
Shredder Score7,020576

The Fellowes 99 Ci with a higher score tells you it is more efficient than the Amazon Basics 12 and also, can run for a longer period of time. Although, a higher score doesn’t always mean a better paper shredder.

While the 99 Ci scores higher, the Amazon basics is much more price-friendly and carries a solid speed rate of 72 pages per minute, which still makes it a high alternative for less expensive shredders.

Budget, workload, capacity, and usability are just some of the many metrics that differ in priority level for every user. Using the score can definitely be a useful guide in determining productivity and efficiency, but make sure to remember what your needs are most suited for!

Final Verdict

Our Top Pick

When it comes to effectively getting rid of important or high sensitive documents, choosing the right shredder matters.

After much deliberation, the shredder claiming the top is the Fellowes 99 Ci. Performance, speed, run time, and quietness are all incredible despite the lower security level of cross cutting only.

While there are a lot of alternatives capable of going toe-to-toe with the 99 Ci, the features alone that Fellowes offers is consistent, reliable, and covers essential primary needs for the user such as paper jamming, safety, and energy savings.

Quiet wise, we’d argue this to be the quietest and worth spending extra for.

If you found this article useful, you should check out our Office Cubicle Soundproofing Guide for an even quieter office environment. Better yet, our Complete Office Soundproofing Tutorial has everything you need if you want to put out all the stops!


Changelog:

July 19, 2021 – converted article formatting to Gutenberg

July 16, 2021 – updated RUR table

July 8, 2021 – updated 1 heading, removed 3 external links

June 23, 2021 – added changelog, removed 1 internal link, added 2 new internal links, fixed and updated article formatting and content, updated title and featured image, optimized content

About the Author

andrea_adams

Andrea has always been bombarded by the hustle and bustle outside her home. Living in the city doesn’t get any quieter. The never ending noise from construction, traffic, and dogs barking on the streets day in and day out drove Andrea to a breaking point.

For 3 years, Andrea committed herself to studying DIY hacks, performing soundproofing experiments, and installing noise-free solutions. Now, she lives a quiet life free of the stress from noisy environments.

She hopes to share this knowledge so that others don’t have to endure the noise reigning in their ears and live a peaceful, stress-free life.