How to troubleshoot a paper shredder

Updated February 21, 2017

Many homes and offices own paper shredders to get rid of sensitive documents. At some point, your paper shredder might malfunction for no apparent reason. Instead of calling a repairman, you can attempt to troubleshoot the paper shredder yourself.

Unplug the paper shredder from the wall. You don't want to hurt yourself in the process.

Oil the cutters. If your paper shredder does not easily slide the documents through, you may need to add some oil. Read your paper shredder manual to find out the recommended type of oil to use.

Clean the paper shredder. Remove any paper, particles and paper clips that may be stuck in the shredder. This can help solve any jamming or cutting problems you're experiencing.

Plug the paper shredder back in and run it as a way to relieve a paper jam. If running the paper shredder for a few seconds does not fix the jam, try to run a piece of paper dipped in oil through it.

Try the different controls. If your paper shredder stops running or certain functions won't work, you may need to have the circuit board or motor replaced.


If you're unable to find the source of your paper shredder problem, you may need to contact the manufacturer for assistance.


Don't keep running the paper shredder forward and reverse as a way to troubleshoot the device. You can burn out the motor this way.

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