With the increase of identity theft, paper shredders have become more popular than ever. A good shredder can run into the hundreds of dollars, while lightweight shredders are available for under $30. Regardless of how much you paid for your equipment, without proper care it won't perform properly and likely won't last a year. Oiling is an essential part of paper shredder maintenance.
- Skill level:
Find out what type of paper shredder you have to oil it. Cross cut shredders require more frequent oiling versus the straight strip shredders. The more paper and use it gets the more oil it requires. A good rule of thumb is to oil the machine each time you change the bag.
Use only shredder oil designed for the specific brand of paper shredder you have. Manufacturers design paper shredder oils to be heat tolerant for the cylinders and blades, and they calibrate them specifically for their machines.
Spray, squirt or run a bead of oil across the blade opening. It shouldn't take more than a second or two to reach from one end to the other. Any more than that may result in too much oil applied. Quicker than that means there isn't enough oil to adequately lubricate the machine.
Turn the paper shredder to "Manual" and run the gears in reverse for a few seconds, then turn the shredder on "Forward" or "Standard" mode. This ensures that you distribute the oil throughout the machine, and going in reverse first forces some of the dripping oil back up, and then the forward moving blades push it back through the gears.
Oil a sheet of paper rather than the machine. Don't just run a bead of oil across the bottom of the sheet because the paper soaks up the oil and the oil may not reach all of the necessary parts. Instead, spray the whole sheet, or run a zigzag line across the paper and immediately send it through the shredder to oil it.
Tips and warnings
- Consider how often you use your paper shredder and how many sheets you send through it at one time on average to determine how often to oil the machine.
- Always read your manual as using any other type of oil can void your paper shredder warranty.