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Shredder FAQ (All Models)

Q. How do I know which shredder category to choose?

A. Swingline shredders are placed into categories based on machine size and determined by number of users. Personal shredders meet the shredding needs of 1 person. Executive shredders are for 1-2 individuals. Small Office/Home Office shredders are for use by 1-5 people. Departmental shredders are intended for groups of 5-20  people. Our Large Office and TAA Compliant shredders can meet the shredding needs of 20+ individuals. Check out our Shredder Buying Guide for more information.

Q. What are the different shred styles (cut types), and what do they mean?

A. Swingline offers strip-cut, cross-cut, super cross-cut, micro-cut, super micro-cut and high security shredders. Strip-cut shredders meet low security needs (Level 2). Cross-cut shredders meet moderate security needs (Level 3). Super cross-cut shredders meet moderately high security needs (Level 4). Micro-cut shredders meet high security needs (Level 5). Super micro-cut shredders meet extra high security needs. High security shredders meet the top level, super sensitive security needs (Level 7). Check out our Shredder Buying Guide for more information.

Q. What can I shred?

A. All Swingline shredders shred standard letter size paper. Most models also shred irregular paper, staples and paper clips. Select Swingline shredder models also shred credit cards, CDs and DVDs either through the main paper entry or through a secondary slot. Refer to your product manual for specific listings of which items your shredder can handle and instructions on how to shred safely.  For more information regarding document security, visit our What to Shred page.

Q. Where can I obtain a copy of my product manual?

A. Navigate to the product detail page for your stapler model. Click on the “Resources” tab to download the product manual. You can also contact consumer care at 1-800-541-0094 to request a manual by mail.

Q. My shredder won’t start. What do I do?

A. This can be for a number of reasons. Check that the machine is plugged in correctly. Check that the shredder is turned to the ‘ON’ or ‘Auto’ position. Make sure that the shredder head is lined up and placed properly on the shredder bin. The bin needs to be fully inserted and the bin door must be fully closed.

Q. My shredder stopped unexpectedly. What do I do?

A. It could have stopped for a number of reasons. First make sure that the power to the shredder has not been interrupted. Is the power cord still plugged in? Is the shredder still set to On or Auto? Look at the shredder indicator panel. Illuminated symbols alert you to a problem. Look up the symbols in your product manual for directions on what to do. Common problems include: papers exceed shredder capacity, shredder door is open, waste bin is full, paper has jammed or shredder has reached max run time and needs to cool.

Q. How can I improve shredding performance?

A. As with any machine, Swingline shredders perform best when used as instructed. Refer to your product manual and follow proper operating procedures. Be mindful of the shredder’s sheet capacity, empty the waste bin regularly and complete any recommended maintenance.

Q. How can I avoid jams?

A. Do not exceed the stated sheet capacity of the shredder. Emptying the waste bin regularly can also help avoid jams by preventing paper from becoming jammed in the cutters.  In the rare case of a jam, refer to the product manual for specific instructions. DO NOT attempt to clear the jam by inserting your fingers or any metal object into the paper entry.  Note: Many Swingline shredders are equipped with anti-jam technology. Look for models that have a Non-Stop Jam Free™, Jam Stopper® or Auto+™ feature.

Q. How do I clear a shredder jam? (Traditional Shredders)

A. In the unlikely event of a jam, switch the unit to the reverse position until at least 1” of the paper reverses out. Switch into the forward position to clear the paper jam. Alternating between the reverse and forward functions several times may be necessary to clear excess paper that has moved more than halfway through the cutters. Shredding fewer sheets a time is the best way to reduce the risk of jams.

Q. How do I clear a shredder jam? (Hands Free Shredders)

A. In the unlikely event of a jam, the unit will stop shredding. Empty the auto-feed bin. Attempt to clear the jam by pressing the reverse button, followed by the continuous jam boost button. Return to Auto mode to resume shredding. If the jam persists, you will need to clear it manually. Press the reverse button to return as much paper as possible and then turn the shredder off using the ON/OFF switch on the back of the machine. Pull the jammed papers free of the cutters. To resume shredding, set the shredder to Auto and turn it on using the switch on the back of the machine.

Q. What do I do if the shredder overheats?

A. Personal, Small Office and Executive Swingline shredders may overheat if used continuously for a long period of time. If this occurs, simply allow the shredder to cool. Some shredder models have a thermometer symbol on the indicator panel that will illuminate if the shredder overheats. The light will go of when the shredder has cooled and you can begin shredding again.

Q. How often do I need to empty the shredder?

A. This depends on how much you shred and the size of your shredder’s waste bin. Most Swingline shredders have either a viewing window or bin full indicator. As a general rule, empty your shredder’s waste bin when the shreds are higher than the middle of the viewing window. Some shredders have separate waste bins for credit cards and CDs. Be sure to empty both the primary and secondary bin regularly.

Q. Can I place a bag in the shredder’s waste bin to catch the shreds?

A.  Yes. Swingline offers both plastic and recyclable paper bags that are specifically sized to match each of our shredder models. Browse the Shredder Accessories section to find a bag for your shredder.

Q. What maintenance does a shredder require?

A. Required maintenance varies by shredder model. Refer to your product manual for detailed and maintenance recommendations and instructions.

Q. Do some shredders require special maintenance?

A. Yes. We recommend that Large Office Shredders and TAA Compliant Shredders are serviced every 6-12 months by an ACCO service engineer. Refer to the product manual for local service center contact information.

Q. How do I use the shredder’s Self Clean feature? (Select shredders only)

A. This feature helps ensure jam free shredding performance by automatically removing shreds that become caught in the cutters and reducing build-up. During self clean the shredder will run in reverse for a few seconds, stop for a few second and then run forward for a few seconds. This will happen each time you remove and reinsert the waste bin, or open and close the cabinet door.

Q. How do I use the shredder’s SelfOil™ feature? (Select shredders only)

A. This feature helps to extend the life of your shredder and maintain peak performance by automatically lubricating the cutters. The product manual includes instructions to guide you through the initial setup of SelfOil, after which you simply need to fill the reservoir when the Oil Refill indicator is illuminated.

 
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