I’ve had five or six shredders in the past and each and every one has let me down in some way shape or form. The main thing that usually goes wrong is it would jam up, sometimes to the point where the shredder was useless. Therefore I was pretty excited to receive Fellowes most recent business shredder, the Powershred (PS) -79Ci because it claimed to be completely jam proof. That sounded too good to be true, which is how this Fellows PS-79Ci review came about.
Contents and Setup
The PS-79Ci comes in a pretty hefty box which contains the shredder cocooned in polystyrene to protect it in transit. Once you’ve got it out the box you will be faced with:
– 4X Castors (wheeled, two lockable)
– Small staple/cd/credit card bin (sits inside large bin)
– 1 container of oil
– shredder bags
– user guide
– Warranty card
After you’ve read the instructions (or not) you can attach the castors, plugin the shredder and be on your merry way. This means you can be turning up to 14 sheets of paper at a time into tiny pieces within minutes; it really was that simple.
Design and Usage
The first thing that struck me was the size of the thing; it’s pretty large but sat under my desk snuggly. It certainly isn’t one for on the desk (unless you have a huge desk) but is completely mobile when installed on the optional castors.
The control panel is rather space age in appearance, complete with LED lights to tell you how much paper is being fed through. This ranges from green to red, where the latter would have spelt disaster on my old shredder. Red on the 79Ci means it could jam which causes the teeth to stop shredding, stop and then put the paper in reverse so you can lighten the load for it – hence no more jams.
You still have the option to manually force documents through or back out of the shredder using the arrows either side of the power button. This is handy when shredding items you know will compress when going through the shredder (paper bags with addresses on or folded sheets are a good example).
Another neat addition is the staple, CD/DVD/Credit card attachment which sits on top of the shredder. By flipping this over and attaching the internal waste basket you can shred plastics to your hearts content, safe in the knowledge that any paper remains uncontaminated in the larger bin. This works very well and is far better than having to empty the bin before shredding plastics. You may find a few loose bits miss the smaller bin, but on the whole it’s a great time saver.
The shredders teeth are buried deep within which is a safety feature in itself. Fellows goes one better though by including SafeSense technology. This will stop the shredder whenever something touches the opening lip which is particularly handy if you aren’t paying attention. I did find that this could be caught out if a piece of paper touched it, but on the whole it is a worthy addition – better safe than sorry!
The shredder comes with a set of bags and a small canister of oil. This makes for trouble free maintenance because every time you empty the shredder you simply run a few drops of oil down the slot to keep it running smoothly.
Is it useful?
The PowerShred 79Ci is designed for use in a small or medium sized office, but would be ideally suited to heavy home use too. It’s undeniably useful because it is easy to use, versatile and built for endurance.
The book states it can cut 13 sheets in one pass, Fellows website states 14 sheets and I found that 12-14 70gsm sheets is about right. The end result is 23 liters of shredded paper (assuming you fill the bin) cut into 3.9 by 38mm pieces ready to be disposed of (I whack mine in with the compost on my allotment).
You can shred continuously for 12 minutes before the machine shuts itself down for a 20 minute cool off period. This time is based upon full capacity, so that’s a fair amount of paper.
One last useful inclusion is the removable bin which eradicates the unsightly and annoying mess experienced with shredders with lift off lids. Just one tip here, be sure to press the contents down as you are removing it or a few stray pieces can be left on your office floor.
I didn’t think a shredder would get me this excited, it’s not strictly a gadget after all. The 79Ci is packed with gadgety nuggets though and is by far the best shredder I’ve used. If you need a workhorse to make light of your private papers, data CD’s and credit cards then we’d suggest you give this model some serious consideration.