How To Clear A Jammed Paper Shredder
One of the most common issues with paper shredders is the feared paper jam. This almost always occurs when someone feeds too much paper into a shredder. Typically the motor becomes overwhelmed and simply stops. While these jams can often be cleared out by simply pulling back on the paper, this will not help the most severe shredder jams. Here are a few tips that should help you out.
ALWAYS unplug the shredder when trying to clear out a paper jam! You don’t want to injure yourself. Remember, shredders use sharp jagged metal to cut paper. You don’t want to hurt yourself.
If your shredder has jammed, do not keep trying to run it. This may cause damage to the motor, gears and other components.
Fixing A Jammed Paper Shredder
- My first bit of advice is to unplug the shredder, remove the shredder head and try removing the paper from underneath the shredder. The underside of a shredder head provides the easiest access to the blades. Many shredder jams are the result of paper winding around shredder blades, causing the shredder to stop. You can often clear out jammed shredder manually from the blades. A screwdriver can often be used to fish out paper particles. Be careful not to cause further damage to the shredder blades with the screwdriver.
- If you are unable to manually remove paper from the jammed shredder, I recommend pouring shredder oil along the width of the shredder throat and waiting 15-30 minutes for the oil to soften the paper. This will often allow the jammed paper to pass through.
- If your shredder jam is the result of shredding a CD or a credit card, I recommend using needle-nose pliers to try and remove the jammed plastic particles from below the shredder. Pliers are often able to remove plastic particles far easier than by hand.
- Check to see if your shredder has a reverse switch. While this isn’t a common feature, many shredders have a reverse switch. This will often back out the jammed paper, making it easy to remove, thus remedying the situation.
Worst Case Scenario
If you are still unable to clear the jam, you may need to have the shredder serviced. We have a Service Department that should be able to at least offer advice, ship replacement parts and if needed, repair it. If the gears are broken, chain is stripped or shredder blades are irreversibly damaged, our Service Department is still often able to repair the shredder.
If your shredder is ruined, or will cost more to repair than the shredder’s value, you can find our entire selection of new paper shredders here.