Paper Shredder Sensors, Alarms & Indicator Lights Explained

Paper Shredders from ABC OfficeThe concept of a paper shredder is pretty simple. You put paper in and it comes out the other side cut into little pieces. Sounds easy enough, right? While shredders are easy machines to use, modern-day paper shredders are packed full of sensors, indicators and alarms. These are mostly for safety and convenience purposes. Here are just a few of the more common sensors you are bound to find.

Common Paper Shredder Sensors, Alarms & Indicator Lights

  • Bag Full Sensor - This helpful sensor, usually represented by a light, lets you know when the shred bag is full and needs to be changed.
  • Door Ajar Sensor – This sensor lets you know when the cabinet door is open. For safety purposes, it needs to be closed. You don’t want the shredder running with the door open as the bottom portion of the shredder head has the blades fully exposed.
  • Jam Light - Some shredders will either make an audible alert or a light will come on when a jam occurs. At this point you will probably have to switch the motor into reverse and re-adjust the quantity of paper you are shredding.
  • Load Indicator – Many modern-day office shredders have a load indicator light or bar that will let you know how much stress the shredder motor is under. This allows the user to know if they are putting too many or too few sheets of paper through the shredder.
  • Oil Reminder – Some paper shredders have an oil change reminder light. This feature isn’t very common, although many modern shredders now have automatic oilers. Just remember that it is a good idea to oil your shredder with every bag change.
  • Power Mode - This light simply lets you know if the shredder is on.
  • Shredding Head Sensor - Many smaller deskside shredders have a switch located under the shredder head that will prevent the shredder from working until it has been fully seated on the frame of the shredder. This is for safety reasons.
  • Standby Mode – Many shredders will go into standby mode if left unused for a certain period of time. Most shredders use a green light (or other color) to show that it is in standby mode.
  • Touch Sensor – Some shredders, especially modern-day Fellowes shredders, have a touch sensor around the mouth of the shredder. This is designed to prevent bodily injury. When a finger is detected around the shredder mouth, the shredder will not run.

These are all of the most common sensors, indicator lights and alarms you will find on a shredder. Many, as you have read, are for convenience, but many are also for your own personal safety. If any of these features look appealing to you, be sure the shredder you buy includes them.

You can find our entire selection of paper shredders here. If you are having trouble finding a shredder with the features you need, feel free to call one of our specialists at 1-800-658-8788. They should be able to help you isolate some great options.

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