This post brought to you by Fellowes. All opinions are 100% mine.
I didn’t think I could get all that excited about a shredder, but the Fellowes 79Ci cross-cut personal shredder changed that. They sent me one to review and they’re giving away TEN of these things to lucky readers, so keep reading. “This thing is a beast.” That’s literally what I said when I pulled it out of the box. It’s weight told me it meant business, so I was both anxious to try it out and careful to keep my hands clear of the sharp teeth the 79Ci has. To make it easy to move around, they provided casters for me to attach to this shredder. Those snapped in place and I added one of the included bags and it was ready to go. When I think about paper shredders, I think “paper” shredder and I don’t think much more about it. My office and home shredders have forward and reverse and safety features, but that’s it. They’re both Fellowes, too, which seems like an obvious brand name to turn to for shredders since they designed and manufactured the first personal shredder 22 years ago. Still leading the way in shredders, Fellowes packed this one with some great features.
Jam Proof Technology Works
I really threw a lot at the Fellowes 79Ci to try and jam it up. Armed with a tall stack of papers I had saved for this review, I started small and worked my way up to about 15 sheets. When I tried with 28lb paper – which is thicker than your standard office paper – the built-in paper measurement only let me shred up to 11 pieces of this heavier paper before refusing to try. The 79Ci is rated for 14 sheets and I was able to get 15 sheets of normal paper through it, so that’s not too bad. More importantly, the paper measurement sensor means I don’t have to count my sheets. It shows the paper stack thickness on an LED indicator that lights up several colored bars from green to red. Don’t like barriers? Hold down the button under the indicator and the Reverse button at the same time and it lets you stuff in as much paper as you can fit. During my tests, I was able to choke it up a little with a stack of papers that I paper-clipped and added about 12 staples to (hey, it said “jam proof”). When it hit all those staples and the paper clip, it stopped, backed the stack out a little and then pushed through like a champion. Later, I was able to get the Remove Paper light to come on, finally, with a stack of 25 sheets.
You could use this without a bag, but I wouldn’t recommend it. The cross-cut chompers in the 79Ci shredder break down your sensitive documents into tiny scraps of paper. I think an identity thief would sooner get a real job than try to piece together these wee scraps. The paperwork says it shreds a piece of paper into 399 bits and that looked about right. Oh, and good luck piecing back together that CD.
The SafeSense technology and other safety features on this device make it near impossible to hurt yourself. SafeSense uses a sensor at the paper opening to detect skin, much like an iPhone reacts to your finger, but not to other objects. This allows you to shred paper without worrying about a finger getting eaten. I jammed my fingers in the shredder several times to test it and it stopped dead each time – don’t try that at home, kids. Additionally, if you open the bin, potentially exposing the shredding teeth, the shredder stops shredding and kills power to all but the Bin Open light. If that’s not enough, Fellowes went one step further with a two-switch power system. The front power button is easy to turn on or off, but as a safety measure, you have to first turn it on with a button in the back.
SilentShred Is Quiet
I was a little skeptical about this SilentShred technology. This is, after all, a shredder. To put it to the test, I used the 79Ci along side my current office shredder and there was actually a noticeable difference in the noise it made. While I wouldn’t call it silent, exactly, it was definitely a lot quieter than my other shredders which I can hear eating papers loudly 3 rooms away. CDs, of course, made a lot more noise, but papers were pretty quiet.
Watch It In Action
To give you a better idea of how it works, I made a video review of this shredder below. In the video, I show you how quiet it is by comparing it to my current office shredder, how the SafeSense works (using my own fingers), and even what it looks like from the inside while shredding.
Over All Impressions
From a security standpoint, I love the cross-cut feature, but my favorite features were the anti-jamming functionality and the safety checks. It’s bigger than my other shredders, but unlike those, I don’t have to pull the heavy top off to change the bin. Instead, this bin slides out and back in. There’s a lot about this shredder that I really like. Even without all of the other features, having a cross-cut shredder just makes more sense. The retail price is $239.99 and the 79Ci is available at Staples if you don’t win it here.
Win A Fellowes 79Ci Shredder Here
You know I love providing contests as much as you like to win them and thanks to Fellowes, you get a chance to be one of 10 people (here and on other blogs) to win the same safety-conscious, cross-cutting, jam-fighting, quiet, paper eater I reviewed here. Leave a comment on this post stating what you would be shredding if you won. As long as you do it within the official contest rules, you could win one of these for your home or office. So, what would you shred?