Swingline Paper Shredder: Old Idea, New Convenience4:00 PM EST Thu. Mar. 10, 2011
For resellers scrapping to boost the bottom line, Kensington's sister company Swingline offers yet another solution; and it's one that you'll also want to use around the office to destroy sensitive documents, old corporate credit cards and improve general security. The company sent the CRN Test Center a Swingline Stack-and-Shred model EX100-07 for testing, and we found an appliance that lived up to all claims about automatic capabilities, ease-of-use, speed and noise of operation.
Perhaps the most annoying thing about using a paper shredder (after jam clearing) is having to stand there and feed your documents slowly enough to avoid jamming. The Stack-and-Shred, as its name implies, solves this problem by employing a simple sheet feeder. As many as 100 sheets can be stacked under the hood and are fed into the shredder at an acceptable pace. After that, who cares? You've already gotten on with your day. A stack of 20 sheets took around 50 seconds to destroy. The unit lists for $499, but can be found at online retailers for $229.
Close the lid or close the bin, the Stack-and-Shred starts doing its job as soon as both are in a safe position. To avoid jams, the feeder automatically inserts a few sheets of paper at a time into the shredder, which is roughly centered about the bin. Paper as thick as 20 pounds also is OK for the auto bin, and can be folded in half if it's longer than 8.5 x 11 inches. Materials to avoid include edge-bound booklets, unopened mail, magazines, glossy or laminated documents. The device worked more quietly than we expected; it's rated at 60db. And at 12 x 17 x 17 inches, it could easily fit under a desk.
Bundles of 25 sheets or less fastened in one corner by a one-inch-wide (or smaller) staple or small paper clip are OK, and worked fine in our tests. Paper clips with a maximum wire thickness of .03 inches are acceptable if they're within an inch of any corner that are and less than a 1/4 inch in length, according to the instruction manual. Hmmm...that's pretty small, and it's contradicted by other documentation included with the machine (read on).
The paper clip we used for testing was longer than the 1/4-inch maximum specified in the instruction manual, yet it passed through the shredder unharmed. Why did we use a paper clip that was larger than that allowable in the instruction manual? Be cause an icon on the machine itself (shown next), which we saw first, indicated that paper clips of that size were acceptable.
Common materials that should not go through the shredder are indicated by icons stenciled on either side of the stacking bin. Icons shown represent (from left) large staples, fastened stacks of more than 25 sheets, documents bound on the edge as in the ringed binder shown, multiple folded sheets, paper clips that are longer than 1.25-inches long. This message contradicts the instruction manual.
Reminiscent of an old vacuum cleaner, the Stack-and-Shred comes with a disposable bag that can be used to optionally line the bin and help keep the office free of stray paper shreds when throwing out the trash. An eight-frame illustration documents how to use the bag, and concludes with removal of the self-adhesive strip to seal the top flaps to each other.
While you're shredding your credit cards or feeding up to six sheets using one of the handy slots atop the unit, icons warn you to watch out for letting long hair, neckties, jewelry and fingers into the shredder's opening, which is directly above the cross-cut blades. Icons also warn users to avoid placing items in the shredder such as oil, aerosols and children. As if...
The Swingline Stack-and-Shred EX100-07 lists for $499 and includes a 5-year warranty.