How to Fix a Jammed Paper Shredder
Whether at home or in a business, you always have documents you need to dispose of. The cheapest and easiest way is with a shredder.
However, you will face paper jams occasionally and there are many reasons as to why it happens. Furthermore, if ever this happens, you need to know how to fix a jammed paper shredder to get it working again.
Here you can find all the help you need to unjam a paper shredder safely without losing a hand.
Reasons Why a Paper Shredder Jams
As mentioned, there are many explanations as to why a shredder gets a paper jam. Here are some of the main ones:
- You have placed too many sheets of paper through the feeder. We recommend you follow the instructions for your machine to keep the load as mentioned. If you can only feed through ten sheets of paper at a time, do not go and add more. These days the new shredder models include a capacity indicator that is a great help.
- Maybe you shredded items the equipment is not able to destroy like credit cards and more. You can find a micro-cut shredder able to cut through discs and plastic cards. Another important thing is to remove staples and paperclips if the appliance cannot cut through other material except for paper.
- Another reason for paper jams is that you have not oiled it regularly. If you are hesitant about how to do this, you can read our article on how to oil a paper shredder here.
How to Fix a Paper Jam
Yes, we know paper jams are inconvenient and do happen. Furthermore, fixing the problems time-consuming for any business and we are here to help. With the following guide, you can minimize the risk of it happening again.
Paper Jams is a Familiar Situation with Shredders
You have reached the halfway mark shredding through piles of paper and suddenly the shredder jams. Do not panic, as the following steps are simple to follow to clear the paper jam.
1) First, start by unplugging the shredder
Always do this before attempting to fix a paper jam. You do not want to lose your hands when you begin to investigate the reason as to why it is jammed. The significant rule with any electrical appliance is safety first.
2) Remove the waste bin
Some of the most straightforward reasons why the shredder jams are because the wastebasket is full. Empty the container and reconnect the machine to see if the problems resolved. If not, then do the next step!
3) Use the reverse function
The majority of paper shredders these days come with the reverse mode. Using the reverse for up to 10-seconds should remove the blockage. However, it can also worsen the problem but worth a try. Still having trouble, then the next step should solve the problem.
4) Switch back to auto/forward
Okay, we know that sometimes the reverse may not work. The best solution is to use the auto/forward button and alternate between the forward and backward direction. Doing this helps to shift the paper jam after attempting it a couple of times.
Following these steps with a bit of luck helps to fix the jammed paper shredder.
Furthermore, if paper jams happen and the above steps do not help you can oil the knives through the paper slot as the lubricant will soften the paper and make the blades move freely.
What Should You Do If the Paper Jam Does Not Fix Itself?
You have tried everything, and the paper shredder still does not want to remove the paper stuck in the blade—what should you do? The resolution is to remove it manually by doing the following:
- Start by unplugging the machine from the power outlet.
- Refer to your manual and remove the shredder head from the bottom section.
- Place the top section on newspaper with the blade assembly upwards.
- Take a pair of tweezers to remove the particles stuck in the cutting knives.
- If there are strips of paper stuck, use a knife to cut through them and remove with the tweezers.
- To remove the plastic or metal, use a screwdriver to remove the blockage.
- Now that you have the blade assembly open, take your shredder oil and give it some lubrication.
- Place the top section back and make sure it is secure in place.
- Power the shredder on and use the reverse function for up to 20-seconds.
- Take a single sheet of paper and pass it through the paper slot to remove excess oil.
By following the tips and steps, you can have your paper shredder unjammed in seconds. The important thing is not to overload the machine. Furthermore, even if you can feed through staples and paperclips, we recommend you remove them. Instead of destroying the paperclips, you can recycle them by using it again.