How to Unjam a Paper Shredder

How to Unjam a Paper Shredder

To prevent confidential information from leaking out and landing in the wrong hands shredding documents is the best solution.

It helps if you had a reliable machine that holds up well with the workload. Depending on how much shredding you have, you may need a high-quality shredder to prevent paper jams from happening.

How to Unjam a Paper Shredder 1
How To Fix A Jammed Paper Shredder

Furthermore, overloading the office machine leads to frequent jams as well. However, the majority of paper jams you can remove without effort.

The important thing is not to force the paper as it will cause a gear or belt to break or burn out the motor. So how do you unjam a paper shredder?

Here you can find helpful tips on how to fix different paper jams that take place with your shredder.

Steps to Remove Paper from the Shredder Safely

You have started shredding paper through your shredder to find the documents tightly packed. So what should you do?

The first thing you do is unplug the shredder!

Stop the machine at once to prevent the problem from worsening. By doing this, it gives you time to slow it down and evaluate your situation to start fixing the jam.

Always make sure to read the manual, as you need to remove the shredder head to remove the paper from underneath the machine. You will find accessing the underside of the head offers you the best access to the blades.

A fact is that most paper jams happen when the documents wind around the blades and cause a jam making it stop. Make use of a screwdriver or keep a tweezer on hand to remove the particles from the cutting edge.

Furthermore, if you notice the equipment slowing down, hear a whirring noise, or see strain, it is a sign that the paper shredder is going to jam. Therefore, it is best to keep an eye out for this type of malfunction happening, to prevent a paper jam from happening.

Now that the particles removed, it is time to empty the basket!

Another reason there could be a paper jam is that the paper basket is full. If you find it is filled to the brim empty it and try again. With the added space, it may resolve the problem.

Now plug it back in and switch the paper shredder to reverse. The majority of the best paper shredders have the reverse function as a standard feature while specific models might not have it.

By placing, the apparatus in reverse often unblocks the jammed paper. On the other hand, it helps make the removal of the article simpler.

Furthermore, if the reverse function does not remove the jam, unplug it again and switch over to auto or the forward task (depending on the paper shredder you have) and plug it back in.

Here it helps if you prepare yourself to alternate between the forward and reverse function as required. By switching between the two, you will find the paper jam gradually becomes unjammed.

A big note is to remember to keep your fingers and tools away from the machine when you open it or plug it back in.

Apply oil to the paper shredder if you cannot get it unjammed!

You have tried everything, and nothing is working to unjam the paper shredder. It is time to get the shredder oil to help with the problem on hand.

Pour some of the lubricants along the width of the paper slot and leave it for up to half-an-hour to help soften the particles in the blades.

Hopefully, this will allow the particles to pass through. Furthermore, it should help to make the equipment work properly. If you are uncertain how to oil the paper shredder properly, you can learn how to do it right here.

One more important note is if the jam happened when shredding discs or your plastic cards use needle-nose pliers to remove the particles from the shredder. With a long tweezer or pliers, you can quickly reach the fragments to remove them.

How to Manually Unjam a Paper Shredder

Always start working on the machine with it unplugged. The reason you do this is that you will use your hands and tools to unjam the shredder.

You do not want to lose a finger accidentally when the appliance switches on. Even a tool falling into the blade can cause severe damage to the machine costing you more, in the end, to have it repaired.

Remove the shredding head if possible!

The majority of paper shredders you buy in two pieces comprising of the shredder head and wastebasket. Start by lifting off the top section to access both sides of the paper slot.

In most cases, the top section lifts comfortably for removal while high-quality shredders may have a locking mechanism keeping it secure in place.

Get a big piece of paper to prevent messing and place the shredder head on it. Now use a tweezer to grip the particles stuck in the slot. Alternatively, you can make use of your hands or long-nose pliers to help.

Start by pulling from the top and the bottom of the shredder as it helps to make progress from both sides.

The papers curled-up what should you do to unjam the paper shredder!

If this happens and you find the strips of papers wrapped around the rollers on the inside of the machine, use a knife to slice it away. You can even make use of a pair of scissors to cut the curled-papers.

By doing this, it helps make the particles smaller and more comfortable to move through the blades once you switch the machine back on.

For paper or plastic stuck in the knife blade when looking from the bottom side use metal tools offering added leverage to remove them.

Always be extra careful using tools not to damage the shredding blades as it can become costly to repair.

Are you still having problems to unjam the paper shredder?

You have tried everything to remove the paper jam without results. Believe it or not, it is time to feed through some heavy cardstock behind the jam.

However, the paper needs to be stiff similar to a filing folder or cardboard from a box of cereal. Push the cardstock into the middle of the slot while in use.

Apply firm pressure while pushing the jammed paper through. If you find there is no progress, stop as it could worsen the problem.

On the other hand, if it worked test is by feeding through a single piece of paper. If the document flows quickly, you know the problems solved.

Try to Avoid Paper Jams

Paper jams will happen, but you can do the following to prevent it from happening again:

  • Reduce the thickness of the load before you start shredding. The biggest reason why the machine jams are that the paper stacks to thick and the paper shredder cannot handle the load.
  • Try not to fast-feed as placing several loads after each other can also cause the shredder to jam. Instead, wait for each load to complete the process before adding more documents through the slot.
  • Do not fold or wrinkle paper before feeding it through the paper slot.
  • Take thicker material into consideration such as plastic, cardstock, and more. It is better to feed credit cards, discs, and cardboard through one by one.
  • Always empty the wastebasket frequently to prevent paper jams from happening.
  • Furthermore, always keep the cutting blades oiled. The best way to do this is after you empty the waste bin by adding a few drops to the edges.

Final Thoughts

We hope that the information on how to unjam the paper shredder helps you to find a solution to your problem at the office or home. By following these steps, you can make sure your paper shredder remains in tip-top conditions. So do not overfeed your machine, keep the wastebasket clean, and make sure the blades are oiled to keep it working at all times.

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