This is simple. You, I, WE all need at least one shredder.  That’s the fact, sad, but the fact nonetheless.  Your identity is too precious to chance its theft when it is so easy to prevent identity theft.

The first line of defense is to have and use a paper shredder. My brand of choice, as it has been for many years, is Fellowes.

Let’s start with their new Powershred PS-77Cs shredder, $140 typical retail priced at Office Max and online at for only $115 including delivery when I checked today!


Check out its patent-pending technology called SafeSense.  The technology protects users, including children and pets, by shutting down when it senses that hands or pets are too close to the paper opening.  There is a sensor surrounding the “throat” where whatever the material is which is to become shredded is introduced to the unit.

The shredder dices through staples, paperclips, credit cards, CDs/DVDs, and also has confetti-cut capabilities.  It would be nearly impossible for identity thieves to piece together your personal information.  Watch it munch up to 12 sheets per pass into 5/32″ x 1-1/2” confetti particles as fast as 130 sheets per minute into its seven-gallon pull-out wastebasket.

This is the shredder you’ll want, say, in the kitchen, next to the wastebasket as you open the daily mail.  All those credit card offers, the mortgage offers, magazines and the like.  Anything with personally identifiable information on it is what you want to shred.  To make things easier, rip out that part of the document with this info and shred that. The rest? Well, if your name and address along with any other info that ties that item to dad, the grad or anyone else in the family are not there, toss it in the regular trash can.

I have found Fellowes shredders to be reliable, so I can comfortably recommend them to you.  In addition, I recommend ONLY shredders that offer at least confetti-cut particles. Forget straight cut. Just don’t get one of these.

On the other hand, I also like and recommend some of the other Fellowes models.  For only a little more money, look into the ultra-quiet MicroShred MS-450Cs. This innovative model can fool you.  It is whisper quiet, yet it is, as the name suggests, a MicroShred model, outputting seriously tiny particles even puzzle experts would be hard pressed to resurrect into original documents. This is amazing!  If you need quiet where you shred, this is the one you will want.  However, notice that this model has “only” a 4.5-gallon capacity, so it may require frequent emptying.  To use and hear it is to love it, in my view.

If heavy duty is what you need, look no further than the Fellowes PowerShred SB-97Cs. The same confetti-cut as the PS-77Cs above, but with a longer rated duty cycle and higher capacity basket.

I use the SB-97Cs in the kitchen – we get lots of junk mail – the PS-87Cs in the bedroom and the higher capacity MS-460Cs (that’s the micro shred unit) in my office.  Look them up and you’ll see these slightly heavier duty models may be just perfect for your busy dad, while grads may be best served by the smaller, lighter duty models.  Yes, even the grads or a student away at school needs a shredder.

SafeSense technology, exclusively in Fellowes products, makes it virtually impossible to entangle fingers in the business end of these shredders.

Now, let us review. Millions upon millions of us will be ripped of this year and every year. Our identities are stolen because creeps steal documents we throw out that contain personally identifiable information – name, address, account numbers, passwords, PINs, credit cards and more. We all get it. Dads & Grads get this kind of mail, and why not prevent these as the source for these creep’s nasty acts?  Don’t help them!  Do not make it easy for someone to steal your or a loved one’s identity.

Dad doesn’t need the hassle and grads, well, the time it takes to undo this mess is something no grad should have to deal with.  It can take years, hundreds of hours of time and lots of money.  Shred, shred, shred.  Prevent identity theft.  At tax time each year, we all have lots to toss. That is why I favor the heavier-duty models.

Most users are surprised to learn that ALL shredders, regardless of brand, require maintenance.  On Fellowes shredders, use the vegetable-based oil shipped with each unit and buy more as it is needed.  As a rule of thumb, when the shred bag is full and you replace it, this is the time to lubricate the mechanism.  It’s easy.  With the unit off, drip a few drops from one end to the other over the cutters. Then, manually turn on and off the unit a few times to cycle the motor, and then hold the reverse switch for several seconds.  It’s best if you can do this AFTER shredding when the unit can sit idle for the night after lubrication. Use ONLY this kind of oil and NOT petroleum-based lubricants which are flammable.  Lubrication is quick and easy and will promote a long life of your shredder.

Fellowes includes a full one-year warranty and a five-year warranty on the cutters assembly.

For your Dad & Grad, yes, Fellowes shredders make ideal gifts. Get the right one, or right ones, heavy duty enough for the future, but get one or more and be sure they’re used as needed.  OK?

For more information, please visit or call 1-800-955-0959.

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