Obviously, I am NOT a math wiz, but I do know that every holiday season, with increasing frequency, identity theft is at epidemic levels.  Who among us does not know someone affected by this societal scourge?  By my very poor attempt at a math metaphor, I want to remind each of you that Fellowes shredders can be an effective element in the fight against identity theft.

Shred ALL documents with personally identifiable info therein.  Period.  If you don’t mind taking a few extra moments per occurrence, tear off this info instead of shredding the entire envelope and its contents, for example.  That makes less shredded material necessitating less frequent emptying of the bin and less maintenance of the shredder. But that’s just me.  And shred old credit cards and old backup CDs and DVDs.

Fellowes has been my personal go-to brand for more years than I can recall.  I’ve recommended Fellowes to you for all those years, and insisted that family and friends also follow my advice to buy Fellowes shredders.  I’ve not been sorry.

This new Fellowes P-12C, only $85 and exclusively at Target stores (and from Target online), is a good, basic shredder for personal deskside use with a price that is in line with the tough economic reality of today.  Still, for only $85, this shredder features what I insist upon – at the very least a cross cut shredding mechanism along with the reliability I’ve found and recommend in the Fellowes brand.  Shop online for greater availability!  Also now available online from Amazon.

Let’s keep it simple – this deskside model can shred up to 12 sheets per pass into 5/32”x2” crosscut particles. It’s no easy task to assemble this size in order to gain personal info!  Featuring Fellowes patented SafeSense Technology, the P-12C also stops automatically when small pets or hands touch the paper opening.  The 4-gallon pullout bin handles a good amount of personal shredding, which can also include paper clips, staples and CDs along with DVDs.  At its price, it does not include features found on more expensive Fellowes models, but this model is adequate for most personal use.

No, it is not the quietest shredder on the market, either, but I believe it is as quiet as I’ve encountered in this price range.  No, it does not include Fellowes’ Jam Proof Technology to stop the unit if it senses too much paper inserted, which would be likely to cause a jam.  Purchasers are wise to be proactive with this model and to monitor the load to be sure too many sheets are not introduced in the shredder throat.  How tough is that to do, anyway?  It is the perfect size to fit under one’s desk and weighing just about 20 pounds it’s also not too heavy for personal use, yet heavy duty enough to serve the individual user well in a quest to help prevent identity theft.

Atop the unit is the master on/off switch with reverse position in order to clear an accidental jam.  Be sure to introduce no more than 12 standard 20-lb sheets and this unit should not jam!  Ideally, shred fewer sheets per pass. That’s easy, isn’t it?

Maintenance is simple, as well.  For optimal performance regularly run the shredder in reverse mode for one minute and oil regularly every time the bin is full OR if the shredder stops running. It’s all explained in the manual and nothing different from requirements of more expensive models!  Also, be sure to use only non-aerosol vegetable oil, such as Fellowes’ own Powershred Shredder Oil and Lubricant as specified, available directly from the link above to Fellowes site and for much less (about $7) from this link at Amazon.com.  This lubricant, properly applied as specified will help the shredder to perform for many years to come.

I would be remiss were I to neglect telling you of another, albeit more expensive option.  You are not likely to read others recommending as I, a better, quieter, even more secure Fellowes shredder, similar to one that is at my side even now here at Gadget Central, the Fellowes MS-450Cs Micro-Cut Shredder, selling for about $200 online.  OR, get the similar, current model, MS-450Ci, priced higher than the MS-450Cs.

What is there to recommend this more expensive model?  For those who can afford it, Fellowes Micro-Cut shredders shred into tiny, almost indistinguishable staple-size pieces and are nearly silent in operation.  I’ve become quite fond of this Micro-Cut technology from Fellowes. If ultimate personal identity security is the objective and, again, if the expense is in your budget, how can you beat silent operation with staple-size pieces of shred, and the ability to destroy documents plus credit cards, staples, and CDs/DVDs?  You can’t!

Now, you’ve got my recommendation for basic and supreme Fellowes shredders. Surely one of these models will do the job you want, need and can afford.

Just be sure you choose a Fellowes shredder for innovation and durability – and protection against identity theft.

For more information, visit www.fellowes.com or call 1-800-955-0959.

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