Identity theft is at epidemic levels.  It CAN happen to you, and it is so easy to prevent.  One very effective prevention method is to shred any document or piece of a document that contains personally identifiable information.  I never tire of getting the word out, and with tax time just around the corner, we all really need to be proactive and diligent.  Your trash is ripe for the picking-through by identity thieves!

I’m no expert, but I am both a consumer AND I have had the privilege of being involved with the national effort to prevent identity theft as a spokesperson for the National Crime Prevention Council (please read more about identity theft in my article on the subject HERE).  In that role, I learned about and presented ways that consumers can guard the information that can be used to steal their identity.  The principal weapon in this war against the bad guys is a personal paper shredder, but not just any shredder.  I recommend a shredder that outputs what looks like confetti, as well as one that is up to the job itself.  Let me make this easy for you.  There is one model that I think is ideal for most homes and even some home businesses, the Fellowes PS60C-2 (retail price $130, but online for as little as $90 delivered).


Fellowes is the recognized leader in the manufacture of paper shredders and I have had many years of experience with their products, so much so that I can confidently recommend them to you.

Just about any shredder can shred the occasional paper, but it is the PS60C-2, the same one I use most at Gadget Central, that is exactly what is needed at those times you probably have not thought about.  Sure, it will munch your daily junk mail and the receipts from the market and other places that you really do not need to save.  It will also do the occasional heavier-duty shredding each year when you purge those old records at tax time.  Shred through those old checks, pay stubs and bank statements, those old saved receipts and any other docs you no longer need.

It is this type of use that requires a heavier duty shredder like this one.  Confetti-cutting through those old things means lots and lots of passes through the mechanism.  Believe it or not, use creates heat, which is the enemy of any mechanical device and of most electronics.  At up to eight sheets per pass, the PS60C-2 is rated at 25-50 passes per day, which may be surpassed at times of heaviest use.  Still, this shredder can take it.  If it is worked too hard, it will automatically shut down until it cools sufficiently to proceed, usually about 20 minutes.

The solid steel cutters shred through credit cards, paper clips and staples, too, and the quiet motor should not be too disturbing to others.

All that shredded material is dumped into the 6.5-gallon capacity basket below the shredder in little pieces 5/32” x 1 3/8”, so there is virtually no way to find anything useful in that mess.

I am impressed with the full one-year product warranty and the five-year warranty on the cutters.  In its auto mode, papers that are placed into the slot for shredding trip an infrared beam to start the shredding process, so there is nothing mechanical there to jam or wear out.  In the event of a jam or overload, the mechanical switch has a reverse position to effectively back up whatever is in the way for easy removal.

Respected testing organizations including Consumer Reports have rated this model number one and so do I!

For those of you needing even heavier duty shredding, take a look at the PS80C-2, which I found online, delivered, for as little as $161.

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

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