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You know the feeling. You've got so many important paper documents at home, such as bank statements, official letters with your personal details on, overdue gas bills, red letter electricity demands, letters from your bit on the side maybe... what ever the letters are you don't want them to fall into the enemies hands... but they are all scattered around the house, building up under your feet, tripping you up on every corner.
The trouble is that you need to get rid of all those personal papers, but you know that if you put them in you recycling bin then those little yobs, who loiter up and down your street, hiding somewhere inside those oversized hood as they stare into car windows as they pass, you know that they will be inside you recycling bin quicker than a fat man in a chip shop offering free meat pies on a first come first serve basis.
So what do you do? Do you take the risk and hope that hoody Henry doesn't home in on your bin, ripping out your bank details and doing their best to do the same to your life by trying to get things like bank loans, car credit, credit cards or anything else that can make them a few quid so they can nip off to Dealer Derek for their daily fix.
(names have been changed to protect the innocent, so if you're Henry or Derek please don't take offence, and don't take my identity either).
Right then, there is a way to stop Henry getting his hands on your personal bits, (no, not those bits), and that is to destroy the paperwork so that it would take a forensics expert with superglue, tweezers, a good eyesight, a lot to time and even more patience in order to get the information on the papers that you have destroyed to get an information off them at all.
To do this you can either take an eternity to rip the papers into small pieces by hand, which can take a long time and you're never really sure what size the bits of paper are going to be.
You could always try burning the papers, although this is the dangerous methods as if things go wrong you could end up losing more than your identity, plus the fire brigade always frown at me when they comes when I do that so I don't do it anymore.
But there is another way to hide your information from prying eyes that is safer than burning it, and rips the papers into smaller pieces than you can get it by hand. That way is to use something called a shredder, which is not something that is on a certain cartoon who terrorises little turtles, it is a machine that can take paper and shred it into smaller pieces of paper in order that no other person can ever know what was ever on them.
The thing is that there are many shredders out there, all offering the same thing really, so it's all about what you intend to use the shredder for.
Firstly you need to decide what sort of shredding you're going to be doing. If you know you're going to be shredding more paper than the Andrex factory have in its warehouse then you'll need an industrial shredder, something the size of a large car, although these don't fit well inside a normal house as they'd take up most of the living room floor space.
But if you're going to be shredding a few sheets of A4 maybe once or twice a day then a standard size shredder will do, and this will save you a lot of money and floor space anyway.
If you're like me, you opted for the second on the list, the standard size shredder as you only shred a few pieces of paper at a time, so the next question is how safe you want to be with the finished shredded paperwork.
You could go for a straight cut, which will leave your paperwork in strips which can be put back together by hoody Henry in a hour or so without too much hassles, even with his low IQ.
Or, for that little extra peace of mind, you can go for one that not only cuts vertically it also shreds horizontal as well which leaves Henry very frustrates as there are just too many piece of paper to put back together and even he can't handle that.
These shredder are commonly called 'cross shredders', and it is one particular cross shredded that I have used for a while know and have found to be a very useful tool indeed.
This cross shredder I am talking about is called the Aureo AS610C which, as I mentioned, offer a more secure feature in the form of a cross shredding function.
* Firstly, as I like to do, let's have a look at what this shredder looks like...
Well, I'll tell you about the main part, or the actual shredder, as this is what is more important really. This is about 60mm high by 320mm long and 180mm wide being a light grey coloured plastic casing.
On the top of this unit there is a slot which goes along the length of it, this is where the shredder blades are encased in. also, on the top, there is a simple slider control which has three settings, automatic, off and reverse. Simple as that really.
Then, on either end of the shredder unit itself then is a little lip which helps you lift the shredder off the bin when the bin needs emptying.
So that's the shredder unit, now for the bin itself, this is what the shredder sits on and is where all the paper, or what ever you're shredding, drops into.
This bin is about 300mm deep and is slightly narrower than the shredder itself so that the main shredder fits snugly onto it.
And that's what this all looks like, the shredding unit, which is what you are really paying for as if it didn't have this you'd be simply buying a bin really.
* So how does it work then..?
It does exactly what it says on the tin, so to speak. It shreds things so that they don't all into the enemies hands.
You simply plug the cable into the mains, slide the switch to Automatic and you're ready to get shredding. Then you simply place the paper, or what every ou want to shred, into the slot and the sensor there will automatically start the shredder and the little blade and wheels will take the paper, or what every you want to shred, into the slot, slicing it both horizontal and vertical at the same time, sort of. With the shredded bits popping out of the bottom of the shredder and into the bin.
It is a cross cutter, which means that it not only cuts down the paper it cuts across it too, which leaves the shredded paper a lot harder to put back together.
It can also handle the odd staple as well, in case you forget to take them out of the papers that you are shredding, so there's no need to worry about the blades becoming blunted, (is that a word?), by the sudden solid whack of metal instead of paper.
* Is there anything else worth noting..?
Yes there is.
It has a couple of safety features, such as an over heat setting that will stop the shredder if the motor becomes too hot.
Then there's the safety cut off switch which stops the shredder form working when it is not sat on the bin.
* What do I think about this shredder then..?
It's a shredder? I mean, what can I say about it?
It does exactly what it is supposed to do. It shreds the pieces of paper, or even your credit cards so that no one can see what was written it and take over your life.
The controls are so simple to use, being a slider that is on the top, behind the slot where the shredding happens. This slider has three options, those being off, in the middle, with reverse on one side and automatic on the other.
The automatic function is the on feature but will only start shredding when a piece of paper, or credit card, is placed into the centre of the slot, where it touches the little sensor switch.
There are a few little icons along the shredder slot, although they are quite difficult to see. These icons tell you what can go into the slot and what not to put in, such as your fingers, although the slot is designed in such a way so that it is practically impossible to get your fingers into the bladed area.
It claims it can handle up to 6 sheets of paper, or even a single credit card, with out burning the motor into oblivion. Although it does sometimes sound like it is about to explode when you do put more than say three sheets in at one time. It sounds like it's struggling a bit, even though it isn't really, and can sound a little like it has developed a seriously bad cough as it chews on the paper.
This is the same sort of noise that is makes when you're shredding credit cards too, but it doesn't blow up and, due to the over heat safety feature, there's no real danger
The good things about this is that, due to the automatic function, it only actually works when you want it too, this means that it only takes power when you place a piece of paper into the slot. Plus, if by chance something gets stuck you simply flick the slider to the reverse option and the paper, or what every you're shredding, goes into reverse, thus unblocking the blockage.
The bin itself can take quite a bit of the shredded paper, although it does build up after a while and can create a sort of backlog unless you take the top off and either empty it or push it down.
The finished shredded paper is well and truly shredded and there's no way that anyone is going to put it back together, so your personal details will be well and truly safe from those thieving little cherubs.
What more can I say about this shredder..?
Well, the shredder shreds and the bin collects the shredded papers. There's no way that the shredded paper is going to be put back together so you know your safe, although, if you do what I do, save the papers and use them on a fire, then the really can get the flames burning in no time.
* How much does it cost to get rid of all your personal and sensitive information..?
This cross cut shredder sells for about £25, which is a small price to pay for your own peace of mind.
* Would I recommend this..?
I certainly would. It is a cracking low price and it does what it is supposed to do.
It's a good size so it won't take up any room underneath a table or even on a desk so that it's there when you need it.
Just get one and keep Henry and Derek out of your bins.
The Aurora AS610C is a great shredder, especially for use in the office. We use it to shred many things, from paper to card.
If you do shred a lot, you will have to empty the bin a lot. The bin is 11 litres in size so does hold quite a lot of shredded items.
We often shred a few sheets of paper, stapled together. Instead of having to pull out the staples before shredding, the AS610C also shreds staples, paperclips and even credit cards.
It is only a 6 sheet shredder, meaning don't shred anymore than 6 pages at a time. I have tried shredding higher, it does work, but do you really want to put strain on the motor inside? I certainly don't!
If you shred a lot, and are continuously shredding, sometimes a shredder can get quite hot. But with the AS610C that is not the case. It has a built in thermal cut out feature, which prevents the shredder from overheating. It also has a safety feature which prevents you from shredding when the waste bin is not attached. So you won't go shredding your fingers off.
The shredder is automatic, and also has a reverse function. All of these tiny features make the shredder a great tool to have by your desk at home, or at work. It is definitely worth the investment.
You can purchase this shredder for just under £30 online, again, this is a great price, especially for the quality of the shredder.
Overall, this is a great shredder and a lot better than most other shredder which often struggle.
The first one of these I bought was faulty, but to Aurora's credit, the sent me a new one without requiring the old one back, very swiftly and without quibble.
Anyway, the one that I have now has been reliable and is an excellent product - it cross shreds, and also deals with cards and CD's. It doesn't get jammed as easily as some models do. Noise is to be expected on these things, but this one doesn't seem too loud to me. It copes with the odd staple or paper clip fine too.
I bought mine 3 years ago and it's still going strong.
Some of the higher models have a window in the bin, which would be useful to see when it's getting full - bit of an oversight here perhaps. Also, the ability to slice a CD could be useful but I'm just being picky now - more expensive models are available that can do these things.
All in all it does what it's supposed to.
If you want to be environmentally friendly where I live and recycle your paper then you have to leave it out in an open recycling container and not only that anyone who wants to try and obtain sensitive documents also knows what day it will be left out as well therefore it is essential to have a shredder in order to dispose of things like credit card bills. Not only that it is important to have a shredder that has a diamond cutting action as well as the cheaper versions that cut in strips are not as secure because it is easier to reassemble the pieces.
I paid £33.99 for this shredder when it was on sale, it is light weight and easy to move about. I would say that it is ideal for the average family or someone who works from home and has a decent amount of material they want to shred. It is classified as a level 3 shredder which means it is a mid scale shredder as the range goes up to 6. The diamond cross cutting edges means that you get very fine cuts of paper, like a mass of confetti, lots of little diamond shaped pieces of paper which means that financial information and address material is safely destroyed.
The blades are very strong and while it struggles a bit I have also used it to cut up an old credit card. It is also a pretty quiet shredder, certainly not as noisy as the one it replaced. There is a sort of drone as the paper feeds into the shredder and then a sort of burst of energy as the paper finally disappears. This is not recommended to be used as a heavy duty shredder, it claims to be able to handle six sheets at a time but I have had a couple of problems when I have tried to feed in more than four, I usually feed in a maximum of three sheets at a time.
It holds 14 litres of paper which means I'm not emptying it all the time especially as the small diamond bits of paper do not take up any space as all and can be squashed down easily. The only issue with disposal is that I have to make sure that the contents are at the bottom of the recycling bin weighted down by newspaper otherwise in a wind they are strewn all over the road when they are put out
This has proven to be a good purchase and a reliable piece of equipment for the home, not the most glamorous purchase ever but a sensible one given the risk of identity theft these days.
Identity theft is an ever increasing crime and we have been warned to protect ourselves against it. One of the most simple and effective measures is to shred all mail with sensitive data such as addresses, birth dates and bank or credit card details. Following this advice I decided to invest in an electronic shredder and selected the Aurora AS610C 6 sheet cross shredder
I chose this particular model , as at £23.00 from Amazon it seemed to be a reasonable price and its specifications suited my needs. I chose it as it was a cross cutter meaning it slices horizontal, as well as vertical the shredding takes up less space and is more secure. Its level 3 on the DIN security scale for shredders meaning it is medium security (the scale goes from 1-6 with one shredding into broad strips and 6 for government intelligence).
The shredder comes in two parts. There's the top part which is silver and quit heavy. It contains the slot for feeding the paper through, the motor and the shredding blades. On top of it is the control button. This model has a reverse function as well as shredding on which I have found useful in removing any any paper stuck in it. The second part is the bucket for catching the shredded paper. It has a 14 litre capacity and I have found you can shred 30 sheets of paper (50 if you take the top off and push the shredded paper down) quite comfortably before you need to empty the bin. Be careful if it gets too full, as it can get messy when taking the top part off as the shredded material goes all over the place! I would recommend this for home use or perhaps a small business with not too much paperwork to shred. Its not industrial size by any means.
Shredding is very easy with the Aurora. It shreds paper including sheets with small staples and also credit cards. Its got a 220mm wide slot that can take up to six pieces of paper at a time. However I find the best way to shred is feeding one sheet at a time. If you put too many in at a time it struggles a little and the motor becomes slightly nosier , as it works harderand I find the strips seem to be longer and not so well cut. Usually the strips are 4mm by 47mm so really are slivers of paper and thus words are seriously cut so it is very secure. I have shredded a couple of credit and debit cards. I found that it works but it does have a little trouble and the cards did get a bit stuck. I had to use the reverse feature to help clear the blockage. The shredder does have a safety feature where it will not operate if the shredder part is not on the bin properly or if it overheats or the motor is on too much thus very little should go wrong.
Once you have shredded your paper there are a number of uses for it rather than just putting it in the recycling bin.
1 it would make a very cosy nest for a small animal
2 Shred some coloured paper to make pretty packing paper for a parcel.
3 Collect enough of it and use it for a lucky dip at a child's party or school fete
Get a piece o paper with glue on it and d sprinkle the shredded paper across it in pretty pattens to male a textured collage then say its modern art and hopefully win the Turner prize and get exhibited in the Tate Modern!
I must admit I find shredding quite a relaxing activity watching the paper going through and seeing the tangled result. I would not hesitate to recommend the Aurora AS610C to those that who want a reliable shredder for home use that shreds to a high standard for disposing of all your confidential data.