A super-quality shredder will stand the test of time without raging out of control or falling into disuse. However, even the most advanced shredders fall prey to jamming unexpectedly. A vast majority of the machines malfunction if you fill mass reams of papers exceeding the maximum sheet capacity.
Overloading the motor causes total breakdown. You’ve to diagnose the root of the problem before troubleshooting.
Trying to scrunch down sheets, or continued motor operation will only open a new can of worms with a battered gear or ruptured belt. Know how to fix a jammed paper shredder for a quick fix up and minimize future occurrences.
8 Things To Consider about How To Fix A Jammed Paper Shredder:
1. Factors Leading to Paper-Jam in Shredders
- Overkill sheets exceeding what a machine can handle cause materials to get entangled in the blades
- Feeding stuff and shredding at breakneck speeds reduces runtime leading to premature breakdown
- Overly thick materials or outsized stacks of documents such as plastic choke the cutters or diminish shredding performance
- Failure to empty the wastebasket frequently
- Squeaking cutters thirsty for lubrication lead to reduced sheet capacity and ultimate malfunction
- Paper dust, dirt, and foreign particles seep into internal components increasing wear and break down
- Attempting to slice other materials like metals causes choking and premature wear
2. Flip Through User Manual
- Always pore over the product manual for precise steps on how to clear a paper jam. Sharp cutter blades will cause serious injury if you attempt to reach in for clogged sheets.
- Unplug the machine, detach the unit’s head and reach for the entrapped stuff. The underside of the head permits a direct way-in to the blades.
- Papers wreathed around blades bring the machine to a halt. Use a screwdriver to comb out foreign particles.
- Your product directions have a rich wealth of information on troubleshooting. Most shredders unclog in the press of a button (Reverse (REV) mode) or modicum repair.
3. Reverse (REV) Mode
- Tweak the shredder to the Reverse (REV) mode. Follow the user guide on pressing and holding the REV Button for a quick fix.
- In Reverse, the unit will back down and slacken off the gummed up paper. However, pushing the REV control may worsen the defect.
- If the appliance jams in Reverse (REV) mode, readjust to auto/forward. If it chokes off in both directions, try alternating the forward and backward to clear up in a couple of attempts.
- Alternatively, tear or slice the remaining sheet just over the unit throat, switch off and on to eliminate the jammed material.
4. Redundant Papers
Feeding your device with too much stuff at a time stalls most shredders. At the outset, look for the reverse button to back out the papers and fix it up. If your equipment lacks a reverse switch or exceedingly obstructed to back out, squirt some premium lubricant around the mouth of the unit and wait 10 to 15 minutes.
It allows the oil to loosen the sheet, making it a breeze to penetrate. If it’s still out of condition, unplug it and detach the shredder head.
Try retrieving the sheets out from beneath the machine. Exercise caution to avoid shredding your fingers. Severe cases prove a devil of a job; you may have to engage a technician.
5. Other Items
Nowadays, a vast majority of high-tech shredders trim materials such as CDs, DVDs, and credit cards strips. Conversely, entry-level models like crosscutters cannot slice through thick plastic. In case of wrong materials, switch off and unplug the shredder.
You can fish out credit cards, DVDs, CDs, or other plastic items with needle nose pliers. Also try to draw the choking item from the top of your unit.
You should cut the deadwood out in a split-second. If the plastic remains stubborn in the unit, detach the head and attempt drawing the stuff out from beneath. Follow the manufacturer’s product manual on how to disassemble.
6. Lubricating Your Machine
Lubricating shredders helps inhibit jams and let the sheets run through with minimal frictional resistance.
- Activate the unit and feed a designated oil sheet through the device. Allow the entire lubricated sheet to tear up.
- Put in a few stuff of pristine sheets to suck up the excess oil. Switch off the machine.
- Use your hand to lubricate oil to the edge of the blades.
- Activate it in reverse to consistently disperse oil.
- Also fill a few sheets to sop up any overload lubricant.
Tip: Avoid WD-40, vehicle oil, and other non-designated products for lubing the machine as they severely degrade the components.
Always unplug the unit before sprucing up. Adhere to the product directions on how to clean up. Mop off the shredder with a dry soft fabric or towel. Use a mild detergent solution like dish washing liquid and warm water. Avoid chemical cleansers and solvents.
Do not expose parts to water as this will degrade electrical components. If it’s exposed to water, ensure you dry affected areas with a cloth and towel.
Keeping your equipment spick and span purges microscopic bits and pieces like dust, dirt, ink smudges, and other particles. They diminish sheet capacity and performance of the cutting system.
8. Important Safety Tips
- Some machines can only tear up one credit card, CD or DVD at a time
- Never exceed the maximum sheet capacity or disregard jam alert to avoid clogging
- Do not shred labels and envelopes with an adhesive substance like glue as it sticks in the blades reducing slicing performance or causing chokes
- Empty the basket regularly to clear jams
- Only insert items through designated slots
- Use the REV button to clear the obstruction automatically
- Read the user manual for troubleshooting, caution, warnings, and warranties
- Contact a technician for the most severe defects such as broken gear, stripped chain and damaged blades
Knowing a thing or two on how to fix a jammed paper shredder means you’ve a well-oiled machine hitting on all cylinders in the long haul. When materials bake in blades, the cutting device causes inconvenience for businesses or professionals seeking to shield sensitive data.
Feeding papers at a rate of knots may cause the equipment to halt. Additionally, avoid mass reams as the machines run at full pelt with smooth sheets.
Lubricating, cleaning and various precautionary measures ensure peak performance with minimal disruptions. A technician can make a quick fix if you don’t know beans on repairing. However, if the shredder has gone under the wrecking ball, you may have to buy a replacement.