Swingline Stack-and-Shred Red Hands Free ShredderI have owned shredders for at least twenty years now. Over the years home shredders have absolutely improved and gotten extra features. With the Swingline Stack-and-Shred Red Hands Free Shredder the claim to fame is that it handles stacks of normal 8.5 x 11 paper without needing any manual intervention. You can simply put the stack within the unit, walk away, and come back to have it all done.
First, the basics. We started with credit cards. There is no separate "credit card slot" like some other units have. You simply insert the credit cards through the main 9" wide slot in the top center of the unit's lid. This can be a bit challenging, because the shredder activation area isn't immediately below the lid. So you have to get the card just right to activate the shredder's motion and be drawn in. It's not ideal for credit cards. It does cut them into little, short strips.
Next, paper. Again with the activation area being a bit below the lid, you have to make sure your paper goes straight through the slot to then get properly into the maw of the shredding unit. Depending on the state of your paper this can be easy or hard. It's easy for printouts, for example. I could send them with staples, both horizontal and vertical staples, with no problem at all. The noise was fairly mild, too, compared with other shredders we've owned. It was only 62db at a standard rumble with a high of about 70db with credit cards. And that's right near the unit - the noise drops off substantially when one draws back a bit.
But with receipts and other curly paper, it's fairly hard to aim the paper through the slot and get it to catch into the unit properly. You'd want to sandwich those between other more straight papers that you were shredding.
On to the "selling point" - the stackable area. You lift the lid and lay the pile of paper down flat within the unit. Then you close the lid. Off it goes. It sucks in about 4 at a time and chomps them up. Unfortunately, just about every time it got near the bottom of the pile it somehow folded the last set it was drawing it in, meaning it was now trying to shred a double-fold of 8 sheets - and it jammed. So then we'd have to open it up and try to drag out that last set, then manually insert it.
It's very easy to clean, although the drawer is a bit flimsy. It does overheat after a while, but every shredder I've used does that. So it's hard to fault the shredder for doing something that seems standard in the shredder world. You let it cool down and it can start again.
I've got a mixed opinion on this. On one hand it does a good job of feeding stapled, small sets of paper through, which is exactly what I tend to use the unit for. I rarely shred credit cards. But I do also shred tons of receipts at the end of each year, because I scan them all and only keep the scans. And all those curly receipts are a royal pain with this unit. So I think I would prefer a unit that can handle receipts better. Since I don't shred giant stacks of paper, that feature doesn't matter much to me, but I might be annoyed that it jammed at the end of every run there. I would simply hand-feed it instead, to not deal with that.
I'll give it at 3/5 since there are other units that seem not to have some of these quirks.
FTC Note: I was provided this shredder free from Amazon Vine for testing purposes.
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