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Amazon Basics 12 Sheet Micro-Cut Review

A high-end paper shredder with micro-cutting capabilities, a low hum, and an intuitive interface
Amazon Basics 12 Sheet Micro-Cut
Credit: Amazon
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $114 List | $114.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Micro-cut, high-security, user-friendly interface
Cons:  Trash bin sticks, credit card shredder just slices in half
Manufacturer:   Amazon
By Hayley Thomas ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 9, 2021
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
82
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 14
  • Shredding Quality - 40% 9.2
  • Speed - 35% 8
  • Ease of Use - 15% 7
  • Noise - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The Amazon Basic 12-Sheet Micro-Cut is a quality shredder at a fair price. With 5/32-inch confetti-style micro-cutting capabilities, this paper shredder offers some of the highest security we have seen. The CD and credit card slot comes in handy, although the main slot easily shreds credit cards making it durable enough for thick junk mail. It happily exceeds the 12-sheet limit but begins to slow down with volume. The intuitive interface indicates issues like paper jams and full baskets through the use of error lights, and the 5.7-gallon trash is just big enough for average household use.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award   Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $114 List
$114.00 at Amazon
$136 List$74 List$59 List
$59.70 at Amazon
$41 List
$33.99 at Amazon
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Pros Micro-cut, high-security, user-friendly interfaceMicro-cut, high security, speedy, six-gallon bin capacityHigh quality shredding, micro-cut, helpful indicator lights, user-friendlySpeedy, compact, user-friendly interface, budget-friendlyInexpensive, reliable, fast
Cons Trash bin sticks, credit card shredder just slices in halfNoisy, not budget-friendlyInsecure handlesDifficult to empty, heavy lid, medium securityLoud, bin could be easier to empty
Bottom Line A high-end paper shredder with micro-cutting capabilities, a low hum, and an intuitive interfaceA high quality, and speedy shredding machine that is easy to use but makes a lot of noiseA paper shredder that offers high security micro-cutting, helpful indicator lights and an easy to empty waste binA speedy, compact, and intuitive paper shredder, perfect for household use at a price you just can't beatThis shredder is perfectly sized, powered, and priced for home office use
Rating Categories Amazon Basics 12 Sh... Tru Red 12-Sheet Mi... Amazon Basics 8-She... Aurora AU1230XA Ant... AmazonBasics 8-Shee...
Shredding Quality (40%)
9.2
8.5
9.0
6.0
5.8
Speed (35%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
6.5
Ease Of Use (15%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
5.7
Noise (10%)
7.0
5.0
6.0
6.0
3.0
Specs Amazon Basics 12 Sh... Tru Red 12-Sheet Mi... Amazon Basics 8-She... Aurora AU1230XA Ant... AmazonBasics 8-Shee...
Bin Capacity 5.7 gallons 6 gallons 4 gallons 5.2 gallons 4.1 gallons
Advertised Sheet Capacity 12 12 8 12 8
Measured Sheet Capacity 16 14 10 13 11
Type Micro-Cut Micro-Cut Micro-Cut Cross-Cut Cross-Cut
Dimensions 14.5" x 10.3" x 20.5" ‎23.35' x 16.14" x 12.24" 8.9" x 12.95" x 19.49" 13.31" x 8.46" x 15.87 12.8" x 7.3" x 15.9"
Weight 21.1 Ib 23.6 Ib 17.2 Ib 13.1 Ib 8.3 lb
Shred Size 5/32" x 15/32" 4mm x 12mm 5/32" x 15/32" 3/16" x 1-9/16" 3/16" x 1-27/32"
Warranty 1 Year Limited 1 Year Limited 1 Year Limited 1 Year / 3 Year Cutter 1 Year Limited
Maximum Sheets per Minute 133 150 114 171 96

Our Analysis and Test Results

The AmazonBasics 12-Sheet High-Security Micro-Cut is a great all-around shredder for the average user. It provides high-quality shredding capabilities for the average at-home user and will happily chew through junk mail and credit cards alike. Read on to see how it holds up to our rigorous testing.

Performance Comparison


An easy to use, powerful paper shredder for the average user.
An easy to use, powerful paper shredder for the average user.
Credit: Laura Casner

Shredding Quality


Our shredding quality test is arguably the most important test to pass for paper shredders. It is important to consider what you plan to shred and the level of security your shredding needs to provide. Generally speaking, the Amazon Basics 12-Sheet Micro-Cut does very well in this metric, but it absolutely has its pros and cons.


As its name suggests, the 12-Sheet High-Security Micro-Cut shredder offers high security and bulk-style shredding. The micro-cut turns any document into confetti, each piece measuring about 5/32-inches by 5/32-inches, ensuring a level of security that paper strips cannot. This machine is buttery smooth when shredding stacks of 12, but we decided to push it to the limits. At 13 sheets, we experienced a little crinkling, but the speed remained unaffected. Between 14 and 16 sheets, this powerhouse of a shredder kept trucking but at a much slower pace.

The micro-cut is a high security shred.
The micro-cut is a high security shred.
Credit: Laura Casner

The card slot effectively cuts credit cards, but the security of said cuts is lacking. It shreds them into two large, clearly readable strips, rendering them unusable in person, but if the card is not canceled, it could easily be used online or over the phone. As long as the credit card is not metal, the main slot has no problem turning most cards into confetti. This robust machine easily chews through full junk mail envelopes, decreasing in speed for the thickest ones, and it also has no problem with paper clips, which is a huge plus.

Speed


Waiting for last year's tax documents to shred is not how we want to spend our weekends. While speed may seem trivial, it can heavily affect the user experience. During our speed testing, we calculate how long it takes to shred one page, 20 pages, and how many we can shred in one minute.


The 12-Sheet Micro-Cut is able to shred one sheet in about six seconds. It can shred 20 sheets in 16 seconds and a whopping 133 sheets over the course of one minute. This machine takes roughly nine seconds to shred its advertised maximum of 12 sheets. While it happily takes on more than 12 sheets, its pace slows with a thicker load. Overall this shredder performs well above average and offers.

Junk mail is a non-issue for the Amazon Basics 12-Sheet Micro-Cut.
Junk mail is a non-issue for the Amazon Basics 12-Sheet Micro-Cut.
Credit: Laura Casner

Ease of Use


During our ease of use testing, we pay special attention to three attributes. The user interface is the first and most important. We make sure that the buttons are readable, any error codes are intuitive, and that physically loading the sheets is straightforward. Next, we move on to how easy emptying the trash basket is, and lastly, we take into account the size of the storage basket.


Overall the Basic 12-Sheet Micro-Cut has a thoughtful and intuitive design. Helpful indicator lights and an easy-to-navigate switch let the user know when the machine is on. The machine also uses lights to indicate when the door is ajar and when the bin is full. The separate CD and credit card slot is labeled appropriately and helps reduce wear on the gears.

The light indicators are both useful and intuitive.
The light indicators are both useful and intuitive.
Credit: Laura Casner

The trash basket offers a pretty average performance. This 21.5-pound machine has wheels and handles to make transportation easy. The 5.7-gallon pull-out waste bin, on the other hand, has a finicky latch that can be annoying to close after dumping.

Noise


While noise is not likely to make or break your opinion of a paper shredder, it will heavily affect when you can use it. If you're looking for an office shredder, the noise level is very important. The same thing goes if you have napping kids in the house.


Very few shredders provide silent services, but some offer a less intrusive sound than others. The 12-Sheet Micro-Cut is not super quiet, but the little noise that it does make is more of a low hum than a high pitch, strained sound. This is much easier to endure and may even go unnoticed by your sleeping newborn or the room of executives down the hall.

Overall we really enjoy using the 12-Sheet High Security Micro-Cut.
Overall we really enjoy using the 12-Sheet High Security Micro-Cut.
Credit: Laura Casner

Value


We analyze each product's value by comparing the price of a product to its performance. The Amazon Basic 12-Sheet Micro-Cut is not the least expensive option in our test suite, but it is far more affordable than some of its pricier counterparts. Pair the fair price with its stellar shredding quality and decent speed, and you've got yourself a valuable office buddy.

Conclusion


With confetti-style micro-cutting, this shredder offers high security. The 12-sheet max, intuitive design, and ability to cut through credit cards and paper clips make this quite the catch-all. The Amazon Basic 12-Sheet Micro-Cut is sure to take care of most of your shredding needs without breaking the bank.

Hayley Thomas

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