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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
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Amazon Basics 12 Sheet Micro-Cut Review
Credit: Amazon
Price:  $127 List
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Manufacturer:   Amazon
By Hayley Thomas ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 18, 2022
82
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 13
  • Shredding Quality - 40% 9.2
  • Speed - 35% 8.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 7.0
  • Noise - 10% 7.0

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. Check out our article on the best paper shredders to see how it ranks versus competitors.
REASONS TO BUY
Micro-cut
High-security
User-friendly interface
REASONS TO AVOID
Trash bin sticks
Credit card shredder just slices in half

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Bottom Line A relatively quiet, intuitive paper shredder with high-end micro-cutting capabilitiesA paper shredder that offers high security micro-cutting, helpful indicator lights and an easy to empty waste binA great household paper shredder that is small, intuitive, fast and budget-friendlyFor the majority of home offices, this model is both a great choice and a great valuePerfect if you only shred a few pages here and there, and don't have too much space to spare
Rating Categories Amazon Basics 12 Sh... Amazon Basics 8-She... Aurora AU1230XA Ant... Amazon Basics 8-She... Aurora AS420C Desktop
Shredding Quality (40%)
9.2
9.0
6.0
5.8
4.4
Speed (35%)
8.0
7.0
8.0
6.5
2.4
Ease of Use (15%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
5.7
7.1
Noise (10%)
7.0
6.0
6.0
3.0
7.0
Specs Amazon Basics 12 Sh... Amazon Basics 8-She... Aurora AU1230XA Ant... Amazon Basics 8-She... Aurora AS420C Desktop
Bin Capacity 5.7 gallons 4 gallons 5.2 gallons 4.1 gallons 1.32 gallons
Advertised Sheet Capacity 12 8 12 8 4
Measured Sheet Capacity 16 10 13 11 4
Maximum Sheets per Minute 133 114 168 96 24
Shred Type Micro-Cut Micro-Cut Cross-Cut Cross-Cut Cross-Cut
Shred Size 5/32" x 15/32" 5/32" x 15/32" 3/16" x 1-9/16" 3/16" x 1-27/32" 1.5" x 1-17/20"
Dimensions 14.5" x 10.3" x 20.5" 8.9" x 12.95" x 19.49" 13.31" x 8.46" x 15.87 12.8" x 7.3" x 15.9" 9.49" x 6.93" x 9.92"
Weight 21.1 Ibs 17.2 Ibs 13.1 Ibs 8.3 lbs 4.9 lbs

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Amazon Basics 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


amazon basics 12 sheet micro-cut - 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.

amazon basics 12 sheet micro-cut - 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.

amazon basics 12 sheet micro-cut - 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.

amazon basics 12 sheet micro-cut - 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.

amazon basics 12 sheet micro-cut - 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

Should You Buy the Amazon Basics 12 Sheet Micro-Cut?


For those that prioritize security, the Amazon Basic 12-Sheet Micro-Cut is an easy choice. Central to the desire for a shredder, this machine makes it very difficult for someone to reassemble your sensitive information. It's not the largest, but it is actually pretty quick, and the sound it makes is more bearable than most. Best of all, the price is very modest for its impressive overall performance.

What Other Paper Shredder Should You Consider?


If you put high capacity and volume over security, you'll be better served by a few options. The Fellowes Powershred 99Ci is a premium shredder that can handle more paper at once. It also has a large bin capacity, so you won't have to repeatedly take out the trash with this model. For a lower price, though, you can nearly match the speed of the Powershred 99Ci by opting for the Amazon Basics 24 Sheet Cross-Cut.

Hayley Thomas