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AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut Review

Price:   $30 List | $29.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, lightweight, small
Cons:  Lacks power, small capacity bin
Bottom line:  Incredible value for small shredding jobs, won't stand up to big jobs
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   Amazon

Our Verdict

The AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut is a dependable little performer that scored around or above average in all of our testing metrics. Despite being tiny it was one of the better scorers in our speed testing, able to rip through a commendable 60 sheets per minute. Its blades certainly lack the power of the larger models, as it struggled with thicker items. However, it is perfectly capable of effectively shredding small stacks of paper and credit cards, and does so for a list price of only $30. If you shred infrequently but want the convenience of a shred at home option, and are satisfied with standard cross-cut level security, you can't beat this value. If you don't mind spending a bit more for increased speed and power, check out the AmazonBasics 12-Sheet Cross-Cut. If you're looking for a budget option but still want the increased security of micro-cut take a look at the Bonsaii DocShred C156-C Micro-Cut.


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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Max Mutter and Steven Tata

Last Updated:
Tuesday
October 25, 2016

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Criteria for Evaluation


The chart below compares the AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut's overall performance in our testing to that of the other models we tested.


Below we discuss how the AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut performed in each of our individual tests.

Shredding Quality


The AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut received a relatively low score of 5 in our shredding quality testing. This put it just above the low score of 4 and well off the high score of 9. While being only one point above the worst scoring model seems pretty bad, in this case it's actually not that terrible. The AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut was able to easily handle its advertised maximum capacity of 6-sheets, and shredded well at that level. In reading through many user reviews no salient quality control or manufacturing issues were identified. It lost points firstly because it is a cross-cut as opposed to a micro-cut, and secondly due to a lack of burliness. Being only a 6-sheet shredder it struggled with thicker fare like junk mail envelopes. It is not rated to shred CDs, but handles credit cards without much complaint. So it scored relatively low in our shredding quality testing because it couldn't handle the bigger jobs of higher end models. However, it doesn't claim to be up to those tasks. It is advertised as a 6-sheet shredder, and fills that role perfectly. If your shredding needs are low volume and occasional, it will serve you very well. If you tend to shred 50 pages or more at a time multiple times per month, you'll definitely appreciated the added speed and convenience of a larger capacity, high end model.

The AmazonBasics 6-Sheet produces cross-cut sized shreds.
The AmazonBasics 6-Sheet produces cross-cut sized shreds.

Speed


For a small model the AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut scored very well in our speed testing. It picked up a 7, putting it slightly behind the top score of 9 but much better than the low score of 3. In our maximum capacity test it logged a respectable speed of 60 sheets per minute. At this speed the AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut would be able to make relatively quick work of the occasional larger shredding job. However, if you tend to shred more than 50 pages at a go on a regular basis we would recommend investing in a higher capacity model that is better designed to handle those kinds of loads.

Ease of Use


The AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut was an average performer in our ease of use testing, scoring a 6. This put it right in between the high and low scores of 8 and 4, respectively.
Its greatest attribute is its small size. It is tiny enough to be tucked away just about anywhere, and won't occupy too much real estate. Otherwise it is generally not a pain to use, but not particularly easy either. It has a very simple interface with a single switch that can turn it off, put it on auto mode (where it turns on whenever something is fed into the slot) and reverse, which can be used to clear jams. There is a small lip over the shredding slot which makes it easier to feed paper in from an angle rather than from directly above.

The AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut's controls consist of a single toggle switch.
The AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut's controls consist of a single toggle switch.

The shredding unit sits on top of the bin, so it must be lifted and moved in order to empty out the paper shreds. The shredding unit isn't particularly heavy, but there is no handle with which to grab it, so removing it is a two handed operation. This would require some awkward bending and reaching if it were tucked away underneath a desk. There is no bin full indicator, but there is a small gap between the shredding unit and the edge of the bin. If the shredder is in a well lit and visible area then this gap can give you an indication of whether the bin is full or not. However, if it's not in the perfect spot it can be easy to overfill the bin, leading to an inevitable mess when you try to empty it. The bin itself is only 3.8-gallons. This is fine if you don't shred a whole lot of documents, but can fill up fast if you shred with any sort of regularity. In general, the AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut has all the ease of use characteristics needed for someone that doesn't shred a whole lot, but disposes of enough sensitive documents (say less than 10 sheets at a time a few times a week) to warrant having an inexpensive shredder on hand. However, if your shredding jobs tend to be larger you will definitely appreciate some of the ease of use benefits of a higher end model.

The AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut requires two hands to remove the shredding unit.
The AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut requires two hands to remove the shredding unit.

Noise


Shredders are like dogs, the smaller they are the more high pitched and annoying they tend to be. Accordingly the AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut scored poorly in our noise testing, earning a 4. This was just barely better than the worst score of 3 and well below the top score of 7. It has a fairly high pitched squeal that would certainly start to rattle your sanity a bit after more than a few minutes, and would probably make you the pariah of the office if used frequently. But, for the low volume, occasional shredding jobs the AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut is designed for, that squeal is perfectly bearable.

Value


With its reasonable performance and list price of only $30, the AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut is a great value. For those that need a reliable machine for shredding a few pages at a time, the AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut provides all the performance you need while barely putting a dent in your finances

Conclusion


The AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut is a solid, low capacity shredding machine. With its low price it is perfect for those that produce enough sensitive documents to require a shredder, but rarely needs to shred more than a few sheets at a time. If you are a low volume shredder and don't want to spend a lot of money, but would prefer the increased security of micro-cut, check out our Best Buy: Micro-Cut award winner, the Bonsaii DocShred C156-C Micro-Cut.

Max Mutter and Steven Tata

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