Aurora AS420C Desktop Review
Pros: Small and compact, inexpensive
Cons: Slow, not particularly powerful
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
While certainly not the most capable shredder, the Aurora AS420C Desktop is tiny and inexpensive, making it perfect for those that only shred a few sheets here and there.
The Aurora AS420C Desktop received the lowest overall score after we ran our side-by-side tests. But that's only because it is quite small, and that smallness makes it a worthy choice for those that don't need to shred often. You can read more on the specifics of its performance below.
The Aurora AS420C Desktop earned a low score of 4 out of 10 in our shredding quality testing, simply because if its small capacity. We found that it certainly maxed out at its advertised capacity of 4 sheets. Anything more and you could hear the engine whining like a sad dog. Also, the slot is only 4.5" wide, so you have to fold the pages in half to get them through the shredder. It is rated to shred credit cards, which it was able to do in our testing. However, you certainly could hear the motor struggling a bit as it did so. If you just need a shredder for the occasional document or credit card, this is more than enough power. If you shred more regularly and thus need a bit more robustness the AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross Cut is a good bit more powerful and is the same price, and the AmazonBasics 12-Sheet Cross is significantly more powerful and it costs only $15 more.
Here again the Aurora AS420C Desktop's small size is a limitation. If you're fast at folding paper to put it through the shredder, you can get this machine to eat up about 24 pages in a minute. However, the bin only holds 40 sheets, so you'll fill it up pretty fast. Obviously, this shredder isn't designed for speed, so it's a poor choice if you have bigger shredding jobs. If you're looking to get some shredding speed on a budget we would again recommend looking at one of the AmazonBasics Cross-Cut models.
Ease of Use
The Aurora AS420C Desktop is a very simple device with just one switch. This switch lets you turn it on, off, and run the blades in reverse in case something is stuck. There is a convenient little handle for when you need to remove the shredding unit and empty the bin. However, that bin does fill up fast due to its tiny size. The bin's capacity is around 40 sheets, so if you only shred a few pages here and there you won't have to empty it too often.
This simple user experience fits well with the Aurora AS420C Desktop's streamlined, space-saving pedigree. If you're looking for more advanced features like safety sensors, overheating sensors, and jam-proof technology, you're going to have to get a larger and more expensive machine.
We expected a tiny shredder like this one to sound high pitched and shrill, but we were pleasantly surprised. While the sound it emits certainly isn't cheery, it was of a medium-ish pitch that wasn't too grating on the ears. Seeing as this is a low capacity shredder that likely won't be used for long stretches at a time, the noise level is completely acceptable. Occasional use of this shredder, even in a crowded cubicle space, likely won't aggravate your neighbors.
If your'e short on space but want to be able to quickly shred the occasional sensitive paper document that comes your way, the Aurora AS420C Desktop is a great value. For only $35 you get a shredder that can quickly take care of a short document, and then disappear into a closet or corner of your desk until it's needed again. If you're looking for a higher capacity and more power at a low price, one of the AmazonBasics Cros-Cut models would be a better value.
If shredding is an occasional chore for you, the Aurora AS420C Desktop offers a simple solution that doesn't take up much space. It certainly isn't a workhorse and will have trouble shredding large quantities, but in this increasingly paperless world it may be all you need.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata