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Hands-on Gear Review
Bonsaii DocShred C156-C Micro-Cut Review
Price: $55 List | $52.77 at Amazon
Pros: High security, inexpensive
Cons: Slow, loud
Bottom line: Perfect if your shredding needs are small but your security needs are high
Besides having a sweet DJ name, the Bonsaii DocShred C156-C Micro-Cut is one of the most inexpensive micro-cut options available. This, along with reasonable all around performance, earned it our Best Buy: Micro-Cut award. If you tend to shred infrequently and in small amounts, but want the added peace of mind of knowing those few sensitive documents were shredded with the increased security of micro-cut, this model is a downright steal. The only big downside is it does produce a fairly grating noise, but this won't be an issue if you only shred documents occasionally.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Paper Shredders of 2017
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
Criteria for Evaluation
The graph below compares the Bonsaii DocShred C156-C Micro-Cut's overall performance in our testing (in blue) to that of the other models we tested.
Below we further discuss how the Bonsaii DocShred C156-C Micro-Cut performed in each one of our individual tests.
The Bonsaii DocShred C156-C Micro-Cut was one of the better performers in our shredding quality testing. It scored a 7, putting it towards the top of a metric that saw scores ranging from 4 to 9.
It got a big bump up in the scoring due to the better security it offers with its micro-cut blades. It was also able to meet its advertised maximum capacity of 8 sheets, but it was starting to sound like it was really straining at that point. The multiple folded layers of junk mail envelopes tended to jam the DocShred, unless they were particularly thin. It was able to consistently rip credit cards into tiny micro-cut bits, but again it sounded like it was struggling a bit when doing so. Its main slot is not created for shredding CDs, but it has a separate dedicated CD shredding slot. This is not a micro-cut slot, it only shreds the CD into three large pieces. This is more than enough to deter the vast majority of thieves as it renders the CD unreadable in a disc drive. However, it is possible to reconstruct the data of of any intact surface of a CD through the use of a microscope and a healthy amount of work. Obviously very few thieves would be this dedicated and very few people's personal information would be worth that much effort. However, if you happen to work for a high profile law firm or trading group, or some other institution that stores valuable secrets on CDs, you'll want to get a model that shred CDs into smaller bits through the normal shredding slot (or do what the Department of Defense does and grind the reading surface down with sandpaper.
In general if you want the security of micro-cut and tend to shred less than 10 sheets at a time a few times a week, the DocShred will provide more than enough shredding performance. If your shredding jobs tend to be larger, the AmazonBasics 12-Sheet Micro-Cut offers micro-cut security and a much larger capacity.
Speed is one area where the DocShred did not perform so well. It scored a 4, putting it just a bit above the bottom in a metric that saw scores ranging from 3 to 9.
This isn't surprising, as the DocShred is only an 8-sheet shredder. In our speed testing it clocked a maximum capacity speed of 44 sheets per minute, which was a significant amount below the average of 68 sheets per minute. In short, the DocShred's speed will most likely feel inadequate if the sheet count of your shredding jobs regularly reach into the triple digits. However, for those whose shredding jobs tend to be isolated sessions of 20 sheets or less, the DocShred's speed will not be an issue.
Ease of Use
The DocShred scored a 6 in our ease of use testing. This worked out to an average score in a metric that had scores falling between 4 and 8.
The DocShred keeps it simple on the interface, utilizing a single switch with off, auto, and reverse options. The shredding slot does not have a lip, which is ideal for feeding paper from directly above the shredder, but it can be a bit more difficult if it's tucked away under a desk. The bin has a small window so you can tell when it is full. This is a nice feature, but because the shredder is fairly low to the ground this window is not particularly easy to see. This model is a sit on top style. Meaning the shredding unit balances on top of the bin and must be lifted off and removed in order to empty the shredded paper bits. This is much less convenient than a draw style bin. However, the DocShred id the only sit on top model we tested that includes a handle on the shredding unit, allowing you to easily remove it with just one hand. Our testers really liked this feature.
At 5.5 gallons the DocShred's bin is fairly large for a sit on top model. The dedicated CD shredding slot deposits the sharp shards into a separate little shelf within the bin. This isn't totally necessary, but is nice if you'd rather dispose of the sharp CD shards separately from your normal trash. Overall, the DocShred's handle makes it the most convenient sit on top model that we tested, but if you shred more than a couple hundred pages a month you'll want an easier to empty, larger capacity drawer style model.
Noise is another area where the DocShred struggled in our testing. It picked up the low score of 3 in a metric that had scores as high as 7.
While we wouldn't expect any shredder to be harmonious, the DocShred's high pitched whine brought to mind an annoying chihuahua yipping from the purse of the lady that just cut you in line to complain that her latte wasn't foamy enough. Long story short, we wouldn't want to listen to the DcoShred for more than a few minutes, but for shorter shredder sessions it would not be an issue.
The DocShred offers solid, low capacity shredding performance with the added security of micro-cut. With a list price of $55 is is a great value for those looking for the best security, but don't need to shred high volumes. If you're satisfied with the security of cross-cut and shred infrequently you can find a better value in the AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut.
The Bonsaii DocShred C156-C Micro-Cut is a reasonable performer that offers the high end security of micro-cut at a low price. It is the perfect choice for those that put a premium on security and tend to shred less than 100 pages a month. If you want the security of micro-cut but need a higher capacity model, take a look at the AmazonBasics 12-Sheet Micro-Cut.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata
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