Fellowes Powershred 73Ci Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
We were impressed by the performance of the Powershred 73Ci during our testing, but not by its price. There are other shredders that perform just as well and cost considerably less. For more details on how well it did in all of our tests, read on below.
We would call the Powershred 73Ci's shredding quality slightly above average. It handled its advertised 12-sheet capacity with aplomb, did quite well shredding thick junk mail envelopes, and didn't complain when we shred credit cards and CDs. Our only slight complaint is the fact that the Powershred 73Ci provides cross-cut level security, as opposed to micro-cut, which is simply less secure.
The Powershred 73Ci posted a maximum speed of 109 sheets per minute in our speed testing. This is plenty of speed for most users but isn't particularly impressive given its price tag. We tested models half the cost, that clocked in at 72 sheets per minute as well as some that are significantly faster, clocking a speed of 114 sheets per minute for the same or slightly less money. So while the Powershred 73Ci is fast, you can certainly get faster for less.
Ease of Use
Fellowes has a knack for creating user-friendly interfaces and adding in helpful features, and the 73Ci is no exception. It features touch-sensitive controls, a sensor that automatically stops the blades if your fingers get too close, and intelligent jam-proof technology that automatically stops when there is a jam, reverses the paper out a bit, and then attempts to shred it again. In our experience, this was able to work through some minor jams without any user input, which was kind of nice. The six-gallon bin has a big window so you can easily tell how full it is. It also pulls out easily, even when stuffed to the gills. Finally, the attached wheels make it easy to move the shredder around if you need to rearrange the office or hide it away until it is needed.
The Powershred 73Ci is fairly average in terms of audible annoyingness. You're certainly going to notice when it's running, but the sound isn't too obtrusive. We wouldn't want to use this too often in a crowded office, but the occasional few minutes here and there shouldn't garner too much ire from your officemates.
Should You Buy the Fellowes Powershred 73Ci?
The Powershred 73Ci is a good paper shredder. We really enjoy its smooth operation and user-friendliness. The question remains, is that enough to justify its price tag? After rigorously testing many models, we identified a handful of models that perform as well or better than the Powershred 73Ci, even if a touch less sleek. If you have the money, this is not a disappointing machine. However, be aware that better deals, and products, are out there.
What Other Paper Shredder Should You Consider?
If you are drawn to the sleek functionality of the Fellowes brand, it is worth upping the ante by looking into the Fellowes Powershred 99Ci. The price is similar, but the 99Ci is much quieter and can handle a lot more paper volume, getting your shredding tasks complete faster. On the other hand, if you'd like more security and seek a shredder similar in size, check out the Amazon Basics 12 Sheet Micro-Cut. It offers micro-cutting, which makes it harder for someone to reassemble the pieces, and it costs significantly less than any of the Fellowes models.