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Fellowes Powershred 73Ci Review

Good performance, but doesn't live up to its price tag
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Price:   $200 List | $186 at Amazon
Pros:  Fast, user friendly
Cons:  Expensive
Manufacturer:   Fellowes
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Jun 9, 2018
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#4 of 10
  • Shredding Quality - 40% 6
  • Speed - 35% 8
  • Ease of Use - 15% 8
  • Noise - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Powershred 73Ci lives up to Fellowes' reputation of making quality paper shredders. However, the Powershred 73Ci feels a bit overpriced to us. It is substantially more expensive than most comparable models on the market. The AmazonBasics 24-Sheet is also a bit faster, and costs slightly less. Therefore we think there are better ways to spend your money than on the Powershred 73Ci.

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Our Analysis and Test Results

We were impressed by the Powershred 73Ci's performance in our testing, but not by its price. There are other shredders that perform just as well and cost considerably less.

Performance Comparison

The Powershred 73Ci was towards the top of the leaderboard after all of our tests, but we still expected more from it, given its price. For more details on how well it did in all of our tests, read on below.

Shredding Quality

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.

The PowerShred 73Ci's cross-cut level security isn't as good as micro-cut  but is still quite effective.
The PowerShred 73Ci's cross-cut level security isn't as good as micro-cut, but is still quite effective.


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. For instance, the AazonBasics 12-Sheet Micro-Cut is higher security, half the price, and nearly as fast at 72 sheets per minute. The AmazonBasics 24-Sheet also cost less and it significantly faster, clocking a speed of 114 sheets per minute in our testing. So while the Powershred 73Ci is fast, you can get faster for less.

Ease of Use

Fellowes has a knack for creating user friendly interfaces and adding in helpful features, and the Powershred 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 6-gallon bin has a big window so you can easily tell how full it is. It also pulls out easily when it gets full. 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.

All of Fellowes' shredders have a nice  clean interface and a guard that automatically shuts off the blades if a finger touches it.
All of Fellowes' shredders have a nice, clean interface and a guard that automatically shuts off the blades if a finger touches it.


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 grating. 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.


The Powershred 73Ci and its relatively high list price represent a fairly poor value. Though it is a good shredder, you can get similar performance and often better security for the same or less from many other models.


The Powershred 73Ci is a great shredder, but it comes with too high of a price tag to be a good choice for anyone.

Max Mutter and Steven Tata