Fellowes Powershred 79Ci Review
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Fellowes Powershred 79Ci
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|Pros||Incredibly fast, high capacity||Micro-cut, high-security, user-friendly interface||Fast, powerful, relatively quiet||Speedy, compact, user-friendly interface, budget-friendly||Inexpensive, reliable, fast|
|Cons||Expensive||Trash bin sticks, credit card shredder just slices in half||Expensive, large||Difficult to empty, heavy lid, medium security||Loud, bin could be easier to empty|
|Bottom Line||If you shred 50 or more pages at a go, this model will save you oodles of time||A high-end paper shredder with micro-cutting capabilities, a low hum, and an intuitive interface||This premium model is well worth the time savings for those that shred a lot||A speedy, compact, and intuitive paper shredder, perfect for household use at a price you just can't beat||This shredder is perfectly sized, powered, and priced for home office use|
|Rating Categories||Fellowes Powershred...||Amazon Basics 12 Sh...||Fellowes Powershred...||Aurora AU1230XA Ant...||Amazon Basics 8-She...|
|Shredding Quality (40%)|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Fellowes Powershred...||Amazon Basics 12 Sh...||Fellowes Powershred...||Aurora AU1230XA Ant...||Amazon Basics 8-She...|
|Bin Capacity||6 gallons||5.7 gallons||9 gallons||5.2 gallons||4.1 gallons|
|Advertised Sheet Capacity||16||12||18||12||8|
|Measured Sheet Capacity||14||16||18||13||11|
|Maximum Sheets per Minute||140||133||185||168||96|
|Shred Size||5/32" x 1-1/2"||5/32" x 15/32"||5/32" x 1-1/2"||3/16" x 1-9/16"||3/16" x 1-27/32"|
|Dimensions||21.3" x 15.4" x 10.4"||14.5" x 10.3" x 20.5"||17.3 x 11.4 x 25.2||13.31" x 8.46" x 15.87||12.8" x 7.3" x 15.9"|
|Weight||28.2 lbs||21.1 Ibs||36.4 lbs||13.1 Ibs||8.3 lbs|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Read on to see how the Powershred 79Ci did in each of our rigorous individual tests.
The Powershred 79Ci scores a relatively mediocre score in this category truly making this a machine that values quantity over quality. The fact is the Powershred 79Ci is actually quite a burly and capable shredding machine. It has a high capacity, will hungrily eat up most junk mail envelopes, and readily destroys credit cards and CDs. It lost points in this metric for a few reasons. First and foremost it is a cross-cut model, so offers a slightly lower level of security when compared to micro-cut. Secondly, it has a claimed maximum capacity of 16 sheets, but it jammed when we tried to put a stack of that size through it. We found its actual maximum capacity to be 14 sheets, which is still massive and is the highest capacity that came out of our testing. However, a less informed consumer could easily try to feed in 16 sheets and unknowingly end up with unshredded, completely legible bits of paper in their bin, so we had to dock it a few points.
Finally, it demolished most junk mail envelopes, but would occasionally jam on an envelope it seemed it should easily handle. Usually, this occurs when the envelope had some sort of plastic stock within it. We think the mix of the material may confuse it, jamming the sensor that shuts off the machine to avoid damaging the blades. Watching it eat up a stack of 14 sheets and then suddenly struggle with an envelope that was 6-7 sheets thick proved irritating. In general, if you're satisfied with the security of cross-cut, know that the actual maximum capacity is 14 sheets, and can deal with the occasional anomalous junk mail jam, you'll most likely be satisfied with the Powershred 79Ci's shredding quality.
Speed is where this device truly shines. It scored almost perfect in this category.
In our testing, it registered a blistering maximum speed of 140 sheets a minute. For reference, the next fastest model was nearly half as fast at 72 sheets per minute, and the average speed of all the models we tested was 68 sheets per minute. To put this model's speed in context, take the Complete Calvin and Hobbes Anthology, a multiple volume tome of coffee table-sized books containing 1456 pages of Bill Waterson's whimsical adventures of an overly imaginative boy and his stuffed tiger. This shredder could reduce this collection to ashes in just under 10 and a half minutes. Of course, destroying such a treasure would be a travesty, and anyone who does so should be reported to the authorities, but it is an impressive feat nonetheless. Anyone that has large shredding jobs, particularly if those shredding jobs are mostly standard pieces of paper, is going to be pleased and impressed with this device's speed.
Ease of Use
The Fellowes 79Ci takes the top step of the podium in our ease of use testing. It has all of the features you'd hope for in a high-capacity shredder. A simple interface that allows you to turn it on and run the blades in reverse to clear jams, a drawer-style bin that is easy to pull out and empty, and pivoting wheels to allow for easy mobility, when needed. The Powershred 79Ci separates itself from the rest of the pack with some thoughtful, additional features. The nicest one of these is probably its full bin indicators. It has a light on the top of the unit that clearly alerts you when the bin needs to be emptied, effectively avoiding the confetti avalanche that can result from trying to empty an overly full bin. It also has indicators for overheating, if the bin is not in place, and when the blades are on, but the full indicator is the most useful in day-to-day use. It comes equipped with a helpful sensor around the shredding slot that turns the blades off if a finger touches it. It would probably be pretty difficult to get a finger into the shredding slot anyway, but this feature adds nice peace of mind, especially if you have small children or pets running about.
The plastic guard that folds over the shredding slot helps to keep shrapnel from flying out when you're shredding heavier ticket items like CDs. We didn't encounter any shrapnel-related problems when shredding CDs in any of the models we tested, but the ominous, crunching noises that are emitted when doing so make you scared there will be bits flying everywhere, so again this feature adds some nice peace of mind. Finally, there is an indicator bar to the right of the shredding slot that indicates how hard it is working, and whether you're feeding too much through the slot at once. Most people would naturally gauge this based on the sound of the shredder (if it sounds like it's struggling, reduces the load), but it's nice for those that prefer visual confirmation or who tend to ignore unofficial warnings. the only area which warrants disappointment in the ease of use department is the bin size. At a full six gallons, it is on the larger size, but it can fill up fast due to this model's shredding speed. It felt to us like a larger bin would allow you to better capitalize on this quickness. Overall the Powershred 79Ci provides a pleasant user experience with some added features that many will find particularly handy.
With how quickly this device shreds you'd think that it would make quite the racket. We were pleasantly surprised that Noise is another category where the Powershred 79Ci takes top honors. It has the most consistent, lowest-pitched noise of any of the models we tested. The noise still feels slightly obtrusive, but it was the most easily 'zoned out' noise of any model. And with the Powershred 79Ci's super-speed you probably won't have to be listening to the noise for long.
Should You Buy the Fellowes Powershred 79Ci?
The Powershred 79Ci is a dependable shredder that is a pleasure to use and is easy on the ears, but it's also expensive. If you just need to do some general shredding this is not a great value. However, if you tend to have lots of big shredding jobs the speed of the Powershred 79Ci pays for itself in time savings, and quickly becomes more valuable.
What Other Paper Shredder Should You Consider?
If you frequently need a lot of quick shredding power and already considering paying for the 79Ci, be sure to also check out the Fellowes Powershred 99Ci. It only costs a small percentage more, and it gets you the fastest shredding machine we have ever tested. For large volumes of shredding to be done frequently, the 99Ci is probably the better choice.
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