The paper shredder has been a staple in the office for decades, but it often causes more headaches than it alleviates. If your paper shredder is jammed or you need to free up space in the bin, follow these quick and easy methods for unjammed paper shredding.

Automatic Methods to Unjam the Paper Shredder

To unjam the paper shredder, there are two methods to be followed; automatic and manual. Always try the automatic approach before following the manual steps.

1. Reverse Option Method  

This method is very effective. Under this method, you should reverse the direction of the paper feeder to unjam the paper shredder. First, press the ‘reverse’ button for few times. If it does not work, pull out the waste bin and remove any sheets stuck between the teeth of the shredder’s opening mechanism. Then again, put back the waste bin and start your shredder again; it should work accordingly.

2. Toggling Method

This method should be used if you notice that the shredder has jammed and cannot be unjammed manually. It is the same as the reverse option method. First, turn on your shredder and push the ‘auto’ button to start your shredder. Keep pushing this button until it continuously runs, then stops it. As a result, a motorized mechanism will automatically push back the paper into a bin or a pile of cut paper items.

3. Warm The Feeder

There are two ways to do this: the first is to warm the feeder with a hot plate, and the other is to warm it with a wet towel. For both methods, first, take out the shredder and its bin and place them on the plate or a cloth that has been placed on top of the paper shredder’s bin. Once it has been placed, reduce the temperature of your paper shredder to a medium-low heat setting.

Manual Methods to Unjam the Paper Shredder

1. Removal of the Top of the Shredder

This is the most common solution to unjam your shredder. It is easy, but it also takes time and can be dangerous for working with these machines. First, remove the shredder’s top plate by removing either screws or bolts that hold it in place. Once removed, place a bolt or screwdriver into the gap and turn the screwdriver counter-clockwise to loosen the fixing point.

2. Use of Tweezer

A tweezer can be used to remove any jammed paper. Use the tweezer to pull out the jammed paper gently but firmly. If it is not done right, you could cause damage to the shredder’s cutting mechanism.

3. Make use of a knife or scissors

In some cases, paper cuts off from the shredder as a result of jamming. To fix this, you can use a knife or scissors to cut the jammed pieces of paper from inside the shredder.

4. Use of Card Paper to Complete the Unjamming Process

If you want to remove paper stuck between the shredder’s teeth, you can use a thin piece of card paper. Slide the card paper into the opening of the shredder very carefully, then pull out the card paper. Once again, slide it back in and pull it out again to remove all of the jammed pieces of paper.

5. Use of Shredder Oil

You can also take the help of oil to unjam the paper shredder. If you are using a low-maintenance paper shredding machine, then no need to apply this oil. But if you are using a high-maintenance or expensive paper shredding machine, it would be better to use oil to remove jammed paper.

Ways to Avoid Paper Shredder Jam

There are other methods to unjam your paper shredder, but these are the most common ones:

Say No to Overfeeding

If the paper shredder is jammed, there is a high chance that it is because of overfeeding. Overfeeding means feeding more than what the shredder can process. Try to feed a little less and not provide anymore.

Don’t Tear Paper Documents Into Smaller Pieces.

Paper can jam when it tries to separate paper documents into smaller pieces. This might happen when the shredded pieces of paper are too big or too small for the cutting mechanism of your machine. If this happens, you should consider increasing the space between the shredder’s cutting blades so that smaller pieces get separated from bigger ones. Another alternative is to get a model with a wider slot opening to devour more essential documents.

Say Yes to Cleaning Your Paper Shredder Regularly

Keep your machine clean and maintained by placing all your paper shreds into a bin and not letting it overfeed into the mouth of the shredder. Doing this will help in getting rid of paper jams.

Never Use Unsafe Materials

Some people use materials that are not safe to cut into paper items, but it might cause the shredder’s blades to jam. For example, some people use upholstery springs which are challenging and can cause problems when they get stuck between the shredder’s cutting mechanism. Also, using metal wires can cause jams if it gets stuck inside the cutting mechanism of your paper shredder.

Avoid Using a Paper Shredder With a Dull Blade Cutter

Shredder always has a blade cutter that cuts into the paper and shreds it. Blades of a shredder can get dull with time, but you should avoid using them if they become very dull, as they will cause jams in your machine.

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You just read how to unjam a paper shredder. If you follow these steps and fix them on time, you do not need to worry about the future of your documents and how they will be shredded. You can unjam your paper shredder at home with these steps. The effectiveness of this blog will depend on whether the instructions are adequately followed or not.