Despite it being the 21st tech-mad century, in offices today we still depend massively on paper and therefore there is always going to be documents that need to be disposed of securely and without a doubt the most convenient and most secure way of doing this is to dispose of them using a shredder. Unfortunately however, no matter how efficient these shredders are, they are still prone to suffering from a paper jam from time to time and there is no way around this, other than to un-jam them. Therefore, in order to stop the paper, credit cards and CD’s from piling up, you need to know how to fix it, and this blog will talk you through how to do this.
First, we need to establish the problem and what the main, most common issues tend to be: Shredding materials that the shredder can’t handle, trying to shred too many sheets of paper at once and not oiling your shredder enough. So now we know what causes shredder jams, we now need to know how to combat them because when you’re working in a busy office, you don’t really have hours to spend trying to unblock the shredder. So here’s our helpful guide to how to un-jam one, with some useful tips to minimize the chances of it happening at all.

How to un-jam a shredder

1. First things first, unplug the shredder

This is the most important stage in trying to fix a jammed shredder, because if the shredder is left on and you’re fiddling around with it and it suddenly starts to work again, you could seriously hurt yourself.

2. Empty the shredder

Often, the reason a shredder is jammed is because it’s full, therefore empty out all the paper, turn it on and then see if it works again.

3. Switch to reverse

If that doesn’t solve it, this means that there is something else wrong. The next step is to try running the shredder in reverse, as this might solve the issue, however there is a slight chance this might make it worse, so beware.

4. If the shredder is still jammed, switch back to forward

If it’s now jammed in both directions you should switch it back to forwards again, and then back to backwards, as this can often shift the jam after a few attempts.

5. Decrease the amount of paper you put in 

Do not feed in more paper than the machine can handle – giving it too much at once can cause paper to get jammed in the blades.

6. Make sure the shredder is lubricated

Lubricating your shredder will help prevent jams and will allow the paper to run smoothly through. Turn the shredder on, feed a shredder oil sheet through, wait for it to shred completely through, feed through a few sheets of plain paper to absorb the excess oil, turn off the shredder, apply lubricating oil to the top of the blades, switch shredder on in reverse to evenly distribute oil, feed through some paper to absorb any excess oil.

If all else fails, you might need a new shredder, but don’t worry, Office Monster has a wide selection of shredders for you to choose from, and if you don’t know which one to pick, check out our shredder guide that has all the information you’ll need to help you decide.


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