Taking care of your shredder and performing routine maintenance is required by most manufacturers as part of their warranty terms. Unless specifically mentioned in your shredder’s manual, you should oil your shredder’s cutting blades on a regular basis.

Why Should I Oil My Shredder?

Well, the main reason that you should oil your shredder is to keep it in great condition and prolong the life of the investment that you’ve made. Oiling your shredder is very easy to do and doesn’t take much time, so the question really becomes why wouldn’t you oil your shredder?

As to how frequently you need to oil your shredder, this is determined by a number of different factors. Firstly, the type of shredder that you have. If you have a cross cut or micro cut shredder, then it’s going to need to be oiled more frequently than a plain strip cut shredder. This is mostly because of the additional cutting mechanisms required to achieve the cross cut or micro cut particles.

The second factor is how frequently and heavily you use your shredder. The type of material as well as the amount of pages fed into the shredder at one time will also impact the performance of your shredder and oiling requirements. The easiest way to remember how frequently to oil your paper shredder is to do it every time that you change the bag or empty the waste basket, or once per month if you’re using the shredder very infrequently.


It’s recommended that you use specifically designed shredder oil, like Fellowes Powershred Performance Shredder Oil, when oiling your shredder, rather than vegetable oil or sewing machine oil. This is because the shredder oils are specifically designed for this purpose, and other oils may cause damage to your unit which will not be covered by the warranty.

There are two methods that you can use to oil your shredder using the shredder oil, and then a third option that is less messy using commercially available shredder oiling sheets. The first is to squirt a small amount of the oil into the paper opening and onto the cutting heads. The bottle comes with a long tip, which should fit into most shredder’s paper openings. Be sure to unplug your shredder first, then squirt the oil into the opening, running the bottle from one side to the other and taking about 1-2 seconds to complete one single pass. Once you’ve sprayed the oil in, engage the manual reverse mode on the shredder, plug it in and run it in reverse for about 10-15 seconds to allow the shredder oil to transfer to all of the internal cutting components. Finally, shred a few sheets of paper to remove any excess oil from the blades.


The other method to oil your shredder is shown in the diagram above. Grab a clean piece of paper, draw a number of S pattern lines across the page using the shredder oil, ensuring that you get coverage of the full width of the page. You don’t need to soak the paper in oil, just ensure that there is an even coverage across the entire page. Feed this through the shredder, and then once the page has been shredded, run the unit in reverse for about 5 seconds. This will spread the oil throughout the cutting mechanisms. Again, shred a few more sheets of paper afterwards to remove any excess oil.

If you’d rather not have the mess of using shredder oil, then you can get pre-made sheets that are designed to oil your shredder, like the Aleratec Shredder Lubricant Sheets, pictured above. Sealed inside these pages is the right amount of shredder oil that you need, which makes oiling your shredder as clean and easy as putting a piece of paper through your unit.

No matter which of these options you choose, you should start oiling your paper shredder now. It’ll run smoother, quicker and put less strain on the shredder’s motor, and extend the life of your shredder.

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