Paper shredders were considered as luxuries just a few years back. These days, however, such machines play vital roles in protecting individuals, businesses, and also governments. There are basically two varieties of shredders today. One is the hand-crank type and the other is the electrical model. Shredders can last for a long time when cared for properly, especially if these are products of brands known for quality and efficiency. Still, every machine has a lifespan. But with better maintenance and care, your shredders can be of use for longer than they were supposed to.
Just like other kinds of machines, paper shredders can get sluggish or maybe even stop working after being used for a time. But before paying expensive service fees to expert repairmen or buying a new and costly model, here are a few troubleshooting tips that may come in handy.
Problem: Clogged Shredder
It’s usual for paper to get jammed in shredders. Before trying to pull the paper clogging your machine, make sure to turn the shredder off and unplug it from the power source. One way to address this problem is by using straight tweezers to extract the paper jamming the machine. When pulling this out, wriggle the paper while slowly pulling, instead of forcefully tugging it. If you do the latter, the paper can get torn and this will be much harder to remove. Another way is to use a spray lubricant (oil paper or performance oil). Spray this along the blades. Then, allow the machine to run in reverse in order to spread the oil. This will hopefully loosen the blades, which in turn will hopefully free the stuck paper once you run the machine forward. Use tweezers to fish out tiny pieces that are still stuck inside. You can also run a thicker paper or cardboard to sort of clear the machine from other paper debris.
Problem: Broken Machine
The first thing that you do when you think that your shredder may be broken is to check for paper jams. If everything appears clear but the machine isn’t working, then it may be overheated. This often happens. What you can do is make sure that shredders are allowed to cool down after being used for awhile before resuming shredding activities. These machines can cool down properly in about 20 minutes or so. If the machine appears fine and there’s no paper jam, check if glue or adhesives are stuck inside. Keep this in mind especially when you are shredding stickers, plastic and other items that are attached using paste and other gummy substances. Also, don’t forget to check the basket holding the shredded pieces. If it’s overflowing or too full, shredded paper cannot go through. This causes paper jams and it may also be the reason why a device shuts down.
Problem: Dull Blades
When the blades of your shredder are dull, the machine will not be able to efficiently cut paper. Today, there are self-sharpening shredders that are fairly convenient to have. You won’t have to worry about having to sharpen blades regularly as metal sheets are included in such models. The sheet sharpens the blades as these slice through the metal slip. Still, blades will eventually get dull, and when this happens, replacement is your best option. You can also feed aluminum foil through your machine. The foil will act as the metal sheet that will sharpen the blades, much like what happens in the self-sharpening varieties.
Claire Bayer writes articles about document security and is a regular contributor to VanguardArchives.com
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