How to Unjam a Paper Shredder? Do it Properly Yourself!

Types Of Paper Shredder

Paper shredder refers to a robot that cut papers and turn them into tiny particles. It’s used for destroying secret and sensitive informative documents of several organizations, businesses, and persons. Though the best use of a paper shredder is found in the office, people also take paper shredder for home use.

But, there is a problem with paper shredder that- it clog sometimes, and you need to know how to unjam a paper shredder. And, today I will discuss every possible way of unjamming a paper shredder. So, let’s start.

Why Paper Shredders Get Clogged?

Before knowing the process of clearing your jammed shredder, you should know why your shredder gets jammed. Because of regular paper shredding, sometimes the shredder gets jammed and also there are other reasons too. Here are a number of the foremost common reasons.

These are the 3 most common reasons to face jamming problems in your paper shredder. So, why you need to unjam them? Well, if your shredder machine suddenly stops working, you won’t be able to shred the rest paper with it, and it’s a big problem.

Yes, everything goes wrong, and the shredder stops working. Also, fixing a shredder’s paper jam can also be a very fiddly and time-consuming business. So, you need to know how to clear your jammed paper shredder.

Here’s our guide to unjam a paper shredder.

How To Unjam A Paper Shredder: 2 Easy Ways

There are two simple ways to unjam your paper shredder. One is automatically using the machine’s functionality, and another one is fixing manually.

If the automatic fixing feature of your shredding machine doesn’t work correctly then you have to try the manual process.

So, let’s start with the automatic process.

Method 1: Automatic Process of Shredder Unjamming


1. Unplug the Shredder

This is the primary and most vital part of any attempt at fixing a paper jam. That’s because once you begin to look for the cause, it could possibly start working again unexpectedly causing really dangerous results for you.

To unplug the machine, first, turn the power switch off and disconnect the socket. Remember, it’s crucial because the machine can start anytime. So, for the safety issue, you need to do that.

2. Check the waste-box

Now, inspect the waste box, whether it’s full or not. If it’s full or half full, you should detach the waste box from the machine and empty it. After emptying the waste box, you need to re-insert the box again to the device. Now, run the shredder. If you are lucky, it may start working.

3.  Try Reverse and forward

If cleaning of the waste box doesn’t work, then you should reverse the machine to solve the jamming problem. For that, try putting the shredder in reverse mode by pressing the reverse button as this might help any stuck pieces of paper come out of the blades.  Also, press forward button and see if that works. If you’re still having issues, alternate between the two settings(Reverse and forward) to undertake and shift the paper jam.

After trying the above-mentioned steps, you shredder should start working normally. However, if it doesn’t function properly, don’t get frustrated as I’m going to discuss another way of fixing the jamming issue.

Method 2: Manual Process of Unjamming a Paper shredder

How To Unjam A Paper Shredder


1. Remove the Top of the Shredder

If you turned the shredder on while following the 1st method, then turn the shredder off and unplug it again. Most paper shredders should allow you to get rid of the highest section from rock bottom. The highest is where the shredding mechanism is kept, with rock bottom being the waste-paper basket. Once the highest section is removed, you’ll be ready to get a far better visual idea of where the blockage has occurred within the shredder.

2. Clean the Blades

If small pieces of paper get stuck within the teeth of the shredder’s blade, the entire shredder can become blocked and cease to figure.. If any plastic gets jammed into the machine, then use a screwdriver to pull that out.

The sharpness of the shredding blade may decrease due to long time use. So, change the blade if necessary. Remember, keeping your blades lubricated is a crucial a part of shredder maintenance. And, you should use recommended shredder oil for best results.

3. Use a Pair of Tweezers to Pull Papers from the Blades

Tweezers can assist you to get an honest grip on paper stuck within the thin paper insert slot. However, you should also use your hands as long as you’re sure that the shredder is unplugged. Try pulling not just from the upper part of the shredder, but from bottom side also. It will also provide you the simplest angle to get rid of the papers as it’s difficult to determine exactly how a shredder is jammed from watching it. You should also pull papers from one direction than the opposite.

4. Use a Screwdriver or a Pair of Pliers to Get rid of Stuck Pieces of Paper or Plastic

If you see that thick paper or plastic particles are stuck within the blades of the shredder (this is typically clearest when watching from bottom of the shredder), you should use metal tools like screwdriver to remove them smoothly. You can easily pull stubborn particles out of the machine with a firm yanking or prying motion also.

Note – When using these tools, it’s crucial not to damage the blades of the shredder as it could lead costly repairs. These tools are especially useful for removing tough pieces of plastic that have jammed a shredder after inserting a CD, Mastercard, etc.

5. Check the Shredder

Once you’ve tried all of these possibilities to help the shredder start moving again, try shredding one piece of paper to check if the blockage has been removed. If this works, your shredder should be fine. Remember, not to overload the shredder with numerous sheets of paper or thick items again as this might be what caused the initial problem.


Tips to Avoid Paper Shredder Jam 

It’s an electronic and mechanical device, and you should know how to avoid technical problems. So, to prevent further unexpected jamming problem, you may follow these tips-

  • You should oil your machine every two months as every shredder comes with a gearing system. By oiling and lubricating, the gearing of the device will work properly.
  • You should not insert the foreign material like steel or another thing except paper into your shredder machine.
  • As excessive inserting of the paper can cause your shredder to jam and so you should not insert more and more paper.
  • Always try to keep your eyes on the wastebasket. Once it gets filled with shredded paper, make sure that you clean the basket.
  • When the shredding is finished, you need to unplug the wire from the power source.

By following these simple tips, you can avoid the jamming problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you unjam a Rexel shredder?

It’s straightforward to do. All you have to do is that- follow the methods that I described before, and you will be able to unjam a Rexel Shredder.

Can you use wd40 on paper shredder?

You can’t use WD40 on your paper shredder. It can’t lubricate the machine, and it causes paper jamming in your shredder.

Why has my shredder stopped working?

Maybe the papers are jammed into the machine, and that’s why your shredder has stopped working.

How long should a shredder last?

The best shredder for the office should run continuously for 4-5 minutes, and it takes 30 minutes to cool down. Besides, the best shredder for the home should run 5-10 minutes continuously.