Why is my shredder jammed and how do I unjam it?


Paper jams have been causing frustrations in the workplace for centuries. One would think that in 2022, it is a problem of the past. Luckily, there are a few easy steps to clear a jammed shredder and ways of preventing it.


In this blog, we share tips on figuring out why your shredder is jammed and how to unjam it.


Safety first


Simply turning the switch off won’t cut it. Always unplug your shredder when you plan on getting your fingers involved. Also, remember that a shredder has lots of sharp individual blades that will still cut you without it being operational. To protect your fingers as well as the shredder blades you can use objects like tweezers and pencils to loosen and grab paper or plastic that might be stuck.

Now the fun part begins.


Check your bin


If your bin is too full it will keep the shredder from shredding. The paper might just not have anywhere to go. Empty it and try to do so regularly. If this was the case, your shredder should be running again. It is also a good idea to leave the bin empty for the next person or the next time you are going to use it, it will save you and others a lot of frustration.


Reverse it


If your shredder has the option to run in reverse, try it. If it jams again run it forward and backward a couple of times until the block is slowly broken down and processed. You can consult the owners’ manual if you do not know if this is possible or you do not know how to. Most owners’ manuals can be found on the internet.


Remove shreds individually


If that all did not resolve the situation, you’ll have to become a surgeon for a bit. By removing the covers on top of the shredder you will have access to the blades. CAREFULLY remove all shreds of paper you can with the tweezers and pencil. Once everything has been taken out, close the covers and start the machine in reverse. Once it is all cleared you should oil the blades and feed a single piece of paper through to test if everything is working as it should.


Don’t overload the shredder


Revise your shredders instructions to refresh your memory on what objects it is capable of shredding and the amount it can handle at a time. This is the most common reason for shredder blockages. Remember to let one batch be shredded completely before you feed another.


Unplug in time


Once you realize what a jam looks like or when one is forming, you’ll save yourself a lot of effort if you can unplug the shredder as soon as possible. This will keep the bits of objects from building up more pressure and from accumulating.

By making use of shredding services, you can also save yourself of a potential headache. To find out more about our paper shredder rental prices and shredder machines for sale, get in touch with a consultant today.