How to Oil Your Paper Shredder

How to Oil Your Paper Shredder

Have you ever wondered why your paper shredder isn't working as smoothly as it used to? Or perhaps it's starting to make strange noises, and you're unsure of the cause? Maybe you’ve heard about oiling your shredder but don’t know where to start. How often should you oil it? And what type of oil should you use? These questions are common among shredder users and point to a crucial aspect of shredder maintenance: lubrication.

In this blog, we will explore why paper shredders need lubrication, different ways to oil your shredder using shredder oil, and how frequently you should perform this maintenance to keep your shredder in top shape.

Why Do Paper Shredders Need Lubrication?

Paper shredders, like any machinery with moving parts, require regular maintenance to function efficiently. Over time, paper dust and debris can build up within the blades and moving parts, causing increased friction and wear. This can lead to jams, overheating, and a decline in performance. Lubricating your shredder reduces friction, removes built-up debris, and ensures that the blades can continue to cut smoothly. Regular oiling not only extends the life of your shredder but also maintains its efficiency and reliability.

Different Ways to Oil Your Shredder

There are several methods to oil your shredder, each with detailed steps to ensure thorough and effective lubrication. Below are the most common methods using shredder oil:

1. Direct Oil Application

Applying oil directly to the blades is a straightforward and highly effective method to maintain optimal lubrication. This approach ensures that the oil reaches all necessary components, reducing friction and wear.

  1. Turn Off and Unplug the Shredder: Always ensure the shredder is turned off and unplugged from the power source to avoid any accidents.
  2. Access the Blades: Depending on your shredder model, you may need to remove the shredder head to access the blades.
  3. Apply the Oil: Apply a few drops of shredder oil directly onto the blades. Avoid using too much oil; a small amount is sufficient.
  4. Run the Shredder: Plug the shredder back in and run it forward and in reverse for about 10-15 seconds each. This helps distribute the oil evenly across the blades.
  5. Shred a Few Sheets of Paper: To further spread the oil and remove any excess, shred a few sheets of paper.

2. Using an Oiling Sheet

Oiling sheets offer a convenient and mess-free solution for lubricating your shredder. These pre-oiled sheets are easy to use and ensure even distribution of oil throughout the blades as they pass through the shredder.

  1. Turn On the Shredder: Make sure the shredder is on and ready to use.
  2. Shred the Oiling Sheet: Feed the oiling sheet into the shredder just like a regular piece of paper. The oil from the sheet will lubricate the blades as it passes through.
  3. Run in Reverse: After shredding the oiling sheet, run the shredder in reverse for about 10-15 seconds to distribute the oil evenly.
  4. Shred Regular Paper: Shred a few sheets of regular paper to absorb any excess oil and to ensure even distribution.

3. Indirect Method: The Sandwich

The sandwich method involves applying oil to a sheet of paper and layering another sheet on top, creating an oil-soaked 'sandwich.' This method ensures the oil is evenly distributed across the blades, providing thorough lubrication with minimal mess.

  1. Prepare Two Sheets of A4 Paper: Take two sheets of white A4 paper.
  2. Apply the Oil: Draw a thin line of oil from the top left to the bottom right and another from the top right to the bottom left of one sheet. Do not soak the paper completely.
  3. Create the Sandwich: Allow the oil to soak into the paper for a few seconds, then place the second sheet on top of the oiled side, creating a 'sandwich.'
  4. Run the Shredder in Reverse: Turn on the shredder and run it in reverse for about 10 seconds to prepare the blades.
  5. Shred the Sandwich: Shred the two sheets together, ensuring no oil spills out.
  6. Run in Reverse Again: After shredding, run the shredder in reverse for another 30 seconds to ensure thorough lubrication.

How Often Should You Oil Your Shredder?

The rule of thumb is to oil your shredder with official shredder oil when the collection bin is full or after intensive use. Oiling your shredder will keep the blades running smoothly and ensure optimal durability. Micro-cut shredders require more frequent lubrication than regular cross-cut shredders due to their finer cutting mechanisms.

For specific instructions on how to oil your shredder, always refer to the user manual. Some shredders come with an auto-oil functionality, taking care of the oiling process themselves. In such cases, ensure there is enough oil in the compartment to keep the shredder operating efficiently.

Is Manual Oiling a Hassle? Consider an Auto-Oiler Shredder!

If the process of manually oiling your shredder sounds like a hassle, you might want to consider investing in an auto-oiler shredder. Auto-oiler shredders are equipped with a built-in oiling system that automatically lubricates the blades at regular intervals. These shredders have a dedicated compartment for shredder oil, and they dispense the oil as needed, ensuring the blades remain in optimal condition without requiring manual intervention. This not only saves time and effort but also guarantees consistent maintenance, allowing your shredder to operate smoothly and efficiently with minimal upkeep.

One excellent option to consider is the MBM Destroyit 4002 Cross Cut Shredder (P-4). This heavy-duty centralized office shredder is perfect for bulk shredding in busy work environments. With a P-4 cross cut design, it offers enhanced security for your sensitive documents. The multitouch control panel and sheet capacity indicator ensure seamless operations, while the energy smart machine features an automatic sleep mode after 30 minutes of inactivity to conserve power. The robust motor with dual thermal protection allows for continuous operations, and the large 44-gallon bin provides convenient disposal. Capable of shredding paper, clips, staples, credit cards, CDs, and DVDs, the MBM Destroyit 4002 includes an automatic oiler for hassle-free maintenance, making it an ideal choice for efficient and reliable shredding.

To Summarize 

Regularly oiling your shredder is essential for maintaining its performance and extending its lifespan. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure your shredder operates smoothly and efficiently. Remember to oil your shredder regularly, based on your usage patterns, and always use the recommended shredder oil.

If manual oiling feels like a hassle, consider an auto-oiler shredder, which automatically handles the lubrication process for you. With proper maintenance, your shredder will continue to serve you well for years to come.

Still not sure how to oil your shredder?

With decades of expertise in the shredding industry, we are here to help you keep your shredding equipment in top shape. Whether you have a question about the right oil to use, need a service quote, or need assistance with purchasing shredder oil, we are ready to assist.

Call us at (800) 992-5279 or complete the contact form, and we will provide the support you need to ensure your shredder runs smoothly and efficiently.