How to Clear a Paper Shredder Jam


Even if you have the best paper shredder money can buy, chances are you’ll one day have to deal with a paper shredder jam. While proper shredder maintenance (including oiling the machine) can decrease the likelihood of a jam, you will still probably experience a jam at some point. The good news is that paper shredder jams are usually pretty easy to fix, provided you know what you’re doing and follow a couple of guidelines. This article will explain how to clear a paper shredder jam, as well as give you some tips on how to prevent jams from happening in the first place.

First, if your machine is jammed up, unplug the shredder and let it cool off for a bit, especially if you’ve been shredding a lot of documents. After the shredder has had a chance to cool off, turn it back on and hit the “reverse” button to see if the machine will eject the caught paper. You can also gently pull on the stuck paper to try to remove it. If tiny bits of paper are jamming the machine, you can try removing the pieces with a pair of tweezers – while the machine is unplugged, of course. (Just be careful because sharp objects can damage the blades.) These simple actions will clear most jams. Remember to always have the machine unplugged while trying to clear up any paper jam. Doing this will prevent injury to you and keep you from damaging your shredder.

However, sometimes the paper can get truly good and stuck. If this is the case, soak the stuck paper with shredder oil. Let the oil saturate the paper for about 15 minutes and then repeat the actions listed above. This should solve your problem. If not, you may have a more serious issue on your hands. For instance, there may be a problem with the paper shredder’s circuit breaker or power supply, so you’ll want to check out the possibility of that. (Be sure to call a professional for help if this is the case.) Whatever you do, be sure to not repeatedly push the reverse button if your machine isn’t working. While it may seem like it will eventually help, chances are it won’t, and all you’ll do is frustrate yourself and possibly cause further damage to your machine by burning out the shredder’s motor or electrical system. If you need help, refer to your owner’s manual or, as mentioned before, call for help.

Finally, to prevent future jams, be sure to regularly oil your machine using shredder oil. To oil your shredder, simply apply the oil to your shredder’s blades via the paper entry. Then, put the machine in “reverse” for about 15 seconds and then feed it some paper to absorb the excess oil. This will help keep your shredder in good working order.

Clearing most paper shredder jams is pretty easy. The key thing to remember is to unplug the machine before attempting to clear the jam. And be sure to keep some extra shredder oil on hand. By regularly oiling your machine, your shredder will be more likely to run properly, and just in case your machine does get jammed, shredder oil is an important tool that can help get your shredder – and yourself – back to work more quickly.

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