Cross-cut paper shredders offer a bit of security when dealing with important documents that contain personal information. It is not necessary to keep and store such documents for safeguarding. Cross-cut shredders cut the paper in two directions, but like most shredders, they are still subject to jams if the user puts too much paper in at once. Luckily, anyone can clear a jammed paper shredder.
Unplug and Open up the Shredder
First, unplug the electric paper shredder. Just because the machine is not currently working does not mean that it may not turn right back on after removing the jam. Next, take the top off. Sometimes, the issue is simply a bucket too full with paper. Empty the bucket even if not full to prevent any messes while working on it. Afterwards, examine the underside of the top. Most likely, a wad of paper is stuck in the shredder blades. Try manually pulling the bits of paper out and avoid bending the blades. If necessary, use tweezers to dislodge the bits of paper. However, try not to touch the blades. Moving the paper from side to side usually frees it.
Use Oil for Truly Stuck Paper
Sometimes, the paper is jammed to the point where no one can get it out. In such a case, put the lid back on the machine and pour shredder oil into the opening of the device where the blades are. Let it set for around 20 minutes. This should soak the paper, loosen it and lubricate the blades. Take the lid back off and try to pull the paper out again.
Clearing Other Jams
Some heavy duty shredders are designed to chop CDs and credit cards as well as paper. Since these are thicker materials, clearing a jam requires different steps. Owners cannot always remove the shards with their fingers, so carefully use needle-nose pliers to remove pieces of plastic. However, be careful not to bend the blades or force a piece of plastic out because it could bend the blades as you pull it free.
Lubricate and Run the Paper Shredder
After clearing out all of the debris, those who did not use oil already should lubricate the machine's blades. After doing so, turn the paper shredder on and let it run for a few seconds to make sure all of the remaining bits of paper or plastic have cleared out.