Fellowes 36C 6 Sheet Cross Cut Paper Shredder Review


Fellowes 36C 6 Sheet Cross Cut Paper Shredder Review

First impression

The smallest Fellowes 36C 6 Sheet Cross Cut Paper Shredder, comes like all Fellowes so far – in a very sturdily packaged box. The two parts fit together quickly and accurately. There is also a 53-page, multilingual “manual” – 2 pages per language).  The motor is plugged onto the basket – done. The manual contains safety instructions as well as tips on maintenance and troubleshooting. Unfortunately, the first bottle of oil for regular lubrication of the paper feed is (often) missing – like always in this price range. 

The Fellowes 36C is slightly taller than a sheet of paper (H36.6 x W29.7 x D16.8 cm), weighs 3 kilos and has a 12-litre collection bin – although you always have to remove the cutting motor to empty it – a few shreds tend to fall out when you lift it off. We also miss a viewing window to estimate the height of the paper shreds. We liked the integrated handle for opening. The collection basket is filled with paper shreds (size: 4 x 40 mm) by a cross-cut process, whereby more than 420 shreds are cut from a DIN A4 sheet. If anyone wants to solve this “puzzle” – the problem is the over 420 evenly “smooth edge pieces”. 

In addition, the collection basket is only suitable for the home office – in our test, unfortunately, only 60 cut sheets fit in it – if you press the scraps together, you can even fit just under 80 sheets. With the risk that the paper shreds are pressed back into the cutter from below.

The black design of the Fellowes Powershred 36C does not stand out in an office. The workmanship is good and the Fellowes 36C looks even better in real life than on the product pictures.

Test and cutting performance 

Operating elements are limited to the essentials  – there is no display or anything similar. The large slide switch with „O“ (off), „I“ (automatic) and „R“ (reverse) dominates. In addition, the function of the Fellowes Powershred 36C can be blocked by operating it via a small locking slide (with lock symbol). 

In continuous operation of 6 pages (paper quality 70 gm/m2) per pass, the shredder runs for 2 minutes at a time and then cools down for 18-19 minutes. Then it is ready for use again. But – at 6 sheets per pass – the throughput speed drops and at the same time the temperature rises perceptibly and measurably. 

Therefore, for our test purposes, we counted out and filled in 3-packs of paper at a time. A single sheet is cut in 8 seconds – a stack of 6 in about 11 seconds.  If you stick to 3-sheet packs, you can manage 3 minutes of continuous operation. The 36C is not designed to process entire file folders (600 sheets) – the manufacturer recommends cutting only 30 sheets a day or 5 credit cards. In addition, the Powershred 36C’s waste bin only holds around 60-70 pages of waste paper – too few for an office. You would be busy emptying it very often.

The motor has little run-on time (around 1 second after the paper ends), most other Fellowes models need 2-3 seconds. The processing noise is “normal” for this class of machine (70 dB when idling and 74 dB “when working”).

Like any shredder in this performance class, the Fellowes Powershred 36C accelerates immediately after paper detection to have enough “momentum” for the coming stack of paper – at paper contact then with 74 dB(A). Our tip: after emptying, the Fellowes 36C needs a special feed. Namely the passage of an oil paper for shredders. The operating instructions state that this should be done every time after emptying the collection bin. If you “save” this, you will hear that the shredder works rougher and louder after only two more bin emptying cycles. We recommend ordering the oil paper right away. In the worst case, you can also draw a huge W with fine oil on any sheet of paper – for example, sewing machine oil – and then put this sheet into the shredder. 

Technical Details

What we liked

(+) the moderate noise level in operation for this class of machine (70-74 dB).

(+) the cutting mechanism, handles credit cards, staples and small paper clips.

(+) reliable “lock” as child safety device.

What we did not like

(-) Automatic cut-off on contact with skin is not (any longer) built-in.

(-) only a small container for 60-7ß sheets of paper.

(-) cut-up plastic cards end up in the paper scraps. A separate bin would be good.

(-) Missing window in the collection bin (filling level not visible).

(-) plastic material of the collection bin is very thin.

(-) no integrated shredder for CD/DVDs.


The target group for the Powershred 36C is exclusively home office use with a low processing capacity of approximately 30 sheets – or 5 credit cards per day. The Fellowes Powershred delivers medium cutting performance when 3 sheets per pass is the maximum. Continuous work phases with 6 sheets quickly lead to a necessary cooling phase of just under 20 minutes. The capacity of the waste bin corresponds to the cutting capacity, which means that the manufacturer plans to empty the waste bin every 2 days (12 litres = approx. 65 sheets). 

The Fellowes 36C is therefore only suitable with restrictions for a small office or home office if you need or want to shred a small amount of paper but with a high level of security. If it is necessary to shred an entire folder of paper, then you should look in the price category of approximately 100 €. Or you have enough free time to shred this amount of paper with the Fellowes 36C.


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