HSM shredstar X5 paper Shredder review
The HSM Shredstar X5 paper shredder is being reviewed today. The HSM Shredstar device is an entry-level device with a good and, for normal use, high-security level (P-4). Security level P-3 would also be suitable for private use, but if you have “curious neighbors” – P-4 can also be recommended.
We recommend P-4 (particle size about 4.5 x 30 mm) for notaries or medical practices since practically all data is confidential here. The HSM X5 also looks great in a doctor’s office or designer loft with its white and silver color. It stands out in the “office equipment landscape” if you place it in a clearly visible position in the room. Of course not under the desk, the HSM X5 also fits everywhere underneath with its very compact ( 25 x 35 x 39 cm) dimensions and lightweight construction (only 4.5 kg) – the dust-proof collection container with a capacity of 18 liters also helps. The HSM Shredstar X5 produces a mountain of white paper, which should be knocked over from time to time if you don’t want to empty the X5 all the time. The scraps of paper protrude into the cutting unit when the container is about ¾ full from the outside – clearly visible in the viewing window.
Unfortunately, the “Container full” display is only available in higher price ranges. But you can see the mountain of paper very reliably through the clear plastic viewing window. At around ¾ of the maximum fill level, it is advisable to level the pile of paper by shaking it. Because from then on, paper remnants get into the cutting head from below (again) and then clog it (regularly).
Behind the paper, slot is the slot with the extra compartment for CDs/DVDs or credit cards (with a maximum capacity of 4-5 leftover CDs/DVDs/cards).
There are 3 LEDs for the basic functions:
- LED for on/off,
- LED for indicating paper jam (overload) – too much paper in the slot. The feeder runs backward and then pushes the paper out again. The R button (Reverse) was particularly helpful for support. The worst thing is when the paper tears off when you pull it out because then we had to use tweezers and flat-nosed pliers to remove the pieces of paper one by one from the cutter (power off first!!). Unscrewing immediately ends the manufacturer’s guarantee.
- LED to indicate overheating (overheating) – the manufacturer recommends a 30-minute break. To empty the collection container, the cutting head must be removed using the 2 handles. Shreds of paper keep falling from the cutting head onto the floor.
The enclosed, multilingual, richly illustrated manual also explains the necessary functions and special features in German (6 pages).
The operating noise is extremely pleasant and, in our opinion, already half justifies the purchase (58 dB in idle). When there is “paper contact” it then briefly rises to 64 dB during operation – none of this compares to other document shredders in the price range (up to 75 dB), although the motor with an output of 125 watts is already very weak. It takes just under 10 seconds to cut up a DIN A4 page – with full capacity utilization of 5 sheets, it’s 11.5 seconds. However, the operating noise when it comes into contact with the paper is more pleasant than with the majority of document shredders in the (around) €50 price range.
How and what did we test?
We tested the HSM Shredstar X5 – according to the instructions, i.e. – the device should create a maximum of 5 sheets (80 g. / sqm) or 6 sheets (70 g. / sqm) per pass. The maximum amount of paper depends primarily on the engine power – and this is really weak at 125 watts. Unfortunately, one cannot “expect” more sheets per pass – the requirements in the private sector / small office (up to 3 people) are usually not very high either, since there are usually only a few sheets (about 20) to shred per day. This is the plan of the manufacturer when constructing the X5.
First, we counted out even packs of 5 sheets (80 g.) and threw them in – with and without (various) office “tackers” and staples – in advance: these were not a problem. However, the manufacturer does not allow large paper clips because they put too much strain on the cutter. Background: The cutting shafts cannot simply be replaced or resharpened if they are damaged. That means the end for the device – and a new purchase would then be necessary.
With an initial volume of 58 dB, the device starts automatically (via a light barrier in the middle of the slot) and then “accelerates” to 64 dB before the paper is cut. After (hand-stopped) 11.5 seconds, the HSM X5 ends the cutting process for the “small package”. The manufacturer specifies a maximum of 5 sheets (80 g / qm quality) and 6 pages (70 g) for the HSM X5 as the maximum possible amount of paper that can just about go through without (regularly) leading to paper jams.
But you can immediately hear from the processing noise that the HSM X5 is struggling a lot with this amount – but it manages both maximum amounts completely and regularly. The processing speed drops sharply and the cutting motor heats up both measurably and tangibly. Continuous operation at this maximum load is only possible for a measured 4 minutes – sufficient for home use. The cool-down break is then between 14-15 minutes. The fastest way to work is to set the amount of paper that is below the maximum amount and thus postpone the cooling phase or even avoid it.
During testing, we were able to determine this (optimal) continuous load – and if you want to shred as much paper as possible – for example, the contents of a (narrow) file folder – we recommend selecting a continuous output of 3-4 sheets per pass for the HSM Shredstar X5 – that’s what it takes he “only” 10 seconds per “pack of 3” and the amount of paper processed could be almost doubled due to the longer, non-stop running time. The manufacturer HSM excludes many media from processing in the paper slot for the X5 (and also for many other HSM devices):
- window or bubble envelopes,
- plastic foils,
- laminated documents,
- plastic (cards),
- sticky or hard material.
- “Normal” staples and paper clips (not big ones!) are allowed, and they didn’t cause any problems in our test.
Finally – CDs/DVDs are cut into 15 mm wide strips in around 3.5 seconds. If you only want to cut 1-2 CD/DVDs into 15 mm wide strips, you can do this quickly with a universal cutter or sturdy (office) scissors. The HSM X5 can do this with an extra cutter for plastic. The HSM X5 Shredstar collects the plastic residues neatly separated in a small separate collection container – a maximum of 4 discs fit in here. If a lot more CDs/DVDs are to be cut up, or you need more space for paper scraps, you, unfortunately, cannot unhook the small collection container – a sensor monitors and prevents this. HSM Support gave us the reason for this on the phone: “It should keep plastic and paper neatly separated”. Unfortunately, the knives for CDs/DVDs are sufficient, but credit cards are not fine enough (15 mm width) to cut the chip present on most (credit) cards. We cut the chip in advance with office scissors and then threw the card into the slot. Usually, only 1-2 cards are cut up per day.
The HSM X5 is a reliable device with a high-security standard for the home office or small office (max. 3 people) – the document shredder is practical and “fully equipped” with an extra compartment for CDs/DVDs/cards. In the case of cards, you should cut the card chip with scissors before inserting it, because the chip is often not “caught” due to the cutting width of 15mm. We also liked the separate receptacle for CDs/DVDs/maps of sufficient size. If you don’t need the small collection container (anymore), you can’t “omit” it, because the X5 doesn’t work without this container – the reason: a built-in sensor.
… and something else.?
… yes, HSM recommends using oil regularly with the X5, namely after each emptying of the collection container – and/or when the cutting performance decreases (see instructions on page 7). The manufacturer also supplies a 250ml oil bottle (not every manufacturer does that). Regular use of oil is important for all document shredders in order to keep the cutting performance constant and the engine quiet.
Application: “Spray the special oil through the paper feed across the entire width of the cutting shafts” . This can also happen quickly if there is too much pressure or a lack of “feel”.to overdosing and then the entire collection container is “oily”. We suggest using the oil bottle to write an extra-large W on a sheet of paper, like a pen, and then insert the sheet into the X5. Advantage: you can dose the oil well and sort out the oily blade later and there is no “oil contamination” in the collection container.