Your Cart ()

Got a Question? Call Us

Phone Icon 800-359-0364

Mon-Fri 8am-5pm Eastern

How to Clear A Jammed Paper Shredder

By Bethany Taylor August 17, 2020 0 comments


Jammed paper shredder

Paper caught in between the blades of a shredder

One of the most common problems with paper shredders is a paper jam. This almost always happens when someone puts too much paper into a shredder. The motor becomes overwhelmed and simply stops. While these jams are often cleared out by simply pulling back on the paper, this will not assist the most severe shredder jams. Here are a few tips that should assist you.


Make sure you unplug the shredder when trying to remedy a paper jam! You don’t want to injure yourself. Keep in mind shredders use sharp jagged metal to cut paper. You don’t need to hurt yourself. If your shredder has malfunctioned, do not keep trying to run it. This may lead to damage in the motor, gears, and other components.

Fixing A Jammed Paper Shredder

  1. First, unplug the shredder, remove the shredder head and attempt removing the paper from underneath the shredder. Below the shredder, the head provides the easiest access to the blades. Many shredder jams are due to paper winding around shredder blades, causing the shredder to stop. You can often clear out jammed shredder physically from the blades
  2. If you are unable to manually extract paper from the jammed shredder, pouring shredder oil along the width of the shredder throat is recommended. Wait 15-30 minutes for the oil to soften the paper. This will often give room for the jammed paper to pass through.
  3. If your shredder jam is due to shredding a CD or a credit card, using needle-nose pliers to try and remove the jammed plastic particles from below the shredder can solve the jam. Pliers are mostly able to remove plastic particles far easier than by hand.
  4. How to solve a paper shredder jam

    Pull the paper back up to fix the jam

    Confirm if your shredder has a reverse switch. While this isn’t a normal feature, many destroyit shredders have a reverse switch. This will often back out the jammed paper, making it easy to remove, thus solving the situation.

Severe Jam

If you are still unable to clear the jam, you may require to have the shredder serviced.  Our Service Department should be able to at least offer advice, ship replacement parts and, if needed, repair it.  If the gears are faulty, the chain is stripped, or shredder blades are critically damaged, our Service Department is still often able to repair the shredder. If there is complete damage, you can buy new quality shredders from us.

Resources and References:

Older Post Newer Post