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Fellowes MS-450 Ci Micro Cut Paper Shredder Review

By: Elizabeth Daugherty
on March 24, 2010 10:58 am

There are thousands of reasons why people today should have a home shredder.  Identity theft tops the list for most people.  It’s on the rise and criminals come up with all kinds of new ways to steal the financial identity of someone else and bleed them dry.  For years, criminals have pilfered through the trash of unsuspecting victims for their financial information and have hit the mother lode.  In fact, this is how a majority of identity theft crimes are committed: by information found in the trash that people think might be harmless.  And they’re not even picking through the trash bins outside of your house. Criminals are picking through landfills to get this information.  Sometimes, they don’t even need to go that far.  My next door neighbors recently moved.  The homeowner was our pastor at our local church and he’d found a calling in a new church so he was moving his family and household to a different state.  They put their trash bins out for one last dump and headed out.  We’d had some windy, wet weather and our trash guys aren’t the neatest when it comes to trash dumps.  If stuff flies out of the bin during collection, oh well.   The next day, I’m cleaning up trash blown into my yard and I’m finding all kinds of sensitive financial information that belonged to my former pastor.  I’m not only finding it in my yard, there were pages of bills, receipts, salary information and what have you stuck to the fencing of the middle school that my driveway (and theirs) faces.   I went about collecting everything I could find and destroying it immediately but let’s face it, a lot of people aren’t that fortunate.  And it was careless of my former pastor not to shred this information before tossing it into a trash bin.  Heaven knows what got out that I wasn’t able to find.

Shredding just makes sense.  But criminals, being criminals, find that pieces cut by long cut shredders were fairly easy to piece back together.  Even some cross-cut and diamond cut shredded refuse can be pieced back together by a patient thief.  Cross-cut , strip cut and diamond cut shredders do have their place especially in a day and age when society should be recycling everything they can.   But for financial information, the tinier the better.

Fellowes MS-450Ci Micro Cut Paper Shredder is, bar none, the best home shredder for financial information.

Fellowes MS-450 Ci Micro Cut out of Box

The Micro Cut boasts a “micro cut” shred option and shreds a piece of paper into over 3,000 pieces.  It all but cuts down a piece of paper into ash.   The refuse left by the micro cut can be used to line pet boxes, be used as package filler or stirred into flour and water and used for papier mache but you cannot piece it back together.  Be sure you don’t ever need the information stored on that piece of paper because once it goes through the Micro Cut, it’s gone and gone for good.  Good luck piecing it back together.  This machine even comes with a special bin so that you can cut up old CDs. The machine will strip cut the CDs because one you cut a CD…forget what you have stored on it.  The small bin collects the CD strips for disposal away from the paper refuse if you plan on recycling the paper particles.

People today are inundated with hundreds of bothersome credit card offers, school loan consolidation offers, pre approved auto loan and home equity loan offers; all kinds of things that you throw away as useless but can be used by some low life who will fill the form out, send it in and hose your credit score.  Are you into cutting up your credit cards?  I am.  And the Micro Cut cuts credit cards into nothingness.

Besides the benefit of the micro cut, this shredder also boasts some other terrific technology.  For starters, it’s quiet.   Most shredders I’ve dealt with in the past sounded like a gasoline truck on cobblestones.  Loud, raucous and noisy.  Even those shredders that touted themselves as quiet really weren’t all that quiet.  This shredder makes less noise than my microwave oven.   Another feature is the SafeSense Technology.  This machine has a sensor that senses when your fingers are too close to the slot to feed in paper.  It shuts off until you get your mitts away.  Most shredders I’ve used have pulled the paper in so fast, it all but sucked my fingers in with it.  The Micro Cut has a very gentle pull and will tell you when your fingers are too close and will also tell you if you are putting in too much paper.  On the right side of the machine is a lighted gauge that shows you in green, yellow and red lights if you are at capacity with what you are feeding into the machine.   There is also a lighted indicator which tells you if your bin door is not shut properly so if your machine will not run, check your lights because something is off.

Fellowes MS-450 Ci Micro Cut top panel

The Micro Cut IS a bit on the pricey side.  You can purchase this model on Amazon for about $337.00 or online from Office Depot for $299.99, Office Max for about $449.00 online.  These are the online prices.   To get the best price, take the model number (MS-450Ci) and start calling retailers like Fry’s, WalMart, Sam’s Club, Costco, Staples, brick and mortar Office Max, Office Depot and Staples and get prices.

Whatever you pay for the Micro Cut, it’s worth every last cent.  I would like to review the price as a con but when you weigh the price of the shredder against what it does for you and the sensitive information it destroys for you, there is no comparison.  There are less expensive shredders out there and you will get what you pay for.  I’ve bought less expensive shredders and one jammed up permanently after 15 minutes of use.  The MS-450Ci Micro Cut features a jam proof system.   You can try to jam it but it will stop and you hit the reverse button and it coughs back up what you tried to put in.  It won’t try to chug through huge feeds or lock up on you.  It will stop, you’ll hit the reverse button and it will push back what you tried to push through. Every advanced product feature that Fellowes advertises for this machine passes the test with flying colors:  it’s quiet, it reduces sensitive information to practically ash, it’s safe and you can’t jam it up. If I could give this machine ten stars out of five, I would.  If I have to register a complaint, it would be that the shredder will not shred transparencies, adhesive labels, newspaper, laminates, file folders, x-rays, paper clips, non standard staples, or plastics.  If you simply want a recyclable shredder to shred innocuous paper for recycling, then a less expensive shredder is for you.  But for personal, sensitive, financial information that you don’t want getting into the wrong hands (because let’s face it, it’s no one’s business) your best bet is to invest the money and get the Fellowes MS-450Ci Micro Cut shredder.

See it in action

 

Product Information

Price:Depends on where you shop. $299.00 to $449.00
Manufacturer:Fellowes
Pros:
  • Quiet, powerful, shreds paper into pieces that are impossible to reassemble. Shreds credit cards and CDs. Safe Sense Technology, Jam Proof technology, solidly built. Efficient.
Cons:
  • Expensive. Worth every penny but expensive

Comments

  1. 1
    Chadams says:

    I’ve had 3 or 4 of these Fellowes shredders stop working (1 small, 1 not as small, and 1 large shredder). Don’t know how I feel about the brand regardless of what new products they come out with.

  2. 2
    Elizabeth Daugherty says:

    Not sure how to comment on that. This is a home shredder and for shredding financial documents, I can’t find a better, more efficient and quieter model.

  3. 3
    bobby smith says:

    $450……jesus christ! i just burn my financial docs in the fireplace or starting my grill. i bet this thing is made in china along with the $69 models. this is why this country has a credit/debt problem.

  4. 4
    Daniel Staal says:

    How easy is it to clean out? That’s often my problem with the ‘slide-out’ design: That the pieces tend to stick inside, making a mess, and making it hard to put the drawer back in.

  5. 5
    Mono says:

    Thanks for the great review!
    You can actually get it for under $220 shipped and no taxes if you shop around. We always recommend using Google Product search to find the lowest price!
    http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=fellowes+ms-450ci&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&cid=14603479275736572168&sa=button#scoring=tp
    Shameless plug but we sell this machine for $219.97 with Free shipping: http://www.monomachines.com/shop/fellowes-ms-450ci-jam-proof-micro-cut-shredder.html

  6. 6
    BaldSpot says:

    Are you sure you can recycle the micro-shredded paper? We have micro-shredders at work and we cannot recycle it. It has to be burned or tossed in the dumpster.

    At home, I have a $35 strip shredder mounted on top of a cardboard box large enough to hold a year’s worth of shredding. The shredded paper never leaves the house – I use it to start the fire in my wood stove.

  7. 7
    Elizabeth Daugherty says:

    Mono: Thank you for the great tip on where to purchase. I love this shredder. It can be quite pricey depending on where you shop so I appreciate the money saving info. It’s worth whatever you pay for it to have your financial information destroyed accurately.

    Bobby Smith: I don’t have a credit card problem. I shred the offers for credit cards, home re-financing, auto pre-approved loan offers, all that crap that I get sent in the mail unsolicited. I shred it because if I were to throw it away, an identity thief can pick it out and send it in. I am glad that you have had such luck with your $69.00 shredder. I have not been so fortunate as to have that luck with less expensive shredders.

    Bald Spot: it depends on what you mean by “recycling” which has several definitions. I’m not a “dumper”, I reuse materials as much as I can. Yes, you can probably dump the shreds into your home recycle bin. If I lived in an area where recycling was picked up, I would. But since I can reuse the shreds as packing fodder, I am able to save it and re-allocate it towards another use. Most businesses use a shred-recycle company which places restrictions on the type of paper that is to be shredded based on what the company is able to dispose of. When I lived in the Pacific Northwest, where garbage recycling is mandatory, I did not have to be restrictively judicious in the paper and cardboard I set out to be picked up. Almost anything could go. I envy you the wood stove though!!!!!! I would love to have one.

    Daniel: I haven’t had a big problem cleaning it out as I re-use plastic shopping bags from stores (not grocery stores as I use cloth bags for that) as a liner. Stray particles will get stuck because of the static but I’ve discovered that wiping down the inside of the bin with a dryer sheet helps to eliminate that.

    Burning documents in a fireplace sounds like a good idea but I do not advocate it for a couple of reasons. While I am fortunate enough to live in a home that was built in 1898 and still has a wood burning fireplace, most homes have gas fireplaces in which you cannot partake of burning documents. Also, many areas that have homes with wood burning fireplaces and have “burn bans” which means there are days where you cannot burn wood or paper. If you have a large enough fireplace, I imagine you can do what you feel safely doing. I’m not an ash fan so I rarely use paper to start fires in the fireplace and prefer to use dried kindling instead.

  8. 8
    Beth says:

    Re Fellowes shredders: when ours stopped working, I called the company and they shipped me a new one free of charge. The rep also advised to oil the shredder “teeth” frequently. Since I’ve been doing that, no problems, and it’s been over a year with several times a week use, including credit cards and staples.

  9. 9
    Daniel Staal says:

    BaldSpot: Might that be a work rule, instead of a technical rule? If they are shredding stuff, there is usually some strict rules on how that has to be disposed of. They may not have a recycler who can meet those rules.

  10. 10

    The MS-450Ci is its capability for micro shredding. Whereas the typical cross cut shredder will cut the average sheet of paper into four hundred or so pieces, the MS-450Cs will cut it into three thousand particles.

  11. 11
    Tez says:

    Great review very well presented that mentions all the features of this shredder both pros and cons and should help those who are deciding to purchase one of these models…like me lol

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