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Problems with your Shredder - All Models

If you have a problem with a machine you have purchased please look through the FAQ's below to see if you can easily remedy the fault before contacting us. Select your Question and a drop-down appears with "Possible Fault" and "Solution". Should you not find the answer to your problem here please contact your nearest 


Problems with your Auto Feed Shredders




How do I know which shredder category to choose?

Rexel shredders are placed into categories based on machine size and determined by number of users

Personal shredders meet the shredding needs of 1 person

Executive shredders are for 1 - 2 individuals

Small Office / Home Office shredders are for use by 1 - 10 people

Our Large Office shredders meet the shredding needs of 20+ individuals


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What are the different shred styles (cut types) and what do they mean?

To obtain a copy of your product manual please send email sales@bigoffice.co.za

You can search there by product name or product code

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What can I shred?

All Rexel shredders shred standard A4 size paper

Most models also shred irregular paper, small staples & small paperclips

Select Rexel shredder models also shred credit cards, CD's and DVD's either through the main paper entry or through a secondary slot

Refer to your product manual for specific listings of which items your shredder can handle and instructions on how to shred safely

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Where can I obtain a copy of my product manual?

To obtain a copy of your product manual please send email sales@bigoffice.co.za

You can search there by product name or product code

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My shredder won't start - what should I do?

This can be for a number of reasons:

Check that the machine is plugged in correctly

Check that the shredder is turned to the "On" or "Auto" position

Make sure that the shredder head is lined up and placed properly on the shredder bin, and that the bin is empty

The bin needs to be fully inserted and the bin door must be fully closed

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My shredder stopped unexpectedly. What do I do?

It could have stopped for a number of reasons:

First, make sure that the power to the shredder has not been interrupted

Is the power cord still plugged in?

Is the shredder still set to "On" or "Auto"?

Look at the shredder indicator panel - Illuminated symbols alert you to a problem - look up the symbols in your product manual for directions on what to do

Common problems include:

  • paper exceeds shredder capacity
  • shredder door is open
  • The waste bin is full
  • The paper has jammed
  • shredder has reached maximum runtime and needs to cool down

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How can I improve shredding performance?

As with any machine, shredders perform best when used as instructed

Refer to your product manual and follow proper operating procedures

Be mindful of the shredder's sheet capacity, empty the waste bin regularly and complete any recommended maintenance

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DO NOT exceed the stated capacity of the shredder

Emptying the waste bin regularly can also help avoid jams by preventing paper from becoming jammed in the cutters

In the rare case of a jam, refer to your product manual for specific instructions

DO NOT attempt to clear the jam by inserting your fingers or any metal object into the paper entry

Note: Many paper shredders are equipped with jam-free technology

Look for models that have a jam-free, Intelligent Jam Clearance or Auto+ features

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How do I clear a shredder jam? (Manual Feed Shredders)

In the unlikely event of a jam, switch the unit to the reverse position until at least 2-3 cm of the paper reverses out

Switch into the forward position to clear the paper jam

Alternating between the reverse and forward functions several times may be necessary to clear excess paper that has moved more than halfway through the cutters

Shredding fewer sheets at a time is the best way to reduce the risk of jams

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What do I do if the shredder overheats?

Smaller shredders may overheat if used continuously for a long period of time - If this occurs, simply allow the shredder to cool

Most shredder models have a thermometer symbol on the indicator panel that will illuminate if the shredder overheats

The light will extinguish when the shredder has cooled and you can begin shredding again

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How often do I need to empty the shredder?

This depends on how much you shred and the size of your shredder waste bin

Most paper shredders have either a viewing window or bin full indicator

As a general rule, empty your shredder waste bin when the shreds are higher than the middle of the viewing window

Some shredders have a separate waste bin for credit cards and CD's or DVD's

Be sure to empty both the primary and the secondary bin regularly

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Can I place a bag in the shredders waste bin to catch the shreds?

Yes, both plastic and Rexel recyclable paper bags that are specifically sized to match most of our shredder models

Browse the Shredder Accessories section to find a bag for your shredder

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What maintenance does a shredder require?

Required maintenance varies by shredder model

Refer to your Product Manual for detailed and maintenance recommendations and instructions

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Do some shredders require special maintenance?

Yes. We recommend that Large Office Shredders are serviced every 6-12 months by a service engineer


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How do I use the shredder's Self Clean feature? (Selected shredders only - refer to user manual)

This feature helps ensure jam-free shredding performance by automatically removing shreds that become caught in the cutters and reducing build -up

During self-clean, the shredder will run in reverse for a few seconds, stop for few seconds and then run forward for a few seconds

This will happen each time you remove and reinsert the waste bin or open and close the cabinet door

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How do I use the shredder's SelfOil™ feature? (Selected shredders only - refer to user manual)

This feature helps to extend the life of your shredder and maintain peak performance by automatically lubricating the cutters

The product manual includes instructions to guide you through the initial step of SelfOil™

After which you simply need to fill the reservoir or attach a new bottle when the Oil Refill indicator is illuminated

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How do Auto Feed shredders work?

Auto Feed shredders feature innovative Auto+ technology that allows you to insert between 60 and 750 sheets (depending on the model) and walk away

The shredder has roller that automatically feeds each sheet (even if stapled or clipped (small staples or paperclips)), one at a time, through the cutters to effectively shred with no manual feeding required

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How do I clear a paper jam? (Auto Feed shredders only)

In the unlikely event of a jam, the unit will stop shredding

Empty the waste bin

Attempt to clear the jam by pressing the reverse button, followed by the continuous jam boost button

Return to Auto mode to resume shredding

If the jam persists, you will need to clear it manually

Press the reverse button to return as much of the paper as possible and then turn the shredder off using the ON-OFF switch on the back of the machine, and unplug it

Pull the jammed papers free of the cutters

To resume shredding, set the shredder to Auto and turn it on using the switch on the back of the machine

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Why has the shredder stopped running while there are still documents in the auto-feed tray?

Check the bin isn't full or if there are any doors open (the bin full and door open indicators may be lit)

Check the stack of paper for crumpled, folded or glossy sheets or unopened envelopes

Remove these and feed them through the manual slot

Also, check the indicator panel

If the cooldown indicator is red, simply allow the shredder to cool

Shredding will resume automatically

Finally, examine the rollers

Clean off any accumulated paper dust with a dry cloth

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There is no paper in the shredder - why is it still running?

The auto-start infrared sensor, located in the paper feed entry slot, may occasionally become covered in paper dust

This will cause the shredder to run despite the fact that no paper is being fed into the machine

Switch the shredder off at the rear of the machine, unplug it and carefully clean the sensor using a cotton swab

Refer to the product manual for illustrated instructions

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Why do I have to feed the paper so far into the manual feed slot before it engages with the cutting mechanism?

With an Auto Feed shredder, the paper needs to pass through the auto feed chamber before the papers meet the cutters

For this reason, the manual feed slot has been designed to be easy to insert paper into

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Why does the shredder automatically turn on and run for a few seconds every time I reinsert the waste bin?

After the bin has been removed and replaced, the shredder will run for a few seconds to clear any remaining paper in the cutters

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How can I retrieve my sensitive documents if the shredder jams after I have locked it?

Enter your PIN to unlock the door and clear the jam

After clearing the jam, you need to reload the shredder before you can relock it

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Do I need to enter the same PIN each time I use the shredder?

No. The shredder works with a unique PIN each time, which allows you to enter a different PIN number every time you use the shredder

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How can I retrieve documents I don't want to shred after I have locked the shredder and it has started?

Re-entering your four-digit PIN code stops the shredder and unlocks the paper loading door

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What if someone tries to guess my PIN code to gain access to my documents?

If an incorrect PIN code is entered 5 times, the locking mechanism will not accept any more entries

The loading door will remain locked until shredding is complete

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Paper Shredders