How to unjam an auto feed paper shredder

Whether you have an auto feeding or manual feeding paper shredder, chances are sometimes you will encounter a jam. Jams are usually caused by paper, however other items placed between pages such as credit cards for example which are not visible before feeding into a paper shredder, can also be a contributing factor to a jam.

Most auto feeding paper shredders also have a manual entry for hand feeding, so it’s helpful to understand what’s causing the jam and how to resolve a jammed shredder situation. A better understanding of your paper shredder will help you to reduce jams happening in the future whether your shredding manually or automatically.

Why is my paper shredder jamming?

Some reasons why a paper shredder might jam:

  • Over feeding too many pages manually.
  • Loading the wrong size or wrongly oriented paper for auto feeding.
  • Folded or multiple folded pages loaded together for auto feeding.
  • Adding unsuitable items into the auto feed tray such as credit cards, CD/DVD discs.
  • Fastened paper, stapled or paper clipped together a greater thickness than the auto feed shredder is designed to auto feed.

Clearing a paper jam in the feed area

  1. Unplug shredder and open paper loading cover to find where the paper jam is, if no paper is seen, close the shredders loading cover, turn on and run in forward then reverse directions to dislodge paper causing the jam.
  2. Unplug shredder and open paper loading cover to see any reversed paper and remove as required.

Clearing a paper jam in the exit area

  1. Unplug shredder and remove bin to find where the paper jam is at the exit side of the blades.
  2. If there is jammed paper at the exit area, manually pick/pull the paper out. Replace the bin and turn on the shredder then operate in reverse and forward for 5 seconds in each direction to dislodge and clear jammed paper.

In extreme cases

For shredders with friction feed rollers or belts, unplug shredder and then remove the set of intake rollers or quick release intake belt cartridges (on some INFOSTOP automaster models) to more easily access jammed paper lodged below the friction feed rollers or belts.

After clearing the paper shredder jam 

Oil your shredder with oil sheets* or bottled oil as recommended by the manufacturer and resume normal operation.

 *TIP, Oil sheets are to be fed only via the manual feeder.

Help avoid paper jams by following these steps:

  • Always feed less than the maximum number of sheets that your shredder is designed to shred
  • Ensure the waste bin isn’t full
  • Ensure you keep your shredder well oiled