Should Shredders Be Oiled?

Should Shredders Be Oiled

Last updated on June 4th, 2021

Yes, shredders should be oiled. In fact, it is important that you regularly oil your paper shredder if you want it to continue operating efficiently. The majority of paper shredders are, of course, constructed using metal which means that they can easily become damaged if regular maintenance is not completed. Especially if you use your shredder to shred a lot of paper. 

When your shredder does its job, paper dust will come away from the paper that is being shredded. This dust is very fine, so you might not notice it at first. But over time this dust will build up and begin to damage the blades of your shredder. As you already know, the cutting assembly is the most important part of the shredder, so it is very important that no damage occurs to these parts. 

To avoid damaging your shredder, you should coat the cutting mechanism with oil regularly. If you use your shredder for long periods of time, then we would recommend switching the device off once every half an hour to apply the oil. You should let this oil run through the cutting blades before you start the shredder up again. 

If you do not use your shredder for long periods, then you will still need to oil it, but you can do this less regularly. If you find yourself using your shredder for half an hour every few weeks, apply the oil after every use as this will remove all the paper dust ready for the next time that you use it. 

What oil can I use instead of shredder oil?

As shredders need regular oiling, there are lots of different types of oil available that have been specifically designed for use with shredders. However, this oil can often be expensive and difficult to get your hands on. If you can’t access shredder oil then there’s no need to worry because you can use canola oil instead. 

There are lots of different oils that you can use, in fact anything other than aerosol oils and petroleum-based oils are safe. However, you might want to carefully consider which vegetable-based oil you use in your shredder. We think that canola oil is the best option because it is a high temperature oil.

For us, this is an important factor as shredders can become very hot, especially when they are being used for long periods. So, if you use canola oil, you know that this high heat will not cause the oil to spark a flame. Some people choose to use vegetable oil in their shredder, but we would recommend staying away from that.

Vegetable oil has a smell and taste that can attract bugs which is the last thing that you want in your shredder. Whereas canola oil does not, so you can use this oil without having to worry about attracting bugs. So, if you do not have shredder oil available, we would recommend using canola oil to regularly maintain your shredder. Especially if you use your shredder for long periods. 

Can you use vegetable oil to oil a paper shredder?

In theory, yes, you can use vegetable oil to oil a paper shredder. However, we wouldn’t recommend this. At least, not as a first option. Vegetable oil has a strong flavor which can make it very attractive for bugs.

This combined with the sticky texture of the oil means that there is a good chance of you finding bugs living inside the cutting component of your shredder, which is why we would recommend staying away from it. 

Canola oil is a better option as it does not have a strong flavor, so bugs will not be attracted to it. This type of oil also has a much higher boiling point than vegetable oil, making it better resistant to the high temperatures that a shredder can reach. It is slightly more expensive than most vegetable oils, but for the sake of not ending up with bugs inside your machine it is worth the extra price. 

But, if you cannot find shredder oil, or canola oil, then vegetable oil is probably the next best option. While it does have the disadvantage of attracting insects, it is a lot safer than some alternative oils available. So if you find yourself stuck choosing between aerosol oil, vegetable oil, and petroleum-based oil, you should always choose the vegetable oil. 

So, while it might not be the best option, it is perfectly safe to use vegetable oil in your shredder if you cannot find an alternative. 

Can you use 3-in-1 oil on paper shredder?

Yes, you can use 3-in-1 oil on a paper shredder. This might come as a surprise, but due to the simplicity of the shredder’s design, there is no way that the oil could damage the components. This is why pretty much any oil is suitable for the maintenance of a paper shredder, 3-in-1 oil included. 

However, just like vegetable oil, 3-in-1 oil might not be the best choice for the job. It will do the job effectively, but it is a lot more expensive than other options. It is also quite a bit thicker which means that you will likely use more oil than necessary when completing maintenance on your shredder.

That being said, there is nothing unsafe about using 3-in-1 oil in your shredder. Whereas, there are plenty of other oils that could be dangerous to use on your shredder. 

In particular, you should always avoid using any petroleum-based or aerosol oils in your shredder. Petroleum-based oils are highly flammable which makes them a risk as your shredder can reach high temperatures, especially when you use it for long periods of time. Likewise, aerosol oils are also flammable, so you should never use these to oil your paper shredder. 

But, in terms of safety, all vegetable-based oils are safe to use in your shredder. So as a last resort, any of these will be fine for oiling it, including 3-in-1 oil. However, we would not recommend this as a first choice as it can be quite costly.