How to Remove Paper Jammed in a Shredder


The paper shredder is a very useful tool in your office. Whether you use your paper shredder at work or in your home, use it to shred documents, forms and credit cards with important personal and banking information on them. Sometimes right in the middle of shredding, your shredder will jam with paper, causing a delay in the process and possible frustrations. Do not become alarmed; removing jammed paper from your shredder is not difficult to do.

Things You'll Need

  • Shredder oil
  • Letter opener
  • Tweezers
  • Canned air
  • Press the "Reverse" switch on your shredder with one hand while gently pulling the jammed paper back toward you. This should free any jammed paper from your shredder. If it does not, go to the next step.

  • Turn your shredder off and unplug it from the wall outlet. Allow your shredder to cool down for at least one hour before touching the shredder head and gears.

  • Remove the shredder head from the wastebasket and pull out any clumps of paper in the shredder.

  • Use a letter opener or a pair of tweezers to remove small pieces of paper that you see in the shredder, and then use a can of compressed air to force out stubborn paper particles stuck in the gears.

  • Place the shredder head back on the wastebasket or canister and plug it back in, and then coat a full sheet of paper and the gears with shredder oil. Allow the oil to stand 15 minutes and press the "Reverse" button to test your shredder; this should remove any final debris from your machine.

Tips & Warnings

  • Call the manufacturer of your shredder if these steps do not work.
  • Unplug your shredder before trying to unjam paper.


  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images
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