Shredder Troubleshooting with Fellowes

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Problem: What if My Shredder is jammed
Ensure the wastebasket is empty then move power switch to the REVERSE position. This will reverse the jammed paper out of the shredder. If shredder jams again, alternate control switch slowly between REVERSE and AUTO (l) positions to attempt to move jammed paper completely through the shredder. If the shredder jams in reverse mode, move the switch to AUTO (l), depress the manual forward button located on the center of the shredder head and allow to run for five seconds. If jam does not clear, move switch to REVERSE again and allow to run for five seconds. Repeat this process until jam is cleared. If necessary, turn off shredder and use care to grasp the paper and carefully pull out to clear jam. Once cleared, move switch to AUTO (l) to continue shredding. The jamming may be happening because the cutting cylinder needs to be oiled. See oiling instructions below.

Problem: My Shredder will not operate
First, make sure the shredder is plugged in. Move power switch to AUTO (l) position. Cutting cylinders will run for one to two seconds. Feed paper straight into entry until shredder automatically begins shredding. For safety reasons, cross-cut shredders will operate only if the shredder head is in the correct position on the basket. Place the shredder head on the basket with the tab on the side of the basket aligned with the slot at the side of the shredder head. The basket must be pushed all the way into the cabinet.

Problem: Shredder runs continuously when switch is in AUTO (l) position
Move the power switch to the OFF (O) position and unplug the shredder. Use a Q-Tip/cotton swab (from the top of the unit) to clear the paper blockage at the auto-start sensor (center) location. Move the power switch to AUTO (l) position and depress the manual forward button for five seconds to clear paper blockage.

Problem: How do I clean the sensors on my DM12C shredder
Move the power switch to the off position and unplug the shredder. Remove the media guide safety cover and throat guide screws to allow access to clean the auto start sensors. For a PFD version of the complete procedure click here.

Problem: Shredder suddenly stops while shredding
Move power switch to OFF (O) position and allow shredder motor to cool down for 20-30 minutes. Check to see if the shredder is jammed.

Problem: Shredder will only run in reverse
Move the power switch to AUTO (l) position and depress the manual forward button for five seconds to clear paper blockage. Make sure the paper is engaging sensor located in the center of the shredder opening.

Problem: Shredder motor runs, but shredder will not accept paper
When motor is running, look to see if the cutters are turning. The cutters can be seen by looking into the throat of the shredder. If the cutters aren't moving, the gears may have been stripped and shredder needs to be repaired or replaced.

Problem: Red display light turns on and shredder will not operate
If paper appears to be jammed, see above "Shredder is Jammed" solution. If the shredder doesn't appear to be jammed, check that the basket is pushed all the way under the cabinet. Also, the shredder may need a rest. Turn switch to the REVERSE position for two seconds and then back to AUTO (l) position. Move power switch to OFF (O) position and allow shredder motor to cool down for 20-30 minutes.

Problem: Shredder makes a loud squeaking or rubbing noise
Cross-cut shredders require monthly oiling of the cutting cylinders to maintain proper operation. Failure to oil the blades regularly could result in excessive noise during operation. See oiling instructions below.

Problem: Shredder shreds less than capacity
Your shredder's cutting cylinders probably need oiling. See oiling instructions below.

Problem: Shredder continues to run for 1-2 seconds after shredding has been completed
The shredder runs for a few seconds longer in order to keep the cutters clear of paper particles and reduce the chance of jamming.

Problem: Paper is wrapping around cutters
Empty the wastebasket and clear any jammed paper.

Oiling Your Shredder's Cutting Blades

To keep your shredder in top condition, the cutting blades need to be oiled every so often (for frequency, please refer to your owner's manual). We recommend using Powershred® Lubricant or a vegetable-based oil (such as corn or canola) in a non-aerosol container with an extension nozzle.

Caution: Never use flammable synthetic oil, petroleum-based, or aerosol lubricants to oil the cutting blades. Some agents may combust, causing serious injury. NEVER USE WD40.

  1. Depress and hold the reverse button down.
  2. Put the tip of the oil bottle in the paper entry and make one or two sweeps the length of the entry while squeezing the oil bottle.
  3. Move the power switch to Auto (I) position, or depress the manual forward button (depending on model of shredder) and allow the blades to run at least three seconds.
  4. Move the power switch to Reverse (R) position and allow it to run for at least three seconds.

Repeat steps three and four above at least three times. 

For all your Fellowes shredders and accessories visit:


Posted: 7 May 2010

Comments (42)

dyan rieken | 13 April 2011 21:6

my scredder cover that goes over where you stick the paper in got got in the screder and now the piece don;t look too brite so if lyou can email me a at in the next few days to give me an idea on how much that piece would cost that would be great if you have any questions please feel free to call my cell at 815-644-0224 thanks and have a blessive day.

Mumtaz | 7 June 2011 23:52

y shredder goes only in reverse not forward i hold it in forward position for 15-30 seconds and again reverse it is not responding. Even i followed the direction on your website there is not jam paper left i have revoved it manually as well

liz | 12 December 2011 13:33

shredder will not shredd only makes holes in paper

Mr. Green | 14 October 2013 11:2

motor running but will not accept paper

Anne.Metcalfe | 29 June 2014 11:4

Shredder P-35C goes in reverse but not forward .Website instructions say to press manual forward button but don't seem to have one,

CAROL CLARKE | 9 January 2015 12:15


Don | 16 February 2015 16:8

paper is not being totally shredded. large pieces of paper remain after going thru shredder

james fisher | 8 March 2015 22:2

I think you should do a more thorough explanation about how to be sure the cover is on to the basket in your instruction manual as explained in the answer above to the question about it not starting. That helped us get it going properly. Otherwise we thought it was already broken.

Glen Haight | 24 March 2015 13:38

I have a jammed cutter head. I have cleared oll paper from under. Still have jammed head
Question : When I look into the where the paper is inserted I see a clear round disc, is that part of the machine or is it my problem? Should I remove it? Hope to get an answer. 616-240-3804

June Anderson | 16 April 2015 3:48

Machine will only run in reverse, forwards it's just dead. Not even a sound. Cutting wheel is clean, no jammed paper. How can I start it forward again?

olivia | 9 June 2015 22:9

Yellow lock light stays on and the shredder will not work - I move the switch to all different areas and the red light goes on (in the middle no light) and yellow light goes on in locked position. any ideas what to do; is it possible to repair the shredder

David Kornblum | 28 August 2015 1:1

I can not get the shredder out of lock position. Suggestion please.
If won't work, where do I return the shredder for a replacement?

Gareth Lewis | 29 October 2015 11:33

Both the forward and reverse and the lock switches will not move from the locked position also there are no lights showing?

Mary S. | 4 January 2016 18:6

I have a cd stuck in my cross-cut shredder. The reverse button didn't release it.
I turned the power off overnight.

I'll add oil and try the reverse button again.
Any other suggestions? | 2 February 2016 11:37


Crystal | 11 March 2016 15:5

The shredder motor runs, the cutters are moving, but it will not accept paper. We do regular oiling. How can we get it to accept paper?

Val Blackett | 11 April 2016 14:17

What is the point of submitting a comment when no answers appear to be given? i have the reverse only problem other people have already reported (exactly as per Anne Metcalfe).

Rosemary | 18 May 2016 20:47

I have a MC8 shredder and it stopped working except in reverse like many other comments. It was jammed with paper at the top. This happens if you overfill the basket and it seems to get worse if you put it in reverse which many of us naturally do to try to clear it. But all that does is jam up the paper in the narrow gap above the cutters. I got mine out slowly with a knife but I'm sure that's not recommended. If you do, make sure it is unplugged, not just switched off at the wall, so no child/pet/slip of the hand can accidentally turn the power on. Then put 1-2 sheets through first when it starts working again, and that should clear any remaining bits. I now empty my basket when it gets anywhere near full.

ed | 22 May 2016 21:40

Where is the manual foreword button

Roy | 10 July 2016 23:58

The "Blue Light" on top of my Fellowes 58-99Ci is no longer on. The "Red Light" come on when the basket is removed. I have held the activation button on by hand, with no results.

gary | 20 July 2016 17:10

shredder runs but will not accept paper ?

Tony | 1 August 2016 0:46

Paper is stuck in the shredder but wont come through the blades, will not come out on top .how do i get it out

Lynn | 2 September 2016 12:15

Resolution to only going in reverse. I had this problem about 5 yrs ago and it was the mother board that had gone out and no resolution except for using my warranty .

Tanya | 2 September 2016 14:15

Motor runs, but after troubleshooting, only 1 roller with the cross cut blades is turning. How do you clear? Sounds like I hear something loose?

Mike | 21 September 2016 13:6

Shredder makes a high pitched squeal when feeding it paper, like a fan belt slipping.

alan | 13 October 2016 20:19

p35 c

cutters seem to be slipping when paper is feed into shredder gear prob or something loose

any idears pls

jane | 12 November 2016 13:19

I have a P-8C and while shredding it stopped working but not jammed. I read comments and done all suggested. Is there a reset button?? There is simply no power.

Aldo | 26 November 2016 18:59

My unit only goes in reverse, tried your trouble shooting tips but nothing works. Any ideas?

Mike | 20 January 2017 14:48

cleaned the eyes. But as soon as you put paper between them it shuts off. Without paper it keeps running does not shut off.

mike | 20 January 2017 16:42

when you put a paper between the eyes it shuts off .cleaned eyes still does it. what part do I need?

Ann | 28 January 2017 12:23

Shredder won't operate at all. Red light has stopped. M-C8. What can be done

Mike | 31 January 2017 6:54

Question: Am refurbishing a Fellowes DM12ct shredder. The internal reduction gears need some fresh grease on on them. Any suggestion what type of grease is best to use?

Jerry | 2 February 2017 2:8

Where do I find your responses ton the above questions.? Seems silly to not be able to see your possible fixes. My problem: Motor not running in fwd; rev works, no red indicator lights illuminated, JPS system still detects paper as normal. Reply to I see others with this problem and it looks like the fix is a new motherboard.

Larry Star | 6 February 2017 0:45

My eba 1126 c
Front roller don't turn and clicks back roller ok both work in reverse please help
Thanks in advanced

Larry Star | 6 February 2017 0:50

Anyone know where I can down load a pdf service manual or can anyone email me one to thanks I don't want to take it apart without one

tonya van | 17 February 2017 16:23

my shredder will only go reverse cannot go forward.

Bobby | 19 February 2017 12:12

I Have problem with my Mercury REX1023
shredder motor running reverse can you let me know the solution.

DLM | 26 March 2017 19:40

Had a Fellowes DM12c... It still runs paper through in the forward on position, but the auto function stopped, sort of the point of buying a machine with that feature! I slacked and did not return to Costco in a timely manner. I have taken the thing apart, cleaned it very well with tweezers, needle nose pliers, a cloth for the supposed sensor, and it still does not work with the Auto shut-off feature.
SOLUTION: I bought a ROYAL MC14MX. It's great! Not super fast, but the thing has NEVER JAMMED. The blades sound loose, making almost a ringing sound when I move the machine. I thought is was broken when I first bought it. However, it seems the key is that the blades are loose enough to not catch all the little pieces that gum up other shredders and cause paper jams. On occasion I have to go in and (when UNPLUGGED!!) grab some of the more sticky shredded items such as an address label from an insulated mailing envelope which does pose a bit of a challenge for the cutting mechanisms.

Pat | 20 April 2017 20:55

My relatively new and expensive to me Fellowes shredder was working fine and I have been keeping it properly oiled.... I checked the alignment of the lid to the basket which is fine.
I went to do more shredding and suddenly it is dead.
No light on it and nothing is working.
That strikes me as electrical. The motor....had been running fine.
Help me and others by posting the solution because the solutions in won't work posted don't apply. Thank you!

Gary Schulz | 15 May 2017 18:47

My PS-67c shreader won't run. I cleared all
paper from it but the red light stays on,
what should do next?

ruth asquith | 16 May 2017 3:49

cutters not moveing

ruth asquith again | 16 May 2017 4:25

green light is on motor is running but cutters not moveing have oiled and emptiedbin

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