Trim/Scan/Shred - it's like Kiss/Marry/Kill for your papers.
March 13, 2019 6:09 PM   Subscribe

You are not my archivist. That said, I seek recommendations for three objects (color scanner / large-capacity paper shredder / rotary paper trimmer) and one information source (how to scan magazine and comics pictures cleanly, avoiding moire patterns).

As few snowflakes as possible, but I believe I want:

A color scanner working with windows 10, able to scan papers up to 14x22.
A reliable (minimally-jamming) paper shredder for home use - higher number of pages per insertion bundle, high-capacity waste-bin. Bonus points for quietness.
A rotary paper trimmer, able to handle up to 14x22.
A guide/online class teaching the artless how to digitally scan magazine/comics color pictures - mostly I care about avoiding moire patterns when scanning photos from before the mid-90s.

Right now, I haven't price limits in mind. My limits are more of patience and attention, with an eye to the machinery lasting a decade or more (with proper care.)

If the crowd wisdom is "You're overthinking this," I will accept this with quiet dignity and grace.
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead to Shopping (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Regarding the shredder: it may be worth it to price outsourcing this. I had an in-home shredder and it was tedious to do myself. I found a local shredding place that charges like $7 per bankers box of papers, so now I just keep a boxhandy and go to the shredder when it fills up. You can stand there while they shred everything in about 10 seconds.
posted by JenMarie at 6:18 PM on March 13, 2019 [8 favorites]

I think you could also outsource a good amount of scanning, if not all, if money is less of an issue than time/energy. See if you have a place nearby similar to this; you can literally drive (or ship, but we prefer to drive) all your stuff there, drop it off, and in a couple months pick up an external hard drive with high-res scans, plus your originals. It's not the cheapest option, but you may come out even when you price the new equipment + time to train and acquire the necessary skills.
posted by witchen at 6:47 PM on March 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

Desk-side shredders are meant to do maybe a couple dozen pages a day-- very spares use, not bulk shredding. Definitely outsource it. There are various document-destruction companies in any city that offer everything from walk-ins, charged by the box, to parking a truck on your loading dock and shredding box after box until the sun goes down. They have no problem with notebook wires, paperclips, usually CDs/DVDs, but they'll tell you what they can and can't shred. They shred to confetti at best, not strips, which is more secure.

And burning is not clean and must be done safely, but it's a very secure option. You can do it on an outdoor grill, or in a metal bucket on a patio. Bulk processing is practically easier than piecemeal.
posted by Sunburnt at 9:36 PM on March 13, 2019

I concur with JenMarie, depending on how much you have to shred I definitely recommend a service. Even when you have a high industrial cross cut shredder made for an office, it takes a lot of time and the thing still jams. When I had to sort through a lot of home material, I created the following piles:

1) kill/dump immediately
2) Scan at leisure -- send these to commercial scanner people
3) Confidential, immediate scan to my personal hard drive using my personal scansnap.

And after step 2 or 3 file or dispose.

To save time, I should have dumped category 1 to be shredded stuff with a commercial shredder group and not drag hefty bags of crap to my office.
posted by jadepearl at 2:32 AM on March 14, 2019

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