Lubricant sheets?
June 20, 2008 12:27 PM   Subscribe

My new crosscutting paper shredder manual suggests using shredder lubricant sheets twice a month, or every 30 minutes of active shredding. Naturally, they also sell these lubricant sheets.

How necessary is this, really? (approx. $1 per sheet?)
posted by R. Mutt to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
In my experience, the paper that you're shredding really does start to stick to the blades. And in my (unscientific) observations, things did start to go more smoothly after using one of those sheets.

At my house though, we just do it when the thing starts to act gunky.
posted by theichibun at 12:33 PM on June 20, 2008

It makes a difference. I had a shredder that wouldn't work at all - after lubrication, it was fne again. You can buy a bottle of the oil, instead of the sheets - much cheaper, but not qute as tidy. I would use one or the other.
posted by clarkstonian at 12:38 PM on June 20, 2008

Lubricant sheets are an awesome invention. Yes, you could oil it yourself; yes, that is a pain in the ass.
posted by InsanePenguin at 12:39 PM on June 20, 2008

Does anyone know what kind of oil they use? It seems like it ought to be possible to spray or otherwise coat/soak/impregnate a sheet of paper with oil yourself and just run it through.

You can buy a can of Teflon-bearing spray (trade name "Tri-Flow") for a few bucks from many good hardware and most gun stores; that seems like it would do the trick if you sprayed it lightlyon some cotton bond paper and ran it through. I'm almost tempted to try it, actually.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:41 PM on June 20, 2008

What happens if you run a couple sheets of wax paper through it?
posted by box at 12:49 PM on June 20, 2008

It seems you can pretty easily find them online in the vicinity of 3/$1 at which point it doesn't seem like such a big deal - I'd try to estimate my shredding too, for regular home use I'm pretty certain I don't do anything like an hour a month of continuous shredding.
posted by nanojath at 12:52 PM on June 20, 2008

Does anyone know what kind of oil they use? It seems like it ought to be possible to spray or otherwise coat/soak/impregnate a sheet of paper with oil yourself and just run it through.

It's light machine oil, like you would use on a sewing machine. I just buy the biggest bottle of oil and oil a sheet at a time.
posted by fiercekitten at 1:08 PM on June 20, 2008

Fellowes Shredder oil is vegetable oil. The Staples branded bottle I bought said mineral oil on it. I've used regular baby oil, and it works fine, though it smells a little flowery. You don't need the sheets - just dip the nozzle into the paper well and squirt a line or two through it, then run the blades forwards and backwards a few times. It's really not messy at all, as long as you don't get carried away.
posted by Caviar at 1:20 PM on June 20, 2008

We use the shredder oil at work. All I do is make pretty patterns on a few sheets of paper, and run them through the machine one by one. It does seem to make a difference. I've never used the lubricant sheets, but I can't imagine they'd perform differently than my home-made lubricant sheets.
posted by gwenzel at 1:48 PM on June 20, 2008

lubricant sheets are ridiculously expensive for what is essentially paper impregnated with light machine oil. gwenzel's technique is what I use.
posted by muddgirl at 2:07 PM on June 20, 2008

Thanks, light machine oil on paper, both of which I already have, it is!
posted by R. Mutt at 2:28 PM on June 20, 2008

Running a piece of paper sprayed with WD-40 through it evert month or so seems to work for us. Our shredder isn't heavily used, though.
posted by davcoo at 5:42 PM on June 20, 2008

My Fellowes shredder recommended vegetable oil in the manual. Every time I clean out the basket I run a page zigzagged with whatever oil is close at hand in my kitchen. Has worked great for years. No rust, no sticking, no weird odors.
posted by Ookseer at 6:09 PM on June 20, 2008

I just give it a spray of WD-40 then run some paper through straight afterwards every time I empty the shredder (a couple of times a month)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:35 AM on June 21, 2008

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