Video: Destroying sensitive documents using a paper shredder is a long and boring process because most of the machines are woefully underpowered. Destruction is supposed to be fun, so a gifted Danish hardware hacker upgraded a run-of-the-mill shredder with a 44,400-RPM brushless motor, letting the machine tear through a page in less than a second.
Why doesn’t every paper shredder you can get from an office supply store work this well? For starters, an electric motor with that much power doesn’t come cheap. And if you’re trying to make a profit from building paper shredders, you’re going to opt for a slower, cheaper motor.
That much power and speed is also going to wreak havoc on all the other cheap parts in the shredder, from the blades to the gears that step-up the motor’s power. It’s doubtful this modded machine will even survive a week of use, let alone tax season.
And then there’s the issue of safety. If you get a dangling tie caught in a paper shredder, you have a few seconds to reach for the power switch or plug. There’s no such mercy should the same thing happen here.