The shredder I received for a birthday some years back has died. At first it was unclear whether it was jammed, overheated, or just plain kaput. After some investigation we determined we really did need a new shredder. Here's how:
Step 1. I searched for the model of the shredder online and found complaints about the same problem. I also found a video where someone described how they repaired their shredder.
Step 2. Referring to the video, I took the shredder apart. I didn't care if I had never done this before or unintentionally broke any parts. If I could fix it, great. If not, at least I had tried not to waste money.
Step 3. I found that the offending gear was not the same as the one the video instructions identified as the problem. His gear was metal and he was able to slip it out and use the unworn end. My gear was plastic and had somehow been ground down or melted. I'm not sure how it got so damaged but it had no teeth for the other gears to catch on. That was why it made a whining noise and wouldn't move the paper along. What kind of manufacturer makes a shredder with plastic gears?! Talk about planned obsolescence. I wish I knew where they sold gears and stuff. Pretty sure you can't get them at home depot.
Step 4. I left hubby and his assistant to amuse themselves seeing if they could put everything back together while I had a cup of tea (after washing all that grease off my hands).
Step 5. I found a shredder on sale at a big box store around here. It will probably cost about half of what the old one did and will handle more paper. Hopefully the gears are all metal inside. I'll try to get it before the week is out so I can start working on the pile of sensitive information gathering around my desk.