Dahle 20831 EC Level 5 Departmental Cross-Cut Paper Shredder

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The Dahle 20831 is a Level 5 security office shredder that is designed to be placed in a common area in a busy office. We recently took a closer look at this machine, and in the following report, list some of the Dahle 20831 EC's strengths and weaknesses as we see them.


  1. The 20831 EC does more than your average cross-cut shredder. This machine destroys documents at a security level of 5, which is considered safe for even the most confidential of documents. This is, of course, complies with all of the FACTA laws as well. It is hard to find a departmental shredder that both has the kind of capacity the 20831 EC does, and provides the highest level of security that the vast majority of businesses would ever require.
  2. The sheet capacity may not seem all that remarkable at first glance, however, in the world of security level 5 shredders, the ability to handle up to 15 sheets at a time, and to turn them into incredibly fine confetti is actually quite impressive.
  3. The motor, at 2 horsepower seems very powerful, and we really liked that the cutting heads are chain driven to prevent any sort of slippage from ever happening. In our testing, this appeared to be a very rugged machine, and we saw no reason that it shouldn't give you years of use if it is properly maintained.
  4. Speaking of durability, the cutting cylinders of the 20831 EC are constructed from a single bar of German steel. This allows for minimum flexing, and the production of a very consistent shred particle size. Dahle seems to have a lot of faith in them as well, seeing as how they are guaranteed for the life of the shredder.
  5. The 20831 EC has a throat width of 16 inches. That means that this machine can handle not only the letter and legal sized sheets that will comprise the vast majority of your shredding jobs, but can fit larger computer printout sheets, and other larger sized documents.
  6. The 20831 EC appears to us to be of very rugged construction, and we even like how it looks (which we really can't say for a lot of shredder on the market). Also, the waste bin capacity of 35 gallons is impressive and we found the bin to be rather easy to remove and unload, especially for a machine of this size.


  1. At 240 lbs, this is a pretty big machine, and as such, it's intended for use by a busy office, and most logically placed in a dedicated spot in a central location. This is of course, not a problem, just be aware that when the shredder arrives at your office you will probably want some help getting it to its final destination. It will be shipped on a pallet and will need to be unloaded from the truck with a loading dock or a forklift. If you don't have either of those, you will want to make sure that you request a truck with a lift gate for delivery.
  2. As with any shredder that is not rated for continuous use, you will have to be aware of how long this machine can be run without overheating. We had no real problems in our testing, but you should be aware that nearly every shredder has its limits, and you will have to learn what the 20831 EC's are.

If you are interested in more information about the Dahle 20831EC Paper Shredder, you might want to visit MyBinding.com. They offer a great price on this machine and they even offer Free Shipping. Plus, they carry the full line of Dahle Paper Shredders, shredder bags and shredder oil. Check it out today!

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