Dahle 20304 Small Office Strip Cut Paper Shredder Review

By: Jeff McRitchie | Posted: 07th December 2009

Designed for a small office setting, the Dahle 20304 is a light-use, multi user machine that offers a Level 2 security strip-cut shredding style. We took a closer look at this machine, and made a list of what we thought its strengths and weaknesses are.


  1. The 20304 is a nice compact machine that should fit into just about any size office, but its small stature doesn't translate to low capacity. The 20304 can handle up to 18 sheets at a time and 400 sheets a day. All of this while operating at a speed of 17 feet per minute. That should be more than enough capacity for the day to day needs of an average small office.

  2. A lot of the other smaller shredders at this price point use a cutting system that consists of blades that are stacked together. The 20304, however, features solid cutting shafts made of the best German steel. This leads to greater durability and strength and increased capability. The 20304, for instance, can easily handle staples and paper clips, while many other smaller shredders can't.

  3. No matter what size your office is, anything you can do to cut down on distractions is a big plus. To help with that, the 20304 is designed so the cutting mechanism sits on rubber shock mounts to greatly reduce vibration and noise. The all wood constriction of the cabinet also absorbs a lot of the sound that is inherent with a shredder, resulting in nice quiet operation.

  4. The 20304's throat easily fits letter and legal sized sheets, and should be wide enough for nearly any shredding job that you should encounter.

  5. Another nice feature for a multi user machine, the 20304 is run by a single toggle switch, making operation as simple as can be. With it, you can put the machine in auto on/off mode, as well as reverse or continuous operation. The 20304 will also put itself in auto off mode when the shred bag is full or the cabinet door is open, which is a nice safety feature.

  1. The 20304 is a Level 2 strip cut shredder, meaning that it does not meet the standards of the federal FACTA regulations regarding the destruction of the confidential information of your clients and employees. In order to comply, you will have to step up to a level 3 machine, such as the Dahle 20314.

  2. With its 2/5 Hp motor, the 20304 is the least powerful shredder in the Dahle Small Office line. While this may be plenty for the smallest of offices, if you are happy with a strip cut, and you think you will need more power than 2/5 hp, you may want to take a look at the 20404 which gives you 1/2 Hp, and a sheet capacity of 20 at a time.

  3. The 20304 is by no means a continuous operation machine, and you will have to learn its limits if you are going to attempt to do a lot of shredding. The 20304 does have a thermal protection system built in, which just means that it will turn itself off for a cooling period if the motor overheats.

If you are interested in more information about the Dahle 20304 Small-Office 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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Tags: strengths and weaknesses, sized sheets, closer look, distractions, safety feature, staples, shredder, constriction, shred, quiet operation, shredders, cutting system, german steel