Why does my paper shredder operate in reverse only?

Why does my paper shredder operate in reverse only?

This likely has to do with the auto run sensor of your shredder not being engaged correctly.

On small shredders, the sensor is normally a mechanical sensor, which looks like a plastic bar or lever in the very center of the mouth of the shredder (where you normally insert the paper). When shredding small documents, such as checks or receipts, be sure that you are inserting the paper directly over this sensor.

If that doesn't seem to be the problem, you may want to check to be sure that no paper is stuck underneath this sensor. If there is, turn the unit off and use a needle nosed pliers, tweezers or toothpick to try to remove small amounts of debris from below this mechanical sensor.  If there is nothing visible by the mechanical sensor, make sure the unit is unplugged, take a credit card and push up and down on the sensor for about 5 seconds.  This should release the debris and/or oil build-up and allow the sensor to retract freely when paper is inserted.

All other shredders will have an electronic sensor. These sensors are also located in the very center of the mouth of the shredder, and look like small glass beads or marbles. These are the photo sensors that sense if paper is being inserted into the shredder. As with the mechanical sensor, paper must be inserted in the very center for the shredder to detect paper.

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