Our Ativa Shredder Crapped Out After a Week

Our Ativa AT-DC80B Shredder Sucks Ass

We recently bought a shredder from Office Depot for our home office. It’s an AT-DC80B Diamond-Cut Shredder, and it sucks.

How bad is it? It’s the Lada of shredders. It’s the Gigli of shredders. The Italian army was better at invading other countries in World War II than this thing is at slicing paper.

We’d built up a bunch of stuff to shred, so we went to town. We read the instructions, and were very careful to only feed it the recommended 8 or 10 sheets (and we often did less). What’s the result? The thing is entirely gummed up. It no longer carries out its only function. It shreds no more.

The above photo shows the state of the blades and gears after I spent an uncomfortable half-hour pulling paper out of the thing.

Ativa is a private label of Office Depot. Check out the reviews for this device on the US Office Depot site (the Canadian site has no reviews). There are five reviews, and they’re all one out of five stars!

I’m a firm believer in caveat emptor. We should have taken some time to do a bit of research. Still, if your customers unilaterally tell you that a product doesn’t work, it behooves you to stop selling it.

As you might imagine, the next time I need something for our office, I’m going to Staples.


  1. Darren, I say we ‘Stick it to the Man’ and forget big box stores all together. They all suck, in products and service.


  2. I did some research before settling on a Fellowes strip-cut shredder. It’s ok for the price we paid; any jams we’ve had were due to “user error”, i.e. overloading the machine.
    Apparently the Staples brand shredders aren’t that great either.

  3. @Darren: Office Depot treats work-from-home businesses like crap. I’ve stayed home all day before to be able to be here for a major delivery, only to never have them show up. When you try to call (even in the mid afternoon), it gets routed to some place in the US South. They have no clue where the truck is. But they do explain that they do residential deliveries when they feel like it, not during the window they cite. They don’t even care if you have a downtown address. They’ll show up when they feel like it.

  4. After doing some research, I ended up settling on a Fellowes
    paper shredder
    . Out of all the shredders in my budget range, they seemed to be the best deal. They also have a new line of paper shredders that are considered jam proof because they use new technology to stop jams before they happen. You can check out the jam proof shredders at:

  5. AAAhhhhhhh! I am soooo mad that I did get to this comment before I bought my shredder. It is the same one from above Ativa At-DC80B. I looks exactly like the picture above except for the fact that my jam is a little to the left. All the blades are bent and I spent about 2hrs trying to clear that jam up, plus I got a paper cut. It is definitely not user error on this one because I never put more than 3 sheets of paper at a time AND I used the lubricating sheets. Piece of crap. I should just start a burning pile and get rid of my documents that way, that’s how I did it in Iraq and it never jammed. 🙂

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