Question about Royal 160MX Shredder

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I have a Royal 160MX. Some of the plastic separators between the steel gears disintegrated and paper is now packed like concrete in the void, slowing down gear speed. I have tried soaking the packed paper with Goo-Gone and picking out chunks with a knife, but it is really inefficient (and the fumes present another problem). Can you suggest a better and quicker way to soften or completely remove the paper without damaging the machine?

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  • franferguson Mar 27, 2011

    Perhaps I wasn't clear: I can see the insides clearly by removing the bin and turning the shredder upside down (no disassembly required). What I need help with is a method to dissolve the paper that is packed like concrete between the metal gears... a method that will not harm the machine. (For example, another support service suggested taking the shredder to a high pressure car wash and blasting the internals with water in order to soften the paper, or setting the paper on fire... so I contacted you instead.)



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The plastic separators comb the shredded paper from the steel cutters and if they are gone, shredded paper will continually pack itself into the cutters. I have a cross-cut shredder which lost about a third of its plastic separators and jammed up with packed shredded paper in the cutters. I used a very small screwdriver to get in between the cutters along with a small needle-nose pliers to grab the shredding and pulled them out essentially piece by piece. Because I did not soak the packed paper, the pieces came out as they were cut - like peeling the skin off an onion. So I don't know what you can do since you have already soaked the packed paper turning it into mush. Anyways, in my case, two-thirds of the plastic separators still performed its combing for the cutters that included the paper sense switch. So after I picked out all the pieces, I used packing tape to cover the mouth of the one-third part of the cutters that were missing the plastic separators and it has been working fine ever since. Since the mouth is one-third narrower, I usually just fold sheets by one-third so that they will fit the opening that is left.
In your case, if the plastic separators are missing in the area where the paper sensor is located, it is probably not worthwhile trying to salvage the shredder. Just go buy a new shredder when they are on sale as they are anywhere from $20 and up depending on how many sheets are handled at once and whether or not it does cross-cutting.

Posted on Mar 28, 2011

  • Bill Yee Mar 28, 2011

    Mine is a Fellows shredder and upon removing it from its bin and as I type this, I have turned the shredder part upside down on the chair beside me. I can clearly see the insides - the two sets of interleaving cutters with the plastic separators on the outside part of both cutters. I don't know what kind of steel is used in the cutter but did not want to risk putting any fluids in that it might cause the steel to rust. I also was concerned that adding any fluids to the paper even if packed as it would likely cause the paper to swell upon absorbing the fluid thus making it even more difficult to remove. Towards the end of the cleanup, because a section of separators were missing, I could see that the shredded paper had even went up into the shredder's motor compartment so I decided to remove the shredder's plastic cover by undoing six screws. One of the middle screws was covered by a label to make the cover removal more difficult. Once the cover was removed, along with the shredded paper, I found pieces of the plastic separator up in the motor compartment and if they were not removed, could in future, be caught in the rotating cutters causing jamming.
    In my opinion, I don't think the shredded paper between the cutters would burn easily since it is packed quite tight by the cross-cutting action. Blowtorching would burn some of the paper but the heat may cause melting of the plastic housing and the plastic separators. And, if the cutters are tempered steel, the heat may cause the cutting edges to lose its temper and so its ability to stay sharp.
    Pressure washing would be better than trying to burn the paper in my opinion. However, if the paper is wet, it may also be harder to remove due to its expanding in between the cutters. Also, any fluids wetting the paper would have difficulty getting below the tightly packed surface even with high pressure. As mentioned before, my primary concern was any fluid causing rusting in the future if the cutters could not be thoroughly dried. The rusting concern could be eased if the fluid was an oil-based solvent like WD-40 however, I was concerned by toxic fumes given off.
    After considering these the alternatives, I decided to simply pick the paper out using a small thin-blade screwdriver and a small needle-nose pliers. The width of the screwdriver blade was the same as the width of the separator so that I could insert it between the cutters where the missing separators used to be. The needle-nose pliers were then used to grab the shred ends that were loosened with the screwdriver and pulled off of the packed paper balls. So in the end, the most straight forward method of just picking the shredded paper out was for me the simplest way and quite possibly took the least amount of time to getting to a working shredder again at no cost other than my labour.


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To remove paper completely from your Royal 160MX Shredder without damaging the machine, you have to take it apart to clear it by hand...remove the bin, remove th screws from underneath inside the cabinet and take the cutting head off the cabinet. Turn it over and remove the screws, turn it back over and take the top off to see the insides, and when you can see the inside you can softly remove the paper without damaging it.

Posted on Mar 27, 2011


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