After getting it home and unpacking it the first thing that was noticeable was that it's smaller than the old shredder. That's because the paper basket (3.8 gallons) does not slide out as it did on the old one. Instead, the Fellowes model has the shredding mechanism on top of the basket which makes emptying it inconvenient, but we can live with that.
It cross-cuts up to nine sheets at a time and can handle staples, paperclips and credit cards, but personally I'd hesitate to put a paperclip through it! The front has a tinted see-through window so you can easily monitor the paper level.
The cross sections make it more secure than strip-cut shredders and this shredder cuts approximately 400 particles per sheet. It shreds for up to 5 minutes before a 30 minute cool down period is needed.
We had a 2-inch high pile of papers to shred and while the shredder was loud, it was fast and made quick work of the stack...less than 5 minutes so no cool down period was needed. Just don't believe the blurb on the box that says it's quiet. The main thing was that it's speed was impressive. For less than $50 it's a good buy for home use.
NOTE: These shredders have a mechanical sensor bar that can get stuck causing the shredder to quit working. If it runs only in reverse the problem is likely paper jammed under the sensor bar which is located in the middle of the paper slot. If this is the case, use a long, thin, stiff wire to push the jammed paper through the grinding wheels being careful not to damage them! In fact, a wooden chop stick is even better, or perhaps a plastic straw.