mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Better shred than dead...

So I decided to splurge this morning and buy a small electronics item that I had been eying for a while.

New LCD TV? PS3? laptop? No, I don't have that kind of money. So I bought this instead. It's the Staples Mailmate shredder - a small paper shredder designed to shred junk mail. It's small (and tasteful) enough that you can put it where you open mail, but it's crosscut, so it does a good job protecting from identity theft.

When they came out a year ago, I thought it was a cool idea, but not $80 cool, which is how much they originally were. Well, it's on sale this week at Staples for $30 after rebate. I had an $8 rewards certificate that expires at the end of the month, plus a stack of ink coupons that I kept forgetting to use. So I braved the rain this morning and went to Staples and bought one (yes, I could have ordered online, but I needed to pick up a Christmas gift at the store next door anyway). After the rebate and coupons, it will have cost me about $14.

I bought it because I've noticed that Casa De Mad has become strewn with junk mail, much of it unopened. My "system" was to pile it up in a basket downstairs, then take it upstairs and shred it in a free-after-rebate strip cut shredder in my office. Except I'd usually never get around to taking it upstairs and shredding it. I figure with the mailmate, I can shred stuff as I sort my mail, thus reducing clutter somewhat.

So what do I think of it so far? The device is pretty sharp looking - it's stainless steel and black plastic. It does have >a bunch of warning icons on the top (OK to shred paper, cd's, credit cards. Do not use to shred babies, severed heads, or ties). It does work well - it's cross-cut, so it destroys all those Capital One offers. However, the basket for shredded stuff is pretty small. I went crazy shredding a box full of credit card offers and the like, and filled it up to the point where I couldn't get the drawer open, and when I did, it pretty much exploded shredded paper all over my floor. Lesson learned.

It's a cool device, and it's one of those neat things that answers a minor problem that you didn't realize you had until you saw it. I can't imagine paying $80 for it (or for it's replacement, the mailmate m3, but for $15 it's worth it to me. Some of the reviews on Staples site say it burned out after a year or so, though, so hopefully mine will hold up.


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