Royal 1212x Paper Shredder: Forensic Analysis

Royal 1212x paper shredder, shredded the teeth on a plastic gear, rendering it inoperable junk. Bought from Costco.

Royal 1212x paper shredder, shredded the teeth on a plastic gear, rendering it inoperable junk. Bought from Costco.

Friend David brought me his broken Royal 1212x paper shredder. The motor runs but the shredding teeth no longer turn. He bought it from Costco for about $100. As with other “Made in China” shredders I’ve taken apart, I suspected a plastic gear broke. In this case the plastic gear slowly shredded its internal teeth, leaving the shredder motionless, useless and broken. This shredder is still available on Amazon and other places, so it is still for sale. I suspect that other shredders from the same brand have the same internal components.

The shredder looks nice enough, with a large 5.5G/21L pull out waste bin, very convenient. As the shredding unit is trash now I might add a wooden top and continue to use it as a paper garbage can. I’ll think of some other ideas.

There are metal gears in this machine, but there are also two plastic gears. The one that shredded its teeth was mated with a metal gear, so over time the plastic gear wore away its teeth. The motor was then freely spinning and no longer connected to the shredding gears and teeth.

Royal 1212x paper shredder, shredded the teeth on a plastic gear, rendering it inoperable junk. Bought from Costco.

Royal 1212x paper shredder, shredded the teeth on a plastic gear, rendering it inoperable junk. Bought from Costco.

The failure of the machine was due to a metal gear slowly shredding the internal teeth of a plastic gear. This will almost always happen when metal contacts plastic at higher speeds. There are small shards of plastic all over not only this gear but also all the other gears.

Royal 1212x paper shredder, shredded the teeth on a plastic gear, rendering it inoperable junk. Bought from Costco. Plastic gear, internal teeth shredded. You can see remnants of plastic all over the gears. Photo 1 by Don Tai

Royal 1212x paper shredder, shredded the teeth on a plastic gear, rendering it inoperable junk. Bought from Costco. Plastic gear, internal teeth shredded. You can see remnants of plastic all over the gears. Photo 1 by Don Tai

Royal 1212x paper shredder, shredded the teeth on a plastic gear, rendering it inoperable junk. Bought from Costco. Metal gear that shredded the plastic teeth. You can see remnants of plastic (white flakes) all over the gears. Photo 2 by Don Tai

Royal 1212x paper shredder, shredded the teeth on a plastic gear, rendering it inoperable junk. Bought from Costco. Metal gear that shredded the plastic teeth. You can see remnants of plastic (white flakes) all over the gears. Photo 2 by Don Tai

Royal 1212x paper shredder, shredded the teeth on a plastic gear, rendering it inoperable junk. Bought from Costco. Plastic gear, internal teeth shredded. You can see remnants of plastic (white flakes) all over the gears. Photo 3 by Don Tai

Royal 1212x paper shredder, shredded the teeth on a plastic gear, rendering it inoperable junk. Bought from Costco. Plastic gear, internal teeth shredded. You can see remnants of plastic (white flakes) all over the gears. Photo 3 by Don Tai

Royal 1212x paper shredder, shredded the teeth on a plastic gear, rendering it inoperable junk. Bought from Costco. Plastic gear, internal teeth shredded. You can see remnants of plastic (white flakes) all over the gears. Photo 4 by Don Tai

Royal 1212x paper shredder, shredded the teeth on a plastic gear, rendering it inoperable junk. Bought from Costco. Plastic gear, internal teeth shredded. You can see remnants of plastic (white flakes) all over the gears. Photo 4 by Don Tai

Royal 1212x paper shredder, shredded the teeth on a plastic gear, rendering it inoperable junk. Bought from Costco. Plastic gear, internal teeth shredded. You can see remnants of plastic (white flakes) all over the gears. Photo 5 by Don Tai

Royal 1212x paper shredder, shredded the teeth on a plastic gear, rendering it inoperable junk. Bought from Costco. Plastic gear, internal teeth shredded. You can see remnants of plastic (white flakes) all over the gears. Photo 5 by Don Tai

This simple but preventable failure could have been averted by not using plastic gears. Against a metal gear at higher speeds they do not last long. There is another larger plastic gear, but its spindle and teeth are metal. This would last a bit longer, but even then you can see some wear on the metal teeth.

Royal 1212x paper shredder, shredded the teeth on a plastic gear, rendering it inoperable junk. Bought from Costco. Large plastic gear, spindle and teeth are metal, you can see some wear. You can see remnants of plastic (white flakes) all over the gears. Photo 6 by Don Tai

Royal 1212x paper shredder, shredded the teeth on a plastic gear, rendering it inoperable junk. Bought from Costco. Large plastic gear, spindle and teeth are metal, you can see some wear. You can see remnants of plastic (white flakes) all over the gears. Photo 6 by Don Tai

Royal 1212x paper shredder, shredded the teeth on a plastic gear, rendering it inoperable junk. Bought from Costco. Small plastic gear with shredded internal teeth, metal gear that did the shredding, large plastic gear, spindle and teeth are metal, you can see some wear. You can see remnants of plastic (white flakes) all over the gears. Photo 7 by Don Tai

Royal 1212x paper shredder, shredded the teeth on a plastic gear, rendering it inoperable junk. Bought from Costco. Small plastic gear with shredded internal teeth, metal gear that did the shredding, large plastic gear, spindle and teeth are metal, you can see some wear. You can see remnants of plastic (white flakes) all over the gears. Photo 7 by Don Tai

Royal 1212x paper shredder, shredded the teeth on a plastic gear, rendering it inoperable junk. Bought from Costco. Small plastic gear with shredded internal teeth, metal gear that did the shredding, large plastic gear, spindle and teeth are metal, 3 other metal gears. You can see remnants of plastic (white flakes) all over the gears. Photo 8 by Don Tai

Royal 1212x paper shredder, shredded the teeth on a plastic gear, rendering it inoperable junk. Bought from Costco. Small plastic gear with shredded internal teeth, metal gear that did the shredding, large plastic gear, spindle and teeth are metal, 3 other metal gears. You can see remnants of plastic (white flakes) all over the gears. Photo 8 by Don Tai

It is not that the manufacturer did not know to use metal gears, because they do have some metal gears, but that they would put metal teeth against plastic teeth and expect them to last. This paper shredder was destined to fail fairly quickly and then be thrown out. It is disposable, which is a waste of the earth’s natural resources. Of course I could not track down the Chinese manufacturer in order to find replacement parts. I am sure that this unit was not designed to be repaired. When you do buy a shredder please buy better quality.

I continued to take apart the axles for the metal stars that shred the paper, and found them familiar. They are 1/2 hex diameter and 9 3/4″ long. This is the exact same diameter as the torsion bars for my garage door springs. I’ll have to check stick them into the torsion bar nuts and see if they fit.

I rate this Royal 1212x paper shredder a “D” for reliability. Do not buy this brand name, as it will prematurely fail due to these plastic gears.

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