Food Saver Sealers - Which One

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rabbithutch

Master of the Pit
Original poster
OTBS Member
I've posted on this subject before, but need to visit it again.

I'm looking at vacuum sealers. I cannot afford anything really expensive. Yes! I know that is a relative term, but think "retired pensioner".

The America's Test Kitchen recommends the Food Saver V 2440. I can't find it for less than $200, but there are all manner of other Food Saver models ranging in price from about $80 up to hundreds.

Given the number of places that I've found Food Saver brand with personal recommendations, I'm sold on the brand and now I'm just trying to settle on a model. I'm willing to wait and save pennies provided there is a significant difference in features or functions that come with higher priced models.

In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out what features are 'must haves' and which are 'nice to haves'.

From what I've read, the vacuum has to be pretty strong (and you have to use good quality bags or sleeves) and you must be able to clean up any liquids sucked into the vacuum mechanism (though I don't know whether there is a difference among models). I'm guessing that the width of the heat strip is important as might be the ability to make 2 or more sealing strips.

I would really appreciate comments from Food Saver owners who will reveal their models and their likes and dislikes as well as features important to them and their recommendations. I would also appreciate comments from owners of other than Food Saver products who will reveal their experiences and recommendations.

I've looked for - but been unable to find - a table showing the features and prices of various Food Saver model as columns and model numbers as rows (or vice versa). That would be invaluable help in making a decision. I would try to put one together but have no reliable sources (just Internet posts) for insuring the accuracy of the effort.

TIA
 
Don't know if Foodsaver's website will let you compare or not. 

This is the one that I have: 
I bought it from Cabela's on clearance 3 years ago for $50...figured if I didn't like it then I wasn't out much. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles that a lot of the other models have and I've never had it overheat on me at all. It's a manual design, so I have to lock it in place and press the seal or vac/seal buttons and I can stop the vac process at anytime and have it seal the package.

I have done a bull and cow elk, 80-100 lbs mule deer, an antelope and of course all my leftovers. It does come with the vacuum tube (which I think you need if you use it with their containers or the mason jar attachment. 

Some of the newer ones have a problem with overheating and then you have to let them cool down before they will seal again. Some also have an automatic sealer that from reading some people don't like it. This one is pretty compact and light weight. If it broke today, I'd order the same one again.

Certainly hope this helps.
 
I have the Foodsaver Gamesaver Plus model and have had zero problems with it....when combined with Vacuum Sealers Unlimited bags it even works better than with the factory supplied bags. Here is a link to the one i own...
Hope this helps out with your question...Len
 
I have a FS V3020 and I like it OK, it is a vertical and the door is a little hard to work with but it does the job. I don't use it a whole lot, mostly just to seal up leftovers from my smokes.I had a lot of problems with the FS bags that came with it not wanting to pull a vacuum. I started using the VSU bags and I haven't had any problems with those and they are less expensive than the FS bags. 

I think the most important questions to ask yourself is how often will you be using it? and what will it's main uses be? That's what sold me on a less expensive one, I knew I wouldn't be using it a lot and I would only be using it for sealing bags of meat.
 
I have a Gamesaver Deluxe and have processed well over 50 deer with it.  Had it for almost 8yrs.  Bought a brand new one cuz i figure it would die someday when I was doing deer!
 
Wanted to thank everyone for their helpful advice and to report on what I bought.

Several weeks ago - before the bugout - Smokin' Husker told me about a special that Food Saver were running on their products. That led me to zeroing in on a price range I could afford to pick a model. Father's Day got me permission from the Finance Department and I chose the Food Saver V2244. I found it a bit cheaper at Amazon where my Prime account covered shipping. I'm also happy with Amazon's returns policies; so I bought there instead of from Food Saver.

I think this one will be a keeper. I've not used it much yet but I found that it reseals chip bags (mylar, I think) beautifully. The bags and the roll that came with the sealer are far superior to the ones I had seen on other brands. We have done a few leftovers that went into the freezer and we've put bacon in them for the fridge. So far, no signs of leaks or of bags tearing.

As soon as we get a stretch of reasonably cool weather (might be waiting until September), I'm going to do another cheese smoke. I think that will be the best test of the unit.

The V2244 vacuum seems to be very good at getting the air out quickly. I haven't done anything yet that has really tested the liquids reservoir; so the jury is still out on that one. Sealing also occurs quickly. The heat strip comes up to temp and seals the bag and the light blinks and you're done. No muss! No fuss! The directions warn not to repeat the sealing process for 20 seconds but I haven't experienced a problem with waiting. Perhaps when I do a batch of something - as with the planned cheese smoke - I will have something different to report, but I suspect that I am slower than the machine's recovery time. The unit has a vacuum port on the top and a tube that can be inserted into it for use with accessories. So far, I see no need for it, but who knows what the future will bring.

All in all, I'm much happier with this unit for ~$80 from Amazon than I thought I would be. The MSRPs that I've seen for the unit list it at about twice that amount. I don't know if this is a line being phased out or whether Amazon has so much retailing power that they can halve the price and still make money. I HAVE seen similar Food Saver units selling for much more in Target, Wallyworld, and Kohls; so I feel good about the deal.

As with all things, time will tell.

Thanks again to everyone who offered their experiences here. It was a great help in choosing a brand and a model.
 
You will be very happy with Lisa's customer service and the bags are top quality 
 
I got the one that was On display at the Sam's Club I was shopping at for a while. I haven't used it much but I really like it.
 
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