Vacuum sealer recomendations

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mrad

Meat Mopper
Original poster
SMF Premier Member
Sep 27, 2012
284
45
Princeton, MN
My 10 year old Foodsaver is about done. Take a long time to get the air out, and doesn't hold a seal. Originally I thought I would spend between $300-$350, but am now wondering if that is overkill. I am lookinig for opinons on sealers. Does anyone have experience with the Vakumar Sealer machines? I can get tthe 90Kpa for $119 and it has a five year warranty. Is there a big enough difference between the LEM 250 and 500 to justify the extra $120. I probably only use my sealer 10-15 times a year for heavy use, (20-30 bags sealed) along with weekly or bi-weekly to seal leftovers. I am also open to other brands. Any opinions/advice appreciated.
 
My 10 year old Foodsaver is about done. Take a long time to get the air out, and doesn't hold a seal. Originally I thought I would spend between $300-$350, but am now wondering if that is overkill. I am lookinig for opinons on sealers. Does anyone have experience with the Vakumar Sealer machines? I can get tthe 90Kpa for $119 and it has a five year warranty. Is there a big enough difference between the LEM 250 and 500 to justify the extra $120. I probably only use my sealer 10-15 times a year for heavy use, (20-30 bags sealed) along with weekly or bi-weekly to seal leftovers. I am also open to other brands. Any opinions/advice appreciated.
Look into the Nesco Deluxe VS-12, it has a bunch of great reviews & was tested on America's test kitchen.

I bought 1 & I love it so far. Has multiple different functions as well.

If you want I can get you some pics.
 
I am very happy with my Avid Armor Sealer. I wish I had a chamber sealer, but the Avid Armor A100 has done me good. It is on the higher end, but works much better and is better built than my previous Foodsaver.

- Jason
 
I am very happy with my Avid Armor Sealer. I wish I had a chamber sealer, but the Avid Armor A100 has done me good. It is on the higher end, but works much better and is better built than my previous Foodsaver.

- Jason
My 10 year old Foodsaver is about done. Take a long time to get the air out, and doesn't hold a seal. Originally I thought I would spend between $300-$350, but am now wondering if that is overkill. I am lookinig for opinons on sealers. Does anyone have experience with the Vakumar Sealer machines? I can get tthe 90Kpa for $119 and it has a five year warranty. Is there a big enough difference between the LEM 250 and 500 to justify the extra $120. I probably only use my sealer 10-15 times a year for heavy use, (20-30 bags sealed) along with weekly or bi-weekly to seal leftovers. I am also open to other brands. Any opinions/advice appreciated.
I keep coming back to foodsaver. 10 years is a good life. I extend the life of any foodsealer by not storing it with the foam compressed. The food saver has the lid lock and stored with the lid locked permanently compresses the foam seal. The seal is usually replaceable and makes a big difference in sealing times.
 
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I keep coming back to foodsaver. 10 years is a good life. I extend the life of any foodsealer by not storing it with the foam compressed. The food saver has the lid lock and stored with the lid locked permanently compresses the foam seal. The seal is usually replaceable and makes a big difference in sealing times.

I have two FoodSavers. One about 7 years old and one about 5.
Had to replace the seal in the 7 year old one once.
Think some liquid got on it, got sticky and ended up pulling a little chunk out of the gasket.
Been working fine other than my mistake.

Are there better ones out there? Probably...
FoodSaver is all I've had experience with.
 
I only vacuum pack a few times a year. When making sausage, jerky. I have gone through 2 vac sealers in the past 10 years. First on was relatively cheap $120 and plastic broken. I invested a little more the next time and caught the product at the end of its manufacturing life. Avid Armor AV3100. Early 2020 purchase, $180. I lucked out and got an extended warranty for a review and a few pictures on social media. That unit worked well until 2022 where it stopped vac and seal automatically. It vacuumed okay and sealed okay but needed manual intervention. This is where Avid Armor company shows how they do business. I returned it for repair under factory warranty. They repaired it no charge except for my ship to costs. It operated fine but had a vacuum problem in late 2023. Problem most likely caused by me accidentally sucking vinegar into the pump while vac sealing pickle jars. I contacted Avid support about another repair and they informed me this unit was discontinued and they no longer had parts and could not repair it. They did offer me a personal 20% off coupon towards the purchase of another Avid Armor product.

This is where it gets really good 👍 I then remembered that I had an extended warranty through a 3rd party
I contacted them and gave them the documentation that my unit was not repairable. They sent me a prepaid mailer, I returned the unit to them for a full $180 refund. Score, used the sealer for 3 years, cost me next to nothing!

I then went to the Avid Armour website and picked out a Ultra Series X Chamber Vacuum Sealer - USVX, $429. They have a process to purchase open box /discounted items. They put your name on a wait list and they email you when one becomes available. I was able to purchase this unit for $282, open box minus 20% 2nd Score👍

This is my first chamber sealer. I bought it one on a recommendation of my brother in law and the ability to seal liquids. We make sauerkraut every year, better vac packed in small serving bags, easy to share with friends and family. I like to freeze pork or turkey I smoke. I had to make "ice cubes" out of broth so I could seal the old way. Not with a chamber sealer. We vac packed baked beans. This unit has an accessory port so I can vac seal jars and marinate. This unit is heavier and larger so that is a trade off. Also it can only seal bags that are 10.5" wide by 10". When sealing liquids you can only fill the bag a little past half. Smaller bags are a negative, did not want to go $1000+ for the largest units. Smaller than I could do with the other style. I really like this unit so far, it is so much more versatile.

Consider a chamber vac if its within your budget. I do recommend Avid Armour as a company.

Good Luck,
RG
 
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I had a Foodsaver model for years that made me insane. I swore when I replaced it, it was going out back to get the "AK" sendoff. I decided it wasn't worth today's ammo prices!

I ended up replacing it with the Foodsaver FM5200. Once I got the hang of it, it works pretty good. It has roll bag storage built in and you pull the bag edge near the front and seal first, then pull out what you want and it has a bag slicer built in.

Once I finally realized the bar you push to begin the vac and seal needs to be pushed downward, not forward, it became much less frustrating. It's unclear at first and many people say getting used to it is the biggest challenge. It looks like you are supposed to use your knuckles to push forward on the bar, but this results in the unit scooting away from you on the counter...maddening. Foodsavers are built with the idea of children playing with it, so any little imperfection screws up the seal process. With very irregular shaped food its hard to not have a little wrinkle at the seal line which causes the until to not draw the best, tightest vacuum. But, if you get a "good enough" vacuum, you can manually force the seal.

I haven't used any of the container seal stuff, just the bags. The old Foodsaver was terrible at sealing jars. No idea how this one performs in that respect. The bag roll storage is designed for Foodsaver sized packaged rolls. I buy bulk rolls now for much less $ per foot and use an old inner roll core to transfer half of the bulk roll to that to reduce the diameter so it fits in the roll storage/dispenser. It gets weird toward the inner core of the bag roll and you have to figure out how to get your fingers in there to hold the bag from the side while it makes its first seal.

Watching YouTubes on it was nearly useless. Most of those reviewers are taking the thing out of the box and winging it. There was one guy that used like two feet of bag for a steak!😖 I had the same thing with a knife sharpener I bought. It was clear no one had actually read the instructions and tested the product off camera before they rushed to get their video up.

I dont know if it exists, but I would like a vac sealer that just shuts up and seals the bag whether your finger is stuck in there or not! I'm tired of playin'...
 
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I have the LEM MaxVac 500 and like it. I still have my old FoodSaver Vac-Sealer as an emergency back-up.

I got this as a gift - thankfully - because I doubt I would have paid $350 + shipping for it.

 
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My 10 year old Foodsaver is about done.
Not sure what model you have , or if you want to mess with it . Here's a thread where I add some info on how I fixed mine .
Post 11 and 27 . If you have time look through it all . Might help even if you just keep it for a back up .
 
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My 10 year old Foodsaver is about done. Take a long time to get the air out, and doesn't hold a seal. Originally I thought I would spend between $300-$350, but am now wondering if that is overkill. I am lookinig for opinons on sealers. Does anyone have experience with the Vakumar Sealer machines? I can get tthe 90Kpa for $119 and it has a five year warranty. Is there a big enough difference between the LEM 250 and 500 to justify the extra $120. I probably only use my sealer 10-15 times a year for heavy use, (20-30 bags sealed) along with weekly or bi-weekly to seal leftovers. I am also open to other brands. Any opinions/advice appreciated.
We are far from heavy users, but the kitchen Warden likes our Inkbird V3530Ink-VS02
Cant remember what i paid, but I'm a tightwad.

 
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Foodsaver here for many years. It gets used but not abused.

Chris
 
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I really liked my Ziplock sealer, but sadly they went out of business. The bags were the best I've used.
I picked up the $100 unit from Cabelas. Very impressed.
 
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I don't use mine nearly as much as some here, I'd call myself a medium to medium light user. I have only ever used an Inkbird. The first one, the heat strip went out after I used about 3 (50ft) rolls of bags. Replaced under warranty. The second one is still working fine 6-7 rolls of bags later.

The warranty process was a hassle. First they had me plug it in and try. They actually told me unplug it and plug it back in, well, it doesn't stay plugged in 24/7, so it gets plugged in every time I use it. Had to do that 3-4 times, sending them pictures. Then I had to repeat the process on a different plug. Then I had to video it not making a seal, because they kept telling me to "make a seal first, then try to use vacuum" - duh Inkbird, that's what the 15 pictures were of.

It works fine. Maybe I got a lemon. It happens. My issue with Inkbird runs deeper than that, but it's part of it.
 
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Are there any compact models good for travel? I have an old food saver that I hate, but it won’t die! ;)

looking for something to use when traveling and camping
 
Are there any compact models good for travel?
I have this set to use for stuff I want to freeze , but use weekly . Saves on Vac bags .
The hand pump gives you a workout , but they also have brands that have a battery operated hand pump . It works good once you get the hang of it .


 
I’ll give it a try.
I grind my own beef , and use it weekly for whatever . So I wrap the meat in a cheap plastic bread bag , then seal the balls up in the reusable bags . Open the bag , get what I need , and reseal .
20240518_183137.jpg
 
Look into the Nesco Deluxe VS-12, it has a bunch of great reviews & was tested on America's test kitchen.

I bought 1 & I love it so far. Has multiple different functions as well.

If you want I can get you some pics.
I have this one too, and it's worked very well for me. No complaints. I use mine a couple times a week, so I'm not a super-heavy user.
 
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