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How to Find the Best Vacuum Sealer for You
You want a vacuum sealer. We want to help you find one — based on the features that you value the most.
Welcome to Compare Vacuum Sealers, where you can quickly (very quickly!) filter and narrow your selections, based on the features you value the most, to a handful of vacuum sealers. Our simple Vacuum Sealer-Sorter tool allows a simple selection of the features you want, filter to the applicable modes, and you can compare vacuum sealer models easily. Then, click the models to learn more.
Vacuum Sealer Features
Vacuum Sealer features can sometime be confusing. On Compare Vacuum Sealers, we cover the following features:
Vacuum Sealer Usage
Chamber – On a chamber machine, the vacuum bag is placed into a chamber within the machine and then the machine withdraws all the air from the vacuum chamber. The air inside the bag is withdrawn at the same time since the bag is completely within the chamber.
Countertop – On a countertop machine, the vacuum bag remains outside of the machine, but held into place by a clamp. The bags will have a small, raised pattern. This raised pattern prevents the bag from closing completely and allows the machine to vacuum the air out. This method relies on the machine directly withdrawing air from the bag. This is the most common type of vacuum sealer machine. Some models are designed for field use and run off of 12v batteries or similar alternative power sources.
Handheld – A handheld works somewhat like a suction machine. However, instead of a clamp, the bags themselves have a special designed opening that attaches to the handheld machine. While attached, the attachment point is open and when the handheld is unattached, the opening becomes closed.
This can be very confusing because different manufacturers, retailers, and review sites use common terms, but their intent is often slightly different.
Manual Vacuum Sealer – The user controls the suction time by holding or pressing the suction button. The same is true for the sealing. These also include handheld vacuum sealers.
Automatic Vacuum Sealer – Sometimes called a fully automatic machines, these machines sense when the bag has been placed inside the suction chamber. It then clamps, suctions seals, and releases the bag. Some will even then create the seal for the next bag automatically at the end of the process.
Semi-automatics Vacuum Sealers – These are in between the above two extremes. Semi-automatics rely on the user placing the bag opening in the suction chamber, clamping, and pressing a start button. At which point the machine will suction and seal. However, some manufacturers may call these type of machines “manuals” to distinguish them from automatics. These leads to great confusion.
We feel that the overwhelming number of users want a semi-automatic. This gives some control to the user in the set-up, but the machine does most of the work. Almost no one wants a manual (except for handhelds) because just about anything you can do with a manual can also be done with a semi-automatic as a semi-automatic does allow a lot of manual control as well. Automatics are a personal choice.
Dry and Moisture Settings
Vacuum sealers are designed to remove air, not liquids or powders which may damage the pump. Therefore, some vacuum sealers will have a setting to help the machine when something moist is present in the bag. However, even in cases where the machine does not have this setting, liquids (e.g., soup) or moist foods can be vacuumed if they are frozen first.
Many machines will have an accessory port that will allow the machine to use the pump for vacuuming jars and canisters with special lids. The access port can also be used on a few machines to marinade food.
Creating Custom Bags, Roll Cutter, and Roll Storage
Some bags are sold on a roll and are more economical than pre-made bags, plus this allows custom sized bags to be made. Some vacuum sealers will have a built-in cutter for this purpose, which reduces errors from using scissors. Others will also have a storage location to store the bag roll.
Some vacuum sealers will have multiple speeds in withdrawing the air so fragile items are not crushed.
Cool Down Time
The heating and sealing element are delicate and they cannot be used repeatedly without damage. Most manufacturers will give a recommended time to allow this element to cool off before sealing the next bag.
A removable drip tray is easier to clean than a fixed one. Chamber vacuum sealers don’t have a tray as whole bag is placed inside the chamber. However, some chambers may have an insert that can be used. Handhelds generally have a reservoir space just after the bag connector to hold any liquid accidentally taken up.
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