Food & Drink

What vacuum sealer should I get?

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Death hawk recommending a chamber sealer in 3....2.... :D

If you think you'll be at chamber sealer levels of use, and have ~$800 and the kitchen space, then it'd definitely make sense to get one for the long run.... but for non-heavy use a~$100 FoodSaver brand one with cheap unbranded bags is likely your best bet. If you can, try and get a model that seals without wasting 2 inches of bag space like some models do - it's the one thing I hate about mine.

This model apparently is one of the ones that wastes less bag https://www.amazon.com/FoodSaver-FM2100 ... B00RPKKOO0
From the reviews - "The design of this model also saves on bag waste from sealing. I only need about 1/2 inch of bag to make a seal."
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RemedialChaosTheory wrote:
Nov 22nd, 2016 4:19 pm
Death hawk recommending a chamber sealer in 3....2.... :D

If you think you'll be at chamber sealer levels of use, and have ~$800 and the kitchen space, then it'd definitely make sense to get one for the long run.... but for non-heavy use a~$100 FoodSaver brand one with cheap unbranded bags is likely your best bet. If you can, try and get a model that seals without wasting 2 inches of bag space like some models do - it's the one thing I hate about mine.

This model apparently is one of the ones that wastes less bag https://www.amazon.com/FoodSaver-FM2100 ... B00RPKKOO0
From the reviews - "The design of this model also saves on bag waste from sealing. I only need about 1/2 inch of bag to make a seal."
This is for regular kitchen use. Like If I have a really nice piece of steak I want to save...
Or super tasty left overs I want to freeze and save.
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UrbanPoet wrote:
Nov 22nd, 2016 4:28 pm
This is for regular kitchen use. Like If I have a really nice piece of steak I want to save...
Or super tasty left overs I want to freeze and save.
If you're looking to freeze leftovers, you need one with a hose to vacuum seal the special containers.
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RemedialChaosTheory wrote:
Nov 22nd, 2016 4:19 pm
Death hawk recommending a chamber sealer in 3....2.... :D
I'm apparently well known for a few things around here Smiling Face With Open Mouth And Smiling Eyes

Seriously though, I wouldn't buy anything else at this point.
Knowing what I know now, I HUGELY regret buying anything else BUT a chamber 10 years ago.

A grand (after sufficient bags) is a really tough pill to swallow but if you plan on any sort of regular use (eg a couple times a week) this thing literally pays for itself.

I did the math behind it with Costco sale bags and a Foodsaver here:
costco-foodsaver-130-store-costco-ca-ba ... #p26942565

It's a HUGE read, but I address most of the points that most people have for FoodSaver vs Chamber.

Think of it this way: If I broke my chamber right now, the first thing I'd be doing is ordering a replacement.
Maybe not next day air since it's like 60lbs but definitely via ground.

If you have any questions about it, feel free to ask.
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death_hawk wrote:
Nov 22nd, 2016 11:33 pm
I'm apparently well known for a few things around here Smiling Face With Open Mouth And Smiling Eyes

Seriously though, I wouldn't buy anything else at this point.
Knowing what I know now, I HUGELY regret buying anything else BUT a chamber 10 years ago.

A grand (after sufficient bags) is a really tough pill to swallow but if you plan on any sort of regular use (eg a couple times a week) this thing literally pays for itself.

I did the math behind it with Costco sale bags and a Foodsaver here:
costco-foodsaver-130-store-costco-ca-ba ... #p26942565

It's a HUGE read, but I address most of the points that most people have for FoodSaver vs Chamber.

Think of it this way: If I broke my chamber right now, the first thing I'd be doing is ordering a replacement.
Maybe not next day air since it's like 60lbs but definitely via ground.

If you have any questions about it, feel free to ask.
I know you are a proponent of this $1000 sealer but the Foodsaver I have is great for my small family. I don't go and buy half a cow and vacuum seal it. I don't go out and buy huge quantities of anything and seal it.
I have difficulty thinking an expensive machine is worth the "savings". Even if you did buy 1/2 cow or pig, you would only use the thing every what, 6 or 9 months?
I know you love your machine and can you tell me, are you in the restaurant business? Of have a huge family or seal things for a lot of people? You said in another post that you use the machine 2 to 3 times per day. I know that for my family, we buy bulk chicken, a couple large picks or chops or whatever and take it home and vacuum seal it with out food saver and then don't pull out the machine again for well over a month or more.
As for the math, it would take me and my family a very long time to use all the bags your math comes up with and I also do not "waste" a lot of the bag for sealing.. I don't find the bags very expensive at Costco and the package lasts us quite a while.
I am glad that for the amount of sealing you do that your expensive machine is right for you but I really think the average family will use the foodsaver perhaps once a month or maybe even less and therefore it is a much better value for them
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Pete_Coach wrote:
Nov 24th, 2016 6:32 pm
I know you are a proponent of this $1000 sealer but the Foodsaver I have is great for my small family.
To be technically correct, the sealer itself is only $450USD or let's say $650CAD if you buy from the US.
It is significantly more here, but if you have access to the US there's no reason not to buy it there.
However, I do recommend that you spend upwards of a grand because you'll need bags.
If you buy smaller counts of bags you end up paying more per bag which negates a lot of the savings I'm describing here.
So at the end of the day, you're spending a grand and getting enough bags to last you the next couple years.
I don't go and buy half a cow and vacuum seal it. I don't go out and buy huge quantities of anything and seal it.
I don't either. The largest thing I vac pack is maybe a costco sized pack.
Actually Costco and a chamber go together quite well.

For example, you can buy a large jar of spices at Costco. Most people won't use them but it's still economical to buy a larger size compared to the grocery store.
But instead of throwing them out (or using old garlic powder) you can vac pack the rest of it and use it again next time with little loss of quality.

Same idea with butter for example. If you buy a pound of butter, cut it up into 4 pieces and vac pack 3 sticks while keeping the other one out, you can preserve the freshness of your butter for $0.15 (for 3 bags)

Expand this to anything you buy.
Coffee, yogurt, meats, sour cream, etc.
Everything lasts longer under vacuum.

That's not to say that you can't do this in a regular sucker sealer.
It just costs more so it's not cost effective to preserve things.
Using butter as an example, each 1/4 stick costs me $0.05/$0.15
The same 1/4 stick would cost $0.25 or $0.75 for 3 portions.
I have difficulty thinking an expensive machine is worth the "savings". Even if you did buy 1/2 cow or pig, you would only use the thing every what, 6 or 9 months?
It's strange, but the last thing I would ever buy is a half a cow. There's too many bits I don't like (eg tenderloin, the entire round, no offal, etc) to make the bulk of the edible portion not worth it.
I do however buy primals, which is another place where a chamber shines.
I know you love your machine and can you tell me, are you in the restaurant business?

I was, but I'm not any more.
When I get back into the restaurant business (which I'm planning on doing so in the next year or two) I'm going to pick up a much larger model worth probably $5000 or more.
Of have a huge family or seal things for a lot of people?

Actually it's mostly for me as a single person.
You said in another post that you use the machine 2 to 3 times per day.

I'm not 100% sure what my average seal count is nowadays but it's probably close to 1-2 maybe per day.
That's not to say that I actually use it every day because some days I'd buy a pack of 3 chickens, vac pack 2 of them and eat the other one.
Or if I buy a striploin I vac pack 10 steaks. Or a sack of frozen corn I get like 15 portions.
Oh here's a good one: I have a condo so I can't smoke at home. So I strap a smoker to the back of my vehicle and smoke off site. Since it's just as much work smoking 1 rack as it is 12 racks, I just bring 12 racks with me.
Vac pack the rest and now I have 80% as good ribs with 5% of the work.

Have you ever seen those vegetable steamer things in the frozen section?
They're like in a "special" bag with seasoning that you toss in the nuker.
I make those myself. Toss a pat of butter and some salt into a bag and fill it with corn/peas/etc.
Nuke for 4 minutes and I have perfectly steamed vegetables.
The difference is that it costs me $10 for like 10 portions compared to $3-4 each for the retail variety.

I've had this machine for roughly 2 years now and I've used roughly 1000 bags (I think. I haven't done inventory in a while)
1000 bags / 730 days = 1.5 bags per day.

I don't think I even did 1000 bags in an entire decade+ with a Foodsaver as I only used it a couple of times like once a week.
I did however go through like 4 machines in that same time. (original white, black clamp, black and grey clamp, and I'm fairly certain one more but I could be wrong.)
I know that for my family, we buy bulk chicken, a couple large picks or chops or whatever and take it home and vacuum seal it with out food saver and then don't pull out the machine again for well over a month or more.
When I had a food saver, I did literally the exact same thing.
I'd only vac pack very expensive items because cheap items weren't worth the bag cost nor the labor cost.
I rarely used the premade bags so to vac pack 10 things I'd need to do upwards of 40 operations.

That all changed with my chamber.
When doing bulk operations, I can vac pack 2x of the 6x10 bags at once which means that if I'm filling like 10 bags of frozen veggies or something I can do it in 5 operations instead of 10.
At a minute per operation (30 seconds vacuuming, 7 seconds sealing, 23 seconds unloading and loading) I can finish in 5 minutes.

20 operations with one bag making step and one sealing step means you're spending 15 minutes doing the same thing assuming the sealing step is about the same and the making operation is half.

Scale that up at all and now you're spending 3x the amount of time doing something.

None of this matters for a single use since a minute vs a minute and a half isn't anything to write home about.
But if you're packing 20 chicken breasts or something it can mean you're spending 30 minutes more than I am.
As for the math, it would take me and my family a very long time to use all the bags your math comes up with and I also do not "waste" a lot of the bag for sealing.. I don't find the bags very expensive at Costco and the package lasts us quite a while.
I'm not sure how large your family is or how much food you go through (or rather throw away and/or neglect to purchase in a more bulk form) but I can tell you that things do add up when you start being able to preserve things for significantly longer than you used to be able to.
So instead of buying a retail pack of chicken for example, you can buy a costco pack, vac pack the rest and have fresh chicken for 2 weeks compared to 2 days.
This scales down too. I vac pack a buck worth of nuts because I miscalculated how much I needed when I bought them. So instead of having them go rancid I just packed them for another day.

I stand behind my math I did in the other post.
Assuming official bags at Costco, it costs you $0.025/inch. An 8in bag (which doesn't hold too much) costs you $0.20.
I pay $0.05.
$0.15 doesn't seem like much, but once you start vacuum packing more things it adds up quick.
1000 bags is $150 difference.
Not to mention the food that you're saving/no longer have to buy/is lasting longer.
I am glad that for the amount of sealing you do that your expensive machine is right for you but I really think the average family will use the foodsaver perhaps once a month or maybe even less and therefore it is a much better value for them
Have you ever seen a commercial for the foodsaver? I mean the old infomercial ones where they're vac packing everything in sight?
That's basically me now.
There's almost nothing in my fridge that's not vac packed.
Before I had my chamber, I'd use it about once a month as well. Very few things were vac packed. It was too much work or expensive to run.
Once I bought my chamber, I started vac packing everything. All of a sudden I realized that things lasted longer.
I get a couple weeks out of chicken. Almost a month out of beef. Same with pork.
This is in a sufficiently cold fridge too. If you count the freezer (which I don't as I don't like the quality of frozen meat) you can buy quite a bit more time due to the lack of freezer burn.

Ever use a 1/3 of a container of sour cream then forget it in your fridge until it goes fuzzy?
Not me.
I buy a 1L for the same price as a 250mL, use 125mL (or whatever) then vac pack the rest.
Now I have like 2 months to use 1L.

Hell I needed some ice packs.
Vac packed my gallon bags with some water.
Froze it. Now I have a leak proof ice pack for $0.15.
You can do the same, but it'd cost you $0.35.
Do 5 of them and I'm a dollar ahead.

Doesn't sound like much, but repeat this constant nickel and diming everywhere and every time you use it and it starts adding up.
Combine that with the cost of food and you're double teaming the cost of the machine.
Taking advantage of bulk savings and sales means that you can spend your money wisely.

I'm sure you and thousands of others are happy with their machine, but this is one of those things that you have to experience to truly know the value of.
Nothing goes to waste any more.

Oh and I even take vac packed bags of food with me for lunch.
It's a little unorthodox but I can toss it in my bag without having to worry about it leaking or spilling.
I can poke a hole in it and toss it in the microwave. It's easily disposable (but a little wasteful) so I don't have to bring home dishes to wash.
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death_hawk wrote:
Nov 25th, 2016 12:19 am
To be technically correct, the sealer itself is only $450USD or let's say $650CAD if you buy from the US.
It is significantly more here, but if you have access to the US there's no reason not to buy it there.
.....

I don't either. The largest thing I vac pack is maybe a costco sized pack.
....
For example, you can buy a large jar of spices at Costco. .....

Same idea with butter for example. If you buy a pound of butter, cut it up into 4 pieces and vac pack 3 sticks while keeping the other one out, you can preserve the freshness of your butter for $0.15 (for 3 bags)

Expand this to anything you buy.
Coffee, yogurt, meats, sour cream, etc.
.........
.........

I was, but I'm not any more.
When I get back into the restaurant business.
...
Actually it's mostly for me as a single person.


I'm not 100% sure what my average seal count is nowadays but it's probably close to 1-2 maybe per day.
That's not to say that I actually use it every day because some days I'd buy a pack of 3 chickens, vac pack 2 of them and eat the other one.
Or if I buy a striploin I vac pack 10 steaks. Or a sack of frozen corn I get like 15 portions.
Oh here's a good one: I have a condo so I can't smoke at home. So I strap a smoker to the back of my vehicle and smoke off site. Since it's just as much work smoking 1 rack as it is 12 racks, I just bring 12 racks with me.
..........
.........
........
..........
.......

When I had a food saver, I did literally the exact same thing.
I'd only vac pack very expensive items because cheap items weren't worth the bag cost nor the labor cost.
.....
.........
....
.......
But if you're packing 20 chicken breasts or something it can mean you're spending 30 minutes more than I am.


I'm not sure how large your family is or how much food you go through (or rather throw away and/or neglect to purchase in a more bulk form) but I can tell you that things do add up when you start being able to preserve things for significantly longer than you used to be able to.
So instead of buying a retail pack of chicken for example, you can buy a costco pack, vac pack the rest and have fresh chicken for 2 weeks compared to 2 days.
This scales down too. I vac pack a buck worth of nuts because I miscalculated how much I needed when I bought them. .......

I stand behind my math I did in the other post.
Assuming official bags at Costco, it costs you $0.025/inch. An 8in bag (which doesn't hold too much) costs you $0.20.
I pay $0.05.
$0.15 doesn't seem like much, but once you start vacuum packing more things it adds up quick.
1000 bags is $150 difference.
Not to mention the food that you're saving/no longer have to buy/is lasting longer.


Have you ever seen a commercial for the foodsaver? I mean the old infomercial ones where they're vac packing everything in sight?
That's basically me now.
There's almost nothing in my fridge that's not vac packed.
....
Once I bought my chamber, I started vac packing everything. All of a sudden I realized that things lasted longer.
I get a couple weeks out of chicken. Almost a month out of beef. Same with pork.
...

Ever use a 1/3 of a container of sour cream then forget it in your fridge until it goes fuzzy?
Not me.
I buy a 1L for the same price as a 250mL, use 125mL (or whatever) then vac pack the rest.
Now I have like 2 months to use 1L.

Hell I needed some ice packs.
Vac packed my gallon bags with some water.
Froze it. Now I have a leak proof ice pack for $0.15.
You can do the same, but it'd cost you $0.35.
Do 5 of them and I'm a dollar ahead.

......
Taking advantage of bulk savings and sales means that you can spend your money wisely.

I'm sure you and thousands of others are happy with their machine, but this is one of those things that you have to experience to truly know the value of.
Nothing goes to waste any more.

Oh and I even take vac packed bags of food with me for lunch.
.......
Thanks for all that.
I guess we (my family and I) are nowhere near as vacuum sealing as you. We buy for a couple weeks in advance or when there isa good special. For a single guy, you sure get a lot of food :)
We do our weekly shopping a if we buy a bulk special, that is what the foodsaver is used for. We certainly do not vacuum seal spices or nuts or sour cream. We also do not vacuum seal our lunches.
I guess that is where our use of a machine differs substantially. That is probably why our costs re not and never will be near to yours and ur machine will last considerably longer. It is used occasionally, as opposed to several times a day. There is really nothing in our fridge that is vacuum sealed. We use it to seal and freeze products.
Thanks for the info and again, I am glad that your machine fill the need for your lifestyle. The foodsaver fits our needs and lifestyle and budget at this time.
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Pete_Coach wrote:
Nov 25th, 2016 7:44 am
Thanks for all that.
I guess we (my family and I) are nowhere near as vacuum sealing as you. We buy for a couple weeks in advance or when there isa good special. For a single guy, you sure get a lot of food :)
We do our weekly shopping a if we buy a bulk special, that is what the foodsaver is used for. We certainly do not vacuum seal spices or nuts or sour cream. We also do not vacuum seal our lunches.
I guess that is where our use of a machine differs substantially. That is probably why our costs re not and never will be near to yours and ur machine will last considerably longer. It is used occasionally, as opposed to several times a day. There is really nothing in our fridge that is vacuum sealed. We use it to seal and freeze products.
Thanks for the info and again, I am glad that your machine fill the need for your lifestyle. The foodsaver fits our needs and lifestyle and budget at this time.
when you have a chamber vac, the biggest thing is saving time.

you no longer have to deal with spoiled food, possible food poisoning from food gone bad. you can buy any sale you see in bulk instead going to the store frequently to buy fresh food. taking food on trips/potlucks/get-together is easy cause you can do prep at home. marinating meat is super easy and less wasteful. saving dried goods is easy too.

i even use my vacuum to save apples. sometimes i only want to eat half of an apple and keep the rest fresh for lunch the next day. pop in vacuum sealer and it is as fresh as if i just cut it the next day. made soup that you want to take to work? seal it into 5 bags and 1 bag for lunch each day.

having a chamber vacuum will change a lot of your habits to save time. you won't be aware of it until you have one because to most people, foodsaver is an extra hassle.
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Bskll wrote:
Nov 25th, 2016 9:51 am
when you have a chamber vac, the biggest thing is saving time.

you no longer have to deal with spoiled food, possible food poisoning from food gone bad.
you can buy any sale you see in bulk instead going to the store frequently to buy fresh food. taking food on trips/potlucks/get-together is easy cause you can do prep at home. marinating meat is super easy and less wasteful. saving dried goods is easy too.

i even use my vacuum to save apples. sometimes i only want to eat half of an apple and keep the rest fresh for lunch the next day. pop in vacuum sealer and it is as fresh as if i just cut it the next day. made soup that you want to take to work? seal it into 5 bags and 1 bag for lunch each day.

having a chamber vacuum will change a lot of your habits to save time. you won't be aware of it until you have one because to most people, foodsaver is an extra hassle.
OK, I am not or never have said a chamber vacuum i snot worth it, just it is not worth it to me.
I have never claimed anything to save time. That is not even a factor in the small amount I do.
I also have never had food spoilage or poisoning from products in my house. I do not buy things and let them spoil.
I bought in limited quantities and froze things I was not going to use in the near future. The reason for buying a food saver was to be able to take advantage of sales and buy in lrager quantities so I could vacuum seal them thereby preventing freezer burn (and spoilage from that).
I have never found foodsaver to be an extra hassle as I never had one before and this was just a way of buying food and keeping it longer. No hassle, just made sense and, it does not cost much.
Like I said before, I am glad those of you that have a chamber sealer, great, but the expense is not for me. If it is for you, even better but all I am saying the foodsaver, it's cost and it's usability are perfect for my family. Sort of like a Corolla for a daily drive as opposed to a Jag....nicer ride in a Jaguar but the Toyota gets me to the same place cheaper. :)
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UrbanPoet wrote:
Nov 25th, 2016 10:43 am
I wanna vacuum seal everything like death hawk. But I have an apartment... And the its expensive to start off with. hehe.
Maybe if I reach the next pay grade... lol

But Foodsaver seems to be the go to brand.
I'm a noob with vacuum sealing, as well. I just bought a Foodsaver v4800 series from this somewhat shady looking shop selling open box. Found them on Kijiji. The unit retails for $150+ and I got it for $79. I haven't tried it yet but figure if it turns out to be a piece of junk, my exposure isn't too bad just to try out vacuum sealing for freezer and for sous vide.
http://www.kijiji.ca/v-vacuum/city-of-t ... nFlag=true

Image

Costco link for comparison.
http://www.costco.ca/FoodSaver-Automati ... 15705.html
Last edited by DiceMan on Nov 25th, 2016 12:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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DiceMan wrote:
Nov 25th, 2016 12:47 pm
I'm a noob with vacuum sealing, as well. I just bought a Foodsaver v4800 series from this somewhat shady looking shop selling open box. Found them on Kijiji. The unit retails for $150+ and I got it for $79. I haven't tried it yet but figure if it turns out to be a piece of junk, my exposure isn't too bad just to try out vacuum sealing for freezer and for sous vide.

http://www.kijiji.ca/v-vacuum/city-of-t ... nFlag=true.
Image

Costco link for comparison.
http://www.costco.ca/FoodSaver-Automati ... 15705.html
What is everyone opinions on those ebay vaccum sealer bag rolls? Looks cheap...
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I was interested in a chamber sealer but where is the best online price? It's so much cheaper buying in the States (both machine and refills). I don't live close to the border so can't go across to pick it up.
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Pete_Coach wrote:
Nov 25th, 2016 10:04 am
I bought in limited quantities and froze things I was not going to use in the near future. The reason for buying a food saver was to be able to take advantage of sales and buy in lrager quantities so I could vacuum seal them thereby preventing freezer burn (and spoilage from that).
You have the right mindset here so a chamber would actually save you money at the end of the day.
I have never found foodsaver to be an extra hassle as I never had one before and this was just a way of buying food and keeping it longer. No hassle, just made sense and, it does not cost much.
Again it's one of those you don't know what you're missing if you don't have one.
Having used both machines I would never go back to the sucker type sealer ever except in very specific use cases.
but all I am saying the foodsaver, it's cost and it's usability are perfect for my family. Sort of like a Corolla for a daily drive as opposed to a Jag....nicer ride in a Jaguar but the Toyota gets me to the same place cheaper. :)
Strangely enough you have the analogy kind of backwards.
It's like comparing a Toyota to let's say a Tesla that you can recharge for almost nothing.
Toyota is cheaper to buy up front but you're paying for very expensive gasoline.
Tesla is much more expensive but you can fuel up for next to nothing.

If you're a Sunday driver only driving to church, there's no reason to ever get a Tesla.
But if you make a daily commute, there's no reason to get a Toyota because the Tesla will pay for itself in fuel savings in a year or two.
UrbanPoet wrote:
Nov 25th, 2016 10:43 am
I wanna vacuum seal everything like death hawk. But I have an apartment... And the its expensive to start off with. hehe.
Maybe if I reach the next pay grade... lol
As I said, it's an extremely hard pill to swallow in both price and counter space, but it's one of the things that's made a permanent home on my counter (side cart actually) and will never be replaced.
But Foodsaver seems to be the go to brand.
Honestly... I would go with a cheap brand.
There's a seal-a-meal in the US for like $20 or $30.
Buy one of those and save up for a chamber.
There's literally zero reason to buy a machine with "featuers" (that aren't even features) for $200.
That extra money is better suited to be put towards a chamber.
UrbanPoet wrote:
Nov 25th, 2016 1:09 pm
What is everyone opinions on those ebay vaccum sealer bag rolls? Looks cheap...
They're hit or miss.
Some are great. Others are terrible. It really depends on the batch and the seller.

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