Food & Drink

What vacuum sealer should I get?

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  • Sep 23rd, 2020 6:32 pm
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Jan 27, 2004
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death_hawk wrote: (When we still had the VP112) $1000ish included shipping to your door and like 3000 bags.

Knowing the cost per bag means you're more hesitant sealing cheap goods which add up to additional waste.
My 8x12 are half the price at about $0.10 each and 12x16 (closest I can find in Canada) is about $0.22.
My 6x10 are about $0.04.

Using historical values of $500USD ($661 CAD) minus $80 (or upwards of $200 for a "fancy" sucker) means $460-580 difference.
At $0.10/bag, you'll pay for the machine outright after about 5000 uses.
Unless quality has improved, your foodsaver probably won't last that long. I went through a half dozen machines in 10 years because they kept failing. I wasn't even using them that much due to cost of use.

Once you start sealing cheaper things you'd normally skip due to costs, those can add up to $500 pretty damn quick.
4x 8x12 your bags = $0.80.
4x 6x10 my bags = $0.16.
For $0.16 I can split a tub of $3 tub sour cream into portions. To spend $0.80 for the same project in a sucker sealer makes less sense. I'm spending 5% of the product cost. You'd be spending 25% of the product cost.


EDIT: Even rolls won't save you. Making a smaller bag means you're wasting 4 inches for sealing space on each end.
At $0.16-$0.19 per inch (on your site) making a smaller bag than a 6x10 isn't even practical cost wise.
The cheapest bag I see there is the 6x10 which for 1200 is $180 or $0.15 each. I just paid $37.50 for 1000 of the same size.
Yah... just the $1699+tax
Ouch.
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Aug 22, 2006
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UrbanPoet wrote: Yah... just the $1699+tax
Ouch.
Yeah there's no good "consumer" chamber at the moment since the departure of the VP112. I'm hoping they bring out something to replace it because everything now is $1000USD and up which makes the to your door cost nearly $2000. $1000 is hard enough to swallow. $2000 is insane for basically everyone.
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death_hawk wrote: .......

It's the printer ink argument.

Expensive up front but cheap ongoing
vs
Cheap up front vs expensive ongoing
Bad argument LOL
Even expensive printers need expensive ink. :)
death_hawk wrote: Yeah there's no good "consumer" chamber at the moment since the departure of the VP112. I'm hoping they bring out something to replace it because everything now is $1000USD and up which makes the to your door cost nearly $2000. $1000 is hard enough to swallow. $2000 is insane for basically everyone.
Hence, makes the FoodSaver a viable choice for home use....even with the cost of the bags.
Ours is over 5 year old and have never had a problem with it.

BTW, did you ever get back in the restaurant business?
Last edited by Pete_Coach on Sep 9th, 2020 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Do I wish I had a chamber sealer? Sure, mostly when I am doing wet stuff, or soup. I have a work around for that too. Freeze flat ahead, then seal. A chamber sealer is much better, more reliable and cheaper per bag for long term, higher volume use. However, that's not the use case for 99% of the residential users.

Do I use my sucker sealer and come out ahead? Absolutely. I bought the no frills version of the food saver for under $80 with 3 rolls well over 10 years ago and I still use it regularly. I used to wait for Costco to have their twice a year sale, but last time just ordered from Amazon. 4x11"x25' rolls for $25 and free shipping as I had other things to bring the total over $35.

@death_hawk's cost/benefits analysis confirms that for current units at current prices the chamber sealer may be out of reach. However, I do think that even if you could get the unit at the historical price, the cost/benefit doesn't apply either, specially if you are only looking at cost of product vs cost of bags.

1- The waste for a sucker sealer is not 4" at each side, it's barely 1/2" on one side, and about 2" on the other at the sealing end. You need the space to close the lid to suck&seal, but some units minimize that too.

2- Once you get to sealing small stuff like 4 slices of lemon, and comparing the $0.05 bag to the $0.25 bag, you are in deep end of obsessive/compulsive territory. There is no logic to it anymore. There are things that get saved in a Tupperware in the fridge to use within a week or so, and then there are things that get vacuum sealed for longer term storage or to freeze. I am not going to let the cost of the $0.25 bag, from saving that really good piece of parmesano reggiano for the next pasta dish. It's not about the cost at that point.
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Pete_Coach wrote: Bad argument LOL
Even expensive printers need expensive ink. :)
Yeah... I should have said ink vs laser.
Although one could argue about the quality difference (ie ink is better). And then there's something like the eco tank which has an expensive printer but cheap ink.
And the CIS systems with cheap printers and cheap ink.

Hence, makes the FoodSaver a viable choice for home use....even with the cost of the bags.
Ours is over 5 year old and have never had a problem with it.
It was a tough sell even at $1000. I can't argue that.
The current landscape makes it silly.
But if we do ever get a "consumer" model of a chamber sealer again at around a $700CAD price point, I will again stand behind that.
Currently though.... I can just tell everyone on here to jump into their RFD issued time machine and $100k a year salary to go buy it 3 years ago.

I think I'm coming up on 5 years myself with my chamber and I still stand by it.
I actually just bought some 6x10 bags because they were $37.50 per 1000 in Canada.
BTW, did you ever get back in the restaurant business?
Thanks COVID... I still kind of want to though because I was always going to do a (basically) takeout only but maybe with one table (no service).
With COVID I'd obviously kill the table.
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Aug 22, 2006
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my0gr81 wrote: Do I wish I had a chamber sealer? Sure, mostly when I am doing wet stuff, or soup. I have a work around for that too. Freeze flat ahead, then seal.
To be honest... even though they CAN do liquids, the low pressure causes liquids to boil at a MUCH lower temperature. This can lead to blowouts.
So depending on what (and what temperature) I'll occasionally do frozen sheets too. It's basically mandatory to only use cold things and not overfill.
A chamber sealer is much better, more reliable and cheaper per bag for long term, higher volume use. However, that's not the use case for 99% of the residential users.
That's the thing though. I was very low use due to cost.
But I became high volume (relatively speaking) when I got a chamber. I went from 1 usages a week to 1.5 usages a day.
I bought the no frills version of the food saver for under $80 with 3 rolls well over 10 years ago and I still use it regularly. I used to wait for Costco to have their twice a year sale, but last time just ordered from Amazon. 4x11"x25' rolls for $25 and free shipping as I had other things to bring the total over $35.
To be fair, I've always said that one should buy a cheap version. The (name brand) Foodsaver sucks. The new features suck. The official rolls (while apparently better) are STUPID expensive even at Costco.
Buying a $50 machine (ie the one in hot deals right now) is an okay option. 3rd party rolls (depending on quality) are okay too.
This is a good jumping off and holding point. If you get enough regular use out of this, a chamber is a good evolution at a later date. If not, you only blew $100.
@death_hawk's cost/benefits analysis confirms that for current units at current prices the chamber sealer may be out of reach. However, I do think that even if you could get the unit at the historical price, the cost/benefit doesn't apply either, specially if you are only looking at cost of product vs cost of bags.
Yeah there's definitely a cost of stuff going fuzzy attached to that. If you're doing machine+bags solely in terms of numbers, you'll never hit your payback target in a timely fashion.
Where the math makes sense is with small volumes of cheap things. $1 worth of nuts. $2 worth of Sour Cream. Etc.
The roundabout math of buying these in bulk and preserving them for use months later is where a chamber shines.
At $0.25 a bag vs $0.03 a bag, it makes sense saving $1 worth of something in a chamber but not a sucker.

1- The waste for a sucker sealer is not 4" at each side, it's barely 1/2" on one side, and about 2" on the other at the sealing end.
The seal quality on Foodsavers was AWFUL. I never once trusted a single seal. When I was sous videing my bags, I'd quad seal them and they'd still leak sometimes. This is with clean rims.
On preservation, I'd do at least 2 per opening. Also I don't think I said 4" each side, but I did mean 4" if you're doing a roll (ie 2" on each side) assuming 2 seals.
You need the space to close the lid to suck&seal, but some units minimize that too.
One more reason the modern foodsavers with the automated sealing thing sucks. It takes another inch or two of bag to do it.
Buying a clamp machine however does fix this.
2- Once you get to sealing small stuff like 4 slices of lemon, and comparing the $0.05 bag to the $0.25 bag, you are in deep end of obsessive/compulsive territory. There is no logic to it anymore. There are things that get saved in a Tupperware in the fridge to use within a week or so, and then there are things that get vacuum sealed for longer term storage or to freeze. I am not going to let the cost of the $0.25 bag, from saving that really good piece of parmesano reggiano for the next pasta dish. It's not about the cost at that point.
I only used lemons because it was a photo in the hot deals thing. Even I wouldn't do a lemon.
$10 worth of cheese? Any machine makes sense.

But I regularly do 4L -> 1L of yogurt (for Tandoori chicken) and 1L->250mL of Sour Cream.
It seems OCD, but the cost of 1L of sour cream is pennies more than 250mL. Once vacuum packed, it lasts for months.
I bought a #10 can of nacho cheese for $13. Those little jars of Tostitos are $5.
Packing into 500mL (the same as the jars) I can get 5 packs for $13.50.

It's little things like this and not 1/2 a lemon that do make sense.

Even using your cheese thing. I buy the 1kg blocks from Costco and portion them into 4 (3 pieces and a rind). At $0.25 a bag, that's $1. For me it's $0.16. $0.84 doesn't mean much, but it adds up when do you it over and over. Without the restraint of cost of preservation, smaller things get preserved.
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Aug 22, 2006
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UrbanPoet wrote: @death_hawk

Look what i found

https://www.amazon.ca/Chamber-Vacuum-Se ... 9PENKC4W79

And

ref=mp_s_a_1_30?dchild=1&keywords=chamber+vacuum+sealer&qid=1600494217&sprefix=chamber+vacuu&sr=8-30
I have seen a few of these Chinese vacuum sealers for about the right money but I'm hesitant to recommend one solely because of warranty issues.
It's basically on me for pushing a $500/$900 thing onto someone that may be on the fence and it dies in 3 months.

I'm not sure what to think of the bubble dome one since it's nearly $900. It also doesn't list chamber dimensions.
The dome design looks like it might be able to do jars which is interesting.

The $500 machine lists a chamber height of 2" which is quite shallow. Then again, this might not be counting the bubble dome.
Reviews say it comes with a bottle of oil which is definitely interesting since oil pumps are usually quite a bit more expensive.

I'm not sure what to think to be honest.....

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