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roygon

Chamber Vacuum Sealers, 2011–2014

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On a slightly different topic, can anyone recommend a place to buy chamber vacuum bags?

I can help with this. I recently spent hours looking at every single source I could find for chamber vacuum bags. There is a massive difference in prices across different vendors!

The cheapest source I found was http://www.vacuumsealersunlimited.com/. I bought their 3mm bags and have been happy with the quality. (Also, the owner is quick to reply to email if you have questions.)

3 mil 6x10 (pint) 1000 $.033/bag
3 mil 8x12 (quart) 1000 $.052/bag
3 mil 12x15 (gal) 500 $.098/bag

Shipping costs were still not trivial, adding about 1 cent to the final cost of each bag.

As to bag size...

I got pint, quart, and gallon bags, plus some 2.5x10 bags. I find that I use the pint bags the most, by far. I also find that the 6" width (5.5" opening) is just a little narrower than I would like. If I was doing this again, I would consider ordering a 7x9 bag as my smallest size. Then again, I can put 2 6" bags down at a time in my 35XP, which is really nice sometimes.

It's hard to know what will work for you until you try it, and unfortunately you can't order these bags in small quantities. I really wanted to get some of the shrink bags and gold-backed bags, but I just don't need hundreds or thousands of them. (Maybe some Seattle folks would like to go in on an order of the exotic bags, and split them up.)

I'll be happy to paste my notes in this thread or send them via PM if you want to see the other places I evaluated.

Edit: I forgot to mention, I made my quart sized bags the boilable style. At that size, the extra cost for boilable was small. You can use all these bags for sous vide, but if you want to BOIL the food, the special bag is advised.


Edited by horseflesh (log)

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I recently bought 1000 of the 8"x12" bags which will last well beyond my expected lifetime! If you want to buy an order of 7"x9" bags. I will be happy to share half of mine for half of yours, or split smaller quantities for different sizes. Whatever works.

Best,

Paul

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Dan, if you are waiting for an email reply I would definitely call Minipack. I have called a couple of times and they were great. Last time I had a technical question I spoke to Jamal.

I'll be calling soon myself. My 35XP seems to have a faulty display.

Thanks -- I spoke to Jamal and he gave me the info for a local company that does repairs. I appreciate the help, hopefully it won't be out of service for very long!

Dan

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I'm seriously thinking about getting a vacmaster vp215 and was wondering if folks have any thoughts about the best place to buy. (Not just in terms of price but overall experience)

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I recently ordered the VP215 and it's great. $889 with free shipping at webstaurantstore.com . The day I ordered it is the day they shipped it out. I wanted to put some other stuff in the same order but other items don't have free shipping unfortunately and though this was, it actually increased the shipping charge for whatever reason by a few dollars (this is a 95 lbs item btw). In any event, the VP215 works quite well. It's also very quiet. I just wish there was an instant seal option or some way to extend the seal/vacuum time without having to adjust the settings.

On another note, I ordered 2000 bags at vacuumsealersunlimited.com and I have to say I'm fairly disappointed. I ordered it the past Tuesday and they still haven't shipped it out. It's been almost a week. Emailing led to no response and phoning was not helpful either. Basically they said when they ship it I'll get a confirmation email... I'm still waiting even though they said it would ship out the past Friday. Hopefully I'll get it soon. I researched around and I found www.meatprocessingproducts.com had comparable prices and shipping. I ordered from vacuumsealersunlimited based on the recommendation of this forum. If I need more bags, I'll try meatprocessingproducts next time.

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On another note, I ordered 2000 bags at vacuumsealersunlimited.com and I have to say I'm fairly disappointed. I ordered it the past Tuesday and they still haven't shipped it out. It's been almost a week.

It took them about a week to send my shipment of bags too. When I got the bags they were shipped from another state, so I think that the vendor is arranging for shipping from the manufacturer. I was so happy to have thousands of bags I forgot to mention the shipping delay, which was a bummer.

I did see that other vendor in my price research and their bags are a cent or two more per bag, which adds up fast when you are buying in thousands. Their shipping is not any cheaper either. I'd still order from vacuumsealersunlimited.com again unless I that extra week really mattered.

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I was interested in the VP215 until I read some of the nightmare reviews.

This one in particular.......

http://www.amazon.com/review/R2RAONONP0WEX4/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#R2RAONONP0WEX4

Three machines went bad in in just over 12 months??? :blink:

The $999 PolyScience 300 Series chamber looks interesting, hopefully it's a good machine.

http://cuisinetechnology.com/chamber-vacuum-sealer-300.php

FWIW, VacuumSealersUnlimited.com offers a monthly 10% discount code.....

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/125236/another-vacuumsealersunlimited-thread-plus-vacmaster-review#post_1067316

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I was interested in the VP215 until I read some of the nightmare reviews.

This one in particular.......

http://www.amazon.com/review/R2RAONONP0WEX4/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#R2RAONONP0WEX4

Three machines went bad in in just over 12 months??? :blink:

The $999 PolyScience 300 Series chamber looks interesting, hopefully it's a good machine.

http://cuisinetechnology.com/chamber-vacuum-sealer-300.php

FWIW, VacuumSealersUnlimited.com offers a monthly 10% discount code.....

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/125236/another-vacuumsealersunlimited-thread-plus-vacmaster-review#post_1067316

I have had the VP215 for 3 or 4 months now. It's been reliable with no problems. Maybe there was a bad batch or something. I'm soon getting to the point where I should probably change the oil. No complaints here.

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I'd be interested to hear other people's opinion on the polyscience chamber vacuum sealer. It definitely looks sleeker and it's priced right at just under $1000 (though with shipping it'll probably bump it up a bit over). So far my vp215 hasn't given me any trouble but I wouldn't want to deal with the nightmare of a defective unit especially since it's 90+ lbs to ship. If they had 3rd party service centers it would make things a lot easier. At least their customer service is good. Polyscience seems to be lighter coming in at 50 lbs which I would prefer.

For VacuumSealersUnlimited.com I tried using the discount code but I couldn't get it to work. Even if it did though, I wouldn't want to hassle with the poor service and the delay. I'm glad Vacmaster includes sample bags. This helped me decide which sizes I prefer. I originally planned on getting 7x9, 8x10 and 10x13 but ended up getting 8x12 and 10x13 since I found anything less than 8" wide was a bit small for me. For sealing round objects which causes the bag the fold in spots I also found a small cheap handheld sealer worked well - http://dx.com/p/super-sealer-mini-multi-function-sealing-machine-white-2-x-aa-100566%C2'>

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Well, it is the harvest season, hunting season and it's just before the holidays......I don't think that delays should come as much of a surprise during was is -by far- their busiest time of year!

Literally dozens and dozens of folks who frequent the linked forum above have ordered from VacuumSealersUnlimited without any complaints......I'm sure the back-ups are just temporary.

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I hadn't seen the polyscience unit. That looks interesting, but I sorta talked myself into something with a rotary oil pump and the vacmaster seems credible.

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The 10% off code won't work on chamber bags. I asked them about it, it's by design... Claimed they didn't have margin to spare, which could be true since that are already the cheapest bags I could find.

Even if they always shipped a week late, I'd order again without hesitation. I probably saved $75 over making the same big order elsewhere.

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That Polyscience Unit does look interesting, although, I wouldn't trade my MVS-31X for anything (except maybe a 35..). Turns out my issue was simply a little water in the pump -- Minipack hooked me up with their local repair group, and they came out, picked up the machine, fixed it and dropped it back off -- in less than 5 days. It is running like new and I couldn't be happier. I suppose that the Oil Pump machines require more maintenance and whatnot, but it seems to be worth it in my opinion.

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only a few years ago immersion circulators were $1500

the Sous Vide Supreme (non-circulating ) was a 'breakthrough' at $400+

now we have basically pro quality real immersion circulators available for $200

I look at the Vacmaster VP112 as kind of the SVS entry point, but it's still $600-700

As sous vide cooking makes its way into more and more home kitchens, I wonder if it isn't inevitable that the next wave needs to be a $250 chamber vacuum sealer.

when?

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$250.00?

Hopefully never.

I wouldn't want a chamber sealer with the same dependability and longevity of the junky ubiquitous clamp machines!!!

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I am not sure it is possible to get that low -- It would need to be assembled from such an array of cheap materials that it would hardly seem dependable enough -- plus they would need to develop a reliable vacuum pump that would significantly less expensive than the ones out there now. I think Chamber Sealers are a limited product as well -- they are not an a-typical home product, nor do I see them going there -- In order to be useful, they have to be big and most people don't have, or don't want to make room for them.

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The clamp machines sure are junk. I've gone through three of them. I wonder if it is inherent in that sort of unit. We need an engineer (Anova Jeff perhaps) to weigh in.

It could be that the chamber design could be made better more cheaply than the clamp.

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It sure would be nice to see that happen but I know for a fact I cant wait for something cheaper to come out because I already know whats under my christmas tree and it needs a chamber sealing buddy to be its friend.

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Hopefully the price will come down some more. Looking at the components and concept I strongly believe it can be made less expensive. I think what's holding back the dropping of prices is simply the lack of competition and the profit oriented mindset of the current market. What we need is a company to revolutionize the industry and bring the idea to the mass market. Otherwise a kickstarter project on this with some strong publicity would be equally nice. The concept seems straight forward enough with a sealed chamber, vacuum pump, some relays and a sealer mechanism.

I can see one hurdle to overcome - current units weigh close to if not more than 100 lbs. All that steel, plexiglass, vacuum pump, etc would cost an arm and a leg for shipping alone. If it can be re-engineered to use less material, it would be an overall savings for any manufacturer.

Another thing, my vp215 looks like it was designed in the 80's with no innovation since. I feel all other appliances like washer/dryers, fridges, ovens, stoves, etc have all been updated but these, not the slightest. Some would say the newer appliances are just cheaper looking and less reliable but I disagree. I'm sure there's a compromise somewhere between high tech and reliability. The vacuum chamber companies need a good kick in the ass with some strong competition that's willing to innovate. Though I can't really complain about Ary. They've already come out with the vp112 which is lighter and cheaper than their previous models. Just a sleeker interface such as a color touch screen would jazz it up a bit but that's another topic.

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the problem with the chamber vacuum sealer is that it is pretty much not needed for 95 + ( if no more )

of SV applications.

it will never be main-stream for these reason.

Compressed Water-mellon? go to the restaurant.


Edited by rotuts (log)
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The clamp machines sure are junk. I've gone through three of them. I wonder if it is inherent in that sort of unit. We need an engineer (Anova Jeff perhaps) to weigh in.

It could be that the chamber design could be made better more cheaply than the clamp.

the problem with the chamber vacuum sealer is that it is pretty much not needed for 95 + ( if no more ) of SV applications.

it will never be main-stream for these reason.

Compressed Water-mellon? go to the restaurant.

I agree with rotuts, my 13-year-old edge sealer is not junk but still going strong and is good enough for all SV cooking, and sealing liquids is possible as well, see the links in my earlier post upthread.

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The clamp machines sure are junk. I've gone through three of them. I wonder if it is inherent in that sort of unit. We need an engineer (Anova Jeff perhaps) to weigh in.

It could be that the chamber design could be made better more cheaply than the clamp.

the problem with the chamber vacuum sealer is that it is pretty much not needed for 95 + ( if no more ) of SV applications.

it will never be main-stream for these reason.

Compressed Water-mellon? go to the restaurant.

I agree with rotuts, my 13-year-old edge sealer is not junk but still going strong and is good enough for all SV cooking, and sealing liquids is possible as well, see the links in my earlier post upthread.

The clamp machines sure are junk. I've gone through three of them. I wonder if it is inherent in that sort of unit. We need an engineer (Anova Jeff perhaps) to weigh in.

It could be that the chamber design could be made better more cheaply than the clamp.

the problem with the chamber vacuum sealer is that it is pretty much not needed for 95 + ( if no more ) of SV applications.

it will never be main-stream for these reason.

Compressed Water-mellon? go to the restaurant.

I agree with rotuts, my 13-year-old edge sealer is not junk but still going strong and is good enough for all SV cooking, and sealing liquids is possible as well, see the links in my earlier post upthread.

I do most of my SV in zip lock bags and don't need a chamber sealer unless it would be more sturdy than the edge sealing units that don't hold up. I've had the vacuum sensors die and two pumps die with light use.

Pedro, I'm glad you have a sealer that hasn't died. What make is it?

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with respect, a lot of what I'm reading could have been essentially said abou sous vide generally or immersion circulators.

they can't be cheaper because they'll be unreliable and made from cheap parts

who needs them? go to a restaurant... or make a DIY heater and make do.

not enough people will want them at home

etc.

I think the last one is the tipping point/crucial point.

a LOT of people will be buying $200 immersion circulators and they'll soon find the limitations of zip-top bags and clamp vacuum sealers.

they, like me, will be wanting chamber sealers.

and that demand may drive the price down, I'm expecting and hoping.

I suspect it's just a matter of how fast.

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Unlike an immersion circulator, a chamber sealer involves high pressures and several potential fail points.

I don't see much of a future for cheap chamber sealers in households but only time will tell.

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I have a Weston sealer. I cant say if its a 'clamp' sealer but it must be as its not a Chamber Vac.

almost 3 y and working fine

It was a bit pricy out of the gate and not very small ....

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