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Fed Up With FoodSaver Vacuum Sealers

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    SheilaAnn , I had a Vacmaster Pro 350 vacuum sealer and absolutely loved it. It was head and shoulders over the FoodSavers that I had used for years. They're not easy to find any more, but this is one has features that are almost identical to it, FWIW:



    I'm an Avid Armor fan both for vac and chamber sealers, because the ones I have work well, and perhaps more importantly, the business is in the USA and there is a Customer Service line where an actual human answers. For most vacuum sealer vendors, that's not the case.

    Avid Armor's A420 vacuum sealer comes close to the Vacmaster that I had, and the price is a little less. I paid $350 for my Vacmaster Pro 350. I bought the Vacmaster through Amazon and paid for the insurance, so when it broke long after the sale, I got the full refund including shipping. That's when I bought my Avid Armor chamber sealer.

    Kathryn

    Comment


      Originally posted by jfmorris View Post
      Hey - my Foodsaver is pushing 8-10 years old, and still going strong, knock on wood. I won't be replacing it until it actually dies. The only issue I have is that the hose to the accessory "sucking" nozzle won't retract fully into the unit anymore. Thinking I pulled it out too far and sprung the mechanism or something.
      Same...except the accessory nozzle still retracts.

      I think I just jinxed it!

      Comment


        Those of you with the chamber sealers - how would you seal something like a brisket or slab of ribs? It wouldn't fit in the chamber so is there a way to seal something externally?

        Comment


        • Donw
          Donw commented
          Editing a comment
          If you have to there are ways. I cut the rack in two and seal them stacked. For brisket I separate point from flat and seal each separately. And it is possible to seal things with a chamber that won’t fit in the chamber itself. A trick I learned from an Avid Armor video. I use this trick for my homemade loaves of bread. Now if I want to seal something large and whole like a brisket I just use another style vac sealer with a wide sealing width.

        • rmeugene
          rmeugene commented
          Editing a comment
          You can seal outside the chamber. I have sealed full tenderloins hanging outside my USV32.

        Originally posted by jtw View Post
        Those of you with the chamber sealers - how would you seal something like a brisket or slab of ribs? It wouldn't fit in the chamber so is there a way to seal something externally?
        Wrong tool for the job, amigo. That's not what chamber sealers are about ...

        Comment


        • jtw
          jtw commented
          Editing a comment
          that's what i was afraid of - thanks for the answer!

        • Murdy
          Murdy commented
          Editing a comment
          So I need 2. Got it. MVS

        Originally posted by jtw View Post
        Those of you with the chamber sealers - how would you seal something like a brisket or slab of ribs? It wouldn't fit in the chamber so is there a way to seal something externally?
        Actually, Avid has a video showing how to seal outside the chamber, although I think you will probably still have to cut down the brisket to make it work. I have a clamshell style sealer and even though it has a large seal bar, a whole brisket is too large.

        How To Vacuum Seal Externally On The USV20 Chamber Sealer | Avid Armor - YouTube
        Last edited by GolfGeezer; February 6, 2024, 08:27 AM.

        Comment


          I use my chamber sealer to seal food that won't fit into the 11x13 bag which is the largest that my Avid Armor Ultra USV32 will take. It works pretty well--as well as Food Saver ever did, but not as dependably as my Vacmaster Pro vacuum sealer did.

          Just as the video that GolfGeezer linked us to, you can use a vacuum sealer bag and seal with the bag on the outside of the chamber sealer. They recommend that you reduce the vacuum setting when sealing from the outside, which I have never done, but will do if I remember from now on.

          The problem with sealing a bag from the outside of a chamber sealer is that it's sort of like rubbing your stomach and patting your head at the same time.

          You have to support the bag (or find a good support for it) with one hand and smooth the bag end section on the sealing bar, manipulate the controls and hold the lid down for a second or two after the vacuum starts with the other hand.

          I can do it, but it's not as easy as just laying the bag on the counter and using the clamshell vac sealer (the Avid Armor AVS7900) that I have which has a single sealer line bar. I like the double sealing bar on the USV32 better, though, so that's why I usually try to use the Ultra USV32 whenever I can.

          Kathryn

          Comment


          • MBMorgan
            MBMorgan commented
            Editing a comment
            Do you worry about damaging/embossing the chamber gasket?

            I plan to keep the old FoodSaver around for "external" large-object sealing until it finally dies ... and then is guess there will be a decision to be made (probably, like yourself, involving a new non-FoodSaver vacuum sealer).

          • Smoker_Boy
            Smoker_Boy commented
            Editing a comment
            LMAO picturing Panhead John rubbing his belly and patting his head.

          • fzxdoc
            fzxdoc commented
            Editing a comment
            Honestly, MBMorgan , I don' have the need to vac seal a bag externally using my chamber sealer all that often--probably less than 3% of the time, as in a handful of times a year, if that. So no, at that volume I don't worry about embossing the chamber gasket. YMMV, though.

            K.

          I first weighed in on this thread on June 12, 2019 and still have struggled, cussed, and nearly cried over my Foodsaver until TODAY. I never replaced it because I knew I didn't want another vacuum sealer, but the price of the chamber sealers was putting me off. I finally just placed the order for the USV32 bundle to arrive Sunday. https://www.amazon.com/Avid-Armor-Ch.../dp/B0CPMG8W41

          The last straw for me was a few days ago. I had 30 minutes before I needed to drive my son somewhere - should be plenty of time to seal up 8 small portions of beef I seared for sous vide. Well, 30 minutes later I was annoyed because I had only finished 6, and every one had been a struggle; my son was annoyed because we were running late; and I decided that was it for me.

          Comment


          • Smoker_Boy
            Smoker_Boy commented
            Editing a comment
            So you made your son pay for the new one. Excellent!

          Just used my Avid Armor to seal up like 8 lbs of sliced cheeses. Worked like a charm.

          Love this thing, but one thing I DO miss about my food saver is the bag cutting/slicing mechanism. Having to cut all the bags by hand with a pair of scissors, as they're trying to roll up on me and crap, it's a PITA. UGH.

          Comment


          • DogFaced PonySoldier
            DogFaced PonySoldier commented
            Editing a comment
            Wait, what? RichieB the AVS7900 is the one I've got. You're telling me there's a cutter on that thing somewhere? Sheisse, now I gotta go dig it back out of the cabinet and look... <sigh>

          • RichieB
            RichieB commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes, on the right side. you can't miss it in its sleeve. It's not fancy like an in unit cutter but it works well. And unlike the FS I had it actually seals .

          • DogFaced PonySoldier
            DogFaced PonySoldier commented
            Editing a comment
            Wow, yeah I went and looked, and there it is! I apparently COULD miss it, it's a little tab thing hidden on the inside of the unit you pull out. You're right, not fancy, but I think it should work. I'll try it out next time.

          This one I bought almost 2 years ago, works like a charm and has the built in bag storage and cutter mechanism. I’ll never have another food sealer without the built in cutter. Makes it so easy and you get perfectly straight cuts. I just noticed it’s got a $20. off coupon right now. Reg. $149.99

          Potane Precision Vacuum Machine,Pro Food Sealer with Built-in Cutter and Bag Storage(Up to 20 Feet Length), Both Auto&Manual Options,2 Modes,Includes 2 Bag Rolls 11”x16’ and 8”x16’,Compact Design https://a.co/d/gaq62dY

          Comment


          • fzxdoc
            fzxdoc commented
            Editing a comment
            That looks like a nice one, PJ. Built in roll storage and cutter, similar features as on the mid-range Avid Armor vacuum sealer models, and a 5 year warranty. Looks like you got a really good deal. No wonder you like it!

            K.

          I'm extremely happy with my Meat Your Maker 12" external vac sealer ($100, they also have a "Pro" model at twice the price). That built-in cutting mechanism is sweet alright, can't imagine not having that feature. The one drawback on this unit is that you can do only 3 or 4 seals in rapid succession, then you have to give it a rest for the heating element to cool down. It gets hot enough to melt right through the plastic if you don't. So mass-production isn't very efficient, you have to work out some kind of dance that allows you to rest the heater for a few every so often.

          And their instructions on how to properly mount the lip of the bag into the sealer are woefully inadequate, took me some trial and error to figure out. It would require a 30- to 45-second video to show the technique, you'd think they'd do that... But still highly satisfied.

          Comment


          • Panhead John
            Panhead John commented
            Editing a comment
            Dave, I’ve heard of that cool down period required for some vac sealers. An old Food Saver I had, had that same problem. The one I bought and mention above 👆, doesn’t require any cool down time at all. I’ve done 10 bags in a row and it keeps on chugging along. In the product description it says it can be used over 100 times continuously.

          • Dan Deter
            Dan Deter commented
            Editing a comment
            Panhead John that's nice, my old Food Saver (which is still working!) has that cool down problem. Its my only complaint, especially when I'm freezing chicken breasts from BJs or something...

          I'm still using our Old Foodsaver with no roll cutter but I watch this thread in case I need to replace it someday. For cutting bag rolls I use a paper cutter like this. We've had it for a long time and I'm sure it is just cheap one.

          Click image for larger version

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          Comment


          • clb239
            clb239 commented
            Editing a comment
            Skip GENIUS!!!

          DogFaced PonySoldier , I bought a roll bag cutter from LEM for $40 for making custom bags. Works great.

          With just a single roll of vacuum bag material, you get to choose the size of your bag. Just pull it and rip it for the perfect size vacuum sealer bag.


          K.​

          Comment


            radshop , based on my experience with the Avid Armor USV32 , you're going to enjoy using it. I use mine at least a couple of times a week, sometimes more. I keep it on a rolling cart in a storage closet between uses so it doesn't take up countertop real estate.

            It's a huge step up from a Foodsaver.

            Let us know, after using it, if it meets your expectations.

            Kathryn

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