Looking for recommendations on vacuum sealers

kudzu9December 6, 2005

I want to get my adult daughter a vacuum sealer for Xmas. She's quite a cook and often makes large quantities that would keep better if they were vacuum sealed and frozen. I looked on Amazon and read the reviews for the Rival brand Seal-a-Meal units, the Tilia FoodSaver, and a few others. The reviews were mixed. Some people loved their units, but a lot seemed to say: good until it quit working after a few months. I noticed one other one that is hand-operated and doesn't require special bags: it's called PumpNSeal, and it's not too expensive. Simple may be better. Does anyone have any experience with any of these devices, or could you make a recommendation about a brand/model that has given good service over a long time?

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PumpNSeal bags are flimsy. I tried it and returned it right away, then I purchased the Tilia Food Saver. More expensive but the bags are sturdy and reusable. I've had this machine for 4 years, no complains.

However, in four years the other brands may have improved so, if you'd rather spend less, go ahead and purchase the less expensive. If the machine doesn't perform well, return it and get a better one.

In any case, bag resiliency is very important because thin bags may get punctured during storage and lose their vacuum. That was one of the problems I had with the PumpNSeal. HTH.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 9:49AM
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The PumpNSeal that I'm looking at does not come with its own bags. You can use ziplock bags or any other plastic bag or lidded jar of your choosing. You just need to punch a small hole and cover it with a little seal called a TabChek. Here's a link to the product I was talking about:


    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 3:51PM
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I followed the link you provided. Big oops! The vacuum (with the flimsy bags) I tried before I got the Tilia was a Deni Freshlock, not a Pump-N-Seal.

I would not buy it online. I'd give it a try only if I could buy it from a well known retailer who will refund full price if I'm not happy with the product but I really doubt those "tab-checks" stay put for long.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 4:38PM
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Thanks for clarifying. I did talk with the folks at PumpNSeal and they've been selling these things since 1988 and they come with a 10 year warranty. I'm thinking of charging it with a credit card and giving it a good workout. The idea of not having to worry about an electrical device breaking, and not having to buy special bags looks attractive to me. I just did a Google search on "PumpNSeal +scam" and "PumpNSeal +problem" and got no hits indicating anyone was unhappy with theirs. If you look at the test results they have on their website, it looks like they pull a better vacuum that the powered competitors
I know I'm starting to sound like a commercial, but I'm leaning toward getting one. However, I'm holding off for a day or two in case I hear from any of you who have had any bad experiences with PumpNSeal not performing.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 9:06PM
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