I looked that up and it seems pretty reasonable. Do you have todo much pumping? Does it work well with canning jars and lids?
Sure does. U just poke a small hole it in with a stick pin they include, put the little band-aid like valve over it and you can reuse the lids. The unit is spring loaded so you push down on it and the number of times depends on the size of the unit. I usually go about 15-20 pumps. More doesn't hurt but doesn't really help if its as sealed as it can be. You can tell by pulling up on the pump if it's sealed. To open the jar, just peel up the "band-aid" thing and it releases the vacuum.
You can also reuse jelly jars, pickle jars and the like too. Just poke a hole in it put a seal over the hole and you're set as long as the lid seals tight. I've been very pleased with it. I leave it right in a kitchen drawer for easy access.
Does it work very well with 'regular' zipper bags?...or what are the best bags you have found to use?
Is it possible to use any sort of tape as opposed to the "band-aid" things?
Sue, I wasn't impressed with using it for zipper bags but I didn't really use it right. I use it for jars rather than bags. But I think when I tried it, I wasn't using it correctly. You're supposed to make a little line of oil at the top of the bag to assist in the sealing. I don't think I did that. Plus I just found it inconvenient to use for bag sealing. And again plastic bags aren't good for longer term storage since all plastic leaks air to a point.
And no, you can't substitute tape. The idea of the little thing is that it raises when the suction is put on it and allows the air to be drawn out,then it goes back down to seal it, similar in concept to when you pinch a balloon while you blow it up. Then, releasing the seal, is like letting the air out by releasing your pinch. It came with probably 100 of them and they're reuseable so when you have a jar that you use, you can keep using it. I'm just careful washing it or I pull it off and put it back on. You can buy them separately too if you need to and they're cheap as I recall.
If you're doing a lot of vacuum sealing, this probably isn't the unit for you. It has its purposes and for those purposes it does them well. However, if I did a lot of sealing of meat for instance where bags were important, I'd use something like the Foodsaver. I also have one of those. I bought the jar sealer for it but find the PNS to work better on jars. But then again the PNS will not work on the Foodsaver canisters which I used for a while but they started losing the seal so I couldn't trust them. For that, give me the glass pickle jars and the pump & seal!
Each persons' needs will be different and these two units aren't interchangeable for the most part. Much like a school bus and a dump truck. Both are tranportation, but their best uses vary. If you think you'd like to use jars, the P&S is a great way to decide if you like and make use of vacuum sealing for about $25 or so rather than spending $75-$200 for a Foodsaver and accessories.
I think it's Reynolds that has a bag sealer out now. A friend of my sister's bought one and likes it but I don't think it gives a true vacuum seal to the extent the P&S and FS will, but I could be wrong on that.
I have the Pump-N-Seal and love it---I don't use it for bags, only canning jars. You might be interested to know that it is possible to seal with the Pump-N-Seal without making the hole in the top. You just need the jar attachment (either regular or wide mouth) and the tubing that attaches to it. I've attached a link explaining how it works. I use the Pump-N-Seal with the Foodsaver jar attachment and LOVE it.
Here is a link that might be useful: Using Pump-N-Seal with Foodsaver Jar Attachment
Actually I had more trouble with the foodsaver than the pump-n-seal as far as seals. Although in fairness, the problem was the lid. I often use the lid on, say a jelly or pickle jar, poke the hole, put on the seal and it works great. I bought some new canning lids so they were soft and they work well. As far as the seal lasting, I had some bulk peppercorns sealed for over 2 years before opening and there was the distinctive pffffffftttt when I opened it. And boy, the smell of the peppercorns!
I don't suppose the provided tubes could be made to work but might be worth looking at. But it could be interesting to try it out.
I'm still very happy with that investment.
Will the pump and seal also work with Vacu Vin Wine Stoppers?
(I added a link on amazon to show what it is)
Thanks for your help
Here is a link that might be useful: Vacu Vin Wine Stoppers
Wil, sorry for the late reply but I haven't been around a lot lately.
I don't know for sure but I'd doubt they would work. The pump for them is cheap enough though, $12 with 2 stoppers so I think I'd go with the one made for it to be sure it works.