This guest post is by Robert M and entry in our non-fiction writing contest.
After many searches on reviews and consumer testing of vacuum sealers, I opted to buy the Ziploc V151 vacuum sealer. Being on a budget I wanted to stay around $100 for one. The reviews on models under $50 were varied, most were great short term use or returned after first use. The closer they were to the magical $100 mark, the better the reviews were and they were also quieter.
I bought mine from Target for $69 and a roll of 20 quart sized bags for $8.99. After line up the bag and locking the lid its touch the vacuum button and let it do the work. There is a sensor that activates the cycling, some items are done quicker than others.
My first experience with vacuum sealing rice went pretty well along with shredded potato’s. My next project was to see how well it did with .223 SST and .308 rounds in a box. The flaw in my plan became obvious real quick. The points poke holes in the bags once a vacuum is pulled. I ended up double bagging and cutting the quantity down as well to solve the problem. 150 rounds of .223 is pretty much the maximum. The .308 was boxed and three fit nicely in a bag. There is not any problem with a vacuum and ammo, the bullet has an airtight seal against the brass and the primer to the casing. I also sealed two boxes of strike anywhere matches and the box was fairly well compressed.
Next was trying the 16 foot roll that allows you to customize your bag length. There is a function on the sealer to seal one end to begin the process of using the roll. At this point, it’s best to overestimate the length you think you will need. If the bag does not lay flat across the heating element, it will not seal, any wrinkles will leak. It is best to add an extra inch of bag and work backwards to a nominal length for like materials.
I did notice that if I placed a cutting board below the bag to help even the opening up with the vacuum chamber and sealing edge that I had better results.
There were many complaints against all brands regarding powder and liquids and the lack of getting a good seal. Liquid items need to be frozen, then vacuum sealed. Powdery substances should remain in their original container if possible, if not, portion down into a sealable bag, remove as much air as you can and then place that bag inside a vacuum bag. If not the powder tends to get pulled out of the bag and through the pump, it also creates sealing problems. Desiccant packets can also be added.
If you spend the big dollars on a true commercial unit this is not an issue.
The noise is a little less than running the floor cleaner and easily tolerated.
There is also an additional port to use on vacuum jars and certain types of bags. Another option is pulse to allow the user to control the amount of air removed, then use the seal button.
So far after a month of storing food nothing has leaked and nothing has gotten freezer burned.
The size of this model is also nice, 15x6x3, cord stores nicely on hooks on the back. I would buy this one again if I had to. If I planned on sealing large quantities weekly or monthly I would probably go with a heavier duty model, this one suits my needs nicely.
This contest will end on February 16 2013 – prizes include:
- First Place winner will receive Two cases of MRE’s courtesy of Camping Survival, A Wonder Junior Deluxe hand-mill courtesy of Kitchen Kneads, $150 gift certificate for Fiocchi Ammo courtesy of LuckyGunner Ammo, A Big Berkey Water Filter System courtesy of TruPrep Emergency Preparedness and a one year subscription to Personal VPN service courtesy of unspyable.
- Second Place: A $200 gift certificate for any order from their store courtesy of Shepherd Survival and A Doom and Bloom Mini Trauma Bag courtesy of LPC Survival.
- Third Place: A Bar-ricade door bar courtesy of My Locksmith, Inc.