Review : Ziploc V151 Vacuum Sealer

my family survival Review : Ziploc V151 Vacuum Sealer

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.

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Comments

  1. Nice review.

  2. The only major problem I see with vacuum sealers is over the long term they start leaking air through the plastic. For some reason one side of the bag (I imagine it’s the side with the rough surface) breaks down and will leak air. I own a vacuum sealer and use it for frozen foods but decided to go with mylar bags and oxygen absorbors for anything else.

    • livinglife says:

      If you have a good source of Mylar bags please post it. I did some looking and only found them sold by the case. Thanks!

      • I get my mylar bags at beprepared.com. I get the 5-6 gallong size for the buckets I get a lowes that are labeled food grade but you really don’t need a food grade bucket if you use a mylar bag. I do use oxygen absorbers in conjuction with my canning jars and dehydrating our veggies. The oxygen absorbers will seal jar so no water bath is needed. You will actually hear the lids pop when the seal it just takes a little longer. Not sure but I imagine the food will be viable for quite a long time.

  3. We use a Foodsaver and have had no issues with either one. The new one does jars, etc. where the old one didn’t. The DW uses it much more than I do. The old one will go in my “shop” area for non-food items.

    One of the things we “bagged” up were tea bags. So far none have lost their seal. We keep the bags in a plastic tub.

  4. I’ve been looking for a good vacuum sealer that doesn’t use electricity but haven’t found one that is as good as a corded sealer. Any suggestions?

  5. I’ve been looking at vacuum sealers as a means to seal short term food rotation items. I have had a couple of different types in the past and enjoyed both before the motors went kaput on me. Thanks for the review and another option to add to my list of possibilities.

  6. Tactical G-Ma says:

    Robert M.,
    Good review. Think I will consider that one for my back-up.
    And Dan, like you, I have found certain thing do better in mylar and some things I use both.

  7. Mary in mn says:

    The only thing I would add is read the directions first. They work better that way.

  8. I use trash bags to vacuum seal clothes. Weighing in at close to 300#, I sit on the bag of clothes with one hand around the open end to close off the bag before air can get back in – I can usually get most of the air out in one sitting, but I move stuff around in the bag and sit on it a second time, then just tie it off. Works pretty well to keep out critters and collapse stuff for storage. Don’t use cheap bags!!!

    • I know what I will be doing this weekend! I never thought to use it for clothes, I looked into buying the bags used with vacume cleaner. That is one of those slap your head v-8 moments. Thanks!

  9. Dan and Tactical G-Ma,
    I have used various sealers over the past several years, with quality bags and have read the instructions but still have the same problems you indicate. Sometimes the items have been stored for a few months to even days and still get leaks. This doesn’t happen all the time, but it’s happened enough that I always go back after a few hours or days to double check the items I have sealed. This problem is a pain in the rear end.

    • livinglife says:

      Its odd that the bottom seal stays longer than the top seal. any crease will leak on the top. I found that having a longer top decreased my failure rate greatly. On my ammo I did a double seal. so far so good.

  10. Tactical G-Ma says:

    Marti,
    I discovered it while sealing food to go into the freezer and it happens after initially sealing. Like you I go back and check again.

    • SurvivorDan says:

      Looking at vacuum sealers right now. So I appreciate all the good tips.

      With the price of beef what it is and the replacement costs about to skyrocket, maybe I’ll double seal those NY strips and ribeyes. I can almost cry when I pull out a ribeye to defrost and it’s gone bad…….

      There are more important issues to deal with than my meat eating proclivities but I do love a good steak cooked on mesquite wood.
      Might be a problem in the PI if I emigrate there. Cebu Dog strip steak anyone? Roasted rat? Mystery meat BBQ?
      A certain survivalist recommends wheat gruel but I’d rather eat a half dozen chipmunk shish-ka-bob than any grain gruel….ugh!

  11. Does this keep coffee fresh? Sugar soft and pourable?
    Thanks!

    • livinglife says:

      I have not tried coffee or granulated sugar. A few people had suggested put desiccants in to keep sugar from clumping and leaving it in the original bag inside the vacuum bag.