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Foodsaver Sucks, Not Vacuum We’re Talking About

A lot of us involved in the outdoors and survival have for years used Foodsaver home vacuum packaging equipment. There are lots of advantages to vacuum packaging your supplies and gear including reduced volume, protects the contents, longer shelf life, and more. It was not cheap and the special bags and bulk rolls of vacuum packaging material have always been something of a rip-off, but compared to the alternative, it was relatively affordable. On the positive side, it worked reasonably well and you could make up really small packages with little effort.

Unfortunately, their version of progress leaves us out in the cold. My older Ultra model finally started to give out. The vacuum was getting a wee bit weaker, taking longer to suck things down and the sealer strip wasn’t doing very well sealing. In the midst of doing a project, it was obvious I needed to get a replacement…right now! Off to Costco to grab one off the shelf for $129. The price of expediency.

When I got it home and unpacked the new machine I discovered that the bastards had made two changes that might work well for their bottom line, but screwed us. The designed the new unit so that it is impossible to seal right up close to the item being packaged, leaving at least one inch of material between that and the seal, then another inch between that and the vacuum chamber. (See photo below showing the new one (black) and the old one (white). Click on photo for higher resolution image)

Foodsaver comparison, Old (white) and New (black)

How convenient that they now waste even more of their proprietary material. That’s money in their pocket. Plus, we can no longer make up vacuum packages as small as before. OK, I’m not happy, but it’ll do until I can get my old machine repaired.

WRONG! They no longer offer service or repair of older models. The best you can hope for is a discount coupon on a new machine. Isn’t that customer friendly?

I have avoided upgrading to something like the SINBO snorkle style machine due to the initial expense of buying the larger quantities of packaging material. Even though in the long run it is cheaper, in the short run it requires quite an outlay of cash. I may not have much of a choice now. (UPDATE: Bought a SINBO and haven’t looked back.)

Let this be a warning to anyone thinking about buying a Foodsaver. The company and its products suck, and we’re not just talking about vacuum here.