Author Topic: Vacuum Sealer--auto or manual?  (Read 3616 times)

Offline Mike Richards

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: colorado springs, co
  • Posts: 446
  • Cheeses: 19
Vacuum Sealer--auto or manual?
« on: September 23, 2012, 07:46:19 PM »
I'm going to get a vacuum sealer.  I've read through a number of threads on the forum, but I'd like to know what people think of automatic vs manual control over the machine.

I'm looking at the FoodSaver 3880 , but the manual models are a lot cheaper.

Thoughts?
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline smolt1

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: oregon
  • Posts: 149
  • Cheeses: 13
  • Default personal text
    • SturdyPress.com
Re: Vacuum Sealer--auto or manual?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2012, 08:17:30 PM »
Sometimes you might want to control the magnitude of the vacuum. Can you do that on auto? I don't have much experience vacuum packing cheese but the KISS (" Keep It Simple Stupid ") method has worked for me more times than not.

Offline Mike Richards

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: colorado springs, co
  • Posts: 446
  • Cheeses: 19
Re: Vacuum Sealer--auto or manual?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2012, 09:50:26 PM »
I'm not sure about the degree of control on the automatics I'm looking at.  I certainly do agree with keeping things simple and I'm concerned that "automatic" might just mean "more things to break".  I'm hoping that other people on the forum have some experience with automatics and manuals and can say, "The auto is way better--less to worry about, always works," or "the auto kept not working, so I went back to a manual."  If not, I'll get one that has automatic control and report on it later.
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline MrsKK

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Wisconsin
  • Posts: 1,871
  • Cheeses: 61
  • Default personal text
Re: Vacuum Sealer--auto or manual?
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2012, 07:08:38 AM »
I don't know about automatic vs manual, but I wish I could choose how much vacuum mine applies.  That way I could vacuum my Neufchatel and other soft cheeses and I could pre-grate my mozz before freezing it and not have to grate it again when I thaw it out.

Offline Sailor Con Queso

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Kentucky
  • Posts: 2,521
  • Cheeses: 125
    • Boone Creek Creamery
Re: Vacuum Sealer--auto or manual?
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2012, 08:09:29 AM »
MrsKK,

On most home vac sealers, you simply start the vac process and hit the manual seal button early to reduce the vacuum.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
www.boonecreekcreamery.com


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline Boofer

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Parkland, Washington
  • Posts: 4,148
  • Cheeses: 189
  • Contemplating cheese
Re: Vacuum Sealer--auto or manual?
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2012, 08:59:51 AM »
Mike, I've been totally thrilled and satisfied with my "manual" Foodsaver. When I was looking for it, early reports of the newer "automatic" models gave them low marks for being able to properly sense when the bag was inserted.

With the "manual" model I have:
  • I seal one end.
  • roll out the length of bag I need.
  • use the built-in bag-cutter (nice :)).
  • fill the bag.
  • place the open end at the proper position for sealing.
  • close the lid.
  • press the button and either wait for the vacuum process to complete, at which time the seal mechanism is started...
  • ...or press the button to prematurely stop the vacuum process and seal the bag. This is useful if I have a Maasdam/Swiss cheese with holes/eyes that I do not want to compress.  Also useful for sealing anything you don't want to be crushed. ;)
Very clean and efficient. Good control over the process and no need for "automatic" function.

What did I ever do before the internet my smartphone my FoodSaver?  8)

-Boofer-
Let's ferment something!
Bread, beer, wine, cheese...it's all good.

Offline Mike Richards

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: colorado springs, co
  • Posts: 446
  • Cheeses: 19
Re: Vacuum Sealer--auto or manual?
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2012, 06:37:50 PM »
Boofer--which model do you have?
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline Mike Richards

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: colorado springs, co
  • Posts: 446
  • Cheeses: 19
Re: Vacuum Sealer--auto or manual?
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2012, 06:46:21 PM »
Oh--I found it: V2830.

Thanks for the feedback!  I'll be getting something soon.
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline Susie

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Location: Arkansas
  • Posts: 40
  • Cheeses: 1
  • Change happens. Keep moving with the cheese.
Re: Vacuum Sealer--auto or manual?
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2012, 12:27:58 AM »
I can't compare the two because I have only ever owned one, a manual. It came from Sears and I've had it for over 10 years now. I've "bagged" over a dozen deer with that thing, and now I'm using it for cheese too.

Offline Boofer

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Parkland, Washington
  • Posts: 4,148
  • Cheeses: 189
  • Contemplating cheese
Re: Vacuum Sealer--auto or manual?
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2012, 08:35:17 AM »
If the automatic ones have no buttons (I read that in the description), then how would you override the vacuum process and terminate it prematurely? That really is important to me for what I do with the FoodSaver. Maybe they're too smart for your own good.  ;)

-Boofer-
Let's ferment something!
Bread, beer, wine, cheese...it's all good.


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline Tiarella

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Chester, MA, US
  • Posts: 1,617
  • Cheeses: 70
  • Default personal text
    • Farm Blog
Re: Vacuum Sealer--auto or manual?
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2012, 10:03:10 AM »
Mike,  I have the 3880 and since it just arrived I've barely used it but I can tell you that there is an override stop button.  it's also the one that allows you to create a seal without a vacuum so it's used for creating the first end of a bag from a roll.  Hope this helps.

Offline Mike Richards

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: colorado springs, co
  • Posts: 446
  • Cheeses: 19
Re: Vacuum Sealer--auto or manual?
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2012, 08:41:10 AM »
Tiarella, thanks for the info.  If you have any other observations as you use it, I'd like to hear them.
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline Tiarella

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Chester, MA, US
  • Posts: 1,617
  • Cheeses: 70
  • Default personal text
    • Farm Blog
Re: Vacuum Sealer--auto or manual?
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2012, 11:22:41 AM »
Hi Mike,  I was initially confused about why it sometimes didn't start to seal automatically when I put a bag edge in the slot.  Turned it off and on, tried different things to no avail.  It seems like you really have to leave the 4" of head room for it to turn on.  Don't know what else it can be......let me know if you figure out an alternative answer.  Checked trouble-shooting, etc.  Also, definitely to seal the first edge of a roll bag you have to use the other button as directed in the manuel, otherwise you just have ongoing suction and no sealing since it's just sucking air through the other end of the open bag.  Ahhhh, sometimes it pays to read the  manual first.  The good news  is that their manual is pretty brief and easily read.  Written by someone with English as a first language too! 

I read somewhere on some review site that folks were having trouble with them not working after a while.  Someone found that it was because the two seal gaskets  (my name for them) rest on each other when it's not operating and they compress over time.  They said to remove them, boil them and then reinstall after drying and thereafter keep something just behind the seal to keep the bars apart except when in use.  Now....on my model I don't see removable seal gaskets but I'm being proactive on keeping them apart when no in use.  I've used a bit of cardboard on each side where it hinges  (there's a tiny area each side where there's no gasket) to keep the jaws apart. 

Hope this helps and yes, if you figure anything out, please post it here!!! 

Offline Mike Richards

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: colorado springs, co
  • Posts: 446
  • Cheeses: 19
Re: Vacuum Sealer--auto or manual?
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2012, 03:58:50 PM »
Thanks, again, Tiarella.  I have read a number of reviews and one of the complaints is the bag detector--that, just like you said, the machine won't start to vacuum even when there's a bag in there.  It's for that reason that I am considering a manual model (where you have to hit "go" instead of hoping the machine recognizes there's a bag there.  I haven't ordered one yet--I'm still undecided.  I'd hate to pay for a machine that only sometimes does what I need it to do...
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline Tiarella

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Chester, MA, US
  • Posts: 1,617
  • Cheeses: 70
  • Default personal text
    • Farm Blog
Re: Vacuum Sealer--auto or manual?
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2012, 05:46:23 PM »
Re: bag detector
Well,  I'm not sure it's that it only sometimes does it......I think there's a reason it doesn't pick up on it......but maybe I'm wrong.  I've always gotten it to work and it's always meant really going for the 4" headroom.  But maybe I'll try it some more and let you know.  I do like it so far.......I sure wish they didn't have so many models and so few ways to differentiate.  A chart with features across the top and models down the left side would sure be helpful.  Or maybe  they should just streamline their line.  And what's with the game/hunter line.  I couldn't find anywhere a description about what made that line different than the others except for the obvious visual difference of camo styling.  Too bad that wouldn't help hide it in my kitchen!   ;)