This kitchen appliance can help you vacuum pack all kinds of foods. This guide contains FoodSaver reviews.
The local super market has a Rival Seal-a-Meal on sale for only $50. I have borrowed my friend's FoodSaver and it worked great. The cost of the Food Saver is the only reason I haven't already purchased one. I don't know anything about the Seal-a-Meal. Is it worth getting for $50?
By Jess from Hillsboro, OR
I have the food saver (got it at the Goodwill for $5) It is an older model. It does work well, but I am sure the rival would do as well. The bags are what make the difference. Unlike plastic bags, they do not allow moisture or air to pass through. This is what allows them to freeze food over a long period of time. I also have the small hand held food saver that works with the ziplock resealable foodsaver bags. I use these a lot for cheese etc. where you want to use some and store the rest. But nothing beats the foodsaver bags for long term. The food saver sealers come up on ebay but be sure the seller has tested the machine. I ordered two at Christmas that arrived DOA. I have saved a small fortune with the foodsaver.
To get 50 dollars of use from a seal a meal or food saver you will have to use it a lot. I have 2 seal a meals and I use both regularly. Not just in the kitchen because it won't actually save you that much. If it is to freeze and keep stuff longer then it won't pay for itself, bags are one width and you can cut to many lengths but one use only. Store frozen stuff longer in the freezer simply by putting it in a plastic freezer bag seal, wrap in paper (some people even use newspaper but I use brown paper bags or uncoated white paper. You can use the uncoated because you supply the coating with plastic bag. You can just slip the plastic bags in a brown paper bag and fold down the top and put a clothes pin on it.
If you craft then the seal a meal can be used there to seal small bags of buttons threads etc. I collect buttons and do woodworking and I use mine to seal matching buttons and in the shop I keep my nuts and screws tidy in sealed plastic bags I made to size. I bought this one for 2 dollars 8 years ago brand new in box at a yard sale.
I have a Food Saver and I just love it. I have saved a lot of money by buying in bulk and freezing the food. However, I thought I'd save money on the bags by buying Wal-Mart brand, not a good idea. The bags leaked and I got freezer burn on some itiems. They didn't hold a vacuum. What is so expensive are the bags. I buy a box of the Food Saver bags at Costco for $45. There's several sizes of bags in the box and it lasts me a long time depending on if we catch a bunch of salmon or not. That's what I've used a lot of bags on but the salmon 's just as fresh after a year as the day it was caught, so it's worth it.
Get on the Food Saver website and sign up for e-mails. They often have great sales. If you are not in a hurry to purchase one and can wait until after the holidays, you can buy one really cheap directly from the company.
Don't buy the Foodsaver v1205. It worked for a couple of months then quit! I will never buy another Foodsaver product.
D. from Mason City, IA
I agree with you. I'm on my second -- shame on me -- and it doesn't work correctly most of the time. My first one was just out of warranty and this time I figured it just wasn't worth the "effort" to try to talk to the company. Like you I'll never buy another FoodSaver product! thanks for letting me vent!
I bought one years ago, one of the first they made. It lasted for decades, was used regularly, and only had to be fixed once. I liked it so much that I bought a second one about 3 years ago. I use it all the time and have never had a problem with it. My first one still works, but the new ones can be used for wet items, which I really like. I garden and freeze regularly, buy everything in bulk and repackage, and seal all prepackaged things (like cake mixes, etc), since we live in the south and had problems with bugs. My point is, mine gets used A LOT. Personally, I never realized so many had problems with theirs. My experiences have been pleasant. I'm not sure of my model number...
Seems like they half way work up until the warranty then it's nothing but a big hassel. Never seem to seal properly or suck out the air that needs to be! Very fustrating when you spend money for something that doesn't do what you expect. I garden plus my husband hunts and also fishes, so if anyone has a suggestion on other machines beside FOODSAVER, that actually works--I'd really appreciate the input!
I bought a tilia game saver turbo plus for 279.00 a plastic part where the vacuum lines connect broke I contacted the company. They wouldn't sell me a $1.00 part they want me to buy a new machine don't by foodsaver products.
PROBLEM: FoodSaver fails to shut off and seal bag. After investigating this problem on two different models (V835 and Compact II), the problem was found to be that the vacuum pump was no longer able to produce a hard enough vacuum to trigger the sensor which initiates the heating strip which seals the bag.
SOLUTION: Replace entire unit. Do not waste your time or money buying a new heating strip, which is one of few replacement parts offered.
I've never had any problems with the Minipack machine. I have been selling these machines and discounted bags for quite a few years now. My family is in the commercial food equipment company which is how I got started. The bags I sell will work in ANY machine and they are reusable, etc. If you do large volumes I would suggest investing in a minipack sealer (around $299) and remember, they ultimately pay for themselves in the long-run!
Reviews of FoodSaver Vacuum Packaging Systems. If you have one of these, please post your feedback below and be sure to mention which model you have in your post and how much it cost.
When I get my next one it will be a model that has the option of vacuuming the package slightly sealed, in addition to all the way, so that delicate items like chips won't be crushed! (07/28/2005)
I have a Foodsaver, model Compact ll for which I paid
150.00 + and as long as it worked it was great.
The last time I used it I did 4 pkgs. and it worked great. On the 5th pkg it quit.
I contacted the company and in effect they told me "tough turkey." Now I've spent 150.00+ and have nothing to show for it. (07/29/2005)
I have a Foodsaver and just love it. Our nearest grocery store is a 50 mile round trip from the house so I don't shop often, I stock up when I do shop and use my food saver to repackage meats and things down into serving sizes that are best for me and my hubby. I have found that I can usually find the best deals on replacement rolls and bags on eBay. (07/29/2005)
I have had 2 Foodsavers, the 1st lasted 6 years and I paid about $250.00. I recently had to replace it --died due to operator malfunction (too much liquid sucked in) and purchased a new Tilla Foodsavor for $140.00. I love it! It is smaller and has more features than my older one and has worked great. I buy the rolls at Costco and repackage bulk food (on sale) into meal size portions. (08/12/2005)
I bought a mini Foodsaver and used it almost through the roll of bags that came with it. Then it quit sealing the bag. So I took it back and got another one. The new one didn't even seal at all. I even bought some cheaper Walmart Foodsaver bags and tried sealing them, no luck. It has to be the machine not getting hot enough to seal the bag. I am extremely unhappy with the Foodsaver and will never get another one.
I have used Ziploc bags to freeze my food in for years with no problems. I am going back to my old method. All I do is squeeze the air out before I seal the bag. It is almost vacuumed sealed, just without the machine doing it. Ziploc baggies are a lot cheaper than the machine and the bags you have to purchase for it. Don't waste your money on this product. (01/28/2006)
This is a terrible company to deal with! First I ordered a Food Saver directly from Jarden and got a confirmation email with the price. The product came and the receipt included had a total price of $6.00 higher than what was in the email. I checked my credit card and it was charged the higher price. I called customer service and they told me the price I was quoted online and in the email was incorrect. Well sorry, but that isn't my problem. They required me to send them the email that quoted the price, but they wouldn't take it as an email, I had to mail it to them.
In the meantime, this was a Christmas present for my wife. We tried using it after she opened it, and it didn't work. It would not seal the bag because the heating strip did not work. I called about getting a replacement and they told me I would have to pay to ship it back. I thought this was unreasonable considering the problems I have had and the fact that it was a faulty product. At that point I just wanted my money back, but again, I would need to pay the shipping, plus the refund would have been minus the original shipping charge. At this point they would have had $15 to $20 of my money and nothing to show.
The company finally agreed to give me a prepaid shipping label and refund my money. I shipped the product back and when I checked my credit card, they only refunded me what I should have been charged in the first place, not what I was actually charged. When I called, four days after the refund, they had no record of my account being credited.
The customer service people for this company do not know what they are doing. They are not helpful and confused when you call about your account. Most of their information is inaccurate. I would stay away from their shoddy products and poor customer service. (01/31/2006)
We finished packaging food with the new Foodsaver; upon attempting to use the second roll, well it will not suction the air out of the bag, although the suction is working. It is a "new look" roll and feels much smoother to touch, which I suspect is the problem. My husband turned the bag inside out and it would then work! Made wrong. On my way back to Wal-mart. (02/12/2006)
Gosh, so many negative comments. I've been using the Tilia vacuum sealer for 15 years and have replaced it one time. I love my new model, it is hands free and has an option to seal fragile items without crushing. My dealings with the company have been favorable throughout. I purchase bulk cheeses, bacon, sausages, etc., and reduce them to reasonable portions, seal and refrigerate or freeze. I seal most leftovers and freeze them. No spoilage, mold or "what the heck was that?" I use my sealer virtually every day.
I have owned 3 Foodsaver Vacuum sealers over the last 10 years. They usually work very well, however my latest Foodsaver Professional II just stopped working. I called the company and they said that since it is out of warranty by 1 year there are no options to send the unit in for repair. So I now have a $300 paperweight. Very poor customer service! (09/14/2007)
My vacuum line got clogged, so I cleared it, but the line popped off of the pump. There is an "In and "Out" nipple. When I called Foodsaver to ask which nipple to attach the line to, they would not answer, would not send a schematic, etc. They tried to get me to buy a new one! Again, I needed no new parts, just to reattach. When I told them that I'd report them to the Better Business Bureau they tried to dance around the issue with consumer safety concerns, etc. Basically, a rip off company. (10/05/2007)
We have had a Foodsaver for a few years that worked great. Now the heating strip will not get hot. I am an electrical appliance repair person and have diagnosed the problem. The problem is Customer Service is pathetically ignorant, rude, will not provide schematics nor will they sell you parts to replace defective ones. Looks like if you buy one and it works, they are great. If it breaks, your screwed.
I suggest buying one locally as opposed to online. That makes it much easier to replace if defective or goes out, for a while at least. (11/06/2007)
Suggestion, buy one at Target where they are decent about returns if you saved the receipt. (12/12/2007)
I have had my Foodsaver for 3 years and love it. I have had no problems.
I would buy another one when this one wears out. (01/13/2008)
I have had three Foodsavers. I don't use them every day and the last time I used it, the rubber seal had not been re-installed properly and had become pinched. It would not work after that to produce a seal. I called the company to order a new one. They told me that it was too old and they no longer stock the replacement part and I would have to buy a new one. I went to a local store, found a model v2440 and they are the same one. I called back and they could ship me out two rubber seals for that model. HUH!? I will never buy another Foodsaver! (01/17/2008)
Do all of you thrifty people not have Bed Bath and Beyond, Linens n Things, or any equivalent store with an endless return policy in your area? I buy all of my kitchen and household products there and save all of my receipts. If a product ever breaks or fails I can return it for cash until the store goes out of business. I've had my Foodsaver for 2 years and it still works great. They have a newer model at BBB that I want so I'll get my receipt take my old still working model in and exchange it for the new one. They'll also give me money back because my current Foodsaver cost more than the new one. Now that's great customer service. (02/18/2008)
OK all you unhappy FoodSaver folks needing new sealers. The cloth covering the FoodSaver sealing element is the same as used on a Impulse Sealer. You can order these and cut to length from the below listed web-site. Note: If you are not mechanically inclined, you can cut the old cloth cover off (be careful not to cut the flat metal wire under it) and just tape your new cover on, it is just a protection strip so you don't burn your bag with the heating wire. Those good with a screwdriver, it's easy to replace the sealer cloth and attach as normal.
Impulse sealer parts go to: element kits for standard hand operated impulse sealers
go to: need just non-stick covers or self stick adhesive tape strips
pick out the size you need (remember, order a size larger then what you need, you can cut it to size). The tech person is very helpful if you should get confused.
The repair is an easy repair and only cost about $10. Shame on food saver for not supplying parts! (03/02/2008)
I have a Foodsaver v2840 and I love it. I believe that most of the errors people may have with their models are user errors. My machine works like a charm, yours would too, please read "all" the instructions. Pre freeze meat or put a paper towel over the meat to avoid moisture from entering the machine. It's meant to take air out of the bag not moisture. I would definitely recommend to others (05/08/2008)
Based on my call this morning, their customer service hasn't improved at all. Initially, my model 2040 worked great. I bought it 1 1/2 months ago. But suddenly, it wouldn't vacuum all the air out and started sealing too soon. Hm, I'm using a bag, let's try the roll. The roll worked fine. Wait, there's a difference. The roll that came with the machine has bumps just on inside of the bag, but in the new box of bags, it's bumpy inside and out. Incidentally, the bags and roll that came with the machine (the ones that work) were made in Korea.
The ones that don't work were made in the USA. So, a call to customer service, no good. They insist the Korean bags are the bad ones and the USA bags are the good one. Um, beg to differ on that. And the only way they'll guarantee the bags is if I buy from them direct. I bought at the same store I bought the machine, nope, no coverage.
So if I order bags from them and discover they still don't work, by then, the store's return period will be over and I'm stuck with an expensive piece of household junk. So I guess I'll just have to return it, which is a pity. (And this does illustrate why I've always been resistant to buying kitchen gadgets that require supplies; all of sudden, "new and improved" doesn't work and you're stuck.)
I'm allergic to food molds, and this machine should be a god-send, if it worked. Anyone else notice that there is no way at all to contact them other than by phone? No e-mail, no mailing address, nada. Yeah, their customer service is a joke. (07/05/2008)
I used the very first introductory model for 6 years before it gave out on me (I thought). I bought this new fancy model "specially made for hunters" for whatever that is worth. I hunt and I vacuum seal a lot and this model sucks. Sometimes it works, but most of the time it doesn't. The 11" pre-cut bags seem to work the best. The 8" pre-cut bags or rolls do not work good at all. The 6" bags work sometimes.
This is a real pain in the rear when you buy large quantities or come home from a hunting trip and try to get all of your items frozen and sealed for keeping. Well it turns out that the old little one was working fine it was just the cheap off brand bags that I was using. I have been using food saver bags since then, but the new machine just doesn't work. I guess I am about to get a dose of their customer service because I am going to try to get my money back or get a replacement. (08/04/2008)
Works great on dry food, but won't take all the air out when sealing food with moisture, the result is a bunch of freezer burned salmon. Taking it back to Costco. (08/06/2008)
I am on my third Foodsaver and had the same problem 3 times, and each time I was told I can't get replacement parts. I bought a Professional III ($250.00), and like the others, the O ring lower rubber seal and the upper rubber seal is disintegrating. I wash the rubber parts after use each time, and the infernal machine has only been used for 14 months. No one has replacement parts!
What kind of business is this that requires one to throw away that kind of money for a couple of $10.00 parts. Never again! (09/11/2008)
I wish I had read these reviews before I bought this piece of junk. Works for a few times, then it doesn't seal anymore. No way to troubleshoot the problem. Customer service was nice, but, of course, there is no way to correct a useless machine. Waste of money. Do not buy any of these food saver products. (12/31/2008)
I've had a Foodsaver and it worked fine for a couple of years and then it quit sucking. So I went out and bought a new machine. Turns out it isn't the machines it's the bags. Some genius found a way to save a few pennies and the cheaper bags don't work half the time. I've tried 3 different machines and they all work on my old bags and they all sucked on the new bags. Actually it's pretty clever. People think their machines are bad and they go out and buy new machines or a new model. I suspect that Foodsaver will quietly go back to the old bags and act like they've no idea what we're all yelling about. No one cares anymore, it's buyer beware. The business honchos, all they care about is the bottom line. Just take the money and run, it's really sad. (01/22/2009)
I was one of the lucky ones. I bought the V420 on sales six years ago on sale! Last night, the strip wouldn't heat. It worked consistently well all this time. But based upon what I see here, I feel guilty that I've recommended the thing so often. I'm off to buy another sealing system. Can't live without it. (02/20/2009)
I just noticed the recommendation to use the Seal-a-meal bags rather than the not-so-reusable FoodSaver bags. While my Foodsaver continues to function, I'll do that. When it fails, I'll buy the Seal-a-meal to go with the bags.
Not one more cent will go from my pocket to Jarden Consumer Solutions. (There ought to be a law against their being able to put "consumer" anywhere near their name. They are "not" consumer friendly in the least as evidenced by both my experience and yours.) (03/28/2009)
I too was very frustrated with Foodsaver. I got a new Foodsaver for Christmas and within two months is stopped vacuuming the air from the bags and jars. I was able to get a replacement out of them, but that too now has the same problem. They told me they would not replace again and I could buy a new one because there was no way to repair. After much pushing they sent me a new set of foam gaskets, but it did not help.
I could not believe that I should just though away this very expensive unit. I could still hear the pump working so I figured there was either a clog in the line or a problem with the diaphragm that makes the pump work. I was easily able to fix it and hope this helps any of you who have a the same problem.
On my unit I pulled the 4 rubber feet off the bottom to expose the screws that held the case on the bottom. (Make sure you unplug first). Inside there is a black box about 1+ inches big with 4 screws (this is the pump attached to the motor). Remove the 4 screws and pop the top off the box. (I had to slip a butter knife between the box and lid to get it off). Inside this box is a thin black rubber diaphragm. Mine had a bit of white stuff dried on it. I washed it off, dried it and put it back in the same position it was originally. I cleaned the inside of the box, lid and bottom before putting the diaphragm back and blew on the hose to make sure it was clear. Screwed it back together and it worked!
The whole thing took only 10 minutes and it is working fine. I presume that a bit of liquid from a bag or jar was sucked into the pump and the little bit of debris made it impossible for the pump to create a seal thus not moving air.
In July 2005, there were quite a few posts in regard to FoodSaver vacuum machines. It is now 13 August 2009, but I most post, even if I'm talking only to an ancient history text. FoodSaver's manner of doing business is unconscionable. The sealing strip burns out very easily, and they are not replaceable, though at one time they must have been. I currently have a Pro Sport, which was sold to me as a cure for the problems I was having with the first, less expensive model that I had. This one, I used three or four times at most and the sealing strip burnt out. I found a Website (http://tiliashop.com/foodserandpa.html) telling me that only Tilia can repair the sealing strip (this is one of the very first sentences).
But, when you call the number for service, you will be told that neither the sealing strip nor repair service is available. The fact that they have been bought out by another company should not allow them to sell machines for $299.00 that cannot be repaired. I have filed a complaint with the California Attorney General.
I urge you to do the same, if you've met with similar problems.
I've owned two FoodSavers over the years, and have never been very satisfied with either one of them. The idea is great, reduce waste, preserve food for a later use, insure food safety and in general keep food so that it can be used when it's convenient and thereby more efficient. At present, I am trying to use a V485 that was less than $100.00, but the system is a real sham for consumers who are cost conscious or want to put food by that is seasonal and/or otherwise difficult to come by (smoked salmon, jerky, oysters just to name a few).
After reading the reviews, the problems seem to be split between units that fail and the bags themselves that don't hold a seal once they have been processed. This should be causing major headaches with the company, as the underlying comment by most posters is that "Customer Service" is indifferent or non-existent at best. How long can they ignore the customer roar? It's hard to say.
I'm going to try different (after market) bags before I throw my unit out and if that doesn't work I'll just go back to buying good quality Zip-Loc bags and sucking the air out with a straw just before zipping the bag shut. That's a much more environmentally sensible method anyway. No electric gadget, bags that can be reused and less time venting about sloppy corporate management. Then I'll send my defective unit back to FoodSaver without a return address and let them deal with it. If everyone who has posted a negative review would do that, perhaps the head office would get the message and start paying attention to the opinions of their customer base.
Larry C. (10/04/2009)
After reading all the posts, I decided I might as well try to fix it since it was that or throw it away.
After a year of working fine, you could hear it run and run, but would not seal the bag unless you hit the 'Seal' button.
So, I removed the bottom cover (6 tiny screws). After inspecting all the tubing (looked clean and clear) I noticed one of the connection points ( a three way connector) was broken, thus allowing air to come in from there instead of from the bag. I think that is why it never reached the suction pressure needed for the seal. Now the good news is I replaced that three way connector with a three way connector I use on my drip irrigation system. And yes, it was a new one so it was clean. Ha. Anyway, point being you can get that piece for less than $1 at Home Depot, Lowe's, or another hardware store. It works fine now. (12/05/2009)
My mom bought me one at a demo at Woodwards in Oakridge Mall, Vancouver, BC in 1987 and I am still using it. It has a 2 button control for vacuum and seal and I have often coveted the hands-free, modern ones, however, I am grateful that it is my longest living appliance!
If it did go, I would buy again, but I would not bother with the economical versions. (05/17/2010)
I have a V2460 and I love this model. It works great and I use it all the time. I have found a lot of negative reviews for Foodsaver, but I think they are great. Foodsaver does not carry this model on their website due to moving on to others, but you can still find it in some stores. I wouldn't pay more than $130 for it. The only part of the model I could do without is when using it for canisters it fires up your sealing strip and the newer models don't do that. I have lots of helpful tips and troubleshooting for this and other models so just ask and I'll answer (06/08/2010)
I purchased a Foodsaver Professional II from Cabelas probably around 1998 and it worked great up until a few days ago. After reading all the negative reviews on Foodsavers I purchased a Weston Pro 2300 for $399.00. It's so much better than the Foodsaver I'll never look back (06/09/2010)
While I can sympathize with the frustrations of those who use the FoodSaver for sealing plastic bags, I must weigh in on the subject and declare my enthusiasm for my FoodSaver. I've had my machine for several years now and wouldn't be without it. I don't use the bags, just the attachment for the mason jars. I try to avoid using plastic containers wherever possible, not so much for the off-gassing of the plastic, I don't even know if that applies to the FoodSaver bags and containers, but I've found the plastic bags can give a plastic-y taste to delicate dried foods such as bread crumbs. I use the FoodSaver almost daily, keep all my baking supplies, with the exception of flour which is too fine for the vacuum, in jars. Dry food will not go stale, nuts, coconut, corn meal, wheat germ, brown rice, crackers, to name just a few. I dehydrate fresh fruit in season, apples, strawberries, nectarines, tomatoes, which keep for a long time and won't get crushed. Spices kept in the small jars keep forever (how often do you use fenukgreek?), and now I have a large collection of them I might not otherwise have had, all ready wherever the cooking muse takes me.
As for the bags, I will use them for things in the freezer, but Zip locs and a straw work well enough for me. I have had trouble with FoodSaver bags keeping their seal.
About the jars. I did have trouble with the regular-mouth-jar attachment, but now use two lids while vacuuming, removing the top one after sealing. I also found some 2-quart mason jars which will hold a lot of stuff. One other advantage with the jar system is storage. I've found it far easier to keep cupboards organized with jars than the bags, which would slide off the shelf. If you can find square jars, even better.
Hey, Mr. FoodSaver Man, any chance of making a compact unit with just an outlet for the hose? I realize that you make a ton of money with the bags, but my twenty-something environmentally conscious nieces and nephews would never buy the bags, but would love the jar system. Oh. Any chance of making a GEM jar attachment? There. That's my two-cents worth. (07/22/2010)
I have had a Vac 1060 for several years, using it only occasionally. I have had some of the problems that other reviewers mentioned, such as cracked bottoms of canisters, freezer burns in supposedly sealed bags, and the unit running continuously. After reading the reviews, I decided to try to fix the problem in my unit, mainly the fact that it runs forever vacuuming before it seals, if ever. Being the handyman, I took it apart and inspected the insides. I found the black box that one reviewer mentioned which contains the pump and noticed the rubber diaphragm seal has depressions in it which could possibly cause it to lose its vacuum seal over time. So I applied some food grade silicone lubricant grease to both sides of the diaphragm and put the unit back together. It seems to work better now. We'll see how long it'll last. Too bad that the company doesn't sell replacement parts. I like the idea of another reviewer's idea to use mason jars instead of canisters, still those lids are way overpriced! (08/01/2010)
I bought the system when it first came out. Over the years all the plastic containers have failed. There are small cracks so they don't seal anymore. We had marinade, large and small containers, all have failed. $100's of dollars wasted. I liked to use it for soups and marinades so the bags are not practical for me. (09/04/2010)