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There are now two vacuum sealers on the market, one by Ziplock and one by Reynolds. Has anyone used these?
Jeannie from Wbrg. PA
I just bought the Ziplock brand because it was cheaper ($6.00 cheaper) and it does not require batteries. I tried when I got home & love it. Only a couple pumps & the air is gone. Try it, you won't be disappointed.
Bad News for Reynolds Vacuum Lovers. They have stopped making them. "We have made the difficult decision to discontinue manufacturing and distributing Reynolds® Handi-Vac® products. Reynolds was proud to have developed this breakthrough product for food storage but, regrettably, Handi-Vac is one of those great products that was unable to generate the consumer demand and profitability required to keep it in our product portfolio."
However I am using Ziplock and I am quite happy although you have to keep pumping to get all the air out of the hidden areas. But once It's properly sealed, pfft they can last for months.
I purchased both, only because Reynolds had discontinued manufacturing the battery operated one. The hand-operated Ziploc brand was awful. I make homemade pumpkin pies every year for Thanksgiving and rely on my vacuum bags to keep my pumpkin fresh for me. I used my last Reynolds bag in November of 2008 to seal up the remaining pumpkin I had left over. It is still in my freezer to this day, and is still "fresh." The pumpkin that I packaged up this past November (2009) in the Ziploc bags is already freezer burned. I have thrown 2 bags of the 3 I sealed out already because the pumpkin inside is freezer burnt.
All in all the Reynolds battery-operated out performed the Ziploc 10 to 1. It was probably one of the best ideas Reynolds could have come up with and now it seems like you can't get them anymore. Well, that has changed also. Debbie Meyer (of Debbie Meyer Green Bags and Containers) has joined with Reynolds and together they have re-launched the Reynolds battery-operated vacuum sealer with both the quart and gallon sized bags.
They can now both be purchased through www.HSN.com. I can't wait to stock up.
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Has any one tried the new Reynolds Handi-Vac Vacuum Sealing System?
Any comments or opinions?
Holly from Richardson, TX
I bought one last Friday. It's okay, but I have a hard time believing the company spent "years" developing this product like they claim.
It seals well and the seal seems to hold over time, but it's kind of tricky to get started. I've been using it a lot over the weekend and it almost seems like the vacuum doesn't provide enough suction. It takes a minute or so, not 10-20 seconds like they claim. It's louder than one would expect, also.
I don't know if maybe the one I got was defective or if they are all loud and slow.
If you're a patient person, go for it. If not, find another option. I'd give it a rating of maybe a 5 out of 10. (10/29/2007)
I bought one and several for Christmas gifts. Yes, it is a little noisy, but not that loud. Be sure that the ziplock part is sealed tight. I also try to get as much air out as possible before zipping it closed. Then I just vacuum it closed. It is less than 30 seconds on small bags, but not much longer for large bags.
We bought one yesterday and so far it has worked well. You have to understand, this thing only costs $10.00. It is not a Foodsaver. I am trying to find the gallon bags, our Walmart doesn't have them. (11/04/2007)
I bought one and it stopped working after 14 bags. It might be the batteries, but they should last longer than that. Maybe mine was a bad one. The ones that worked were somewhat tricky to get right. It has to be perfectly positioned to work right. (11/05/2007)
I have had the Handi-vac for a few weeks now and for the most part I think it works pretty well considering the small price tag. I find it hard to get some of the bags to start the suctioning, but once it starts it seals within about 10-20 seconds. One does need to have some patience, but overall I am glad I bought it. The seal holds well and I have used it for both fresh and frozen foods. I would rate it at about 7 out of 10. (11/28/2007)
I bought one and it isn't worth the money.
Does not work very well. Waste of $10 (12/18/2007)
I'm a big Costco shopper and I freeze a lot of stuff. I have the Foodsaver, but it's a pain to get out to seal a few items. I also hate spending $35 for refills on the bags. The Handi-Vac is great alternative. No it's not as powerful as the Foodsaver, but it's well worth the 10 bucks and it's a lot more convenient. The only downside is it takes a while to start sucking the air out of the bags. Once it gets going it only takes a few second, but I've spent a minute or two on getting some of the bags started. (12/18/2007)
I recently purchased a Handi-Vac and a box of freezer bags. It is, hands down, the worst kitchen gadget I've ever bought. I get the same (or better) results by simply squeezing the air out of the bags manually. The vacuum is woefully underpowered and completely inadequate. Save your money - don't buy. (02/18/2008)
Good concept, but needs much improvement. Would be better if plugged in as opposed to batteries. The valve on the bag where the air is sucked from needs improvement. It seems to work on only half of the bags. The bags are quite costly, and it is hard to find the quart size bags. If these things are corrected it would be a great kitchen tool. (03/19/2008)
I love mine. I use it for everything from frozen foods to cheese and lunchmeat. It works great on rolls too. I've never had any problems with it other than the short battery life. I wish they made a plug in one. Best $10.00 I ever spent. (04/18/2008)
Just bought it at my local supermarket and love it. I wrapped my burgers first in aluminum foil, then put them in the vacuum bags. This way I can reuse the bags. It's well worth the $. (06/24/2008)
It works just fine. Takes a little bit of practice, but it does prevent freezer burn, period. I have tried every other device and this one works the best for the least amount of money. It has saved us money and made food storage an easy task. I take my time placing the food in the bag so I can reuse them. It does take some time to get some of the bags working, but be patient. For the battery issue get rechargeable batteries. (07/22/2008)
By Roger from King of Prussia, PA
I've had my Handi-vac for awhile now and I just love it. I've read some of the negative reviews and I will say that the very first time I used it, I had a little difficulty. But have patience. Like another person said, the part with the seal "dot" has to be flat on the counter with no food under it; make sure the top seal is closed tight; try to get as much air out as possible and it's much faster. Once I got the hang of it, it works like a charm. I have a huge garden and can and freeze lots of stuff. I've had my vac for 6 months now. I just froze 48 quarts of vegetables, not counting all the stuff I've used it for in the last 6 months and still have the same batteries. When you look at the cost of a Food Saver starting at $90 and if you buy their bags, it's $10 for 22 qt size. Compare this to under $10 for the Handi-vac and $3 for 14 qt. size bags and to me it's a very good buy. If it dies on me right now, I've gotten more than my money's worth. (08/01/2008)
Save your money; out of two boxes of both size bags, I was only able to actually get 2 bags to work properly. The bags are very expensive and since they do not work, entirely a waste of money! (10/08/2008)
Sealed 28 bags of chops no problem. I was well on my way to being a satisfied customer, and then came the next box of bags. Same technique, new batteries, plenty of suction from the sucker, but no air was sucked out of the bag. Not one of the 14 bags in the box worked. Played around and discovered that there is a very thin membrane over the blue circle on the bag. I found that if I picked at the edge and lifted it 3/4 off, then carefully pressed it back on (it re-adhered), the bags would then work fine. So, if you have trouble, it may not be you, it is quite possibly poor quality control at the bag factory (tsk, tsk).
My daughter also got the system. It worked fine for a while, then no suction. She took the sucker apart and found the plunge inside had inverted (kind of like a bicycle pump might). Turned it around and it was OK again.
Bottom line; great concept, fairly cheap, good results when it works, but erratic quality on both parts of the system. Hey Reynolds, all your customers aren't engineers. It might be a good idea to tighten things up. (10/18/2008)
I love this little gadget. 1. don't "overfill" your bags and 2. don't "underfill" your bags. 3. buy "rechargeable" batteries and you will get your money's worth. 4. Make sure that blue dot is "flat" and that the bag is "sealed" tight. It's tricky at first, but it does work. Like someone above said, you have to have patience and you will figure it out. A lot cheaper in the end than the food sealer and once you get the hang of it a lot less of a PIA. (01/14/2009)
Worked great with the bags included with the unit. New bags purchased DON'T work. (01/17/2009)
I have had this unit for 6 months and at the beginning was frustrated with the vacuum not taking the air out of the bags. I followed all of the instructions. Then, I tried the Handi Vacuum with the Ziploc Vacuum bags. This combination works great! I threw all of the Handi Vacuum Bags in the trash, where garbage belongs. (01/31/2009)
I have been using them for over a year now. They are absolutely wonderful. My wife and I have a large garden and we freeze many different types of fresh vegetables. When we opened them this past winter, they tasted like they just came out of the garden; very fresh. The pump can be tricky at times, so you do have to have a little patience. However, I have never had a bag not seal and keep sealed. We have probably used over 200 bags in the past year. Overall I would rate this product as an 8 out of 10. (03/17/2009)
I love this product, problem is they have stopped making it because they weren't making enough money on it. I went to the Reynolds website and found this out. How disappointing. (08/22/2009)
By Cathy Rowe