Learn what the difference between chamber and non-chambered vacuum sealers, along with the different vacuum sealer bags, and when to use which ones with Walton's and Meatgistics. Read the highlights here, and then post your comments or questions below.What Is A Chamber Vacuum Sealer?
A chambered vacuum sealer is a vacuum sealer where the entire vacuum pouch is placed inside of the vacuum sealer and when the lid closes and the vacuum process begins the air is remove from from inside the machine and the pouch is fully enclosed by the machine and lid. The VacMaster VP215 is a great example of a small chamber vacuum sealer. Chambered Vacuum Sealers come in a ton of different options and varieties. From as inexpensive as the VacMaster VP112S Vacuum Sealer at less than $500 all the way to a Promarks DC-900 Double Chamber Swing Lid Vacuum Sealer that costs $24,000. For a vacuum sealer at home, Walton’s recommends the VacMaster VP215 Vacuum Sealer. At just over $700, this vacuum sealer is hard to beat. For a commercial unit, it is a little bit harder to say which unit is best because it really depends on your volume and capacity. Walton’s does promote and really like the quality and functionality of the Promarks Vacuum Sealers for any type of commercial application though.What Is A Non-Chambered Vacuum Sealer?
A non-chambered vacuum sealer is a vacuum sealer where only the end of the bag is place inside the vacuum sealer. Once the vacuum is turned on, most of the bag remains outside the vacuum sealing chamber and air is pulled out of the bag by small channels in the vacuum pouch. These types of units are typically very inexpensive and great for all kinds of applications at home. These types of units would not be suggested for commercial applications though. If a more commercial application was needed though with a non-chambered vacuum sealer, we would recommend going with a top of the line Weston Pro-3000 Vacuum Sealer. The Weston Pro-3000 is a great machine and will last for a long time under typical usage scenarios, and is recommended for anyone who wants a non-chambered machine with the utmost quality and reliability. For the casual user, or for occasionally vacuum sealing a few leftovers or just a few vac pouches at a time, the Weston Harvest Guard Vacuum Sealer is a great entry-level unit. It is quite inexpensive, but still retains a higher quality than many other brands and cheaper units we’ve run into. I use the Weston Harvest Guard Vacuum Sealer myself for home use and sealing leftovers from lunch/dinner and then I use the Weston Pro-1100 in the WaltonsTV Video Studio for packaging food and meat items we create and test with in there. Overall, we really like the Weston brand of vacuum sealers and they are great machines for their price point and performance as non-chambered units.What Vacuum Pouches work with Chamber Vacuum Sealers?
All vacuum pouches! Chambered machines will work with any type of vacuum pouch, regardless of brand or style. That is the great thing about Chamber Vacuum Sealers in that you aren’t stuck using only a special type of bag like the non-chambered units require. And, with Chamber Vacuum Sealers, you also get the added benefit of having multiple options available. Instead of just plain 3-mil Vac Pouches, you can also get 4-mil Vac Pouches, 5-mil Vac Pouches, Zippered Vac Pouches, Windowed Vac Pouches, Boilable Vac Pouches, Safe Handling Printed Vac Pouches, and Gold Foil Vac Pouches.What Vacuum Pouches work with NON-Chambered Vacuum Sealers?
Only vacuum pouches with a textured interior. Sometimes referred to as “full-mesh bags” or “textured bags” or “non-chambered bags”. Almost all vacuum sealer bags that have a textured interior are compatible with any brand of FoodSaver®, Weston®, VacMaster®, or Ziploc® heat-seal vacuum systems (and other brands). Walton’s offer vacuum sealer bags with the textured interior from both Weston and VacMaster. I personally use the Weston bags, but both types of brands of bags from Walton’s will work with any brand of non-chambered vacuum sealers.Why Should I Choose Chamber or Non-Chambered Vacuum Sealers & Bags
First off, whichever machine you have, buy the right type of bags for it. If you have a chamber machine, it will still work fine with the non-chambered (textured interior) bags, but the actual Chamber Vacuum Sealer Bags will be less expensive. Then, if you are still trying to choose between the styles, consider this… Initial costs will be less expensive on the “non-chambered” units, but more expensive on the bags over time. The machines cost less and it’s easier to start off by buying a non-chambered vacuum sealer but buying a chamber vacuum sealer will save you money because chamber vacuum sealer bags are a fraction of the cost of their non-chambered counterparts. Non-chambered vacuum sealers cost less than chamber vacuum sealers, but chamber vacuum sealer bags cost less than non-chambered (textured interior) vacuum sealer bags.What Is The Price Comparison Between The Two Types of Vacuum Sealers & Bags?
Example: If you average using 10 bags a week to seal leftovers from dinner or package a few batches of jerky and snack sticks from time to time, then you’d use 520 bags in 1 year. That cost in 8x12 bags for the non-chambered type would cost you about $95. The same quantity of bags, but for a chamber vacuum sealers would cost about $29. That’s almost a $70 difference. Multiply that out over 5 years of use, and add in the cost of buying a vacuum sealer of either type…
Weston Pro-1100 ($250) plus vacuum pouches ($475) equals a total cost over 5 years of $725.
VacMaster VP215 ($710) plus vacuum pouches ($145) equals a total cost over 5 years of $855.
From that, you can see that the cost of vacuum sealer bags are really a great equalizer over the long run, and the total cost of ownership between non-chambered and chamber vacuum sealers is really quite close.