Vacuum Sealer Model Selection Guide
This model selection guide is designed to offer you some assistance in making a choice based on your expected end use and offering some suggestions regarding model choice. The range of vacuum sealer models that we have can be a little confusing, particularly to the first time buyer.
Visit our Comparison Chart Page with the list of machine features to help you choose which model suits you.
General Home Use:
You want to use the machine for daily home use. You don’t envisage processing any large volumes. You just want to do things like break down and vacuum pack bulk meat packs from the butcher or supermarket, vacuum pack and freeze excess garden produce, extend the lifespan of expensive food items stored in the fridge. You want a machine that is simple to use, compact and a quality machine that will last for many years.
If your major criteria when choosing a vacuum sealer are compactness and simplicity, then take a look at the STATUS MiniVac. This is one of the most compact vacuum sealers available, it is also super quiet due to its unique rotary vacuum pump. The next step up is to the ZeroPak DualVac and then the ZeroPak FV500 Family Vac. These are our most popular models. It has its own vacuum roll film holder and cutter and is still a relatively compact design. Or you could to go up a step to the Italian made SICO S-250 machine. It is still a very simple machine to operate and has some advantages over the FV500. The most important advantage is the wider seal bar with adjustable heat. This makes it a bit forgiving when sealing bags which have food or liquid contamination in the seal area. The S-250 is also easily the quietest running vacuum sealer we have.
Outdoor, Portable For Hunting and fishing:
You want a machine for both general home use, but you would also like a machine which is portable and can be run off the grid. Perhaps you have a motor home or caravan in which you either live or go way in regularly.
Any of our machines can be run on an inverter. However for simplicity you could look at the ZeroPak DualVac which is a true dual voltage machine. To change power options from 240v to 12v simply change the power lead and your going. Yes it comes complete with two power cords. The DualVac is a fully functional vacuum sealer with all the latest technology, like touch screen controls, dual speed pump and a pulse function for soft foods and liquids. In addition it has an extra heavy duty seal bar for more forgiveness when processing foods with a high liquid content, like red meats and seafood. You could also consider the ZeroPak HandyVac, this is a truly portable vacuum sealer that uses bags with a ziplock closure and a vacuum valve. The HandyVac is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery which will vacuum seal more than a hundred bags before needing a recharge. The bags can be washed reused multiple times.
Heavy Duty Home Use/Sous Vide Cooking:
You have a larger family, you do a bit of hunting and or fishing. You regularly take advantage of larger bulk deals from the Butcher. Perhaps you have a large kitchen that you really enjoy spending time in. When you buy appliances you only buy the best quality gear that will last a lifetime. Maybe you have a Sous Vide Cooker that you use regularly.
You should look at the Italian SICO Machines. Your minimum requirement should be the SICO S-250. This machine can be run as fast as you wish when processing larger numbers of bags. It has the advantage of the extra wide seal bar for 100% reliable seals every time. Or you might go up to the SICO S-250 Premium. It is a fully automatic machine. Faster than the S-250, has higher vacuum pressure and has double seal bars.
If you are a Sous Vide fan, then the SICO machines offer a far more reliable seal on the bag than conventional domestic vacuum sealers. The seal is critical. You do not want it to release halfway through the cooking process. When preparing food for Sous Vide it most often involves some sort of liquid or marinade. The SICO 250’s, particularly the S-250 Premium offer a considerable advantage in this type of situation. Plus their higher vacuum pressure offers a more complete air extraction which is important when preparing food for Sous Vide cooking.
Hunting, Fishing, Home Kills, Smaller Cafe or Restaurant:
Your main reason for wanting a vacuum sealer is to package meats and seafoods, sometimes in larger volumes. You and perhaps your mates are serious hunter gatherers. Or you have a smaller cafe or restaurant and want to reduce waste, but you do not want a large expensive full commercial machine.
The minimum requirement for this type of work is the SICO S-250 Premium. It has double 4mm seals which give a far more reliable seal on the bag when doing foods with liquid content, like meats and seafoods. You also get a machine which can be run continuously with no risk of overheating. Although the width of the vacuum chamber is 25cm, if you want to process larger cuts of meat like shoulder roasts or large legs of hogget it is possible to use film as wide as 40cm in the S-250 Premium by simply sliding the film sideways after the first seal and sealing again interlocking/overlapping the seals. You may consider stepping up to the SICO Nevada. You now get a 32cm wide vacuum chamber, triple seal bars and a bigger pump. The Nevada would have to be the ultimate machine for the serious hunter, gatherer. Both of these machines are capable of continual day to day use expected in a busy cafe restaurant environment. They are also easy care and simple to operate.
Multiple Home Kills, Commercial Use:
This is the realm of the SICO S-Line machines. They are capable of full commercial use. They all have triple seal bars, full stainless and alloy bodies, and are excellent for continuous and intensive use. There are 4 models which range from the S-Line 350 with a 35cm wide vacuum chamber, up to the S-Line 700 with a 70cm wide vacuum chamber. Choose the right machine for the vacuum film you will mainly use and it is possible to process 2 or more bags side by side.
If after reading this information and looking at our handy model comparison chart you are still not sure which is the right machine for you, then please contact us, we are happy to assist. Our knowledge is based on more than 10 years of experience with vacuum packers and vacuum packing.
Whatever model you choose, rest assured that you will get a quality made machine, with our European models backed by a full 5 year warranty, plus parts and service down the track when required.