We get many calls from both home users and small commercial users asking "what's the best vacuum machine for my needs?" That question is sometimes hard to answer! We now have a variety of machines starting as low as $81 that can meet a wide variety of vacuum packing requirements. We get asked every day what the differences are with the various types of machines we carry. We've set up this page so you can find out more about the three basic types of vacuum machines and what works best for different applications. You may find other sites call these type of machines by different names. What they are called makes little difference. It's how they work and what type of pouch they use that does make a difference.
External Clamp (Pouch) - These machines clamp the open end of the pouch shut while the air is being evacuated. Because the pouch is clamped shut, this type of external clamp machine must use special pouches to pull the air out of the bag. We go more into the different types of pouches below. Most of these machines that we carry have an external vacuum port that lets you vacuum other items such as containers and canning jars. This type vacuum machine works well for most home users and small businesses that don't require a lot of packages. Machines of this type that we carry are PolyScience, Fast Vac, Pro-2300 and Pro-3000. Some of the other makes that can be of this type are Foodsaver®, MagicVac® and VacMaster®.
External Clamp (Snorkel) - Also called Retractable Nozzle Machines. This type of machine also clamp the open end of the pouch shut while the air is being evacuated. They differ from the first type in that they have a retractable snorkel (tube) that pulls the air out of the pouch. This tube eliminates the need for a special pouch. More about pouches can be found below. Machines of this type that we carry are Sinbo (3 models) and AmeriVacS.
Chamber - These are the work horses of the food packaging industry! They are simply a stainless steel box (chamber) with a seal bar(s) to seal the pouch. The air is pulled from the entire chamber during the vacuum process, the bag is sealed and then the air is let back in the chamber. Most chamber machines can be set up to gas flush which is inserting an inert gas back into the pouch after the air is taken out. Because the entire pouch is in a vacuum, chamber machines use standard "flat" vacuum pouches and they work great for vacuuming liquid and/or product that has a lot of liquid in it. The Minipack MVS series of machines all have a slanted liquid tray available to help you package liquids. We carry a couple of brands of chamber machines which can be found on the following pages: Table Top Chamber Machines, Floor Model Single Chamber Machines, Double Chamber Machines and Clean Room Compatible Machines. MVS-XP models are HACCP Compliant.
Vacuum for Gusseted Bags - Coffee Bag Sealer - The WVT-455T features top & bottom sealing which enables it to make a good, air tight seal through the toughest material. You can use a gusseted bag (one that folds at the top to make a three dimensional bag. This type of bag is typically used for vacuum packing coffee. You can also use our embossed bags with the WVT-455T.
The SINBO is an external clamp, snorkel type machine with 3 models available; the PolyScience, Fast Vac, Pro-2300 and Pro-3000 are external clamp, pouch machines; the MVS-31 and MVS-45 are both chamber machines, other sizes of table top machines are also available. We also have larger chamber machines and larger retractable snorkel machines. The retractable snorkel and the chamber machines use the common (less expensive) flat vacuum pouches. The external clamp machines (pouch) must use a special bag with an embossed surface that is more expensive. The MVS chamber machines have oil filled rotary vane vacuum pumps that pull a tighter vacuum than the others.
WHY VACUUM PACK FOOD PRODUCTS?
Extend Shelf Life by removing the oxygen.
Eliminate Dehydration Loss.
Eliminate Freezer Burn.
Keep Leftovers Longer and Better.
Keep Moisture Away From Dry Products.
WHAT CAN BE VACUUM PACKED?
Meat, fish, chicken
Nuts, candy, snack foods, grains
Disaster preparedness products
Important papers, documents
Gas Flush is available on almost all of the Minipack MVS series chamber vacuum machines. It is used in applications that need all the air (which is about 20% oxygen) removed but can't have the tight package that full vacuum produces. By injecting an inert gas such as nitrogen or carbon dioxide, you can get a package that has all the oxygen removed but is not drawn down tight on your product. This is commonly called a "pillow" pack. The best example I can think of a pillow pack is potato chips. When you try to push a potato chip bag together you will feel the pillow of gas that's inside keeping the chips from being crushed. Machines with gas flush have nozzles near the seal bars that you have to place the open end of the pouch over.
Vacuum Pouches are usually made of multi-layered nylon and polyethylene. Other materials are added to some pouches for specific purposes such as higher barrier for products such as beef jerky. Pouches are available for two different types of machines:
Chamber and External Clamp, Snorkel Machines use what we refer to as "standard flat" vacuum pouches. They are available as stock pouches in 3mil and 4mil thicknesses, boilable, high-barrier, with reclosable zippers and printed. These standard flat pouches are what are usually used in the food industry. All of our pouches (with the exception of the embossed pouches) are designed to work with these machines.
External Clamp, Pouch Machines (no snorkel) must use special pouches that enable the air to get out of the pouch through the clamped-shut open end of the pouch. Our Embossed pouches have an embossed surface on one side of the pouch that allows the air to be pulled out of the pouch. These pouches have been designed to work with all our machines that require them. They have also been tested on several other makes of external clamp machines such as Foodsaver® & VacMaster®.