(This article, VacMaster VP112S Review: Is It as Great as Everyone Says It Is?, was posted July 2017.)
If you're considering a home vacuum sealer, the VacMaster VP112S should be at the front of the pack. This 2 minute video explains why:
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The VacMaster company is owned by ARY, Inc. and is formally known as ARY VacMaster, Inc. This is a small American manufacturing company located in Overland Park, Kansas.
VacMaster makes packaging goods and has been around for almost three decades. In the last decade (perhaps with the rise in sous vide popularity for the home chef), they've shifted focus from commercial to consumer products. Yet because of their background in commercial packaging and vacuum sealing, VacMaster products tend to be extremely durable and better made than many products designed for the residential market. Their chamber vacuum sealers are some of the sturdiest, yet most affordable, available for home use.
Why You Should Buy a Chamber Vac and Not an Edge Sealer
Chamber vacs cost more initially, but they have a number of advantages over edge sealers:
- You can seal liquids with them.
- Bags are cheaper.
- You have more control over the sealing process than with an edge sealer (e.g., can set vacuum level and seal time).
- They are generally more durable, with commercial-grade parts.
- They aren't a "throwaway" appliance. You can buy parts and/or send them off for repairs if ever needed.
- You don't have to wait for the unit to cool down in between seals.
- Even though expensive, it will pay for itself in about a year in less food waste.
If you want a more detailed comparison, see How Much Should I Spend on a Vacuum Sealer? (You Might Be Surprised)
Introduction to the VacMaster VP112S
Price: About $490 (on Amazon)
Even though it's one of VacMaster's newest models, the VP112S is their number one, best-selling chamber vac.
The VP112S is the new version of the VacMaster VP112 (see it on Amazon) and was introduced by VacMaster just last year (2016). The VP112 was basically a VP210 (see it on Amazon) re-designed for home use. (See below for a more detailed comparison.) It had some quality issues, but those have all been addressed in the VP112S.
Also, the original VP112 had a port for vacuum sealing accessory containers; the VP112S does not.
Compared to the VP210, the VP112S is smaller, lighter, and designed to fit underneath a cupboard. Yet it has all the features of bigger, more expensive chamber vacs, including fully adjustable settings, maintenance free pump, and a marinade function.
With its 12-inch sealing bar and max bag size of 12x14 inches, it also has a larger chamber than many other chamber vacs on the market, including my beloved VP210.
In a word, the VP112S is brilliant. It has all the great, heavy-duty features of a commercial chamber vac without the drawbacks. If I ever need to upgrade my VP210 (which I doubt I will), this is the model I'll buy.
The VacMaster VP112S has about 30 reviews on Amazon with an average rating of 4 stars. Fakespot.com gives these reviews an "A" rating.
The VP112S is an excellent chamber vac for home use. It's designed to sit on a counter, underneath your upper cabinets, yet be fully functional. This is a huge advantage of the VP112S design as compared to older VacMaster units (and models of other manufacturers), which require more headroom to open all the way.
And, it has a longer sealing bar.
It is also lighter weight than the older models--at about 46 pounds, it weighs a fraction of what the VP210 weighs (about 72 pounds).
Here are some of its best features:
- Light weight (just under 50 lbs--compared to 90 lbs of other chamber vacs)
- Can open fully underneath a cupboard
- Adjustable vacuum time of 30-60s
- Maintenance-free 2 cylinder piston pump (600W)
- 12-inch seal bar, removable for easy cleaning
- Extra-wide (4mm) seal
- Full-view polycarbonate lid
- Designed for repetitive sealing (no cool down periods required)
- Easy-to-clean chamber
- Brushed stainless steel body
- Adjustable vacuum level and seal time
- Digital control panel
- Marinade function (pulls intermittent vacuum for deeper flavor infusion).
Buy the VP112S on Amazon now:
Operation of the VacMaster VP112S
The VP112S has a simple control panel:
With it, you can:
- Turn the unit on and off
- Start and stop the vacuuming process
- Set the vacuum level
- Set the seal time (for example, if you're using Mylar bags, you may want a longer seal time to ensure a proper seal)
- Stop the vacuum process at any time during the sealing cycle if necessary
- Set the marinate time.
You probably won't be using a lot of these functions, however, because once you have the settings where you want them, here's what it takes to seal a bag:
- Place the bag in the chamber.
- Close the lid.
- Press Start.
It's that easy.
But don't you have to set the vacuum and seal time every time you use it?
I've had my VP210 for about 10 years, and I haven't changed the settings once. If I'm sealing something that's soft and starting to crush, I just hit the Stop button and the machine instantly stops pulling vacuum and seals the bag.
That's really all there is to it.
Once you have the settings where you like them, they'll work for just about anything. But it's nice to know you can override the cycle if it's ever necessary.
And if you do have questions about any of this, the user manual explains how to use all of the features.
VacMaster VP112S Vs. VacMaster VP210
The VP112S is basically a re-design of the VP210. It has mostly the same internal components in a more kitchen-friendly package.
What makes it more kitchen-friendly? It's smaller, lighter, and it fully opens even under upper cabinets. Yet it has the same heavy-duty internal components and build quality as its bulkier VacMaster cousins.
Here's a comparison chart of the two models:
16-in. x 24-in. x 9-in.
14-in. x 20-in. x 15-in.
Maintenance free dry piston
Maintenance free dry piston
Chamber Size (WxDxH)
12-in. x 11-in. x 5-in.
11.25-in. x 15.25-in. x 5-in.
Note that in addition to being smaller and lighter, the VP112S also has a longer sealing bar, which means you have more options for the size of bag you use. In the VP210, a 10-in. x 13-in. is the biggest bag you can use, but in the VP112S, you can use up to a 12-in. x 14-in. bag.
This is an excellent feature! I love my old VP210, but I often have to cut large roasts in half or thirds to seal them. With a 12-in. x 14-in. bag, I would have to do a lot less of that.
In case you're wondering: the main difference between the VP210 and the VP215? The motor. The VP215 has a rotary oil pump that is NOT maintenance free but is designed for more rigorous sealing jobs (i.e., a commercial setting where the sealer is in use all day).
No machine is perfect, and as much as I love this chamber vac, it does have a few drawbacks.
- It's expensive. At about $490, it's considerably more than an edge sealer, even a high quality one like the Weston Pro 2300 (about $400). However, it's cheaper than most chamber vacs and it's built to last.
- It's heavy. At 46 pounds, it's bulky and awkward to move, so ideally you'll have a permanent spot for it. (Although, again, lighter than most chamber vacs.)
- The polycarbonate lid isn't quite as heavy duty as on the VP210 and VP215 models (although still very adequate, and this one way they got the weight down).
- No port for sealing canisters.
VacMaster VP112S Specifications
VacMaster VP112S Specifications
Brushed stainless body
16x24x9 in. (14in. high when open)
600W (standard US 120V/60Hz outlet)
23.5" Hg - 29.3" Hg
Chamber Size (WxDxH):
Maximum Bag Width:
Maximum Bag Size:
1-year limited manufacturer warranty.
- 40 assorted chamber bags:
- Ten 6-in. x 12-in.
- Ten 8-in. x 10-in.
- Ten 10-in. x 13-in.
- Ten 12-in. x 14-in.
- User manual
- 1 year limited manufacturer warranty.
You will need to purchase more bags sooner than you think.
Here's my tip: wait until you figure out which size bag you use the most before you buy more.
You'll need more bags soon, but wait until you get a feel for what your favorite sizes are before you buy.
VacMaster offers several accessories to help with vacuum sealing. Here are a few of the best sellers on Amazon.
VacMaster Prep Plate
This stainless steel prep plate holds food for easy prepping. It has three removable "fingers" for different portion and bag sizes. It keeps the sealing area clean and allows food to be packed without touching it.
VacMaster Ring Stand
This stainless bag stand works with 8-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch bag sizes (all used by the VP112S). It makes packing vacuum bags an easier task. If you plan on doing a lot of big jobs, this is an excellent tool to have.
VacMaster Bone Guard Sheets
Use bone guard sheets inside the vacuum bag to shield the bag from sharp bones and possible punctures. If you're going to be sealing a lot of bone-in meat, at about $15 these shields are a no-brainer.
The VP112S is a quality chamber vac, with commercial grade components but designed (and priced) for the home user. Although spendy compared to edge sealers, it's more capable and more durable. It will pay for itself in about a year.