March 26

Avid Armor: The Best New Vacuum Sealers on the Market?

By trk

March 26, 2021

avid armor, vacuum sealers

Avid Armor has only been around for a few years, but they're starting to outsell more popular vacuum sealer brands. Here, we take a detailed look at Avid Armor's vacuum sealer lineup and see how it compares to vacuum sealer giants FoodSaver, Weston, and VacMaster.

Avid Armor Vacuum Sealers At a Glance

Here is Avid Armor's vacuum sealer lineup. If you can't find them on Amazon or WalMart, the Avid Armor website will have them. Amazon usually has the best price (and the easiest return policy, especially for Prime members), but check all the buying options to make sure.

Avid Armor Vacuum Sealer

Features

-Lid locking handle for a hands-free operation

-Easy-to-load and clean vacuum channel

-12" wide seal bar

-15.5" x 6.25" x 4.25" 

-3.8 lb

-Power: 110W

-One-touch 'Auto Vac & Seal' mode

-Pulse setting to control vacuum (great feature!)

-Dry and moist food modes

-Accessory port (hose and canisters not included)

-Removable bag cutter 

-1 yr warranty.

-12" seal bar w/5mm wide seal

-15"x10.75"x3.75"

-14 lbs

-Power: 450W

-Vacuum: 27.5" Hg

-Pulse feature

-Double piston cooled pump

-5mm wide seal

-Adjustable heat seal time

-Comes w/30 bags, acc hose, maintenance kit

-1 yr warranty.

-Stainless steel body w/tempered glass lid

-11.5 in. seal bar w/double seal wire

-Maintenance free dry rocker pump

-Power: 300W

-Vacuum strength: 29 inHg

-Size: 14” x 12” x 8.25”; 17” tall with lid open

-Chamber: 12.25” x 8.5” x 3”

-Max bag size: 11.5" x 10"

-17.55 lb

-Pouch clamp to hold the pouch in place for sealing

-Adjustable vacuum (15-60 seconds) and seal time (3-9 seconds)

-Accessory port (hose not included)

-Marinate function

-1 yr warranty.

-Stainless steel body w/tempered glass lid

-11.5 in. seal bar w/double seal wire

-Maintenance free dry rocker pump

-Power: 380W

-Vacuum strength: 29 inHg

-Size: 14” x 15.5” x 9.5”; 22.5” tall with lid open

-Chamber size: 11.5” x 12” x 3.75”

-Max bag size: 11x13"

-26.4 lb 

-Pouch clamp to hold the pouch in place for sealing

-Adjustable vacuum (20-99 seconds) and seal time (3-9 seconds)

-Marinate function

-1 yr warranty.

Edge Sealer Comparison Table: FoodSaver FMV4400, Avid Armor AVS7900

This table gives a quick comparison among brands of edge sealers. You can compare Avid Armor edge sealers to other brands and to each other--helpful if you're trying to decide which sealer has the features you want.

Scroll down for detailed reviews of Avid Armor sealers.

Header

FoodSaver V4400

FoodSaver V4440 vacuum sealer

Weston Pro 2300

Weston Pro 2300 vacuum sealer

Avid Armor AVS7900

Avid Armor AVS7900 Edge Vacuum Sealer

Avid Armor A100

Avid Armor A100 Edge Vacuum Sealer

App. Price:

$180

$400

$52

$300

Size/Weight:

11x20x12"
10lb

15.3x23x9"
22lbs

15.5x6.25x4.25"
3.8lb

15"x10.75"x3.75

14lbs

Power/Vac Pull:

127W/15"Hg

935W/28"Hg

110W/~20"Hg

450W/27.5"Hg

Max bag width:

11"

15"

11"

12"

Auto Sealing?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Roll Storage?

 Yes

Yes

No

No

Bag Cutter?

Yes

No

Yes

No

Pulse Button?

No

No

Yes

Yes

Hi/Low Setting?

Yes

No (you can use Manual)

Yes

Yes

Zip Bag Sealer Included?

Yes

No

No

No

Warranty:

5 yr limited

2 yr limited

1 yr limited

1 yr. limited

Cell

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Chamber Sealer Comparison Table: VacMaster VP95, PolyScience 300, Avid Armor USV32

This table gives a quick comparison among the most popular chamber sealers and Avid Armor. You can compare the two Avid Armor chamber sealers to the other models and to each other.

Scroll down for detailed reviews of Avid Armor sealers.

Header

VacMaster
VP95

VacMaster VP95

VacMaster VP215

VacMasterVP215

Avid Armor USV20

Avid Armor USV20 Chamber Vacuum Sealer

Avid Armor USV32

Avid Armor USV32 Chamber Vacuum Sealer

App. Price

$730

$999

$400

$580

Size/Weight

11x16x9"/42.5lbs

14x20x15"/84lb

14x12x8.25”/17lb

14x15.5x9.5"/26lb

Chamber Size:

9.5x10.5x3.25"

11.25x14x5"

12.25x8.5x3”

11.5x12x3.75”

Pump Type:

Single piston oil (not maint. free)

Single piston oil (not maint. free)

Maintenance free dry rocker pump

Maintenance free dry rocker pump

Power/Vac Pull

186W/26.5-29.5"Hg

186W/26.5-29.5"Hg

300W/29"Hg

380W/up to 29"Hg

Seal Bar/Max Bag:

9.25"/9x12"

10"/10x13"

11.5"/11.5x10"

11.5"/11x13"

Accessory Port?

Yes

No

Yes

No

Warranty:

1 yr

1 yr.

1 yr

1 yr

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About Avid Armor

Avid Armor was founded by a husband-and-wife team from the Midwest (USA). Their headquarters are located in Kansas.

All of their products are made in China. 

Avid Armor is a new company, founded in the mid-2010s. Their products were first available on Amazon in 2016. Since then, they have had huge success, largely due to the high quality of their products and their exceptional customer service: If you have any questions about their products, they're willing to help you out. If you have any issues with their products, they will work with you until you're satisfied with the result. 

From their website:

"As an American small business, we are committed to working hard to meet each of our customer’s needs. We are passionate about our unique products, fast shipping, and our personalized, helpful customer service experience. With Avid Armor, you can be confident that you’re getting quality products from a trusted business."

Avid Armor has put a lot of thought into their design and this shows in their sealers. Even their lowest-priced vacuum sealer has features that you usually see only on sealers that cost much more. They're well built, easy to use, and have all the features you need with none that you don't. Reviews on Amazon are overwhelmingly positive on all of their products. 

Avid Armor vacuum sealers are also surprisingly affordable. Their heavy duty edge sealer and their chamber sealers cost hundreds less than their competition while having similar or better features.

All of this makes Avid Armor a force to be reckoned with in the vacuum sealer market.

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Why Buy a Vacuum Sealer?

Sous Vide Meat in vacuum bags - Avid Armor: The Best New Vacuum Sealers on the Market?

You can save $$$ with bulk purchases. 

The biggest reason to get a vacuum sealer is to save money on food. Did you know that Americans waste up to 40% of all the food they buy? 

Vacuum sealed food lasts longer in the fridge, freezer, and pantry. Removing air from the bag means removing potential pathogens; this is why vacuum-sealed food lasts up to 5 times longer than food stored in other containers.

With a vacuum sealer and a freezer, you can take advantage of lower, bulk prices at big box stores, from local farmers, and sales at your local grocery. 

Also, because air is removed, there is no freezer burn on your frozen food. This allows you to keep frozen food much longer than in non-vacuum sealed containers.

Overall, a vacuum sealer can help you save hundreds--possibly thousands--of dollars per year on your food budget by wasting less food and by being able to take advantage of lower bulk prices. 

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Do You Need a Vacuum Sealer for Sous Vide Cooking?

Steak in Sous Vide Bath

Steak in sous vide water bath.

Sous vide cooking has become hugely popular in recent years. The term "sous vide" translates from French as literally "under vacuum." This is because the original sous vide users always used vacuum sealers to cook sous vide.

You don't need a vacuum sealer to cook food sous vide. You can use the water displacement method to remove air from a bag. However, vacuum sealed food tends to cook more evenly because a vacuum sealer can remove more air from a bag than any other method (air is the enemy of good sous vide). 

Vacuum bags are also sturdier than zip top and other plastic storage bags, so you have fewer worries about a bag not lasting for a whole cook (especially true for long sous vide cooks, more than 6 hours or so).

In fact, for long cooks, you may want to use extra thick vacuum bags: 5 mil instead of the standard 3 mil.

Also, there are so many other uses for a vacuum sealer in your kitchen, and you will save so much money on your food budget with one, that we strongly recommend getting a vacuum sealer to work with your sous vide circulator. 

And by the way, you do not need a special type of "sous vide vacuum sealer" for sous vide. If you see this, you can ignore it. Any vacuum sealer will work with sous vide--though more powerful ones may provide slightly better results because they can remove more air.

For more info on sous vide, check out our sous vide articles here.

How Is Avid Armor Different from Other Vacuum Sealer Brands?

Avid Armor A100 Edge Vacuum Sealer

Commercial grade Avid Armor A100 sealer.

There are a lot of things to love about Avid Armor vacuum sealers. We think that all of their vacuum sealers represent the best of each market they compete with. Here's why:

Great features: Avid Armor seems to have thought of everything a customer could possibly want, need, or benefit from. They've equipped all of their vacuum sealers with useful features without bells and whistles that sound good but don't really improve your experience. With other brands, you might have to pay extra for a model that has all the features included with every Avid Armor vacuum sealer. No, you're not going to get chamber-sealer results from their little edge sealer (the AVS7900), but their little edge sealer does just about everything better than other sealers at its price point.

Easy to Use: Avid Armor vacuum sealers have some extra features that make them easier to use than some other brands. The chamber sealers have a bar or clip to hold bags in place, and the edge sealers are designed so that you can easily position a bag, with no tricky, two-handed lockdowns required to get the sealer to work. They also use very little plastic when sealing, so you can get maximum use out of your bags. (Some edge sealers require a quarter or more of the bag to make a seal.)

Affordable Prices: Avid Armor chamber vacuum sealers are some of the most affordable, yet high quality, sealers on the market. Their edge sealers are both excellent in their respective markets, giving strong competition to other brands. 

Customer service: Avid Armor is a small, family-owned company headquartered in the Midwest. They pride themselves on their customer service, and will help anyone with any question or problem. The level of attention they give to every customer service interaction is extremely impressive.

As for starter kits, some are better than others (why no accessory hose with the AVS7900? Why no replacement parts with the USV20?). But other than these small complaints, Avid Armor has a lot to offer anyone in the market for a vacuum sealer.

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About Edge (Suction) Sealers

Avid Armor A100 with corn on the cob

An Avid Armor edge sealer at work.

Avid Armor makes two types of vacuum sealers: edge sealers and chamber sealers. (There is a third type of vacuum sealer called a handheld sealer, which Avid Armor does not make. Some FoodSaver edge sealers come with a handheld sealer built in, like the V4400 in the chart above.)

Edge sealers, also called suction or external sealers, are the most common type of vacuum sealer. They work by removing air from a bag that is external to the sealer: you insert the open edge of the bag into the sealer, lock the sealer down, and start the sealing process. 

Edge sealers also require special bags with embossing on the inside: this texture helps to "push" air out of the bag. An edge sealer will not work without these special bags. (More on bags in a minute.)

Edge sealers come in a wide range of build quality, vacuum strength, and price. They start at less than $50 and range up to more than $500. On the low end of that range, they are mostly plastic with small, inexpensive pumps that pull a rather weak vacuum. (Note: The Avid Armor AVS7900 vacuum sealer fits in this category.) 

These small pumps overheat quickly, so they require cool down periods between sealing; otherwise, you can burn out the parts.

Edge sealers less than about $100 are largely considered "throw-away" products that you use for a few years and replace with a new one. You may be able to find some basic replacement parts, but once the vacuum pump wears out, there's not a lot you can do to make them work again.

Higher end edge sealers are made of stainless steel, with sturdy, air-cooled pumps that can pull almost as much vacuum as a chamber sealer. (The Avid Armor A100 fits in this category.)

They can do dozens of seals (maybe more) without a cool down. These machines should provide decades of service, with replacement parts available for when they're needed. (Avid Armor even includes some replacement parts with their A100 edge sealer, which is a really nice feature, because you will have to replace gaskets and heat tape occasionally.)

There are pros and cons for both types of edge sealers. Our philosophy at TRK is to buy the best equipment you can afford, and to avoid products that are going to end up in landfills in a few years. This applies to vacuum sealers, too.

BUT:

If you're only going to vacuum seal a few times a week and don't plan to do a lot of bulk sealing, then a small, inexpensive sealer is a good option for you, and you will appreciate how light and portable it is, as well. 

If you plan to do a large amount of sealing or bulk sealing projects--if you have a large garden, livestock, or a large freezer you want to keep full--then you should go with a heavy duty sealer. Such an investment in food preservation is worth every penny. Just be sure you don't mind its bulk or weight, and that you have a place to store it.

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About Chamber Vacuum Sealers

Avid Armor USV32 Chamber Vacuum Sealer

Avid Armor USV32 chamber vacuum sealer.

Avid Armor also makes chamber vacuum sealers. Less common than edge sealers, chamber vacuum sealers are large machines with an internal chamber for sealing. Because air is removed from the entire chamber--and not just the bag, as with edge sealers--a chamber sealer provides one huge feature over an edge sealer: with a chamber sealer, you can seal liquids.

Chamber sealers are bigger, heavier, and more expensive than even the most expensive edge sealer. Many of them, even those geared to the home user market, weigh 80 pounds or more (see our comparison table above to get an idea of this), although Avid Armor chamber sealers are both incredibly lightweight (a huge perk for the home user).

Chamber sealers have powerful vacuum pumps and pull stronger vacuum than edge sealers. Vacuum strength is important because the more air you can remove from a bag, the longer food will stay fresh. So the performance of chamber sealers is superior in pretty much every way to edge sealers.

Another perk to chamber sealers is that the bags are cheaper: there is no need for embossing to push air out, so the bags are much cheaper. So while you'll pay more up front for a chamber sealer, you will save money in the long run with the cheaper bags.

You can also seal jars right inside a chamber sealer, which is a cool feature. Unfortunately, most of the newer chamber sealers geared to the home market have shallow chambers, and the Avid Armors are no exception: the big one (USV32) has a chamber just 3.75 inches tall, and the small one (USV200) has a chamber just 3 inches tall. So you can't fit a lot of jars in there (though you can lay some on their side in the chamber and get the same result).

Some chamber sealers have an accessory port--like many edge sealers--so you can seal external containers with them. This is a nice feature for a chamber sealer (and believe us, if you have it, you will use it and you will love it). Avid Armor's small chamber sealer has an accessory port (like both of their edge sealers), but their large chamber sealer does not have one. (Why, Avid Armor--why not an accessory port on both chamber sealers??)

The biggest drawback of a chamber sealer is that it's bigger and heavier than an edge sealer. Even if you buy a lightweight one like an Avid Armor, you still probably won't want to be moving it in and out of storage--so you need to have a spot on your counter where you can park it pretty much permanently.

The other big drawback is that the chamber size limits the size bag you can use; you do not have this limitation with an edge sealer, as you can buy rolls of bags and cut to any length you want. 

Avid Armor's big chamber sealer is limited to bags that are 11x13 inches; their small chamber sealer is limited to bags that are 11x10 inches.

However, even an 11x10 inch bag will hold over a gallon, so it's not as big a limitation as it may sound.

If you plan on doing a lot of vacuum sealing, you should definitely consider a chamber vacuum sealer. If you have a place to keep it, you will almost certainly not regret the investment. The ability to seal wet foods and liquids without a workaround (such as freezing first) is a game changer.

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What to Look for in a Vacuum Sealer (Important Features)

This section discusses the important features of a vacuum sealer. If you're new to vacuum sealing, this is an important section to read.

Vacuum Strength

Vacuum Gauge

Vacuum gauge.

Air is the path that pathogens take to spoil your food. Therefore, the more air you can remove from a bag, the longer your food will stay fresh. This is why vacuum strength is important to think about when you're buying a vacuum sealer.

We find it absurd that so many vacuum sealer makers sell their products without providing vacuum strength specifications: this is the most important feature of a vacuum sealer. 

But vacuum sealers sold to the home consumer market typically do not include vacuum strength specs. FoodSaver considers this proprietary information; perhaps because their sealers pull somewhere around 15-20 "Hg, which isn't great in comparison to commercial grade sealers.

Most, if not all, of the consumer grade vacuum sealers on the market pull about this much vacuum, including the Avid Armor AVS7900 (which also does not have vacuum strength specs listed). 

What are "Hg? "Hg, or "inches of mercury," is a unit of pressure. There are many others, including PSI, bar, and Pascals, but "Hg is the standard used across the vacuum sealer industry. Since vacuum sealers are actually removing air, this is actually a negative number, but the minus sign is generally omitted from the vacuum strength spec (but if you see one with a minus sign, you'll know why).

What is a good vacuum strength? This is subjective: if you just bought your first FoodSaver that pulls about 15"Hg, it will be several times better than ziptop bags or Tupperware. But it's nowhere near as good as a commercial grade edge sealer or chamber vac sealer can pull. 

Perfect vacuum--unachievable on planet Earth--is 29.92"Hg. With this in mind, here is the hierarchy of vacuum strength: 

Consumer grade edge sealers: 15-23"Hg

Commercial grade edge sealers: 25-29"Hg

Chamber vacuum sealers: 26-29.5"Hg.

As you can see, the heavier duty edge sealers and chamber sealers can pull considerably more vacuum than the consumer grade sealers.

Since they are also more durable and built to last for a long time, this is a strong argument in favor of investing in a heavier duty sealer.

But there are arguments for the consumer grade sealers, too: they're way better than no sealer at all. 

Whichever type of sealer you decide to go with, you now understand the importance of vacuum strength when considering your purchase. 

Build Quality

This fits hand in glove with the vacuum strength discussion above. Build quality is an important consideration in your vacuum sealer purchase. 

In general, consumer grade vacuum sealers (e.g., FoodSavers and their competitors, including the Avid Armor AVS7900) tend to be made primarily of plastic, including their vacuum pumps. Thus, they tend to not only pull weaker vacuum, they also wear out faster.

Most consumer grade vacuum sealers--those with plastic housings that cost less than about $150--are considered throwaway items; you use them until they stop working, then you replace rather than repair them.

They can last just a few years or several years, depending on how much use they get and how careful you are when using them (for example, sucking liquid into the vacuum pump will shorten their working life considerably).

More expensive edge sealers and chamber vac sealers have a stainless steel housing, as well as more durable internal parts. The pumps are air-cooled, which extends their lives and allows them to be used continuously without a cool down (a great feature).

And of course, the higher end sealers pull stronger vacuum, too, which keeps your food fresher for longer. 

When parts wear out, you can buy replacement parts to repair them, and they'll be as good as new. (Some parts on a vacuum sealer need occasional replacing, such as the gasket and heating element for the seal--you can even find these parts for many consumer grade sealers.)

If you're on a tight budget or reluctant to spend the money for a commercial grade sealer, an inexpensive one is the right choice. But if you're sold on vacuum sealing and know you'll be using your sealer a lot, you will save money in the long run by buying a more expensive, better-built vacuum sealer that will last for many years (probably decades).

One more thing about build quality is the pleasure of using the machine: an object with good heft and a solid feel is just more pleasurable to use than an object that feels cheap and chintzy. If you don't consider this before buying anything, you should; it may seem like a small thing, but well-made products enhance your quality of life, while cheap, poorly designed products detract from it. (This is the philosophy underlying every product review we do here at TRK.)

Settings (Pulse, Start/Stop, Seal without Vacuum, Marinate, etc)

Avid Armor A100 control panel

All the setting on the Avid Armor A100 sealer.

A vacuum sealer really does two things: it removes air from a bag, and it seals the bag shut. But there are many ways to accomplish those tasks.

With edge sealers in particular, you can go from completely manual operation to almost completely automatic; some edge sealers will even cut the bag and feed it into the sealer without help from you.

So, edge sealers can have bare bones settings that include only vacuum and seal, or they can have extra settings that allow you more control over the sealing process. 

The most common settings are Dry/Moist or High/Low: because moist foods can destroy the vacuum pump if it sucks liquid in, the Moist or Low setting pulls a lower vacuum to help prevent this from happening. You still have to keep an eye on the food and stop the sealing process if liquid starts to get sucked into the machine, but the lower vacuum strength makes it easier. 

Another setting some edge sealers have is Pulse. This allows you to start and stop sealing automatically, giving you complete control over the sealing process. Pulse is a great feature and is found on more expensive consumer sealers; both of Avid Armor's edge sealers have a Pulse button. 

Another feature is Seal, which stops the vacuum and seals the bag immediately, though you can do this with any vacuum sealer by just pressing the Stop, Seal, Cancel, or other button to stop the vacuum process (again, very useful with wet foods). 

Other settings include Marinate, Accessory, and a Seal button you can use to seal a bag without any vacuum pull (great for bag rolls), but which you can also do with any vacuum sealer by pressing the Stop, Cancel, Seal, or whichever button stops the vacuum pull. 

In other words, extra settings are nice, but you can mostly accomplish what you need to do even if your edge sealer doesn't have a lot of special settings. 

Accessory Port

If your edge sealer has an accessory port, it will also have an Accessory setting. This is used with a hose you attach to external containers. You can use them with special food storage containers, mason jars, bottle stoppers, and marinade containers. This is a nice feature, and if your sealer has one, you should use it; it allows you to use the magic of vacuum sealing with many other containers.

Here's the accessory port on the Avid Armor AVS7900:

Avid Armor ASV7900 Accessory Port

The accessory port on the Avid Armor AVS7900.

It's less common, but some chamber sealers also have an accessory port. The small Avid Armor chamber sealre (USV20) has an accessory port, while the big one (USV32) does not. 

The hoses and containers used with vacuum sealers tend to be universal, so if you have equipment from an old FoodSaver lying around, it should work with Avid Armor sealers with just a few minor modifications. If you don't, the Avid Armor hose is about $8; their other containers and accessories vary in price (and you can go with another brand if the prices are better).

You can find some Avid Armor accessories on Amazon, but they don't have everything.

An accessory port is a great feature, but it does require investing in different infrastructure--so if you just want to use your sealer with vacuum bags, that's just fine, too.

Roll Storage

Some edge sealers have built in roll storage so you can just keep your bag roll right with the sealer.

This system has pros and cons. The main pro is that the bag roll is always with the sealer, so you have to keep track of one less thing.

The cons are that the storage space is usually small, so you can only fit the smallest bag rolls into it. Another is that bag storage makes the sealer bigger and bulkier. 

Neither of Avid Armor's edge sealers has bag roll storage.

Bag Cutter

FoodSaver Bag Cutter

Built-in bag cutter on a FoodSaver.

Some edge sealers come with a built-in bag cutter, which makes it easy to get nice, straight cuts on your bag rolls. It's not a must-have feature, but it's a very nice feature to have, especially if you can't cut a straight line with a scissors to save your life. 

The Avid Armor AVS7900 has what they call a "portable" bag cutter that you use to cut the bags by hand. While it's nice to always have a cutting implement with your sealer, it won't be much easier to use than a scissors. Thus, we're lukewarm on the Avid Armor bag cutter:

Avid Armor USV7900 Bag Cutter

Avid Armor AVS7900 bag cutter.

The Avid Armor A100 does not come with any type of bag cutter.

Bags

Bags are your largest ongoing expense of vacuum sealing, so you should understand what you're getting into.

Edge sealer bags are available in individual bags and rolls of bags, which you cut to the length you desire; rolls are the cheapest way to buy edge sealer bags.

Edge sealer bags--and bag rolls--have an embossed lining that is required to work with a suction sealer. Without this embossing, bags won't work with an edge sealer:

Edge Sealer vacuum bags

Edge vacuum sealer bag: see the texture?

Chamber vacuum sealer bags don't need this, so they are plain, 3 mil (or thicker), clear bags:

Chamber Sealer vacuum bags

Chamber sealer bags: smooth.

Chamber sealer bags are quite a bit less expensive than edge sealer bags; even the cheapest rolls of edge sealer bags you can find are going to cost more than the most expensive brand name chamber sealer bags.

Thus, in the long run, a chamber sealer is less expensive to operate, even though the initial investment is considerably bigger. 

Something to think about before you buy a vacuum sealer.

Bag thickness: Standard vacuum bags are 3 mil thick, but you can find thicker bags for a chamber sealer. While 3 mil bags are great for most vacuum sealing tasks, consider using 5 mil bags for long sous vide cooks (more than 6-8 hours).  They'll hold up better to the hot water and you'll have a lower chance of failure--but they're more expensive, so don't buy them unless you need them.

Finally, you do not need to buy vacuum bags that are the same brand as your vacuum sealer. Any edge sealer bags will work in an edge sealer, and any chamber sealer bags will work in a chamber sealer. Thus, you should compare prices--and look on other sites--before buying. 

See Avid Armor vacuum bags on Amazon

See vacuum sealer bags at webstaurantstore.com

Automatic Sealing

Some edge sealers have automatic sealing: just pop in the bag and press the button, and the sealer does the rest.

Some FoodSavers are fully automated and will even cut the bag and feed it into the sealer for you. 

Others are completely manual, and you have to press and hold the sealer down while sealing.

In reality, even many "automatic" sealers require wrestling a bit with the sealer to get it to work. A lot of edge sealers are finicky. If the bag isn't positioned just so, or if you don't have quite enough pressure on both sides of the sealer, they won't work. So "fully automatic" really means, "once you get the bag in there right and the sealer shut down on it properly, then it will finish the job for you."

So, even automatic or "one-button" sealing usually involves a little more effort. 

It's not that automatic is bad or that it doesn't work. It's just that some sealers are easier to operate than others regardless of how "automatic" they are. And even "one-touch" sealing usually requires some sort of locking mechanism.

The Avid Armor AVS7900 has a great system where you simply lock the handle down before starting the sealing process. It's one of the easiest systems we've seen. 

The Avid Armor A100 is a little trickier, but once you get the bag placed correctly, it really is one-touch sealing.

Whatever vacuum sealer you buy, you'll get the hang of using it. But some are definitely harder to use than others.

Starter Kit

FoodSaver Starter Kit

A typical FoodSaver starter kit.

Most edge sealers and a few chamber sealers come with a "starter kit." This kit includes a number of bags and/or bag rolls, plus other accessories. 

Some sealers come with very generous starter kits with a variety of bags, an accessory hose, and maybe even accessory containers; others, you get just a few bags, or possibly nothing at all.

It's not a deal breaker if a vacuum sealer doesn't have a good starter kit, but if you're torn between a couple of models, the starter kit might swing it for you. This is especially true if you're buying at the lower end of the market, where a generous starter kit can be worth half the cost of the sealer or more.

Somewhat surprisingly, Avid Armor starter kits vary quite a bit. Some are very generous and even include an accessory hose and some replacement parts; others have just a small number of bags. 

Regardless of how generous the starter kit is, you should go ahead and buy bags with your new chamber sealer. You'll probably need them sooner than you think.

Type of Pump (Chamber Sealers Only)

This is really only a consideration for chamber sealers, and your options are 1) maintenance-free dry piston pump, and 2) oil-cooled rotary pump that requires occasional oil changes.

The oil-cooled pumps are a little more robust, but they require maintenance. However, they can seal pretty much forever without a cool down period.

Changing oil is not difficult, but for most home users, we think the maintenance-free pump is the way to go. It can pull just as much vacuum and can do many seals in a row--dozens or more--without needing a cool down. 

Avid Armor agrees with us, because both of their chamber sealers have maintenance-free pumps. 

Chamber Size (Chamber Sealers Only)

We touched on this topic in the About Chamber Sealers section above, but here's some more detail. The chamber size is one of the most important aspects of a chamber sealer. While you will learn to use whatever chamber sealer you buy, consider the size before buying. There's a fairly big difference between the small Avid Armor chamber sealer and the big one, which means you're limited to smaller bags in the small chamber sealer. (The difference is 11x10" bags vs. 11x13" bags.) 

The height is also a factor, so be sure that 3 inches (small Avid Armor chamber sealer) or 3.75 inches (large Avid Armor chamber sealer) is tall enough to work for you. 

Warranty and Customer Service

Warranties are only as good as the company that backs them up, but a good warranty should be a consideration when buying a vacuum sealer. Most vacuum sealers come with at least a one year warranty, like the Avid Armor sealers; some have 2 year warranties. FoodSaver offers 5 year warranties on several of their sealers. 

Even though they have only a one year warranty on their products, Avid Armor is making a name for themselves by providing exemplary customer service. You have to weigh this against FoodSaver's 5 year warranty--but if nobody answers your calls or emails, what good is the longer warranty?

Both warranties and customer service are important for any product, and should be part of your buying decision, but they should also probably not be deal breakers; an extended warranty through Amazon can also go a long ways toward creating peace of mind.

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Review: Avid Armor AVS7900 Edge Sealer

Avid Armor AVS7900 vacuum sealer

See AVS7900 on Amazon

See AVS7900 at Wal-Mart

If you're looking for an inexpensive edge sealer that's well built and has a lot of features, the Avid Armor AVS7900 is worth your consideration. It has a surprising number of useful features for its price. 

One of the most frustrating things about edge sealers is that you have to press down, often with a lot of force, on both sides to get the sealer to work. The AVS7900 solves that problem with a lid-locking handle: once you get the bag in place, you just click the handle down to lock the lid.

We've seen very few vacuum sealers that are easier to use than this one.

It's also got a 12-inch wide sealing bar, an inch longer than most FoodSavers, so you can use bigger bags. This is another fantastic feature that opens up more options for you.

Another great feature rarely seen on vacuum sealers less than $100 is the Pulse feature, which allows you complete manual control over the sealing process, which is great for wet and delicate foods. The AVS7900 also has Dry/Moist food modes, which will pull less vacuum than standard mode.

The AVS7900 also has an accessory port so you can seal external containers. The hose is not included, as it is with the A100, but it's about $8 on the Avid Armor site. Or, if you have a hose from an old vacuum sealer, it should work with this one (vacuum sealer accessories tend to be universal). (And if you haven't had a sealer with an accessory hose, trust us, you will love it and get a lot of use out of it.)

This sealer also comes with a "portable" bag cutter, another feature that proves the Avid Armor people have put a lot of thought into their design (it's tucked neatly into a storage spot inside the sealer):

Avid Armor ASV7900 Bag Cutter

The portable bag cutter that comes with the AVS7900 vacuum sealer.

We wish it had stronger vacuum pull, as the pull seem similar to that of FoodSavers (about 20"Hg), though we didn't measure it; at this price point, 20"Hg is not at all unreasonable. 

We also think they should throw in the accessory hose with the unit. The 10 quart bags included with purchase isn't very generous.

And as nice as it is that a bag cutter is included, and that you might even like the fact that it's removable and used by hand, the truth is that you can get a much straighter cut when the cutter is built into the sealer. 

The only thing this sealer is really missing that you might want is bag storage--but they're marketing this sealer as being "compact for ease of use and portability," so they probably designed it without bag storage intentionally.

And one more small criticism we have is that the drip tray is not removable, so this sealer is harder to clean than some others. But we don't consider this a deal breaker. 

Finally, this sealer is not designed for bulk sealing, but at this price point, you shouldn't expect that: you will need to allow the sealer to cool down between seals; the manual recommends 60 seconds between seals. 

This sealer gets great ratings on Amazon and the ratings get an "A" rating from Fakespot. 

Overall, if you're looking for an affordable vacuum sealer designed for moderate home use, the AVS7900 has most of the features you'll use with none that you won't. 

Features

-Compact, lightweight design for ease of use and portability

-Lid locking handle for a hands-free operation

-Easy-to-load and clean vacuum channel

-12" wide seal bar with 3mm wide seal

-One-touch 'Auto Vac & Seal' mode

-Pulse setting to control vacuum (great feature!)

-Dry and moist food modes

-Accessory port (hose and canisters not included)

-Removable bag cutter 

-1 yr warranty.

Operation

Avid Armor AVS7900 Control Panel

AVS7900 Control Panel (note accessory port in upper right corner).

Operation of this vacuum sealer couldn't be simpler: the locking lid makes it super easy to use.

Avid Armor ASV7900 Locked:Unlocked Position

Unlocked/Locked lid position: this feature makes the AVS7900 easy to use.

You simply place the bag in the channel, close the lid, and lock the handle down. Then you select whatever function you want to use:

  • For normal operation, press the Auto Vac & Seal button.
  • For moist or delicate foods, select Dry or Moist before starting the sealing process.
  • Use the Pulse feature for total manual control over sealing.
  • You can stop vacuum pull at any time and seal the bag by pressing Cancel at any time during sealing.

The LED progress bar above the buttons indicates the progress of sealing.

To use the accessory port, hook up the hose to an external container (such as these) and press Canister to begin sealing. You can see the accessory port in the upper right of the control panel photo above.

To seal bags without vacuuming first, insert a bag into the channel, lock down the lid, and press the Seal button.

Avid Armor Accessory Hose and Containers

Avid Armor accessory hose and canisters.


Specifications

Build: polycarbonate

Size: 15.5" x 6.25" x 4.25" 

Weight: 3.8 lb

Power: 110W

Vacuum strength: Unknown; we're guessing around 20 "Hg

Accessory Port: Yes (hose not included)

Roll storage: No

Bag cutter: Yes, portable

1 yr warranty.

Included

  • 10 quart-sized vacuum bags.

Pros and Cons of the Avid Armor AVS7900 Edge Sealer

Pros
  • Excellent price
  • Small and compact (3.8 lbs)
  • Lid-lock feature makes it easy to use
  • Pulse feature
  • Dry/moist modes
  • Accessory port
  • Portable bag cutter.
Cons
  • Drip tray is not removable
  • Accessory hose not included
  • Only 10 quart bags included
  • No replacement parts available
  • Only 1 year warranty.

Recommendation

For an inexpensive vacuum sealer (under $60), the Avid Armor AVS7900 has a ton of great features, including a Pulse button, Dry/Moist modes, an accessory port, and a portable bag cutter. It weighs less than 4 pounds so it's super light and compact: if you're used to a more heavy duty sealer, you may not like this one, but if you've been using FoodSaver or other inexpensive brands, then this sealer will feel normal to you.

It's best feature is probably its lid-locking seal, which makes it super easy to use (no pushing down on both sides to get the sealer to work). 

The starter kit only includes 10 quart bags, and no accessory hose (an $8 piece that would be easy to include). And the vacuum pull is going to be more like a FoodSaver than a Weston.

But overall, this is a great little sealer that we recommend for people who only need it a few times per week and won't be doing bulk sealing projects (for those, we recommend a heavier duty sealer like the A100 below).

Avid Armor AVS7900 Edge Vacuum Sealer

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Review: Avid Armor A100 Edge Sealer 

Avid Armor A100 Edge Vacuum Sealer

See A100 on Amazon

See A100 at WalMart

The Avid Armor A100 is a great edge sealer. It's well built, easy to operate, and has a ton of features that you usually don't get with a sealer this powerful.

The Avid Armor A100 has been outselling the Weston Pro 2300 on our website, which is probably its closest competition. They're both heavy duty edge sealers geared mostly to home users. The Weston Pro 2300 has a 15-inch sealing bar, which is great, but it makes it a bulkier, heavier machine.

The Avid Armor A100 has a 12-inch sealing bar, which is slightly longer than the standard 11-inch bar found on FoodSavers and most other consumer brands. The 12-inch sealing bar makes the Avid Armor A100 less bulky than the Pro 2300, but still allows you to use slightly larger bags than with other sealers.

A100 features include a Pulse button (fabulous for controlling the sealing process), an accessory port for sealing external containers, and a Marinate button that pulls intermittent vacuum to quickly infuse flavors into your food. The A100 also has a generous starter kit, including 30 bags, an accessory hose, and replacement gasket, heating element and heat tape. This is all in addition to its impressive vacuum strength of 27.5 in. Hg (trust us, that's an impressive number).

Pretty much all the A100 is missing is roll storage and a bag cutter. (Why didn't they include a bag cutter like they did with the AVS7900??) And if you want to do extra wide bags, the Weston Pro 2300 is a better choice. (But remember that bigger bags are more expensive, so you may end up not using that feature, anyway.)

Some reviewers on Amazon said they had trouble learning how to use this sealer and had to seek help from customer service. We had no problems with it, but if you do, the Avid Armor customer service team will be glad to help you out.

With the Avid Armor A100, you don't have to choose between vacuum strength/build quality (Weston) and bells and whistles (FoodSaver). It's the best of both worlds--and, it costs less, too.

Features

-12" seal bar w/5mm wide seal

-Stainless construction with clear-view lid (polycarbonate) 

-Extra wide vacuum tray, easy to load and clean

-Accessory port, hose included

-Pulse button for easy manual sealing

-"Impulse" seal, seals bags without vacuuming

-Marinate button, for use with external canisters

-Accessory button, to vacuum seal external canisters

-450W

-27.5" Hg

-Double piston, air-cooled pump

-Adjustable heat seal time

-Generous starter kit

-1 yr warranty.

Operation

Avid Armor A100 Control Panel

Avid Armor A100 Control Panel.

The Avid Armor A100 is easy to use. It has an automatic seal feature, so all you need to do is place the bag in the sealing channel, close the lid, and press the "Start" button.

To seal canisters with the accessory hose, just hook up the canister and press the Accessory button.

To use the Marinade function, just hook up the canister and press the Marinate button.

To seal manually, press the Pulse button at any point during sealing to manually pulse the sealing function.

If food is being crushed, you can press the red Seal button at any time to stop the vacuum process and seal the bag immediately.

Use the Impulse Seal button to seal a bag without pulling any vacuum.

To adjust seal time, use the Plus/Minus keys until you get the right seal: if the seal is dark or milky colored, your seal time is too high. Seals should be clear, transparent, and see-through.

NOTE: If you need replacement parts, you can get them at Avid Armor.

Specifications

Stainless steel body with clear-view polycarbonate sealing lid

Size: 15"x10.75"x3.75"

Weight: 14 lbs

Seal bar:12" w/5mm wide seal

Power: 450W

Vacuum strength: up to 27.5" Hg

Double piston, air cooled pump

Accessory Port: Yes (hose included)

Roll storage: No

Bag cutter: No

1 yr warranty.

Included

  • 30 vacuum bags (10 each - pint, Quart, and gallon), BPA-free.
  • Accessory hose for external containers (no containers included)
  • Replacement gasket, metal heating element, and heat tape.

Pros and Cons of the Avid Armor A100 Edge Vacuum Sealer

Pros
  • Powerful vacuum (up to 27.5 "Hg)
  • 12" seal bar (most sealers are 11") 
  • Air-cooled pump for semi-continuous sealing
  • Pulse button for easy manual sealing
  • Different sealing modes
  • Includes 30 bags plus replacement gasket and heat element and tape
  • Accessory port with hose included.
Cons
  • No bag cutter or roll storage
  • At 14 lbs, heavy for an edge sealer (but very well built)
  • Only 1 year warranty.

Recommendation

The Avid Armor A100 is an excellent edge sealer. Avid Armor really has thought of everything. This sealer has all the features you'll use and none that you won't. The Pulse feature is excellent, and eliminates the need for Dry/Moist, High/Low sealing functions because you can completely control the sealing process with Pulse alone. The accessory port is great, and you will use it if you buy the containers (or have old FoodSaver containers lying around).

All of this, and super powerful vacuum too, so your frozen food will last indefinitely without freezer burn, and you will get the absolute best sous vide results.

We highly recommend the A100 edge sealer.

Avid Armor A100 Edge Vacuum Sealer

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Review: Avid Armor USV20 Ultra Chamber Sealer

Avid Armor USV20 Chamber Vacuum Sealer

See USV20 at Avid Armor

See USV20 on Amazon

The Avid Armor USV20 Ultra Chamber Sealer is powerful enough to do continuous sealing without a cool down, yet it's small enough and light enough--just 17.5 pounds!--to easily put away when not in use (if you have the storage space for it). However, you'll probably use it enough that you'll want to leave it out on your counter permanently.

The USV20 pulls a vacuum as powerful as most commercial grade sealers: 29 "Hg. It has adjustable vacuum and seal times, with a gauge that shows how much vacuum it's pulling (just like commercial grade sealers!). The 11.5-inch seal bar is longer than those found on most chamber sealers sold to the home market: for comparison, the VacMaster VP215 has a 10-inch seal bar, and the VacMaster VP95 has just a 9.25-inch seal bar. These sealers also cost hundreds more than the USV20. 

This chamber sealer also has an accessory port, so you can use it for bottles, jars, canisters, wine bottles, and marinade containers. The accessory hose is sold separately--alone or with canisters. If you have an old FoodSaver (or other brand) accessory hose, it should work with this vacuum sealer. 

The Marinate feature is also great, allowing you to rapidly, deeply infuse foods with flavor.

The USV20 also much prettier than other brands of chamber sealers. It will look great sitting on your kitchen counter. 

The USV20 isn't perfect: The chamber, at a height of only 3 inches, is too small for most jars--though you can seal some by laying them on their side (be sure to close the jar lid securely if you do this).

Most of the chamber sealers made for home use today have pretty shallow chambers, so this definitely isn't a deal breaker. Check out the chart above for a comparison of chamber sizes.

It's also not the right sealer to buy if you're starting a food packaging business. But it is plenty robust for home use. 

We wish it had a longer warranty, too, as one year is a little short for a purchase of this size. But Avid Armor's exemplary customer may make up for this.

Features

-Stainless steel body w/tempered glass lid

-11.5 in. seal bar w/double seal wire

-Maintenance free dry rocker pump

-Accessory port for external sealing (hose not included)

-Adjustable vacuum and seal times

-Rounded corners in chamber for easy cleaning

-Pouch clamp to hold the pouch in place for sealing

-Marinate function

-Handles on side for easy carrying

-1 yr warranty.

Operation

Avid Armor USV32 CP

The USV20 chamber sealer is easy to use:

  1. Place the bag in the chamber with the open end flat over the seal bar (no wrinkles in bag!). 
  2. Place the pouch clamp down over the bag top  to hold it in place.
  3. Close the lid.
  4. Press ‘Auto Vac & Seal’ button to start the sealing process. Sealer will start running, using previous Vacuum & Seal settings. (You won't have to adjust vacuum or seal times once set how you want them.)
  5. When the sealer has finished, you can open the lid and remove the bag.

Notes:

  • The sealer can do several bags in a row without a cool down period.
  • You can press the Seal button at any time during sealing to stop the vacuum pull and seal the bag (for example, if the food is soft and is being crushed, or if liquid starts to boil up into the seal area, press the Seal button immediately).
  • To use the Marinate function, you can place food in the chamber or use the accessory port for an external container.
  • To use the accessory port, just attach the hose to the port and operate the sealer normally.
Avid Armor USV20 with Accessory Hose

USV20 with accessory hose and external container.

Adjusting vacuum and seal time: To change vacuum cycle time or seal time, use the Set button and Plus/Minus keys. 

The ideal vacuum cycle time will vary according to bag size, altitude, and maybe some other factors. If your bags seem too tight, you can try a shorter cycle time. If your bags seem to have too much air left in them, you can try a longer cycle time.

Once you find the optimal cycle time, you shouldn't have to adjust it again.

Seal time should remain the same, too, as long as you're using the same bags; the standard thickness is 3 mils. If you use thicker bags (as you may for long sous vide cooks) or something different like Mylar, you may have to adjust the seal time. But if you're using the same bags, you shouldn't have to adjust seal time once you've got it where you want it.

NOTE: If you need replacement parts, you can get them at Avid Armor.

Specifications

Build: Stainless steel body with tempered glass lid

Size: 14” x 12” x 8.25”; 17” tall with lid open

Weight: 17.55 lb

Seal bar: 11.5"

Chamber Size: 12.25” x 8.5” x 3”

Max bag size: 11" x 10"

Power: 300W

Vacuum strength: up to 29 inHg

Pump: Dry rocker, maintenance free

Adjustable vacuum time: 15-60 seconds

Adjustable seal time: 3-9 seconds

1 yr. warranty.

Included

  • 10 chamber vacuum bags (BPA-free).

Pros and Cons of the Avid Armor USV20 Chamber Vacuum Sealer

Pros
  • Powerful vacuum (up to 29 "Hg)
  • Excellent price
  • Longer seal bar than many chamber sealers (11.5")
  • Can seal liquids
  • Accessory port (hose not included)
  • Maintenance-free pump
  • Light weight (17.5 lbs)
  • Comes with 10 bags
Cons
  • Smallish chamber (only 3" tall)
  • Max bag size 11x10" (compare to 11x13" in USV32)
  • Only 1 year warranty.

Recommendation

The Avid Armor USV20 is a small, lightweight chamber sealer that would be a great addition to most kitchens. It provides excellent vacuum strength, a maintenance-free pump, and an accessory port for doing canisters (hose sold separately). It's 11.5" seal bar is also longer than many other chamber sealer seal bars. However, it's got a small chamber: at a height of 3 inches, you won't be able to use it for many jars, and the max bag size is 11x10 inches (this will hold about a gallon). 

Our recommendation: if you primarily want a chamber sealer, go with the bigger USV32 (below). If you also want the capability of doing external sealing (jars, canisters, wine bottles, etc.), go with this one.

Avid Armor USV20 with Accessory Hose

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Review: Avid Armor USV32 Ultra Chamber Sealer

Avid Armor USV32 Chamber Vacuum Sealer

See USV32 on Amazon

See USV32 at Avid Armor

The Avid Armor USV32 Ultra Chamber Sealer is a great kitchen tool. It's powerful and durable enough to do continuous sealing without a cool down, yet it's small and light enough--just 26 pounds--to easily move around or put away when not in use. It even has handles on the sides for easy carrying--though you'll probably be using it enough that you'll want to find a permanent spot for it.

The USV32 pulls a vacuum as powerful as most commercial grade sealers. It has adjustable vacuum and seal times, and the gauge always lets you know exactly how much vacuum it's pulling. We also like the 11.5-inch seal bar (with double seal!), which is a little bit longer than those found on most chamber sealers sold to the home market. (For example, the popular VacMaster VP215 has only a 10-inch seal bar, and their VP95 has only a 9.25-inch seal bar--and these machines cost a few hundred more than the USV32.)

The Marinate feature is nice too: you can put any container in the chamber, and it will pull intermittent vacuum that permeates food with flavors much faster than just leaving it in the fridge.

It's also a very nice looking vacuum sealer. Maybe that shouldn't matter, but if you're going to have it sitting out in your kitchen permanently, it's a great perk.

The USV32 is not perfect: We wish it had an accessory port, and the chamber, at a height of only 3.75 inches, is a little small to use for jars--though some jars will fit lying on their sides. (See the chart above for a comparison of chamber sizes.) And it's made for home use, not commercial, so it's probably the wrong sealer to buy if you're starting a food packing business. But we were able to do a dozen seals in a row without any issues, so it's plenty robust for home use.

We'd also like a longer warranty, and if you do decide to buy it, we strongly recommend getting an extended warranty through Amazon. Avid Armor seems like a great company, but they're new, so it can't hurt to protect your purchase. 

Overall, we really like this sealer; it's got a lot of great features for the price, and the build quality is surprisingly solid for how light weight it is.

Features

-Stainless steel body w/tempered glass lid

-11.5 in. seal bar w/double seal wire

-Maintenance free dry rocker pump

-Adjustable vacuum and seal times

-Rounded corners in chamber for easy cleaning

-Pouch clamp to hold the pouch in place for sealing

-Marinate function

-Handles on side for easy carrying

-1 yr warranty.

Operation

Avid Armor USV32 Control Panel

USV32 control panel.

The USV32 chamber sealer is easy to use:

  1. Place the bag in the chamber with the open end flat over the seal bar (no wrinkles in bag!). 
  2. Close the lid.
  3. Press ‘Auto Vac & Seal’ button to start the sealing process. Sealer will start running, using previous Vacuum & Seal settings. (You won't have to adjust vacuum or seal times once set how you want them.)
  4. When the sealer has finished, you can open the lid and remove the bag.

Notes:

  • The sealer can do several bags in a row without a cool down period.
  • You can press the Seal button at any time during sealing cycle to stop the vacuum pull and seal the bag (for example, if the food is soft and is being crushed, or if liquid starts to boil up into the seal area, press the Seal button immediately).
  • To use the Marinate function, just place any container w/food in the chamber, close lid, and press Marinate. 

Adjusting vacuum and seal time: To change vacuum cycle time or seal time, use the Set button and Plus/Minus keys. 

The ideal vacuum time will vary according to bag size, altitude, and possibly other factors. If your bags seem too tight, you can try a shorter cycle time. If your bags seem to still have air in them, you can try a longer cycle time. 

Once you find the optimal cycle time, you shouldn't have to adjust it again.

Seal time should remain the same, too, as long as you're using the same bags; the standard thickness is 3 mils. If you use thicker bags (as you may for long sous vide cooks) or something different like Mylar, you may have to adjust the seal time (longer). 

NOTE: If you need replacement parts, you can get them at Avid Armor.

Specifications

Build: Stainless steel body with tempered glass lid

Size: 14” x 15.5” x 9.5”; 22.5” tall with lid open

Weight: 26.4 lbs

Seal bar: 11.5"

Chamber size: 11.5” x 12” x 3.75” 

Max bag size: 11x13"

Power: 380W

Vacuum strength: up to 29 inHg

Pump: Dry rocker, maintenance free

Adjustable vacuum time: 20-99 seconds 

Adjustable seal time: 3-9 seconds

1 yr. warranty.

Included

  • 30 bags (10 6x12, 10 8x10, and 10 10x13), BPA-free
  • Replacement vacuum chamber gasket and seal bar.

Pros and Cons of the Avid Armor USV32 Chamber Vacuum Sealer

Pros
  • Powerful vacuum (up to 29 "Hg)
  • Excellent price
  • Longer seal bar than many chamber sealers (11.5")
  • Can seal liquids
  • Maintenance-free pump
  • Light weight (26 lbs)
  • Comes with 30 bags and replacement gasket and seal bar.
Cons
  • Smallish chamber (only 3.75" tall)
  • No accessory port
  • Only 1 year warranty.


Recommendation

The Avid Armor USV32 is a high quality chamber vacuum sealer made for heavy duty home use. Its low price, maintenance free pump, semi-continuous sealing capability, and light weight all make it appealing for the home user. Its chamber is smallish at only 3.75" tall, but the 11.5" seal bar allows you to use bigger bags than even some more expensive chamber sealers. 

It lacks an accessory port (the smaller Avid Armor chamber sealer has one), but this is less important in a chamber sealer because you can seal liquids right in the chamber. 

The maintenance-free pump won't be as robust or as capable of continuous sealing as a rotary oil pump, but this shouldn't be a problem for home users; the maintenance-free pump is good for probably dozens of seals without a cool down.

If you're looking for a semi-heavy duty sealer for home use, this is a lot of sealer for the price.at 

Avid Armor USV32 Chamber Vacuum Sealer

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Avid Armor USV20/USV32 Comparison

Other than size, these chamber vacs are close to the same, offering the same amount of vacuum strength and the same powerful vacuum pump, but there are a few other differences:

  • The USV20 has a clamp you have to press down to hold vacuum bags in place; the USV32 has a "swing arm" that's similar and lays down on top of the bag when you close the lid.
  • The USV20 has an accessory port, the USV32 does not.
  • The USV20 comes with 10 vacuum bags; the USV32 comes with 30 bags plus a replacement gasket and seal bar.
  • The adjustable vacuum and seal times are slightly different.
  • The USV20 is 300 watts; the USV32 is 380 watts.
  • The USV32 has a plate you can insert that speeds up sealing time for smaller bags (which we highly recommend); the USV20 does not have a plate.
Avid Armor Filler Plate

Filler plate.

Here are the two chamber vac sealers side by side so you can see the size differences:

Avid Armor Chamber Sealer Comparison 2

Size differences between Avid Armor chamber vac sealers.

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Don't Forget Bags

No matter how many bags come with your new vacuum sealer, you should buy more, because you really can't have too many bags around.

Remember that edge sealer bags and chamber sealer bags are different, and chamber sealer bags--which are cheaper--will not work with an edge sealer.

Also note that you do not have to buy Avid Armor bags: any edge sealer bags will work with an Avid Armor edge sealer, and any chamber bags will work with an Avid Armor chamber sealer. Avid Armor bags are reasonably priced and come in a huge variety of sizes. But if you shop around, you can probably find better deals.

See Avid Armor vacuum sealer bags on Amazon

See Avid Armor bags at Avid Armor

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Final Thoughts

Avid Armor A100 with corn on the cob

Avid Armor is the new kid on the block for vacuum sealers, but they've put out some excellent products. Their edge sealers have great features, including a Pulse button and accessory port, and their chamber vacuum sealers are some of the most reasonably priced we've seen, and with excellent build quality. This company is definitely making products with the consumer's needs in mind. We really like their products, and think you will, too.

Thanks for reading!

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