March 26

Avid Armor Vacuum Sealers: All Their Models Reviewed

By trk

Last Updated: August 3, 2022

avid armor, avid armor chamber vacuum sealers, best chamber vacuum sealers, best vacuum sealers, vacuum sealers

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

Whether you're looking for low price, light weight, or robust continuous sealing, Avid Armor has you covered. 


Table Of Contents (click to expand)

Avid Armor Edge Sealers at a Glance

Avid Armor's lineup of edge vacuum sealer--also called "external" or "channel" sealers--is simple, but covers all the bases. They have models competitive with residential grade sealers like FoodSaver, as well as more robust models that compete with Weston and other commercial grade brands. All models are competitively priced, great quality, and get excellent reviews.

Our recommended model is the A100. It's more powerful than the A420 for about $20 more. This means faster sealing. It also comes with 30 bags, which is a nice starter kit, not often seen with commercial-grade sealers. But if you want roll storage, the A420 is the one to get. 

Avid Armor Vacuum Sealer

Features

AVS7900 Edge Sealer

See it on Amazon

See it at Wal-Mart

(About $70)

Avid Armor AVS7900 Edge Vacuum Sealer

-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

-Made in China.

Avid Armor A420 Edge Sealer

See it on Amazon

See it at Wal-Mart

(About $280)

Avid Armor A420 Edge Vacuum Sealer

-12" seal bar w/3mm double seal

-11.5"x15.5"x6"

-11.5 lbs

-Power: 230W

-Vacuum: 27.5" Hg

-Lid lock for foolproof sealing

-Extra wide drip tray (for easy cleaning)

-Pulse feature

-Accessory port for external canisters (hose included)

-Digital display with progress mode

-Double piston fan-cooled pump

-Roll storage and bag cutter

-1 yr warranty

-Made in China.

*A100 Edge Sealer

See it on Amazon

See it at Wal-Mart

(About $300)

Avid Armor A100 Edge Vacuum Sealer

-12" seal bar w/5mm wide seal

-15"x10.75"x3.75"

-14 lbs

-Power: 450W

-Vacuum: 27.5" Hg

-Pulse feature

-Removable drip tray

-Accessory port (hose included)

-Double piston fan cooled pump

-Adjustable heat seal time

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

-1 yr warranty

-Made in China.

Avid Armor Chamber Vacuum Sealers at a Glance

Avid Armor makes some of the best chamber vac sealers for home users. They're lightweight, powerful, affordable, with options to appeal to every buyer. They even have a commercial grade model now with continuous operation that competes head-to-head with the classic VacMaster VP215.

Here's their chamber vac lineup:

Avid Armor Vacuum Sealer

Features

USV20 Chamber Sealer

See it on Amazon

See it at Wal-Mart

(About $370)

Avid Armor USV20 Chamber Vacuum Sealer

-Stainless steel body w/tempered glass lid and molded plastic chamber

-11.5 in. seal bar w/double seal wire

-Maintenance free dry rocker pump

-One-touch vac and seal

-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 holds bag in place during sealing

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

-Accessory port (accessory hose included)

-Marinate function

-1 yr warranty

-Made in China.

USV32 Chamber Sealer

See it on Amazon

See it at Wal-Mart

(About $600)

Avid Armor USV32 Chamber Vacuum Sealer

-Stainless steel body w/tempered glass lid and stainless steel chamber

-11.5 in. seal bar w/double seal wire

-Maintenance free dry rocker pump

-One-touch vac and seal

-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: 11" x 13"

-26.4 lb 

-Pouch clamp holds bag in place during sealing

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

-Marinate function

-1 yr warranty

-Made in China.

USVX Ultra Chamber Sealer

See it on Amazon

See it at Wal-Mart

(About $430)

-Black stainless body w/tempered glass lid and molded plastic chamber

-10 in. seal bar w/double seal wire

-Maintenance free dry rocker pump

-One-touch vac and seal

-Power: 280W

-Vacuum strength: 29 inHg

-Progress indicator light for vac/seal cycle

-Size: 12.25” x 12.75” x 8” / 19.5” H with lid open

-Chamber size: 10.5” x 10.5” x 3.5”

-Max bag size: 10" x 13"

-19 lb 

-Pouch clamp holds bag in place during sealing

-3 vacuum levels

-3 seal times (for different types of bags)

-Accessory port (accessory hose included)

-Marinate function (2 30s cycles)

-1 yr warranty

-Made in China.

ES41 Euro Series Chamber Sealer

See it on Amazon

See it at Wal-Mart

See it at Avid Armor

(About $1200)

Avid Armor ES41 Euro Series Chamber Vacuum Sealer

-Stainless steel housing w/transparent domed lid 

-Stainless steel chamber w/rounded corners (easy to clean)

-11 in. seal bar, removable, w/double seal

-Power: 124 watts (1/6 horsepower)

-Vacuum strength: 29 "Hg

-Size: 12.5” x 17.5” x 13” / 24.5” with lid open

-Chamber size: 11” x 13.5” x 4.5” at top of dome

-Max bag size: 11" x 13"

-Weight: 52.3 lbs

-Auto operation when you close lid

-Rotary oil Busch pump (for continuous operation)

-Adjustable vacuum time (2-99s)

-Adjustable seal time (0.5-4s)

-Digital readouts

-Vacuum gauge

-1 yr warranty

-Made in the Netherlands.

Edge Sealer Comparison Table: FoodSaver, Weston Pro, and Avid Armor

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.

NOTE: Table may not be visible in mobile view.

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/A420

Avid Armor A100 Edge Vacuum Sealer

App. Price:

$180

$400

$52

$300/$290

Size/Weight:

11x20x12"
10lb

15.3x23x9"
22lbs

15.5x6.25x4.25"
3.8lb

15x10.75x3.75",14lb

11.5x15.5x6",11.5 lb

Power/Vac Pull:

127W/15"Hg

935W/28"Hg

110W/~20"Hg

450W/27.5"Hg

230W/27.5"Hg

Max bag width:

11"

15"

11"

12"/12"

Auto Sealing?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes/Yes

Roll Storage?

 Yes

Yes

No

No/Yes

Bag Cutter?

Yes

No

Yes

No/Yes

Pulse Button?

No

No

Yes

Yes/Yes

Hi/Low Setting?

Yes

No (you can use Manual)

Yes

No/Yes

Accessory Port?

Yes

No

Yes

Yes/Yes

Warranty:

5 yr limited

2 yr limited

1 yr limited

1 yr. limited

Cell

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Chamber Sealer Comparison Table: VacMaster Vs. Avid Armor

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.

NOTE: Table may not be visible in mobile view.

Header

VacMaster
VP95

VacMaster VP95 chamber vacuum sealer

VacMaster VP215

VacMasterVP215 chamber vacuum sealer

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 with the exception of the ES41 Euro Series Chamber Sealer, which is made in the Netherlands. 

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 (like a Pulse button). 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 sealers are competitively priced, and their USV chamber sealers are made for home users and cost hundreds less than commercial grade chamber sealers while still offering many excellent 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 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 prices at big box stores, from local farmers, and sales at your grocery store.

Also, removing air eliminates freezer burn. 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 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 used vacuum sealers to cook sous vide.

But 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--especially a chamber vacuum sealer. 

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 term, you can ignore it. Any vacuum sealer will work with sous vide--though more powerful ones can provide better results because they remove more air.

For more info on sous vide, check out our sous vide articles, or see our article on How to Buy the Best Food Vacuum Sealer Bags (For the Best Price).

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 consume-grade sealers.

Easy to Use: Avid Armor vacuum sealers have some extra features that make them easier to use than 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 all 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. 

Starter Kits: Some are better than others, so pay attention to the extras you get before you decide (bags, accessory hose, extra parts, etc.). These can add up, so getting some with your purchase is a big plus. But in general, Avid Armor offers some generous extras even with their commercial-grade vacuum sealers--many sellers don't offer any extras with their commercial-grade sealers.

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About Edge (Suction/Channel) 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, channel, 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 require edge sealer bags with special 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 is in this category.) 

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

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, like gaskets, but once the vacuum pump wears out, there's not a lot you can do to make it work again.

Higher end edge sealers are made of stainless steel, with robust, air-cooled pumps that can pull almost as much vacuum as a chamber sealer. (The Avid Armor A100 and A420 are 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 on any vacuum sealer you buy.)

There are pros and cons for both consumer-grade and commercial-grade 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. 

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 more durable sealer. Such an investment in food preservation is worth every penny.

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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: 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, although Avid Armor's USV chamber sealers are incredibly lightweight (all weigh less than 30 pounds).

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, and it's better for sous vide, too.

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 simpler to make and thus, less expensive. 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 3.5 inches tall, and the small ones (USV200/USVX) have a chamber just 3 inches tall. So you can only fit a small (pint) jar in the chamber.

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 sealers have an accessory port (like their edge sealers), but their USV32 chamber sealer does not have one, and neither does the commercial grade ES41. This is not uncommon for chamber sealers, but it is nice to have an accessory port.

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 Ultra Series, 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.

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 bag rolls and cut them to any length you want. 

Avid Armor's big USV chamber sealer, the USV32 is limited to bags that are 11x13 inches; their small USV20 is limited to bags that are 11x10 inches. The medium-sized USVX sealer is limited to bags that are 10x13, which is a larger overall bag than the 11x10 inches of the USV20 even though it's not as wide.

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, and the stronger vacuum pull allows you to store food for longer periods and will provide better sous vide results.

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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 unfortunate 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 vacuum strength proprietary information; maybe 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 zip top 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, we think 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. And if you only use a sealer occasionally or for small amounts of food, then an inexpensive consumer grade sealer may be all you need.

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 with few cool down periods (a great feature if you do bulk sealing).

And 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. (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 final thought about build quality is the pleasure of using the machine: an object with good heft and a solid feel is 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

Avid Armor A100 control panel.

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 until you get the exact sealing you want, giving you complete control over the sealing process. Pulse is a great feature and is found on more expensive consumer sealers; all 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 and Accessory, used for external containers if the sealer has an accessory port (or for marinating in the chamber of a chamber sealer). 

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 (you need a special lid), 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

It's less common, but some chamber sealers also have an accessory port. The small Avid Armor chamber sealers (USV20)/USVX) have an accessory port, while the big one (USV32) does not. The ES41 commercial grade chamber sealer also does not have an accessory port.

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. If you don't, the Avid Armor hose is about $12; 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.

Roll Storage

Some edge sealers have built in roll storage so you can 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 small bag rolls into it. Another is that bag storage makes the sealer bigger and bulkier. 

 Avid Armor's A420 edge sealer has bag roll storage that can fit a 25-foot roll, which is small (and typically more expensive than longer rolls). 

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 straight cuts on your bag rolls. It's not a must-have feature, but it's a nice feature, 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 it:

Avid Armor USV7900 Bag Cutter

Avid Armor AVS7900 bag cutter.

The Avid Armor A420 has a built-in bag cutter for straight cuts every time, and it's not removable, so you won't lose it.

The Avid Armor A100 does not have a 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 probably 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 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

See our article on how to get the Best vacuum bags at the best price

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 hold the lid 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 than you'd expect. 

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 and A420 have 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 trickier to learn than others.

Starter Kits

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.

(Robust edge sealers also have heavy duty dry piston pumps, one of the main reasons--along with build quality--that you pay so much more for them than consumer grade vacuum sealers like FoodSavers, and the Avid Armor AVS7900.)

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 USV20, USV32, and USVX chamber sealers have maintenance-free pumps. Their heavy duty ES41 Euro Series has an oil-cooled pump. (This is mainly what you're paying for when you invest in the $1200 ES41 chamber sealer.)

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 chamber size before buying.

The Avid Armor USV chamber sealers have different sized chambers, with the USV32 being the largest and taking the largest bag (11"x13"). The USV20 takes an 11.5"x10" bag; the USVX takes a 10"x13" bag, which is larger than the USV20 max bag size (even though it's an inch narrower) and smaller than the USV32 max bag size.

The height is also a factor, so be sure that 3 inches (USV20 and USVX chamber sealers) or 3.5 inches (large Avid Armor chamber sealer) is tall enough to work for you. (Compare to the 4.5" tall ES41 Euro Series, or 5" in the VacMaster VP210/VP215. These are large enough to fit a quart-sized mason jar on its side, but the USV sealers will fit just a pint jar on its side. 3 inches may also be too short to fit a whole chicken or other large cut of meat. The slightly taller chamber height is why we recommend the USV32 as the best model for home users.)

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 models. 

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

About $70

If you're looking for an inexpensive edge sealer that's compact, well built, and has a lot of features for the price, the Avid Armor AVS7900 is worth your consideration. This sealer gets great ratings on Amazon and the ratings get an "A" grade from Fakespot.  

What We Like:

Easy to Close and Seal: 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 edge sealers easier to use than this one. 

12" Sealing Bar: It's also got a 12-inch wide sealing bar, an inch longer than most FoodSavers, which means you can use wider bags. This is another great feature that opens up options for you.

Pulse Control: Another feature rarely seen on vacuum sealers less than $100 is the Pulse feature, which gives you complete Start/Stop control over the sealing process until you get the exact amount of vacuum you want. This means never crushing soft food and never sucking liquid up into the sealer.

Dry/Moist Modes: The AVS7900 also has Dry/Moist modes, which will pull less vacuum than standard mode (not really necessary with the Pulse feature, but good if you want to seal without paying a lot of attention to the process).

LED Progress Indicator: Not essential, but the progress indicator is a nice little extra feature.

Accessory Port: 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 $12 on the Avid Armor site. Or, if you have a hose from an old FoodSaver or other brand, it should work with this one (vacuum sealer accessories tend to be universal).

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.

What We Don't Like So Much:

Mediocre Vacuum Pull: We wish the AVS7900 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. 

Accessory Hose Not Included: We also think they should throw in the accessory hose with the unit,

Small Starter Kit: The 10 1-quart bags included with purchase isn't very generous.

Avid Armor ASV7900 Bag Cutter

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

Bag Cutter: It's great that there's a bag cutter because you can get a much straighter cut than with scissors. But it's removable, and it's small, so we can see it being easily misplaced if you're not careful about always putting it away when you're done using it. 

Also, a built-in bag cutter will give you a straighter cut, but that's a minor complaint.

No bag storage: 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. 

Non-Removable Drip Tray: 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. 

No bulk sealing: This sealer is not designed for bulk sealing, but if you want to buy in this price range, you probably don't expect that (or you shouldn't, anyway). You will need to allow the sealer to cool down between seals; the manual recommends 60 seconds between seals. 

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 and Specifications

-Compact, lightweight polycarbonate build for ease of use and portability

-Lid locking handle for a hands-free operation

-Easy-to-load and clean vacuum channel

-LED sealing process indicator

-Seal bar: 12" wide seal bar with 3mm wide seal

-Size: 15.5" x 6.25" x 4.25" 

-Weight: 3.8 lb

-Power: 110W

-Vacuum strength: Unknown; we're estimating about 20-22 "Hg

-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 (no roll storage)

-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 containers) 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.

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 is easy to use
  • Pulse feature (fantastic feature for soft and wet foods!)
  • Dry/moist modes
  • LED sealing progress indicator
  • Accessory port
  • Portable bag cutter.
Cons
  • Drip tray is not removable
  • Accessory hose not included
  • Only 10 quart bags included
  • Vacuum strength mediocre (about the same as a FoodSaver)
  • No replacement parts available
  • Removable bag cutter is easy to lose/makes it harder to get straight cuts.

Recommendation

For an inexpensive vacuum sealer (under $80), the Avid Armor AVS7900 has some great features, including a Pulse button, an accessory port, and a 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 a FoodSaver or other inexpensive brands, then you'll appreciate this sealer's features and power for the size.

It's best feature is probably its lid-locking seal, which makes it easy and foolproof to use (no pushing down on both sides to get the sealer to work). The Pulse feature is also an excellent feature not often seen on vacuum sealers at this price point.

The starter kit only includes 10 quart bags, and no accessory hose (a $12 piece that would be easy to include, although any hose from a FoodSaver or other vacuum sealer should work).

The vacuum pull is going to be more like a FoodSaver than a Weston (so not great).

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, or even one of Avid Armor's chamber sealers).

Avid Armor AVS7900 Edge Vacuum Sealer

buy the avid armor aVS7900 edge vacuum sealer:

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Review: Avid Armor A420 Edge Sealer

Avid Armor A420 Edge Vacuum Sealer

See Avid Armor A420 on Amazon

See Avid Armor A420 at WalMart

About $280

The Avid Armor A420 is an updated version of the A100: it has a simper control panel and locking lid for easier operation, plus roll storage and a built-in bag cutter, which the A100 doesn't have. It actually weighs about 3 pounds less and is roughly the same size (though taller) as the A100, which is interesting for a sealer that has bag storage. 

The trade-off is that the A420 is less powerful: 230 watts vs the 450 watts of the A100.  

If you want faster sealing and a more robust build quality, go with the A100. If you want bag storage and a sealer that's foolproof to operate, get the A420 (this one).

What we like:

Features: The A420 has all the great features of a consumer-grade sealer but with the build and vacuum pull of a commercial-grade one. It has roll storage, a bag cutter, digital display that shows sealing progress, an accessory port, the fabulous pulse feature, and weighs only 11.5 pounds: all features of a high-end FoodSaver-type machine. 

Powerful pump: In addition, it has a double-piston, fan-cooled pump, extra wide 12-inch seal bar, double seal, and most importantly, the vacuum strength of a Weston or VacMaster sealer. The housing is mostly stainless, with some plastic parts to lighten the weight.

Easy to use: One of the A420's best features is its lid lock, which makes sealing foolproof. This is an excellent feature in an edge sealer because a lot of them require you to push with both hands, or even hold the lid down manually during sealing, and it can be hard to tell sometimes if you got it right--frustrating. 

The lid lock makes it easy to seal the bag the first time, every time: you just insert the bag into the channel, close the lid, and pull down the handle to lock it in place--just be sure you lock down both sides.

If you've had an edge sealer that requires two hands to lock into place, you understand how great this is.

Pulse: The Pulse feature is excellent, allowing you to manually control the vacuum. You can stop and start the sealer until you get it exactly where you want it--a must-have feature for soft and moist foods that is surprisingly rare in the vacuum sealer world (it's much better than the Soft/Gentle and Dry/Moist settings).

We also like how quiet this vacuum sealer is--quieter than most vacuum sealers we've tested (chamber and edge sealer both).

Storage: These are small points, but we think a mark of good design: the on-board storage for the cord and the accessory hose, plus rubber feet that allow you to store it flat or on its side, making storage super simple.

Avid Armor A420 Accessory Hose storage chamber

Avid Armor A420 accessory hose storage chamber.

What we don't like:

Small roll storage: The roll storage is too small, with a max length of 25 feet. Larger rolls--50 or 100 feet--are cheaper, but if you buy them you can't store them in the sealer and you'll have to cut them with a scissors.

Non-removable drip tray: We wish the drip tray was removable. The extra wide design helps, but removable drip trays make cleanup a lot easier.

Slowish sealing time: Compared to the A100, sealing time was a little slow, which is to be expected from a lower wattage sealer. The vacuum pull itself was just as good.

Non-adjustable seal time: If you're always sealing standard, 3 mil thick vacuum bags, this is not an issue. But if you want to seal thicker bags (e.g., 5 mil for long sous vide cooks) or Mylar bags, this sealer is not ideal. It might work if you try sealing a few times over, but don't count on it (especially for the Mylar).

Stainless lid: A small point is that the lid is stainless, so you can't observe the sealing process. This could be a problem if you have a leak in your bag (although the durability factor is top notch).

Gasket issue: Tthis sealer has an issue with the gasket around the sealing channel. It gets compacted, even when stored unlocked or on its side, which makes it unable to form a seal. Avid Armor knows about the issue, and we can assume that they'll fix it soon (or perhaps already have). If you do have problems, contact Avid Armor and they will send you replacement gaskets free of charge. Or, you can find a set of A420 gaskets on Avid Armor for about $10. It's a bit of a pain to deal with, but all edge sealers need periodic gasket replacement if you want to keep good vacuum pull. (Helpful hint: If you have an edge sealer that's stopped sealing, there's a good chance it needs new gaskets, which you can find for most brands of edge sealers on the manufacturer's website.)

Avid Armor A420 replacement gaskets

Avid Armor A420 replacement gaskets ($10).

Features and Specifications

-Stainless and plastic housing

-12" seal bar w/3mm double seal

-11.5"x15.5"x6"

-11.5 lbs

-Lid lock for foolproof sealing

-Extra wide drip tray (not removable)

-Pulse feature

-Dry/Moist, Gentle/Normal sealing modes

-Marinade feature

-Digital display with progress mode

-Power: 230W

-Vacuum: 27.5" Hg

-Double piston fan-cooled pump

-Roll storage and bag cutter

-Vacuum gauge to see actual vacuum strength (a feature only found on higher end vacuum sealers)

-Rubber feet on two sides so you can store flat or on its side

-Limited 1 year manufacturer warranty.

Operation

Avid Armor A420 vacuum sealer control panel

Avid Armor A420 digital control panel and vacuum gauge. The accessory port is to the left of the Canister/Marinate buttons.

The Avid Armor A420 vacuum sealer is one of the easiest-to-use edge sealers we've ever tested. This is due to its lid lock feature and the digital display that guides you through the sealing process.

First, turn the sealer on. The power switch is in the back in the cord storge area (not on the control panel):

Avid Armor A420 Power Switch and Cord Storage area

The display tells you when the sealer is warmed up and ready for use.

Next, you insert a bag into the sealing channel and lock the lid down. If you want to be sure the bag is in far enough, use the bag clips on the inside of the sealing channel. You don't need to use them but they are helpful, especially when you're new to using this sealer.

Be sure to lock down both sides of the lid--you'll know when you can't pull the bag out of the sealer that it's properly locked.

Next, select from control panel which modes you want to use to seal: Dry, Moist, Gentle, and Normal are the options. If you don't select a mode, the sealer will operate in normal mode. 

For normal sealing, press the Vac & Seal button.

The Sealing display shows you the sealing process, and the vacuum gauge shows you the amount of vacuum pulled in inches of mercury ("Hg).

When sealing is complete, the sealer beeps to let you know.

To use the Pulse feature, simply press the Pulse button at any time during sealing (we recommend this over using the Moist or Gentle modes for maximum control over the sealing process).

If you're using the accessory port, insert the hose and select Canister or Marinate.

To seal a bag without vacuum, lock the bag into the chamber and press the Seal button. 

To stop the sealing process at any time, press the Auto Vac & Seal/Cancel button.

If you need to cut a bag from a roll, the built-in bag cutter is easy to use. It slides along a built-in rail, so you get straight cuts every time:

Avid Armor A420 Roll Cutter

Avid Armor A420 bag cutter.

Included

  • Accessory hose (canisters not included)
  • 11" wide Vacuum sealer starter roll (25 feet)
  • User manual

Pros and Cons of the Avid Armor A420 Edge Vacuum Sealer

Pros
  • Powerful vacuum (up to 27.5 "Hg)
  • 12" seal bar (most sealers are 11")
  • Easier to use than A100
  •  Built-in bag cutter and bag roll storage (up to 25')
  • Air-cooled pump for semi-continuous sealing
  • Pulse button for easy manual sealing
  • Different sealing modes
  • Extra wide drip tray
  • Includes bag roll 
  • Accessory port with hose included.
Cons
  • Lower wattage than the A100 (pulls similar vacuum, but more slowly)
  • Roll storage is small at a max of 25' (larger rolls are cheaper)
  • Known gasket issue that may require frequent replacement (Avid Armor should fix this eventually)
  • Drip tray is not removable
  • Can't view the sealing process (stainless rather than clear lid)
  • Only 1 year warranty.

Recommendation

The Avid Armor A420 is a smaller, lighter, more compact edge sealer than its big brother, the A100 (reviewed below), even though it has bag roll storage. It is also easier to use, with a simplified control panel and easy lid lock. The built-in bag cutter is awesome, especially if you're not great at cutting a straight line with a scissors.

The A420 has lower wattage than the A100 (230W vs 450W) so sealing will take longer, and the seal is 3mm rather than 5mm wide. However, the A420 has a roll storage and a bag cutter, which the A100 lacks. It's a robust little sealer for being only 11.5 lbs, and the lid lock makes sealing foolproof--also an excellent feature that the A100 lacks. 

If you want compact and easy sealing that still has commercial-quality vacuum pull, the A420 is the one to get. If you want speed and heavy duty build quality, go with the A100 for a little bit more.

Avid Armor A420 Edge Vacuum Sealer

buy the avid armor a420 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 Wal-Mart

About $300

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, commercial-grade 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.

What we like:

Excellent build quality: The A100 is Avid Armor's most robust and power edge sealer. If you want a tough build that will pull a strong vacuum, look no further than this model.

Long sealing bar: 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 Weston's Pro 2300, but still allows you to use slightly larger bags than with other sealers.

Wide seal: The 5mm wide seal is great, too.

Pulse button, accessory port, and Marinate button 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.

Removable drip tray: For easy cleaning, it's hard to beat a removable drip tray.

Starter kit: The A100 also has a generous starter kit, including 30 bags, an accessory hose, and replacement gasket, heating element and heat tape.

Powerful: This is all in addition to its impressive vacuum strength of 27.5 in. Hg (trust us, that's an impressive number) and 450 watts of power (which makes it fast).

What we don't like:

No bag cutter: We would love if there was a bag cutter. It's so much easier than using a scissors. And bag roll storage is also nice, but it would make this vacuum sealer much larger. If you want these features, buy the A420 (reviewed above).

No special modes: There are also no special sealing modes like "Moist" or "Gentle." We don't miss this too much and think the Pulse feature more than makes up for it--it allows more control over the sealing process--but if you've owned a sealer that's had these sealing modes, you may miss them.

No vacuum gauge: This is a small quibble, but there's no vacuum gauge on the A100, odd especially because Avid Armor's lower end sealer the A420 has one. You probably don't pay a lot of attention to the gauge, but even so, it's the mark of a higher-end vacuum sealer.

Some people find it hard to use: Some reviewers on Amazon said they had trouble learning how to use this sealer and had to seek help from customer service. Compared to the super easy lid lock of the A420, we can see how this could be an issue (it is with a lot of edge sealers). We had no problems with it, but if you do, the Avid Armor customer service team will be glad to help you out.

Features and Specifications

-12" seal bar w/5mm wide seal

-Stainless construction with clear-view lid (polycarbonate) 

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

-Weight: 14 lbs

-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 (useful for bag rolls)

-Marinate button, for use with external canisters

-Accessory button, to vacuum seal external canisters, with hose included

-Power: 450W

-Vacuum strength: up to 27.5" Hg

-Double piston, air-cooled pump

-Adjustable heat seal time

-Generous starter kit (30 bags, accessory hose, and replacement gasket, heating element, and heat tape).

-1 yr warranty.

Operation

Avid Armor A100 Control Panel

Avid Armor A100 Control Panel.

The Avid Armor A100 is fairly easy to use, though not as easy as its brother the A420. 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. (Note: It may take you awhile to get the hang of getting the bag placed correctly and the lid locked into the right position.)

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

To use the Marinade function, 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.

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
  • Removable drip tray (easy cleaning)
  • Includes 30 bags plus replacement gasket and heat element and tape
  • Accessory port with hose included.
Cons
  • No bag cutter or roll storage
  • Some reviewers found it difficult to use and had to get help from Avid Armor
  • No Gentle or Moist sealing options (but the Pulse feature makes up for this)
  • No vacuum gauge.

Recommendation

The A100 is Avid Armor's heaviest duty and most powerful edge sealer. The Pulse feature is excellent, and eliminates the need for Dry/Moist, High/Low sealing functions because you can completely control 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, which will work with this machine). 

If you want roll storage and a bag cutter, go with the less powerful A420 (reviewed above) for a little less (though its max size roll is 25 feet, which is small; the larger the roll, the less you pay per bag).

This is our favorite Avid Armor edge sealer. Highly recommended.

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 on Amazon

See USV20 at Wal-Mart

About $370

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.

What we like:

You can seal liquids: The biggest difference between edge sealers and chamber sealers is the ability to seal liquids in a chamber sealer. This is an excellent feature of chamber sealers, and for many people it makes them worth the greater expense.

Powerful vacuum: The USV20 pulls a vacuum as powerful as most commercial grade sealers: 29 "Hg.

Adjustable vacuum and seal times: It has adjustable vacuum and seal times, with a gauge that shows how much vacuum it's pulling (just like commercial grade sealers!).

Long seal bar: The 11.5-inch seal bar is longer than those found on most chamber sealers sold to the home market: for comparison, the VacMaster VP210 and VP215 have 10-inch seal bars, and the VacMaster VP95 has just a 9.25-inch seal bar. These sealers also cost hundreds more than the USV20. 

Double seal: The double seal ensures you won't get any leakage from the bag.

Accessory port: 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 included, though canisters are sold separately. If you have an old FoodSaver (or other brand) accessory hose, it should work with this vacuum sealer. 

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

Handles: Handles make it easy to carry, move, and store if you don't want to leave it out on your counter when you're not using it.

What we don't like:

Short chamber: The chamber, at a height of only 3 inches, is too small for most jars or large pieces of meat like whole chickens and large roasts. 

Most of the chamber sealers made for home use today have pretty shallow chambers, so this isn't a deal breaker. (But always look at chamber height before you buy a chamber sealer.)

Small chamber: The chamber is also smaller than the USV32 and the USVX and can fit a maximum bag size of 11x10". This is about a gallon, so it's still a decent size, but for most people, larger is better.

Plastic chamber: The sealing chamber is plastic, not stainless steel like the USV32. Though it is still durable and well made, it can absorb food odors and may not last as long as a steel chamber.

Features and Specifications

-Stainless steel body w/tempered glass lid

-11.5 in. seal bar w/double seal wire

-Chamber Size: 12.25” x 8.5” x 3”

-Max bag size: 11" x 10"

-Power: 300W

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

-Weight: 17.55 lb

-Vacuum strength: up to 29 inHg

-Maintenance free dry rocker pump

-Accessory port for external sealing (hose not included)

-Adjustable vacuum time 15-60s

-Adjustable seal times 3-9s

-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

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 chamber vacuum sealer 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.

Included

  • 10 chamber vacuum bags (BPA-free)
  • Accessory hose for external containers (containers not included).

Pros and Cons of the Avid Armor USV20 Chamber Vacuum Sealer

Pros
  • Powerful vacuum (up to 29 "Hg)
  • Double seal
  • 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)
  • Plastic sealing chamber (rather than steel).

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). 

The chamber is also plastic, not steel like the USV32.

Overall, we like the USV32 and recommend it over this one or the USVX (larger, taller, stainless steel chamber). But if you want the ability to seal canisters, the USV32 doesn't have a port, and the USV20 (and USVX) do.

Avid Armor USV20 chamber vacuum sealer with Accessory Hose

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Review: Avid Armor USVX (Ultra Series) Chamber Sealer

Avid Armor USVX Ultra Chamber Vacuum Sealer

See USVX on Amazon

See USVX at Wal-Mart

About $430

The USVX is Avid Armor's newest model and it's somewhere between the USV20 and USV32 in size, weight, and functionality.

This chamber sealer is powerful enough to do continuous sealing without a cool down, yet small and light enough--just under 19 pounds--to store when you're not using it. But at less than 13" wide and 8" tall with the lid closed, you can probably find a permanent space for it on your counter.

What we like:

You can seal liquids: Probably the biggest difference between edge sealers and chamber sealers (other than the obvious size and cost) is that you can seal liquids in a chamber sealer. This is a great feature of chamber sealers that makes them worth the higher cost.

Powerful vacuum: The USVX pulls a powerful vacuum: up to 28 "Hg.

Easy to use: The USVX has three vacuum times and  three seal times, selectable with just the push of a button. Other than this it has no adjustable settings, so it's easier to use than the other Avid Armor sealers--though it does mean you have less control over the sealing process.

Double seal: Ensures you won't have any leaking from your sealed bags.

Accessory port: This chamber sealer also has an accessory port, so you can use it for external containers. The accessory hose is included, though if you have an old FoodSaver (or other brand) accessory hose, it should work with this vacuum sealer. 

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

Handles: The handles make it easy to carry and store if you don't want to leave the chamber sealer out when you're not using it.

What we don't like:

Short chamber: The chamber, at a height of only 3 inches, is too small for most jars or large pieces of meat like whole chickens and large roasts. 

Most of the chamber sealers made for home use today have pretty shallow chambers, so this isn't a deal breaker. (But always look at chamber height before you buy a chamber sealer.)

Small chamber: The chamber is also smaller than the USV32 and the USVX and can fit a maximum bag size of 11x10". This is about a gallon, so it's still a decent size, but for most people, larger is better.

Short seal bar: The 10" seal bar is an inch shorter than on the USV20 and USV32, although the chamber can hold longer bags than the USV20. We think narrower bags are a step backwards because they're a little harder to get food into. But it does make this sealer a little more compact than even the USV20 (and as we said, it takes bigger bags: 10x13" vs. 11x10").

Plastic chamber: The sealing chamber is plastic, not stainless steel like the USV32. Though it is still durable and well made, it can absorb food odors and may not last as long as a steel chamber.

Features and Specifications

-Black stainless body w/tempered glass lid and molded plastic chamber

-Seal bar: 10 in. seal bar w/double seal wire

-Pump: Maintenance free dry rocker pump

-Power: 280W

-Vacuum strength: 29 inHg

-Size: 12.25” x 12.75” x 8” / 19.5” tall with lid open

-Chamber size: 10.5” x 10.5” x 3.5”

-Max bag size: 10x13"

-Weight: 19 lb

-Progress indicator light for vac/seal cycle

-One-touch vac and seal

-Pouch clamp holds bag in place during sealing

-3 vacuum levels

-3 seal times (for different types of bags)

-Accessory port (accessory hose included)

-Marinate function (2 30s cycles)

-1 yr warranty.

Operation

Avid Armor USVX Ultra Control Panel

The USVX is even easier to use than the other Avid Armor Ultra Series chamber sealers: 

  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. If you want to adjust the vacuum time or seal time, select from the Vacuum Level button and the Seal Time button. There are three options for each.
  6. 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, then press the Marinate button to engage the cycle.
  • To use the accessory port, attach the hose to the port and operate the sealer normally.

Included

  • (30) 8"x10" Avid Armor vacuum chamber bags
  • Accessory hose.

Pros and Cons of the USVX Chamber Vacuum Sealer

Pros
  • Powerful vacuum (up to 28 "Hg)
  • Double seal
  • Excellent price
  • Can seal liquids
  • Accessory port (hose included)
  • Maintenance-free pump
  • Light weight (19 lbs)
  • Comes with 30 bags.
Cons
  • Smallish chamber (only 3" tall)
  • 10" seal bar (not uncomon, but other Avid Armor sealers have an 11" bar)
  • Plastic sealing chamber (rather than steel).

Recommendation

The USVX is in-between the USV20 and the USV32, with a slightly larger chamber than the USV20. Like the USV20, the chamber is plastic, and like the USV20, the chamber is short, at just 3 inches tall. 

If you really want a chamber sealer that has an accessory port for external containers, get this one or the USV20--or get this one because you love the styling. 

The USVX is also easier to use than the other two Ultra chamber sealers, but this means you sacrifice some control over the sealing process.

But our overall recommendation is to go with the USV32, which is bigger, with a taller chamber and a more robust stainless steel sealing chamber--yet without taking up a lot more space or weighing a lot more (26 lbs vs. 19 lbs).

Avid Armor USVX Ultra Chamber Vacuum Sealer

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Review: Avid Armor USV32 Ultra Chamber Sealer

Avid Armor USV32 chamber vacuum sealer Chamber Vacuum Sealer

See USV32 on Amazon

See USV32 at Wal-Mart

About $600

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.

Though it's the most expensive of all the Avid Armor Ultra series chamber sealers, it's our recommendation for it's size, stainless steel chamber, and taller chamber height.

What we like:

You can seal liquids: The biggest difference between edge sealers and chamber sealers is that you can seal liquids in a chamber sealer. This is a really nice feature of chamber sealers that many people are willing to pay more for.

Powerful vacuum:  The USV32 pulls a vacuum as powerful as most commercial grade sealers.

Adjustable vacuum and seal times: It has adjustable vacuum and seal times, and the gauge always lets you know exactly how much vacuum it's pulling.

Long seal bar: We love 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.)

Marinate setting: 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 faster than just leaving it in the fridge.

Handles: The handles on each side make it easy to carry, move, and store if you don't want to leave it out on your counter when you're not using it.

Filler plate included: The filler plate is a nice extra that allows you to evacuate air from the chamber faster when sealing small items. You can remove it when sealing bigger items.

What we don't like:

No accessory port: We wish it had an accessory port, though this is less necessary with a chamber sealer because you can seal small containers right in the chamber.

Smallish chamber: At a height of only 3.5 inches, it's taller than the other sealers by half an inch, but still short compared to many chamber vacs (VacMaster VP210 has a 5" chamber). You can use it for small (pint) jars, but it's not big enough for quarts. 3.5 inches is just tall enough to fit most cuts of meat, which is a good.

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 and Specifications

-Stainless steel body w/tempered glass lid

-Seal bar: 11.5 in. seal bar w/double seal wire

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

-Weight: 26.4 lbs

-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

-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 chamber vacuum sealer 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 (although Avid Armor suggests a 20 second cool down between seals).
  • 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. 
  • Use the filler plate to help evacuate air when sealing small items; for large items, you can remove the filler plate from the chamber.

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. 

Handles: The handles on each side make it easy to carry, move, and store if you don't want to leave it out on your counter when you're not using it.

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.

Included

  • 30 bags (10 6x12, 10 8x10, and 10 10x13), BPA-free
  • Replacement vacuum chamber gasket and seal bar
  • Filler plate (for faster air evacuation when sealing small items).

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, replacement gasket and seal bar, and a filler plate.
Cons
  • Smallish chamber (only 3.75" tall; tallest of all the Avid Armor Ultra chamber sealers)
  • No accessory port.

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 sealers have them), but this is less important in a chamber sealer because you can seal liquids, as well as jars, right in the chamber though small ones, a pint or less). 

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 , yet lightweight sealer for home use, this is a great option. It's our favorite of all the Avid Armor Ultra Series chamber sealers.

Avid Armor USV32 Chamber Vacuum Sealer

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Review: Avid Armor ES41 Euro Chamber Vacuum Sealer

Avid Armor ES41 Euro Series Chamber Vacuum Sealer

See it on Amazon

See it at Wal-Mart

About $1200

The ES41 Euro is a heavy duty commercial grade chamber sealer with a robust build quality and a rotary oil pump that allows it to operate continuously without cool down periods. It is made in the Netherlands and comes with a one year warranty.

What we like:

You can seal liquids: The biggest difference between edge sealers and chamber sealers is that you can seal liquids in a chamber sealer. This is a really nice feature of chamber sealers, and for many people it makes them worth the higher cost and larger size.

Automatic vacuum and sealing: This machine operates like the older VacMaster commercial machines: that is, closing the lid automatically starts the vacuum process. It's a great feature because it makes the machine super easy to use. Not only do you not have to press a Start button, but you don't have to latch the lid, either: the instant vacuum pull sucks the lid down--but this can take a few seconds, so you do have to hold the lid until the vacuum is strong enough to hold down the lid.

11-inch seal bar: Comparable VacMasters have a 10-inch seal bar, and that extra inch is really nice to have.

Oil pump: The Busch rotary oil pump is extremely robust. It pulls great vacuum (the best available on any vacuum sealer) and it can run continuously without a cool down period. The sealer comes with oil in the maintenance kit, but it's shipped with oil in the motor, so it should be ready to run. There's an oil sight glass in the back of the sealer--check it before you first run it to be sure no leakage occurred during shipping.

Continuous operation: The rotary oil pump means this sealer needs no cool down periods between seals. Zero. You can run the machine literally for hours and you won't need to give it a break.

Adjustable vacuum and sealing time: You can adjust the vacuum and seal time for completely customizable vacuum sealing. (Once you have it set you won't need to change it, but it's nice to know you can--if you have Mylar bags, for example.)

Maintenance kit included: The downside of rotary oil pumps are that they need maintenance. But it's a fairly easy process, and the sealer comes with a maintenance kit that includes oil for the occasional oil changes you'll need to do.

Large enough to seal a quart mason jar: We love that you can fit a quart size mason jar (on its side) in this chamber sealer. This is due to the domed lid, which is 4.5" tall. 

Generous starter kit: The ES41 sealer comes with 30 bags, a maintenance kit including pump oil and replacement parts, a Quick Start guide, a User Manual, and a filler plate (to speed up sealing of small items).

Made in the Netherlands: Nearly all the vacuum sealers we review on this site are made in China, including the other Avid Armor sealers. So we love that this sealer offers another alternative for people who don't want to buy goods made in China. (We don't have an issue with it, but some people do.)

What we don't like:

Expensive: At $1200, this is an investment. It's about $100 more (at time of publishing) than the VacMaster VP215, a comparable machine. However, the VP215 has just a 10-inch seal bar, so the longer seal bar on the ES41 might be worth the extra cost. And, this is a commercial grade sealer that's built like a tank and should last for a really long time.

Heavy: Part of the commercial build quality means that this sealer is not only big, it's also heavy. At about 52 pounds, it's twice as heavy as Avid Armor's USV32. But on the positive side, this is about 30 pounds lighter than VacMaster's VP215, which weighs more than 80 pounds.

Maintenance required: If you want continuous operation, then you'll have to deal with periodic maintenance, which essentially means adding oil and doing oil changes. This isn't difficult, but it's a little bit messy, and if you're not mechanically handy, you may not want this extra process.

Adjusting vacuum and seal times is a little quirky: The control panel isn't intuitive to use. It's not difficult, and the user manual will help, as well as online videos that show you how to use it. Also, once you've got it set, you probably won't need to change it. But it's not the easiest control panel to use.

Pump conditioning process: This is probably a plus, not a minus, because it ensures the pump is working correctly and will supposedly increase the life of the vacuum pump. It's a program you have to run before the first use (and presumably at other times as well) to ensure the pump is working correctly, and it takes about 15 minutes. But we've used a VacMaster chamber sealer for years and have had no issues with pump life. We're not sure this is really necessary (but we could be completely wrong about this).

Features and Specifications

-Stainless steel housing w/transparent domed lid 

-Stainless steel chamber w/rounded corners (easy to clean)

-Seal bar: 11 in. seal bar, removable, w/double seal

-Power: 124 watts (1/6 horsepower)

-Vacuum strength: 29 "Hg

-Size: 12.5” x 17.5” x 13” / 24.5” with lid open

-Chamber size: 11” x 13.5” x 4.5” at top of dome

-Max bag size: 11" x 13"

-Weight: 52.3 lbs

-Automatic operation when you close lid (great feature!)

-Rotary oil Busch pump (for continuous operation)

-Adjustable vacuum time (2-99s)

-Adjustable seal time (0.5-4s)

-Digital readouts

-Vacuum gauge

-1 yr warranty.

Operation

The ES41 Euro chamber vac is fully programmable, which gives you more control over the vacuum cycle, but makes it a little complicated to use.

On the other hand, the sealer operates automatically, so all you have to do is close the lid to start the sealing process--so once you've get the settings where you want them, sealing bags is as easy as closing the lid (literally).

The arrow buttons switch between vacuum and seal. The mode it's in lights up, and once lit, you can use the Plus and Minus keys (also the Stop Vacuum and Stop keys) to adjust the time. So for example, if you press the Up arrow and the Vacuum mode is selected, you can use the Plus key to adjust vacuum time: Avid Armor recommends a time of 50 for standard vacuum sealing.

If you select Seal mode, then you can use the Plus/Minus keys to select the sealing time. Avid Armor recommends a seal time of 1.0 for their standard 3 mil bags, and a little longer for thicker bags, including Mylar bags. 

Once you've got the vacuum and seal times set where you want them, you're ready to seal: just put the bag in the chamber and line up the open edge on the sealing bar, then close the lid--it runs automatically, and the lid pops open when the vacuum time is complete. 

To stop the entire process at any time during sealing, press the Stop (Minus) button.

To stop the vacuum but still seal the bag, press the Stop Vacuum (Plus) button.

To switch the sealer off, press the Power button-the large round button on the far left. Remember to power the sealer off before closing the lid, because closing the lid with the power on starts a sealing cycle.

The button below the Up/Down Arrows is for the Pump Conditioning Cycle. You need to run this before using the machine and periodically during the life of the sealer. It's pretty simple: you just press the button to put it in pump conditioning mode, then shut the lid as if you're sealing a bag. The cycle takes about 15 minutes to complete.

Note that these operating instructions are just an overview and should not be considered complete; rather they are just to give an idea of what's involved in operating this vacuum sealer.

Refer to Avid Armor User Manual, Quick Start guide, or website videos for complete information.

Included

  • Busch oil pump maintenance kit (spare gasket, seal tape, seal wire, and oil)
  • 11" x 10.75" x 0.75" filler plate
  • Quick Start guide
  • User Manual
  • 30 vacuum bags.

Pros and Cons of the ES41 Euro Chamber Vacuum Sealer

Pros
  • Powerful vacuum (up to 29 "Hg)
  • Continuous operation w/out cool down due to rotary oil pump
  • Automatic operation when you close lid
  • 11" seal bar (comparable VacMasters have 10" seal bar)
  • Can seal liquids
  • Robust Busch rotary oil pump
  • Can seal mason jars up to 1 quart in size
  • Comes with 30 bags, maintenance kit, filler plate, Quick Start Guide, and User Manual
  • Pump conditioning cycle extends life of vacuum pump
  • Made in the Netherlands.
Cons
  • It's a little heavy (53 lbs) but much lighter than comparable VacMaster models
  • Rotary pump requires oil changes (but is extremely robust
  • No accessory port.

Recommendation

The Avid Armor ES41 Euro chamber vacuum sealer is as robust and durable as any commercial grade chamber vac on the market--but at just under 55 pounds, it weighs a lot less than others of the same size. It's got a rotary oil pump for continuous sealing without cool downs--but remember the oil pump needs periodic maintenance. It's not hard, and the sealer comes with a maintenance kit so you don't have to order one separately (although you will have to order fresh oil once in awhile). But if you don't want to do maintenance, we recommend the USV32 (reviewed above).

Overall, this is a powerful commercial grade sealer and we love that it's made in the Netherlands. In fact, we love the ES41 sealer and think it's fantastic quality. But at $1200, be sure this is what you want before you buy.

Avid Armor ES41 Euro Series Chamber Vacuum Sealer

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Avid Armor USV20/USV32/USVX Chamber Sealer 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. Here are the differences and similarities from the Avid Armor site:

What are the differences?

There are a few other differences between the three models:

  1. Unlike the stainless steel design of the USV20 and USV32, the USVX was designed with a sleek, black stainless finish to complement today’s modern style to create a timeless design for any kitchen.
  2. The USVX & USV20 chambers are made from a molded plastic, the USV32 chamber is made of stainless steel.
  3. The USVX has a different design of control panel compared to the USV20 & USV32.
    -The USV20 & USV32 have manual vacuum and seal times that are measured in seconds.
    -The USVX has 3 “Vacuum Levels” that range from minimum to maximum vacuum and 3 “Seal Times”.
  4. The USVX & USV20 have an accessory port for vacuum sealing external jars and canisters, the USV32 does not.
  5. The USVX weighs 18.80 lbs, where the USV20 is 17.55 lbs and the USV32 is 26.4 lbs.
  6. The USVX & USV20 have a small metal pouch clamp to hold the pouch in place, whereas the USV32 has a pouch clamp bar.
  7. The USVX & USV20 have a flat, tempered glass lid, the USV32 has an arched, tempered glass lid to give more height to the chamber.

What are some similarities?

  1. The USVX, USV20, & USV32 can all vacuum seal mylar bags up to 7 mil.
  2. The USVX, USV20, & USV32 all have a marinate function.
  3. The USVX, UXV20, & USV32 all have a double seal and double wire seal width.

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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

See all vacuum sealer bags on Amazon

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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, and 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.

For edge sealers, our recommendation is the A100 because it has more power and a slightly more robust build quality. The A420 has roll storage and a simpler control panel, but we think the A100 is the better model.

For chamber sealers, we like the USV32 for home users. It has the largest chamber, which can make a big difference in what you can and can't seal. If you want a smaller chamber sealer, the USV20 is the best choice; it offers roughly the same capacity for less than the USVX.

If you want a heavy duty commercial grade chamber vac, then the ES41 is the only option Avid Armor has, but it's a great machine--and made in the Netherlands rather than China (like the vast majority of vacuum sealers, including the other Avid Armor sealers).

Thanks for reading!

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

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