Reflections on economics of vacuum sealer appliances
I considered the alternative subject "appliances that suck".
I am currently in the market for a replacement for my "FoodSaver" vacuum sealing appliance. Currently I have a model V3480 which served me for 11 years though it was clearly on it's way out in the 11th year. This got me to thinking about the economics of these. I went through my gardening records and tallied up the total throughput of my now defunct unit. It came to 2700 lbs. I do not have a record of the cost of the unit but it was probably on the order of $120. This would compute to about 4.5 cents appliance cost per lb bagged. Weight of bagged items ranges from essentially zero up to 4 1/2 lbs and I would guess the average weight of the bagged items to be around 2 lbs requiring 2700lbs/2 lbs/bag = 1350 bags. Estimated cost per bag is $0.30 so a bag cost of $0.30/2lbs or $0.15/lb. Total bag expenditure is 1350X$0.30 = $405 over 11 years. The overall economics look good to me but I have been obsessing over the cost of a new unit even though the bag cost dominates. I have decided to find a used unit as I suspect that many of the ones available are very "low mileage" compared to my old unit. The entire V3400 series of which there are several models is no longer current. I am generally quite competent in troubleshooting and repairing electromechanical stuff but have not had success with this one. In general, FoodSaver replacement parts are not available with a few exceptions. All of the V3400 series are so similar that the commonality of parts is near 100%. I am inclined to find one in this series as I will have a "parts unit" on hand. I haven't completely ruled out a used unit in the V4400 series which is still currently in production.
Anyone on the forum with experience with particular models of these types of appliances please share your thoughts.
Sat, 04/08/2023 - 17:11
I managed to find new seals
I managed to find new seals for the food saver I have so it is still in service, I bought the seals on Amazon. I use the devices to pull a vacuum on a jar almost as often. The majority of my food preserving is via canning or drying though, you likely freeze more often.
Sat, 04/08/2023 - 19:11
I too found seals on Amazon
I too found seals/gaskets for my unit on Amazon. I purchased two but found that only the lower one was designed to be replaceable. Unfortunately it did not solve my problem. Interestingly, if I tested the vacuum pump in isolation it sucked fine but incorporated in the system it failed to properly suction a bag or a canister if used in that mode.
You are correct that in terms of volume I do more freezing than canning though I do quite a bit of canning. Except for a few herbs I do not do any drying.
Sun, 04/09/2023 - 21:27
It may be easier to dehydrate
It may be easier to dehydrate in my climate. There is no humidity in the summer