When I saw these on sale in the store for half price I was looking to purchase some freezer bags to begin with. I've always debated about getting a vacuum sealer to help prevent freezer burn and to make food last longer in the freezer but too cheap to spend the money. I also didn't need another item to store in my already too small kitchen.
This kit came with a pump and 3 quart size freezer bags to start you off. No batteries, nothing to hook up or plug in, so I figured how can I go wrong by spending only $2.00.
Using it the first time couldn't have been easier. Three pictures on the back of the box along with an explanation on each and I had a 3 pound package of hamburger distributed to the 3 bags, flattened them out a little and squeezed out as much air as I could while sealing the bag. Now you've got your package laying flat on the counter, place the pump over the round one-way valve and pull up on the pump to remove excess air. This took only a few strokes of the pump handle and I was really impressed with how well the bag was all sucked in and looking like a professional sealer had done it. I vacuum sealed some cheese in my pictures and I hope you will zoom in to see the before and after results.
The test was seeing how well it did in the freezer. Checking it periodically as I used up the hamburger I saw no freezer burn and removing the food from the bag was easy, whether frozen or thawed. These vacuum bags seem to have a sturdier and thicker construction than your normal freezer bags.
The instructions say to clean the pump after each use which is simply unscrewing the top and removing the handle from the tube. You could wash it by hand or put it in the dishwasher. Now, when pumping solids I saw nothing inside the pump to indicate to me that I had to wash it. I would assume if you used something with a liquid it could get into the pump but so far I check it after each use (I use it mainly for freezing steaks, hamburg and poultry that I buy in bulk). It is recommended to freeze any fruit before sealing it in the bag and this is where the liquid might come into play if they are fresh. I'm probably breaking some cardinal rule by not washing it each time but I'm still here and healthy.
I've purchased the refill bags twice so far and they come in quart and gallon size that I have seen in the store. The pump fits into my regular catch all drawer. You can use all or part of what's in the bag, reseal it and use the pump on it again. Couldn't get any easier and it all started with a $2.00 investment!