This article is from the Food Preserving FAQ, by Eric Decker email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
From: Ross Reid
Over the years I've tried several so called vacuum sealers and gave up on
them. Most had a tiny little fan which couldn't pull as much of a vacuum
as I can by using a drinking straw. However, about a year ago I decided
to bite the bullet and spend the extra for a Tilia FoodSaver\u2122 and don't
regret it for a minute. The Tilia has a true vacuum pump and, IMO is the
only one worth considering as a home vacuum sealer.
From: Barbara Rogers :
I have a Compact Foodsaver and really like it. I only use it to seal lids
on glass jars. I don't use the plastic bags. I have never used anything else
so can't compare. This one cost about 200 dollars and I have had it several
years with no problems.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Patricia C. Byrnes):
I also use a FoodSaver. I rarely use the bags, but have a whole collection
of containers that work with it (including Mason jars). These are easily
sealed. If I were freezing something I wanted to last a long time I would
use the bags.
From: email@example.com (Elva Allen)
I have a Phillips vacuum sealer and it works just fine. It seals the plastic
to make a bag, and none have split on me yet! It was $35 at Zellers in
Ontario, CA. Extra plastic for bags is readily available.
From: Buddy McIlwain
I have owned a Foodsaver made by a company named Tilia for about 6 years.
I have been very pleased with it and with Tilia. They have an 800 number
which I used once when my machine quit pulling a complete vacuum on the
bags. They correctly diagnosed my problem and shipped the parts overnight.
The parts consisted of two strips of heavy duty weather stripping that is
used to seal the bags. [snip.] My machine seals plastic bags sold by
Tilia, but will also vacuum seal mason jars.
From: Paul Hinrichs
Tilia, Inc. / 568 Howard St. / San Francisco, CA 94105
415-543-9136 / FAX: 415-777-2634
From: Barb Shaller
Bags for Bag Sealers:
5305 Parkdale Drive
Minneapolis MN 55416-1681
I do not know if these bags are usable with the Tilia products.
Kapak has a boatload of sizes available.