I purchased this to replace my Dazey Seal A meal which I had not even used in quite a while, but when I tried to use it, the sealing function wouldn't work properly. I bought this at my local WalMart and used it to break down to 4 each and seal a package of Brats that I bought at Sams. It didn't vacuum hardly at all on the first package even though I read the directions and followed them. (I thought). Sealing worked fine---vacuuming did not. I was frustrated because I was so sure I had followed their directions....So....I called their customer service number and the lady walked me through and had me seal a group of Brats. This is what she told me which made all the difference in the world on how the vacuum action worked:
1. Put the bag in to the sealer with the end of the bag touching the tabs...not facing down at the tabs or over the tabs or facing into the tray--the bag must touch the tabs. So--if you cut your own, it is very important that it be cut evenly across or the ends may not touch as it should. There is no cutter on this model but I can use a ruler if I need to make sure I'm cutting even. The bag I was using was the preformed, one end sealed bags that was provided in the box.
2. Once the bag end is touching the tabs, close the lid and press on both sides til you hear it lock. At that point, try to pull the bag out (even if trying to lift the lid and the lid doesn't lift--which means it is locked properly). When I did this, one side of the bag would still slide out--so even though the lid was locked properly, the bag was not in the sealer properly. I reopened the sealer, reset the bag, then in closing the lid, I locked the side that had originally slid out first by pressing that side until i heard the snap, then I pressed and locked the other side. The bag would not move at that point.
3. I then pressed the vac and seal button (if your bag is not flat on the counter, you will need to hold it up to support it, but I had my sealer on the counter and the bag was laying flat.) Once I pressed the vac and seal button, I could immediately see it begin to suck out the air in the bag. After getting all the air out, it then went into seal mode for about 3 seconds and made a perfect seal. You do not need to hold the lid down. Once you press the vac and seal option, take your hands off of the sealer. I am now a happy camper with the Ziploc vacuum sealer. Also, it does not work well with bags that are not the Ziploc bags. The Ziploc bags are thicker than the others I have had and can be washed and reused. We have had a new Sams open up close by that has great meat products and even though there is only 2 of us, we were wanting to buy some meat for the freezer so we don't have to buy it every week. This works wonderfully for being able to do that. I greatly appreciate the help from Customer Service in providing some information that was not in the instruction book.
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