Reynolds Handi-Vac Review

Product Name:Reynolds Handi-Vac
Brand:Reynolds
Rating:
Recommended?:No
Reynolds Handi-Vac Review (hover to zoom) (tap once to zoom, tap left, right, top, bottom to move image, tap outside of image to cancel)
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Handheld vacuum sealers offer an inexpensive and easy way to store your food for longer. Like regular options, these models remove the air from bags, significantly increasing the shelf life of any food inside them.

The Reynolds Handi-Vac is one example of this and model can also be a good way to figure out whether you’re likely to rely on vacuum sealing now or in the future.

Standard Features

To a degree, the concept of vacuum sealing is self-explanatory. The various models act to remove air from bags and then prevent that air from getting back in.

In most cases, air can’t re-enter because the bag is sealed using a heat bar (hence, the name vacuum sealer). However, handheld models take a different approach.

Instead of actually sealing bags, they make use of zip lock bags with valves. The zip lock nature allows you to get food in and out, while the valve is used to remove the air afterward. The idea is that the valve only allows air to move in one direction. So, once it has been extracted, it can’t get back in.

Generally speaking, handheld vacuum sealers do work well. However, they do have some limitations. In particular, the seal often isn’t as strong. After all, you are dealing with bags that have zip locks and seals. That combination is never going to be as good as a bag that is fused shut with heat.

Still, limitations aside, handheld vacuum sealers are popular and they are particularly appealing to people who don’t seal bags frequently.

Extra Features

Handheld vacuum sealers tend to be mostly the same. As a result, there are no significant extra features or functions to talk about.

In this case, the main thing to note is that the vacuum sealer relies on batteries. Specifically, it uses six AA batteries, which is the standard number and type.

Using batteries as a power source has advantages and disadvantages, especially as you need to replace the batteries when they run out. For some people, this design may work well, while others might prefer models that use power directly.

User Experience

User experience for this model really isn’t that great. In fact, on Amazon there are almost as many 1-star reviews as there are 5-star ones. This type of distribution is fairly unusual but it is never encouraging. If nothing else, it suggests that problems with the vacuum sealer are relatively common.

Now, the positive reviews (on Amazon and elsewhere) are about what you’d expect. This includes people who find that the product works as advertised and consistently removes the air from bags.

At the same time, many find it to be a great tool for saving money, especially as the bags can be reused time and time again.

But, on the other hand, not everybody had a good experience. Many of the complaints suggest that the product simply doesn’t work, even when you use it correctly.

Additionally, the vacuum sealer seems to be surprisingly hard to get right and you have to read the instructions carefully. This may be the reason for some of the negative reviews but not all of them. At the end of the day, the sheer number of critical reviews suggests that this product is probably one to avoid entirely.

Comparing The Reynolds Handi-Vac To Other Vacuum Sealers

For the most part, handheld vacuum sealers are fairly similar to one another. As a result, there are other models out there that offer the same basic approach. One example is the PackMate 9500, which has few differences.

In fact, that particular model relies on batteries as well. It does also get slightly better reviews than the Reynolds Handi-Vac, although it is more expensive as well.

There are also rechargeable models, so you don’t have to worry about batteries at all. An especially popular example of this is the FoodSaver FSFRSH0051, which seems to be considerably more reliable than the Reynolds Handi-Vac and also comes in at a similar price.

On the other hand, there are many other vacuum sealers out there. If you want something more reliable, it may be better to invest in an external model.

That style does tend to produce a stronger seal overall and means there is a much lower chance of air getting into your food. There are also some inexpensive examples that work well, such as the Useful UH-VS140.

That model can be considered entry-level but it still has a range of interesting features, while getting impressive reviews as well. The vacuum sealer may not be quite as small and compact as the Reynolds Handi-Vac but it isn’t excessively large either.

Who Is The Reynolds Handi-Vac Best For?

All handheld vacuum sealers seem to be designed for the same general audience and this is true for the Reynolds Handi-Vac as well. In particular, this type of vacuum sealer makes the most sense if you’re planning to vacuum seal casually or need something portable. In those situations, the vacuum sealer may be effective.

However, if you vacuum seal frequently then the model probably won’t be a good choice. Realistically, it simply isn’t going to stand the test of time and isn’t really designed to either.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Doesn’t take up much space
  • Inexpensive way to vacuum seal bags
  • Allows you to seal zip lock bags

Cons

  • Surprisingly complicated to use
  • Many reviewers have issues with the device

Video: Reynolds Handi-Vac Review

Conclusion

Generally speaking, the Reynolds Handi-Vac simply isn’t a good investment. The reviews alone suggest that the model doesn’t work for many people and often ends up being a waste of time.

Additionally, there are better models out there, even if you’re trying to pay as little money as possible. For that matter, even a model like the Debbie Meyer GeniusVac may end up being a better choice, especially as that one is cheaper and manages to have better reviews as well.

Still, it’s worth seriously considering whether a handheld vacuum sealer is right for you. All of the models have some limitations and the design simply won’t keep the air out nearly as well as bags that are sealed using heat.

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