Useful UH-VS140 Vacuum Sealer Review

Product Name:Useful UH-VS140 Vacuum Sealer
Brand:Useful
Rating:
Recommended?:Yes
Useful UH-VS140 Vacuum Sealer 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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FoodSaver may be the most prolific vacuum sealer brand but there are a number of other companies, like Useful, that also produce vacuum sealers. These companies can often be just as good, or even better, especially if you’re looking for a relatively basic vacuum sealer.

The UH-VS140 model from Useful is particularly interesting because it is an entry-level vacuum sealer but still has some appealing features. In fact, the model can do some things that other similarly priced vacuum sealers cannot.

Standard Features

This style of vacuum sealers operates by having the user insert the side of a bag or the end of a bag roll into the machine. The vacuum sealer then uses suction to evacuate the air from the bag and then seal it.

By doing so, the process removes air around food and other items. This can help to increase shelf life, while also making storage easier. In many cases, vacuum sealers are also used as a way to save money, particularly because they make it easier to buy in bulk and to reduce waste.

The general function of a vacuum sealer is the same regardless of which model you choose. Instead, the differences between them are related to factors such as size and extra features.

Extra Features

At first glance, the UH-VS140 seems fairly basic and in many ways, it is. Certainly, the vacuum sealer doesn’t have the roll holder, bag cutter or sturdy profile that many other models offer. But, the machine isn’t entirely basic either.

One key difference is that it has a gentle and a normal speed setting for the vacuum. Typically, the gentle option uses a slower vacuum and reduces the risk of crushing delicate food.

At the same time, the vacuum sealer has a moist and dry sealing mode. This aspect is a reference to the way the seal is created. Typically, the moist mode uses additional heat in an attempt to dry out the seal.

The reason for this is that any liquid will decrease the quality of the seal or prevent it from being created altogether. By applying extra heat, the setting increases the likelihood of creating a solid seal. This is mostly relevant if there is a little moisture present, rather than a large amount.

The settings aren’t foolproof, not by any means. In particular, you still cannot seal liquid with this style of vacuum sealer. Likewise, moist foods are often somewhat finicky. It’s normally better to partially freeze moist food before you try to seal it for that reason.

The other thing to mention is that this vacuum sealer has the ability to seal bags up to 12 inches in width. Most other models only go up to 11 inches, with the exception of extra wide ones like the FoodSaver GameSaver Titanium.

The difference in sizes isn’t dramatic but even a little extra can be important if you want to put a significant amount in your bags.

User Experience

Reviews for this vacuum sealer tend to be surprisingly positive when you consider that this is a budget model. In particular, it averages around 4.3 stars on Amazon, across more than 100 reviews.

This is better than most other vacuum sealers in this price range, most of which are around 4 stars or under. Individual reviews suggest that the product tends to perform well and has a decent vacuum seal for the price.

Research has shown that one of the most common issues is the fact that the vacuum sealer does not create a seal if any moisture is present, even if you are using the moist setting. This is a pain but, as a general rule, external vacuum sealers like this don’t function well with liquid.

Simply put, the liquid reduces the quality of the seal and can prevent the bag from sealing altogether. This creates a major problem if you want to seal moist food, as the vacuum process pushes liquid out of the food and towards the seal.

The moist and the gentle settings both help to reduce the issue somewhat. But, realistically, you’re normally better partially freezing food before you try to seal it.

Comparing The Useful UH-VS140 To Other Vacuum Sealers

There are a number of other entry-level vacuum sealers on the market, including some from Ziploc, Ivation and FoodSaver. For the most part, these are similar to one another and the Useful UH-VS140 tends to be the best option in terms of features and reviews.

However, as reviewers noted, the model isn’t great for moist foods. Additionally, the design means that it is likely to need a break after every seal or every few. That isn’t a problem if you don’t vacuum seal much at a time but it could be frustrating in some situations.

If you plan to create multiple bags of food close together, then it may be worth thinking about a different model. The FoodSaver GameSaver Big Game is one such example, as is the Weston Pro 65-0601-W. Those models allow for consecutive seals, which makes the process of sealing much faster and more efficient.

Finally, if you plan to seal moist food, one interesting option to consider is the Oliso Pro vacuum sealer. This option has a different design and approach, which seems to make it more powerful for sealing liquids than most other models.

The Oliso Pro doesn’t do the greatest in terms of reviews but it is still an interesting alternative.

Who Is The Useful UH-VS140 Best For?

The UH-VS140 is best considered a vacuum sealer for beginners or for casual use. With that in mind, it’s most suited to people who plan to vacuum seal occasionally and typically wouldn’t do much at a time.

The small size also makes it a good fit for students and people living in small apartments. After all, many other models are considerably larger and end up using a significant amount of space.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Small and compact
  • Seals up to 12-inch bags
  • Has moist/dry settings
  • Two speed settings
  • Inexpensive
  • Surprisingly good reviews

Cons

  • Ineffective for moist foods, even on the moist setting
  • Relatively low quality
  • No roll storage or bag cutter
  • Will overheat relatively easily

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the Useful UH-VS140 is great for what it is. Certainly, the model is never going to perform as well as some of the more expensive and complex options out there. Likewise, it doesn’t have an especially sturdy design and would be prone to overheating.

Nevertheless, those issues don’t matter all that much if you’re just wanting a vacuum sealer to get started with. For that matter, if you’re not vacuum sealing frequently, you probably don’t need a more comprehensive model.

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