Deciding which vacuum sealer to invest in can be a perplexing task, especially for those new to the world of food preservation. Two popular options that stand out are chamber and external vacuum sealers, each with its unique benefits and specific applications. With a focus on simplicity, this comparison will guide you through key factors such as cost, size, and the kind of food items each sealer is best suited for.

Understand the Basics: Chamber Vacuum Sealers vs. External Vacuum Sealers

Vacuum sealing technology has revolutionized the way we store food, extending shelf life and preserving quality. Whether for home use or in professional settings, understanding the distinct types of vacuum sealers available is essential. There are primarily two types: chamber vacuum sealers and external vacuum sealers. Each offers unique benefits and operates differently to suit varying needs.

Chamber vacuum sealers work by placing the entire bag inside the machine’s chamber. Once the lid is closed, air is evacuated from the entire chamber, not just the bag, creating a vacuum. This approach allows for a consistent and high level of vacuum to be achieved, making chamber sealers highly efficient, especially with liquids or wet items. Their design makes them a preferred choice in commercial settings or for users with high-volume sealing needs. Chamber vacuum sealers also utilize smooth bags, which can be more than 50% less than the textured bags that an external vacuum sealer requires to draw a vacuum. Heavy vacuum sealer users can actually pay for a chamber sealer with the bag savings over a period of time.

External vacuum sealers, on the other hand, involve placing the open end of the vacuum bag outside the machine. A sealing bar inside the machine then removes the air from the bag and seals it tightly. These sealers are typically smaller and more suited for home use or for those with limited storage needs. They excel at sealing dry goods and are particularly convenient for those with lesser volume needs or space constraints.

The primary function of both types of vacuum sealers is to remove air from a bag and seal it tightly, thus preventing air and moisture from spoiling the food inside. This process vastly extends the storage life of foods and preserves their quality. Chamber vacuum sealers are best suited for high-volume sealing, handling liquids with ease, and for use in professional kitchens or by those requiring the highest efficiency. External vacuum sealers are ideal for occasional use, dry goods, and for those seeking a compact and easy-to-use solution for extending the shelf life of foods at home.

Understanding these differences is crucial when deciding between a chamber vacuum sealer and an external vacuum sealer. Each has its place in kitchens, whether at home or in a bustling restaurant. By identifying the primary function and most common uses of each sealer type, individuals and professionals can make an informed choice that best suits their needs and ensures the longevity and quality of their preserved foods.

Operational Differences

Understanding the operational differences between chamber vacuum sealers and external vacuum sealers is key to discerning which is best for specific needs. Chamber vacuum sealers require the bag of food to be placed inside their chamber. Upon closing the lid, the sealer evacuates air from the entire chamber, not just the bag, ensuring a consistent and high-level vacuum. This mechanism is particularly beneficial for sealing liquids, as the pressure inside and outside the bag remains equal, preventing the liquid from being drawn out.

External vacuum sealers, by contrast, involve placing the bag’s open end in the machine, where a sealing bar removes air from within the bag before sealing it. This direct air evacuation makes external sealers more suitable for dry or solid foods, as they can sometimes struggle to handle liquids effectively without specialized bags or additional steps.

The physical differences between these machines are also notable. Chamber vacuum sealers tend to be larger and heavier, making them more stationary and suited for professional kitchens or dedicated home users with adequate space. External models are generally more compact, designed for occasional use, or smaller kitchens with limited storage.

Efficiency and Performance

In terms of efficiency, chamber sealers often boast quicker sealing times and the ability to handle a wider variety of bag sizes, providing a more versatile solution for sealing different quantities of food. They also achieve higher vacuum strengths, ensuring that foods are preserved more effectively over longer periods.

External vacuum sealers, while not as fast or capable of achieving the same vacuum levels as chamber models, offer ample performance for most home preservation tasks. Their simplicity and ease of use make them a popular choice for those new to vacuum sealing.


Chamber vacuum sealers have a higher initial cost, reflective of their robust construction and advanced features suited for heavy usage. The cost per seal is lower over time, particularly for businesses or individuals who use the machine frequently.

External sealers are more affordable upfront but may incur higher long-term costs due to the need for specialized bags and potentially higher replacement rates for the machine’s sealing elements.

Suitability for Different Foods and Tasks

Chamber sealers excel with all types of food, especially liquids and delicate items that benefit from gentle vacuuming. External sealers are most effective with dry goods or less delicate items. Understanding these strengths allows users to align their sealing practices with the food types they most often preserve, ensuring optimal results and extending the lifespan of foods.

Choosing the right vacuum sealer comes down to understanding these operational differences, efficiency levels, cost implications, and suitability for the foods and tasks at hand. Whether in a professional setting or preserving food at home, a careful evaluation of these factors will guide the best choice.

Making the Right Choice for Your Needs

When it comes to choosing between a chamber vacuum sealer and an external vacuum sealer, several factors must be considered to ensure you select the best option for your specific needs. The volume of use, the variety of foods you plan to seal, and space constraints are all critical considerations. For businesses or individuals who intend to use their machine frequently, especially with a variety of foods including liquids, a chamber vacuum sealer might be the more suitable choice due to its efficiency, versatility, and cost-effectiveness over time. In contrast, for home users with occasional sealing needs, particularly for dry goods, an external vacuum sealer could provide the convenience and compact storage solution needed.

Real-World Applications

Real-world case studies further illustrate the practical benefits of both types of vacuum sealers. Professional chefs often prefer chamber vacuum sealers for their ability to quickly and effectively seal multiple items, including liquids, which are common in culinary settings. The durability and longevity of chamber models also align with the high demands of a professional kitchen. On the other hand, hunters or home users who primarily seal meats and other solid foods find external vacuum sealers to be more than adequate for preserving the freshness of their harvest or bulk purchases. Through these real-world applications, the value of selecting the right vacuum sealer based on specific needs becomes clear.

Recommendations from users across various sectors consistently highlight the importance of considering your personal or business needs when choosing a vacuum sealer. Chefs recommend chamber sealers for their efficiency and versatility, while home users appreciate the simplicity and compact design of external sealers. Such insights from diverse user experiences offer valuable guidance for those in the process of selecting the best vacuum sealer for their situation.

The ultimate showdown between chamber vacuum sealers and external vacuum models reveals that both have their place in the world of food preservation. The decision between the two should be guided by an understanding of their operational differences, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and suitability for various foods and tasks. Whether in a professional setting or at home, taking the time to assess your specific needs and preferences is crucial in choosing the vacuum sealer that will best serve your purposes. By making an informed decision, you can ensure optimal food preservation, extending the freshness and flavor of your foods, which is the ultimate goal of vacuum sealing technology.

If you’re exploring vacuum sealers and feel overwhelmed, we’re here to assist. At Vacuum Sealers Unlimited, our experts will guide you, ensuring you choose the best option for your needs.