Ary VacMaster VP200 Review

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Last updated January 25th, 2022

The VP200 is Ary VacMaster’s latest entry in the budget end of the chamber vacuum sealer market. VacMaster have kept the footprint and the price low on the VP200 by using a dry pump instead of an oil-filled pump & removing the advanced functions & modes found in their more expensive home & commercial vacuum sealers.

VacMaster VP200 featured image

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Ary VacMaster VP200

The Good

  • Maintenance-free pump
  • Simple control panel interface
  • Clip to hold vacuum bags in place
  • Accessory hose port
  • Small footprint & very light

The Bad

  • Dry pump is slower & less reliable than an oil pump
  • Only 3 preset timing modes
  • Too basic for serious home & commercial use

Last update on 2022-06-27 at 06:07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Design

The VP200 represents a step-change for VacMaster in terms of looks and functionality. Previous chamber sealers in the VacMaster range looked like they belonged in an industrial kitchen. The VP200 however has been designed from the ground up for home use and to look good on your kitchen counter at home. The sharp corners and shiny stainless steel of previous models have been replaced with a curvy, brushed steel look. The control panel has been given a makeover and looks much more refined, though the analogue pressure gauge remains.

VacMaster VP200 with lid fully open

With the lid up the chamber in the VP200 looks shallow, however the see-through plastic domed lid combined with the concave stainless steel chamber bottom give you an overall vacuum chamber height of approximately 4.7”. The chamber will take up to a 12” x 12” vacuum bag which compares quite favorably to VacMaster’s other budget chamber sealer, considering the VP200 only takes up 17.75”L x 14.25”W x 9.5”H on the countertop and weighs just 25.5lbs (11.5KG). However be aware that with the lid all the way open you’ll need a total of ~24” of clearance.

VacMaster VP200 with vacuum canister accessory

That curved lid and bottom allows the VP200 to comfortably fit a mason jar lying on it’s side for easy vacuum sealing. The VP200 does also have an accessory port located next to the front control panel for those that want to seal jars or containers with a suction hose.

Inside the chamber you’ll find a 12.25” wide seal bar that pops off easily for cleaning or replacement. In front of the seal bar you’ll find a handy little metal clip that pushes down and locks onto the vacuum bag. This allows you to more easily seat the bag neatly onto the seal bar and close the lid giving you a much more reliable seal.

VacMaster VP200 control panel

The control panel is much sleeker and simpler compared to VacMaster’s older vacuum chamber models, hinting at their switch to targeting the home vacuum sealer market with the VP200 rather than the commercial market. With that simpler layout however comes some compromises. Most annoyingly of all these is the lack of truly customisable vacuum timings. There are three programmed timing modes:

  • Low – 9 seconds (good for “topping up”)
  • Middle – 20 seconds (the default setting)
  • High – 60 seconds

However there’s no up/down buttons to alter those timings to the desired second. The small LED display and up/down arrows on the control panel only affect the seal timing which is at least adjustable in 0.1 second increments.

The VP200 does have a couple of basic modes including a marinate mode which creates and then holds the vacuum for ~20 minutes which VacMaster claims can help pull the marinade into the meat. There’s also a seal only mode if you just want to quickly seal a bag without pulling the air out.

Overall the VP200 is a nice looking piece of kit in a size that’s much more suited to a home kitchen. Visually it’s a big step up from VacMaster’s other models but it’s also a big step down in functions, features and timing modes.

Performance

The first thing to note on the performance side of things is that the VP200 has a dry pump. Most of Ary VacMaster’s larger and more expensive chamber vacuum sealers use an oil-filled pump. Oil-filled pumps are more of a hassle (that oil needs changing every so often!) but they’re also more reliable and more powerful. The VP200’s dry pump will therefore won’t perform as well the oil-filled pump models over the longer term and will suffer from:

  • Slower vacuum cycle times
  • Shorter lifespan of parts
  • Increased cooldown time between seals
  • Louder operation

The plus side of the VP200’s dry pump is that it’s maintenance free so you won’t be changing oil or taking the vacuum sealer apart to service it. This is obviously a benefit for occasional home use but if you’re sealing a lot of food at home or you’re in a commercial kitchen then you’re better off going with an oil filled pump sealer.

Using the VP200 is very easy as far as chamber vacuum sealers go. The basic control panel and lack of different modes means it is easy to get up and running, again a bonus for occasional home users. One small annoyance is the lack of “memory” so the control panel will reset to default settings every time you turn the sealer off.

Another thing to consider is that there’s a very audible noise when turning the machine on at the switch before you even start the vacuum pump which is presumably a cooling fan kicking in so it’s not the quietest machine to have on the countertop unless it’s completely off at the mains.

Getting the bag in and lined up is made much easier by the metal bag clip which holds the end of the bag in place whilst you get everything lined up on the seal bar which is a great feature but also not unique to VacMaster chamber vacuums. The seal bar itself is only single width so you’ll have to experiment with seal timing (which is adjustable thankfully) to get a really good strong seal. If you find that your seal line is spotty then increase the seal time, if the seal goes milky then reduce the seal time.

Starting the vacuum on the VP200 can sometimes be a bit hit and miss as you’ll often find yourself having to really press down on the lid to get the initial vacuum going. VacMaster seems to be aware of this as they state you’ll need to “close the lid and press down firmly for 2-3 seconds or until the vacuum gauge begins to move”. This seems more like a bug than a feature as some haven’t encountered any issues with getting a vacuum going and don’t need to press down on the lid to get it running.

If you’ve only ever used a non-chamber style vacuum sealer like a FoodSaver then the VP200 will feel like a huge upgrade in terms of power and performance, especially if you’re vacuum sealing anything containing liquids. If you’re a heavy user however you’ll likely find it doesn’t have the longevity and reliability of VacMaster’s oil-filled pump models.

Durability

Maintenance & Replacement Parts

Ary VacMaster is a well known and well respected manufacturer of chamber vacuum sealers with a large section of their website dedicated to help videos, FAQs, user manuals, support etc. However, unusually the support page for the VP200 is a bit underwhelming. There’s the usual links to download the manual and the spec sheet but little else. VacMaster are usually good at providing spares parts, gaskets, repairs etc. so I assume spares are available but I haven’t been able to confirm this for the VP200 specifically.

The lack of help videos is also offset by the fact that the VP200 is designed to be plug-and-play and much easier to use. There’s not many modes or functions to fiddle with on the VP200 so most of the relevant information and a few troubleshooting walkthroughs are covered in the manual.

Given that the VP200 is a dry pump it’s almost certain it won’t live as long as the oil-filled pump models but if you’re using this purely for occasional home use then that shouldn’t be an issue.

Warranty

The VP200 comes with Ary VacMaster’s standard 1-year warranty. If it were an oil-filled pump sealer that wouldn’t worry me too much as regular oil changes and good availability of spares would keep it running a long time. However as the VP200 is a dry pump and as the availability of spares is currently unknown, then 1 year seems a little low especially when brands like FoodSaver offer up to 5-year warranties!

Verdict

Overall the VP200 occupies a nice halfway point between the cheaper FoodSaver style suction sealers and the much pricier oil-filled pump chamber sealers. It’s a great way to get chamber vacuum sealer performance but on a tight budget. Just be aware that it’s lacking in features and designed more for quick “plug-and-play” home use rather than serious commercial use. It’s also a good option if you don’t have space for a larger chamber vacuum sealer or if you need something more portable, the VP200 only weighs 25.5lbs (11.6kg) compared to the VP215’s whopping 84lbs (38kg)!

VacMaster VP200
  • Easy to use control panel that offers preset vacuum packaging modes, instant stop, marinating, and external vacuum for canister use
  • Seal up to a 12” x 12” bag with its 12” seal bar. With the dome lid the chamber height is 4.7” giving you plenty of space inside
  • Vacuum Package liquids with no problems. Use for marinating or storing soups and sauces.

Last update on 2022-06-27 at 06:07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Looking for something a little larger with more features?
Check out our review of the VacMaster VP215

VacMaster VP200 Specs

Dimensions

Takes up to 12”L x 12”W vacuum bags
Chamber measures 13.75″L x 11.8″W x 4.7″H
Overall dimensions are 17.75″L x 14.25″W x 9.5″H
24” total height when the lid is up
25.5lbs (11.6kg) weight

 

Features

  • Accessory hose port
  • Dry pump
  • Basic marinate function
  • Manually activated start/stop
  • Digital control panel
  • Analogue pressure gauge
  • Bag clip
  • Transparent lid
  • Concave chamber & domed lid
  • 12.25” seal bar
  • Pulls up to -0.95 Bar vacuum

What’s Missing?

  • Programmable modes & functions
  • Bag cutter or storage
  • Filler plates
  • Lid lock
  • Lack of information on spares & repairs

VacMaster VP200 FAQ

Is the VacMaster VP200 NSF Approved/Certified?

There’s no information from Ary VacMaster about this, and I wouldn’t recommend this in a commercial setting anyway.

The VacMaster VP200 likely isn’t NSF Certified but Ary VacMaster claims their vacuum sealers can still be used for commercial vacuum sealing as VacMaster branded vacuum sealer bags are FDA approved and no food comes into contact with the vacuum sealer itself.

View Ary VacMaster’s FDA approval for vacuum sealer bags.

Can the VacMaster VP200 Vacuum Seal Liquids?

Yes the VP200 is a decent option if you’re vacuum sealing liquids & marinades.

The pressure inside the chamber and the vacuum bag change at the same rate meaning liquid stays inside the bag instead of being forced out into the chamber.

Note: Be careful to make sure that liquids are sufficiently cooled before vacuum sealing because changes in pressure affect the boiling point of liquid.

Check out our guide to vacuum sealing liquids, soup, and marinades.

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