Ary VacMaster VP215The Good
- Heavy duty stainless steel
- Long lasting oil pump
- Double seal bar for stronger seals
- Perfect for sealing liquids
- No accessory port for jars or canning
- Not suitable for sealing Mylar bags
- Requires oil changes
Last update on 2021-06-13 at 14:47 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The VP215 won’t be winning design awards any time soon. Like most chamber vacuum sealers it’s a big, heavy stainless-steel box with a control panel on the front.
The VP215 is designed for functionality over aesthetics, it’s meant to be a kitchen workhorse that concentrates on what’s important: vacuum sealing as much food as you can throw at it without any loss of performance or seal quality.
If you’re thinking about buying the VP215 for your home kitchen it’s definitely worth checking you actually have the space for it as it’s not the sort of vacuum sealer you can shove in the back of a kitchen cupboard and only bring it out when you need it. It measures 20″L x 14″W x 15″H on the countertop but make sure you have enough clearance above the machine as the height increases to 24” when the chamber lid is open fully.
If you are looking at the VP215 for heavy commercial use or you’re a hunter or fisherman looking to vacuum seal large cuts it’s worth keeping in mind that while the chamber itself measures 15.25″L x 11.25″W and 5” in height the actual seal bar is only 10.25” long so your maximum vacuum bag measurements will be 10″ x 13″. For a higher capacity chamber vacuum sealer the VacMaster VP540 offers space for up to 16” x 16” bags and a seal bar on each side for even more efficient vacuum sealing.
Weight will also be a concern for some as the VP215 comes in at 84lbs (38kg) so if you need to move it around the kitchen it could be worth investing in a sturdy kitchen cart (make sure the maximum shelf loading capacity exceeds the weight of the VP215).
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Last update on 2021-06-13 at 21:57 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
There’s some nice design features included in the VP215. The lid, for example, is a curved dome shape to maximise the space inside the chamber. It’s also transparent, giving you a nice clear view of the inside of the vacuum chamber so you can keep an eye on how the vacuum cycle is progressing and whether the bag is bottoming out.
There’s a very sturdy looking locking handle but be aware that this isn’t used to lock the lid down during operation! The locking handle is provided to keep the lid down during storage only. If you try to start the VP215 with the locking handle engaged you’ll get an F1 error displayed on the screen which can be cleared by powering off, disengaging the handle and powering on again.
The control panel is simple and intuitive enough and features an analogue pressure dial measured in megapascals (MPa), indicator lights to let you know when the machine is in the vacuuming, sealing or cooling down phases, and a small LED screen to display cycle time information as well as any error codes.
The four buttons on the front panel allow you to STOP – stops the vacuum cycle and moves to the sealing cycle, SET – lets you move between the vacuum time, seal time and cool time adjustable functions and the UP/DOWN buttons let you adjust those times. Confusingly there is a GAS indicator light but the VP215 doesn’t have a gas flushing feature so presumably they are reusing the same control panel across most of their chamber vacuum sealer range. It’s only at the very high end of the commercial range you get the gas flush feature like in the VacMaster VP680 for example.
Overall what you get with the VP215 is a vacuum sealer that looks and performs like it belongs in a professional kitchen, but closer to the size and cost of a home vacuum sealer.
The VP215 is the smallest chamber vacuum sealer in the Ary VacMaster line up that uses an oil pump, often only found in commercial sealers. It’s not the most powerful oil pump in the VacMaster range coming in at 0.25HP (the VP320 model comes in 1.5HP!) but it gives the VP215 a big advantage compared to the dry pumps usually found in home vacuum sealers.
Oil pump powered vacuum sealers offer a number of advantages over dry pumps including:
- Faster vacuum cycle times
- Better longevity of moving parts
- Reduced cooldown down between seals
- Improved air pull
- Quieter operation
If you’re only vac sealing small items then you’ll be pleased to know that the VP215 comes with filler plates. These stack up on the bottom of the chamber, reducing the amount of free space (and air) in the chamber meaning there’s less air for the pump to remove and it’s able to get through the vacuum cycle even faster.
For vacuum sealing liquids and wet foods the VP215 completely outperforms the “FoodSaver” style suction vacuum sealers. Chamber vacuums pull air from the chamber and the vacuum bag at the same time, meaning that the liquid stays inside the bag at all times instead of being sucked out into the chamber.
If you’re regularly vacuum sealing soup or marinades check out our guide to vacuum sealing liquids to see why the VP215 is your best option.
The vacuum time for most items is usually around 40 seconds or until you see the pressure maxing out on the pressure gauge. If you see the pressure gauge max out just hit the SET button to force the VP215 on to the next stage which is the sealing cycle. A good sealing time is between 1-2 seconds with a cooldown time of double the sealing time, so around 2-4 seconds, giving you near continuous operation. Perfect if you have a large stack of food to seal.
The VP215 doesn’t technically have any sort of marinade function. However you can force a similar effect with the right combination of button presses. Once the vacuum cycle is at maximum pressure turn the machine off at the big red on/off switch on the side of the machine (not the STOP button on the control panel). This will stop the pump but will keep the chamber under pressure and force liquid into the meat. Once you think it’s done you can turn on the machine, releasing the chamber pressure.
When it comes to sealing the VP215 does a great job there as well due to its double seal bar. This provides a very strong double seal which will help stop any small leaks and keep the bag openings nice and strong ensuring your food lasts a lot longer compared to single seal bars.
If you’ve been using a FoodSaver style vacuum sealer up until now don’t be put off by the higher price of the VP215 as it’s performance will blow you away and if you keep it well maintained it’s built to last a long time as well.
Maintenance & Replacement Parts
Unlike the cheap plastic vacuum sealers usually marketed for home use the VP215 is designed to be maintained. Removing the steel back panel gives you access to the oil pump which will need to be filled approximately every 60 hours or 1000 bags of use. VacMaster has a nice series of videos online which will help guide you through the most common maintenance procedures including oil replacement, gasket and seal replacement etc.
When it comes to getting your hands on replacement parts Ary VacMaster are certainly one of the better manufacturers as there’s plenty available directly from the VacMaster site. This includes the various parts you’d expect to degrade over the lifetime of the sealer including gaskets and o-rings, seal bars, seal tape and replacement oil for the rotary pump. There’s also a full parts list included in the manual if you need to refer to it:
The VP215’s warranty is only 1-year which doesn’t sound impressive when compared to manufacturers like FoodSaver which sometimes offer up to 5-year warranties. However the VP215 is built to last in a way that FoodSavers aren’t.
The inclusion of an oil pump rather than a dry pump means the VP215 can handle near continuous operation without overheating or putting undue stress on the moving parts.
There’s a reason cheaper vacuum sealers require a long wait time between seals. They most often use a dry pump which when overused will heat up, degrade, and eventually break down.
The VP215 only requires a 2 second cooldown time between seals so as long as you’re replacing the oil in the VP215 at the recommended intervals (every 60 hours or 1000 bags) it should last a lot longer, pull air much quicker, and run much quieter than a FoodSaver style sealer.
VerdictOverall the VP215 is probably the best home vacuum sealer available at the moment. If you need more power or more chamber space then you’ll need to make a big step up in price towards the commercial end of the market. If you’re on the fence about whether to go for a cheaper suction device or a chamber sealer we advise paying a bit more for a chamber sealer with an oil pump. It’ll last much longer and will likely end up cheaper in the long run.
- Equipped with a 1/4 HP rotary oil pump that can manage larger loads.
- Overall Dimensions (WxDxH): 14” x 20” x 15” | Chamber Size (WxDxH): 11.25” x 15.25” x 5” | Weight: 84 lbs
- Heavy-duty yet easy to use, the VP215 extends food's shelf life up to five times longer.
Last update on 2021-06-13 at 14:47 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
VacMaster VP215 Specs
Takes up to 10″W x 13″L pouches
Chamber measures 15.25″L x 11.25″W x 5″H
Overall dimensions are 20″L x 14″W x 15″H
With the lid open the machine is 24″ tall
Shipping dimensions 24.5″x19″x19″
84lbs (38kg) weight
- Stainless steel body
- 1/4 HP rotary oil pump
- 10.25″ seal bar with double seal wire
- Double seal
- Digital control panel
- Pressure indicator
- Transparent lid
- Lid lock (for secure storage)
- Filler Plates
- Assorted vacuum pouches
- Vacuum seal liquids
- Near continuous operation
- No accessory port
- Not suitable for Mylar bags
- No marinating cycle
- No integrated bag storage or bag cutter
VacMaster VP215 FAQ
Is the VacMaster VP215 NSF Approved/Certified?
The VacMaster VP215 itself isn’t NSF Certified however Ary VacMaster claims that it is still appropriate for commercial use as VacMaster branded vacuum sealer bags are FDA approved and no food comes into contact with the vacuum sealer itself.
Can the VacMaster VP215 Vacuum Seal Liquids?
Yes the VP215 is perfect for vacuum sealing liquids. As a chamber vacuum the pressure inside the bag and inside the chamber change at the same rate meaning liquid stays inside the bag instead of being forced out.
Make sure any liquids are sufficiently cooled before vacuum sealing as changes in pressure affect the boiling point of liquid.
How Long Is the VacMaster VP215 Warranty?
The VacMaster VP215 has a 1-year manufacturer warranty covering defects.
How Often Do I Change the VP215’s Oil?
Ary VacMaster states the VP215’s oil should be replaced every 60 hours or every 1000 bags.
What Kind of Oil Does the VacMaster VP215 Use?
The VP215 requires 3oz (89ml) of 10W, non-detergent, hydraulic oil which can be purchased directly from Ary VacMaster.
What Color Should the VP215’s Oil Be?
The oil in the VP215 should be translucent, if it becomes milky or dark colored it may indicate water has contaminated the oil or the oil is old and needs replacing.