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Saturday, July 14, 2018

FINAL UPDATE **REVIEW** Food Sealer NEXT-SHINE VS6610

FINAL UPDATE
I contacted the company again about the response they initially gave (a copy/paste type response) and they got in touch.

I also made a comment on  video and the comment got a response from a Next-Shine rep. They advised me to contact them again, which I did.

They were very courteous and apologized for sounding as if they hadn't cared the first time. They offered me both a refund and a replacement machine. I accepted and the replacement arrived yesterday. I still have not seen the credit for the refund on any card or site accounts. At least I do have a new unit. I only wish I had not bought a replacement so maybe I will send that one back for a refund.

At any rate, I wanted to share with you that, while it may take some patience and a second contact, Next-Shine does try to attend to customers' problems.

2nd Update *Critical*
On December 17, 2018 - just about up to 6 months into owning and using this item, it stopped. It didn't slow up and stop or wind down and stop. It just stopped cold. I was about to vac-seal a bag of snack sausage and when I hit the button, the light flickered on then off and nothing else happened. Oddly enough, I am still able to seal things but I can't vac-seal and I can't use the accessory function.

My Amazon return period has passed so I contacted the seller to ask if this was a common or known issue and if they could tell me how to fix it. Their response was prompt and courteous but basically unhelpful. And it's the same one I see given to other customers in comments on the Amazon page of reviews. This is a copy/paste of the response: We want to know it has problem when you use it first time? Or stopped working after using many times? And may i know you usually use it to vacuum and seal what kind of food? Would you mind take a video for this itme? You can tell us details by this video, that can help us to solve the problem asap.  How can I video anything when the machine simply does not turn on? Do I video that? 

In their favor, they did ask for my Order Number. Maybe they will be looking into replacing the unit for me. I have not heard back.

I let them know that I have already purchased a second unit - this time with a protection plan (there goes the Christmas money my family sent) and that I will be documenting the use and potential problems and posting it on this blog. I will keep you guys informed.


**UPDATE is at the bottom of this original posting**

July 16th is the date of the 2018 Prime Day. I'm not too excited because I really can't afford to go shopping crazy. However, I'm happy that I snagged one of the earlier "lightning deals". It was for this Food Sealer from Next Shine and I caught it in the last 3 minutes of the deal.





This is the machine straight out of the box:



And this is what it looks like once it's all plugged in and ready to go:




I feel like I hit a little jackpot. Don't get me wrong; it's not as if I saved a huge amount of money during the deal. Despite the "list price" of $65.00 that was shown, I really only saved about $14 off the usual Amazon posted price of about $37. Still, since I really have been needing (and looking for) a decent food sealer, I think I came out okay.

(Side note: last year I did get a handheld vac sealer from Moyeah. It worked for the short term, but I don't have the hand strength to use it much. Also, it is only for very small jobs.)

One of the reasons I have wanted a sealer is because of my solo lifestyle. Coming out of a big family and being around a lot of people all the time, it's been an adjustment for me to cook for one. It's can also be more costly in some ways. Gone are my days of buying certain things in bulk. Fruit and veggies spoil before I can eat them up. Until I started buying shelf-stable dairy, I threw out more half-containers of milk than I care to think about.

The Next Shine Sealer
in action

Another reason a sealer is so useful for me is that I fast between 18 and (usually) 20 hours a day. Yes, every day. Since on most days I only have a few hours to eat, I like having my meals mostly ready to go. Meaning, I want to be able to heat and eat. Fasting is no longer difficult for me but it's no fun to spend time preparing food that you have to wait so long to eat.

I realized that I will be able to make some complete meals in advance, seal and store them, then take out and heat in boiling water or the microwave. Of course, it all depends on what your heating, but you get the idea. The Healthy Maven has some good meal ideas.

I got started straight away taking care of some groceries.

On IF I can have lots of meats and cheeses. Without bread. 

I've learned to drink my coffee black. Most of the time.

So. Now I can buy larger quantities of food that is healthier for me. I love greens like kale and collards. I also enjoy snacking on grapes and melon and lunch meats. It's so much cheaper and easier to get at least a few bunches of these things in a single shopping trip than to trot back and forth to the stores. And keep in mind, I don't have a vehicle of my own.

Now, let me stop yakking about my life and tell you about this sealer.

PROS of the machine & capabilities:

  • Functions as a vacuum sealer as well as a plain sealer. I can even half-vac some items and stop to seal them without fully compressing the bag.
  • Works quickly and fairly quietly. Is it silent? No. It's not loud enough to be annoying or even for a neighbor to hear from outside the front door (which is very near the kitchen).
  • Has an Accessory function and came with a tube for that. I have ordered a jar sealer pump (about $9) to use this with so that I can seal mason/bell jars. There are YouTub videos that show how this can be done without the jar sealer pumps. I will leave that to you more adventurous types!
  • The size was perfect for storing the machine away on top of the fridge. It will also fit with pans under the cabinet. Some reviewers thought it was too big but I found it lightweight and easy to store.
  • Works to seal more than foods. You can seal phones, cameras, cosmetics, etc for safer travel packing.  I personally will definitely seal any lotions, oils and/or spillable cosmetics the next time I pack. 
  • Using the vac-seal function definitely shrinks things down in size. This is great, depending on the food or item type and can save storage room.
  • Works with just about any type of bag. Once again, there are YouTubers who show how to use even the cheapest "regular" bags with the sealer. By the way, I prefer using the rolls of sealing material over the pre-cut/pre-sized bags.
  • You can re-use bags after cutting them open. It will depend on how much room you leave to seal the lip of the bag. Also, you might have to wash and dry the used bags.
  • This particular model came with 10 (quart size) bags. 
CONS:
  • The buttons for sealing, vac, etc. are marked black on black. This makes them hard to read, but I'm going to use some white out to re-label them.
  • Prices for sealing bags and accessories vary wildly. You will need to do a lot of comparing to find the best price. I found that Walmart had better prices than most other places. Again, I prefer the rolls over bags.
  • You have to be very careful working with liquids or foods that are very wet. It's suggested that you freeze such items first. YouTubers come to the rescue again and show various methods for vac-sealing liquids/wets without freezing. I think I will stick to jars for liquids or just freeze them first.
So, yeah. There aren't that many negatives to this so far. If this machine lasts me a year, I will have gotten an excellent bargain. I've already saved some return trips to the store. I got my greens, cheeses, and meats in larger quantities.

I thought the little storage guides included in the manual was nice.

For the freezer

For the fridge


Now, I don't know how this particular make of food sealer stacks up against others. I've watched several videos and read a ton of reviews for other ones that cost more. This one makes sense for me because of the price and functions. I don't need anything any heavier duty. In my opinion (and that's all I can give), this is a good buy for a typical household of one or two people. Even if this wipes out on me after four or five months, I'll have gotten my money's worth. That doesn't mean I won't be getting in touch with the seller, but... By the way, this only has 4 reviews as I type this, but they are all 4 and 5 stars. I gave it 5 stars. When I get the jar sealer, I will come back and update this. For now, I will leave you with some links to some info on different ways to put a food sealer to use.

Peace
--Free


UPDATE
The jar sealers came and I was able to better seal the melon rinds I have pickling. I also am able to store things that I tend to use a lot of on this IF diet: heavy creams, coconut milk, organic sauces and flavorings, and oils that I've been infusing with my fresh herbs. That last one is really nice because, for some reason, my herb plants are wearing out and withering away. I'm so happy that I got to fix some oils with them.



Okay, now here is the thing that you need to know if you do get these jars sealers: not every hose attachment seems to fit this brand of jar sealer. I guess the Food Saver is a very popular brand of sealer, but  The accessory hose tip from the Next  Shine did not fit the Food Saver jar sealers, which meant I couldn't get enough suction. This is where I had to get a little creative.

Remember, I had that little handheld Moyeah sealer? Well, that thing has a suction tip on it. I was able to easily remove the Moyeah suction tip and attach it to the hose from the Next Shine.




By putting the Moyeah suction cup over the holes on the Food Saver jar sealer, I was able to get vac seal my jars.



I would not have known to do that before I watched a video by North Carolina Prepper. Now, I wouldn't attempt to use his method for storing things in plastic bottles, but what he did to the hose at mark 1:13 was genius.



Thanks, dude.

At any rate, that is one thing I didn't expect to have to do and was lucky that I had that old handheld around to steal a part from. I'm going to mention this little detail in my review on Amazon.

As with sealing things in the bag, the jar system is going to be great for me. I have thrown out as lots of half-used sauces - spaghetti, tomato, pizza - and other canned goods.

If you are interested in knowing which items I personally purchased, they are the wide jar sealer (approx $8), regular jar sealer (approx $9), and food vac bags (approx $17 for 2 rolls of 8-inch wide x 50 ft long). The bags from Walmart were more expensive at approx $7 for 1 roll of 11-inch wide x 16 ft long. Also, Walmart online had rolls at the same price but there is a shipping charge unless your cart total is at least $35. I couldn't find the jar sealers at the brick and mortar store in my town.

It sounds as if I spent quite a bit of money to get started with this food storage system, but it not when you consider the amount of food I won't be throwing out. Then there's the cost of gas for repeat trips to the store. Most important of all is my health. I am down 15 pounds since I started the IF diet. That is 15 pounds solid - not the up-and-down weight that I hate. If I count the seesaw weight, I am down 22 pounds.