Just when we thought FoodSaver could not do any better, they decided to introduce the FM5000 vacuum sealer. Remember the good old days when vacuum sealing was a painless and efficient process? Well, we don’t! FoodSaver FM5000 promises to make vacuum sealing easier by up to 50% and reduce roll wastage by over 30%. Now, are these just tall tales or is there some amount of truth behind them? That’s what we are here to find out. But first, let’s quickly iterate through the new FM5000 and its innovations or features.
The FoodSaver FM5000 offers up a built-in see-through roll storage space that is practical and spacious. Slide the roll in from one side and start making your bags instantly. The Express Bag Maker mechanism promises to reduce the number of steps required for a proper sized bag. Compared to previous FoodSaver versions, we feel this is true thanks to the lower seal and cut bar, which is separate from the one used for the vacuum sealing process. Yes, this FoodSaver has two seal areas.
Up top is the Vacuum View Window where you stick your bag ready with the ingredients for sealing. Since you can see just how far the bags go, you decide how much is far enough. When ready, push down on the bottom handle with your knuckles ever so gently to start the sealing process. The machine immediately clamps down on the bag and begins evacuating air. This compartment has a lower pull-out drip tray that removes quickly and is dishwasher safe. Finally, there’s the retractable handheld sealer on the top surface near the control panel that you can use with compatible jars, containers and zipper bags.
If all this is just too much for you, try going for the FoodSaver FM2435 vacuum sealer instead. It too features a roll compartment with a cutter and automatic sealing mechanism in a more conventional design at a lower cost.
Our Foodsaver FM5000 Review
Was there a 5000 model from FoodSaver before? Yes, there was one, but it wasn’t as widely appreciated as the new 5000 model, codenamed the FM5200. Yes, this vacuum sealer is the FoodSaver FM5200 though, it is sold as the “New FM5000”. Now, stop before you go on a wild goose chase for the “old FM5000”, there are none left in the market. The reason being that this particular model from FoodSaver has undergone extensive modifications after listening to customer suggestions.
The New and Improved FM5000 now makes vacuum sealing easy and efficient. Forget the old FoodSaver models, if you hate making bags from rolls but aren’t satisfied by the automatic models that tend to waste a lot of bags, this is the FoodSaver for you. The model consists of two sections, the vacuum sealing part on top and the bag maker part down below. Let’s begin with the bag maker part as that’s what immediately caught our attention.
The sides of the FoodSaver FM5000 are completely see through. In fact, it has a gaping hole on either side so you can easily slide in and out a bag roll. Once you have placed the bag roll inside the bag maker chamber, release the latch to the right of the machine and the bottom part comes undone to reveal a seal bar, cutter and a white parallel line just ahead of the roll area. That’s how far you need to stretch the roll and close the lid down. If you do it properly, you will barely see a bit of the roll protruding out from the mouth of the bag maker.
Now to make your first bag, turn the lever to clamp down on the roll, which automatically begins the sealing process. Your bottom seal is now complete. Then pull out the required size of roll material and use the cutter to make your vacuum seal bag. Voila! Your first bag is ready in a matter of seconds. To make another bag, lock the latch and repeat the process again. Though not entirely automated, the fact that the bag maker needs manual input allows you to decide the packet size, which in our opinion is its biggest advantage.
Okay, so you have your first bag ready to seal. Now what? Well, the vacuum seal chamber is right on top of the bag maker. You will find a see-through chamber with a handlebar right underneath, and big bold letters printed on it, “Push to Vacuum and Seal.” You need to place your newly made bag inside the slot right above it. Since you can see how far your bag has gone inside the chamber, you can control just how much of the material you are okay sealing on. When ready, just press down on the handlebar beneath.
The machine instantly clamps down on your bag and begins the vacuuming process. When it senses a complete vacuum, the wide seal bar heats the bag to produce a perfect seal. Once done, the clamp releases to drop the bag down on the table. We just cannot believe how easy the FM5000 is to use. There is no learning curve. And the best thing about this vacuum sealer is that it works better with liquid items than any other product in the market.
The biggest concern with liquid products is that the vacuum process can suck some of the juice out. Because you elevate the bag to the top vacuum seal chamber, the contents slide down to the bottom of the bag, pushing the air to the top. It, in turn, reduces the amount of juice that flows out during the vacuum process. By the way, the machine allows you to choose between dry and moist sealing just in case you want a firmer seal.
Okay so you may be thinking, the double chamber design is great but how do I seal without vacuuming? The answer is by using the bottom bag maker. Just unlock the latch and slide your packet or bag inside. Lock the latch, and it automatically begins the sealing process. What about jars, containers and zipper bags? Well, the FoodSaver FM5000 comes with an additional attachment on the top that works with all kinds of FoodSaver compatible accessories including zipper bags. It has its own controls too, just in case you were wondering.
Probably the biggest advantage we found with this unit is the ability to stop the vacuuming process midway using the stop button. Using the stop button does not release the bag. It just temporarily stops vacuuming. If you want a stronger vacuum, just restart the process by pressing the vacuum and seal handlebar down again.
Foodsaver FM5000 Pros & Cons
Foodsaver FM5000 Best Features
- Simplicity – Everything is so simple with the FoodSaver FM5000. You only need to watch the 3-minute video from FoodSaver to understand all it can do.
- Separate Seal Bars – There are two seal bars, one in the bag maker and the other in the top chamber. This helps prolong the life of the vacuum sealer.
- Easy to Make Custom Bags – Make all kinds and sizes of bags using the bag maker compartment. This vacuum sealer reduces the number of steps involved in half.
Foodsaver FM5000 Conclusion
The FoodSaver FM5000 is not anything like the vacuum sealers from FoodSaver in the past. This design is radical in its approach to the entire process of vacuum sealing. Rather than tweaking existing models, FoodSaver decided to heed the advice of customers and create a product that satisfies all its buyers. From novices to experienced folks, from heavy users to light users, this vacuum sealer will meet the needs of one and all, without costing a lot!