Advice: Which is the Best Vacuum Packing Machine for My Needs?

The decision when buying a vacuum packing machine is based on the fact that there are basically two types of vacuum packing machines. The one type is referred to as ‘vacuum chamber machines’ or ‘in-chamber machines’. The other type,that LAVA is supplying, is ‘external bag machines’ or ‘out- of-chamber machines’. With the in-chamber machines the whole bag and the contents fit inside the machine. With the out-of-chamber machines, the open end of the bag fits into the machine and the rest of the bag and the contents remain outside of the machine. These two machines are really different, especially when it comes to purchase price and operating costs.


These machines are cheaper than the in-chamber machines. Although the really cheap machines sold at less than R1000 often advertised on television, may look tempting, they do not actually work well. All vacuum packing machines need high quality air pumps and heat sealing mechanisms. This is impossible to put into machines sold at these cheap prices. Many of our customers are people who have bought cheap machines from marketing agents in famous departmental stores all over the country. They find out that the machine they have bought is useless and upgrade to usable machines, having wasted about R1000.

In-Chamber Vacuum MachinesOut-of-chamber vacuum packing machines work by removing the air from the open end of a vacuum packing bag (sometimes also called a vacuum pouch). Due to the fact that the open end of the bag is clamped shut, a special type of bag with a ribbed or textured back surface is needed for the machine to work successfully. This is the truth for all out of chamber machines, irrespective of make and price. Ribbed bags prevent two smooth surfaces in contact forming a seal before the air is removed. Unfortunately these types of bags are not manufactured in South Africa. We import only the highest quality bags, guaranteed to be safe for human use.

If non ribbed bags are used it is important to note that it is not advisable and that the bags should adhere to specific specifications. It is not as effective as ribbed bags.

Although it is less expensive to purchase an out-of-chamber machine, there is a difference in the price of the consumable vacuum packing bags.

The single biggest consideration when deciding what type of vacuum packing machine to buy is the number of packing operations. The purchase cost and bag prices should be considered in making a decision. If this calculation is made the out-of-chamber machine is the best choice for home, small business and smaller restaurants.

Another benefit of the Lava out-of-chamber machines is that the external vacuum port allows the use of acrylic containers and stainless steal bowls with removable lids. These containers are reusable and ideal for vacuum packing salads, stews, fruit and food prepared with sauces and marinades. It is also very handy for all soft food types that will be compressed in a vacuum pouch.


These machines look like a steel box into which the vacuum packing bag and the contents are placed and the lid is then closed. The entire chamber is then vacuum packed and the bag is heat sealed. In chamber machines do not need ribbed bags, and can operate with cheaper bags. These type of machines can be purchased in South Africa starting from about R7000.Out-of-Chamber Machines

In-chamber machines are ideal for the food packing industry when large volumes of similar sized items are being vacuum packed. The food industry favour these machines. A set back however is the limitation of the size of the item to be packed. Another consideration is the cost of servicing the machines.

We do not sell out-of-chamber machines.

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