FedEx dropped the package off on my doorstep without ringing the doorbell, so I’m glad that the neighborhood strongman didn’t come haul it off before I could get to it.
The corrugated cardboard box that the VP215 shipped in is barely enough to contain the unit. Those flimsy handles held on for long enough to get the box indoors, but I wouldn’t depend on them for much more than a short move.
The package weighs every bit of the claimed 107lb/48.5kg shipping weight.
Peeling back the flaps reveals another box inside
With the packaging material removed, we get our first glimpse of the VP215
Functional strength is important. I transported the VP215 to the island, where it will live
The VP215 freed of all packaging material
Oiling the Pump
Prior to use, the pump must first be filled.
Remove the back access panel to expose the inner workings of the VP215
The instruction manual states only that an adjustable wrench be used to loosen the oil fill nut. On my unit, I found that a 14mm socket provided the best fit. A 9/16″ SAE socket would have worked in a flash, albeit with a little more wiggle.
Use the bottle to fill the pump with oil
I filled the pump until it was roughly 3/4 full of oil. By the time that I snapped this photo, some of the initial fill had migrated further into the pump
I added more oil to bring the level back to 3/4
I thought I’d be clever and seal the oil bottle back into the pouch that I’d removed it from, but discovered much to my dismay that the chamber wasn’t quite deep enough to accommodate it 🙄 This was just as well, as I didn’t know what to expect with the recommended settings for the first run.
I had some chicken leg quarters on hand that needed to be bagged. I made bags from a Foodsaver roll and placed the chicken leg quarters two to a bag, making five bags altogether. The first two bags sealed beautifully.
For the third bag, I decided to lengthen the vacuum cycle to 45 seconds. This had the unfortunate side effect of blowing out the single heat seal that formed the bottom of the bag.
I reduced the vacuum time back to 40 seconds for the fourth and fifth bags. Both of these bags failed to seal properly because I did not keep the bags smoothed out where they met the heat seal bar.
I tried a couple more times with the Foodsaver bags, and was ultimately successful in getting a third one to form a proper seal. I cut open the two that weren’t cooperating and rebagged using the smooth-sided sample bags that were included with the VP215. These sealed without a hitch.
The VP215 feels like a $900 machine. It’s very heavy, and the stainless steel exterior is handsome
While one could use Foodsaver bags with this machine, it is neither practical nor economical to do so
The user guide states that the first oil change should be performed after 25 hours of use, but who keeps track of pump runtime? It would be nice if there were an indicator, but feature creep
I observed some leftover debris from manufacturing and assembly within the unit
The user’s guide is well-written, though some of the decals affixed to the VP215 are in need of rework
I was pleased to discover that ARY Inc. is based out of Kansas City, MO. This way, if anything goes wrong, I can urge ahopefulhobbit to lay siege to their offices
The short wait is over, and it’s time to begin using this machine in earnest.
I have intentions of doing a writeup on how I came to select the VP215 in the days to come.