This product is worth its weight in gold for its easiness to use, clean design, and overall usefulness.
Why I love this product:
(1) This product will vacuum seal bags that can be cut to any useful length from rolls that are sold cheaply in 8" or 11" widths. Rolls can also be bought at specific lengths just like ziplocks if you like that kind of thing. Regardless of which bag type you purchase, they are far cheaper than traditional ziplock bags.
(2) It has two settings, one for dry foods and one for moist foods. However, it is important to note that since this is a VACUUM sealer it will compact food as it sucks the air out of the bag no matter the setting; it will just do it less on one setting over another.
(3) If you don't want your food to get reduced in size during storage (like cake for example which doesn't look pretty once compacted), but still want to either freeze or preserve it, then I suggest that you purchase in addition to the various roll packages that Rival and other companies produce, the Rival VSA3 Seal-a-Meal Accessory Canisters. The Rival machine comes with a small hose that plugs into a port on top of the machine and has an adapter on the opposite end that plugs into the lids on its canister set (with various sizes). This is a great feature.
(3) I love the convenience of this thing. As a teacher I am home first with the kids and my wife comes home later, often much later than myself, so I'm typically in charge of dinner (and being the sure that the kids get their homework and chores done --lol). This product has made my life so much easier. "Seal-a-Meal" is the perfect term for it because I can put a whole meal in one bag, vacuum seal it, and defrost in the microwave or boil the contents (in the bag) easily later. It's nice to be able to put 4 whole chicken legs which is a meal for my family, cleaned and seasoned in advanced, and labeled in a bag cut to size to be used later. I don't have to dig into bags that are too deep and have more chicken in them than I need and I don't have to fight to pull out the frozen parts I want. I can set up portions that I know my family eats.
(4) I appreciate that this product allows me to store more food in my freezer as vacuum sealed bags take up much less space than traditional ziplock bags do. This saves me time shopping at the store by making less trips.
(5) I love that I can buy in bulk, which often saves money as well as time, and store food for longer periods of time. In a ziplock bag, air eventually gets in and spoils the flavor of the food with "freezer burn" and bacteria (when not in the freezer). This doesn't happen in vacuum sealed bags. Ziplock bag items will last, on average 1-3 months in your freezer, but food vacuumed sealed can last 1-3 YEARS!!! No, that isn't a typo; you read that correctly. This allows one to buy in bulk, thus, saving time and money.
***This is truly an outstanding product and although there are other more expensive models out there with some clever features not available on this one, this is a great value. Those other brands typically cost 2 or 3 times more than this brand. Perhaps they are worth it for more features, stainless steel design, and longevity (I have mine for about a month, so I don't know how long this kind of machine lasts), but for about $50.00 this is an inexpensive and very helpful appliance that is a welcome addition to any kitchen.