The 7 Best Vacuum Chambers
This wiki has been updated 16 times since it was first published in November of 2018. Vacuum chambers depend on electric pumps to remove air and other gases from their sealed interiors, creating a pressurized atmosphere within the confines of the unit and allowing users to, among other things, degas expoxies, stabilize woods and extract essential oils from organic materials. Our selection of recommended options vary in size considerably, to suit a wide range of needs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
February 18, 2021:
During this round of updates, two of our larger options – the Suncoo Four-Gallon and Lab1st Five-Gallon – had to be removed due to availability issues. The Ablaze Five-Gallon also seemed to be amiss, but we wound up replacing that one with a smaller model from the company: The Ablaze Mini 1.5 Quart — which, as its title might suggest, is essentially a miniature version of the option it replaced. This difference in size, of course, amounts to quite a difference in utility, but if this new choice is large enough to accommodate your samples, it should serve you well. Notably, a two-quart model’s also available, which is just over 30% bigger than this one.
Our new additions this time around were the Slickvacseal WS-SVS-TM — a four-inch cylinder that stands 16 inches tall and is made of chemical-resistant PVC; the ABlaze Tube — a stainless steel offering aimed at users interested in extracting cannabis concentrates; and the Bacoeng P0126 – which uses an eight-inch pyrex bowl for a chamber instead of the typical, stainless steel units we normally see in this category, which look more like a pasta pot.
It's important to keep in mind that in order for any option on this list to function properly, it needs to be hooked up to a separately purchased vacuum pump. And, note that models on this list are usually used for things like treating wood samples and extracting essential oils; if you were expecting a bunch of machines to help you store food long term, there’s a good chance you got lost along the way, and are actually looking for our list of chamber vacuum sealers.
June 11, 2019:
Regarding size: The units I rated range from two-gallon to five-gallon, which seems to span the spectrum of common sizes in this category (there are some smaller vac chambers available, but given the level of utility you lose for a small savings, it hardly seemed worth including them). I made a conscious effort to include an assortment of sizes, to help show what's out there, but if you see a design you like in a size that doesn't suit your needs, don't despair – most of these manufacturers offer this product in several sizes, with smaller/larger versions that are otherwise completely cookie cutter. It would be impractical to rate multiple sizes of the same product for this list, but dig a little deeper and there's a very good chance that the chamber you like is available in just the right size for you.
It's also important to note that these products will all require a separately-purchased vacuum pump to function. If you already own a vac pump, and maybe you're just looking to take a step up from your current DIY setup, then these will do just nicely. If not, check and see if your favourite option is offered by its company as part of a kit, including a pump, as many of them are. The flat price might end up saving you some money and considerable inconvenience.
The offerings selected for these rankings might appear to be superficially similar, and indeed in many respects they undeniably are, but here's a a couple major differentiators you'll want to look out for:
Firstly, the orientation of the units' gauge and fittings. While most these offerings have the apparatus mounted to their lid, some are mounted directly to the chamber and claim to offer a superior seal thereby. Though I didn't come across anybody who accused that claim of being false, it should be considered that a side-mounted inlet may lead to problems for users who plan on, for instance, stabilizing wood, soaking it in cactus juice or another resin directly inside the chamber. In the event that your pump sucks up some of that solvent, you might be in trouble.
And, lastly, speaking of stabilizing wood, if that's part of your plan for this purchase, you might want to consider favoring an offering that comes with a tempered glass lid, as some of the acrylic lids on these units are not suitable for exposure to the solvents used during this process. Artisans of wood should also be wary of the Yescom Two-Gallon. Although the item's Amazon page identifies this offering as being suitable for stabilizing wood, the company's website warns that its chamber is incompatible with several stabilizing resins and other solvents.
Thermal Product Solutions Need something bigger for your applications? This company produces welded test chambers with interiors between eight and 64 cubic feet. If you need some heat for your purposes, they offer vacuum ovens, too. thermalproductsolutions.com
LACO Technologies This company has a variety of options to choose from, including see-through acrylic chambers, horizontally oriented chambers and cubic chambers. If none of their basic selections will work for you, they also offer custom work. lacotech.com