Question on impulse sealers

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likeablelady

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I am looking to purchase an inexpensive impulse sealer to help with packaging my soap. I am using Shrink wrap. I am not sure what I should be looking for in one. If you have any suggestions, or tips, I would be grateful. TIA
 

shunt2011

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I have the same one but would buy a larger one next time. They are great for so many other thins too. Chip bags, pasta bags etched.
 

galaxyMLP

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I have that same one that I got from eBay. And yep, it will do bubble wrap too. You can make nifty pouches for things that way.
 

DeeAnna

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I have a heat sealer similar to that one although mine is a 12 inch version. If the extra cost is not an issue and you expect to do more than just seal soap bags, I'd definitely get the 12" sealer. I use it to seal shrink bags for packaging soap, but we also seal about 30,000 polyethylene bags with it per year. I have replacement parts to fix the heating element, but I've never had to do any maintenance on it other than remove a few crusty bits off the sealing surface. I like the one Muskette shared because the angled sides will let you seal closer to the soap. Mine is more square so I can't seal as close.
 

paillo

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Very intriguing and news to me! Can't visualize how it works, though. I gave up on a couple things I really enjoy making because packaging is so time consuming and ugly. M&P and bath bombs. The bath bomb shrink wrap I've tried is never long enough to cover both ends, and in a humid climate that's just not workable. And I soon tired of plastic wrap. As for M&P, also got tired of plastic wrap and trying to cover it with labels, mine were intricate enough that a heat gun was ruination.

How do you all make this work? And, of course, understand that this may be proprietary, coveted info you don't want to share, and that's totally OK by me.
 

shunt2011

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I use shrink bags from Papermart. I put my bath bomb in the bag then seal with the impulse sealer. Then just use the heat gun and fold the corners in while warm from the heat. Haven't done mp though.
 

DeeAnna

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Paillo -- I wrote up a tutorial about how I shrink wrap my bar soaps; I use the same bags that Shari and Carolyn do. See http://classicbells.com/soap/pkgTut.html. I've used the same bags to shrink wrap a few flower-shaped hand soaps I've made from the last bits of soap batter. I got good results on these plump little soaps as well, so I'd think the shrink film would work fine on a bath bomb. I use the next size larger bags to package round drink coasters (pics). It doesn't seem like the shrink film will conform to oddly shaped items, but it does.

top.jpg


side2.jpg
 

paillo

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Many, many thanks! DeeAnna, love the tutorial, ordering bigger shrink bands today. Your soaps and labels are gorgeous, LOVE the gold rush one.
 
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likeablelady

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I have looked at many of them now... do you all use the one with the rounded heating area, or the flat?
 

DeeAnna

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Oh, I understand now. If your goal is to have a sealer for dedicated use with shrink wrap, the round wire is probably best, because it will get hot along a narrow line to efficiently melt and cut the shrink film in one step. For larger volume packaging or if you expect to use the sealer only with heat shrink film, this would be the machine to get. You would be able to use it to just seal other types of plastic bags by reducing the heat interval, but the narrow seal from a wire will not be as sturdy as a wider seal from a ribbon.

For hobbyist or general home use when you want the machine to seal a variety of plastic including shrink film, I think a flat ribbon sealer is the more versatile choice. It makes a wider seal (2 mm to 5 mm wide) that will be more reliable when you're looking to seal a bag so it will remain securely closed. A flat ribbon sealer can also be used to melt and cut shrink wrap -- a 2 mm flat ribbon sealer is what I use. I just set the heat interval higher so the film melts completely through.

ETA -- I'm not quite sure why they're saying you can't cut shrink wrap film with a ribbon sealer -- that puzzles me because mine works fine to seal and cut shrink wrap bags. (Here's where I found that mention: http://www.uspackagingandwrapping.c...e-Sealers/Hand-Impulse-Sealers-Flat-Wire.html )
 
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likeablelady

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Oh, I understand now. If your goal is to have a sealer for dedicated use with shrink wrap, the round wire is probably best, because it will get hot along a narrow line to efficiently melt and cut the shrink film in one step. For larger volume packaging or if you expect to use the sealer only with heat shrink film, this would be the machine to get. You would be able to use it to just seal other types of plastic bags by reducing the heat interval, but the narrow seal from a wire will not be as sturdy as a wider seal from a ribbon.

For hobbyist or general home use when you want the machine to seal a variety of plastic including shrink film, I think a flat ribbon sealer is the more versatile choice. It makes a wider seal (2 mm to 5 mm wide) that will be more reliable when you're looking to seal a bag so it will remain securely closed. A flat ribbon sealer can also be used to melt and cut shrink wrap -- a 2 mm flat ribbon sealer is what I use. I just set the heat interval higher so the film melts completely through.

ETA -- I'm not quite sure why they're saying you can't cut shrink wrap film with a ribbon sealer -- that puzzles me because mine works fine to seal and cut shrink wrap bags. (Here's where I found that mention: http://www.uspackagingandwrapping.c...e-Sealers/Hand-Impulse-Sealers-Flat-Wire.html )
That one has a 2mm seal. I have used it for cutting and sealing other bags as well. I used it on vacuum seal bags today, and it did a great job.
 

susiefreckleface

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I have the same one but would buy a larger one next time. They are great for so many other thins too. Chip bags, pasta bags etched.
I totally agree - I have the 8" and would go with a 12" next time. Mine works great dialed just below the number 2 setting on bubble wrap. And, the roll of 7" continuous tube bag has lasted me a few years for about 35 dollars. I have even picked up a few daisy seal a meal bag rolls from the thrift store (new un-opened box) and they work great as well. But yeh, I should have gotten over my angst purchased a 12" and a 6" instead of just the 8". It was a decision out of need vs. money.

You can shift the teflon strip 1/4 " over instead of changing it out right. Only recently I've replaced the teflon strip and the metal flat wire. Treat it with care and it will serve you well. Keep it clean, always check your dial before starting - fingers and objects can brush up against the dial and move it.

Enjoy your purchase(es).

Suz
 

grassyriver

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Thank you all for the great information. I bought this sealer: http://www.ebay.com/itm/351529696767" It works great with this wrap that I also got: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0083BRXX0/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20 I'm glad I took the advice here and went with the 12" one. Perfect size.
The shrink bags were driving me insane and I had several people tell me they couldn't smell my soaps even though they were open on one end. The polyolefin lets you smell right through it!
 
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