What is a vacuum controller . . .is it necessary?

In order to obtain maximum performance out of your ThermaPress VF1 or any other brand of vacuum former, we DO NOT recommend the use of a vacuum control. There are several reasons for this. First, a controller is expensive and there are better ways to spend your money. Second, our testing shows that the controller prevents the vacuum former (all of them, not just ours) from achieving full vacuum. We have proven this in our shop over and over again. The automatic vacuum controller is designed to operate with “cut in” and “cut off” points. While these points are adjustable within a range of vacuum, it is just that . . a range. That range never reaches a full 29.5 in.hg. vacuum. The controller works just like the regulator on an air compressor. When the pressure gets lowered to a certain point, the regulator kicks on and the compressor pumps up to a pre-set air pressure and then kicks off. The same is true for the vacuum controller. The pump runs and when a certain vacuum is achieved it shuts the pump off. When vacuum starts to decrease, it may drop significantly before the controller kicks the pump on. It is a known fact that every second is critical when vacuum forming kydex to achieve excellent definition. The kydex immediately looses heat and if your vacuum pump is not turned on and running when you put the hot kydex down onto your mold . . you are losing precious seconds that reflect in quality and definition. We have seen multiple times where the vacuum controller will not turn on when the ball valve is opened simply because the “cut in point” was not reached at all or not for several seconds. When that happens that holster is being formed any where from 22-27 in. hg. and the vacuum pump is not running. We strongly advocate that you use a foot pedal switch to control your vacuum pump and not an automatic control. This way, your pump is on and already pulling vacuum from the moment you put the kydex down until the lid is closed and then it can build to a full 29.5 in. hg vacuum for maximum definition. Now, after all this there are people who will still insist on using a vacuum control for whatever reason. Can the vacuum control be used with the VF1? Yes, it can be added to VF1 and the optional VSS (vacuum storage system) is already plumbed with three auxiliary ports to add vacuum accessories. Here is the link to the foot pedal switch we recommend instead of the vacuum controller: Foot Pedal Switch