Several years ago I packaged an emergency kit in vacuum sealer packaging. Tested it, and was completely shocked to discover how tough the packaging is and how difficult it can be to open without using some other instrument or object. Attempting to open one of them by hand-only proved impossible to do without assistance. It also made me realize how important and useful the tear-notch on freeze dried meals made for backpacking could be.
An individual, with an injured hand and/or dentures/front dental work would be at risk for not being able to open the package without assistance from an object or the tear-notch. With a tear-notch it may be possible place part of the package underfoot and tear with the uninjured hand. I know this for sure, I cannot do it without the tear-notch.
The first experiments with nothing more than a simple straight cut with the scissors worked fairly well. I noticed though when I decided to cut a “V” shape into the margin on the packaging that it was easier to open and the tear didn’t seen to veer off like the single cut did. Sometimes when I was testing the single cut way the tear would not always follow into and open the package, it would follow the margin and made it just as difficult to open.
I like the V cut over the single cut because it is more visible and easier to use. There are a few things I don’t like about the V cut. First it takes two cuts to make, that is a lot of cutting when making multiple packages and more than one tear-notch for each package. The cut must be more accurate to ensure that the two cuts meet at the V point, if they don’t it may create another more difficult package to open. It works great but it’s much more time consuming and requires a certain degree of accuracy unlike the single cut.
Not happy with either of those things I searched for another more efficient way to make those notches. I was trying to think of what to search for online when I remembered something I had seen in a sewing supply catalog I had but couldn’t remember what it was. Lucky me I had kept the catalog and found it. The item is a pattern notcher.
A, Style-45N, 1/16″ x 1/4″ Pattern Notcher. Turns out it works perfectly for this purpose. It cuts the perfect notch for getting the package open plus all one needs to do is put the margin edge of the packaging into the notcher until it stops then close the notcher with your hand and done! Wow what a really fantastic solution! I can quickly and accurately place the notch and make the cut in seconds then move onto the next pressing homesteading project.
I made a short video about my experience and demonstrate the way that “Works for me”. Hope you find this information useful. -13