For several months now, I’ve seen the Wraptastic advertised on television. I found the design intriguing.
I’ve tried various designs of boxed plastic wrap but plastic wrap and I have always had a battle. I generally have to cut three to four pieces to get one that doesn’t end up either looking like a ball or like a strand of rope.
So far, the best experience I have had is with the Kirkland food wrap with an attached easy cutter. The wrap is threaded through the top and pulled across the cutting device.
Then, you slide the blade through the plastic guides across the width of the wrap. This severs the piece at the length you desire. It works for me about 30 to 40% of the time.
I still run into many problems with the Kirkland.
1. The angle of the blade is not consistent. The angle depends on the sturdiness of the cardboard it’s mounted to maintain itself. As the box ages, the cardboard develops bends and weaknesses that decrease its integrity. It becomes more unstable and cutting becomes harder.
2. Plastic wrap is not rigid. If the angle is not exactly right as the blade first touches the wrap, the wrap crumples and the cut – as well as the whole piece that was being sliced off – is often ruined.
3. Plastic wrap seldom cuts well unless it is tightly extended as the cut is made.
4. The box itself is lightweight. This means that the pull needed to extend the wrap is sufficient to actually lift the box. The exercise often needs four hands to be truly successful – two to hold the box (one at each end) and two to control the film.
This is not very efficient.
Experiences with the Wraptastic
I had hopes that Wraptastic would be an improvement. What I really want is a system that can be easily operated with one hand.
• The Wraptastic is a plastic box so rigidity should not be a problem
•The box is heavier and comes with stabilizing feet so it should not need to be held as the film is extended
• The cutter works on the guillotine principle. The cut is made with a simple downward tap on the box top. Film edges should not be a problem. Although the commercial is unclear on this point, it looks as if one hand can easily perform this action.
• The commercial demonstrated use by having the item to be wrapped on the counter beside the face of the box. The film is pulled across the item, and lightly touched to the far edge. This placement creates enough tension between the item and the box to hold the film tightly stretchec, making the cut more controllable.
The wraptastic comes in 4 pieces and has no assembly instruction. I named the pieces for easier reference.
1. Box – the pre-assembled box structure, include pegs and blade
2. Wrap Support Bar – the piece that supports the wrap as it comes is pulled off the roll, positioning it for a steady pull and keeping it from spring back onto the roll
3. Bar Support Pegs – the round plastic Pegs attached to the base of the box that the Wrap Support Bar attaches to
4. Wrap Roller - The piece that fits into the end of the roll and allows it to sit suspended in the box
5. Cutting Edge – The blade embedded in the top of the box
I figured out that the wrap support bar must attach to the Bar Support Pegs. The first time I put one on, it was quite difficult. The bar must be snapped onto the pegs. This requires a fair amount of force.
In the television commercial, the presenter easily whips the plastic across each item with narry a snag or incident. My experience with the Wraptastic was moderately successful. SOMETIMES the box will maintain its position as the wrap is pulled from the box. At other times a little more force is required and the box moves. In part, this is determined by the angle of pull. A straight ahead pull works best.
• The resistance produced by the film’s adherence to itself on the roll is variable. It works better when two hands are used on the film but it can be done with one hand - sometimes. I think that there may be a learning curve so that practice with the gadget improves performance.
• The cutting mechanism requires a fair amount of force, but can be managed with one hand. It can also be activated by pressing with the forearm, reducing stress on the wrist and allowing maintenance of a neutral wrist and hand position.
. More force is needed to operate than I expected or desired.
The Wraptastic does not fulfill all my wishes, but is a definite improvement on other plastic wrap dispensers I have tried. I would not try to do it with one hand, but even with my klutzy ways I am able to get a 'smooth and even' plastic wrapping on my food.