Amazon Basics Vacuum Sealer Review
Pros: Integrated bag roll and cutter, limited overheating issues, auxiliary suction hose
Cons: No drip tray, So-so suction power
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Amazon Basics Vacuum Sealer
$49.99 at Amazon
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|Pros||Integrated bag roll and cutter, limited overheating issues, auxiliary suction hose||Powerful suction pump, gentle on food, manageable size and weight||Designed for heavy use, easy clean-up, decent ease of use features||Tender with delicate foods, solid value||Good with delicate foods, fairly good value|
|Cons||No drip tray, So-so suction power||Narrow seal, overheats quickly, touchy touch screen||Bulky, a little rough on food, narrow seal||Can't seal a ton of bags successively, slow vacuuming/sealing action||Not the most convenient, average sealing performance|
|Bottom Line||This inexpensive, easy to use machine can seal bag after bag to just the right amount of suction||This relatively low-cost machine made a consistent performance across to board but excelled in gentle sealing||If you plan to seal many bags at a go, this machine is resistant to overheating while having convenience features that speed up the process||If you are looking for a decent vacuum sealer that has a deft touch with soft foods, this should top your list||This kitchen appliance did fairly well in our tests, but not quite well enough to win an award|
|Rating Categories||Amazon Basics...||Mueller Vacuum...||FoodSaver V4400||NutriChef PKVS18BK||KOIOS VS2233|
|Sealing Performance (40%)|
|Delicate Foods (20%)|
|Suction Power (10%)|
|Specs||Amazon Basics...||Mueller Vacuum...||FoodSaver V4400||NutriChef PKVS18BK||KOIOS VS2233|
|Measured vacuum strength||14.5 -inHg||19 -inHg||16 -inHg||18 -inHg||17 -inHg|
|Measured weight||3.1 lbs||2.7 lbs||7.8 lbs||2.9 lbs||2.8 lbs|
|Included air suction hose||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Built-in roll storage||Yes||No||Yes||No||No|
|Built-in bag cutter||Yes||No||Yes||No||No|
|Measured seal thickness||3 mm||2 mm||2 mm||2.5 mm||2 mm|
|Measured average seal time||9 seconds||6 seconds||13 seconds||7 seconds||13 seconds|
Our Analysis and Test Results
What sets the Amazon Basics apart from the pack is that it has a simple design that is both effective and affordable. The dimensions of the unit are relatively compact and the weight is no burden at all. The unit has welcomed features such as integrated bag storage and bag cutter. Additionally, the unit has a hose that allows one to remove air from common food and beverage containers. All and all, one would be hard-pressed to beat this sealer at any price.
Amid stiff competition, the Amazon Basics secured a leading position in the sealing performance metric because it can seal an awful lot of bags at a go. Where much of the competition requires a cool-off period after sealing 10 bags give or take, the Basics will keep up the pace for 30 or more. Add to that an above-average width seal (3 mm) and it is clear that this machine is designed for regular use.
We employ a few basic tests to inform our appraisal of the vacuum sealers. As was mentioned above, we measure the width of the heat seal. We do this because a thin seal is indicative of a lousy heating element that produces a poor closure of the bag ends. The Basics seal is robust while not being over the top for common applications. We also tested the unit for the number of bags sealed. We used dry rice in this procedure and were nearly exhausted when the machine finally threw in the towel. Finally, we measured how much time a sealer needed to package certain foods. The Basics delivered subpar results in this series of tests.
Our analysis of the machines' start to finish sealing times was conducted with four variations of the bag contents — bread, rice, ground beef, and sausage links. While the Basics didn't perform terribly, its sealing times were clustered around the class averages. Despite its middling pace, the Basics is an overall leader in the sealing evaluation.
The convenience metric concerns itself with the machines' ease of use as defined by the presence of specific features that reduce the workload as well as making the machine more versatile. The Amazon Basics did not fail to impress in this category as it is choked full with nifty doodads including a control interface that is simple to learn and responsive.
We have found that the Basics's integrated bag holder and cutter are a great time saver as one is never looking for materials and tools. It was also pleasing to see that the unit has an auxiliary pump for removing air from a variety of containers such as wine bottles. Additionally, the machine is operated with push buttons as opposed to the overly sensitive (and annoying) touch interfaces used by some of the competition. Finally, the dimensions, weight of this unit are reasonable and manageable. If there is one thing the Basics is missing, it's a removable drip tray that would help to streamline clean-up.
No one wants to take the time to preserve food with a vacuum sealer only to have it be the worse for the ware. As such, we took the time to test how the sealers under our review handled delicate foods. Happily, the Amazon Basics has a gentle touch as was demonstrated using a pair of soft and airy white bread slices.
It doesn't take an experimental physicist to show which sealers can pull air out of a vessel slowly and steadily enough to prevent constriction of the remaining contents. For this test, we placed two slices of bread into a bag and began to remove the air by the usual means. However, as the negative pressure reached the point of compression we began to pulse the on/off button to allow the remaining air to work its way to the bag opening. The Basic performed well in this evaluation due to its immediate response when the on/off button is pressed and because it did not release suction when cycled off. As such, the bread in question was near-perfectly preserved both in form and quality.
While there is a certain measure of subjective analysis in any product review, we love it when we get to run a purely objective test. Such is the case with the suction metric. This category relies on a single test that quantifies the amount of suction produced by each machine as measured in inches of mercury (in. Hg). In the case of the Amazon Basics, the machine can pull 14.5 in. Hg which is quite low for the class. This analysis was made possible with a built to purpose gauge the ties directly into a vacuum bag as it is being suctioned.
We account for value by weighing performance against cost. Using this measure, the Amazon Basics is undoubtedly a hot deal. This machine performs at a level comparable to much more expensive products and yet costs the same as some of the budget models. Now, that's value.
This hands-on review of the Amazon Basics vacuum sealer is an in-depth analysis of the performance characteristics as well as the features that make the unit both easy to use and effective. We sealed a variety of foods including ground meat, rice, bread, and much more to find the most productive machine at vacuum sealing but not smashing the stored items. You can't really go wrong with this unit as it is both a leader in performance and it's competitively priced.
— Nick Miley, David Wise and Austin Palmer