Reviews You Can Rely On

FoodSaver FM5200 Review

While we do like some of the extra convenience features, this product is a bit too large and expensive to recommend
FoodSaver FM5200
Credit: Jenna Ammerman
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:   $210 List | $159.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Extremely convenient, alright sealing performance
Cons:  Exceptionally large, expensive
Manufacturer:   FoodSaver
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Jan 3, 2019
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
54
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 9
  • Sealing Performance - 40% 6
  • Convenience - 30% 7
  • Delicate Foods - 20% 2
  • Suction Power - 10% 5

Our Verdict

The FoodSaver FM5200 is a solid vacuum sealer that stands out from the rest of the group by being exceptionally convenient and easy to use — among the best of the entire group. It has a solid amount of suction power and delivered a respectable performance in our sealing performance testing metric. It also has some features we appreciate, such as built-in bag storage, a cutter, and a locking lid. However, this large vacuum sealer does an abysmal job with delicate foods and is one of the more expensive typical consumer models that we have tested out.

Compare to Similar Products

 
FoodSaver FM5200
This Product
FoodSaver FM5200
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award  
Price $210 List
$159.99 at Amazon
$50 List
$48.87 at Amazon
$60 List
$59.97 at Amazon
$210 List
$189.99 at Amazon
$70 List
$65.40 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
54
70
70
67
65
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Extremely convenient, alright sealing performanceIntegrated bag roll and cutter, limited overheating issues, auxiliary suction hose, excellent pricePowerful suction pump, gentle on food, manageable size and weight, great priceDesigned for heavy use, easy clean-up, decent ease of use featuresTender with delicate foods, solid value
Cons Exceptionally large, expensiveNo drip tray, so-so suction powerNarrow seal, overheats quickly, finicky touch screenBulky, a little rough on food, narrow sealCan't seal a ton of bags successively, slow vacuuming/sealing action
Bottom Line While we do like some of the extra convenience features, this product is a bit too large and expensive to recommendThis inexpensive and easy to use machine can seal bag after bag to just the right amount of suctionThis relatively low-cost machine offered a consistent performance across the board and excelled in gentle sealingIf you plan to seal many bags at a go, this machine is resistant to overheating while having convenience features that speed up the processIf you are looking for a decent vacuum sealer that has a deft touch with soft foods, this is a good choice
Rating Categories FoodSaver FM5200 Amazon Basics Vacuu... Mueller Vacuum Sealer FoodSaver V4400 NutriChef PKVS18BK
Sealing Performance (40%)
6.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
Convenience (30%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
6.0
Delicate Foods (20%)
2.0
9.0
10.0
5.0
8.0
Suction Power (10%)
5.0
3.0
8.0
5.0
7.0
Specs FoodSaver FM5200 Amazon Basics Vacuu... Mueller Vacuum Sealer FoodSaver V4400 NutriChef PKVS18BK
Measured Vacuum Strength 16.2 -inHg 14.5 -inHg 19 -inHg 16 -inHg 18 -inHg
Measured Weight 7.1 lbs 3.1 lbs 2.7 lbs 7.8 lbs 2.9 lbs
Air Suction Hose Included? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Removable Tray? Yes No No Yes No
Built-in Roll Storage? Yes Yes No Yes No
Built-in Bag Cutter? Yes Yes No Yes No
Measured Seal Thickness 3 mm 3 mm 2 mm 2 mm 2.5 mm
Measured Average Seal Time 11 seconds 9 seconds 6 seconds 13 seconds 7 seconds

Our Analysis and Test Results

Large and expensive, the FoodSaver FM5200 also performs terribly with delicate foods. However, it's highly convenient with some good features. Read on to see if it might be a good fit for you.

Performance Comparison


This FoodSaver model is one of the larger vacuum sealers of the group.
This FoodSaver model is one of the larger vacuum sealers of the group.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Sealing Performance


For our first metric, we looked at the sealing performance of each product. We graded each one on the strength of its seal (judged by its thickness), its speed with different food items, if it maintained vacuum when sealing manually, and on the number of bags that could be sealed in a row without a break or a noticeable drop in performance.

Integrated bag storage and a cutter make the FM5200 much more...
Integrated bag storage and a cutter make the FM5200 much more convenient to use.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The FM5200 made one of the thicker heat seals of the group, measuring 3mm across. It also did an excellent job at maintaining pressure when we stopped it mid-cycle and initiated a seal manually. However, this product could only seal four bags in a row before it needed a break — quite a bit less than many of the other products that could easily seal bags into the double digits before there was a noticeable drop in quality or they ceased to operate. The FM5200 is also a bit on the slower side, taking longer than average to vacuum and seal in all four of our speed tests: one pound of dry rice, a pound of ground beef, four sausages, and four slices of bread.

Convenience


Moving on to our next rating metric, the FM5200 did exceptionally well, earning one of the best scores out of our entire group. We looked at how easy and intuitive the interface on each machine was to use, its size, weight, and ease of cleaning, as well as if it had any accessory features and if there was onboard storage for bags and a way to cut them.

The integrated storage is a handy way to keep the clutter to a...
The integrated storage is a handy way to keep the clutter to a minimum in your kitchen cabinet.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

While this vacuum sealer lost a few points by being one of the larger and heavier models — weighing in at 7.1 pounds compared to the average 3 pounds — it does have a built-in storage location for a roll of bags and an integrated cutter so you get a perfectly straight cut every single time without any hassle.

A built-in cutter makes it easy to get a clean cut every time.
A built-in cutter makes it easy to get a clean cut every time.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The lid also locks down, negating the need to hold it down while it is sealing, and the push-button interface is quite easy to use and very responsive.

The FM5200 has a few more functions than some of the other products.
The FM5200 has a few more functions than some of the other products.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

On top of that, this product has an accessory vacuum pump that you can use for zipper bags or for some types of canisters with the proper attachment and a tray that you can remove to make cleanup easier if you accidentally suck any liquid out of the bag and into the machine.

The FM5200 has an accessory attachment for sealing certain types of...
The FM5200 has an accessory attachment for sealing certain types of containers.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Delicate Foods


Following its stellar performance in our group of convenience evaluations, the FM5200, unfortunately, delivered one of the worst showings out of the entire group in our delicate foods test. We graded it on how fine of control ew had over the amount of vacuum it pulled and how close to perfectly sealed we could get two slices of soft bread without smashing them. Sadly, it's almost impossible to pulse the vacuum on this machine, so we either ended up squishing the bread beyond recognition or leaving a ton of air in the bag every single time. You might be able to improve upon this with a ton of practice, but it still would be a huge hassle.

It is almost impossible to seal berries without crushing them.
It is almost impossible to seal berries without crushing them.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Suction Power


For the final metric, we compared and scored the actual suction power as measured by a dial gauge sealed into a standard quilted bag. The FoodSaver FM5200 did okay, pulling a just-under-average vacuum that measured 16.2 inches of mercury.

The vacuum gauge measuring the suction power of the FM5200.
The vacuum gauge measuring the suction power of the FM5200.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Value


The FM5200 is a pretty terrible value, as it is quite pricey and other models are much less expensive and outperform it.

Conclusion


Overall, the FoodSaver FM5200 is easy to use, but its high price tag and subpar delicate foods performance outweigh its extreme convenience and make it hard to recommend.

David Wise and Austin Palmer

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More