FoodSaver V4400 Review
Pros: Designed for heavy use, easy clean-up, decent ease of use features
Cons: Bulky, a little rough on food, narrow seal
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|Pros||Designed for heavy use, easy clean-up, decent ease of use features||Integrated bag roll and cutter, limited overheating issues, auxiliary suction hose||Powerful suction pump, gentle on food, manageable size and weight||Tender with delicate foods, solid value||Good with delicate foods, fairly good value|
|Cons||Bulky, a little rough on food, narrow seal||No drip tray, So-so suction power||Narrow seal, overheats quickly, touchy touch screen||Can’t seal a ton of bags successively, slow vacuuming/sealing action||Not the most convenient, average sealing performance|
|Bottom Line||If a machine capable of sealing in bulk is what you’re after, this convenient, though a bit bulky, machine has staying power while remaining easy to use||This affordable and convenient unit can seal up to 30 bags in a row while remaining gentle on tender food||This relatively inexpensive unit is packed with convenience features, is easy to operate, and has a soft touch for delicate foods||This NutriChef offers above-average performance particularly in delicate foods assessment||While we didn’t find too many issues with the Koios, there are far better products out there for the same price|
|Rating Categories||FoodSaver V4400||Amazon Basics...||Mueller Vacuum...||NutriChef PKVS18BK||KOIOS VS2233|
|Sealing Performance (40%)|
|Delicate Foods (20%)|
|Suction Power (10%)|
|Specs||FoodSaver V4400||Amazon Basics...||Mueller Vacuum...||NutriChef PKVS18BK||KOIOS VS2233|
|Measured vacuum strength||16 -inHg||14.5 -inHg||19 -inHg||18 -inHg||17 -inHg|
|Measured weight||7.8 lbs||3.1 lbs||2.7 lbs||2.9 lbs||2.8 lbs|
|Included air suction hose||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Built-in roll storage||Yes||Yes||No||No||No|
|Built-in bag cutter||Yes||Yes||No||No||No|
|Measured seal thickness||2 mm||3 mm||2 mm||2.5 mm||2 mm|
|Measured average seal time||13 seconds||9 seconds||6 seconds||7 seconds||13 seconds|
Our Analysis and Test Results
In a class of products that are quite competitive, the FoodSaver V4400 preserves a leading position as a vacuum bag sealing workhorse. Where others require downtime after just a handful of bags, this Clydesdale keeps up the pace. Moreover, this sealer has several ease of use features like bag storage and an auxiliary pump that makes it a pleasure to work with as opposed to a chore. All told, this machine left us with little to criticize save the considerable price.
Our analysis consists of four evaluation categories or metrics. These are sealing performance, convenience, suction power, and the handling of delicate foods. Each portion of the analysis is scored and tallied-up to produce an overall rating relative to the other products in the review. The following is an in-depth look at the evaluations and how the FoodSaver V4400 lined-up.
Sealing performance is a look at the aspects that collectively add up to a quality vacuum-sealed package. These are the time to seal, the number of bags that can be sealed in a row, and seal thickness. Suction strength, an essential aspect of vacuum sealing, is evaluated separately. The FoodSaver V4400 is a leader in the class in suction performance.
We begin our sealing analysis by timing the start to finish time it takes for the machines to seal-up four different foods. Specifically, these are rice, ground beef, sausage links, and sliced bread. While the V4400 did well with the bread, all of the other foods required above-average times to package them. However, the V4400 made up lost ground with pounding it gave the competition by sealing 30 bags in a row without requiring a cool-down — an impressive feat to be sure. In part, this outcome is made possible by the narrow, and, perhaps less durable, seal produced by the heating element. At just 2 mm in width, the seal produced by the V4400 is below the class average.
As the name suggests, the convenience metric is an evaluation of both the benefit and ease of use of a vacuum sealer. Specifically, we look at features that make the product easy to use like the control interface, accessories, tools as well and cleaning and handling. The FoodSaver V4400 is undoubtedly a titan in this aspect of performance.
While titan is certainly an overused locution, the FoodSaver V4400's performance relevant to its peers warrants this preeminent designation. Before we get into what makes this unit so great, let's get our critiques out of the way first. Simply put, the V4400 is big and heavy — 7.8 pounds to be exact — as compared to the competition. That's it. These rather minor physical anomalies aside, the unit has all the little ease of use designs that one could ask for in a sealer. Of primary interest are the onboard bag roll storage and cutting tool. Also, we enjoyed the auxiliary pump hose that allows one to remove air from a variety of containers. Considering that this sealer is designed for production, it's nice that most of the sealing process is automated. However, as we will see, this feature poses some problems when packaging delicate foods.
Packaging delicate foods is a bit more demanding than the uninitiated may think at first. Having experience with such matters, we devised a test to assess the machine for this subtle capability. As was mentioned above, the FoodSaver V4400 struggles with treating fragile foods with a little TLC.
The delicate food test is simple but revealing. We take two slices of bread and go through the sealing process as per usual. However, as the vacuum bag begins to take the shape of the contents we stop the process and pulse the motor on/off. This allows the air time to work towards the bag opening sans constriction. On many units, this is a very effective technique. However, the automated action of the V4400 prevents such an operation. As it is, the airy open crumb of the white bread used resembled pita bread.
The suction power analysis is purely objective as it is simply a measure of pressure as expressed in inches of mercury (in. Hg). The FoodSaver V4400 delivered a middling performance in this analysis pulling just 16 in. Hg. While this is not a huge deal — and certainly not a deal-breaker for us — it does mean that the unit does not even approach a true vacuum.
Our estimate of value is based on the cost of a product versus its performance in our evaluation. The V4400 cost a pretty penny to be sure. At the same time, its overall performance was good but not top of the class. However, the fact that it excelled in sealing performance and convenience goes a long way with us. That said, we still think that the unit is more than a bit overpriced.
This in-depth analysis of the FoodSaver V4400 covers every aspect of a quality food processor. Our investigation is split-up into four parts: convenience features, sealing, handling of delicate foods, and suction power. Collectively, these categories flip over every practical stone in the hunt for a top-tier machine. The results of our testing are laid out such that comparisons across products are easy and accurate. As such, we think that this review will help you seal the deal with the best machine for your needs and budget.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer