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, excellent price||Powerful suction pump, gentle on food, manageable size and weight, great price||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, finicky touch screen||Can't seal a ton of bags successively, slow vacuuming/sealing action||Not the most convenient, average sealing performance|
|Bottom Line||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||This inexpensive and easy to use machine can seal bag after bag to just the right amount of suction||This relatively low-cost machine offered a consistent performance across the board and excelled in gentle sealing||If you are looking for a decent vacuum sealer that has a deft touch with soft foods, this is a good choice||This kitchen appliance did fairly well in our tests, but not quite well enough to win an award|
|Rating Categories||FoodSaver V4400||Amazon Basics Vacuu...||Mueller Vacuum Sealer||NutriChef PKVS18BK||KOIOS VS2233|
|Sealing Performance (40%)|
|Delicate Foods (20%)|
|Suction Power (10%)|
|Specs||FoodSaver V4400||Amazon Basics Vacuu...||Mueller Vacuum Sealer||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|
|Air Suction Hose Included?||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 earned 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 features like bag storage and an auxiliary pump that make 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.
Sealing performance is a look at the aspects that collectively add up to a quality vacuum-sealed package. Our tests for this metric included the time to seal, the number of bags that could be sealed in a row, and the thickness of the seal itself. Suction strength, an essential aspect of vacuum sealing, is evaluated separately.
We begin our sealing analysis by timing the start to finish time it took for the machines to seal up four different foods: dry 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 by sealing 30 bags in a row without requiring a cool-down — an impressive feat to be sure and way above what the rest of the competition was able to do. In part, this outcome is made possible by the narrow, and, perhaps less durable, seal produced by the heating element. At just 2mm in width, the seal produced by the V4400 is below the class average. While it would impede productivity speed, it's worth noting that you could seal each bag twice if one 2mm seal doesn't seem sufficient and still work through an impressive number of bags.
As the name suggests, the convenience metric is an evaluation of both the benefit and ease of use of a vacuum sealer. Specifically, we looked at features that make a product easy to use, such as the control interface, accessories, and tools. We also made observations about cleaning and handling. The FoodSaver V4400 is undoubtedly a titan in this aspect of performance.
While titan is often an overused term, the performance of the V4400 relevant to its peers warrants this preeminent designation. Before we get into what makes this unit so great, let's get our one critique out of the way. Simply put, the V4400 is big and heavy — 7.8 pounds to be exact — as compared to the competition. This rather minor physical anomaly 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 each machine for this subtle capability. As was mentioned above, the V4400 struggles with treating fragile foods tenderly.
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 and 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 we used resembled pita bread after sealing.
The suction power analysis is purely objective as it is simply a measure of pressure 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. On top of that, 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 vacuum sealer. Our investigation was 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 hope that our collection of reviews will help you seal the deal with the best machine for your needs and budget. If you're needing to seal many bags in the shortest amount of time, this is certainly one to consider.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer