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Nesco VS-02 Review

We weren't enamored with the overall performance of this sealer and liked other models far more
Nesco VS-02
Credit: Jenna Ammerman
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Price:   $90 List | $67.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Solid suction power
Cons:  Terrible with delicate foods, sealing performance results could be a bit better
Manufacturer:   Nesco
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Feb 15, 2022
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45
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 13
  • Sealing Performance - 40% 4.0
  • Convenience - 30% 6.0
  • Delicate Foods - 20% 2.0
  • Suction Power - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Nesco VS-02 finished at the back of the entire group of vacuum sealers. While it is reasonably convenient to use and pulls quite a strong vacuum, its downsides far outweigh its merits. It does an absolutely abysmal job with delicate types of food, almost always crushing them far more than you would desire, has a heat seal that is undesirably thin, and can only do a few bags at a time before needing a break. This kitchen appliance is also a bit on the pricey side for its less than stellar performance, thoroughly precluding it from winning an award.

Editor's Note: The Nesco VS-02 review was updated on February 15th, 2022, to include additional tips and comparisons between products.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Nesco VS-02
This Product
Nesco VS-02
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award   
Price $90 List
$67.99 at Amazon
$50 List
$51.24 at Amazon
$70 List
$69.97 at Amazon
$70 List
$68.97 at Amazon
$120 List
$91.67 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Solid suction powerIntegrated bag roll and cutter, limited overheating issues, auxiliary suction hose, excellent pricePowerful suction pump, gentle on food, manageable size and weight, great priceTender with delicate foods, solid valueEasy to use, convenient features, good in most aspects of performance
Cons Terrible with delicate foods, sealing performance results could be a bit betterNo drip tray, so-so suction powerNarrow seal, overheats quickly, finicky touch screenCan't seal a ton of bags successively, slow vacuuming/sealing actionLoud, mediocre suction power, poor ability to handle delicate foods
Bottom Line We weren't enamored with the overall performance of this sealer and liked other models far moreThis 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 are looking for a decent vacuum sealer that has a deft touch with soft foods, this is a good choiceThis mid-size model is convenient and generally performs well across the board
Rating Categories Nesco VS-02 Amazon Basics Vacuu... Mueller Vacuum Sealer NutriChef PKVS18BK FoodSaver FM2000
Sealing Performance (40%)
4.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
Convenience (30%)
6.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
Delicate Foods (20%)
2.0
9.0
10.0
8.0
5.0
Suction Power (10%)
7.0
5.0
7.0
6.0
5.0
Specs Nesco VS-02 Amazon Basics Vacuu... Mueller Vacuum Sealer NutriChef PKVS18BK FoodSaver FM2000
Measured Vacuum Strength 18.8 -inHg 14.5 -inHg 19 -inHg 18 -inHg 15 -inHg
Measured Weight 4.8 lbs 3.1 lbs 2.7 lbs 2.9 lbs 3.7 Ibs
Air Suction Hose Included? No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Removable Tray? No No No No Yes
Built-in Roll Storage? Yes Yes No No No
Built-in Bag Cutter? Yes Yes No No No
Measured Seal Thickness 1.5 mm 3 mm 2 mm 2.5 mm 3mm
Measured Average Seal Time 6 seconds 9 seconds 6 seconds 7 seconds 13 seconds

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Nesco VS-02 has a strong vacuum, but it does terribly with delicate foods, especially for the above-average price. If everything you're sealing is hardy and not easily damaged, this could be a fine choice, but if you want to seal any softer items, this isn't what we would recommend.

Performance Comparison


Nesco VS-02 vacuum sealer - the nesco finished at the bottom of our test group.
The Nesco finished at the bottom of our test group.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Sealing Performance


For this metric, we compared the thickness and the corresponding strength of the heat seal created by each product, the speed at which it sealed different types of food, and the number of bags it could pack in a row. We also noted if the internal bag pressure changed when you manually triggered the machine to start sealing the bag, rather than waiting for it to do it automatically.

Nesco VS-02 vacuum sealer - the nesco was quite speedy when it came to vacuum sealing four...
The Nesco was quite speedy when it came to vacuum sealing four sausages.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The Nesco got off to a strong start in the speed tests for this metric, delivering one of the fastest sets of times out of the entire group. We used four different types of food as our sample items: ground meat, precooked sausages, uncooked rice, and slices of standard white bread. The Nesco delivered a faster than average time in all four of them and is particularly speedy when vacuum sealing bread. Unfortunately, it didn't do very well in the remaining tests in this metric. It could only seal six bags in a row before it needed a break, and it had one of the thinnest heat seals of the entire group, only measuring 1.5mm across.

Nesco VS-02 vacuum sealer - the heat seal area created by the nesco is a little on the thin side...
The heat seal area created by the Nesco is a little on the thin side for our taste.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The vacuum pump also doesn't stop if you hit the "Seal" button early, with it continuing to draw air out. Our vacuum gauge measured a change of five inches of mercury before the bag actually sealed.

Nesco VS-02 vacuum sealer - most of the products sealed the dry rice fairly quickly.
Most of the products sealed the dry rice fairly quickly.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Convenience


Our next round of evaluations for these kitchen appliances focused on general ease of use. We evaluate how easy it is to clean each product, check if there is an easy way to store extra quilted vacuum bags, measure the overall size and weight, gauge how responsive the controls are, and check if there is a locking lid. We also considered any extra accessory pump attachments for sealing things besides bags. The Nesco scored average, but it earned some bonus points by having a convenient location to store bags and an integrated cutter.

Nesco VS-02 vacuum sealer - we are big fans of the integrated bag cutter on the nesco.
We are big fans of the integrated bag cutter on the Nesco.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Unfortunately, this sealer lacks a tray that you can take out for easy cleanup, and it is a little bit larger and heavier than the average vacuum sealer. It doesn't include any accessory attachments, but there is a port for ones that you can purchase separately to seal other types of containers.

Nesco VS-02 vacuum sealer - the interface is quite intuitive and easy to understand.
The interface is quite intuitive and easy to understand.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The interface is responsive, and the pushbuttons provide a good tactile feel, making it hard to hit one inadvertently. We also awarded the Nesco some points for the lid locking into the down position while sealing, so you don't have to hold it in place.

Nesco VS-02 vacuum sealer - the nesco is above average when it comes to being convenient to...
The Nesco is above average when it comes to being convenient to operate.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Delicate Foods


For our third round of evaluations, we analyzed how well each product performed with foods that would be totally crushed by a regular vacuum. We scored each one on how easy it was to finely control the amount of vacuum and how well you could vacuum seal two slices of bread without crushing them. The Nesco did terribly in this metric.

While it is relatively easy to pulse the operation of the Nesco, it either lets in a ton of air or continues the vacuum pump for quite a while, meaning you end up crushing things like bread or sealing a ton of air in the bag with it. We tried a handful of times and never even got close to an ideal amount of air sucked out of the bag or a proper seal.

Nesco VS-02 vacuum sealer - the nesco didn't do the best with most delicate food items.
The Nesco didn't do the best with most delicate food items.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Suction Power


The Nesco finished our testing process with a solid showing in our last metric. For this category, we measured the overall suction power of each appliance using a dial vacuum gauge. The group average was 16.8 inches of mercury, and the Nesco pulled a slightly stronger vacuum that registered 18.8 inches.

Nesco VS-02 vacuum sealer - the suction power of the nesco is decently strong.
The suction power of the Nesco is decently strong.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Should You Buy the Nesco VS-02?


This product isn't a great value, as it scored much lower than products that cost a lot less. Considering its below-average performance in most metrics, it is not an appliance we would add to our own kitchen, and we do not recommend the Nesco.

What Other Vacuum Sealers Should You Consider?


While the Nesco VS-02 does have a few interesting features, its drawbacks thoroughly outweigh them, and we subsequently don't really recommend it. Instead, we encourage you to take a look at any of the other vacuum sealers we tested, and especially recommend the Amazon Basics Vacuum Sealer and the Mueller Vacuum Sealer.

David Wise and Austin Palmer
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