Nesco VS-02 Review
Pros: Solid suction power
Cons: Terrible with delicate foods, sealing performance results could be a bit better
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|Pros||Solid suction power||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||Terrible with delicate foods, sealing performance results could be a bit better||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||We weren't enamored with the overall performance of this sealer and liked other models far more||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||Nesco VS-02||Amazon Basics Vacuu...||Mueller Vacuum Sealer||NutriChef PKVS18BK||KOIOS VS2233|
|Sealing Performance (40%)|
|Delicate Foods (20%)|
|Suction Power (10%)|
|Specs||Nesco VS-02||Amazon Basics Vacuu...||Mueller Vacuum Sealer||NutriChef PKVS18BK||KOIOS VS2233|
|Measured Vacuum Strength||18.8 -inHg||14.5 -inHg||19 -inHg||18 -inHg||17 -inHg|
|Measured Weight||4.8 lbs||3.1 lbs||2.7 lbs||2.9 lbs||2.8 lbs|
|Air Suction Hose Included?||No||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||1.5 mm||3 mm||2 mm||2.5 mm||2 mm|
|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 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.
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, the number of bags it could seal in a row, and 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.
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, dried rice, and slices of standard white bread — with the Nesco delivering a faster than average time in all four of them, being particularly speedy when it came to 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.
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.
Our next round of evaluations for these kitchen appliances focused on how easy it is to clean each product, if there is an easy way to store extra quilted vacuum bags, the overall size and weight, how responsive the controls are, and if there is a locking lid. We also considered if there were any extra accessory pump attachments for sealing things besides bags. The Nesco scored just average, but it did earn some bonus points by having a convenient location to store bags and an integrated cutter.
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 can be purchased separately to seal other types of containers.
The interface is quite responsive and the push buttons 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 it is sealing, so you don't have to hold it in place.
For our third round of evaluations, we analyzed how well each product performed with foods that would be totally crushed by a normal 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 fairly 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 totally 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.
The Nesco finished out 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.
This product isn't a great value, as it scored much lower than products that cost a lot less.
While the Nesco VS-02 does have a few interesting features, its drawbacks thoroughly outweigh them and we subsequently don't really recommend it.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer