Best Overall Vacuum Sealer
Measured Average Seal Time
: 12 seconds | Measured Seal Thickness
Great with delicate foods
Fantastic sealing performance
Easy to clean
So-so suction power
Can be a bit slow to seal
Meriting the highest score we have seen to date and earning the title of sealer supreme, the VS244 by FoodSaver is our top recommendation when it comes to vacuum sealers. This external vacuum sealer is one of the best around when it comes to delicate foods, allowing you to precisely control the amount of suction to keep your food perfectly sealed instead of smooshed beyond recognition. It has an easy-to-use interface and locks in place while sealing, all while taking up a relatively small amount of counter space. It has a removable cleaning tray and can handle quite a large number of bags concurrently before it overheats or there is a noticeable loss in performance.
However, we did notice that the heat seal on this product isn't the largest and takes a bit longer to heat up and seal than some of its counterparts. It also lacks any built-in storage for a roll of bags or an integrated cutter and doesn't have the strongest vacuum compared to some of the heavier duty machines. Regardless, it should be strong enough for most people, whether you are using it for sous vide cooking or simply hoping to save by buying food in bulk, and is the model that we most highly recommend when it comes to this category of products.
Read Full Review: FoodSaver V2244
Best Bang for the Buck
Measured Average Seal Time
: 7 seconds | Measured Seal Thickness
Does very well with delicate foods
Solid suction power
Can't seal a lot of bags successively
No removable cleaning tray
Searching for a top-notch vacuum sealer that isn't going to suck your wallet dry? If so, then look no further than the NutriChef PKVS18BK. This product holds its own against significantly more expensive models, finishing almost at the top of the entire group. It performed above average in our suction power assessments and allows you enough finesse to seal foods that are easily squashed. On top of all that, it is quite easy and convenient to use.
Unfortunately, this model did leave a little bit to be desired when it came to sealing performance, only able to seal about 5 bags before needing a brief respite to cool down in our tests. This makes it a bit of a poor choice if you are always going to be sealing large amounts of food, but should be more than adequate for smaller batches of food and we think this should be your first choice if you are shopping on a budget for a new sealing solution for your kitchen.
Read Full Review: NutriChef PKVS18BK
Compare Top Products
Displaying 9 Products
The Weston Pro thoroughly crushing some berries.
Analysis and Test Results
To pick out which of these food storage products is really the best of them all, we conducted extensive research and analysis, combing through as many existing reviews and manufacturers' websites as we could find to pick out the models that showed the most promise and had the highest potential to win an award. We then bought all the best vacuum sealers to test side-by-side and see which sealer is really the best. We compared and scored their sealing performance, value, ease of operation, and suction power, as well as how they handled delicate foods to determine our award winners, with our full results discussed below.
Related: Buying Advice for Vacuum Sealers
Right off the bat, both of our award winners, the Editors' Choice FoodSaver V2244 and the Best Buy NutriChef PKVS18BK are both actually decent values. The FoodSaver is priced in the middle of the group but delivers the best performance out of them all. The NutriChef PKVS18BK is a decent amount cheaper and only scored a few points lower overall. Looking at the prices of these products, you will notice that the Weston Pro stands out, costing a few hundred dollars more than the rest of the group. This product is a much heavier-duty product, being far more suitable for someone who hunts or fishes and needs to preserve a large quantity of their take or for someone who needs to store a larger quantity of much bigger portions — traits that don't apply to the majority of people who use these products.
We timed how long it took each product to seal a pound of ground beef.
Responsible for almost half of the overall score of each vacuum sealer at 40%, the set of tests that constitute this metric are the most important of them all. We started out by seeing how fast each of these appliances can evacuate the air from a bag and seal it, using four different food items. We also scored each product on the number of bags that could be vacuumed and sealed successfully in a row without the machine needing a break or a noticeable drop in performance. Finally, we also awarded points based on the thickness of the heat seal and tested out if you could use the manual seal function without a drop in pressure using a vacuum gauge. We had a pretty wide range of score, with a few products clearly standing out from the rest.
Claiming the top spots, both the FoodSaver V2244 and the Weston Pro 2300 each earned a 7 out of 10 for their top-notch sealing performances. However, neither of these two vacuum sealers got off to a great start in our speed test, somewhat failing to distinguish themselves. For our speed test, we timed how long it took to seal 4 slices of standard white bread, 1 cup of dried rice, a pound of ground beef shaped into a square patty, and 4 premade sausages. The Weston did a bit better than the V2244, but still not the fastest of the group. The Foodsaver V2244 took a bit longer than average to seal the rice, ground beef, and the sausages and was right on the average time for sealing the bread.
We also timed how long it took each appliance to vacuum seal four sausages.
The Weston did above average at vacuum sealing the sausages, rice, and the bread, while it took the average amount of time to seal the ground beef. It did the relative best at the bread, only taking 29 seconds to evacuate all the air and seal the bag, 6 seconds faster than the group average.
Both of these products did very well when it came to volume, with the V2244 doing the best of the entire group by being able to seal 21 bags in our tests without a drop in performance, followed by the Weston's 15 bags. However, the Weston had the edge when it came to actual seal strength, having a heat sealed area that measured 5 mm across — twice that of the FoodSaver's. We also liked that the FoodSaver maintained the current level of vacuum when we went to use the manual seal function, whereas the Weston pulled an additional 2.5" inches of mercury after we hit the seal button.
Following these top products, the FoodSaver FM5200 and the NutriChef PKVS18BK each earned a 6 out of 10 for their above average sealing performance. The NutriChef PKVS18BK is reasonably speedy when it comes to sealing, putting up faster than average times in our rice, ground beef, and sausage sealing tests and an average time when it sealed the slices of bread.
The NutriChef did quite well in our sealing performance tests.
The FM5200 is a little on the slower side, taking longer than average in all of the four tests, but still taking less than a minute to complete each one. Neither the FoodSaver FM5200 or the NutriChef PKVS18BK can match the Weston or the V2244 when it came to sealing multiple bags, each only able to seal 4-5 before needing a break.
We liked models that the lid locked down while sealing.
These both have some of the larger seal sizes of the group, with the NutriChef measuring in at 3 mm and the FoodSaver FM5200 slightly smaller at 2.5 mm. This pair both finished out this metric with great showings in our last test, each maintaining vacuum perfectly when we manually sealed a bag.
Next, the Koios VS2233 and the Hamilton Beach NutriFresh 78213 both earned a 5 for their middle-of-the-road sealing performance. The Hamilton Beach is surprisingly speedy at sealing, delivering faster than average times in both meat tests and an average time in our bread and rice tests.
There was a noticeable difference in speeds when it came to the ground beef.
The Koios is the polar opposite, being one of the slowest vacuum sealers of the entire group. However, it actually did fairly well in our volume test, being able to seal about 14 bags in a row before we noticed the vacuum being weaker. The Hamilton Beach only made it to 8 before showing signs of fatigue. These both have slightly skinnier than the average seals, measuring 2 mm in width, and both let in a tiny bit of air when manually sealing, losing about 1 inch of mercury before the bag is completely closed off.
The Geryon E2900 and the Nesco VS-02 followed, both receiving a 4 out of 10 for their below average sealing skills. The Nesco actually seals surprisingly fast, putting up some of the fastest times in all four of our speed sealing challenges, but it only sealed about 6 bags before performance dropped and has a heat seal on the somewhat thin side — 1.5 mm.
Most of the products sealed the dry rice fairly quickly.
The Geryon is about average in speed, though it did struggle and take a long time to seal the pound of ground beef. It did seal 11 consecutive bags before showing signs of a struggle though. Unfortunately, it has a thinner seal as well — 2 mm — and let in a ton of air when you used the manual seal function, making this a poor choice for delicate food items. The Nesco does the opposite, continuing to evacuate air when you initiate a manual seal.
Finishing at the back of the pack, the Gourmia earned a 3 out of 10. The product did seal quite quickly, but we noticed it didn't do the best job at getting all of the air out of the bag with the ground beef in it. It also can't seal very many bags successively and has one of the thinnest seals out of the entire group. This product also won't let you manually seal a bag while it is vacuuming — you have to stop the vacuum first, which lets in a ton of air.
We found we preferred physical buttons to touchpads when it came to the user interface.
Next, we evaluated and scored how easy to use each of these products are. We awarded points if products had built-in storage for a roll of bags and an integrated bag cutter, if there is a removable cleaning tray, and if there are any integrated attachments for sealing other types of containers. Additionally, we also rated and scored the interface on each vacuum sealer, the locking mechanism on each one, and their overall size and weight. Altogether, these tests are responsible for 30% of the score for each kitchen appliance.
When it comes to convenience, one vacuum sealer stood well above the rest, with the FoodSaver FM5200 earning a 7 out of 10. This product has both a bag cutter and storage for a roll, making it super easy to evenly cut a lot of bags quickly. It also has a removable tray that makes cleaning it a breeze. It also has an accessory port that can be used for specific zipper bags or other containers.
The FM5200 has an accessory attachment for sealing certain types of containers.
Unfortunately, this vacuum sealer is also one of the larger models, making it a bit more difficult to store and takes up a non-trivial amount of counter space. The lid locks in place and the push button interface is fairly easy to use and navigate.
Following the FoodSaver, the FoodSaver V2244, the Geryon, the Nesco, and the NutriChef all earned a 6 out of 10. Of these four machines, only the Nesco has built-in bag storage and an integrated bag cutter. None of these have a removable tray for easy cleaning and the NutriChef, the Geryon, and the V2244 are all about average in size and have an included pump attachment for other storage containers. The Nesco is quite a bit larger and only has an accessory port.
The Nesco has a port to attach other container-specific accessories.
Both the Nesco and the V2244 have push-button interfaces that we favored over the touch buttons on the NutriChef and the Geryon, but we did like that all four of these products do have a lid that locks in place while vacuuming and sealing.
Following this group, the Koios and the Gourmia both merited a 5 out of 10 for their average level of convenience. Neither of these has any bag storage options or a removable cleaning tray, but both are relatively compact and have locking lids.
The Koios did fairly well, but couldn't quite snag an award.
The Gourmia lacks an accessory port or pump attachment, while the Koios does have one for containers with small holes. Both of these products have push-button interfaces, but we weren't thrilled with the one on the Koios, finding it a bit finicky and slow to respond.
Finishing out the back of the group, the Hamilton Beach received a 4 out of 10 and the Weston Pro merited a 3 out of 10. These both lack any sort of bag storage or cleaning tray, as well as a pump attachment, thought the Hamilton Beach does have an accessory port. These both have fairly responsive interfaces, but we weren't fans of the fact that you have to press and hold the lid down when using it. Finally, the Weston Pro lost some points by being absolutely gigantic, weighing almost 10 times as much as some of the other models, putting it behind the much more average sized Hamilton Beach.
It is very easy to crush soft foods like bread beyond recognition.
Next up in terms of importance, we ranked and scored each vacuum sealer on how it handled squishable food items and how easy it is to control the amount of vacuum the machine pulls to avoid pulverizing the more delicate food items. Overall, these tests account for 20% of the overall score for each kitchen appliance.
The NutriChef and the FoodSaver V2244 both tied for the top spot, each earning an 8 out of 10. In particular, we liked that it was very easy to manually control how much air was evacuated from the bag with these two appliances by alternating between the "Vac/Seal" and "Cancel" buttons, thought the V2244 is just a tiny bit more responsive. Both machines are very responsive, allowing you to pulse the vacuum and creep up to the perfect seal with delicate foods: evacuating as much air as possible without smashing the food beyond recognition. For our delicate foods test, we again used standard white bread and both of these products were able to vacuum seal the bread the perfect amount.
Following the top vacuum sealers, both the Gourmia and the Koios merited a 7 out of 10 for their great performance with delicate foods. The Gourmia is just as easy to pulse and is as responsive as the Nutrichef, but it does let in a tiny bit of air with each pulse, making it a bit more frustrating to use. The Koios operates about the same, but it occasionally isn't very responsive to the "Cancel" button and can thoroughly smash delicate food items.
The Geryon came next, earning a 6 out of 10. It's very easy to manually control the amount of vacuum and the machine is very responsive, but it lets in a bit of air with each pulse cycle — similar to the Gourmia. However, the Geryon lets in quite a bit more air, making sealing delicate foods a two steps forward, one step back kind of process.
The Weston Pro followed, earning a 4 out of 10 for its below average performance. This products doesn't stop or start immediately when you press the buttons and lets in a significant amount of air with each pulse cycle, making it a bit of a pain to seal delicate foods.
The remaining vacuum sealers — the FoodSaver FM5200, the Hamilton Beach NutriFresh, and the Nesco all earned a 2 out of 10. The FoodSaver and the Nesco all continue vacuuming when you try and pulse, leading to some very squished bread, while the Hamilton Beach lets in a ton of air each cycle, making it almost impossible to effectively seal delicate foods without smashing them in any of these products.
The gauge measuring the suction power of the V2244.
For the last 10% of the score for each product, we measured and scored the maximum amount of vacuum each appliance could pull. We ran each machine on its strongest setting, reading the vacuum off a gauge built into a bag.
Earning a 7 out of 10, the Weston and the Nesco tied for the top score in this metric, pulling a vacuum that measured 20 inches of mercury and 18 inches of mercury (inHg), respectively.
The Weston has some of the strongest suction power we have seen to date.
The Geryon, the Hamilton Beach, the Koios, and the NutriChef all came next, earning a 6 out of 10. We measured a vacuum between 16 inHg and 18 inHg. Both FoodSaver models earned a 5 out of 10 for their middle-of-the-road showing, each pulling a vacuum that measured between 15 inHg and 16 inHg on our gauge.
Finishing at the back of the group, the Gourmia earned a 4 out of 10 for its below average showing, only able to pull a vacuum of 13 inHg.
Hopefully, this review has helped you pick out the perfect vacuum sealer for all of your sous vide or food storage need.