Best Vacuum Sealer of 2021
|Price||$50 List||$60 List|
$59.99 at Amazon
$179.99 at Amazon
$58.99 at Amazon
$64.97 at Amazon
|Pros||Integrated bag roll and cutter, limited overheating issues, auxiliary suction hose||Powerful suction pump, gentle on food, manageable size and weight||Designed for heavy use, easy clean-up, decent ease of use features||Tender with delicate foods, solid value||Good with delicate foods, fairly good value|
|Cons||No drip tray, So-so suction power||Narrow seal, overheats quickly, touchy touch screen||Bulky, a little rough on food, narrow seal||Can’t seal a ton of bags successively, slow vacuuming/sealing action||Not the most convenient, average sealing performance|
|Bottom Line||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||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 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||Amazon Basics...||Mueller Vacuum...||FoodSaver V4400||NutriChef PKVS18BK||KOIOS VS2233|
|Sealing Performance (40%)|
|Delicate Foods (20%)|
|Suction Power (10%)|
|Specs||Amazon Basics...||Mueller Vacuum...||FoodSaver V4400||NutriChef PKVS18BK||KOIOS VS2233|
|Measured vacuum strength||14.5 -inHg||19 -inHg||16 -inHg||18 -inHg||17 -inHg|
|Measured weight||3.1 lbs||2.7 lbs||7.8 lbs||2.9 lbs||2.8 lbs|
|Included air suction hose||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Built-in roll storage||Yes||No||Yes||No||No|
|Built-in bag cutter||Yes||No||Yes||No||No|
|Measured seal thickness||3 mm||2 mm||2 mm||2.5 mm||2 mm|
|Measured average seal time||9 seconds||6 seconds||13 seconds||7 seconds||13 seconds|
Best Overall Vacuum Sealer
Amazon Basics Vacuum Sealer
The Amazon Basics vacuum sealer is inexpensive, easy to use, effective, and, at just 3.1 pounds, lightweight. Our testing revealed that the suction and sealing process is gentle on delicate food. This is in part due to how easy it is to "pulse" the motor on and off during the final air purge allowing one to get the sealed package just right. We also really like that both the package roll and cutter are incorporated into the unit so you're never looking for other tools and materials. Moreover, the built-in auxiliary pump allows users the flexibility to suck the air out of common resealable bags as well.
While there is much to praise the Amazon Basics for, it is not without faults. For example, the vacuum pump can only produce suction to achieve 14.5 in. HG, which is significantly below the class average. Moreover, the unit is on the slower side when it comes to sucking/sealing time. The unit also lacks a removable cleaning tray that, in competitive models, makes clean-up much easier. That said, this model has a broad suction zone and it can seal a whopping 30 bags in a row before requiring a cooldown period. As such, we feel confident that this unit will more than satisfy the needs of all but the most demanding consumers.
Read Full Review: Amazon Basics Vacuum Sealer
A High-Performance Vacuum Sealer
Mueller Vacuum Sealer
The Mueller vacuum sealer could suck a golf ball through a garden hose. While this is undoubtedly hyperbole, the statement helps to describe the prowess that this machine displayed in our suction tests. The power of the motor is made more impressive when one factors in that the unit registers just 2.7 pounds and its dimensions are just average. Also laudable is the deft touch that the Mueller displays when sealing-up fragile foods. This model has a unique gentle sealing setting that ensures that delicate morsels won't get an unnecessary tenderizing treatment. This effect is reinforced by the sensitive "seal" button that allows for quick pulses on/off.
While the Mueller is undoubtedly a powerful sealer, it is more of a sprinter than a long-distance runner. Case in point, the unit struggles to maintain sealing effectiveness after 9 bags while the class average is 10 bags. If this doesn't seem like that big of a deal, consider that similarly priced units can run 30 bags through before requiring a break. Another frustration we encountered is the touch screen which is quite sensitive. This feature made it easy to accidentally activate unwanted functions. Having considered these shortcomings, we remain resolved that this machine should be at the top of the list of models to consider as it is affordable and quite effective.
Read Full Review: Mueller Vacuum Sealer
Best for Delicate Foods
The NutriChef PKVS18BK delivered one of the best general performances of the class, and, in particular, in the handling of delicate foods. Further impressing testers is that the performance is accompanied by a very competitive price. As such, it should come as no surprise that this machine is one of our favorite vacuum sealers. Sweetening the deal is above average suction power and a control interface that allows gentle treatment of a bag's contents. At the same time, this machine is quite easy and convenient to use. Oh, did we mention that it has a rubber cork to reseal wine bottles and the like? Yeah, that's a welcomed feature to be sure.
While there is much to like about the NutriChef PKVS18BK, it unfortunately struggles with prolonged use. Our tests show that this machine is only able to seal 5 bags successfully before requiring a brief cooldown period to avoid overheating and damaging the motor. As such, it is a poor choice for those who intend to package large amounts of food in a single go. However, this unit is more than adequate for the smaller sealing projects common to the average home kitchen.
Read Full Review: NutriChef PKVS18BK
Best for Bulk Sealing
The FoodSaver V4400 is a partially automated sealing machine with the convenience of a built-in bag roll and cutter so you only need to get the machine out, plug it in, and you're ready to go. To keep things rolling, the unit is endowed with a robust motor capable of sealing 30 or more bags in a row without overheating. When the sealing is complete, the unit is easy to clean-up due to its removable drip tray that catches liquids split from the bags. We were additionally wowed by the retractable suction hose that allows one to seal a wide variety of kitchen containers.
Despite the utility and versatility of the V4400, its design isn't perfect. For instance, the machine is heavy (7.8 pounds) and bulky when compared to the competition. Also, while the automated clamp, seal, and release functions remove much guesswork, the process takes longer than if the operation was performed manually. The automation also makes pulsing the motor to prevent squishing delicate foods impossible. Finally, the V4400's suction strength is just average for the class and its seal is on the narrow side at 2 mm. Despite these limitations, we think that this machine's automated ease of use features make it a simple choice if you're planning to seal food in bulk.
Read Full Review: FoodSaver V4400
Best Bang for Your Buck
The Geryon E2900-MS is a great choice if you want a vacuum sealer on the cheap. This product does a solid job with foods that are easier to vacuum and seal while its operation is intuitive and straightforward. The Geryon even has a pump attachment that can be used to vacuum seal food in special containers and, much to our liking, wine bottles. Despite its below-average price, this product finished in the middle of the group in our suction power test.
While there is much to praise the Geryon for, there are a few notable drawbacks that one should be aware of before adding it to their cart. First off, it is no substitute for top-tier sealers. So, we only recommend the Geryon to consumers looking to keep their investment costs low. Specific limitations include potential damage to delicate foods and the risk of leaving some air in the sealed bag. This unit also takes longer to seal things like ground turkey due to the issue of trapped air that its motor can't draw out. Given these issues, the Geryon might not be for everyone. However, it's our top recommendation if you want to spend the absolute minimum to get your hands on a vacuum sealer that will perform to reasonable expectations.
Read Full Review: Geryon E2900-MS
Why You Should Trust Us
Over the years, our evaluation team of Austin Palmer and David Wise, have comprehensively tested and reviewed over 75 different kitchen appliances ranging from juicers to bread machines. Besides, both frequently use these products at home — Austin is somewhat of a BBQ master and David is an avid home baker who also loves to sous vide.
As part of this rigorous side-by-side evaluation of vacuum sealers, we use a veritable cornucopia of food items including berries, ground beef, sausages, and dried goods. We also spent many hours comparing the ease of sealing these different foods as well as the overall convenience of using each machine. Finally, we used a custom-built negative pressure gauge to objectively measure which models had the greatest suction.
Related: How We Tested Vacuum Sealers
Analysis and Test Results
We conducted extensive research on the vacuum sealer market, combing through reviews and manufacturers' websites to pick the models that had the greatest promise to perform to a high level. We then bought the leading models for in-house comparative testing. The following details the testing process and the products that performed the best.
Related: Buying Advice for Vacuum Sealers
The Amazon Basics and Mueller not only earned top marks in our evaluation but also offered great value as they have below-average pricing for the group. While the Geryon didn't do quite as well as these leading models in straight-up performance, it is an attractive option if you are shopping on a shoestring budget. Conversely, the FoodSaver V4400 costs significantly more than the majority of the class. However, it is a heavy-duty product that is far more suitable for someone who hunts and fishes for food and needs a sturdy machine to preserve their take. Likewise, folks who like to shop in bulk may find this product's bulk-sealing capability worth the cost.
The sealing metric measures how fast each machine can evacuate the air from a bag and seal it off. This basic test was run with four different food items — bread, rice, ground beef, and sausage. We also scored each product on the number of bags that could be vacuumed and sealed in a row without the machine needing a break or suffering from a drop in output. Finally, we awarded points to each unit based on the thickness of the heat seal with a thicker seal being favored. Given the importance of the functions tested in this series, we weighted the metric to account for 40% of each sealer's total score.
Claiming leading spots in the line-up are the Weston Pro 2300, Amazon Basics, and the FoodSaver V4400. All 3 of these sealers merited 7 out of 10 possible points for their overall sealing performances. However, the latter two models didn't get off to the best of starts in the first set of tests focused on sealing duration. In this series of tests, we time how long it takes a machine to seal four different food items. These are four slices of white bread, one cup of dried rice, one pound of ground beef, and four sausage links.
The Mueller and Nesco VS-02 are leaders in the time to seal submetric. So, if you're in a hurry, these machines won't leave you twiddling your thumbs. But, then again, these models fell off in subsequent sealing evaluations including vacuum strength and the number of bags they could continuously seal. It is in these two evaluations that the overall sealing performance leaders pulled ahead. Specifically, the Amazon Basics and FoodSaver V4400 are true workhorses as they can seal 30+ bags in a row before they require a cool-off period. To put this achievement into perspective, the next closest competitor was the Weston Pro at just 15 consecutively sealed bags.
As far as seal strength is concerned, one can't do better than the Weston Pro's standard-setting 5.25 mm heat-sealed seam. The Amazon Basics came in a distant second place with 3 mm seams. The NutriChef PKVS18BK picked-up the remaining podium position with a 2.5 mm seam. While this last machine's performance may seem impressive, keep in mind that the average seam for the class was 2.5 mm.
As the entrepreneur's adage goes, find a problem and sell a solution. More often than not these problems and their proposed solutions focus on convenience. As such, we evaluated how easy it is to get these sealers to do their job — namely, prolonging food storage times. We favored products with built-in storage for a roll of bags as well as an integrated bag cutter. We also advanced products with removable cleaning trays that captured spills as well as those with integrated attachments for sealing containers such as zip-lock bags and wine bottles. The interface, the locking mechanism as well as the size and weight are also a factor. The sum of these tests accounts for 30% of a product's overall score.
The FoodSaver V4400 stood out above the rest, earning an 8 out of 10 for convenience. It has both a bag cutter and storage for a roll of bags, which made it easy to quickly make square cuts. Additionally, its removable tray makes cleaning a breeze if any liquid leaks out during the sealing process. It also has an accessory port for sealing zipper bags or other containers. Were it not for its bulky dimensions and considerable weight (7.8 lbs), this machine would have scored even higher. As a final consideration, we found that the models with analog "push" buttons were less touchy and thus more reliable than the models with digital touch-screens. To its benefit, the V4400 is equipped with classic push buttons.
Following the FoodSaver V4400, the Amazon Basics and the FoodSaver FM5200 tied for second with a score of 7 out of 10. Both of these models have onboard bag rolls, cutters, push-buttons, and auxiliary suction pumps. However, the Basics was held back by its want for a removable tray to expedite clean up, whereas the FM5200's standings were limited by its relatively hefty 7.1 pounds. Yet, the FM5200 seems quite lean when compared to the gargantuan Weston Pro which tips the scales at a whopping 22.3 pounds.
Given that the Weston Pro isn't exactly in fighting shape, it should come as no surprise that it finished at the tail end of the group with just 3 out of 10 points for convenience. It received such a miserly rating not just for its weight but also its lack of bag storage, cleaning tray, and auxiliary pump. Moreover, while its interface is fairly responsive, one has to press and hold the lid down when using it. This last feature becomes increasingly annoying over time.
In the delicate foods metric we assessed each machine on how well it preserved squishable or otherwise fragile foods when hermetically sealing them. More specifically, we were interested in the sealers' ability to control the amount of vacuum pressure within the bag as it's being sealed. While some products have a "gentle" setting that slows the suction process, most require an on/off pulsing of the motor to achieve a softer touch. As such, we used 2 slices of bread in the test bag and aimed to remove as much air as possible with the on/off pulse method. The outcome of this test accounts for 20 percent of a product's overall score.
Receiving an unprecedented 10 out of 10 points for its performance, the Mueller deflated the competition by maintaining the open crumb of the bread it sealed. One tester described the outcome as "pretty amazing." While one must alternate between vacuum and stop (i.e. pulse) at the end of the process, the gentle mode setting sucks out air slowly, making it quite easy to get the level just right. The buttons are very responsive and, unlike much of the competition, the Mueller doesn't appear to let any air in when cycling off.
A close second to the Mueller is the Amazon Basics. This machine required a bit more effort as it lacks a dedicated "gentle setting" though the "moist mode" appears to slow the suction down and certainly helped with the pulsing effort at the close of the procedure. The main difference between the two devices in practice is that the Basics has just a hint of a delay after pressing the on/off button. Aside from that, the outcome was on par with its higher-ranked counterpart.
The NutriChef PKVS18BK took up the third-place position with a score of 8 of 10. While it was easy to manually control how much air was evacuated from the bag using the gentle setting and by means of pulsing, this machine seemed to let a bit of air back into the bag in the off cycle. Regardless of the cause, the result was a slightly less delicate touch.
As the name suggests, the suction power metric evaluates just how much negative pressure the sealers can bring to bear. We measured the vacuum using a gauge we mounted into a standard vacuum bag. Those models exerting the most negative pressure received the highest score. This metric accounts for the last 10% of a product's overall score.
Earning 7 out of 10 points, the Weston, Mueller, and Nesco tied for the top score, pulling a 20, 19, and 18.8 inches of mercury (in. Hg) respectively. You may be wondering why these leaders, or at least the Weston, did not receive a score of 10. Well, when we consider that true vacuum is 29.92 in. Hg, we felt that there was room for improvement. That said, these measurements are impressive but we believe that they are vulnerable to being bested in the future.
This comprehensive review of vacuum sealers pulled the hot air out of the market, preserving fresh data on the year's leading models. Our hands-on testing covered everything from suction power to control sensitivity; from convenience features to final product quality. So, whether you're looking for an industrial-grade machine for heavy-duty use, a model with a soft touch for preserving delicate morsels, or a budget unit that won't suck all the money out of your wallet, there's a quality machine in the above review that will seal the deal.
— Austin Palmer and David Wise