Best Vacuum Sealer of 2021
$49.99 at Amazon
$44.97 at Amazon
$177.68 at Amazon
$57.39 at Amazon
$59.49 at Amazon
|Pros||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||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, finicky 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 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 plan to seal many bags at a go, this machine is resistant to overheating while having convenience features that speed up the process||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||Amazon Basics Vacuu...||Mueller Vacuum Sealer||FoodSaver V4400||NutriChef PKVS18BK||KOIOS VS2233|
|Sealing Performance (40%)|
|Delicate Foods (20%)|
|Suction Power (10%)|
|Specs||Amazon Basics Vacuu...||Mueller Vacuum Sealer||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|
|Air Suction Hose Included?||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 as well. 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'll never be looking around 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 a lot to like about the Amazon Basics, it is not without faults. For example, the vacuum pump can only produce a vacuum pressure of 14.5 in. HG, which is significantly below the average of our tested models. The unit is on the slower side when it comes to sucking/sealing time, and also lacks a removable cleaning tray that, in competitive models, makes clean-up much easier. That said, this sealer has a broad suction zone and it can seal 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 users.
Read Full Review: Amazon Basics Vacuum Sealer
Best for Delicate Foods
Mueller Vacuum Sealer
The Mueller vacuum sealer produces incredibly strong vacuum pressure. The power of the motor is even more impressive when one considers that the unit weighs just 2.7 pounds and its dimensions are modest. Also worth noting is the gentle touch of the Mueller 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 performance on delicate foods is aided by the sensitive "seal" button that allows for quick on/off pulses.
While the Mueller is undoubtedly a powerful sealer, it is more of a sprinter than a long-distance runner. Case in point, the unit struggled to maintain sealing effectiveness after 9 bags while the average for units tested was 10 bags. If this concerns you, consider those similarly priced units that can process 30 bags before requiring a break. Another frustration we encountered with this sealer is that the touch screen is quite sensitive. This feature made it easy to accidentally activate unwanted functions. That said, even with the aforementioned shortcomings, this machine belongs at the top of the list of models to consider as it is affordable and quite effective, especially for delicate foods.
Read Full Review: Mueller Vacuum Sealer
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 equipped 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 extracted from the bags. We were also impressed 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 a heavy 7.8 pounds and bulky when compared to the competition. Also, while the automated clamp, seal, and release functions remove 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 2mm wide. Despite these limitations, we think that this machine's automated ease of use features make it an appropriate choice if you're planning on sealing bulk food items.
Read Full Review: FoodSaver V4400
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. 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 used a wide variety 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, combed through reviews and manufacturers' websites to pick the models that had the greatest promise to perform at 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
We define value as the sweet spot between price and performance. High-value products offer excellent performance without breaking the bank, and this review has some great options that are perfect illustrations of this ratio.
The Amazon Basics and Mueller sealers not only earned top marks in our evaluation but also offered great value due to below-average pricing for the group. The NutriChef PKVS18BK didn't score quite as high overall, but still offers solid performance for a very good price. Conversely, the FoodSaver V4400 costs significantly more than the majority of our tested models. 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, dry 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 FoodSaver V4400. All three of these sealers merited above-average scores 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 timed how long it took a machine to seal four different food items: four slices of white bread, one cup of dried rice, one pound of ground beef, and four sausage links. While the Amazon Basics and FoodSaver V4400 aren't the fastest, they can handle a lot of sealing before needing to stop to cool off.
The Mueller and Nesco VS-02 were leaders in the time to seal sub metric. 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 before needing a break. 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 standard-setting 5.25mm heat-sealed seam of the Weston Pro. The Amazon Basics came in a distant second place with 3mm seams. The NutriChef PKVS18 picked up the remaining podium position with a 2.5mm seam, the average width for all our tested machines.
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 was 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, and the size and weight were 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 for this metric. It has both a bag cutter and storage for a roll of bags, making 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 pounds), 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. Both of these models have onboard bag rolls, cutters, push-buttons, and auxiliary suction pumps. However, the Basics was held back by the lack of a removable tray to expedite clean up, whereas the FM5200's standings were limited by its relatively hefty 7.1 pounds. That said, the FM5200 seems quite lean when compared to the gargantuan Weston Pro which tips the scales at 22.3 pounds.
The Weston Pro finished at the tail end of the group due to its aforementioned 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. However, if you are looking for a semi-industrial model with serious suction power, these convenience shortcomings may not be dealbreakers and this model may be worth a gander.
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 was 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 two slices of bread in our test bag and aimed to remove as much air as possible with the on/off pulse method. The outcome of this test accounted for 20 percent of a product's overall score.
Receiving an unprecedented 10 out of 10 points for its performance, the Mueller outperformed the competition by preserving a bread crumb. 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 PKVS18 took up the third-place position for this metric. 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 each sealer 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.
The Weston, Mueller, and Nesco earned the highest scores here, 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 can be improved upon in the future.
We hope our comprehensive review of vacuum sealers, and fresh test data, will help you decide which one of the year's leading models is best for you. Our hands-on testing covered suction power, control sensitivity, convenience features, and the quality of the final product. So, whether you're looking for an industrial-grade machine for heavy-duty use, a model with a soft touch for preserving delicate foods, or a budget unit that won't empty your wallet, there's a quality machine in our review that will seal the deal.
— Austin Palmer and David Wise