A vacuum sealer is a useful appliance which sucks all of the air and moisture out of food, and seals it for total freshness. The food can then be safely stored or frozen for an extra long shelf length. With no oxygen or moisture, fungi, mold, mildew, microbes, and insect infestations cannot occur.
With a vacuum sealer, you get no freezer burn on your food, no waste from leftovers that would otherwise become inedible, and you can reduce shelf life and store much more food. Some vacuum sealers can even wrap items like letters, linens, and artifacts. For most people, the main purpose of a vacuum sealer is hygiene and freshness.
There are a lot of vacuum sealers on the market, but not all of them give you the quality and durability that you need. Some are made for heavy-duty applications and commercial use, while others are designed for light use in the home.
This guide walks you through the best vacuum sealers on the market, and the factors you need to consider when buying one. After reading this, you will be able to make a well informed decision and purchase the model most suitable for you.
Top 5 Vacuum Sealers
|FoodSaver V2244 Vacuum Sealing System with Starter Kit||External/Clamp||Inexpensive yet quality, 'seal' only mode, accessory hose, 'Crush-Free' vacuum, starter kit included||4.1 out of 5 stars2,351 reviews||$72.20 - $76.45|
|Nesco VS-02 Food Vacuum Sealer, Black/Silver||External/Clamp||Cheapest in the list, full of features, piston pump, can seal large quantities||4.3 out of 5 stars482 reviews||$58.97 - $70.52|
|Weston Pro-2300 Stainless Steel Vacuum Sealer||External/Clamp||Reliable, durable, and can handle large quantities. Powerful and high quality||4.4 out of 5 stars321 reviews||$375.20 - $394.20|
|Waring Pro PVS1000 Pistol Vac Professional Vacuum Sealer System||Handheld||Portable, reusable bags help you save money||4.2 out of 5 stars309 reviews||$59.42 - $66.64|
|VacMaster VP215 Chamber Vacuum Sealer||Chamber||Powerful machine suitable for commercial and home use, high suction and pressure, double seal, suitable for liquids||4.4 out of 5 stars58 reviews||$811 - $899|
Types Of Vacuum Sealer
All vacuum sealers work by extracting the air from food, but there are several types available that all utilize different methods. The type that is most suitable for you will depend on your intended uses, and how often you want to use it.
A chamber vacuum sealer is a heavy duty appliance that can be used for commercial packaging, but is also commonly used in the home.
The food is placed within a chamber, and usually double seal food for complete freshness, reducing oxygen levels down to as little as 0.2%. You place the whole package in the sealer, with the open end of the sack at the top of the fixing bar. An incorporated oil pump removes the air, and you can set the vacuum by time or weight. Once finished, the bag will be sealed, the vacuum pumps air back into the chamber, and the lid opens.
|Chamber sealers remove the most oxygen in contrast to other types, so are technically the most effective||Slower sealing than a nozzle-based model|
|Large seal bars (or several bars) mean that you can seal several pockets at once||Bulkier and heavier than other types|
|No effort needed once the lid is closed and the cycle begins||The most costly type of vacuum sealer|
|Choose rate of vacuum, great for partially vacuuming, and dealing with fragile items like bread and biscuits|
External/Clamp Vacuum Sealers
The external vacuum sealers use clamps to push down on the neck of special textured bags. The vacuum then sucks the air out of the bag, and heat is applied to the bag to seal it shut. This all occurs on the outside of the appliance, making it ideal for use with large cuts of meat, and giving you decent control. This type are the most common for home use, and can also be used for infrequent commercial use.
|Great for infrequent home use and light commercial use||Low vacuum strength|
|Easy to use and inexpensive||Not made for frequent use
|Not the best for messy or liquid foods
Retractable Nozzle Sealers
The nozzle vacuum sealers utilize an impulse heat setting to seal the food, much like what is used with an external vacuum sealer. A retractable nozzle then penetrates the bag and removes the air from inside. To operate, you use a foot pedal, and settings based on time and weight. This leaves your hands free to handle the bag of food, and gives great control over the process.
|Great for home use, and for very minor commercial applications||Longer cooling cycles|
|You don't need special textured bags for this type of vacuum sealer||Uneven sealing|
|Variety of options and features, such as drip trays||Can only seal one sack per cycle|
|Have to hold the item to modify pockets|
A Word About The Bags
Vacuum sealers utilize special plastic bags to seal the food inside. Some only allow you to use their own-brand textured bags, which can get expensive. Others allow you more flexibility in the type of bag you use, and give you the option to purchase generic vacuum sacks that are available for much cheaper.
Factors To Consider When Buying
When buying a vacuum sealer, there are several factors that you should consider when buying a new vacuum sealer. We have already considered the types of vacuum sealers on the market. Other considerations include:
Counter-top chamber vacuum sealers are the most bulky counter-top units you can get, and are only really suitable for use in one location. On the other side of the spectrum, you can find handheld battery powered models that use electric vacuum pumps and zip lock pouches. The counter-tops are more flexible and high quality, so only choose a portable if you need to be able to move it around.
More powerful machines with stronger suctions, and those with more durability, tend to be more expensive. It's a good idea to select the machine that is suitable for your expected usage. If you only want to seal the odd batch of leftovers, a basic external model will do the job. If you will use it all the time, or you have commercial ventures to take care of, choose a higher end model like the Weston Pro or VacMaster chamber sealers.
Automatic sealers are awesome for the simplicity of use. You place the bag of food under the clamp or in the chamber, press on, and away you go. On the other hand, manual vacuuming gives you greater control, and stops delicate items from getting crushed. Some vacuum sealers have both options, and other versatile features such as multi-speed, sensors, and modes. Look for a sealer that gives you flexibility, if you need it.
Sealing Jars or Liquids?
If you need to seal anything other than bags, make sure you get a vacuum sealer that is capable of doing so. Some don't have the right method of suction, while others have an accessory hose that gives you the capabilities. The best for vacuuming liquids is the chamber vacuum sealers, such as the VacMaster VP215.
Vacuum sealers are not the most feature-full device on the market. At the end of the day, they have one job to do and they need to do it well. However, there are some useful features that can tip your decision one way or the other. For example, you can find 'seal only' modes, accessory hoses, drip trays, and starter kits with bags included.
Power & Design
All of the food vacuum sealers that we have reviewed here have a decent design, and are likely to last a long time if used for their purpose. Don't overuse the inexpensive external models, or their lifespan will be reduced. The stainless steel Weston Pro has an awesome durability factor, and the professional VacMaster is designed to be powerful and suitable for commercial use.
The final consideration, as with any appliance that you are purchasing, is your budget. There are some really nice low-end high quality models in our selection, and for most people they will be enough. Anyone who requires a high-end machine should be happy to pay out a bit more to get a greater capacity, durability, and more powerful seal.
Food Vacuum Sealer Reviews
Now that you have seen an overview of the top five food vacuum sealers, it is time to take a look at the individual reviews, to finalize your decision and make sure you choose the perfect appliance for you. The Foodsaver brand models dominate the selection, but there are other brands on offer that perform equally well.
The Foodsaver V2244 is one of the most popular vacuum sealers on the market, with a rating of 4.1 over 2294 buyer reviews. It is an inexpensive yet good quality clamp-type vacuum, and has both a 'seal', and 'vacuum and seal' setting for storing and preserving food.
Using the V2244 is simple. You put your food in the special Foodsaver bags, place it in the vacuum chamber, close the lid, and then press the 'vacuum and seal' option. The appliance utilizes a 'Crush-Free' airtight seal system, and automatically shuts off when the job is done. If you need to stop it manually, you simply flip over to 'seal' only mode.
A great feature on the V2244 is the accessory hose, which gives you the capabilities to vacuum seal different sizes and types of Foodsaver containers, so you can deal with large cuts of meat and the like. You can also marinade food with this accessory.
To top it all off, the V2244 comes with an excellent starter kit, including bags and bag rolls for custom sized vacuuming, and detailed instructions to help you to get going.
The main drawback to this mighty fine vacuum sealer, is that you can't use generic bags – or at least the Foodsaver bags work better. Buying them can be an expensive habit. The sealer doesn't work well with liquid foods either. It has a dishwashable drip tray to keep a bit of mess under control, but like others vacuums of its kind it can't handle more than a little bit of liquid food.
Overall, the Foodsaver V2244 is a great option. It isn't designed to be used all day every day, but if you want a reliable, compact, and high quality vacuum sealer with an inexpensive price tag of $79.99, then this is it.
Another awesome low budget vacuum sealer, the Nesco VS-02 provides some top notch features that are found in higher end models, but at a fraction of the price. It costs just $67.55, and gives a good quality vacuum action suitable for infrequent home use.
The Nesco VS-02 is bigger and bulkier than its similarly priced competitor. It takes up more counter space, which is a negative for some people. It does, however, allow for the use of wider 11.8” x 11.8” bags, which are better for large batches of food.
The VS-02 is perhaps most impressive for its adaptability. It has an 'extended seal' setting for tighter vacuuming, and can calculate and change its vacuum time for thicker bags, or more liquid items. It also includes a piston pump and 'seal only' option for delicate foods.
Vacuuming and sealing is very easy with the VS-02. You simply place the bagged food inside the clamp and set it to go. It automatically stops when the process is finished. Adding to the overall convenience is the roll storage and built-in bag cutter, a dream for organization and ease of use.
It's hard to deny the value of the Nesco VS-02. It is slick, functional, and full of features. It also comes with a 10-bag roll to start you off, and it's the cheapest option on our list.
Weston Pro 2300
This is a serious machine that stands far ahead of the other picks in terms of its capabilities. The Weston Pro 2300 doesn't come cheap, but it is the largest and most powerful vacuum sealer on our list, and it really is an impressive bit of kit that is suitable for both home and commercial use.
It can handle bags up to 15” wide, and can vacuum seal 30lb of meat in seconds. Moreover, it doesn't require cooling down time or breaks in between use, so you can just go ahead and vacuum all of your food in one sitting with its 955 watt double piston vacuum input, backed up by a heavy motor and pump with large cooling fan.
The Weston Pro has both automatic mode, so you can simply place your bag in the clamp and press the 'auto' button. The manual mode gives you more control, if you need it for delicate items. Unfortunately, the Weston Pro 2300 doesn't come with an accessory port, and can't seal cans and jars. Being a clamp type vacuum, it also doesn't deal well with liquids.
The Weston Pro is a durable and plastic-free model made from stainless steel. It is bulky and weighty, and not at all portable, but it stands proud as a reliable vacuum sealer. It all depends what you need. If you want a sturdy and top quality external vacuum sealer, then this one is the top of the range!
Waring Pistol Pro PVS1000
This is the most portable vacuum sealer to make it onto our list. The Waring Pistol Pro is a handheld vacuum, and doesn't take up any room on your countertop. You can take it wherever it is needed, and enjoy a relatively decent rechargeable battery life – the Waring can seal and vacuum up to 30 bags in one charge.
The unique sealing system of the PVS1000 uses no heat. Instead, it utilizes a zip-lock system which seals the bag, and then draws air out through a one-way valve. It is suitable for everyday leftovers, though it won't handle larger vacuums, and you will have to split food in these cases.
One of the main benefits of the Warring Pistol, aside from its portability, is the fact that you can resuse the sealing bags. This can save you a huge amount of money in the long term, compared with buying branded bags for every vacuum.
When you are ready to use your stored food, you use the special tool provided to unseal the bag. You can then wash them in the dishwasher, and use them again. The Pistol Pro PVS 1000 comes with a dozen ounce bags, and a dozen quarter bags. A canister vacuum system is also available for separate purchase, if you need to seal cans and jars.
The Waring Pistol cannot seal commercial or competitors bags, which would be more of a problem if its own bags weren't reusable. The limited battery life might also cause you distress, but only if you have a lot of vacuuming to do, and in this case you should be looking at a more powerful countertop model.
At under $70, the Waring Pro isn't going to break your bank balance, and it provides a suitable way to vacuum and seal leftover food. If you need something for commercial use, or frequent home use, then we recommend a different model, but if you want a capable and portable vacuum sealer, the handheld Waring Pro is perfect for you.
VacMaster VP215 Chamber Vacuum Sealer
Here's where we get to the biggest and baddest vacuum sealers that money can buy. The VacMaster VP215 is the latest in the range, following on from the popular and well received VP210. It costs nearly $850, so it doesn't come cheap, but it's more than suitable for commercial use, as well as as a heavy duty home vacuum.
The cylinder style vacuum sealer means that you place the entire bag and contents inside the actual chamber of the machine. The vacuum then sucks the air out of the entire chamber using a two-cylinder piston pump, vacuuming the bag, and then releases air back into the chamber and unlocks the lid. All you have to do is place the bag and turn it on.
This method gives a much more sophisticated result, with a greater amount of air removed, and a double seal created to give food twice the strength that other machines offer, and a greater shelf life. It is compatible with up to 10 x 13” bags, and can handle near-constant use without overheating or falling to pieces.
You can also take advantage of custom seal options, such as a timer that can be adjusted for bag thickeness, or manual timer that lets you vacuum for up to a minute. It can also safely handle liquid foods, even soups and casseroles.
The VacMaster VP215 comes with chamber packages, filler plates, a maintenance kit, and a user guide. Once up and running, the vacuum is incredibly easy to use, but it may require a little bit more work for initial installation, and to get used to method.
Of course, if you only want to use your vacuum for storing occasional leftovers, there are cheaper alternatives available in our list that are perfectly capable of doing the job. If you are a restaurant owner, caterer, hunter or fisher, or you just need a really sturdy and powerful vacuum sealer, the VP215 is the latest and greatest you can find.
You know have all of the information that you need to make an informed decision, and purchase the best food vacuum sealer for you. If you want an inexpensive sealer that is suitable for infrequent home use, then the Nesca VS-02 or Foodsaver V2244 is perfect.
If you want something a little more pricey, the Weston Pro is a high end external vacuum that will give you a little extra power and durability. If portability is your number one factor, then go for the handheld Waring Pistol Pro PVS 1000.
The most professional and commercial grade vacuum sealer on our list, is the VacMaster VP215 Chamber Vacuum Sealer. It is powerful and beautiful, and suitable for commercial use, but you will pay a lot more to have the privilege of using it.
Whichever you choose, we hope you enjoy your new vacuum sealer, and that it is everything you hoped for.