Our Top Pick for 2018: FoodSaver 4840 2-in-1 Automatic Vacuum Sealing System
Read our full review.
One of the greatest financial losses within any household revolves around spoiled food. From limp lettuce to curdled milk, each household throws away some foods each week because they simply go bad. Although a well-maintained refrigerator helps those foods with a long lifespan, there are other strategies that can be employed. Food vacuum sealers have been around for at least a decade, and they’re constantly being updated with the latest technology and improvements. When you want to seal your food into a bag for an even longer lifespan than before, it’s time to read a few reviews that will help you make a purchase decision. These sealers can last for years when you treat them kindly.
Quick View of Best Food Vacuum Sealer:
#1. FoodSaver 4840 2-in-1 Automatic Vacuum Sealing System
FoodSaver products have served the public for many years, and the manufacturer continues to improve their vacuum sealers. Each new model has a different number designation. You’ll find the top pick for vacuum sealers in the 4840 model. This 2-in-1 automatic sealer has nearly every feature that you can ask for in a product. From accessory storage to strong seals, the FoodSaver sealer is worth the price as you research different products for your kitchen. Although it has a robust 20-inch long and 11-inch wide shape, you’ll want to make room for this sealer on your countertop.
This sealer uses an automatic sensor to seal and remove air from your bags. As you move the bag’s edge into the unit, the sensor detects the material. It presses the material together, sucks the air out and immediately adds a heat seal to the edge. As you pull the bag away from the sealer, it will look like it was professionally packaged. The manufacturer suggests using their patented bags because they can withstand the strong vacuum offered by the sealer. You aren’t limited to those bags, however, because it’s possible to use standard bags. The manufacturer only states that those third-party bags should be in good shape before applying any suction to them.
If you decide to use the FoodSaver bags, you can easily store the entire roll in the sealer itself. Lift the back lid, and you have instant access to the roll-storage tray. It operates just like a standard, paper-towel roll. Simply pull the bag out, and press it against the built-in cutter. You can make the bag nearly any length that you require because the sealer will conform the material to the enclosed item.
Although this product has rave reviews in most cases, some consumers have noticed that the automatic sensor can malfunction. Consumers will place their bags inside the sealer and no action occurs. This issue may be caused by a dirty or obstructed sensor. Ideally, you should keep the sealer wiped down with attention to a clean, sealing edge. The sensor should work without any issues with the right maintenance. Otherwise, you may need to contact the manufacturer for help.
You aren’t limited to using the large, sealing area along the product’s front side either. Pull out the retractable handheld sealer, and use it on other items. Boxes and paper bags can have the air removed and sealed in some cases. There’s even a hose port on the FoodSaver, which allows you to connect mason jars for those canning needs. All of these accessories enhance the use of the sealer in your home. Essentially, it can preserve nearly any food in various containers for optimal storage.
The main sealing function is heat-related, but you can also use the FoodSaver for basic vacuuming purposes. Pull out a resealable, zip bag and suck the air out of it. Open it when you want the enclosed items, and seal it again. It’s possible to continually seal and unseal the bag as necessary for those popular foods. The heat-seal feature is best used on items that need a longer storage period, such as several months. The appliance applies an extra-wide sealing strip to these packages. Air pressure can be persistent when it comes to balancing itself out within your bagged foods.
The FoodSaver also comes with a drip tray. Catch any accidental food crumbs or liquids as you seal your bags. At times, the product requires a small learning curve as you get used to filling and sealing your bags. The drip tray keeps your sealer free from any residues. The FoodSaver will indicate when the tray requires replacement in the end.
The manufacturer sends the FoodSaver 4840 out with an ample supply of bags. The starter kit includes 10 various bag sizes and one entire roll of material. Try the sealer out with these bags, and you’ll see a difference in your food dollar.
Don’t forget that this sealer has a unique function with everyday bags. Use the “seal” function only when you need to close a bag of chips, for example. You don’t have to rely on clips to secure your food bags anymore. The sealed food will last longer than before as the FoodSaver continues to save money for the entire household.
The FoodSaver is consistently the most expensive sealer on the market, but you need to look at the bigger picture when you purchase it. The savings that you’ll experience when you go grocery shopping will be apparent. You can freeze and stock more meat than ever with nearly no waste as you use it over time. Shop the butcher sales and seal all of that meat for another day. The sealer’s cost will pay for itself as you skip high-priced meats and veggies each weekend. In the end, the FoodSaver is an investment strategy that works for many consumers.
#2. Crenova Automatic VS-1 Food Vacuum
An attractive addition to any home is the VS-1 Food Vacuum by Crenova. This basic appliance has a modern look to its exterior surface. You’ll notice square patches that rise up along the sealer’s edge, which gives it a decorative appearance among all of your other countertop appliances. Generally, consumers have been happy with this second-place pick because it has reliable operation with all different types of stored items. Explore some of the features hidden within this product, and you’ll be ready to store your food today.
When most other sealers take up the majority of your countertop, you’ll be pleased with Crenova’s product dimensions. This sealer is only about 16-inches long and 8-inches wide. It hovers about 5 inches off of the counter, which gives you enough room to pull the lid open during your sealing process. The product does weigh a little over four pounds, however. It has this hefty weight so that it can remain steady during the sealing process. Most of the weight is normally centered in the motor.
The sealer comes with a 110-watt motor and up to 25’HG or vacuum power. Essentially, it produces a vacuum that’s somewhat less than the air pressure surrounding you in the kitchen. In fact, a vacuum-sealed bag will have nearly no air at all. The manufacturer advertises that you should expect no more than 0.05 percent of oxygen in a perfectly sealed bag. That specification is outstanding because it’s the oxygen in the air that ultimately degrades food. As a result, you should see steaks and other meats emerge from the sealed bag with no dry or burned areas.
One drawback to this sealer is the bags. You cannot use store-bought materials for this sealer. They won’t correctly seal the food. The manufacturer offers a specific bag that you can purchase in various sizes. Fill these bags about two-thirds full with food or liquids. The remaining bag space is for vacuum purposes. Some consumers see the special-bag requirement as an expensive investment, but it’s important to look at the bigger picture. You’ll save significantly on grocery costs so the bag investment isn’t a major problem.
The manufacturer is generous when you buy your Crenova product because they include 10 bags with the sealer itself. You’ll receive several different bag sizes with this starter kit so that you can see which types you’ll need in the future. Every household will use the sealer in a unique way, from storing hunting-trip meats to sealing fresh-caught fish. Use the included bags, and stock up on others for those future needs.
Using this sealer is relatively simple, according to many consumers. Initially, you’ll need to pick either moist or dry choices on the sealer’s control panel. This selection alters the vacuum in order to keep the contents safe from harm. Allow the LED indicator lights to guide your sealing process the rest of the way. The lights tell you when sealing is in progress and indicates a complete bag afterward. You don’t have to rely on automatic vacuuming either. If you notice that the food is becoming too compacted, press the cancel button so that the vacuum is controlled by you. The food should look confined, but not crushed.
The Crenova sealer comes with a three-year warranty when you register the product with the manufacturer. You can also purchase some accessories for the product in order to make it more versatile in your kitchen. Add a tube or canister accessory to the sealer, and you can seal in jams and jellies. Simply look for compatible accessories that Crenova approves of with their warranty policies.
The manufacturer advertises that this sealer can keep food safe in the freezer for about three months. You should expect the food to emerge with no burn or decay at all. This three-month period depends largely on your expertise with the machine, however. If any side of the bag has a leak, the sealing won’t protect the food. Test a few items by using the sealer, and placing the food in the freezer for one month. If the food appears safe after the one-month period, you’ve properly sealed it. In time, you’ll save a lot of money on food by purchasing items in bulk and storing them for a rainy day.
#3. Nesco VS-02 Food Vacuum Sealer
A sealing system that’s priced reasonably between $50 and $100 is the VS-02 Food Vacuum by Nesco. This sealer has an attractive design with two available colors, including white and black. It’s deceptive in size because it holds a large roll of bags while remaining compact at 18-inches long and 12-inches wide. Discover the features hidden in this fine product as you shop for the best food sealer.
Consumers are pleased with the wide-variety of controls offered on the Nesco product. You have a choice of standard vacuum/seal or seal only during those basic food-storage projects. The manufacturer also includes seal-time selections when you have special needs. Select a normal sealing period or opt for an extended length based on the storage project. There is also a cancel button for ultimate control over the vacuum process. The Nesco product essentially gives you a chance to alter any process as it’s being performed. You don’t want to damage any items with too much vacuuming.
The reason why you can control the vacuum with such precision is the incorporated piston pump. This component allows you stop and start the sealing process with ease. The pump is tough so it can withstand a lot of use over the years.
One drawback noted by the manufacturer is wet edges on the bags. If you moisten the bag’s edges with water or any other liquids, the seal won’t be able to heat up as necessary. The edges must be dry. Although this detail isn’t a major problem for most consumers, users with largely liquid-storage needs will need to alter their habits with the sealer. Be aware of the bag and its relation to any liquid substance. Wipe down the edges, and keep the surrounding countertop dry. Be careful as you add any liquid to the bags. The sealer should work without a hitch as a result.
The Nesco sealer can work with bags that are nearly 12-inches wide. This size is ample enough for almost any food item. In fact, the manufacturer includes some bagging materials with your sealer purchase. Most manufacturers only offer one roll upon your initial purchase, but Nesco provides you with two rolls. You’ll also receive 10 bags in varying sizes too. You can also use third-party bags with this system. Limiting the household to one bag type is a common complaint among consumers. It’s possible to reuse these bags if you clean them well after each use. Consumers note that reusing the bags at least once will save you substantial money in the long run.
Consumers are often concerned about sealing liquids in these flat, sealer models. It’s possible to perform this task if you freeze the liquid first. Add the frozen liquid to the bag, and you can quickly seal it in. The suction power will usually pull some liquid toward the sealing mechanism if you don’t freeze the item first. By using some basic tips, your Nesco sealer can perform the work of the more expensive units with no problems.
#4. Seal-a-Meal Manual Vacuum Sealer
When you simply need a sealing system that performs with all of the basics, you have a fine choice in the Seal-a-Meal model. In fact, this company is part of the larger manufacturer that sells the FoodSaver models. This manual sealer is basically a stripped-down model that gets the job done. Although some consumers have concerns about certain features, the overall perspective on this product is positive. Take a close look at the perks that this sealer can provide your kitchen today.
Slide your bag into the sealer, and press the lid down onto it. The sealer will detect the action as it starts its sealing process. You’ll know when the process is complete when the indicator lights illuminate. Consumers report that the sealing action works better when you press the lid down with your palms. Try this suggestion or use your fingers. Regardless of the preferred pressure, this sealer remains hands-free for each sealing project.
Other sealing systems are hefty in size, but the Seal-a-Meal product is only four pounds. Take the sealer over to a friend’s home when they need to seal some items. It can technically be transported to almost any location. Simply plug it into any electrical outlet, and you’re ready to store those delicate items away from damaging oxygen.
Your Seal-a-Meal product comes with four bags as a starter kit. From gallon- to quart-size bags, you’ll be able to experiment with several materials after receiving the sealer. Order more bags when you know which sizes work for you. This product is compatible with FoodSaver bags and other brands as well.
One consumer reports that buyers should look into the manufacturer’s square-trade warranty during their product purchase. Although this product is reliable, issues can occur over time that make the sealer inefficient. For a small charge, this warranty essentially replaces the unit under certain circumstances for a three-year period. Because this product is less than $50, paying a small fee to cover it can really stretch your investment dollar. Simply read the warranty instructions carefully before buying into any extra contract. In most cases, the standard warranty should cover most issues.
If you’re having trouble with the seals, consumers suggest that you should double-seal the bags’ edges. Your bag will hold up against this extra sealing, and the food will be safe from any oxygen degradation. In the end, you’ll need to experiment with the Seal-a-Meal product in order to find the perfect sealing rhythm. You’ll be thrilled to store food each day with this sealer.
With so many features available in each sealing system, it’s easy to get confused about the most important details. Every sealer sucks out unwanted air from your food bags. However, you want complete control over the vacuuming process. If you place a delicate item into the bag, you don’t want to see that item become instantly damaged by too much suction power. Look for a sealer that allows you to manually control or pulse the vacuum process along. From strawberries to delicate personal items, you want the sealed bag to hug these items instead of choke them off.
Heat Versus Valve
Valve-sealing systems work in the same fashion as space bags. You place the sealer onto the valve and suck air from the bag. Although this sealing process is mildly effective, it doesn’t seem to last for most consumers and reviewers. The bag might crack, or the valve releases its suction. Ideally, you want to invest in a heat sealer. These products permanently seal an edge by melting the bag in a controlled manner. You can use the bag repeatedly as you continually heat seal it after accessing the contents.
As the sealers grow in size, that usually indicates a larger motor is incorporated into the model too. If you plan on sealing each day, you want a hefty motor. This component is directly related to the sealing-action strength. If you pour a liquid into a bag and start to seal it, some residue may be at the sealing location. A low-power motor won’t be able to seal this area, and you’re left with a faulty seal. Pick a high-powered motor in order to seal almost any material with one motion. You’ll spend less time at the sealer as a result.
Upright Versus Flat
Before you buy any sealing system, evaluate your food habits. Each household has unique recipes and food interests that can range from meat-heavy to vegan-inspired choices. If you plan on storing a lot of meats, fruits or vegetables, a flat sealer is a smart choice. You have versatility with bag widths and lengths as the flat shape gives you room to manipulate the foods. When you want to store liquids on a regular basis, however, look for an upright model. You won’t lose any liquids to the countertop because the upright feature allows you to use gravity and hold the moisture inside the bag.
Conclusion (Wrapping it up)
As each vacuum sealer is improved over the years, you’ll have a harder time at choosing the best one for your needs. In most cases, you need to look past all of the add-on features. Dust removal, bag rollers and other features are handy in certain cases, but you don’t use them all of the time. The sealer should have a durable motor with reliable functionality. It might use a dedicated bag brand, but you can rely on it to seal any foods with ease. In the end, it’s the safe, suction power and food-storage length that sells a product. The sealer will ultimately save you money over time.