​The Best Vacuum Sealer - Review​s ​for 2018

Last Updated December, 2018

​While we don’t have the time nor budget to purchase every vacuum sealer on the market, we do try and invest as much as possible into helping out the community. We try, test and review each product on our site, and put it through our own rigorous tests to help you make a better, and more educated buying choice. We rate each vacuum sealer on a number of different criteria, such as price, quality, durability, reliability, customer reviews and more.  

Offering a rating system that is between 1 and 10 and rate each vacuum sealer using the above criteria and list our findings so that readers can find the best vacuum sealers on the internet! Our aim is to provide a diverse and varied range of reviews, suitable for the budget of everybody and anybody.

best vacuum sealer

The ​5 Best Vacuum Sealer of 2018

 

Pros
Cons
Bottom Line
Overall Score
Pros : Automatic bag detection and sealing technology increases efficiency, handheld sealer module takes care of smaller bags, effortless to clean “drip tray” takes care of any mess.
Cons : A little bit on the more expensive side of things, doesn’t include all that many vacuum sealed bags, can take a little bit of time to get used to operating to create that perfect airtight seal.
Bottom Line : If you’re looking to get your hands on may be the best vacuum sealing option for the money, it doesn’t get a whole lot better than this. FoodSaver products are really special, and this just might be the best of the best they have to offer - particularly at this price point.
Overall Score:
Performance - 9.5
​Versatility - 8.9
Design - 9.2
​Ease of Use - 9.6
Pros : Quick and efficient, this vacuum sealer runs almost silently. Completely automatic operation handles all of the heavy lifting for you. Two different sealing modes make quick work of any food you want to store safely.
Cons : Not up to the task of heavier foods or extra large bags. Some quality control issues. Doesn’t offer the flexibility of other options.
Bottom Line : For a budget friendly food sealer, you’ll not find many that can rival this option from NutriChef. It has almost everything you can want at a bank account friendly price.
Overall Score:
Performance - 9.2
​Versatility - 9.1
Design - 9.0
​Ease of Use - 8.8
Pros : Large sealant module can handle oversized and oddly shaped vacuum bags. Auto-vac tech does all of the work for you as soon as you insert a bag to be sealed. Pressure sensitive, you won’t bruise food you’re going to cook with through too much pressure.
Cons : Doesn’t have the same reputation for longevity that other options from this brands do. Somewhat dull and uninsipired in the design. Hit and miss with non-FoodSaver bags.
Bottom Line : If you don’t have the cash for some of the higher end FoodSaver models, this isn’t a terrible choice. There might be some better options near this price point, though.
Overall Score:
Performance - 8.4
​Versatility - 8.9
Design - 9.1
​Ease of Use - 8.7
Pros : Designed from the ground up to vacuum seal REALLY big bags. Provides a level of sealing not possible with less powerful modules. Double seals on every bag guarantees freshness.
Cons : This is a big, bulky, and heavy machine. Real loud, and anything but slimline. Takes up counter space.
Bottom Line : If you’re going to be sealing bags for longer term storage, this is the way to go. Might be overkill for more casual usage, but food preppers will love this.
Overall Score:
Performance - 9.7
​Versatility - 8.4
Design - 9.0
​Ease of Use - 8.4
Pros : Industrial level food storage and vacuum technology. Works wonders with food prepper for sous vide. One touch operation keeps kitchen contamination problems to a minimum.
Cons : This is an expensive unit, costing three times or more some of the other top options. Takes a while to "warm up".
Bottom Line : If you’re serious about meal prepping, want to save all of your leftovers, or are running a small commercial kitchen, look no further than this model.
Overall Score:
Performance - 8.7
​Versatility - 8.6
Design - 9.1
​Ease of Use - 8.2

​We also provide extensive information on the different features to look out for. From our buying guides to our helpful tips, tricks and knowledge base, you’ll be able to further understand the many benefits of food sealers, and how to make the best of them.

Whether you’re looking for a domesticated and commercial vacuum sealer or a sealer for irregular home use, we probably have a review on hand to help you make a better decision. Take a look around and feel free to post comments and even reviews on your own! We hope you enjoy your stay at VacuumSealerDigest.com!

Chamber Vs. External Suction Vacuum Sealers

The aspect of removing all the air out of a vacuum-able bag before heat sealing it, can either take place inside a vacuum sealer or outside it. The former is called a chamber type vacuum sealer where the bag with the item to be sealed are placed inside a vacuum chamber and the lid is closed.

So, everything from the vacuum creation to the sealing of the bag takes place inside the sealer. As a result, these sealers produce the exact amount of vacuum within a bag and are therefore better suited for high-volume packaging.

best chamber sealers

On the other hand, an external suction sealer, whether it uses a clamping technology or retractable nozzle, will only require the bag opening to go into the appliance.

So, in a way, both the air removal from the bag and its sealing happen while most of the bag stays outside the machine. Although external sealers don’t produce such high degree of vacuum strength, they do nevertheless feature a lot of other functional aspects that make them great for infrequent home use.

best external sealers

Buying Guide...


Before buying a Vacuum Sealer, be aware of the two types...

​Chamber Sealers
VacMaster VP210

​The fastest in terms of operation out of the three, these vacuum sealers require the food product to be placed within the containment chamber of the appliance to create an effective vacuum and double seal the package soon after. But, they are also very expensive and therefore mostly used ​in commercial food packaging circles.

  • ​Best For: Heavy duty applications, commercial packaging, frequent use in homes.
  • Pros: Fast operation, equally effective for dry and wet packaging, come with pressure gauge.
  • Cons: Expensive, heavy and take up a lot of space.
​External Sealers
vacuum sealer foodsaver

​Featuring an external suction design, these vacuum sealers require bags with specially textured channels on the inside to suck the air out. The appliance works by clamping down on the bag to first suction the air for a few seconds before impulse-heating the opening to create an impermeable seal.

  • Best for: Infrequent home use (weekly or monthly), Low-duty commercial applications.
  • Pros: Relatively inexpensive, easy to use, some models can seal canning jars.
  • Cons: Low vacuum strength, require special vacuum bags, not meant for frequent use.

​So, you have read about all the amazing abilities afforded by a vacuum sealer with respect to perishable food (and other inedible items), and are now convinced about buying a model. But, before you do, you should ideally ascertain the role of such an appliance in your daily life. In other words, will this vacuum sealer be an appliance of convenience or necessity? Hopefully, the information offered below can help you arrive at an answer to this question that’s befitting of your personal requirements.

Chamber Vacuum Sealers

chamber sealers

​In the past, internal or chamber styled vacuum sealers featured predominantly as a commercial appliance. However, all that changed with the introduction of compact variants of these high-efficiency machines (99.9% air removal) into the mainstream consumer market. For those who can afford these pricey appliances (the cheapest being $700), this guide outlines the different technologies and purchase considerations associated with modern chamber style vacuum sealing machines.

​These can be considered as a ‘scaled down’ version of commercial chamber sealers in every way. Features like the vacuum chamber, silicon rubber outer seal and retractable seal bar carrying the heating element and a central control panel are common to all present models. Using the latter, you can control a different aspect of the process like the vacuum cycle and seal time. Some models even sport a pressure gauge for added convenience.

Some discerning aspects between different compact chamber models:
  • Chamber Cover: Most models feature two small pneumatic bars on either side of the lid that pops its open. Yet, there are other models with sliding arms that slide the lid into place atop the chamber. The advantage here is that the lid locks on automatically as opposed to keeping it pressed against the rubber seal until the vacuuming starts.
  • Chamber size: In terms of width, this value generally ranges from 8″ to 13″. So, the larger the surface area of the chamber, the bigger the bag it will accept. The chamber depth also varies widely. With deeper chambers, you should look for removable pressure plates for dynamic depth adjustment, whereas if the chamber is small or shallow, then look for a machine with a domed cover.
  • Angled Side: Most chambers have straight edges, which makes packaging of liquids a tricky prospect. However, in some machines, the chamber has a slight gradient towards the seal bar side, thus allowing the bag to sit an angle. So, as long as the soup, gravy or juice remains well below the bag’s neck, this angular orientation will ensure against spilling.
  • Hose Attachment: Some models feature an external vacuum port to which you can connect a hose attachment. This can then be used with other standard vacuum systems available in the market to vacuum seal canisters, mason jars, and glass jars.
  • Gassing Attachment: Certain models feature an extra gas control button on the control panel. This can be used by installing a nitrogen gassing kit into the appliance. What this does is puffs the package with nitrogen gas after removing all the oxygen. This is ideal for storing chips and other fragile matter.

There’s no real limitation on the type of vacuum-able bags you can use with these appliances. However, if you plan to use the packages for purposes other than storage like marinating or ‘sous vide’ cooking, then you’ll need to look at special bags. By that, we mean dual lined pouches with specific boilable barrier ratings.

​External (​Suction) Vacuum Sealers

external sealer

​If you’re looking for something that’s easy to use and can meet your occasional sealing requirements, then external vacuum sealers would fit that bill quite well. Just make sure you properly feed the open end of the vacuum-able bag or pouch into the appliance. The machine will do the rest. Since the actual evacuation of air from the bag takes place outside the appliance, it allows the vacuum sealer to have a compact design.

Based on how the air is removed from the bag, modern external vacuum sealers may be divided into two types. Each category is explained in more detail below.

The working of these appliances is quite simple. You place the product to be sealed into the vac-bag, and feed it into the mouth of the appliance. The sealer head is then clamped down, after which the internal vacuum pump takes over to extract all the air from the bag. Once all the air and moisture is sucked out, the bag is heat sealed, and ready for storage.

Because the mouth of the bag is virtually closed (thanks to the clamping mechanism, removing air from the bag will require a great deal of suction power, something that these appliances can’t do. So, instead, they accept special pouches or bags with a layer of channels or textures on the inside so as to help in air evacuation process without overworking the vacuum port.

Some buying facts about External (Suction) Vacuum Sealers
  • Liquid Deposition Tray: These appliances aren’t ideally suited for sealing liquids or food with high fluid content. However, some newer models feature a drip tray at the bottom that accumulates excess liquid, thereby preventing it from getting accidentally sucked into the appliance. So, if you plan on sealing a lot of ‘juicy’ foods, then opt for one with a drip tray.
  • ​Attachments: Entry models can only vacuum-seal bags and pouches. However, moving up the price range ($100-$200), you can find appliances featuring special attachments that could then be used for removing air from canisters and jars (proprietary, of course).
  • ​Sealing Bar: The length of the sealing bar in these vacuum packers can range from 5″ to 16″ and more for commercial models to accommodate embossed, channel, and Mylar bags of varying widths. A machine with a 10″ or longer sealing bar is great for foods like meat, fish, etc, or when used for simultaneously sealing more than one smaller bags.
External Vacuum Sealers With A Retractable Nozzle

Just like any basic clamp type design, these machines also employ a similar mechanism need to hold the open end of the bag or pouch in position before the air extraction process can start. The difference, however, is the small tube that peeks into the bag to remove all the air and moisture and retracts back into its original position before the sealing process starts.

The advantage with these types of external sealers is that they can work with any kind of bag or pouch, which in turn reduces the overall expenditure incurred when purchasing lined or textured pouches. On the flip side, retractable nozzles can easily suck in liquid into the appliance, and should therefore be limited to packing solid foods.

Best 5 Best Vacuum Sealer on Amazon.com

Best Clamp Styled Vacuum Sealer Buying Guide

External vacuum sealers that employ the basic clamping mechanism rely on special bags with channels or textures to create an effective air vacuum. And given their competitive pricing, it’s no surprise that these appliances are so popular among home users with occasional sealing requirements. In that respect, getting a better understanding of the following two aspects should help you find the right vac-packer for your specific needs.

Basic Considerations:
Personal use vacuum sealers today range from $50 to $500. Apart from the build quality and added features, the price tag for any vac-packer will  depend on these parameters:

  • ​Vacuum Cycle – Realistically, the idea is to suction the air from the bag until a certain air-pressure is reached inside the container. The same result may also be achieved by calibrating the vacuum pump to operate for a specific time. Manufacturers term this as ‘Vacuum Cycle’. So, a machine that offers two different settings for solid and liquid package merely translates to it having two different vacuum cycles.
  • ​Sealing Cue – The trigger for the start of the sealing process in high-end vac-sealers is when the preset pressure has been achieved in the package container (pouch, bag, jar etc). Conversely, for simpler and less expensive models, the sealing process starts after a certain amount of time has elapsed.
  • ​Seal Time – All vac-sealers employ some kind of heating element to heat seal the bag/pouch after the vacuum cycle. Now, the ideal seal time will vary depending on the material and thickness of the bag. In commercial appliances, this sealing time can be adjusted whereas retail grade sealers come with 1-5 seal time settings, meaning you can only use a limited type of bags.
  • Seal Cycle – Most home-specific, vac-packers feature longer seal-cycles, meaning you’ll have to let the appliance cool-down before starting with the next batch. Not doing so not only leads to improper seals but can also damage the heating element, rendering it irreparable in extreme cases.
clamp vacuum sealer
What Features To Look For in Clamp Vacuum Sealers?

Commercial vacuum sealers can clear out up to 99.9% oxygen (or air) from a vacuum-able bag. But, you really don’t that kind of vacuum efficiency for your personal storage needs. Instead what you should look for are the different features offered in the machine. The most useful ones are mentioned below.

  • ​Drip Tray: When trying to vacuum pack sauces, soups or other items with reasonable liquid content, these fluids can also get drawn towards the mouth of the bag or worse into the machine along with the air. The drip tray feature might not stop the former but it sure can ensure against the latter.​​​​
  • Bag Roll And Cutter: Depending on their size, textured bag rolls can cost anywhere from 8%-15% less than pouch packets. Plus, with an inbuilt bag roll tray and cutter, you can create bags of varying lengths to suit different packing needs.
  • ​External Vacuum System: Some models come with a hose that can connect to the vacuum pump through an outlet provided on the machine. This can be then be attached to different proprietary vacuum systems for vac-sealing cans, jars, and canisters.
  • Seal Features: The seal bar generally produces a half-inch wide seal along the length of the bag’s neck. A longer seal bar, say 12″ will let you vacuum seal two 6″ or less wide bags in a single pass. Some advanced models even come with two seal bars for packages that require the extra air and moisture barrier. Besides, when the main seal bar goes bad, it can be easily replaced with the other seal bar.
  • ​Vacuum And Seal Settings: Changeable vacuum setting lets you choose the right vacuum strength you need for a batch. In the same light, different seal time settings come very handily when dealing with different kinds of pouches. Plus, they also extend the overall life of the impulse heating element.

Buying Guide Part 2...


​Things you should think about before buying a Vacuum Sealer

What are your requirements?

As a consumer, it’s important to set a purchase budget after considering your sealing needs and not the other way round. For instance, if there is a large volume of food products that need packaging, then opt for professional grade vacuum sealers. These appliances will allow you to control a lot of parameters like the ones mentioned in the previous section.

But, if your vacuum sealing need is limited to a couple of food items every day or the once-a-week grocery then a domestic model will suit your requirements quite well. Here again, you have two choices – counter-top and portable models.

Like the name suggests, counter-top food sealers are relatively heavy appliances that go atop your kitchen counter. Different models come with their own set of bells and whistles. But for the most part, these food sealers offer good vacuum and sealing strength necessary for increasing the shelf life of frozen foods.

Conversely, portable, battery operated models offer a lightweight alternative, which makes them easy to carry around. The vacuum quality while insufficient for standard freezing, it’s just enough to increase the shelf life of perishable food stored in the icebox. As such, those who like camping or fishing for that matter would find this facet much to their liking.

Other factors to consider...

Vac-bags, external attachments, and maintenance-friendliness are the other factors that you would need to look at when considering to buy a vacuum sealer.

While some counter-top models will work best with proprietary bags of a certain size and make, others can accept polyethylene bag rolls that can be purchased for cheap from your local department store. Nevertheless, this factor will feature as a recurring cost and therefore needs to be considered seriously.

Furthermore, special attachments that connect to the air suctioning component of the vacuum sealer will allow you to seal jars and canisters thereby increasing their functional value. Similarly, features like anti-drip tray or dishwasher- friendliness will help in keeping the appliance clean and operational for longer. All these factors will eventually affect the overall price of the appliance and therefore your choice in this matter.

vacuum sealer buyers guide
​Things to look for...
  • Portability: Are you going to use the vacuum sealer at your home or on the go? If it’s the former, then, a counter-top model will meet your requirements just fine. Of the many vacuum sealer reviews on this site, there are many models can serve a variety of sealing needs ranging from solids like fruits, veggies, dry fruits, meat etc to liquids like milk, juices and other products with high fluid quantity. Conversely, hand-held variants easy to carry around but are less efficient. They mainly feature battery operated electric vacuum pumps and rely on zip lock pouches instead of the fully seal-able bags. As such, one cannot expect the same level of vacuum efficiency from these appliances or package shelf life for that matter.
  • Orientation: Most upright sealers are great when working with liquids. Plus, the vertical orientation allows some models to be outfitted with special canister attachment to suction and seal canning jars. Alternatively, flat ‘vac’ sealer appliances allow the user to employ bags of variable sealing widths by adjusting the loading tray for the bag rolls. So, they aren’t always as effective when packing foods with high liquid content.
  • Sealing Cue: All vacuum sealers essentially suction the air out of bag, pouch or jar by manipulating the air pressure before sealing heat sealing the package. While some sealers are designed to sense the pressure in the containment package before commencing with the sealing process, others start sealing after a set time. The former is great when working with seal-able glass jars since excess pressure can cause the glass to implode. Conversely, if you will be using bags of different dimensions or want to seal liquids, then its best to choose a model with time initiated sealing cue.
  • Extra Features: This one is a bit tricky given that newer features constantly keep getting added to subsequent vacuum sealer models. So, while some variants might feature multi-speed vacuum and sealing action, others are dishwasher-safe and catch liquid overflow instantly. Yet, there are those that come with roll storage and cutter so that you don’t have to buy costly pouches to meet your everyday packaging needs. Similarly, other high-end sealers boast of dust removal attributes necessary for vacuum sealing non-edible items like documents, books etc.
  • Operation/Maintenance: Depending on the design of a vacuum sealer, there are different factors that can affect its quality of operation. Prime among them is the type of vacuum-able bags used. Certain models tend to work best with proprietary bags, and while generic bag rolls may be used with some, the quality of service would vary. Also, while most sealers will work with vac bags, some can also vacuum seal canisters and glass jars, especially those that come with an external compressor. Now, with time, the compressor efficiency gets affected due to wear and tear and will, therefore, require regular maintenance after having crossed its warranty period.

Last update on 2018-12-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API