CR tested seven vacuum sealers from six brands. The sealers, $60 to $180, are about as wide as a toaster oven, though most aren’t that tall or deep. The larger models store a roll of plastic onboard, called a bag roll, that you cut to size. Those without roll storage don’t require as much counter space and are even small enough to stash in a drawer.
Some sealers come with a bag roll and/or precut bags in a variety of sizes (such as pint, quart, and gallon). Prices for replacements vary: A batch of 44 quart-sized replacement bags for FoodSaver models costs $21 on the brand’s website, while 100 generic quart-sized bags cost $16 on Amazon. (We tested two generic brands, and they worked with all the sealers in our tests.)
In previous tests, we evaluated whether vacuum sealing extended the storage life of food. “The answer to that was a resounding ‘Yes,’ so we didn’t feel the need to repeat those tests,” says CR test engineer Bernie Deitrick. So we focused on how well a model seals dry food (such as an uncooked chicken breast or steak), how well it seals moist food (think meat in a marinade), how fast it works, how quietly it operates, and whether it’s simple to clean and has such convenience features as cord and bag roll storage, and has easy-to-understand controls.