Intuitive control panel
Built-in bag roll compartment
Built-in cord storage
Can vacuum and seal opened bags of snacks (like cereal, chips, and cookies)
Bulkier than some other models
Doesn’t come with a hose attachment
No drip tray
We purchased the NESCO VS-02 Vacuum Sealer so our reviewer could put it to the test in her kitchen. Keep reading for our full product review.
Vacuum sealers, such as the NESCO VS-02 Vacuum Sealer, suction the air out of plastic vacuum seal bags or specially designed containers and canisters. This helps food stay fresh for long periods of time. Refrigerated items are often good for a week or two (as opposed to mere days), cupboard snacks and staples can go weeks to months without getting stale, and frozen items can be kept for two or more years. This enables users to buy in bulk, and ultimately, save money. Even if you’re only keeping leftovers for a day or two, vacuum sealing them will help retain their freshly cooked flavor.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly vacuum sealer with features that are convenient and easy to use, the NESCO VS-02 may seem like a great option, but is it too good to be true? We put it to the test, and here's what we found.
Performance: Smooth and user-friendly
With smooth operation, the ability to seal both vacuum bags and pre-packed food bags, and built-ins like a bag roll compartment and bag slicer, the NESCO VS-02 Vacuum Sealer is a solid choice for first-time users and veterans alike.
Thanks to its convenient features and efficient design, the NESCO is incredibly user-friendly. While on the bulky side at 18.3 inches wide, its width allows for easy bag placement, whether creating seals or vacuuming out air. Thanks to a bag roll compartment, built-in bag slicing feature, and large, clearly labelled buttons, this device is smooth to use and operate.
In addition to working on vacuum seal bags, the NESCO works to re-seal snacks in their original packaging. This includes the use of two buttons, the first being the “Vacuum/Seal” button, and the second being the “Seal Only” button, which will stop the vacuuming process and create a seal when pressed. This works pretty well once you get the hang of it—the vacuum function can be finicky with some bag materials (we had trouble with an aluminum-lined chip bag)—but users should be cautious of timing. If the suction function goes on for too long, delicate foods like crackers and soft baked goods will get crushed. With this in mind, we suggest pressing the “Seal Only” button (thus halting the vacuuming process) a bit earlier than expected, because the suction will continue for a few seconds after. Or, you can just do a seal, which will still help retain freshness.
We tried the NESCO on uncooked bacon, peanut butter sandwich cookies, and even half of a peeled banana with success. The bacon looked store-bought for days after the original package was opened, the crackers stayed crunchy without being dried out, and after 24 hours, the banana still hadn’t gone brown.
We tried the NESCO on uncooked bacon… it looked store-bought for days after the original package was opened.
Design: Built for convenience, but on the bulky side
The NESCO VS-02 comes in a modern combination of silver and black, but the silver panel is plastic as opposed to stainless steel. The machine is a bit bulky, so if you have limited counter or kitchen space, it may not be the best option.
The panels that open to the vacuum sealing chamber, as well as the bag roll storage compartment, lift smoothly and easily from the front of the device. The bag slicer is also conveniently placed so you can pull a portion from the roll and cut custom bags to size. From start to finish, the NESCO allows you to create airtight food packaging quickly and efficiently.
Features: Thoughtful additions make this middle-grade machine feel luxe
This appliance offers straightforward functions for easy use. The “Vacuum/Seal” button automatically seals the bag once the air has been vacuumed out, and there’s also a “Seal Only” function that skips the suction altogether.
There is also a “Canister Only” option, but you’ll need to buy a hose attachment and vacuum seal containers separately. Of course, the “Cancel” button stops any function whenever it’s pressed.
The NESCO can also accommodate wet foods like stews or marinated meat. Simply switch the “Seal Time” switch over to “Extended” to ensure the proper seal. This will also provide a stronger seal if you’re trying to close thicker bags.
The “Vacuum/Seal” and “Seal Only” buttons can be used together in order to re-seal chips, cereal, cookies, baking ingredients like brown sugar, and more. As mentioned above, start with “Vacuum/Seal,” then press “Seal Only” to override the suction function before the food gets crushed.
From start to finish, the NESCO allows you to create airtight food packaging quickly and efficiently.
Other handy external features include a built-in compartment for placing rolls for vacuum bags. You can unroll the size you need, then slice it with the built-in bag cutter to create straight, even edges. It’s a small detail, but it makes the bag-making process much easier than finding a pair of scissors and trying to cut an even line. There is also a cord holder beneath the machine where you can coil and tuck it away when it’s not in use.
Cleaning: Not the easiest task
This device does not include a drip tray—a feature that comes in handy when liquid is pulled to the top of the bag from the force of the suction, as this can lead to a little bit of overflow before the seal is applied. With the NESCO Vacuum Sealer, the liquid can be wiped out of the inside of the machine, but a Q-tip may be required to clean out the vacuum nozzle.
When working with raw meats, it may be a little tricky to sanitize. The best way to do this is with a damp sponge and dish soap, and you can swab around the vacuum nozzle with a Q-tip. This device cannot be submerged in water.
After working with raw meats, it may be a little tricky to clean and sanitize the machine.
Price: Middle of the road, and worth every penny
The NESCO VS-02 has an MSRP of $90, but you can often find it at online retailers in the $60 to $70 range. With handy features like the bag roll compartment, built-in slicer, and ability to easily seal snack bags (and control vacuum time for delicate foods), it’s worth spending an extra few bucks for this device over its cheaper counterparts. The NESCO starter kit comes with two rolls of bag material, plus five small and five large pre-made bags.
Competition: Lots to compare to
Crenova VS100S: Looking to save a little dough? Opt for the Crenova VS100S. It does a great job of vacuum sealing, but it’s a little lighter on features than the NESCO. There’s no bag roll storage compartment or built-in cutting feature on this device, but it is substantially smaller if you’re tight on space. It’s also arguably more attractive than the NESCO, thanks to its stainless steel front, which is durable enough for daily use.
FoodSaver 2-in-1 Food Preservation System: If you’re an experienced vacuum sealer that’s after a more advanced machine, check out the FoodSaver. The appliance costs nearly $100 more than the NESCO, but it’s chock full of high-end features, from a vacuum chamber panel that automatically opens and closes, to a built-in attachment for vacuuming canisters, quick-marinade function, and more. However, if you’re new to vacuum sealing or you know you won’t use it all that often, the FoodSaver is certainly too much machine for you.
- Product Name Vacuum Sealer
- Product Brand NESCO
- Price $89.99
- Weight 8 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 21 x 13 x 7 in.
- Item Model Number VS-02
- Material Plastic
- Warranty 1-year limited warranty
- What's Included Two 7.9 x 9.8-inch rolls; five 8.6 x 11.8-inch bags; five 11 x 15.75-inch bags