Like many others, we’ve purchased the Nesco VS-12 Deluxe Vacuum Sealer based on many positive reviews, wondering whether it matches the hype. So, how did it perform?
Vacuum Sealing Performance
Our main criterion for testing the Nesco VS-12 was its performance, and thankfully, we were not disappointed. Thanks to the double vacuum pump with 130 watts of suction power, it can remove all the air even when sealing larger items or batches of food.
We’ve tried it with dozens of different foods, and it always did a great job. From dry goods like coffee, flour, rice, and pasta to wetter items such as fruits, different kinds of meats, or pre-frozen meals and sauces, the Nesco VS-12 had no problem sealing them airtight.
One of the best features of the Nesco VS-12 is its double sealing capability which allows you to make two seals on a bag in one go. This gives an extra layer of protection against any pressure leaks and saves time since you don’t have to seal the bag twice.
When properly sealed, we haven’t encountered any pressure leaks. However, it is important to ensure that the open end of the bag you’re sealing is clean and dry since moisture, crumbs, or other debris can prevent the Nesco VS-12 from forming a tight seal.
When sealing delicate items like cookies and berries, we’ve tried using Nesco’s built-in gentle option, which lowers the vacuum pressure to prevent crushing them. This feature worked great for berries and fruits but was still a bit too strong for soft bread and cookies, causing them to break or squash. For truly delicate items, we recommend using the pulse function, which allows you to manually control the vacuum pressure or simply seal them without removing the air.
The biggest downside of the Nesco VS-12 is that it’s not approved for continuous use but rather for one operating cycle every 2 minutes, as stated by the manufacturer. While we didn’t have any problems with overheating when vacuum sealing multiple items (six), we can see how this could be an issue for people who need to process large quantities of food. If you’re only sealing a few items at a time, this probably won’t be an issue for you. However, avid fishers, hunters, and people who need to vacuum seal large quantities of food at once should look at more professional-grade machines such as the Weston Pro-2300 or choose a chamber vacuum sealer such as the VacMaster VP215.
Also, if you want to seal a lot of liquids, such as different soups or stews, the chamber vacuum sealer is a better option since it doesn’t require pre-freezing the food first as it is with standard vacuum sealers.
Ease of Use
If you’ve never used a vacuum sealer before, don’t worry! The Nesco VS-12 Deluxe Vacuum Sealer is very easy to use. The top control panel features seven buttons that are pretty self-explanatory, making it easy to operate the machine.
One of the benefits compared to other vacuum sealers is the countdown display that indicates how much time is left until the sealing process is complete. The only gripe with this feature is that it doesn’t start counting down immediately but only when the sealing strip is preheated. This can take extra 10-20 seconds, which may be confusing, especially if you’re a first-time user.
We also like Nesco’s handle-locking mechanism, which we find both more intuitive and convenient than the “Easy Lock Latch” mechanism used on similarly priced FoodSaver machines. To seal a bag, you simply lift the lid open, insert the bag, then close and lock the handle, and press the Vac & Seal button. If you want to learn more about how to use the Nesco VS-12, check out our comprehensive guide.
A bag roll compartment and a built-in cutter are also welcomed additions that make the Nesco VS-12 even more user-friendly. While we noticed that some reviewers didn’t like the placement of the cutter, we found that it was perfectly fine and didn’t get in the way.
If we had to mention one more downside, it would be the lack of an on-off switch. The only way to turn off the Nesco VS-12 is by unplugging it from the outlet, which can be a bit annoying.
Size & Weight
While there are certainly smaller vacuum sealers on the market, such as the Anova Culinary or the FoodSaver VS0150, the Nesco VS-12 Deluxe Vacuum Sealer represents a good balance between size and performance. With dimensions of 15.75 x 8 x 4.5 inches (40x20x11,5 cm) and a weight of 6 lbs (2,72 kg), it doesn’t take up much countertop space and is easy to move around and store.
Cleaning & Maintenance
The Nesco VS-12 Deluxe Vacuum Sealer has a plastic body with metal plating on the front and top panel, which is quite prone to fingerprints. The good news is that you can easily clean it with a damp cloth.
One of the minor disadvantages we found is that, unlike some of its competitors (such as FoodSaver), the Nesco doesn’t have a removable drip tray (vacuum chamber), and the plastic lugs attached to it make it a bit more difficult to clean.
The Nesco VS-12’s mostly plastic build makes it lightweight but less durable than some all-metal models, such as the Weston Pro 2300. However, this is to be expected, given the price difference between these two models (the Nesco is less than a third of the price of the Weston).
So far, we’ve been using ours for over five months now without any issues, but the long-term durability remains to be seen. If we encounter any issues with it down the line, we’ll be sure to update this review.
Value for Money
The Nesco VS-12 is, in our opinion, great value for money since some of its features (double vacuum pump, double sealing option, progress display) are usually found on more expensive models. At the time of this writing, it’s available on Amazon for $119, which is significantly less than some of its competitors, such as the FoodSaver V4440 (currently selling for $180).
Another good option in this price range is the Precision™ Vacuum Sealer Pro, which is comparable to the Nesco in terms of features and price and has a slightly smaller form factor. However, we haven’t tested it ourselves; therefore, we can’t say for sure how it compares in terms of performance and reliability. Just keep in mind that there are multiple reports of the sealer failing after a few months of use.
The Nesco VS-12 Deluxe Vacuum Sealer is an excellent option for anyone looking for a reliable and affordable home vacuum sealer. While it’s not the smallest or lightest model on the market, it offers a good balance between size and performance, and its intuitive controls and easy-to-use design make it a great choice for both first-time users and experienced home cooks.
Keep in mind that it is not designed for continuous use, so for heavy-duty users who need to seal large quantities of food at a time, we recommend opting for a more professional-grade vacuum sealer such as the Weston Pro 2300 or the VacMaster VP215. But for home use, we think it’s a great option, and its affordable price makes it even more attractive.
Have you tried the Nesco VS-12 Deluxe Vacuum Sealer? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below!
- Easy to use
- Strong suction power
- Double sealing capability
- Bag roll compartment + cutter
- Sealing progress display
- Handle-locking mechanism
- Great value for money
- Not approved for continuous use
- No, on-off switch
- Non-removable drip tray