January 21

0 comments

Weston Vacuum Sealers: Better than FoodSaver?

By trk

January 21, 2017


Weston vs FoodSaver vacuum sealers: Which Is Better?

"FoodSaver" is practically synonymous with vacuum sealer. They're the most popular brand of food vacuum sealer by far and dominate the consumer vacuum sealer market. The biggest reason for this is price: FoodSaver vacuum sealers are lower-priced than many other brands. They also have models that compete at every price point from $50-300. 

Weston vacuum sealers are a less popular brand, largely because they serve a different market. While FoodSaver dominates the consumer and economy priced market, Weston is geared toward the more serious user, including some commercial-grade models and a chamber sealer

So you'll pay more for a Weston vacuum sealer--but is the higher price worth it? Here we look at both brands and compare price, quality, features, and more. 

NOTE: Some sections may not be visible in mobile view.

At a Glance

Here's a comparison table of the popular Weston vacuum sealer models:

Weston Vacuum Sealer Comparison Table

Professional Advantage

Pro-2300

Pro-1100

WestonProAdvantageAngledView
WestonProAdvantage_350px
WestonPro1100_350px

Features

Features

Features

10x18x6in., 7lbs

11-in. bag width

Fan cooled pump

23" Hg vacuum pull

210W motor

Auto and manual modes

Accessory port/Canister capable

Buy if: You want an accessory port, don't mind the small motor, and don't want to spend a lot.


See it on Amazon

15.3x23.9in., 22lbs

15in. bag width

Fan-cooled pump

28" Hg vacuum pull

935W motor

Auto and manual modes

Buy if: You freeze a lot of meat and produce and want a high-powered, top-quality product, OR if you want a model to seal 15in. bags.



See it on Amazon

18.2x15.6x10in., 15lbs

11in. bag width

Fan cooled pump

28" Hg vacuum pull

680W motor

Auto and manual modes

Digital display

Accessory port/canister capable

Bag storage and roll cutter

Buy if: You want a model with bag storage, cutter, and accessory port.

See it on Amazon

Here's a comparison table of popular FoodSaver vacuum sealer models. These are the more expensive FoodSaver models that roughly correspond in price to the Weston products shown above:

FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer Comparison Table

FoodSaver FM2435

FoodSaver V4400

FoodSaver FM5860

FoodSaverV4440

Features

Features

Features

18.4x6.5x11 in., 7 lbs

11 in. bag width

Vacuum pull: ~20" Hg*

110W motor

Moist food (manual) mode

Accessory port

Bag storage

5 yr. warranty

Buy if: You don't mind the small motor, accessory port, bag storage.


See it on Amazon

11 x 20 x 12 in., 10 lbs

11 in. bag width

Vacuum pull: ~20" Hg*

127W motor

Bag storage/roll cutter

Handheld sealer included

Accessory port

5 yr. warranty

Buy if: You want the automated bagging and/or handheld sealer.**


See it on Amazon

11.6 x 25.7 x 9.4 in., 15 lbs

11 in. bag width

Vacuum pull: ~20" Hg*

127W motor

Fully automatic operation, w/sensors

Bag storage

Handheld sealer included

Accessory port

5 yr. warranty

Buy if: You want the fully automatic operation.

See it on Amazon

* FoodSaver does not provide vacuum pull specifications on their products. We arrived at these numbers through independent testing. 

**The handheld sealer is a different system that requires different bags. These bags are reusable and are great for leftovers because they have a zip top seal, but the re-sealable bags are fairly expensive (they can be used up to 8 times, depending on what you use them for).

back to top

Weston Vs. FoodSaver: An Overview of the Differences

Weston and FoodSaver both make consumer-grade vacuum sealers, but Weston also makes heavy duty and commercial grade vacuum sealers, while FoodSaver does not. 

See our comprehensive Weston vacuum sealer review

FoodSaver: If you want the best price you can find and don't mind a product you might be replacing every few years, FoodSaver is the brand for you. (Hint: If you plan on using your vacuum sealer only occasionally, say, a few times a month, then FoodSaver is a good brand to get. With light use, your FoodSaver sealer could last 10 years or more.) 

Weston: If you want a product designed for heavy duty use, is repairable, and will serve you for many years, but will be a higher initial investment, then a Weston vacuum sealer, is the better choice, with the exception of the Weston Harvest Guard sealer, which is Weston's direct competitor to FoodSaver sealers, and about the same level of quality.

Here are some of the basic differences between Weston and FoodSaver food vacuum sealers:

  • While FoodSaver does not provide vacuum specifications, independent tests (including ours) have shown that a FoodSaver pulls about 20" Hg. This is less than the smallest Weston vacuum sealer. (To understand what that means, see the section Why Is Vacuum Strength Important? below.)
  • Weston vacuum sealers are fan-cooled; FoodSavers are not. This means you can use the sealer continuously with fewer cool down period required. This is true even for FoodSaver's top end models, which get around the cooling issue by having two vacuum pumps that take turns sealing so one can cool while the other is in use.
  • As FoodSaver vacuum sealers go up in price, they have more automated features, but the vacuum pull and wattage (i.e., power) remain about the same. As Weston vacuum sealers go up in price, they get more powerful, with more vacuum pulled. 
  • Weston offers extra long sealing bars on their commercial grade sealers; all FoodSaver models have an 11 inch sealing bar.
  • Weston sealers are not "throw-away" products like so many of today's appliances are, including most FoodSaver vacuum sealers. You can buy replacement parts for Weston sealers and send them away for repairs. FoodSaver doesn't really offer this, except for a few simple parts like gaskets. You may be able to find parts for them made by other companies, but in general, FoodSaver sealers are meant to be used for a few years, then replaced rather than repaired.
  • At about $200, FoodSaver vacuum sealers stop competing with Weston because Weston sealers above this price point are in the commercial class: FoodSaver doesn't make any products that can compete with Weston's greater sealing power, higher wattage, and more durable build quality.
  • The Weston Harvest Guard (not reviewed here) and Weston Professional Advantage vacuum sealers are the Weston sealers that compete directly with FoodSaver. The Harvest Guard is comparable to any FoodSaver model as far as power and vacuum pulled; it won't have the automated features of higher-priced FoodSaver sealers. The Pro Advantage is a high-end consumer-grade sealer with a more powerful motor, a fan-cooled pump, and a stronger vacuum than you'll find on FoodSaver sealers; a comparably priced FoodSaver vacuum sealer will have automated bagging and some other added features, but not as much vacuum pulled and a weaker motor.

back to top

Weston Vs. FoodSaver: Pros and Cons

FoodSaver

Weston

Pros

Cons

Pros

Cons

-Low Price

-Good warranty

-Many levels of automation and price points

-Good for light-medium home use.

-Weak vacuum

-Pump overheats easily (not fan-cooled)

-Vacuum pull not listed (but tests at around 20" Hg).

-Strong vacuum

-Fewer cool down periods needed (esp. higher priced models)

-Fan-cooled motors

-Vacuum specs given

-Most "Pro-" models good for medium-heavy home use.

-Higher priced than FoodSaver

-Fewer automated features

-Fewer extra features.

back to top

About FoodSaver

FoodSaver is owned by Newell Brands, a giant conglomerate that owns several consumer brands including Rubbermaid, Calphalon, Sunbeam, Crockpot, Coleman outdoor products, and dozens more. FoodSaver was originally an Italian company known for product excellence; in fact, if you find an old FoodSaver--made before 1990--you should snap it up. These old products have a reputation for lasting forever.

Today, FoodSaver vacuum sealers are made in China. This is not in itself a bad thing, as most vacuum sealers are now made in China, including Weston sealers and most expensive chamber sealers (VacMaster, PolyScience). But FoodSaver dominates the consumer grade, lower-priced and lower-powered end of the market. They offer a wide array of food vacuum sealers that range from no-frill, manual operation up to full automation, including cutting the bag for you. The amount of power and vacuum strength remains about  the same at all FoodSaver price points (as we already mentioned).

FoodSaver considers vacuum pull to be proprietary information, so that's an important of information that we had to test for ourselves. What we do know, from tests we've done and from some Internet research, is that the average vacuum strength of a FoodSaver vacuum sealer is about 20" Hg, as you can see in this short 2-minute video:

If you're not sure what that means and why it's important, we explain below.

back to top

About Weston

Weston Products LLC was founded in 1997 and makes several products for home food processing, including meat grinders, pasta makers, juicers, smokers, sausage making supplies, canning supplies, and vacuum sealers. All of their products are geared toward "fueling a movement of hunters, gatherers, and locavores with the enduring, well-built products needed for a self-sustaining approach to food" (from their website). Their headquarters are located in Cleveland, OH. Most of their products are manufactured in China. 

Made in China! Does this mean a Weston vacuum sealer is on the same quality level as FoodSaver (that is, average)? More importantly, does it mean you should save your money and buy a FoodSaver product?

If you're buying a consumer grade vacuum sealer, then it doesn't really matter which brand you buy. They're all built about the same and pull less vacuum (the best being about 23-24"Hg). However, if you want a more heavy duty or even commercial grade sealer, Weston is a good brand to go with. 

back to top

Why Is Vacuum Strength Important?

The whole principle of vacuum sealing is that, because air carries most of the pathogens that cause food spoilage, the more air you can remove from a bag, the longer the food will be preserved. So a stronger vacuum is going to result in fresher food that stays fresh for a longer period. 

Vacuum pressure is most commonly measured in inches of mercury (in. Hg or "Hg). Perfect vacuum is considered to be 30" Hg, and is not possible to achieve in earth's atmosphere. The very best chamber vacuum sealers can pull close to 29"Hg, while the best edge sealers can pull about 28" Hg. Consumer-grade vacuum sealers pull considerably less, from about 20"Hg-24"Hg.

The difference between 20"Hg and 28"Hg may not sound like a lot but is actually quite significant: 28"Hg is almost 30% more air removed from a bag compared to 20"Hg. So while consumer grade vacuum sealers are better than no vacuum sealer at all, commercial grade vacuum sealers offer up to 30% better vacuum. This translates to wasting less food.

You don't have to remember the numbers. Just remember that the stronger the vacuum, the longer your food will stay fresh. And since a vacuum sealer can help reduce the amount of wasted food in your household--up to $2700 per year according to the FoodSaver website--even if you spend $1000 on a chamber vacuum, sealer, it will pay for itself in less than a year.

The stronger the vacuum, the longer your food will stay fresh. A commercial grade sealer can remove up to 30% more air than a consumer grade sealer can.

back to top

Review: FoodSaver FM2435, V4400, and FM5860

See the FoodSaver FM2435 on Amazon (bag storage, accessory port, handheld sealer)

See the FoodSaver V4400 on Amazon (bag storage, accessory port, handheld sealer, automated features)

See the FoodSaver FM5860 on Amazon (bag storage, accessory port, handheld sealer, completely automated operation)

FoodSaverPremium5000

Since all three of these models have similar internal parts, build quality, and pull roughly the same vacuum, we're reviewing them as one product.

Each of these FoodSaver vacuum sealers offer increasing levels of automation: the bigger the model number, the more automated features the vacuum sealer has. You can spend even less on a FoodSaver and have fewer automated features, but these are the three models that correspond most closely to Weston's Harvest Guard and Professional Advantage vacuum sealers. 

Features

  • Stainless housing
  • Removable drip tray
  • Dry/Moist, Quick Marinate functions
  • Integrated roll storage and bag cutter
  • Extra wide sealing strip to ensure a strong seal
  • Hose accessory for use with jars, marinade containers, etc.
  • Handheld sealer included, for use with these resealable bags
  • Automatic bag detection (V4400 and FM5860 only)
  • Bag starter kit (contents will vary but can include bags, bag rolls, zipper bags, marinade containers, and more)
  • 5 year warranty.

Operation

All three of these FoodSaver models have automatic operation, meaning the sealer does most of the bagging itself. The V4400 and FM5860 also have automatic bag detection, making sealing even easier because all you have to do is insert a bag to begin the sealing process.

FM2435

  1. Insert a bag into the sealing channel.
  2. Lock the lid down. 
  3. Press the Vacuum and Seal button.

V4400/FM5860

  1. Insert bag into the sealing channel--process will begin automatically.
  2. You can make and cut bags and control the sealing with the push of a button. This short video shows the basic operation of the FM5860 (the V4400 is very similar):

Specifications

FM2435

Color: Stainless and black

Size: 18.4x6.5x11 in.

Weight: 7.7 lbs

Max Bag Width: 11 in.

Edge Sealing without Vacuum Capability? Yes

Storage space for bags? Yes

Roll cutter? Yes

Warranty: 5 year limited.

V4400

Color: Black and stainless (V4440); Mostly stainless (V4840)

Size: 11 x 20 x 12 in.

Weight: 10 lbs

Max Bag Width: 11 in.

Edge Sealing without Vacuum Capability? Yes

Storage Space for Bags? Yes

Roll Cutter? Yes

Warranty: 5 year limited.

FM5860

Color: Stainless and black

Size: 11.6 x 25.7 x 9.4 inches

Weight: 15.1 lbs

Max Bag Width: 11.8 in. (but only fits 11 in. rolls)

Edge Sealing without Vacuum Capability? Yes

Storage space for bags? Yes

Roll cutter? Yes

Warranty: 5 year limited.

Accessories

All three of these models have an accessory port and a handheld sealer included, which means you can use them with all FoodSaver accessories, including:

FoodSaver Canisters

FoodSaver Quick Marinator

FoodSaver Fresh Containers (storage containers)

FoodSaver Bottle Stoppers

FoodSaver WideMouth Jar Sealer

FoodSaver Zipper Bags

Note: The FoodSaver accessory hose has a universal port, so you can use non-FoodSaver accessories as well.

V4400 Vs. FM5860: What's the Difference?

The only real difference between these two sealers is that the FM5860 has bag sizing at the push of a button. The FM5860 will release and retract the bag roll automatically (see the video above in the Operations section).

The V4400 will bag automatically, but you have to size the bag yourself.

Recommendation

FoodSaver makes a nice consumer grade sealer with a lot of automation features but not the best vacuum on the market, and the non-fan cooled motor can overheat easily. Therefore, buy FoodSaver if you're going to be a light duty home user and won't be doing large bulk sealing projects.

The more you spend, the more automated the features, but remember: you won't get stronger vacuum as the price goes up, so only spend more on a FoodSaver vacuum sealer if you want the convenience of automation. 

Buy the FoodSaver FM2435 vacuum sealer on amazon now:

buy the FoodSaver V4400 vacuum sealer on Amazon now:

buy the FoodSaver FM5860 vacuum sealer on Amazon now:

back to top

Review: Weston Professional Advantage Vacuum Sealer (65-0501-W)

WestonProAdvantage_600px

The Weston Professional Advantage is one if Weston's lowest priced sealers and one of the most direct competitor with FoodSaver. It is designed for the home user who wants a dependable sealer, but probably won't put it to heavy-duty use (such as a lot of bulk sealing jobs). It has an accessory port for canisters, marinating, and more. (The hose and canister are sold separately, but if you have old FoodSaver accessories, they'll work with it, as it's a universal port.)

The literature for this sealer says it is a commercial grade sealer, but it's more accurate to say that it's a home sealer with a few features of commercial sealers. At 210W, the motor is too small to be considered commercial. To compare, the other Weston vacuum sealers reviewed here have 600W (the Pro 1100) and 900W (the Pro 2300) motors. (That's more than some chamber sealers.)

Check out the Weston Professional Advantage reviews on Amazon.

Features

  • 210W motor
  • Fan-cooled, 23' Hg  vacuum pump
  • Auto and manual modes
  • Hose accessory port (hose and canisters sold separately)
  • 11-inch long, 3mm wide seal strip
  • Quick marinate function
  • Angled vacuum chamber to prevent liquid messes
  • Easy-clean vacuum chamber
  • Clear lid so you can observe vacuum process
  • ETL certified
  • 1 year warranty.

Operation

Here's the Weston Pro Advantage control panel:

Weston Vacuum Sealers: Better Than FoodSaver?

Operation is simple. The Pro Advantage has a touchpad so basic that you can use it without reading the manual: Turn it on, insert a bag, and press start. It will seal automatically, or you can press Pulse (to avoid crushing soft foods or drawing moisture up into the unit), then press Seal when ready.

If you want to use the accessory port, you plug in the hose and choose either "Accessory" to vacuum, or "Marinate," which will create the ideal environment for fast marinating (i.e., intermittent vacuum pull).

This sealer also has an angled chamber opening to help prevent liquids from being sucked into the unit during operation.  Weston vs FoodSaver

Specifications

Color: Black and brushed stainless

Size: 10x18x6 inches

Weight: 7.3 lbs.

Motor: 210W (standard US 120V/60Hz outlet)

Vacuum: 23' Hg, fan-cooled

Vacuum Modes: Automatic and manual

Max bag width: 11-in.

Storage space for bags? No

Roll cutter? No

Weston Vacuum Sealers: Better Than FoodSaver?

Included

15-1 quart (8" x 12") bags.

Recommendation

The Pro Advantage is not the Weston sealer we recommend, as the motor is significantly smaller and less powerful than other Weston options. But it's still more powerful and will pull a stronger vacuum than any FoodSaver vacuum. If you're torn between a FoodSaver and the slightly more expensive Pro Advantage, go with the Weston. 

BUY the Weston Professional Advantage Vacuum Sealer on amazon:

back to top

Review: Weston Pro-2300 Stainless Steel Vacuum Sealer

WestonPro2300_600px

With a 935W, fan-cooled pump that can pull 28" Hg of vacuum and a 15 inch sealing bar, the Weston Pro-2300 can do some serious vacuum sealing. It is a premium quality sealer, made for home use but heavy duty enough for commercial use. Its powerful motor and vacuum pump make quick work of bulk freezing tasks.

The Pro-2300 is designed primarily for food storage; it does not have an accessory port for marinades or canisters.

The 15 inch sealing bar is rare among sealers. The vast majority of home sealers have 11 inch bars. People who do a lot of bulk sealing are willing to pay the premium price for the option to use extra large bags. And indeed, it's a nice feature to have. Although keep in mind that bigger bags are more expensive, so you may not use them as much as you think you will. Weston vs FoodSaver

Check out the Weston Pro-2300 reviews on Amazon.

Features

  • 935W motor
  • Double piston, 28' Hg vacuum pump
  • 15-inch seal bar with 5mm wide seal bar
  • Air-cooled vacuum pump
  • Auto and manual modes
  • Stainless steel housing
  • Clear lid so you can align bags and observe vacuum process
  • Detachable cord with storage space
  • ETL certified
  • 2 year manufacturer's warranty.

Operation

Here's the Pro-2300 control panel:

WestonPro2300 controls

The Weston Pro-2300 is simple to operate. It has 3 buttons: Start, Stop, and Manual. You can seal with one button press, or use the Manual button for soft or moist foods. LED Indicator lights tell you what phase the sealer is in during operation.

Specifications

Color: stainless

Size: 15.3x23.9x9 inches

Weight: 22 lbs

Motor: 935W (standard US 120V/60Hz outlet)

Vacuum: 28' Hg, dual piston, fan-cooled

Vacuum Modes: Automatic and manual

Max bag width: 15-in.

Storage space for bags? No

Roll cutter? No

Weston Vacuum Sealers: Better Than FoodSaver?

Recommendation

Buy the Weston Pro-2300 if you want superior quality, lightning fast sealing, an extra wide 15 inch sealing bar, and are willing to pay the price for a premium product.

Don't buy if you want the accessory hose option. 

buy the Weston Pro-2300 Vaccum Sealer on amazon now:

Weston Vacuum Sealers: Better Than FoodSaver?

back to top

Review: Weston PRO-1100 Stainless Steel Vacuum Sealer (65-0601-W)

WestonPro1100_600px

The Weston Pro-1100 has some great features: a powerful air-cooled vacuum pump for big sealing projects, an accessory hose for marinading and use with canisters, and a bag roll holder and cutter, which means you can use rolls of bags with this model--rolls are not only cheaper, they also increase the size bag you can use because you can cut them to any length. With the Pro-1100, you get the best of both worlds: a durable, commercial grade product compact and versatile enough for home use. It's truly brilliant. Weston vs FoodSaver

Hose and canisters sold separately--click here to see on Amazon. (If you can't find the Weston accessories, no worries: any brand will work, as the hose attachment is universal.)

The Pro-1100 has also a digital display that helps simplify the vacuum process (note that the Pro 2300 and Pro Advantage do not have digital displays).

Check out the Weston Pro-1100 on Amazon now.

Features

  • 680W motor
  • Double piston, 28' Hg vacuum pump
  • 11-inch seal bar with 5mm wide seal bar
  • Air-cooled vacuum pump
  • Auto and manual modes
  • Adjustable sealing time
  • Digital display
  • Side-mounted hose accessory port
  • Rear mounted bag roll and bag cutter
  • Detachable cord with storage space
  • ETL certified
  • 2 year manufacturer's warranty.

Operation

Because the Pro-1100 has more features than other Weston sealers, the controls are a bit more complicated, as you can see in the diagram:

Weston Vacuum Sealers: Better Than FoodSaver?

Press the Start button to seal automatically: that's how easy it is to use.

You can also adjust the seal time if you want to make sure you've got a tight seal--this is handy for sealing bags cut from rolls, which have to be sealed on one end before you fill them.

You can also set for Pulse, Manual Seal, and Accessory. Weston vs FoodSaver

LED indicator lights guide you through the sealing process.

Specifications

Size: 18.2x15.6x10in.

Weight: 15lbs

Motor: 680W (standard US 120V/60Hz outlet)

Vacuum: 28' Hg, dual piston, fan-cooled

Vacuum Modes: Automatic and manual

Max bag width: 11-in.

Storage space for bags? Yes

Roll cutter? Yes.

Included

Maintenance kit.

Recommendation

Buy the Weston Pro-1100 if you want power, durability, and bag roll storage built into the sealer.

Don't buy if you want to seal extra large bags, as the sealing bar is a standard 11 inches. It is also not as powerful as the Pro 2300, but at 680W, it's still more powerful than most edge or chamber sealers.

buy the Weston Pro-1100 Vacuum Sealer on amaznon now:

Weston Vacuum Sealers: Better Than FoodSaver?

back to top

Bags and Accessories

Don't forget bags:

Roll: 2 11in x 50 ft (Pro-1100 only)

Weston Bags 8x12in.

Weston Bags 11x16in.

Note: You do not need to use Weston bags. Any bag designed for edge vacuum sealers will work.

back to top

Final Thoughts

In the FoodSaver vs. Weston battle, FoodSaver wins on one front: price. If you want a vacuum sealer that's durable and powerful, Weston is a better choice. They offer many options, including accessory ports, bag storage, digital display, extra long sealing bars, and different vacuum pump strength--and all Westons pull more vacuum than FoodSaver. You'll pay more up front, but a Weston vacuum sealer is going to last for many, many years.

Thanks for reading!

back to top

Help other people buy wisely, too! Please share this article:

Weston Vacuum Sealers: Better Than FoodSaver?

You might also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Hello, I have a Pro 2300 Weston sealer. How can I use it to seal mason jar? Is there an attachment I can add, even if it is through another brand?

    1. Hi Cam, The Pro 2300 does NOT have an accessory hose port. You are instead paying for the super powerful vacuum, heavy-duty build quality, and 15″ sealing bar. (Well worth it, IMO.) I think if you try to use it with an accessory hose, it may void your warranty. Having said that, I think I have read about people doing it. If there’s a small, round opening on the machine, you can probably try to put a hose in there and see if it works. I think you’re correct that any brand of hose will work IF there is such an opening. I am not recommending that you do that, but if you give it a try, good luck to you. Also, maybe check out YouTube to see if anyone has done it.

      Another option is to buy a cheap handheld or FoodSaver sealer (under $50) for use with an accessory port. We just published a new article about all the FoodSavers on Amazon–every model we reviewed has an accessory port. Alternatively, if your Pro 2300 is still under warranty, you may want to return it and buy a Weston model that does have the accessory port. I can’t remember which ones do but I’m sure this article has that information.

      Thanks for your question.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}