The Nutrichef PKVS18BK is quite possibly one of the best-looking vacuum sealers in the price range. But it doesn’t just excel in terms of design, the sealer also did great in our usability assessment, as well, thanks to its easy-to-use and intuitive control panel. However, while the vacuum sealer receives great scores on design and usability grounds, its mediocre performance does take away quite a lot of the plus points that we gave the sealer in terms of design.
So, if with the Nutrichef PKVS18BK, you won’t get a low raw suction power — which could make it a great choice for sealing soft, moist food, but not for food that requires maximum vacuum, like steak meant for sous vide cooking.
Things We Like
- Relatively affordable
- Visually-appealing design
- The lid and the attached locking mechanism are well-built
- Simple and intuitive control panel
- Bright and comprehensive indicator lights
Things We Don’t Like
- The lid requires quite a lot of force to close properly.
- Motor is loud.
- Doesn’t come with any extra feature.
The Nutrichef PKVS18BK immediately caught our eye with its sleek black-and-white design and glossy finish. It gave off a premium vibe and didn't feel like a cheap product at all. From the moment we unboxed it in the lab, we already had high expectations for the sealer in terms of performance, design, and usability.
Here's the report on how the Nutrichef PKVS18BK fared in our comprehensive tests!
Where to Buy Price at publication $56.12
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Compared to Other Vacuum Sealers
Regrettably, the Nutrichef PKVS18BK didn't perform well in our tests. It scored poorly in the dry food test, earning just 4.35 out of 10, mainly due to its underwhelming suction performance. The sealer barely passed the moist food test, scoring 6.6 out of 10. Tallying up all the scores, the Nutrichef PKVS18BK ended up with a rather mediocre total performance score of 5.3 out of 10.
4.7 Dry Food Test
During our two dry food tests, the Nutrichef PKVS18BK showed rather weak suction performance, ranging from 33 kPA in the first test to a peak of 45 kPA in the second. Even under the most favorable conditions, it only just met the minimum suction strength required for a passing score in our grading chart.
The saving grace for the Nutrichef PKVS18BK in this section was its relatively quick cycle times: 17 seconds in the first session and 21 seconds in the second.
All in all, the Nutrichef PKVS18BK may not be the best choice if a great dry food-packing ability is a priority for you.
7.1 Moist Food Test
Interestingly, when we switched the suction mode to "Gentle," we didn't see a significant drop in suction power. In the first test, it reached 30 kPA, only 3 kPA less than the "Normal" mode. The cycle time was similar, taking just 16 seconds.
In the second test, there was a more noticeable difference. It reached 28 kPA with a shorter 15-second cycle time. We tested it with fresh mango slices, and while there were a few air bubbles left, the fruit slices weren't squished, which was a success.
Our team’s quite happy with the Nutrichef's design, which has a sleek black-and-white housing that looks elegant and high-end. The build quality is excellent, with every part being solidly built, and there were no obvious design or manufacturing flaws anywhere on the unit. The touch-sensitive control panel is user-friendly but could be more responsive. The only major drawback is that the unit lacks extra features, which, to be fair to Nutrichef, is to be expected in a sealer at this price range. Overall, the Nutrichef PKVS18Bk received a 7.7/10 in this section.
In the Box
The Nutrichef PKVS18BK comes in the box with the following:
- Sheets of pre-cut bags and uncut plastic bag rolls
- Air hose and adapter
- Warranty card and user manuals
The Nutrichef PKVS18BK offers a compact size and reasonable weight for its price range. It won't hog your countertop space, unlike larger sealers like the Anova Precision Pro or the Nesco VS-12. Moreover, it's relatively lightweight, so if you intend to store it in a cupboard when not in use, you won't have any difficulty picking it up and moving it around.
8.0 Build Quality
The Nutrichef PKVS18BK boasts excellent overall build quality, with a securely attached lid to the base through robust hinges. After rigorous tugging and shaking tests, there's no hint of flimsiness. The lid's top features a glossy material that initially looks great when the sealer is first unboxed. However, over time, this part of the lid tends to accumulate smudges from fingerprints and light scratches, so you’ll have to regularly clean the sealer if you want to maintain its look.
On the unit's bottom, you'll find white anti-slip feet that ensure stability during use. The interior is well-constructed with a patterned plastic inner plate. The foam strip surrounding the vacuum channel does a great job of forming a tight seal when the lid is closed to aid with the vacuum-packing process.
8.0 Control Panel
The Nutrichef PKVS18BK's control panel on the lid has five buttons.
There are two mode-switching buttons, "Mode" and "Food," which allow you to adjust suction strength ("Normal" or "Gentle" with the "Mode" button) and select the food type ("Dry" or "Moist" with the "Food" button).
On the right, there's a "Seal" button for sealing without vacuuming, useful for creating sealing strips. The button to the far right is "Vac Seal," which both vacuums and seals the bag.
There's a "Stop" button on the far left side to pause the sealer during a working cycle.
Inside the sealer, there's an extra "Canister" button for use with the included air hose accessory, which connects to the interior port for vacuum-sealing compatible bags or containers.
There’s an LED strip at the top of the control panel that lets you track the working progress of the sealer.
The Nutrichef PKVS18BK comes with a latch lock, meaning you have to press down on the lid to get the lock to click into place. There are two buttons on each side of the lid for releasing the lid.
While the lock works very well, it does demand a significant amount of force to click it closed. Our reviewers found it necessary to use both hands to securely lock the lid into place. This can be a bit cumbersome for one-handed operation of the sealer.
0.0 Extra Features
The Nutrichef PKVS18BK, an affordable vacuum sealer, doesn’t have any extra features.
The Nutrichef PKVS18BK is user-friendly with a simple control panel. We didn't have trouble inserting and sealing bags despite the absence of bag hooks. Safety is addressed with a warning sticker about the heating bar, but adding a high-visibility sticker could further improve safety for new users. The sealer lacks an audible chime, though its indicator lights are bright.
8.0 Ease of Use
The Nutrichef PKVS18BK is quite user-friendly, thanks to the straightforward control panel. The clear labelings and the small number of function buttons make it easy for both beginners and experienced users to operate without diving too deep into the user manual. Loading bags into the sealer is relatively easy, though having bag hooks to assist with bag alignment would be a helpful addition. Once the sealing process begins, it’s easy to monitor via the indicator bar at the top of the control panel.
One minor drawback is that closing the lid may require a bit more effort, which can be slightly inconvenient when trying to operate the sealer with one hand.
9.0 Safety & Noise
Thanks to the numerous interior safety stickers, our reviewers gave the Nutrichef PKVS18BK a decent safety score. These stickers warn about the hot heating bar and the risk of damaging the sealer with excessive liquid. However, the lack of a high-visibility orange sticker on the heating bar, as seen in some other sealers like the Anova Precision Pro or the Nesco VS-12, can be a hazard for new users.
In terms of noise, the sealer’s on the louder side, reaching a peak of 84.5 dBA during a dry food test.
9.0 Indicator Lights and Chime
Apart from the four mode indicators above the "Mode" and "Food" buttons that instantly show your chosen mode, there's a large white progress bar on the control panel. When you select a mode like "Vac Seal," this bar starts flashing and moves from left to right. When the bar’s filled up, the sealer automatically shuts down, indicating that it's time to retrieve your sealed bag. This feature significantly enhances the sealer's user-friendliness.
However, it's worth noting that the Nutrichef PKVS18BK doesn't have a chime, which is common for sealers in this price range.
Behind the review
Matthew Lee is a writer and editor for HealthyKitchen101. With over 8 years working for various outlets and agencies, specializing in tech review and other subjects of note, such as current affairs.
Lap is Head of the Research, Testing, and Review Team (RTR Team) at HealthyKitchen101.com, where he directs and supervises the testing of kitchen gadgets and appliances.
Nguyen Ntk is a graphic designer, photographer, and videographer whose philosophy centers around respecting and celebrating the beauty of reality. Through his lenses, Nguyen strives to capture the true essence of objects and events, showcasing and highlighting authentic features without distortion or exaggeration.