Stocking up your pantry and fridge seems to be the norm these days. But while it does mean fewer trips to the supermarket, it can also mean more spoiled food being thrown out. One of the easiest ways to extend the shelf life of your food items is to get a vacuum sealer. These heavy-duty machines work to securely seal almost anything edible.
Now, FoodSaver is arguably the top brand when it comes to vacuum sealers. The company’s FoodSaver 5380 and 5480 are just two of the most reliable countertop models from the brand’s catalog. Both feature an upright design and include a handheld sealer, too. But which one is the better machine? Here, we look at the FoodSaver 5380 and 5480 to see the vacuum sealer that’s worth spending on.
FoodSaver 5380 vs 5480 Comparison Chart
|Model||FoodSaver 5380||FoodSaver 5480|
|Price||Check Price on Walmart||Check Price on Amazon|
|Adjustable Food Settings||Yes||Yes|
(L x W x H)
|18.4 x 41.3 x 19.1 cm||18.8 x 41.3 x 20.3 cm|
|Weight||10.75 lbs||9.93 lbs|
The FoodSaver 5380 and 5480 are sturdy vacuum sealers with an open design.
The FoodSaver 5380 and 5480 are both automatic vacuum sealers that come with an open design. One of the benefits of this approach is that it’s easier to check on the built-in roll storage and see your supply of rolls. Both machines also sport a transparent upper gasket that doubles as a viewing window. This design feature provides visibility to key components of your FoodSaver, including the vacuum channel and drip tray.
Just like FoodSaver’s other vacuum sealers, the 5380 and 5480 are both clad in durable stainless steel. This lends the machines their durability but also adds to their heft. Thanks to their open design, both models are considerably lighter than other FoodSavers with enclosed roll storage. If you’re particular about how these appliances will fit your kitchen, know that the two share fairly similar dimensions. The 5380, however, is heavier by about a pound.
Users will appreciate how both vacuum sealers are narrower than their enclosed counterparts. The result is an upright design with a lower, and thus more accessible, sealer and bag cutter. Looking at the side profile and control panel of the machines gives away the difference between the two. The FoodSaver 5380 has sharper edges and square buttons that give it a bolder appearance. In contrast, the FoodSaver 5380 has slenderer lines and a more curved form that appears to fold around the roll storage.
The 5380 and 5480 come with same the features, although the latter adds the functionality of a Pulse Vac button.
A look at the respective control panels of the FoodSaver 5380 and 5480 will give you an idea about their features. For instance, both machines will come with standard functions like power and a large seal button. These buttons come with dedicated indicator lights, too.
The 5380 and 5480 are also equipped with adjustable food settings. This feature comes in handy when sealing different types of food. Items like cheese, fruits, or other pantry goods, for example, can be vacuumed under a Dry mode. Meanwhile, stews or juicy meats can be sealed using the Moist mode. A key advantage of the 5480, however, is that it also comes with a Pulse Vac button. This allows users to manually control the vacuum’s suction level to suit the food item you’re sealing.
Next to the control panel of the 5380 and 5480, you’ll find the retractable handheld sealer of the 5380 and 5480. This makes it easy to vacuum seal FoodSaver accessories, including zipper bags and containers. The feature also works in tandem with the marinate mode, which both machines have. Under marinate mode, you get stronger suction that lowers pressure inside the bag. As a result, the flavors of your marinade can be infused more quickly and efficiently in your meats.
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The FoodSaver 5480 has an advantage over the 5380 when it comes to vacuum sealing delicate food items.
What makes FoodSaver vacuum sealers really popular is their ease of use. This is true with both the FoodSaver 5380 and 5480. The control panel on the machines is intuitive, and if you do make a mistake, there’s always a cancel button you can resort to. Switching between dry and moist modes is also straightforward, as is taking out the handheld sealer.
When it comes to handling delicate food, however, the 5480 will have an advantage. The vacuum sealer’s Pulse Vac mode allows the user to be in charge of the vacuum sealing process. If you want to seal baked goods, for example, you’ll be more confident using the 5480 than the 5380. The Pulse Vac really helps minimize breaking or crumbling cookies or chips while sealing in the flavor.
In terms of operations, these vacuum sealers tend to heat up. FoodSaver recommends waiting 20 seconds between seals. They also make a bit of a buzzing sound during the vacuuming process but aren’t too loud to be a nuisance. Caring for and maintaining the 5380 and 5480 is simple, too. The removable drip tray of both sealers is dishwasher-safe. Meanwhile, the removable reservoir of the handheld sealer only requires a handwash using warm, soapy water.
The FoodSaver 5480 is great if you need to store delicate food items but the 5380 is good enough if you simply want a vacuum sealer.
Get it if you just want a vacuum sealer
Get it if you want more vacuum control
With their unique, open design and ease-of-use, the FoodSaver 5380 and 5480 are great alternatives over the heavier, enclosed FoodSavers. Both vacuum sealers brandish sophisticated forms and are durable enough to handle everyday use. In terms of performance, however, the FoodSaver 5480 has a slight advantage over the 5380.
The 5480’s addition of a Pulse Vac button gives users more control over the vacuum sealing process. As a result, it fares better when sealing more delicate food items. But if this extra feature isn’t something important to you, then the 5380 is still a solid choice. The machine has the same features as the 5480 and delivers consistent seals, too.
The FoodSaver 5480 shares the same features as the 5380 but adds a Pulse Vac button to its control panel. The Pulse Vac function allows users to manually control the vacuum level when the 5480 is in use.
Yes, the handheld sealer of the FoodSaver 5380 is compatible with FoodSaver containers and jars.
Based on users reviews, the FoodSaver 5480 typically takes about 10 seconds for each seal.
Every purchase of the FoodSaver 5480 comes with a starter kit including FoodSaver rolls, zipper bags, a wine stopper, and an L&L container.