FoodSaver 31161366 Reviews: Is This the Best Compact Food Sealer?

Updated: June 19, 2021 by Rachael

Do you want the best compact food sealer to lock in freshness? Vacuum sealers are a great way to preserve large quantities of food but, let’s face it, no one needs another bulky kitchen appliance.

We’ve searched dozens of products looking for a vacuum sealer that gives you full-sized power, without taking up too much room in the kitchen.

Our favorite tool that fits the bill is the FoodSaver 31161366 Space Saving Food Vacuum Sealer. At just over 12 inches long, this compact food saver has a streamlined simple design that can easily sit on your counter without getting in the way.

Foodsaver 31161366 Space Saving Food Vacuum Sealer

FoodSaver offers durable, high-quality vacuum sealers that are designed to keep your food fresher for up to five times longer than using traditional sealing methods.

If you’re considering a FoodSaver compact vacuum sealer, you likely want to:

  • Save money on food waste
  • Prepare your food ahead of time
  • Keep food as fresh as possible
  • Keep your kitchen counters free of clutter

Food prices are rising. Saving as much food as possible leads to more money in your pocket. The FoodSaver 31161366 provides robust sealing, keeps food fresher for longer, and fits in most people’s budgets.

We’re going to take an in-depth look at the key features of the FoodSaver, how it works, what others are saying, and tips on how to use this compact food sealer.

Our FoodSaver 31161366 Review

FoodSaver is a well-known brand that has provided years of food saving and continues to innovate with new, residential use products. Offering a small design and footprint, the FoodSaver compact vacuum sealer packs a lot of power in a unit that’s dimensions are 5.7” x 12.2” x 4.3”.

Silver in color, you can confidently keep the 31161366 on your counter and use it in the smallest of kitchens to seal your food.

Foodsaver 31161366 Compact Size

The small size doesn’t mean that this sealer isn’t powerful: it boasts full-size power in a small, compact design. You’ll be able to save more than 50% more space than you would with larger models.

And there’s an automatic bag aligner built-in.

When you choose the FoodSaver, you’re choosing a model that has:

  • Easy touch controls that offer custom sealing
  • Bag aligner that allows for a strong seal without fiddling with the bag
  • 8” bag width maximums to accommodate most foods

A single button press is all that’s needed to remove air from bags to keep food fresher for up to five times longer than normal sealing procedures. The unit helps you save money while keeping food as fresh and delicious as when it was first cooked or picked.

When working with delicate foods or items that can easily crush, such as bread, you can press the button to stop the vacuuming process. It takes some time to learn which foods easily crush and how to operate the sealer properly, but you’ll find that after the little learning curve, you’ll be able to seal all foods.

You can also purchase the Handheld Sealer attachment that works with fresh containers and zipper bags sold by FoodSaver.

A versatile food sealer, this unit can use:

  • 8” vacuum seal rolls
  • 1-quart bags
  • 1-pint bags

If you purchase the handheld attachment, you can also seal foods in zipper bags, canisters, and fresh containers.

Inside of the box, you’ll find a single 8” x 10” bag and 10, 1-quart bags to get started with your sealing.

A drip tray is included – something most models don’t offer – allowing for easy cleanup. You’ll find upper and lower gaskets that should be checked and cleaned routinely. You’ll want to remove any food particles left behind and replace the gaskets if they need replacing.

All you need is warm soapy water to clean these components properly.

You will notice that there is not a built-in cutter, so you’ll need to cut the excess bags with a scissor. While not the end of the world, it’s a complaint that a lot of users have.

Wet and dry foods can be sealed, and it’s important to note that only 8” wide bags can be used with the sealer. A lot of users who want to use an 11” width bag will have to use a different sealer. The key to sealing larger foods or meat cuts is ensuring that you portion your foods appropriately to allow for sealing in smaller bags.

With a 90-watt motor, this sealer offers a robust seal that keeps food just as fresh as expensive large models while taking up less than 50% of the counter space.

Pros

  • Built-in bag alignment allows for easy sealing
  • A strong seal keeps food fresher for 5 times longer
  • One-button function to seal your foods
  • Small size with full-size power

Cons

  • Lacks width for larger bags
Foodsaver 31161366 Shown with Avocados in a sealer bag

What are Customers Saying?

The FoodSaver compact vacuum sealer has a lot of great reviews from consumers. Reviews provide a real insight into this sealer and how well it works. A few of the insights from reviews are:

  • Small sealer that works great for smaller sealing needs
  • Works great for meat, bread, steak, banana chips and other foods
  • Pre-cut gallon bags don’t work because they’re not wide enough
  • Switching between controls can be time consuming

Overall, for a budget food sealer, people really like this FoodSaver model. It’s compact, powerful and easy to use.

Tips for Using the FoodSaver Space Saving Food Vacuum Sealer

Consumers have also provided tips on how to best use this compact FoodSaver. A few of the recommendations from users that will make your life easier are:

  • Use scissors to trim the excess plastic
  • Allow for three inches from the top of the bag for the best seal
  • Stop vacuum operation for softer foods, such as bread, to stop them from being crushed
  • Can be used to seal non-food items, such as printer ink

Otherwise, the Food Saver 31161366 is easy to use and the instruction manual is extremely thorough.

Our Runner up for the Best Compact Food Sealer is The Kitchen Boss

KitchenBoss Vacuum Sealer Machine

If you want another option, we recommend giving KitchenBoss a try. The KitchenBoss is a very compact food sealer that comes with a starter kit to get up and running. And at a cost of nearly 50% less than the FoodSaver, the KitchenBoss is a great, budget-friendly alternative.

We also like the endurance coating, high level of heat resistance, and multiple sealing modes for optimal freshness.

Here’s a comparison chart you can use to see the differences and choose the best compact food saver for your family.

FeatureFoodSaver 31161366The Kitchen Boss
Size
(L x W x H)
12.2 x 5.7 x 4.3 inches15 x 4.7 x 2.7 inches
Weight5.29 pounds4.34 pounds
Bag Sizes8″ Rolls, Quart, Pint6 or 8″ Rolls
AttachmentHandheld Sealer Attachment
(sold separately)
for zipper bags & canisters
Accessory Hose (Included)
for canisters &
sous vide cooking

Conclusion

Cooks and families prefer the best compact food sealer instead of a large, expensive one. If you’re not an avid hunter or a commercial operation planning on sealing dozens of pounds of food per day, a compact sealer is a good option.

Offering a small size, light weight and greater sealing power, cooks and families can save money and extent the shelf life of their food by using a compact sealer.