PURPOSE To compare three phacoemulsification machines for measurement accuracy and postocclusion surge (POS) in human cadaver eyes. DESIGN In vitro comparisons of machine accuracy and POS. METHODS Tip vacuum and flow were compared with machine indicated vacuum and flow. All machines were placed in two human cadaver eyes and POS was determined. RESULTS Vacuum (% of actual) was 101.9% +/- 1.7% for Infiniti (Alcon, Fort Worth, Texas, USA), 93.2% +/- 3.9% for Stellaris (Bausch & Lomb, Rochester, New York, USA), and 107.8% +/- 4.6% for Signature (Advanced Medical Optics, Santa, Ana, California, USA; P < .0001). At 60 ml/minute flow, actual flow and unoccluded flow vacuum (UFV) was 55.8 +/- 0.4 ml/minute and 197.7 +/- 0.7 mm Hg for Infiniti, 53.5 +/- 0.0 ml/minute and 179.8 +/- 0.9 mm Hg for Stellaris, and 58.5 +/- 0.0 ml/minute and 115.1 +/- 2.3 mm Hg for Signature (P < .0001). POS in an 32-year-old eye was 0.33 +/- 0.05 mm for Infiniti, 0.16 +/- 0.06 mm for Stellaris, and 0.13 +/- 0.04 mm for Signature at 550 mm Hg, 60 cm bottle height, 45 ml/minute flow with 19-gauge tips (P < .0001 for Infiniti vs Stellaris and Signature). POS in an 81-year-old eye was 1.51 +/- 0.22 mm for Infiniti, 0.83 +/- 0.06 mm for Stellaris, 0.67 +/- 0.01 mm for Signature at 400 mm Hg vacuum, 70 cm bottle height, 40 ml/minute flow with 19-gauge tips (P < .0001). CONCLUSIONS Machine-indicated accuracy, POS, and UFV were statistically significantly different. Signature had the lowest POS and vacuum to maintain flow. Regarding POS, Stellaris was close to Signature; regarding vacuum to maintain flow, Infiniti and Stellaris were similar. Minimizing POS and vacuum to maintain flow potentially are important in avoiding ocular damage and surgical complications.