Here are some of the key features in an ice maker machine that you should look for to ensure you will not be wasting your time and money.
1. Ice-making capability and capacity
We’re talking here mainly of the speed and capacity – how fast the ice maker can make the ice and how much it can produce in a certain period of time. You’d also have to look at the length of time it takes to operate from the moment it is plugged and is turned on.
2. Ice storage and water tank capacity
This refers to how much amount of ice it can hold and how much water you can pour into the tank so the ice-making process will go continuously.
3. Dimensions and design
You would naturally look for an ice maker that is light and small enough to be carried from one place to another. After all, isn’t that the very reason you want one of these ice maker machines? The design should also be something that would fit your home and your lifestyle.
4. Quality of ice
You should be in a position to know what you need in terms of the ice cubes that will be produced. There are ice makers that produce only one size of ice cubes while many others have three size selections. The shape of the ice cubes also differ according to the brand or model of ice maker machine.
5. Controls and Add-ons
Ice maker machines now come with various controls and add-ons. You could choose those with simple electronic controls or the ones with digital or LCD displays. You can also choose an ice maker that has to be manually filled with water or buy one that comes with a water line connection. Other inclusions are ice scoops and built-in drains.
Tips on Buying An Ice Maker Machine
When making your ice maker purchase, DO:
- Check out the ice storage and water tank capacity if they will be sufficient for your needs.
- Check the ice-making speed and assess if it will be able to keep up with your ice needs when the time comes.
- Choose an ice maker machine with a well-insulated storage compartment. This would ensure that the ice will stay fresh and cold for a longer period.
- Consider if you need an ice machine that can produce various sizes and shapes of ice or just a simple one.
- Make sure the quality of the material used in manufacturing the body of the ice maker machine is very good. You do not want your ice with a metallic (for stainless steel and other metal ice makers) or plastic (for those that are made from plastic) taste.
- Touch and feel. Portability is important, so you should test whether the ice maker machine you are eyeing can actually be moved and transported about with ease.
- Shop around. Ask people you know about their recommendations. Go to shops and appliance stores and talk to salespersons about the units. Have them do a test or demo of the product. If you are buying online, reading reviews and testimonials about the product will help a lot. These reviews would also help a lot when you go out to personally scour the shops for your own residential ice machine.
Meanwhile, DO NOT:
- Go for flash. Just because it looks pretty and sleek does not instantly mean it is the best choice. The exterior is nice but you want an ice maker that primarily works, not just look good and perform at half-par.
- Settle. You may be on a tight budget, but do not let that be your primary reason for buying a low-quality ice maker machine. Do not immediately buy the cheapest unit without checking out its features. You would probably end up with an ice maker that does not deliver when it matters the most and, worse, be saddled with cost of repairs and maintenance.
- Be brand-conscious. Sure, some brands might have been making these ice makers for decades, but that alone should not be your basis. Some newer brands in the market are actually quite competitive when it comes to quality and value.
Buying your own ice maker is an investment and, as in every investment you make, you should make them with a lot of thought and consideration beforehand to make sure you get value – and returns – for you money.
Check out the 11 Best Ice Makers on the market right now:
#1. Scotsman Brilliance 60 lb Nugget Ice Machine Door Finish: Stainless Steel
- SCN60PA-1SS Door Finish: Stainless Steel
- Drain Type: Pump, Condenser Type: Air
- Produces up to 30 lbs. of gourmet ice in 24 hours, Stores up to 26 lbs
- Nugget ice is made from bits of compacted ice that are soft, chewable and absorb the flavor of the beverage
- Product Type: Freestanding Ice Maker
- Ice Storage Capacity: 26 Pounds
- Ice Making Capacity: 30 Pounds
Pros: excellent top of line home ice maker, easy to install for the DIY’er, with built-in drain pump, it starts to produce ice within minutes of starting up and quickly fills the bin, makes the ice nice and soft, quiet, sensor shutoff does good job keeping bin full while not over producing, uses 40% less energy and more than 50% less water than stand-alone/dedicated ice machines …
Cons: pricey ice machine …
#2. U-Line : BI95B-00 14 Ice Maker
- U Line Origin Series BI-95B-00 14” Ice Maker
- Only requires a 1/4″ outside diameter water line connection
- Daily ice rate of up to 23 lbs
- Uses less than three gallons of water for approximately 23 lbs. of ice and minimal electricity
- Daily Ice Production & No Drain Required
Pros: no drain needed, require a little maintenance, uses less than three gallons of water and minimal electricity per day, makes lots of ice ice fast and quiet, the size of the ice is not tiny squares, beautiful looking ice, if you absolutely need decorative ice cubes or enjoy tedious maintenance there are better choices, 5 year warranty on compressor …
Cons: no …
#3. Whynter UIM-155 Stainless Steel Built-In Ice Maker
- With the Whynter Stainless Steel Built-In Ice Maker, they bring you the latest in professional standard innovations for the home
- This ice maker makes 12-pound of crescent-shaped ice in 24 hours and can store 6-pound of ice
- This built-in portable ice maker from Whynter is the perfect solution to your ice making needs in virtually any situation
- It comes in a stylish stainless steel door and sleek black cabinet that complement any modern kitchen or bar area
- For installation, please consult a professional plumber
Pros: very nice compact ice maker, perfect for a tight fit in a small area, it’s easy enough to install with zero handiness required, comes with a standard direct water tube, makes at least 12lbs a day, makes ice like crazy and fast, great ice cubes in reasonable time frame, quiet operation, once the bin is full it shuts off to save power, you never run out of ice anymore …
Cons: uses a lot of electricity to run, wish it were just a little bigger …
#4. Luma Comfort IM200SS Portable Clear Ice Maker, 28-Pound
- The Luma Comfort IM200SS Portable Clear Ice Maker is the ultimate luxury entertaining necessity for your home bar or kitchen
- Sporting a sleek stainless steel finish and modern ice-making technology, this next generation portable ice maker is as attractive as it is dependable
- With ice available in minutes, it’s perfect for use at home and on the road
- Forget bags of ice or running to your freezer – this Luma Comfort ice maker has you covered!
- The IM200SS produces up to 28 pounds of crystal-clear, restaurant-quality ice every 24 hours using the same modern technology found in commercial ice machines
- Clear ice not only looks better, but also melts up to 5 times slower than cloudy ice
- This portable clear ice maker is great for making both fancy cocktails and cool summertime beverages
- Additional features include low water and full ice indicators
- LED control panel and space-conserving countertop design
- No plumbing is required: just fill the IM200SS with water, turn it on and enjoy clear ice in minutes
Pros: best clear ice cubes, love the stainless steel exterior, a real workhorse, easy to use, easy to clean, working flawlessly, makes perfect quality clear ice with little effort, the ice cubes are the perfect size, the clear ice looks and tastes soooo much better, ice is cubed not bullet or circles, no more filling up ice cube trays …
Cons: no issues but it’s a bit heavy …
#5. Dometic HZB-12SA Compact Portable Ice Maker
- Dometic’s compact portable ice maker is the perfect appliance for entertaining and fun
- Will make ice within 13 minutes
- Has a removable basket that holds up to 1.8 pounds of ice
- Makes 26 pounds of ice in a single day
- Has the Small or Large size cubes
- LED display lights to make it easy to use
- Comes in either Stainless Steel or a Black finish
- Great for use in Heavy Duty Trucks
Pros: perfect little ice cubes, very portable, very good looking, takes up very little counter space, works flawlessly, no bad taste or odor, makes ice in a short time, it saves a trip to the store, actually made enough ice for someone trip in one day …
Cons: slow to start …
#6. Smart+ Products SPP15AIM Portable Stainless Steel Ice Maker
- Pour bottled or tap water into the one gallon reservoir
- Plug in to any 110V outlet
- Fast ice production – have ice within 6-10 minutes
- Stores up to 2 lbs. of ice at a time and makes up to 33 lbs. a day
- Well insulated storage compartment
- Easy-to-use electronic controls and LCD display
- Three different ice cube sizes
- Convenient viewing window with bonus feature – Once the unit has been turned on, press and hold the “clock” button for more than three seconds to keep the LCD light lit continuously
- No drain required
Pros: nice little ice maker, portable and easy start up every time, relatively small footprint, simple and efficient, makes ice extremely quickly, makes beautiful cubes, love the fact you can have ice whenever need, plenty of ice all the time, 5 cycles and never had the taste or smell problem, automatic shut-off once the basket reaches a certain weight …
Cons: a little noisy, LED display can be a bit difficult to see in a low counter …
#7. NewAir AI-100S 28-Pound Portable Ice Maker
- The NewAir AI-100S portable ice maker is a compact unit that fits neatly on your countertop
- Its portable design makes it the ideal choice for pool parties, BBQs or other outdoor get-togethers
- This ice machine can produce up to 28 pounds of ice per day
- No installation is required – just pour water into the tank and press the start button
- Light-up indicators tell you when more water is needed, or when the ice bucket is full
Pros: shipped fast, great for ice lovers, economy, convenience, looks good, small and fairly light weight, easy to handle, makes nine cubes in 6-10 minutes, nice size ice and shape to go into stainless steel water bottles, makes ice pretty fast, easy to clean and drain, someone leave it plugged in over night the ice stays cold …
Cons: no dislikes whatsoever …
#8. Magic Chef MCIM22TS 27lb Ice Maker Stainless
- The Magic Chef 27 Pound Silver Portable Ice Maker can make up to twenty-seven pounds of ice per day
- With the ability to produce ice in three sizes in as little as seven minutes, you won’t ever be far from a cold beverage
- This ice maker can conveniently hold up to four pounds of ice in its storage basket, and the indicator lights let you know when the storage bin is full or the water is empty
- The exterior drain means minimal effort is needed to keep the machine clean and clear out water and ice
- The small and compact design makes this machine easily portable, and the silver-colored exterior provides a sleek look that works great in any kitchen or entertaining space
- Let the Magic Chef 27 Pound Portable Ice Maker do the work and make your entertaining effortless and enjoyable
Pros: super for the camper, a good choice for a table top ice maker, so quiet, takes less counter space, make 27 pounds in 24 hours, it does the job for parties, won’t have to worry about having enough ice to keep cool drinks all evening long, never have to make runs to the store for ice anymore …
Cons: it is a bit of noise while it’s running …
#9. Ivation IVA-ICEM25WH Portable Ice Maker with LCD Display
- Making Ice Cubes by the Bucketload is Easy How long does it take to freeze water into perfectly sized ice cubes?
- With Ivation’s automated icemaker, it takes just 6 minutes!
- That’s right: In less time than it takes to drive to the nearest store or gas station for a bag of ice, you can have a fresh batch of ice cubes made right in the comfort of your own home
- Simply pour a water into the bucket and you’ll enjoy beautifully solid chillers that remain separated and don’t agglomerate
- 26-pound output. 3 ice sizes. 0 water waste
- The Ice Machine features 3 selectable ice cube sizes so you can satisfy everyone from the whiskey sipper to the juice junkie
- At maximum output, it can produce as much as 26.5 pounds of ice in a single 24-hour cycle
- Another superior feature is the water recycling system: Unused ice melts back into the water reservoir and is turned into fresh ice during the next ice-making session
- Smart Alerts Inform You of Cold, Hard Facts When the water level in the 2.8-liter (95-Ounce) reservoir runs low, you’ll be alerted to add more water
- When the ice bucket is full, you’ll be alerted to remove them so more ice could be created
- Other alerts include ice not moving into the bucket correctly, and when an ice-making session is on standby
- The programmable timer allows you to set the icemaker to start and stop on its own at any time of the day, and the unit shuts off automatically when the ice bucket is full for safety
- To make way for new ice, store ready cubes in cooler or freezer for later use
Pros: it’s compact, sleekly designed, light and elegant appearance, fits nicely on counter, little shovel is handy, LCD control panel make it much more convenient to use, couldn’t be much simpler to operate, makes ice very fast, very quiet, produces ice every 8 minutes for the smaller ice size, fresh ice, no frozen, no food smell, no taste, doesn’t use too much energy …
Cons: wish the instructions were more detailed, wish it wasn’t beeping all the time …
#10. Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S Scratch & Dent Portable Ice Maker
- Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S Portable Ice Maker, Silver The Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S Portable Ice Maker is a portable home ice maker
- It’s faster and more convenient than freezer ice makers, capable of producing large amounts of ice in a very short period of time
- On its maximum settings, it can produce up to 26 pounds of ice every 24 hours
- The Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S is a lightweight and portable ice maker, perfect for parties, camping vacations, and boat trips
- If you like cold drinks, it’s the best way to keep ice on hand
- Special Features Include Makes fresh ice in as little as 6 minutes
- Comes with 2 ice sizes to choose from
- Bottom drain makes it easy to clean
- Equipped with easy-to-use push button controls
- Automatic overflow protection
- Lighted indicators remind you to add water and empty ice
Pros: perfect for a small office, it looks stylish on the counter, easy to hook up, easy to use, makes pretty awesome ice, cranks out the ice surprisingly fast, made full size cube in about six minutes, a must for a RV, no more going to the stores to buy ice …
Cons: it get a little noisy …
#11. Edgestar IP210SS1 Portable Ice Maker, Stainless Steel
- Wrapped in commercial grade stainless steel, it allows you to make ice virtually anywhere there is 115 Volt power
- Just pour water into the internal reservoir, plug this portable ice maker in and enjoy!
- Within six minutes you’ll have your first batch of cold, refreshing ice
- Here are the reasons the EdgeStar Portable Ice Maker with Stainless Steel finish and Digital Display is in a class of its own: Easy-to-use electronic controls : Controlling this ice maker is a breeze with the simple buttons
- Plug this ice maker in, pour in some water, press the on button and it starts cranking out ice!
- Compact size : Standing under 15″ high and with a compact footprint, this ice maker is perfect for countertop use- whether in the kitchen or wet bar
- The EdgeStar stainless steel portable countertop ice maker produces up to 28 pounds of ice per day and it stores up to 2 pounds of ice in an insulated storage compartment
- No drain is required and you can even select the ice cube size (three selections.)
- Note: This icemaker is not a freezer
- The ice stored in the reservoir will eventually melt and then reform again
- Dimensions: 14 1/2″ H x 11 3/4″ W x 14 1/2″ D
Pros: fast delivery, excellent dependable ice maker, takes up very little space, easy to load and clean, easy and straightforward to operate, it made tons of ice, cubes are great, noise is fine, great ice maker for travel or home, recommend to anyone considering a portable ice maker …
Cons: zero complaints…