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An ice machine or ice generator or an ice maker may refer to any one of the following options. An industrial machine utilized for preparing ice cubes at a larger scale. A stand-alone appliance used for preparing ice cubes or even used as a home freezer. A stand-alone the appliance will commonly refer to the generic term “Ice Maker or Ice Machine”.

The Ice generators are another important part of the ice machine used for producing ice cubes. It may include the evaporator process & other associated sub-frame, controls, or drives involved.

Ice-Maker Buying Guide

They are utilized for preparing & ejecting ice cubes to its storage capacity. Most people prefer to choose an ice generator, which works as an ice-making subsystem alone without refrigeration. An ice machine is also referred to as a “Packaged” that would typically create a complete machine. It includes dispensers, controls, and refrigeration, which requires a connection to water and power supplies.

An ice maker will be more ambiguous and a few manufacturers describe an ice maker as a packaged water cooled ice machine. Some of them will describe it as an ice generator.

Different Types of Ice Makers

Most of them will prefer to choose the best counter-top or a portable ice maker to use. A few of them would like to understand the different types of ice makers to know their best working process. Find below the list of different types of ice makers for your reference:

Built-In Ice Makers

The built-in ice maker is a mixture of both the under-counter and the countertop ice makers. This ice maker type is installed within the high-end kitchen by the most home builders. It is specially designed to fit within the kitchen counter or beneath your bar. A built-in ice maker will produce less quantity of ice cubes around 30 pounds each day. However, the prepared ices are kept cold with the help of a refrigerator or insulated ice storage capacity.

But, the countertop and portable ice makers will not keep the frozen ice. The size of this ice maker is similar to a mini-fridge and used with a proper water line. They can’t prepare more ice quantity but worth to maintain frozen ice. It is required a regular cleaning for the water filter system and also needs to replace the parts while disassembling them. This is an expensive product and pricing around $1,000 that comes with a real bargain.

Personal Ice Makers

A personal Ice maker might be a subset or sub-division of the portable ice maker. It is a handheld device and rechargeable using the 12V car charger or 115V wall plug. This unit is ideal for boating and camping and enough to utilize ice cubes for two people. When compared to the portable ice maker, the pricing will be the same. It is only recommended for a serious camper for accessing the lightweight unit to prepare ice cubes.

Portable Ice Makers

If you prefer to move your ice maker to any different room, your garage, or even outside then this unit is an ideal choice. Portable ice makers are one of the affordable and cheapest ice makers pricing around $100. They can easily prepare ice cubes up to a maximum of 60 lbs each day. This ice maker is portable and small, much easier to fit anywhere.

The best bet for you to utilize this ice maker for tailgating or camping trips. Portable ice makers can create your own personal spot along with its affordable pricing for your kitchen. You can easily bring them out for ice cubes preparation and store them safely when not in use.

Countertop Ice Makers

Countertop ice makers are compact and small units, measuring the half size of the counter units. Within $200, it is much easier to identify the best and high-quality countertop ice makers for your kitchen. This unit is capable of producing ice cubes around 80 lbs each day. Countertop ice makers are more practical and consider replacing the same within your existing kitchen appliance.

Undercounter Ice Makers

Undercounter ice makers can be utilized with its special design of hiding it beneath the kitchen counter or your bar. This unit is very much expensive and can easily produce ice cubes around 400 pounds each day. A water source is essential and connects a proper line to your best under-counter ice maker machine. The under-counter unit is perfect to fulfill your home requirements. This product is an ideal choice for preparing ice chests for large people at outdoor activities or boating.

Modular Ice Makers

Modular ice makers can prepare a huge volume of ice cubes and extremely good at production. If required, this unit has the ability to prepare around 1,000 lbs of ice cubes each day. Most of the larger restaurants and hotels are utilizing this ice maker type for better results. It is a classic type of ice maker and cost more expensive within the marketplace. This device is large, loud, and also operates with the requirement of a well-ventilated corner.

It is not recommended to use the counter-top or built-in installation. Enough fresh water for feeding with a dedicated water line is required by this ice maker. The ice production speed and maximum ice production are the two important things to consider. Choose your preferred ice size and get ready with the preparation process. It is recommended for outdoor parties, large grouping, or gathering.

Ice Maker Machine: Buying Guide

Ice Types

Nugget Ice: It is also referred to as Chewable, Sonic Ice, or Cubelet. This flavor retentive, chewable, and soft ice was more popular across the Sonic restaurants. The ice is small, splash resistant, and typically spherical or round in shape. Different names are available for the nugget ice like Cubelet Ice (Scotsman), U-Line, and Hoshizaki. This ice is best for blended cocktails, specialty soft drinks, and fountain beverages.

Gourmet Ice or Top Hat Ice: This is perfectly clear, high-quality ice, and shape similar to a small shot glass. Air is eliminated for forming the ice within the freezing process. They are used for hospitals, bars, scotch drinks, and fine dining. This ice is best for events & premium, eateries drinks, and high-end liquors.

Flake Ice: Small ice chips are produced for preservation like a snow cone ice. This ice is utilized commonly in seafood displays for preventing spoilage. It is also used to cover injuries as a medical purpose. They are used for medical uses, blended cocktails, displaying meat or seafood, and buffet chilled foods.

Crescent Ice: This ice is curved on one-end and flat on another side and makes it good to use for beverage dispensers. They are the most popular and utilized for U-Line and Hoshizaki brands. This ice is best for ice dispensers, bagging, mixed drinks, and soft drinks.

Half Cube Ice: It is also referred to as Small Cube or Half Dice Cube or Traditional Cube. Typically used for a self-serving machine such as food service or others. It allows less liquid and more ice with affordable pricing to get high-cost beverages. This ice is best for ice dispensers, bagging, frozen cocktails, mixed drinks, and soft drinks.

Square Ice: It is also referred to as Medium Cube or Full Dice or Traditional Cube or Full Cube. This ice is prepared with the same depth, width, and as well as height. Commonly utilized for foodservice beverages, it will melt slowly, and quickly water cooled the beverages. This ice is best for ice dispensers, bagged ice, mixed drinks, and soft drinks.

Drain Options

The entire ice maker will require an exact place for draining the water. However, this is not applicable to some compact models and portable ice makers.

This process can take place by using two different options: Drain Pumps or Gravity Drains.

Drain Pumps: This accessory is commonly sold by the ice maker and a few models will come with an in-built drain pump. Excess water is properly drained to the nearest drain with the help of its drain pump. Gravity prevention can also utilize a tool for directing the water to travel down instead of going up. This may happen if the ice maker unit not properly placed near the draining area.

Gravity Drain: The Ice maker should always be placed near the draining area for flowing down the excess water with gravity assistance. For this method, it is required to follow two necessary things. The drain should be placed lower when compared to the drain outlet. The drain outlet should not be more than 12-inches away from placing your ice maker.

Energy Star Ratings

The Energy Star Certified ice makers should meet the standards of energy-efficiency. These are set and predefined by the government for protecting the environment and as well as save money. You must consider this option for keeping the low energy bills or eco-conscious since it requires more energy to work.

ADA Compliant 

This feature will assist the ice maker to fulfill the standard requirement for individuals with accessibility and disabilities. The environment for office types will offer the best access to the entire users to include this significant feature.

Counter-depth: These units will fit properly within the existing cabinetry and can build in the cabinets’ designated area. It can offer a flawless appearance for keeping the consistent bar area layout or kitchen using this feature.

Under-counter: Ice makers can fit under the kitchen counter and build within the existing cabinetry. Without utilizing the extra floor space, these models can fit typically with the built-in ice makers. It is also possible to utilize a freestanding unit.


Durability is another most important factor to consider while purchasing the best ice makers across the online marketplace. No one will prefer to water their money by purchasing a non-standard, low quality, and a fake product. It could be a huge loss for anyone and not ready to incur.

Easier to Use

Each appliance and the household item should enhance efficiency and much easier to use. They should enhance its usage and as well as its effectiveness. If they are not able to understand the working process of ice makers then it is required to prepare without the ice. User should compromise their recipe or might damage the unit while trying to work on it.


Design is another essential and quite influential factor to consider when buying the ice maker. It may affect the utilization or even the affordable pricing of the unit. Some of the units are large and a few of them will come with a compact design. Determining your usage, the design part will consider the form of capacity and their sizes. For several people in a house, it is not possible to utilize a small-size ice maker.

Ice Production Speed

The ice production speed is one of the most important factors to consider. Since no one will wait for a longer period to produce the ice cubes. If the ice maker is faster then it makes it reliable and quite efficient. For instance, you should immediately surprise the visitors by providing an ice-cold beer mug. To make the ice cubes immediately for the beer, it is required to utilize a fast ice maker unit.


The size & capacity of any ice maker will be directly proportional since both are intertwined. The ice maker with a bigger size will produce larger capacity and also vice-versa. The capacity will determine the overall ice production to retain within the ice maker unit. Each cycle will complete making the ice cubes from the freezing water will deposit the same in a tray or a tub. The ice cube container and size of the ice maker will determine its capacity.


Based on your usage or purpose, the ice maker’s size may vary, and also an important factor to consider. You should choose the bigger size and the requirement may arise at any time. Serve the purpose of utilization by using the bigger one unit. Most of them will prefer to fulfill the kitchen purpose and the portable units are the best one due to its sizes. The ice maker’s size will determine the pricing and design. The larger size will contribute to its hiking price and complexity.

What to Know Before Purchasing an Ice Maker

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