The Ice-O-MaticGEMU090 ice machine makes soft chewable sonic-style ice.
Ice-O-Matic calls it Pearl ice. It’s perfect for margaritas, smoothies, cocktails and iced tea.
You can also just crunch it in your mouth. It has a soft texture that crumbles with ease between your teeth.
This ice machine is designed for under-counter installation at home or at small cafes, offices, and venues. It’s also rated for indoor and outdoor use.
The GEMU090 comes with the build quality, ease of use and reliability that the Ice-O-Magic brand is known for. You can be sure it will last for years.
The compact ice machine is designed to go under the counter. It measures around 15” wide and 33” high. Of course, you can also leave it standing on the floor if you want. But it’s far too big to put on the counter.
It’s primarily a gravity drain ice maker. That means that water from melted ice flows down on its own into a drain.
But if you don’t have a floor drain that is close enough to drain the water into, you can order the machine along with a pump.
This allows you to direct the water up to the sink or any other drainage that’s further away. It is best if you hire a plumber to install the pump.
Once you’ve set it up, the GEMU090 produces enough ice for a large family; up to 85lbs per day. You can also use it in a small office or break room.
The ice, as I mentioned, is the chewable type you get at Sonic. It’s soft and crumbly rather than hard or clear like the ice from most ice machines.
Price-wise the GEMU090 is one of the most expensive ice makers in the market. It costs anywhere between $2,000 and $5,000 depending on the seller. But the price is high due to the type of ice and its quality, which not so many models of ice makers can produce. It's great for some types of coctails, which will be better with the nugget ice.
This ice machine may be pricey, but it gives you your money’s worth. It can produce up to 85 lbs of soft nugget ice per day. That’s more than even some bigger ice makers around.
It’s certainly more than enough for large families and perfect for small venues, offices, and businesses.
Its storage capacity – the maximum amount of ice it can hold at a time –is 22lbs.
That’s a lot of ice. If you have an event, one batch of ice is enough to serve everyone before you need to prepare the next one.
Note that this machine is not a refrigerator. If you leave the ice inside for too long, it will start melting.If you can’t use all the ice at once, put it in the freezer for later use.
One thing almost every customer is saying about the GEMU090 is how quiet it is. You won’t even realize it’s on.
The GEMU090 ice machine produces soft nugget ice. This is very different from the white pellets or clear gourmet ice cubes produced by other ice machines.
This ice is meant for either chewing or uses in drinks like margaritas, cocktails and fruit juices. I wouldn’t recommend it for whiskey or bourbon.
This is because it melts too quickly meaning it will dilute your drink. It also doesn’t look as elegant in a glass of vodka as gourmet ice.
But for a margarita, this type of soft ice is perfect.
Ice-O-Matic uses a technology they call Pure Ice® that protects the ice from bacteria or odors. So your ice comes out pure and fresh without any stale smells.
This technology also prevents scaling inside the ice machine especially if you use hard water. This not only maintains ice quality, but it also lengthens the life of the machine.
Setup can be a bit tedious especially if you are using the pump kit. There is no water tank, so you have to hook up a water line at the back. You also have to set up the drainage.
I recommend getting a plumber to do it for you.
But once you have set it up, it’s easy to use. The control panel is visible when the door is open. Here you’ll find indicators for when the machine is operating, when there is no water coming in and when it’s time to clean.
There are also two buttons for power on/off and cleaning/reset.
Because this is nugget ice, there is no option for changing the size of ice cubes.
Most customers love it. They love that they now have an almost endless supply of high-quality ice.
Many are surprised at how quiet it is especially given how much ice it makes.
The one complaint I’ve seen from a few customers is regarding the motor.
It starts developing problems 3-4 years into the life of the ice machine. Buying a replacement and fixing it is not cheap.
The warranty is only one year long (too short for a $2,000+ machine, in my opinion)so you’ll have to cover the costs yourself.
If you really need a high-capacity sonic ice machine for your home, office or business, this is a good choice.
It works well and is reliable…at least for the first 3 or 4 years. Budget around $1,000 for repairs when the motor eventually breaks down.
But for most families, consider getting a cheaper and smaller nugget ice machine. See our recommendations in this sonic ice machine buying guide.
The Ice-O-MaticGEMU090 may be expensive, but it’s one of the best nugget ice makers.
If you absolutely love Sonic ice and you are tired of buying bags of it every time, invest in this ice machine and then you can enjoy as much nugget ice as you want without paying a dime.
The usual way to make clear ice cubes or balls is by using silicone ice molds.
Problem is, silicone ice molds take a long time to make ice, and you are limited on the number of ice cubes you can make in a batch.
If you want to always have plenty of gourmet ice on hand for your home bar, then I recommend the Scotsman CU50GA-1A under counter ice machine.
23.6 x 15 x 32.8 inches
produces restaurant quality clear, cubed ice
Gourmet ice is great for certain drinks like whiskey, bourbon and some cocktails.
This is not just because it makes the drink look more elegant; it’s also because of its slow-melting nature. It won’t dilute your drinks like other types of ice cubes.
The Scotsman CU50GA-1A is designed for under-counter installation though you can also leave it freestanding if that’s what you want. The most important thing is to install it where you can easily run a water line.
Because it is a gravity drain model, it’s also important that you locate it near a floor drain to which you can direct the drain hose.
If you don’t have a floor drain, get the Scotsman CU50PA-1A. It’s the same model except it has a pump drain. This allows you to drain the water into a sink or a drain that is higher than the ice machine.
The ice maker is 15 inches wide and around 35 inches high, so it should fit under most counters. Installation takes a bit of time; around half an hour to an hour. It might be much easier to hire a plumber.
When it’s ready to go the ice machine produces plenty of ice, enough for most families and the occasional home function.
Overall, this is a great investment for those who love their drinks. Get it for your kitchen, home bar, lounge or den.
As expected, the Scotsman gourmet ice machine makes a whole lot of ice - 65lbs per day to be exact.
This is probably more than you need but comes in handy if you are hosting some guests.
You can also install the ice in a small office or venue.
The ice bin can hold up to 26lbs of ice at a time. When it fills up, the ice machine stops making more ice until you scoop some of the ice out.
If you leave the ice in the bin for too long, it will start melting; the machine is only insulated not refrigerated. For longer storage, transfer the ice cubes to your freezer.
There is only one size of ice cubes. The ice is shaped like small cylinders measuring around 1” long and 1.25” thick
This ice machine produces gourmet ice. It’s crystal clear without any of the white cloudiness you see in normal ice cubes. It’s the same kind of ice you find in bars and some restaurants.
Because of the ice-making process, the cubes are harder and denser than usual. They melt far more slowly than average ice cubes. This makes them great for drinks which you don’t want to be diluted. This ice is perfect for long drinks, scotch and whiskey, which no one would like to dilute with water.
You can sip your beverage slowly without worrying that the ice will melt and dilute the taste.
To ensure the best quality ice, make sure you use clean potable water. The company highly recommends installing a filter in your water line. This will get rid of any minerals and particles that could affect ice quality.
Also clean the ice maker regularly as directed in the manual. This prevents the cubes from acquiring a stale or plastic taste.
The Scotsman CU50GA-1A is easy to use. The control panel, which is visible when you open the door, comes with buttons for switching the unit on/off and cleaning.
There are also indicators for when there is no water coming in when the machine is working and for reminding you when it’s time to clean.
The only bit of work is in installation. You can call in a plumber to do it for you.But unless you are rushed, it’s something you can do yourself. Block out around an hour from your schedule to install and test the ice machine.
Customer feedback for the Scotsman gourmet ice maker is mostly positive. Users love the quality of ice and the fact that it’s available in plenty.
Surprisingly, installation wasn’t a big issue for many users. They were able to do it on their own within half an hour or so.
The machine is very solidly built; you can expect it to last for years without any issues.
There were complaints that the machine can be a bit noisy as the ice hits the bin. But you won’t notice it when you are in another room.
This unit is not cheap, but if you want proper gourmet ice – the same high quality of clear ice served in high-end bars–it’s a worthwhile buy.
And you get to impress your friends who are used to the same old cloudy ice cubes.
You're no longer have to wait until you go to a bar or restaurant to enjoy a drink chilled with gourmet ice. With the Scotsman under counter clear ice maker, you can enjoy slow-melting and elegant-looking ice in your favorite beverages.
The Scotsman CU50PA is one of the best standalone ice makers for making gourmet ice at home and in bars and restaurants.
With a production capacity of 65lbs and a storage volume of 26lbs, the Scotsman can easily hold its own in any situation whether it’s your daily afternoon cocktail or a full party with drinks flowing nonstop.
14.87 x 34.37 x 22 inches
built-in accessories including a drain pump and water quality sensor.
When it comes to gourmet ice makers, Scotsman is a brand you can trust.
For decades, they have been manufacturing clear ice makers for restaurants, bars and other large establishments.
The Scotsman CU50PA is primarily a commercial gourmet ice maker but more people are buying it for use at home thanks to its sleek design, fairly simple installation and ease of use.
With the Scotsman installed, you can enjoy restaurant-quality clear ice whenever you want without spending any extra money.
Price-wise, this ice maker is not cheap. Expect to spend at least $2,000 for it.
If you want to explore cheaper options, see some of the other gourmet ice machines we have reviewed.
If you really want to save money, look at the Luma Comfort portable ice maker... though it will not produce nearly as much ice, and the quality of ice it does produce isn't as good as the Scotsman.
You can also opt for the slightly cheaper undercounter Scotsman CU50GA icemaker. The only difference between the CU50PA and the CU50GA is that the former has a pump drain integrated.
But if you are looking for a high-performance standalone clear ice maker that will last long, is easy to use and will produce consistently quality ice, the Scotsman CU50PA is worth the money.
The Scotsman can produce up to 65lbs of ice every day.
This is 15lbs more than the Whynter UIM-502SS standalone clear ice maker and more than double what you will get from any portable/countertop ice maker.
The high capacity is ideal if there are several adults at home who need the ice or if you love inviting friends over often. You can also buy it for use in a mid-sized office, restaurant or bar.
If you need less ice for just yourself or a small family, then a more ideal model would be the Luma Comfort (28lbs) or the Whynter model I just mentioned (50lbs).
As for the storage capacity, the Scotsman can hold up to 26 pounds of ice at a time.
This comes in handy when you need to chill a lot of drinks at once such as during parties or in a bar.
With a bin capacity of 26lbs, you can be sure that there will always have enough ice to serve everyone.
The Scotsman CU50PA is not one of those monster commercial ice makers that can produce 80+ pounds of ice in a day. But its ice making ability is robust enough for most situations.
The process of making clear ice is quite different from that of conventional ice cubes. The ice maker must use different methods and technology to reduce mineral concentration in water to ensure crystal clear ice cubes. The machine must also find a way to produce ice that is denser than usual.
Thankfully, with this Scotsman you don’t need to know anything about the complicated inner workings of the ice maker when you use it.
You just need to press a button, wait a while and then collect your ice.
The Scotsman CU50PA is especially easy to use. The control panel is located along the top of the unit. You’ll see it when you swing open the door. You will see two buttons: an on/off button on the left side and a ‘clean reset’ button on the far right.
To start making ice, first turn on the water supply and switch on power to the unit at the mains. Note that even with power flowing, the unit is not yet switched on. To wake it up, push the on/off button. A green light indicates the machine is working.
The first batch of ice, consisting of 24 cubes, will be ready in half an hour. More batches will keep falling into the bin until it fills up in around 8 to 10 hours. Once you scoop some of the ice out, the machine automatically resumes working to fill the bin.
The only process that is a bit complicated is changing the ice cube size. This requires changing the freeze cycle time by pressing the buttons in a specific sequence.
The machine comes with the right ice cube size set as default. So you don’t need to change anything. But if you decide to, check the manual for instructions.
Most verified owners we could find were satisfied with the ice maker, noting that it produces good quality ice that is clear, tasteless and odorless.
Once installed, many found it extremely easy to use.
The primary complaint about this model is that it produces a lot of noise as the ice drops into the bin. It can be especially loud at night.
It’s easy to confuse the CU50PA with its sibling, the CU50GA.
So be careful when buying that you don’t go for the wrong model.
The CU50PA (with pump drain) is best because you can drain the water in any drain or sink even if it is on a higher level.
The Scotsman CU50PA is recommended for serious drinkers who host parties or live in a hot climate. It will also work for smaller restaurants.
The excellent quality clear ice this unit produces will impress even the most finicky of guests. And, it's a Scotsman - so you know it will last a long time.
Ice makers with freezers are not very common. So it’s a great thing that you can get this 12-lbs Sunpentownice maker for less than $400.
Its production capacity is lower than that of most ice makers (including small portable ice makers), but more than makes up for it by freezing your ice cubes for as long as you want.
19.9 x 15 x 25.2 inches
easy, convenient, and inexpensive installation
17 x 13.9 x 25.1 inches
Uses less than three gallons of water for approximately 23 lbs
Many portable ice makers can produce around 26lbs of ice per day, and larger under-counter models can spew out as much as 80lbs of ice cubes. But they all have one major flaw; they cannot store the ice cubes for long.
You either have to transfer the ice to your freezer or leave it to melt and wastewater.
The Sunpentown IM-150US is one of a few ice makers that come with an integrated freezer function.
It makes ice cubes and stores them for as long as you want. You don’t have to worry about wasting water or finding the bin in a soggy mess. This is a great opportunity to save water or filter life if you use it to get better and more transparent ice.
You can install the ice maker under the counter or leave it freestanding on the floor.
Because the ice doesn’t melt, you don’t need to set up a drain hose. That means there’s no need to locate the unit near any drainage or connect a pump.
This makes for a more comfortable and quicker installation.
Make sure you’ve noted the measurements and check that it will fit under the counter. See specs above for dimensions.
I love the sleek stainless steel door and black cabinet design. It looks modern and is neutral enough that it will blend well with any kitchen.
I wish they allowed one to install their custom door panels. The only change you can make is reversing the swing direction of the door.
Overall it’s an excellent ice maker that is easy to install, a breeze to use and a great addition to your home.
The Sunpentown IM-150US doesn't come anywhere close to winning when it comes to production capacity.
Despite being an under-counter ice maker, it makes less ice per day than many smaller portable ice makers.
But the 12lbs of ice is plenty enough for most families. You’ll probably not even use it all.
To make sure the ice maker maintains production at the highest capacity, store it in a cool place. If the temperature is too high, it will not make as much ice.
If you are going to use it outside, keep it in a shaded area well protected from the elements.
The (refrigerated)ice bin stores up to 6lbs of ice after which a sensor stops the machine from making any more ice.
Tip: If you want a lot of ice for an upcoming event or long-term storage, scoop the ice from the bin and store it in your freezer.
The ice maker will automatically keep making more ice as soon as you scoop it out.
This ice maker makes crescent-shaped ice cubes measuring 3/4” thick and 2.5” long. As the ice from your freezer,
it is mostly clear with a cloudy center. The ice is good for many types of beverages but is a bit too hard for chewing.
There is only one size option for the ice cubes.
The ice quality will depend a lot on the water quality. Use clean potable water and install a filter in the water line to capture particles and eliminate odors and strange tastes from the ice.Do not use deionized water.
Also, check the manual for cleaning guidelines. Regular cleaning clears up the scale and keeps the ice tasting and smelling fresh.
The Sunpentown IM-150US ice maker is easy to install and use. You don’t need to drain it; only a water line is needed.
Once you’ve set it up and plugged it in just press the ON button and that’s it.
As long as there’s water coming in the ice maker will automatically keep making ice until the bin fills up. Once you empty it, it makes some more.
Maintenance involves occasionally cleaning out the inside the machine and defrosting it. The manual has clear instructions on how to do it.
Customers say installation is easy & you don’t even need to call a plumber.
The ice is enough for most of their needs, and if they need more, they can simply use their freezer to store extra batches.
The ice maker works reliably with only a few minor issues now and then.
The main complaint is the noise it makes when the ice cubes are falling into the bin.
Customers also say the ice comes out as a sheet which makes scooping ice a bit harder.
The Sunpentown IM-150US is a great buy if you are looking for a compact refrigerated ice maker.
While it has a smaller production capacity than many other ice makers, it’s enough for most people’s needs.
But if you need a larger ice maker with a similar freezer feature, I recommend the 23 lb U-Line BI95B-00 undercounter ice maker
It doesn’t make much ice, but the Sunpentown IM-150US under-counter ice maker makes up for it by doubling up as a mini-freezer.
It’s faster and makes better ice than your fridge’s ice maker for less than $400.
If you constantly use clear ice at home or in the office, the EdgeStar IB250SS ice maker is an excellent choice.
It can produce up to 25 lbs of ice per day and store 20 lbs of it in the bin.
The ice is clear and hard, the same kind you get at an upscale bar or restaurant. It’s perfect for drinks that you don’t want to be diluted by melting ice.
Read on for my full review of the EdgeStar IB250SS undercounter ice maker.
If this is not the ice maker you are looking for, then see my list of the best undercounter ice makers for more options.
19.9 x 15 x 25.2 inches
on/off power switch; Auto shut-off when ice bin is full
For most families, a compact ice maker that produces between 10lbs and 20lbs of ice per day is enough. But for large homes or if you host guests often, you’ll need something bigger.
The EdgeStar IB250SS, with its 25lbs daily production capacity, is perfect for your needs. It’s also great for offices and venues.
Because it produces clear gourmet ice, it’s also ideal for use in restaurants and bars.
The only slight downside is the installation. With portable and countertop ice makers, you just plug it in, add some water and wait for the ice.
The EdgeStar IB250SS is slightly more complicated since you need to set up a water line and drain it as well. So in addition to the purchase costs, you have to pay for a plumber to install it.
But once it’s installed, it’s fairly easy to use.
It looks good too with a beautiful stainless steel finish. I just wish it accepted custom panels. The only thing you can do is change the door’s orientation.
But it still looks great and blends nicely in any kitchen or home bar. It is invisible due to its type of installation and universal design.
The EdgeStar can make 25lbs of ice per day. That’s just about the same as other undercounter ice machines.
This is plenty for most homes. But if it’s not enough for your needs, consider buying a large ice maker such as the 65lb Scotsman CU50GA-1A or the 50lb SPT IM-600US.
The storage bin can hold up to 20lbs of ice and takes several hours to fill up. Once it is full, an automatic mechanism stops the ice maker from making more ice until you empty the bin.
If you need more than the 25lbs of ice at a time, e.g. if you have a home party, scoop the ice out (a plastic scoop is included) and store it in your freezer.
Unlike many other ice machines, which don't allow to leave the ice in the bin for too long, this unit operates as a freezer. It will keep the ice solid for as much time as you need, without melting.
The EdgeStar IB250SS produces clear gourmet ice cubes.
This is the same kind of ice you get at a bar or restaurant. Its crescent-shaped ice is clear and is denser and harder than normal ice cubes.
The extra hardness and density makes it ideal for drinks that you want to chill without diluting such as whiskey, brandy and other premium drinks.
Aesthetically, the large clear ice cubes also look more elegant.
But you can also use the ice in whichever drink you want. But for certain drinks like margaritas and smoothies, I’d recommend you get a nugget ice machine which produces sonic-style soft chewable ice.
The installation is the most involving bit. But you are not supposed to do it anyway so there’s no need to worry about it. Just get a certified plumber to properly install it for you.
Note that you don’t have to install it undercounter. You can also use it as a freestanding ice machine as long as there is water flowing in and you are able to drain waste water out.
The door is reversible and the feet are adjustable, which gives you more flexibility when it comes to installation.
Using the ice maker is pretty easy. Just make sure the water is flowing and you’ve connected the power cable and then flip the switch to ICE. The machine will automatically start making ice cubes and dropping them into the bin.
Some customers discovered there is a hidden button at the back that you can use to adjust ice cube thickness to make it easier to break the sheet. The manual doesn’t mention any such setting so you have to go snooping around at the back yourself.
EdgeStar IB250SSOD is the outdoor version of this ice machine. You can use it in your patio, open veranda cafe or by the pool in summer.
The EdgeStar IB250SSOD has similar features except some constructional improvements aimed to defend the outdoor ice maker from harsh outside conditions. It doesn't mean that the unit can handle heavy rain or very cold weather though.
Other than that issue of breaking the ice, most customers are happy with their purchase. They say the machine makes a lot of quality ice and is easy to use.
They also note how quietly it runs. Unless you are right next to it, you won’t hear the motor whirring or the ice cubes dropping into the bin.
If you think you’ll need a lot of ice cubes, either for your family or your frequent guests, the EdgeStar IB250SS is worth it.
The price tag is actually a bargain when compared to other undercounter ice makers especially those that make gourmet ice.
If you need a bigger or smaller clear ice maker, see our list of the best gourmet ice makers. It includes small portable models as well as large restaurant-grade machines.
While a bit pricey, the EdgeStar IB250SS proves its worth over time.
It’s easy to use, makes high-quality clear ice and will last for years without requiring much in terms of maintenance.
Whether it’s for your kitchen, your home bar or your office, this is one of the best undercounter clear ice makers.
One of our top recommendations for most people is the Costway portable ice maker.
It’s a sleek little work hose capable of making up to 26.5 pounds of ice every day, which is plenty for most families.
It’s also enough for parties, small home events, and even a small office.
And the price is excellent, at less than $150.
With a sleek, modern design, the Costway looks perfect on any kitchen counter, boat, RV or wherever you want to use it.
Unlike a built-in ice maker, you can move this one from room to room, or use it on your backyard deck or patio.
See our complete review below to decide whether this is the right unit for you.
If you want alternatives to the Costway ice maker, then check out our reviews of other popular models.
But there is one thing that sets the Ivation ice maker apart: it’s portability.
If portability is important to you, then you’ll love this ice maker. You can carry it everywhere you want in a backpack, and make great ice for coctails if you have power socket and water.
Weighing just 17.5 lbs, this is one of the lightest portable ice makers you can buy.
So it's a pleasant surprise to learn it matches the production and storage capacity of other heavier portable ice makers.
The Costway ice maker punches above its weight.
Despite its compact size, it can produce up to 26.5 pounds of ice every day. That’s more than what you need for your daily cocktails or slushies. Even a large family can’t use all that ice in a day.
To make full use of the Costway’s capacity, you’d have to invite a few friends over for an evening carouse. Or carry the ice maker to a friend’s birthday party or wedding shower.
With more drinks to chill, the ice maker will have to work harder.
The Costway ice maker has another feature that makes it ideal for high-demand situations. It only takes 6 minutes to prepare another batch of ice cubes.
And the best part is that you don’t have to tell the machine to make more - or when to stop.
It also has a sensor that tells the machine when the ice bucket is full, which stops further production. As soon as you scoop some of the ice out, the machine automatically kicks back into action.
You just need to make sure there is enough water in the tank, and you can keep making ice all day long.
So whether you are home alone, enjoying chilled smoothies with the family or having a good time at a friend’s party, the Costway portable ice maker is good for all of them.
The ice maker is easy to use. Unlike a standalone ice maker, there is no setup involved. You don’t need to connect a water line or figure out the drainage. Just plug it in, add water to the tank and switch it on.
There are two buttons on the Costway that control everything.
One button is for switching the unit on/off. The second is for selecting your preferred ice cube sizes.
There are also two indicators. One lights up when there is no water and the other when the ice basket is full.
Note that you don’t always have to be there to make ice. You can leave the unit on in the morning and find ready ice cubes in the evening.
When the ice bucket gets full, it will stop making ice.
But since the ice cubes are not refrigerated, they will melt.
As the level of ice in the bucket falls, the ice maker kicks back into gear.
We've scanned the web to get others' opinions about this inexpensive ice maker.
A few owners have encountered problems such as weird smells and unexpected breakdowns.
To get rid of smells, a thorough cleaning with vinegar or an ice maker cleaner is the answer (this is true for all portable ice makers, it's not a problem that is unique to the Costway).
As for the breakdowns, the Costway ice maker is not the most durable unit we've reviewed.
We expect it to last two-three years of constant use.
But if you just want a cheap, light and high-capacity ice maker, the Costway is a good choice.
Most verified owners on Amazon happy with their purchase. Many noted that the unit produces more ice than they expected.
If you are looking for a more weather-resistant portable ice maker for camping, road trips or your RV, then I suggest the Koldfront Portable Ice Maker.
But if you just want an ice maker to put in your kitchen or office, the Ivation is plenty good enough and will save you money.
You now have no excuse for those tedious trips to the store now and then.
There are plenty of affordable portable ice makers that will save you time and ensure you never run out of ice.
But the Costway high-capacity portable ice maker is one of the best around for the average kitchen or office.
It’s small, it’s light, it’s easy to use and it produces more ice than you’ll most likely ever need.
It's also a great value, at less than $150.
If you are looking for a decent-quality, highly affordable portable sonic ice maker, then this unit by Tavata is a great choice.
It is a small compact ice maker, weighing just 15.65lbs that can produce up to 26.5 lbs of ice per day.
It fits easily on your kitchen counter top, and you can also use it in a boat, RV or when camping.
It’s our top pick for a budget Sonic ice machine.
It doesn't really produce perfect sonic ice, though it is close: it produces bullet-shaped ice that’s soft enough to chomp on with your teeth and is perfect for margaritas, ice tea, fruit juices, and cocktails.
You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a sonic ice machine for your home.
Sure, a pricey under counter ice maker is great, and all but you most likely don’t need 80lbs of ice every day. A good quality portable ice maker would probably serve you just as well.
The Tavata ice maker is one of the best and most popular portable ice machines. Measuring just 12.3 inches wide and 8.7 inches long, it will fit on just about any surface be it in your kitchen, your boat, RV by the side of the pool.
It’s also light enough (15.65lbs) that it’s no trouble lugging it around on your road trips and camping adventures.
It makes 26.5 lbs of ice every day, which is plenty enough for most families. The ice is bullet-shaped and pretty soft.
For the price, you are not going to get a better sonic ice maker. It does not make the crunchiest or softest nugget ice, but it comes pretty close.
The Tavata ice maker makes up to 26.5 lbs of ice per day. This is enough for most families and comes in handy if you are hosting a small function at home.
The ice maker produces about nine pieces of ice cubes every 6-9 minutes. This will be enough for 3 coctails or glasses of scotch.
If you are entertaining more people than usual, you can keep cranking out enough ice cubes to keep up with demand.
Note that the actual time it takes to make one batch of ice varies mostly depending on the room temperature. For best performance, keep the ice maker in a cool place.
Another thing to note is that this is not a refrigerator. While well insulated, it will not keep your ice in solid form forever. After time, the ice will start melting.
As I said, this is not the best nugget ice maker. The ice is not as soft & chewable as you get at Sonic.
But it’s still soft enough that you can crunch it with your teeth. It also works well for any beverages that use nugget ice such as cocktails and margaritas.
The ice melts quite quickly, though, so don’t use it in drinks you don’t want to be diluted such as bourbon or whiskey.
The clearness of the ice will depend on the kind of water you use. Tap water tends to result in cloudy white ice while filtered water produces clearer ice with a cloudy center.
Using buttons on the control panel you can choose from two ice sizes: small and large. They are both around 1” long but differ in thickness.
The small size is perfect if you want more ice in your drink or want to put the ice in a bottle.
The large cubes are ideal for most drinks. Make sure you wash the ice maker (check the manual for instructions) before using it and then regularly after that. This prevents a stale or plastic smell on your ice.
This ice maker does not need any setup; no drain hose or water line. Place it on the counter, plug it in and run a cleaning cycle. Then it’s ready to use.
The control panel has indicators for power ON, Ice Full (when the bin fills up) and Add Water (when the water tank is empty). There is also a button for selecting your preferred ice size.
The ice basket is removable which makes it easy to transfer the ice to another container. Or you can just use the included ice scoop to add the ice cubes to your drink.
Customers generally love this Tavata ice maker. They say it’s easy to use and makes plenty of ice despite its conveniently compact size.
The main complaint I encountered was that the ice cubes are often wet. This is a problem if you decide to store them in the freezer. They will clump together, and you have to break them apart.
Some customers say it’s a bit loud when the ice is dropping into the bin. But that’s only if you are in the same room where it is.
So you don’t have to worry that it will wake the baby or scare your pets.
If you don’t need a lot of ice, then this portable ice maker is s great and surprisingly inexpensive solution.
It makes a lot of soft, chewable ice quickly.
Because of its compact size, it’s also handy if you are using it in cramped space such as a small kitchen or in an RV.
It produces fairly soft chewable ice, but if you need proper Sonic ice, this is not the best ice maker.
At the next level up in price, I highly recommend the Opal Nugget ice maker which costs around $500.
The Tavata portable ice maker produces a decent amount of soft and chewy sonic-style ice without taking up much space.
It doesn’t require any setup, and maintenance is a breeze.
This is great buy if you are looking for a cheap but reliable ice maker.
Ice machines have gotten so affordable, that you can now pay them off over the course of a year - simply by not buying bagged ice.
Not to mention the added convenience of being able to make dozens of pounds of ice whenever you please.
If you are looking for a counter top bullet-style ice maker that is durable, simple and just works, the Deco Gear Rapid is an excellent choice - for a reasonable price.
Deco Gear Rapid is a high-quality portable ice maker that fulfills all of the requirements of an ice machine, without having to worry about reliability issues caused by additional bells and whistles.
It's suitable for use both inside and outside.
This ice maker can produce up to 26 lbs of bullet-shaped ice per day and holds 1.5 lbs in its insulated bin. There are no choices of ice size or style to select.
While it may seem slightly disappointing that this ice machine does not feature ice cube sizing, the quality of ice it makes is excellent and consistent.
This is one of the fastest ice makers around at this price. This Deco Gear Rapid can make a serving of ice every 6 minutes.
The 2.3-quart water reservoir is about average for ice machines in this price range, and the ice-making is really simple.
If you want a truly portable ice machine that is efficient and reliable - and with excellent build quality - it's hard to find a comparable option at this price point.
Clearly, Deco Gear Rapid engineers devoted their resources to ensuring that the ice-making internals are higher-quality than competitors at this price.
The mechanicals are beefed up, and this machine larger than most of its competitors, as a result. However, it uses just a little more energy than a light bulb (115W).
Operating the Deco Gear Rapid is easy - just pour water in and use one of the easy-push buttons with intuitive pictograms.
It's intelligent, too.
When the insulated ice bucket is full, you’ll be alerted to remove it.
When the water level in the reservoir runs low, you’ll be alerted to add more water.
A common complaint about this model is that it is larger than most competing machines, so make sure it will fit in your kitchen or bar.
Aside from that, though, most owners really love this product, judging from most reviews.
The most frequent praise is heaped on this machine's efficient and reliable operation, including the gas system which drops your ice cubes as soon as they are ready.
This ice machine usually costs around $120, about the same as its leading competitor, the Igloo ICE 103.
The best deals are currently on Amazon. But act fast - this one sells out frequently.
If you want a reliable, high-quality bullet-style ice maker with excellent build quality, the Deco Gear Rapid is a great choice.