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.
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.
One of our top recommendations for most people is the Ivation 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.
And the price is excellent, at less than $150.
With a sleek, modern design, the Ivation 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 Ivation 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.
Weighing just 19 pounds, 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 Ivation 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 Ivation’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 only limit is the ice maker’s lower than usual storage capacity.
While most ice makers can store at least 2.2 lbs of ice, this one can only hold 1.5 lbs.
But don’t worry. The Ivation 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 Ivation 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.
The ice maker comes with easy-touch buttons located in a row at the top. There are no clunky buttons to push down; just touch the setting you want, and it responds.
There are three buttons on the Ivation 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.
Melted water is recycled into the machine to make more ice.
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 Ivation).
As for the breakdowns, the Ivation 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 Ivation 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 Ivation 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.
This Koldfront portable ice maker is so small and compact that you can carry it in a large backpack.
Measuring only 9.5 inches wide and 12.9 inches high and weighing just 20.3 pounds, this is one of the smallest portable ice makers you can buy.
This means you can use it just about anywhere including your home, picnics, in your RV, in the office, and your boat.
It just needs clean water and a power outlet to make ice cubes in a quick 10 minutes.
We found it amazing how much ice this Koldfront unit produces for its size. It’s a workhorse, small as it may be, that can keep running all day long and stay perfectly functional for years.
What we love most is its portability.
It is so light and so compact that it can be used almost anywhere you have a flat surface and a power outlet available. From your kitchen countertop to the limited space in your RV, the Koldfront’s portability gives it unmatched versatility.
The Koldfront is not suitable for a bar or restaurant.
Nor will it deliver for everyone’s drinks at a large office party.
But that is not what it was made for. It is an ultra-compact ice maker that makes 1.5 pounds of ice per cycle. This is enough for a small family, a handful of afternoon margaritas or some cocktails when friends come over.
To be honest, we were not expecting much from this ice maker.
But the fact is that it can make 26 lbs of ice per day - on the high end of most other portable ice makers for the home.
This unit makes fairly soft ice, though not as soft as nugget ice. But it is crumbly enough that you can crunch on it. If you put it in your drink, don’t wait too long to drink it since it melts faster than hard store-bought ice cubes.
The only downside is the smaller than usual storage bin. Most portable ice makers can store at least 2.2 lbs of ice at a time. The Koldfront’s bin can only store 1.5 lbs.
If you are alone or with a couple of your friends, this is fine, but you’ll start running short of ice if there are too many drinks that need to be chilled.
Luckily, the ice maker takes only 10 minutes to make more ice.
So if you find yourself running out of ice, just add more water and everything will be okay in 10 minutes. The short cycle time comes in handy when you have a fairly sizable family or event. Because the ice maker is so easy to use, you can even have everyone whip up their ice.
Even if you have never used a portable ice maker before, you will love the fact that you can make a perfect batch of ice on the first try. This machine is extremely easy to use with simple controls and bright, visible indicators.
The Koldfront portable ice maker connects to any standard wall power outlet. It comes with its own reservoir and does not need a water line. It also doesn’t need a drain installation.
Melted water from ice cubes is recycled to make more ice. You can also empty the reservoir without requiring a drain mechanism.
When setting it up, the manufacturer recommends placing it in a well-ventilated area that is within a normal temperature range, away from the elements and with at least 4-inches clearance space all around it. This ensures the ice maker can work properly and last longer.
They also recommend cleaning the unit before using it for the first time. When you are ready to go, only add potable water. If you use purified, distilled or filtered water, add a pinch of salt to enable the sensor inside the unit to detect the water level.
Make sure the ice maker is plugged in and then press the ON button to switch it on. Next, to the ON/OFF button, you will find the select button. This allows you to choose between large and small size ice cubes. Two size indicators at the top show you which size you have selected.
There are also indicators for power ON, ‘ice bin full’ and ‘add water.' So at a glance, you can tell all that is going on the settings that you choose. If the ice maker is not working, you can easily check the indicators to determine whether the reservoir is out of water or the ice bin is full.
Like us, most customers did not expect an ice maker this compact to make so much ice. It was a pleasant surprise with many owners saying the Koldfront makes enough ice for their whole family and occasional guests.
Several owners also praise the Koldfront ice maker as well-made and durable. One customer finally replaced theirs after seven years of hard use.
Overall, most customers are happy with it especially its portability, ease of use and utter convenience.
There are many excellent portable ice makers reviewed on this site, and if portability is your top concern, the Koldfront is one of the best.
We recommend it for those who are looking for a highly portable and space-saving ice maker.
If you have confined space in your kitchen, RV or boat or if you spend a lot of time on the road, definitely take a look at this model.
The Koldfront portable ice maker biggest advantage is its compact size and lightweight design.
At less than $150, the price is also really good.
The Emerson IM93B is a beautiful top=serving personal ice maker designed for portability, convenience, and ease of use.
At home, it takes up minimal space on your countertop while ensuring your afternoon slushies and cocktails are deliciously chilled.
On a beautiful summer day, its 23-pound weight is easy to carry to the porch or any outdoor area as long as there is a power source nearby.
The Emerson IM93B is one of the most portable / compact ice makers you can buy. Where it lacks in ice storage capacity, it makes up for in convenience. With this ice maker, you can make ice just about anywhere as long as there is power.
And just because it is small does not mean that it is not a workhorse. Compared with other portable ice makers of the same weight and size, the Emerson can make up to 27lbs of ice per day and store a maximum of 2.2lbs of ice cubes in its bin.
We recommend it for small families, individuals, 3-5 person offices and small events. Because of its portability, you can also take it with you on picnics, on your boat or in an RV.
The Emerson portable ice maker is no ice-making factory. It will disappoint you if you use it in a bar or large party. But it wasn’t designed for that. It was made to be a personal ice maker, and it excels as one.
The most important determiner of an ice maker’s capability is its production capacity. This refers to the amount of ice that a model can make in a day. For the Emerson IM93B, that number is 27lbs. Note that this is slightly higher than the 24-26lbs range of most portable ice makers.
So despite its size, this ice maker can still make a decent amount of ice. For small families and groups, the 27lb capacity is enough to keep you supplied with ice the whole day.
Another important factor in judging capability is storage capacity. This is the maximum amount of ice a model can hold in the collection basket.
The standard is 2.2 lbs, which is similar to Emerson’s basket capacity.
The ice made by this unit as slightly softer and more porous than the ice cubes you would get from your freezer. This makes it great for crunching as well as adding to drinks. But it is not as soft as Sonic-style nugget ice. So it can last for a while in your drink without melting.
It makes ice fast, too. If you need more ice, just add more water to the reservoir, and you’ll have more ice in a few minutes. This ensures that even for larger parties and events, you can still keep everyone’s drinks filled up with ice.
This ice maker is easy to use. Since there is no setup needed, you can start using it as soon as it is delivered.
Whether you place it on the table, countertop or floor, make sure there is sufficient clearance space on the sides and at the top. This allows heat to dissipate and air to flow as the unit operates.
See the unit’s manual for full instructions on using and maintaining the ice maker. One important recommendation you will find in the manual is that you should clean the unit before using it and then wait an hour after plugging it in before making any ice. These steps are just to make sure you get the best quality ice from your ice maker and ensure your unit lasts longer.
One of the things I love about the Emerson portable ice maker is that you can use it almost anywhere - in the house, outside, in an RV or even in a boat. As long as there is AC power, you are good to go.
Once you turn it on using the power button, you can choose which ice cube size you prefer. There are three ice cube size options: small, medium and large. They all come out in a bullet shape. A series of three indicators labeled S, M and L show your selection.
Another set of indicators alerts you when the ice bin is full or when you need to add water to the reservoir. If either of these two indicators is on, the ice maker will stop making ice until you either add water or empty the basket.
Note that you should only use clean potable water to make ice with this unit. It has no built-in filter. The manufacturer recommends distilled water.
Furthermore, you should never add anything other than water to the reservoir. Juices, flavors, and colorants will damage the ice maker.
Most customers are super-happy with their purchase. Many say they were surprised at how much ice such a compact ice maker can produce. Ease of use and portability are some of the advantages frequently mentioned by buyers.
Another upside customers mention is how quiet it runs. You don’t have to bother about disturbing other people in the house when making a fresh batch of ice cubes.
Amazon is selling both a new version of the Emerson portable ice maker and a certified refurbished versions.
If you are looking to save a few dollars on your purchase, the refurbished one is slightly cheaper than going for a brand new one. There is little to no difference in quality between the two versions.
The Emerson IM93B portable countertop ice maker is the best choice if you are looking for an inexpensive, highly-portable and easy to use ice maker for yourself or your family.
If you are still buying bagged ice for your freezer or you are using ice cube trays to make the ice for your household, then you are wasting time & money.
Our good friends at Igloo have come up with a REALLY inexpensive solution to the problem of running out of ice: the Igloo Countertop Ice Maker.
This Igloo ice machine is their middle-of-the-line model that features very few extras but tends to get the job done.
It features a relatively quick ice making cycle, taking as little as six minutes to prepare you a batch of ice.
It can prepare up to 26 pounds of ice in a day, ensuring that you always have sufficient ice for your needs.
The LED Controls are easy and intuitive to use, and this machine can last you a decent amount of time with the proper care put into it.
While the materials used to build this machine aren't exactly the highest quality, the price is low, so it 's hard to complain.
The most crucial aspect of this model, its ability to make ice, is rather good.
The ice that this Igloo makes is consistent and high quality, and it gives you the option of whether you would like to make your ice cubes small or large.
As long as you keep the reservoir full, this machine will be able to keep up with your need for ice throughout the course of a day.
This Igloo features a 1.5 lbs ice reservoir so you can keep ice stored in the machine.
Bear in mind, however, that it does not keep the stored ice fresh, it simply replaces it with more ice when it eventually melts.
We've researched a large number of customer reviews and testimonials, and the most frequent praise for this model lies in its ability to keep up with a family's need for ice throughout the course of the day.
The only downside that verified owners note is the seemingly cheap build quality.
The machine does not have technical defects, but the casing feels weak. This complaint is somewhat minor and has no bearing on the actual functioning of the machine.
This countertop ice machine typically retails for around $100 on Amazon, which is a really good price for such a good product.
The shipping weight of this machine is 27 pounds, so you will have to pay a bit to have it shipped to you.
The Igloo countertop ice machine is an excellent choice if you are looking for an inexpensive, simple ice machine that functions reliably and efficiently.
Suitable for a small family, but not a large outdoor summer gathering.
Let's face it. Making ice in cube trays tends to get annoying.
And refrigerator ice makers typically make poor-quality, nasty-tasting ice - or not enough.
During the summer months, when everyone wants ice, nobody else but you ever seems to be willing to make that drive to the nearest convenience store.
If you plan on making drinks, smoothies, milkshakes or any other form of iced beverage, you need a decent amount of ice.
The Knox stainless steel ice machine is a great, inexpensive portable ice maker that can solve all of these problems without breaking your bank. On top of that, it looks great!
Let's dive-in and see what it can do.
The Knox Stainless Steel Ice Maker is another great kitchen appliance offered by Knox.
This portable ice machine comes can make ice in three different sizes, and it can make a large amount of ice in a short period.
With its backlit display and touch control panel, this machine is intuitive and easy to use
It comes with a one-year warranty, too.
This Knox ice machine can make 27 pounds of ice in a day, which should be more than enough for a party of up to 8 people during the summer, or twice that in cooler months.
The Knox Stainless Steel Ice Maker works far better than a large number of ice makers we have tried.
The pieces of ice it produces tend to be uniform and do not feature any of the downsides of less expensive devices, such as runny ice, soft ice or inconsistent sizes.
The stainless steel construction is of high quality and seems to be durable and resilient.
Another aspect of the construction is that this machine looks sleek and modern and will fit in with the aesthetic of most kitchens.
Most verified customer reviews state that the ice comes out in a uniform size, with good density. Most also love the ability to make ice whenever needed - for such a low price.
One downside often mentioned is the amount of noise that it makes.
There is an audible beep whenever you initiate an ice-making routine or whenever the ice is finished, along with whenever most of the buttons are depressed, meaning that you will often hear this machine from across the room.
This Knox ice machine tends to retail for around $300, which is not bad price for a machine of this quality and capacity.
This unit is often on sale at Amazon for just under $200 which is even better.
The Knox Ice Maker is an excellent counter top ice making machine with fantastic build quality, great looks and excellent ice-making capabilities.
If you are looking for higher-quality ice than cheaper units can produce, then the Knox is a great choice.
There are many ways to cut back on the amount of work you do in the kitchen.
Buying an ice machine is a good one. And, it can pay for itself in less than 2 years.
If your household uses ice in large quantities, then you probably spend money and time buying ice, especially in the summer and for outdoor activities.
Figure-in $5 of gas each way plus $2-4 for the ice, and you're spending $15 a month for ice. Not to mention your time.
If you are sick of always having to go to the store to pick up bags of ice, then take a look at this excellent countertop ice maker by Igloo.
Buying an ice machine at this low price is an investment that pays itself back in terms of time and money.
Igloo is one of the better-known manufacturers of countertop ice machines, and this model is one of their best-selling units.
This is a no-frills, simple ice maker that just works - reliably.
This Igloo countertop unit offers a choice of three different sizes of ice cubes and can produce 26 lbs of ice in a one day.
The oversized non-insulated ice bucket can hold up to 2.2 pounds of ice so you can be prepared when guest drop by.
This machine looks far higher quality than it should, given its price.
The steel gray exterior will fit in with the aesthetics of your kitchen, regardless of the colors or style.
The Igloo ICE103 is a great choice for your first ice machine.
Overall, it functions reliably, making consistently-sized ice cubes quickly and efficiently.
The LED control panel is easy to use and intuitive for anyone to grow accustomed to.
The reservoir is easy to refill with water, so you do not have to deal with changing filters.
The most common praise that is voiced by verified owners in their reviews is how well it makes ice.
The ice cubes produced by this machine are evenly sized, and the three sizing options work well.
One common gripe is that this machine takes a little longer to make a complete batch of ice than more expensive models, but this is to be expected from a cheaper machine.
This Igloo ice maker is a really great deal - it's available online for about a hundred dollars.
This is an excellent price for a machine with this capacity that makes three sizes of ice.
This machine is an excellent choice for an entry-level countertop ice maker.
It's reliable, offers a choice in ice size and looks great in any kitchen.
And the price can't be beat: it's just [amazon_link asins='B004VV8GOQ' template='ProductReview-PriceLink' store='icemakershubsm-20' marketplace='US' link_id='d43724d3-fd64-11e7-a534-9b22438b752d']!
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 Della Premium ice making machine is an excellent choice - for a reasonable price.
Della Premium Portable Counter-Top Ice Maker 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 Della 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, Della's 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 Della Premium 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 Della ice maker is a great choice.