Commercial ice makers play a vital role in our lives whether it is economy-wise where you can use them in your restaurant or business where ice is needed or health-wise where ice production is required for storage of medicines which need to be kept at low temperatures.
A commercial under the counter ice machine will not only help you save on space needed to install it but it will also help you produce as much ice as you need for whatever purpose you wish to use it for. They can fit under the counter quite perfectly or you can have them built in with your cabinets.
Best Commercial Ice Makers 2018
Commercial under the counter ice makers come in different sizes, production capabilities and they also produce different kinds of ice. In this article, we will review the best under the counter ice machines for you. Small units have the ability to produce up to 45 lbs of ice per day whereas the big units can produce twice as much.
Whatever your needs, the ice machines reviewed here will be perfect for you as they have been designed to suit your everyday needs.
Below is the table which shows the best commercial ice makers of 2018.
|Ice Maker Name||Weight||Size||Daily Rate|
| Manitowoc NEO UR-0140A |
(Editor's Choice - Most Popular)
|153 lbs||26 x 28 x 38.5||129 lbs||Check Price|
| Scotsman CU1526MW |
(Best Medium Cube)
|150 lbs||26 x 27.4 x 33||175 lbs||Check Price|
| Ice-O-Matic ICEU220FA |
(Medium Output Winner)
|160 lbs||26.3 x 24.5 x 39||238 lbs||Check Price|
| LOSCATO CP-0015 |
(Budget & Portable Winner)
|---||17 x 15 x 31.5||3800 cubes||Check Price|
| Manitowoc ID-0502A_B-570|
(Best Large Capacity)
|178 lbs +|
108 lbs (bin)
|21.5 x 30 x 24|
50 x 30 x 34 (bin)
|530 lbs||Check Price|
| Scotsman CU3030SA |
(Best Small Cube)
|200 lbs||33 x 30 x 30||250 lbs||Check Price|
Without wasting any further time, let’s jump onto our best commercial ice maker list.
This commercial ice maker allows you to produce ice in an optimal manner by use of its user-friendly controls. It is an ideal buy if you wish to produce ice in small quantities or you wish to supplement a bigger ice making machine.
It has the ability to produce up to 122 lbs of ice in a day and its storage bin has a capacity of 90 lbs.
This ice maker is also very easy to maintain and saves on space. It is used in the production of regular cubed ice.
Features of this ice maker
Ease of access: the door to the bin is easy to control and can open wide enough for you to fill a bucket with. The door slides up and out which allows you to have enough room to fill your pitchers and glasses with convenience.
Ease of scooping: a large scoop with a handle that is easy to grip is included in the package and it comes with a giant holder which can be mounted on either side of the ice maker for ease of access and storage of the ice.
Ease of control: to make it easy for you to produce the ice, the machine comes with a control pad with push buttons as well as easily recognizable control icons. The display icons are used to indicate to you when the storage bin is full and needs emptying, where a clean cycle is in progress and when the machine requires being serviced.
The controls include a delay button which allows you to schedule ice production postponement for a few hours. The controls are very easy to read as they are illuminated through the use of LED lights.
Ease of maintenance: the machine’s controls can indicate when service is due and this makes it easy for you to act early before repairs are necessary. The air filter system in the ice-maker is also easy to access for maintenance purposes as it can be removed without the need for tools for easy check-ups.
Bin removal: the bin comes off with ease which helps when you need to take it off for routine maintenance or for repairs.
Energy consumption: this commercial ice maker is energy efficient and will save you money on running costs
Pocket-friendliness: Compared to other commercial machines of similar dimensions and capacity, this ice machine is much cheaper and will save you a lot of costs.
- Large capacity
- Ease of maintenance
- Not suited for industrial applications
With its ability to produce Scotsman medium sized ice cubes which are used to cool soft and mixed drinks, this commercial ice maker is best suited for use in places such as restaurants and bars where you can serve ice cold drinks to your customers.
It has the ability to produce up to one hundred and seventy-five lbs of ice a day, ensuring that your guests will not lack a cool drink in their hands.
The reason why ice cubes are preferred for cooling drinks is that they dissolve into drinks at a slower rate as compared to other shapes and sizes.
This water cooled ice maker is from Scotsman Prodigy line and this line is known for producing ice makers that consume less water and electricity in ice production.
Features of this ice maker
High production: this machine boasts of an ability to produce as much as 175lbs of ice in a day which means that you will not need to get a supplementary ice maker when the summer comes. If you run a restaurant, this amount of ice can come in handy in helping you keep your customers’ drinks and foods cool.
Storage capacity: given the amount of ice that this machine can generate, chances are high that you cannot use it up all at once and it is a good thing that the machine comes with a storage bin that can hold as much as 80 lbs of the ice produced. The storage bin is quite easy to access, clean and maintain as it is removable.
Medium sized cubes: the machine produces medium-sized ice cubes that can fit easily into glasses, cups, and pitchers. Such ice cubes do not melt easily and this means that they will last and you will end up using much less ice on your guests as compared to if the machine produced other shapes and sizes of ice.
The ice produced is clear and odorless which prevents it from changing the taste of drinks they are put in.
Energy efficiency: ice makers have been known to use a lot of energy during ice production because the process takes quite a while. With this icemaker, you no longer have to be worried about energy consumption driving up your operating costs as it is energy star certified.
Removable air filter: equipped with an air filter that can easily be removed, maintenance of this machine is quite easy.
Easy controls: a control panel illuminated by LED lights are used to help you control ice production and it warns you when servicing is needed such as when scale builds up in the system. A water sense system is in place to combat the formation of scale.
Compact: with its small size, it is ideal for use for people who do not have much room to spare as it saves on space usage. The door slides up instead of outward allowing the machine to be used even in cramped spaces.
- Easy to maintain
- High production
- High water consumption
If you want to make ice that will last for long periods without melting, this is the ice maker for you. Made of pure stainless steel that has been designed to last for ages, this machine can produce cubed ice which does not melt easily and this will reduce your production costs.
This self-contained ice maker is also quite compact which helps you save on space while maximizing on production as it has the ability to generate as much as two hundred and thirty-eight lbs of ice a day. Now that’s a lot of ice.
Features of this ice maker
Air-cooled: the upside of using an air cooled ice maker is that it consumes far much less water as compared to a water cooled machine. If you live in an area where water costs are high, this machine will help you save on operating costs. It also does not produce any extra waste water adding onto your water savings.
Full cubes: these kinds of cubes melt the slowest when compared to other kinds of ice. If you need to supply many people with ice, this is the best form to use as it will be used at a slow rate, giving you adequate time to produce more ice to meet the needs of your guests. The cubes are produced using an anti-microbial technology which ensures that the cubes produced are not only clear but it also ensures that they are free from mold, algae, bacteria and any other harmful microorganisms that may try to contaminate the ice.
Storage bin: with a storage capacity of 74 lbs, you can store up to a third of the total capacity of this ice-maker. To make scooping easy for you, the ice maker’s bin has an easy slide door which opens wide to let you scoop the amount of ice you need. Repair, maintenance, and cleaning of the storage bin are easy as it comes off easily.
Stainless steel: when making an investment in buying an ice-maker, you would not wish to make the same purchase again in a few months. This ice maker has been built with stainless steel which is durable against corrosion, scratches, and knocks, making it last for years. The stainless steel finish also gives it an elegant look which can complete the finish of your home, office or business in style.
Energy efficient: this model is energy star certified and will save you a lot of costs that would have been incurred due to operating expenses.
Warranty: this ice maker comes with a seven-year warranty provided that you purchase it with a water filter. The deal cannot get any better than that.
- High production
- Energy efficient
- Less storage capacity
Perfect for use at home, in the bar or in restaurants, this portable commercial ice maker grants you the convenience you desire as you can have it with you wherever you go. Its automatic ice production capability makes handling this machine quite the walk in the park and its easy controls add onto the ease of handling greatly.
It produces ice in a matter of minutes, making it great for use in parties.
Features of this ice maker
High production: this machine can produce up to one hundred and thirty pounds of ice a day and it has the capability of producing up to thirty pounds of ice per cycle. An average cycle takes about twelve to twenty minutes, allowing you to produce as much ice as you need. The ice produced comes in the shape of cubes which helps you save on the amount of ice needed.
Clear ice: the ice produced by this ice maker is of high quality and it is clear in color. It also comes free of impurities which make it odorless and safe for use in drinks and food.
Self-cleaning: most ice makers need a lot of routine checks and maintenance procedures which make them very costly to maintain. This machine has a self-cleaning capability which takes that burden off your shoulders. Due to this ability, the formation of build ups such as scale and slime is kept to the minimum, allowing you to schedule your maintenance checks periodically instead of every other day.
Easy control: LED lights are used in the control system to make it easy for you to tell what is going on. The time left to finish the current cycle is displayed on the LED screen and the screen is also used to display when there is a water shortage in the system which allows you to add more water and prevents a malfunction.
Front air intake: the air intake and exhaust systems are at the front of the ice maker which enables you to place the machine at any place provided that the front has access to air circulation. Given that you may be looking to save on space, this will enable you to utilize the little space you have available.
Portable: you can use this machine wherever you wish as you can carry it around easily. It comes in a flat pack to make transportation easy.
Steel construction: durability is key when it comes to getting an ice maker which will prevent you from having to endure constant repairs that will increase your running costs.
Ease of access: the bin door slides up and down which does not take up space and the door has been designed in a way to allow you to scoop ice from the bin at ease.
- Less storage production
This ice maker has the capability to produce as much as five hundred and thirty pounds of ice per day, which is almost triple the capacity of most ice makers. If you are looking to entertain a large gathering of people with cool drinks such as in a restaurant, this ice maker will produce enough ice to serve them and there will probably be enough ice left for other uses.
It also makes full sized cubes which last longer than medium sized cubes and are ideal for use in hot weather.
Features of this ice maker
High production capacity: it can produce 530lbs of ice in one day making it ideal for situations where a lot of ice is required. The ice produced comes in the form of full sized cubes.
Compared to other sizes of cubes, these cubes melt at a slower rate and they are perfect for use where many guests are being served as they require fewer refills and you will end up using less ice. The ice produced is of high quality and it is clear in color. The process used in ice making ensures that all solids and odors are removed to make sure that the ice is safe for consumption.
Compact: with a width of only thirty inches, this ice maker can fit comfortably in small spaces and this helps you save on storage space.
Maintenance: this ice maker is pretty easy to maintain given that it comes equipped with its own 24-hour maintenance system which provides preventative maintenance to the machine. In this way, most malfunctions that could have occurred are prevented from taking place, allowing the ice maker to run smoothly. The machine is also easy to clean and it uses anti-microbial technology to enhance sanitation, reducing the chances of ice contamination.
Easy control: a display system is used to guide you on what to do which makes it easy for you to control the ice machine. You can program settings into the machine such as how much ice to produce per cycle. This allows you to schedule reminders, cleanings and to check on the quality of ice produced. This allows saving on time and reduces waste produced during ice making.
Storage bin: the storage bin has a capacity of 430 lbs of ice which allows you to store most of the ice produced in a day. The bin is also easy to access and maintain. A hinged door has been used in the ice maker and it is easy to open and shut and it allows for easy cleaning of the machine.
Air-cooled: this machine uses an air-cooling system which saves on water costs which in turn save on operation costs. The machine is also quite resistant to wear and tear which is due to the fact that it has been built with a DuraTech exterior for added protection.
- Energy efficient
- High production
- Takes up vertical space
This is a small commercial ice maker that belongs to the Prodigy series which prides itself in the manufacturing of energy efficient commercial ice makers. This ice maker does not disappoint in terms of being a great deal of help when it comes to energy savings and it comes in a compact size designed to help you save on as much space as possible. Take a look at the amazing features that await you on the purchase of this ice maker.
Features of this ice maker
Air-cooled: air-cooled ice makers are better when it comes to saving on energy costs when compared to water cooled machines. This is because air cooled machines use less water in their operation which is a big plus for you if you live in an area where utility costs are quite high. This energy star certified ice maker is bound to save you a lot of water and money, making it very friendly to your pocket.
The initial buying cost is not high either.
Ice production: with this ice maker, you can make up to 217 lbs of ice in a day. You can use this machine in your home, office or small restaurant where not that much ice is needed. 217 lbs is a lot though and this machine can be used in a situation where you are having a lot of people over. The ice produced is clear and odorless and is safe for consumption.
The ice cubes produced are small in size and can be used in cooling of drinks. Cubes melt at a lower rate than other shapes which makes them ideal for use in cooling of drinks.
Storage: the storage capacity of this ice maker stands at 110lbs and the bin is easy to access for scooping and cleaning purposes.
Removable air filter: the air filter can be removed with ease for repair and maintenance purposes which make this ice maker easy to maintain.
Automated control: use of automated controls makes it easy to regulate the activities that go on in the ice maker. An auto-alert control panel has been installed which lets you know when servicing is needed such as the need to descale.
Ease of maintenance: The door, top panel, and the storage bin can be removed with ease to give you access to the internal parts which are used for repair and maintenance purposes.
- Ease of maintenance
- Energy efficient
- Less ice production
How commercial ice makers work
Commercial ice makers are ice makers that make use of flowing water in their operation. The moving water runs down a stainless steel evaporator made of high nickel content. The surface of the evaporator must be at temperatures that are below freezing. Salty water requires that the temperatures be much lower and the process used to freeze it takes longer. Such ice is mainly used in the packaging of seafood products.
Commercial ice makers work in a way that all air and undissolved solids in the water will be washed away. Horizontal evaporator machines produce very pure clear ice that is very hard as they are able to remove as much as 98% of the undissolved solids in the water. Vertical evaporator machines produce ice of a softer nature especially if there are individual cube units.
Commercial ice makers have the ability to produce different kinds of ice in terms of sizes and shapes such as tube ice, cubed ice, and crushed ice. To do this, once a sheet of ice has reached its desired size on the cold surface upon which ice is formed, the sheet of ice will be slid onto a grid of wires which will then proceed to break the ice into the desired shapes. The broken ice will then be passed into the bin for storage.
History of commercial ice makers
The first commercial refrigeration system was developed in the year 1856 by Alexander Twinning who was able to come up with the first artificial method of ice production. Many people used his work to come up with various designs of ice makers such as James Harrison who was able to come up with a refrigeration machine that could produce three thousand kilos of ice a day. However, through the years nobody was able to come up with an ice making machine that could produce ice that was safe for consumption. Most ice makers were making use of harmful gases such as ammonia and sulfur dioxide as refrigerant gases. In the year 1929, a professor known as Jurgen Hans came up with an ice making machine that could produce edible ice and he is credited for this huge step in ice making. In this way, many companies were able to come up with ice making machines that could make use of clean refrigerant gases such as Freon.
Difference between commercial ice makers and other ice makers
Commercial ice makers generally produce more ice than other kinds of ice makers and they are usually used in homes, offices, and businesses to produce ice in large quantities. They are smaller than industrial ice makers but bigger than domestic ice makers. They come in different sizes and production capacities. Under the counter, commercial ice makers are preferred in situations where space is not adequate for a bigger machine and where ice production is not required in high quantities. They often come with a bin inside the ice maker, making the ice maker compact and they normally produce an average of 350 lbs a day, making them suitable for use in small restaurants.
Common issues faced when using ice makers
Ice makers can get slime and scale on their insides due to the use of hard water. Ensure that you use high-quality water in your machine to prevent the formation of such substances which can contaminate the ice. If the machine fails, be sure to get repairs done immediately to prevent the machine from getting further damage.
Factors to consider when choosing an ice maker
Cost: this does not refer to the initial buying cost alone but it also takes into consideration the amount of money that you will spend on maintenance of the machine. Performing a life cycle costing will enable you to choose a machine that will provide value for your money.
Speed: depending on the purpose of the ice maker, you will have to consider the speed of ice making of the machine. For example, if you wish to use the machine in a restaurant where ice is needed at a fast rate, go for a machine with short cycle periods. If you wish to use it at home where the demand for ice is low, go for a machine with long cycle times.
Capacity: different commercial ice makers produce different amounts of ice and your choice should depend on the amount of ice that you require. Keep in mind to take into consideration the times when you need ice the most such as during summer and make your decision based on the maximum amount of ice that you need during such periods.
Energy efficiency: to avoid having high energy bills to pay at the end of the month, look for a ice maker that is energy certified which will not only save your money but will also have a positive impact on the environment.
Maintenance of commercial ice makers
To protect your ice maker from malfunctions, ensure that you regularly clean it and perform maintenance checks on the regular. Every six months, ensure that you get your machine properly sanitized and that actions such as de-scaling are performed to get rid of any scale or slime that may have formed inside the machine. For further protection of your ice maker, use a water filter which will not only add to the quality of ice produced but it will also ensure that your ice maker has a durable lifetime.
Commercial ice makers enable us to meet our daily ice needs be it at home or in our workplaces and it is important that we get the very best that the market has to offer. The ice makers reviewed in this article are sure to meet your needs at very reasonable costs and you can be assured of their continued service for a very long period. To ensure that you get the best out of your ice maker, ensure that you maintain it as per the manufacturer’s instructions and get repairs done immediately something fails to avoid malfunctioning of the machine.