Is it crazy to think that you actually need an undercounter ice maker?
You love to entertain and sometimes you need to fill an ice chest for the game, bbq, or even work on a hot day. Maybe you just want to finish off your basement bar without having to carry around a melting bucket of ice. It doesn’t sound crazy to me either.
Seems like you’re here to make an informed purchase that will make your life easier and improve the comfort level of your space.
There are plenty of ice makers out there, but only a few of them are quick and quiet at making ice. Which one should you choose? Let’s figure it out!
Best Undercounter Ice Makers
Choosing an ice maker is a personal decision and everyone has their own situation. This makes it impossible to recommend a specific ice machine for everyone.
There are numerous factors to be considered before purchasing an ice maker. Those factors are storage capacity, output, noise, style, design, and budget. That’s why it is not going to be an easy decision. Our list takes a look at the best under counter ice makers available, and this list will help you to choose the ice machine which suits you the most.
A note of caution. Most ice machines require a drain line because they do not have refrigerated ice storage bins. This means the ice melts and gets continually topped off while the ice maker is running. If you need an ice maker that operates like a freezer and stores the ice until it is used, go ahead and jump down to the EdgeStar as it is the only one on the list which doesn’t require a drain.
Below is the table which shows the best undercounter ice makers.
|Ice Maker Name||Weight||Size (WDH)||Daily Rate|
| Scotsman CU50GA |
|112 lbs||14.9 x 22 x 34.4||65 lbs||Check Price|
|U-Line BI95B |
(Best in Black)
|61.6 lbs||13.9 x 17 x 25.1||23 lbs||Check Price|
| EdgeStar IB120SS |
|54 lbs||15 x 18.5 x 25.2||12 lbs||Check Price|
| Whynter UIM-502SS |
|77 lbs||15 x 24 x 33||50 lbs||Check Price|
|Koldfront KIM450BL||77 lbs||14.6 x 23.6 x 32.8||45 lbs||Check Price|
|SPT IM-600US||84 lbs||14.6 x 23.6 x 32.8||50 lbs||Check Price|
|Maxx Ice MIM50||80 lbs||14.6 x 23.6 x 33.5||50 lbs||Check Price|
Without wasting any further time, let’s jump on to our best undercounter ice maker list.
Our first ice maker in this series is built by Scotsman. The CU50GA is one of the better ice machines on the market if you have room in your budget. Let’s find out why.
The machine makes up to 65 lbs of ice in 24 hours, which is 30% more than any other maker on the list. The bin storage on this unit also has an impressive capacity of 26 lbs.
None of the ice makers we have seen are quiet when ice drops, but the normal operation of this machine is considered well below average in noise.
This model is designed with a gravity drain and makes gourmet cubes. The company also provides options for drain pumps, and those chewable nugget cubes as well.
The only downside in this ice machine is that it is expensive.
However, running out of ice if you often entertain large gatherings that last for hours may be more of a downside to your hosting capabilities.
Overall, the Scotsman CU50GA-1A is my all time favorite and best undercounter ice maker 2018 on the market if you can afford it. The build quality is great, performance is top shelf, and the design looks nice indoors or out.
- Gourmet cubes
- Indoor / Outdoor
- Makes a lot of ice
- Price (almost double)
The next ice maker on the list comes from U-Line. It is a reliable little work-horse that has some really nice attributes. It is designed, engineered, and assembled right here in the USA.
This machine requires very little maintenance. Turn it off, dump the ice, and leave the door open to defrost, then fire it back up. That is about all it takes.
Noise performance on this ice maker gets top marks. The reliability and ease of maintenance have made this the highest rated under counter ice maker on Amazon. It is perfect for a basement bar or man cave.
The only downside to this machine is it will run out of ice faster than some of the others when heavily used.
If you like the black and don’t have large parties, this is an excellent choice.
- Uses 3 gallons for 23 lbs of ice
- Indoor / outdoor
- Low maintenance
- Normal cubes
- Daily output on the low side
Here is the most frugal option in the list. The EdgeStar Ice Maker is the easiest, convenient, and inexpensive to install all the machines. It is literally 3-6 times less expensive when compared to the others. But what’s the catch right?
I consider this the bachelor or personal model of undercounter ice machine. It is not going to produce a ton of ice, but this makes it great for lower use areas or TV rooms as it won’t be dropping ice as often.
The main benefit to this unit is that it operates like a freezer. This means that it doesn’t require a drain because the ice never melts. You can use it in a wet bar, kitchen, RV, boat, or office.
The negatives to these units is that it only stores up to 6 pounds of ice and produces no more than 12 pounds in 24 hours.
Overall, EdgeStar IB120SS is an ideal choice for anyone who is budget concious, doesn’t need a ton of ice, or needs to buy an ice machine without a drain.
- Low cost
- No drain needed
- Low capacity
- Low output
- Operates like a freezer
The Whynter UIM-502SS hits the sweet spot between price and performance. It’s also my personal favorite in regards to design appeal.
This ice maker doesn’t produce as much ice in a day as the Scotsman, but it will throw out 50 lbs in 24 hours. And it looks damn nice doing it if you enjoy the upscale industrial look.
Ice storage capacity on the Whynter is 25 lbs. It also requires a drain like most of the others because it is not a freezer. Using this or most of the others in a basement with minimal usage may be a waste of energy if you expect to always have ice available.
This unit really doesn’t have a downside as it fits right in the middle of price and performance in comparison to other ice machines. It runs quiet and looks good.
Wrapping up, this under counter ice maker will be a great purchase for anyone wanting a modern polished look.
This is one of the most affordable and best-performing ice makers in the current market which can be used both indoors and outdoors.
Not only is this icemaker portable thus allowing you to use it in any place that you wish but it also produces huge quantities of ice of up to 45lbs of ice per day. Given the large quantities of ice produced by the Koldfront KIM450BL Built-In Ice Maker, it is ideal for use in large gatherings as well as for making cold beverages.
Built with adjustable leveling legs, this ice maker can fit perfectly in any space and it has a storage capacity of up to 25lbs. It has a drainage facility and comes in the color black which blends in very well with many types of decor.
Amazingly, it takes an average of only six minutes to prepare the ice so you can imagine just how much ice one can produce within an hour. The temperature required for ice making varies from forty-five degrees to about one hundred and ten degrees and the ice produced is free from impurities such as rust and does not emit foul smells.
The only downside in this ice machine is that it needs ventilation.
Another appealing factor about this icemaker is its reversible door which can be swung to either side when opening the icemaker.
The Koldfront KIM450BL Built-In Ice Maker is operated through the use of computerized controls, making it easy to input the amount of ice needed as well as monitor the ice making progress through the use of LED lights. The ice maker can be installed in three ways, depending on one’s preference: free-standing, recessed or built-in.
- Six-minute production time
- No lock
- Needs ventilation
6. SPT IM-600US
When one requires a lot of ice, a freezer just cannot keep up with the demand. Thus, when having people over and a lot of ice is needed, the SPT IM-600US 50 lb. Stainless Steel Under-Counter Ice Maker surely comes in handy to save the day. This ice maker can produce up to 50lbs of ice per day. Can you imagine all the cold beverages that can be made with that much ice especially in the summer? The ice bin can hold as much as 25lbs of ice.
Not only is this machine hygienic such that it produces ice cubes that are free of impurities such as chlorine but it also produces clear ice that is of restaurant quality. That means that one needs not to worry that the taste of the ice cubes will change the flavors of drinks that they are put in.
This ice maker is also durable such that you can be assured that you will still use it in the summers to come at ease.
Wondering whether the ice maker will interfere with your décor? Worry no more as the sleek design of this icemaker will blend in with your interior design seamlessly.
The only downside in this ice machine is that it produces more noise than many of the others in the list.
This ice maker has an auto-shutoff function that comes into effect when the bin is full, allowing one to empty the bin before producing more ice.
Accessories that come with this ice-maker include ice scoops, a gravity drain hose, a water supply hose as well as a removable ice bin.
- Ease of installation
- Digital controls
- Auto shut off
The Maxx compact MIM50 Indoor Ice Maker is ideal for use in making ice as it has been built for both domestic and commercial purposes. Whether you are entertaining guests or serving people at a restaurant, this ice maker is guaranteed to aid you to meet your ice needs as it can produce up to 50lbs of ice within twenty-four hours.
It also comes with a storage bin that can hold up to 25lbs of ice.
With its stainless steel build, it can be used in outdoor settings without the risk of damaging it in the process. It can be installed as freestanding or built-in and it comes with a reversible door which gives off a look of elegance.
It has an automatic shut-off function which protects against overfilling of the ice maker. That way, the user can go about other activities without worrying that the ice maker can malfunction due to overfilling.
The only downside in this ice machine is that it requires filtration.
This machine has optimal insulation which prevents the occurrence of condensation. This machine has an inbuilt lock system that prevents unauthorized people from accessing it. The use of a gravity drain in the build eliminates the need for a drain pump and an ice scoop is included in the package for convenience.
Users of this machine are advised to use filtration systems when loading water into the machine so as to get rid of impurities which could affect the quality of the ice produced.
- Well insulated
- Gravity drain
- Control lockout
- Requires filtration
What should you Consider when you’re Choosing an Ice Maker?
Having an ice maker is a great thing and it allows you to plan for parties and cool your drinks during those hot summer days. With the reviews above, you should now have a rough idea of which ice maker is best for you. However, if you have no knowledge of ice makers all the above might still feel a bit alien. So to help you pick the best ice maker for the right job, we have listed a few things below that you should consider before your purchase.
The Style of Cube
There are many varieties of ice cubes that can be made using ice makers and they all serve different purposes. Examples include cubes, half cubes, nuggets, flakes, gourmet, pearls, and octagons. Flake ice is mainly used in the display of produce and seafood as it allows you to showcase the food in a healthy cool environment. Cubed ice and nugget ice are mainly used in beverages to keep the drinks cold. Depending on the type of ice you wish to make, the machine chosen will vary.
How Much Ice Do You Need?
Various machines produce differing amounts of ice. If one wants a lot of ice, it is a good idea to go for a machine that can produce huge amounts of ice without malfunctioning. Machines with high capacity can produce as much as twenty-three kilos of ice a day while working at their optimum and are preferred for commercial uses and social gatherings. They also cost more as compared to smaller machines with less ice producing capacity. However, if one requires a machine to produce much less ice, it is more viable to get a machine with less capacity. Not only will one save on buying costs but one will also save on operation costs and will use less space.
Are You Concerned About Looks?
If you are in the market for a ice maker that can match the decor of your space, it is possible to find an ice maker that satisfies that need. Most ice makers are available in the colors white, black and stainless steel. There are more colors available for one looking for a specific color which can be found by browsing through the available machines and finding one with a color that works for you. The finishes of ice makers also vary such that one can choose amongst various designs. For domestic use, one can opt to go for a more stylish look whereas, for commercial uses, aesthetics will probably not matter as much. Whichever choice the user makes, one can be assured of finding a machine that will serve as desired.
Always Look at the Price
The affordability of ice makers varies depending on their capacity as well as their portability. However, the range in prices is not that big and reviews have shown that most cheap ice makers end up being expensive in the long run. This is because they are more likely to need repairs within short time periods and as such, the user will end up spending a lot more than was intended. More affordable machines within reasonable budgets are likely to serve one for longer and do away with the constant need for replacement of worn out parts.
However, this also depends on how often you will use the ice maker. In an instance where the ice maker is only used during special occasions, it is more viable to get the cheaper options available. Where the ice maker will often be in operation, going for a more expensive and more durable machine is the wise option. The cost will also be influenced by the efficiency of the machine as well as its ease of use. The cost will vary depending on one’s needs and preferences.
Where Will the Ice Maker be placed?
Ice makers can be installed in different ways depending on their design: freestanding, built-in or recessed. The choice of an ice maker will depend on how much space is available for it to be placed in. For ice makers with adjustable leveling legs, they can be placed in any space as they can extend upward, thereby creating space underneath for other items. It is also important for some ice makers to be given space to them to reduce friction and give enough room for ventilation to prevent overheating which can damage the machine. If one wishes to place an ice maker outside, it is important to get one that cannot be affected by adverse weather. A good buy for outside use would be a machine that has been constructed with stainless steel as it cannot be damaged by water or other environmental factors.
Ice makers consume different amounts of energy and the energy used in the production of ice relates to the running costs of the machine. The higher the amount of energy used, the less efficient a machine is and therefore the more money used in the operation and maintenance of the machine. For domestic use, opt for a machine with reasonable energy consumption.
How to Maintain your Ice Maker
Once you have decided on the best ice maker for your needs, it is important that you learn how to clean it properly and maintain it. If you aren’t maintaining your ice making machine properly it can become faulty and this cost you quite a lot of money especially if you do not know how to repair the maker yourself. Not only can you incur additional costs due to lack of maintenance, but parts of the machine that come into contact with water are likely to form slime or scale which could get into the ice and cause adverse health effects to anyone who consumes the ice. In order to prevent this, an ice machine must be cleaned and sanitized every six months. In a case where one notices that the machine requires being cleaned more often than the six month period, the water quality should be tested as it may be the causative factor.
Common Ice Maker Issues and Troubleshooting
There are times when one may experience trouble when operating an ice maker. Some of these issues include lack of release of ice or slow harvesting of ice by the machine, lack of the machine cycling to harvest mode, low production of ice and production of ice that is either not clear or the cubes have not formed completely. Such problems point to a malfunction in the machine and should be dealt with immediately they are noticed as failure to this can lead to major problems that could cost you more money. Proper maintenance of the machine through regular checkups is one of the ways to avoid such issues as well as avoidance of overworking machines beyond their expected capacity.
How do Ice Makers Work?
When one pushes the button and waits for an ice maker to pop out the ice, not much thought goes into the intricate process involved in the production of ice. Ice making is not as simple a process as it looks. All ice makers work in the same way by making use of four key components: the condenser, the evaporator, the throttle valve, and the compressor.
The compressor works by compressing low-pressure refrigerant vapor to high-pressure refrigerant vapor. The high-pressure refrigerant vapor is then passed on to the condenser where the vapor is condensed into a high-pressure liquid. This liquid is then drained to the throttle valve where it is turned into a low-pressure liquid. The liquid is then taken to an evaporator where heat exchange is done, thereby creating ice. That makes up one refrigeration cycle which will be repeated depending on the quantity of ice required.
Why Icy Drinks are Beneficial for Your Health
Would you believe it if someone told you that taking cold drinks is actually beneficial to your health? Chances are that you would probably not. But here is the thing. Drinking cold drinks has been linked to having positive effects on our health. One such benefit is the fact that cold drinks burn calories. People have searched for all manners they could use to cut a few lbs. How about gulping down an icy drink and let your body do the work for you? Cold drinks are like cold showers.
Cold temperatures increase our metabolism by up to 50%, enabling our body to burn calories. There are studies that show that cold drinks stimulate the enjoyment part of our brain, making us happy in the process. So, the next time that you are feeling low, take a cold drink and let your worries slip away. Having considered these benefits, getting an ice machine seems like a swell idea. However, cold drinks should not be taken in the cold weather unless you are open to the idea of developing a cold. Here is taking cold drinks for better health.
When we are looking for an ice maker, there are very many factors that we consider before settling on the one that fits our needs best. Things such as price, durability, and ease of use play a vital role in the determination of what machine we take home with us. Ice makers help us in our day to day activities, whether at home or our workplaces and as such, their efficiency is highly relied upon.
The machines outlined above are some of the best that the market has to offer. Not only do they come in sleek durable makes but they also produce huge quantities of ice. Their ease of use and dependability makes it easy even for the inexperienced to operate the machines with ease. If you are looking for an affordable ice maker that will still be in operation for the years to come given the right care and maintenance, these machines will suit you perfectly. And they are not heavy on the pocket either which makes them ideal.
Please let us know which unit you decide to go within the comments. Also, feel free to come back later and let us know how your model is treating you.