Industrial Ice Maker

The Top Commercial Ice Maker Brands: Reviews, Machine Options, and Costs

Ice machines are an essential part of many industries, providing the cool relief that beverages and perishables need. They come in various shapes and sizes, depending on the specific needs of your business. If you are in the market for a commercial ice machine, this blog post will guide you through the top commercial ice maker brands, their popular models, and their relative costs.


1. Hoshizaki

Japan-based Hoshizaki is one of the leading manufacturers of commercial ice-making machines worldwide. They are renowned for their product durability and reliable performance, thanks to high-quality stainless steel parts.

Reviews: Hoshizaki machines consistently receive positive feedback for longevity, ice quality, and energy efficiency. However, some users find the machines slightly expensive to maintain.

Different Machines: The Hoshizaki AM-50BAJ is an under-counter model producing top hat ice cubes, ideal for bars or small cafes. For high-volume needs, the Hoshizaki KM-1301SAJ creates crescent-shaped ice and can produce an impressive 1353 lbs of ice per day.

Costs: Hoshizaki’s ice makers can range from $2,000 for smaller models to over $5,000 for their high-capacity machines.

2. Manitowoc Ice

Based in Wisconsin, Manitowoc Ice is a leading brand in the U.S. with an extensive line of ice machines to fit every need.

Reviews: Manitowoc is often praised for its innovation, quality, and comprehensive customer service. Some users have noted that certain models can be a bit noisy during operation.

Different Machines: The Manitowoc UYF-0140A NEO is an under-counter model that can produce 132 lbs of half-dice ice per day. The Manitowoc IY-0504A-161 is an impressive machine that can produce up to 500 lbs of half-dice ice per day.

Costs: Manitowoc ice makers can be found for around $1,800 for compact models, while larger capacity units can exceed $3,500.


3. Scotsman

Scotsman is another trusted name in the ice-making industry. This U.S.-based brand boasts energy-efficient designs and easy maintenance features.

Reviews: Scotsman machines have been praised for their quality, longevity, and diverse ice shape offerings. However, some reviews have noted that some units might be complex to service due to design intricacies.

Different Machines: The Scotsman CU50GA-1A is an under-counter gourmet cube ice maker, perfect for upscale restaurants or cocktail bars. Their high-capacity model, the Scotsman C0330MA-1A, can produce 400 lbs of medium cube ice per day.

Costs: Scotsman’s ice machines are available starting at around $2,000 for smaller units and can exceed $4,000 for higher-capacity machines.


Scotsman Ice Makers

4. Ice-O-Matic

Ice-O-Matic, headquartered in Denver, Colorado, offers a wide range of commercial ice machines known for their reliability and simplicity.

Reviews: Customers appreciate the straightforward operation and easy maintenance of Ice-O-Matic machines. Some users have noted occasional challenges with the machines’ drainage system.

Different Machines: The Ice-O-Matic ICEU150FA is an under-counter model that produces full cube ice, suitable for a variety of businesses. For larger businesses, the Ice-O-Matic ICE1006HR can produce up to 960 lbs of half-cube ice per day.

Costs: Prices for Ice-O-Matic units start around $1,700 for smaller models and can go up to over $4,000 for larger machines.


5. Maxx Ice

Maxx Ice, a part of the Maxximum brand family, offers high-quality commercial ice-making solutions with an emphasis on efficiency and compact design.

Reviews: Customers often commend Maxx Ice for their solid build quality, affordability, and compact designs suitable for various spaces. Some users have reported challenges with their customer service response time.

Different Machines: The Maxx Ice MIM50P is an energy-efficient under-counter model that can produce up to 65 lbs of ice daily. The Maxx Ice MIM1000 is a self-contained ice maker ideal for high-demand settings, with a capacity of up to 1000 lbs of ice per day.

Costs: Maxx Ice machines usually start around $1,000 for smaller units, while larger machines may cost upward of $2,500.

6. Kold-Draft

Kold-Draft, based in Pennsylvania, is known for its unique ice-making process that yields pure, solid, and slow-melting ice cubes.

Reviews: Customers appreciate Kold-Draft’s high-quality ice cubes and the durability of their machines. However, some users find their machines require more regular maintenance than other brands.

Different Machines: The Kold-Draft GB564LC is a high-production ice maker that can produce up to 527 lbs of full cube ice per day. For a compact, under-counter solution, the Kold-Draft GT561AC produces 304 lbs of ice daily and features front-breathing air intake and discharge for easy installation.

Costs: Prices for Kold-Draft’s ice machines start at around $2,000 for compact models, with high-production units priced over $5,000.


7. Blue Air

California-based Blue Air offers a diverse range of commercial ice makers with a commitment to energy efficiency and environmental responsibility.

Reviews: Blue Air ice machines receive praise for their consistent performance, energy efficiency, and value for money. A few users have reported the machines can be slightly louder than some other brands.

Different Machines: The Blue Air BLUI-150A is an under-counter model producing up to 150 lbs of ice per day. For a high-capacity solution, consider the Blue Air BLUI-600A, capable of producing up to 600 lbs of ice daily.

Costs: Blue Air machines typically range from $1,500 for lower-capacity units to over $3,500 for their high-output models.

When considering these brands, it’s crucial to balance the production capacity, ice type, machine size, and cost to best suit your business needs. With this guide, you are now equipped with knowledge of the top commercial ice maker brands in the industry. Remember, experts at are always ready to help you connect with the best commercial ice maker suppliers to find the right solution for your specific needs.


How to Choose the Right Size Commercial Ice Maker

Choosing the right size ice machine for your business is vital. An oversized machine will waste energy and resources, while an undersized one won’t meet your ice needs, impacting your operation negatively. Here are some crucial factors to consider when determining the right size for your ice maker.

1. Calculate Your Ice Needs

This is the first and most important step in selecting the right size machine. Your ice needs will depend on the nature of your business:

  • Restaurants: Generally, you should plan for about 1.5 to 2 lbs of ice per meal served. If your restaurant seats 200 customers daily, you’ll need between 300 to 400 lbs of ice.
  • Bars: Bars and cocktail lounges typically require more ice, especially if you’re serving blended drinks. Aim for 3 to 4 lbs of ice per seat.
  • Hotels: For guest ice dispensers, hotels usually require about 5 lbs per hotel room. However, if you’re also providing in-room ice makers, consider about 2 to 3 lbs per room.
  • Healthcare Facilities: In hospitals or care homes, you’ll need to account for dietary needs, treatment requirements, and staff use. On average, allocate 10 lbs of ice per patient bed.
  • Convenience Stores: Bagged ice needs can vary widely depending on location and time of year. A rough estimate could be 35 lbs of ice per cubic foot of bagged ice sold.

These are estimates and can vary based on specific circumstances and regional factors like climate. It’s important to adjust these numbers to fit your unique needs.

types of ice

2. Consider Peak Usage

Think about your busiest times. Do you have a lunch rush at your restaurant? Does your bar get crowded on Friday nights? Your ice machine must be able to handle your peak demand. While considering your ice needs, it’s advisable to add about 20% to account for these busier times.


3. Factor in Storage

Your ice machine’s bin should be large enough to store the ice produced without overflowing but not so large that the ice melts before it’s used. Typically, the storage bin should be able to hold about two-thirds of your daily ice production.

4. Think About Space

Make sure you have enough room for your new machine. Commercial ice machines come in a variety of sizes and configurations, including modular, undercounter, and countertop models. Check the dimensions of the machine and compare them to your available space, keeping in mind the need for ventilation and access for cleaning and maintenance.

5. Allow for Growth

As your business expands, your ice needs will likely increase. If you anticipate your business to grow, consider choosing an ice machine that can handle more than your current needs to prevent frequent upgrades.

Finding the right size commercial ice machine can seem complex, but with the right approach and considerations, it’s entirely manageable. At, we can connect you with suppliers and provide quotes to help you find the best ice machine for your specific requirements.