Our Top 5 Best Under Counter Ice Makers Reviewed for 2016

 Read All 5 Reviews

Ice has become and integral part of our food and beverage industry and many people are taking the process of making it for granted. We demand that its crystal clear at any time of day regardless of the outside temperature, and it's cooling our lives in many ways. Many areas of human activity demand access to it, such as medicine, sports, etc., but restaurants, bars, and similar facilities are the biggest consumers of frozen water. Therefore, ice making machines are predominantly found in kitchens and under the bar counters, pumping millions of ice cubes and being a convenient addition to our meals and drinks.

Our Top Picks Compared

Whynter-UIM-155-Stainless-Steel-Built
  • Whynter UIM-155 Built-in Ice Maker
  • Product Dimensions 18 x 15 x 25 inches
  • No drain required
  • Makes 12 lbs of crescent-shaped ice cubes in 24 hours
Sunpentown IM-150US Undercounter Ice Machine - Copy
  • Sunpentown IM-150US Undercounter Ice Machine
  • Product Dimensions 18 x 15 x 25 inches
  • Stainless steel door with black cabinet
  • Makes up to 12 -Pounds of ice daily
Orien FS-55IM Undercounter Ice Machine small
  • SPT IM-600US Undercounter Ice Maker
  • Product Dimensions 23.6 x 14.6 x 32.8 inches
  • Auto shut off when ice bin is full
  • Makes up to 50 lbs of ice daily and stores up to 25 lbs of ice
U-Line BI95B-00 14 Ice Maker – Black small
  • U-Line : BI95B-00 14 Ice Maker - Black
  • Product Dimensions 27.5 x 20 x 18.2 inches
  • Suitable for indoor use only
  • Makes up to 23 lb of ice per day using less than three gallons of water and minimal electricity.
Orien FS-55IM Undercounter Ice Machine small img
  • Orien FS-55IM Undercounter Ice Machine
  • Product Dimensions 23 x 14.6 x 33.5 inches
  • Air-cooled condenser
  • Makes more than 40 lb of ice per day

Choosing the best Under-Counter Ice Unit

Whynter UIM-155 Built-in Ice Maker

Not many ice making units on the global market are built with features that can satisfy a wide range of users. Usually, they are designed either for home usage or for professional business use, and Whynter UIM-155 Built-in unit is a great one that can suit the needs of many different types of customers. This convenient and versatile device is clearly designed with an average user in mind, being able to respond to various demands from the users. That makes it a good option for people who are not so sure about what type would be the best option for them, and this model will suit the needs of even the most demanding of customers. Continue reading(...)

Sunpentown IM-150US

Many people claim that if something is cheap, it must be poorly built and that the quality of affordable products is usually very low. Even though this may be a valid statement for certain items, Sunpentown IM-150US is a highly affordable product but it also has the quality and functionality of a high-class model. This machine costs only $294, which makes it one of the most affordable ice making devices on the market. People who invest in this product will certainly feel like they have come across a bargain, which is something we all want when we look for items to buy. Continue reading(...)

SPT IM-600US

Every restaurant owner will tell you that having good kitchen appliances is a very important aspect of having a high-class service, simply because modern devices will boost the speed of production and the service will be more professional and faster. For example, seafood and similar products are hard to imagine without the abundance of flake ice around it, and there are many other types where it is commonly used. Therefore, having a high-quality machine is a very important part of restaurant or bar business, and SPT IM-600US is a device that will satisfy even the most demanding of owners. Continue Reading (...)

U-Line BI95B-00 14

Being “different” and unique in the business world is usually a good thing, but on some occasions – this can be a serious disadvantage. People are creatures of habits, and they mostly follow each other when making a purchase, buying what they saw from their neighbors, friends or colleagues. Uniformed design and universal structure are convenient and they provide security for the product and for the manufacturer, but every once and a while, there comes a company that “takes the road less traveled by” and in the end – that makes all the difference. One such company is U-Line, and their unconventional ice maker machine called U-Line BI95B-00 14 – Black is a product that still amazes people with its interesting design and exciting features. Continue reading(...)

Orien FS-55IM

Being a company with experience and tradition is helpful in any line of business. They certainly have the necessary experience to produce a high-quality device. Also, their products are known for being affordable and durable, so customers usually have faith in this manufacturer. One of Orien's most popular models is Orien FS-55IM a machine that can be found in many bars and restaurants around the world. Being a popular model, clients constantly order new shipments of the product, and even though the price of Orien FS-55IM is relatively expensive they decide to choose this one – . Continue Reading (...)

The short history of ice making machines


As we said earlier, tropical areas and regions with warmer climate used to be places where you could spend your entire life without seeing an ice cube. Because of the temperature, ice simply could not “exist” in these areas, and people tried to find ways of preserving ice in a warmer climate, but most of the attempts were unsuccessful until the 1850s when Dr. John Gorrie created a machine that is considered to be the first ice maker machine. However, his creative patent did not go into commercial production, but this physician is still regarded as the “father of refrigeration”. His contributions to this area are certainly great, but it took a while before the ice cubes started popping from our refrigerators.

At approximately the same time, Alexander Twining in the USA and James Harrison in Australia were conducting their own experiments and were heavy involved in the process of creating useful and convenient ice maker machines. Of course, there was a long way to go before our small ice maker devices could be created, but these pioneers of refrigeration have their name in the history books. Thaddeus Lowe also earns the right to have his name remembered since he constructed the first commercial ice machine, and people in Dallas were the first ones to have access to pieces of ice even when the weather outside was sizzling hot. Those first ice making machines were large and slow compared to the devices that are present on the modern global market, and they were predominantly used in the meat industry for storing and transporting large quantities of beef or some other kind of meat.

After that came a slow and continuous process of improving and upgrading our ice making machines, and by the 1920s refrigerators were a fairly common occurrence in wealthier homes. Later on, the prices kept going down, simply because new and better production methods were introduced, and, for instance, in 1953, “Servel” created a first built-in ice maker, which can be considered as an original under counter ice machine. In recent years, machines were further improved and upgraded, and they now come in many types and colors, with various options and features.

How these machines actually work?

The basic idea behind every ice maker machine is to turn water into ice by subjecting it to cold temperature. However, as simple as this may sound, the actual process is not so straightforward and there are several important components in every ice maker. Knowing how the refrigeration cycle works may be helpful to users who want to clean their device more effectively or who are just curious about “how stuff works”. Besides the supply of water and electricity, ever ice maker machine needs free space to “breathe”, or a component that enables it to have access to fresh air for cooling.

Other components of almost every ice maker machine include the evaporator, the condenser, the compressor and the valve. These parts are present within the majority of modern ice machines, although there may be slight variations from one machine to the other. The solenoid valve shuts the water flow when it receives the electrical charge, and the compressor creates high-pressure vapor and delivers it to the condenser. The condenser can be air-cooling or water-cooling, and this component is in charge of turning high-pressure vapor into a liquid that can later be frosted. The evaporator is the part that makes the vapor go away and creates ice sheets, which are then released from the mold by heat exchange, i.e. a strong hit by hot temperature makes the ice loose and then it can be easily separated from the mold. The final stage is the cutting of ice into smaller parts, whether into cubes or into flakes and then the ice is delivered into the bin that acts as a storage unit.

Naturally, most people will never see these parts and they are only interested in knowing how fast is the machine and how good is the quality of ice. But, our review section is also concerned with the overall quality of the machines, and by reading our reviews of under counter ice machines, you can see that components play a major part in the longevity of the device and that a well-built ice maker machine can save you a lot of money on repairs and similar difficulties.

Whynter-UIM-155-Stainless-Steel-Built
  • Whynter UIM-155 Built-in Ice Maker
Sunpentown IM-150US Undercounter Ice Machine - Copy
  • Sunpentown IM-150US Undercounter Ice Machine
Orien FS-55IM Undercounter Ice Machine small
  • SPT IM-600US Undercounter Ice Maker
U-Line BI95B-00 14 Ice Maker – Black small
  • U-Line : BI95B-00 14 Ice Maker - Black
Orien FS-55IM Undercounter Ice Machine small img
  • Orien FS-55IM Undercounter Ice Machine

The most common types of Ice Makers on the market

Ice comes in many forms, and people who work in this “industry” are constantly inventing new ways of making interesting and creative shapes. Depending on the needs of the customers, ice can be produced in all shapes and sizes, but the most common types are flake ice, nugget ice, and cube ice. Flake ice is the “smallest” kind and it has a very soft texture, which makes this ice a perfect addition to seafood and other types of product that can use ice as a decoration and cooling. Nugget ice is slightly larger, and it also has a soft structure that makes it good for people who need to chew on ice, as some medical conditions require. Also, nugget ice is a common addition to cocktails and smoothies, simply because its texture enables it to mix easily with other liquids and cool the drinks efficiently. Cube ice is perhaps the most famous form of ice, mostly because scotch on the rocks is a drink known worldwide. Of course, cubes are used in many other combinations, either with food or drinks, and the standard size for a regular ice cube is 7/8''. When the cubes are crystal clear, it means that there are no impurities in the water, which is a goal for any restaurant or bar owner.

Since there are many types of ice, ice machines also come in different forms. Their form mostly depends on their function, so we have commercial ice making machines, built-in or under-counter ice machines and portable or small ice makers. Commercial ice making machines are used by professional facilities and companies that produce ice on a large scale. For people and businesses that do not need such huge quantities of frozen water, an under counter ice machine may be the best option. These built-in devices can be easily combined with other appliances, and they can also produce significant volumes of ice par day, usually around 40-50 lbs. Portable or countertop ice making machines are designed to act as self-standing units, which makes them easy to use and move, if necessary. However, they produce the lowest amount of ice and customers who only drink a glass of whiskey before lunch will be perfectly satisfied with one of these small ice makers. Ice machines for sale come in many shapes, and knowing which one will suit your needs can be a tricky situation, so our reviews of the best undercounter ice maker could be a true helping hand for many potential buyers.

What to look for when buying Below-Counter Ice Machine

Undercounter machines make the production of ice very convenient and fast, which is why food and beverage industry depends on these machines so much. Without a large quantity of ice, many evening parties would be completely ruined and a lot less drinks would be sold in tropical bars around the world. Therefore, it is important to keep the ice making machines in good shape since any damage can cause unwanted problems in the process of ice production. Repairs can be costly as well, so there are several things you need to consider before buying this appliance.

For example, the actual ease of repair is a very important element. If the evaporator is easily accessible, the device can be fixed in no time (this component is usually the first one to fail), and this means less money for repairs and less time without fresh ice in stock. Also, if the device is easy to clean, the components can be kept in good shape for longer periods of time. Air filters, water supply system and some other parts simply have to be cleaned on a regular basis, so it is good to find an under counter ice machine that enables easy and effortless cleaning of the most important components.

Naturally, the quality of the parts is essential in having a reliable and durable machine, which means that every buyer should get as much information as possible about the quality of the ice maker machine in question. For example, evaporator plate is one of the most important parts, and devices that use stainless steel plates are durable and last for a very long time. However, if the evaporator plate is produced out of copper and coated in nickel or hot-tin, it can be much more energy efficient and the actual cooling will be much quicker. According to some experts, steel plates are up to 30 times slower than the copper ones, but the latter ones may be easily damaged if the cleaning is not done in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations.

Of course, there are many other elements that anyone who wants to buy an under-counter ice machine needs to take into consideration. First of all, customers need to check their space and placement options, which means that they also must consider the factors like water supply and the drain, and power supply as well. Besides placement, people need to know if the capacity of the ice maker machine will be big enough to satisfy their needs, and knowing how much ice you spend on average will surely make the decision much easier.

Additionally, just like in any other purchase, you must check the price tag since some ice machines for sale are highly affordable while others require a substantial “financial investment”. If you find the model that suits your price range, there are several additional features that can make you "buy" or "pass" on an item, such as noise level, auto defrost option, automatic overflow protection, etc. All of these “fancy” attributes can make your life easier and your business more productive, which means that you should take your time and consider everything as carefully as possible. Our under counter ice machine reviews are there for you, and every potential customer should take a look at the detailed descriptions of each product. Having a right information at the right moment is crucial to making good business calls, and we provide you with a lot of verified and useful information.

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