Best Under Counter Ice Makers Reviewed for 2017

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
  • Only requires a 1/4" outside diameter water line connection
  • Daily ice rate of up to 23 lbs
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 44 lb of ice per day

Making ice has become part of our daily intake with either food or water. Looking further, even the beverage industry are using it in virtually any drink you can think of.

Because of the ice consumption, man created an ice maker to make more ice. When the ice tray isn’t making enough ice for everybody, you can put water in the ice maker.

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.


Essential For The Average User

Whynter UIM-155 Built-in Ice Maker

This ice maker best fits the average user or if the household doesn’t demand that much ice in their food or drinks.

It has front venting, and because of that, no drain is required.

It has a spectacular design that will look fresh and lovely in any kitchen because of its sleek and stainless steel exterior.

With it, you get the ice scoop and ice bin which will come in handy once you use it. It can store up to 6 lb of ice which is more than enough and once the ice bin if full, it automatically shuts off.

Whynter UIM-155 Built-in Ice Maker
Editor’s Rating:
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Affordability
Sunpentown IM-150US Undercounter Ice Machine
Editor’s Rating:
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Affordability
High Quality Product

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. This is not the case when it comes to this ice maker.

It possesses the functionality of a high-class model, and by looking at the features, it is clearly worth your money and place in your home.

With the stainless-steel door, you won’t have to worry about damaging it, and they are also reversible. With it, there is a black cabinet for all the ice that is going to be used, and it can make up to remarkable 12 pounds of ice daily! That is impressive especially if you have a household that consumes ice quite a lot.

Professional Performance

SPT IM-600US

Every restaurant owner will tell you that having good kitchen appliances is a crucial aspect of having a high-class service, only because modern devices will boost the speed of production and the service will be more professional and faster.

This is why we have this SPT ice maker machine that makes up to 50lb of ice which is a lot. Preferably it would be best if used in restaurants and similar because the amount of ice that it makes can be over the top.

It has outstanding performance with features such as auto shut off but it has to use filtered water, which can be installed by an experienced plumber.

SPT IM-600US Undercounter Ice Maker
Editor’s Rating:
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Affordability
U-Line BI95B-00 14 Ice Maker – Black
Editor’s Rating:
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Affordability
Perfect For The Average Consumer

U-Line BI95B-00 14

By coming in all black and being somewhat pricier than other ice makers, this U-Line is one leading ice maker because of its elegance and features. It has daily ice rate up to 23 lbs, and it wastes minimal electricity doing so.

This is for the high-end consumers who like to splurge a bit on the kitchen appliances because of their lovely design and features.

This U-Line is for the average ice consuming household; it will come in handy once you organize home parties but it is not suitable for restaurants and similar just because it can’t produce large amounts of ice in a small amount of time like the other brands.

Most Wanted Orien Product

Orien FS-55IM

The Orien has that traditional design that won’t stand out as much but nonetheless it does it’s job well with the ice making.

This appliance is the company’s most wanted product because it is of high-quality even though at first glance it seems ordinary.

When it comes to price, it is pricier than other models, but it received many positive reviews based on its performance.

It can be found in many bars and restaurants, and it is better suited for them than it is for the average consumer because it makes 44 pounds of clear ice per day.

Orien FS-55IM Undercounter Ice Machine
Editor’s Rating:
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Affordability

The Short History of Ice Making Machines

first ice maker

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.

history ice machine
old ice making machine

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.

Choosing the Best Under-Counter Ice Unit

RankImageNameBest ChoiceIce RateRating
#1
DELLA 048-GM-48196 Ice Maker100 lbs/day
#2EdgeStar IB120SS Ice Maker12 lbs/day
#3Scotsman SCN60PA-1SS Ice Maker80 lbs/day
#4Whynter MIM-14231SS Ice Maker23 lbs/day
#5
Koldfront Built-In Clear Ice Maker

45 lbs/day

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.

Ice-Maker diagram

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.

how does ice maker work

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.

Want To Pick the Best Ice Machine For You?

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 and type of drinks,  ice can be produced in all shapes & sizes, but the most common types are flake ice, nugget ice, and cube ice.

flake ice

Flake 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

Nugget Ice

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

Cube Ice

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.

Commercial vs Portable – What’s The Difference?

Commercial Machines

AmaySince 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.

Our Pick:

Orien FS-55IM 44-Pound Built-In Undercounter Ice Maker
commercial ice machine

Our Pick:

DELLA 048-GM-48184 Portable Electric Ice Maker Machine
portable ice maker

Portable Machines

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 under counter ice maker could be a true helping hand for many potential buyers.

Want To Find the Best Ice Unit For Your Home?

Want To Find the Best Ice Unit For Your Home?

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.

repairing

Repairing of the Machine

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.

quality

Reliability

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.

placement

Placement Options

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.

price

Affordability

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”, and with that in mind you need to find the right product for your home.

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.

Latest Reviews on our Blog

5 Ways to Get Your Ice Machine to Make More Ice

If you have a modern ice machine, there are probably a ton of available options on it. The modern technology is constantly advancing which means there are more and more custom options on every ice machine. However, if you’re experiencing a drop in production, there...