A Buyer’s Guide to Commercial Ice Machines

No matter what product or service you provide, commercial ice machines can meet your various needs. Let’s say your priority is the health and satisfaction of your customers or being cost-effective in a new business. In every case, ice machines can often be your make-or-break impression with a walk-in. When a customer enters your office or building, these machines can be the first glimpse of your quality of service and seriousness.

When looking for an ice maker, it is very easy to get confused by the number of options available. Here is a buyer’s guide for commercial ice makers to help advise you before making a purchase:


Type of Ice

Before making any decision, you must decide what type of ice you need. Basic cubed ice, flaked, or even gourmet? It all depends on the product or service you are providing. Cubed ice is often perfect for drinks for diners or restaurants or for selling it bagged at convenience stores. It is the most preferred usually because it takes the longest to melt.

Flaked ice is most appropriate for ice cups at medical facilities or fish or meat displays at grocery stores, as suited to your aesthetic preferences. Gourmet ice, as the name, suggest is generally used for premium drinks at lounge events or banquet halls.

Type of Ice Machine

Once you have your shape chosen, it’s time to decide on the machine that can provide you with your desired type, considering the volume of ice required and the storage requirements.

Undercounter Ice Machines

Undercounter ice machines slip beneath a counter and blend in with any kitchen décor. They can be found mostly in homes due to their convenience or even in restaurant kitchens to give staff easy access to the choice of ice. Commercial under-counter ice makers can produce anywhere from 50 to 500 lbs. of ice daily.

Modular Ice Machines

For larger volumes need, modular ice machines are appropriate. In such a case, storage bins are placed underneath to preserve ice’s different shapes and sizes. These are often already provided, such as with Hoshizaki ice machine. Within a day, modular ice machines can create between 250–2,500 pounds of ice.

Dispenser Ice Machines

Easy for customer use, dispenser ice machines are best when put out for customers to use for drinks. They can reduce contamination and usually store more chewable ice, making the process easier for customers. Due to their size, they can usually only hold up to 250 lbs. However, they are most often used to hold 8–12 lbs. of ice at once.

Ice Machine Accessories

For sanitation, always purchase accessories along with your commercial ice machine. For more usage, an ice scroop is often the most common accessory. It allows no transfer of germs when multiple hands could be accessing the ice box. Ice totes are also required for ice transportation from one place to another. This is very common in the case of gourmet ice displays with meat or fish, as it allows the transfer of ice from the dispenser to store presentation trays.

Water Quality and Condensation

Often with water or ice storage, there can be mineral build-up that can greatly hinder ice quality. This could mean poorly shaped ice, taking more time to be produced, and eventual malfunction in the long term. It will be easier to prevent this mineral build-up and assure the effectiveness and long-term performance of the appliance if you choose a commercial ice maker with a decent built-in water filter. Still, they must be checked, cleaned, or replaced regularly to maintain ice integrity.


Never buy a machine you cannot take care of. Ice machines are no exception here. Once every 12 months, you should find a technician to check the machine’s integrity. The technician will check the unit’s overall functionality, replace any parts, and clean the equipment to ensure no bacteria have accumulated. Between these intervals, check if you need to replace any water filters. To prevent any overheating or blockage, clean out your air filter regularly as well. You can also take a further in-depth measure depending on requirements.

Final Thoughts

You have ticked off all the questions to consider before purchasing a commercial machine. Here, all that is left is choosing your supplier. Find a company that develops dependable machinery that will last a lifetime. Their items must be constructed using cutting-edge, environmentally friendly manufacturing techniques. Don’t forget, a company that provides regular customer service for all your maintenance needs.

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