Introduction to Sonic Ice Maker
Having a sonic ice maker is not something that everyone may need, but it definitely has its advantages. When you take into consideration how much time and money goes into making sure that you have ice, going without a portable ice maker is just not an option.
Think about where your ice really comes from. If you buy your ice from the store, you don’t really know what kind of water is being used. Think about that, in some cases they use just regular tap water. That means that there is a good chance that all the impurities that you try to avoid by purchasing bottled water is ending up in your ice. You can purchase portable ice makers that have a filter to filter the water so that you are getting ice that is fresh and pure. Basically if you would not drink the water, you do not want to use it for ice.
For anyone that throws parties on a regular basis, a portable ice maker is a no brainer. It does not matter how awesome your built in ice maker is on your refrigerator, it is not going to be able to keep up with even a small group of friends and family. A portable ice maker is easily going to make ice up to 80% faster. That means that you will not be sending people to the store for ice or trying to figure out how to store the large amount of ice that you do purchase in advance. The countertop ice maker enables you to sit back and enjoy your party.
Camping trips are another wonderful way to utilize your ice maker. Think about the freedom of being able to have ice anywhere where you are able to plug in the ice maker. You can pack your cooler full of campout foods and not have to run to the store every few hours to replace the ice that you need to keep your food fresh. You also have the advantage of enjoy an ice cold drink with fresh ice that hasn’t been sitting in the bottom of a not so fresh cooler for hours. The ability to place one virtually anywhere means that you have room for it on your boat or your RV. You have fresh ice readily available even if you are nowhere near a store.
Portable ice makers will complete your outdoor kitchen. They simply make sense when you are grilling out. Think about how tiny the refrigerators are in most outdoor kitchens. Think about a having a Shaved Ice Machine in kitchen and being able to get shaved ice whenever you want. An ice machine is the perfect addition to add to be able to enjoy the outdoors without having to run and get ice for your drink. Think of how convenient this is when you are sitting in the hot tub – no more wet foot prints in your kitchen floor!
How to choose an Ice Maker
The perfect ice maker awaits you! With very little effort you can easily find exactly what you need. So before you go out to explore your options do these things first:
- Decide where you want to place your ice maker. Make certain that you take into consideration that your sonic ice maker will need room to breathe. Most ice makers will easily fit under a cabinet or on a shelf, but you will have to make sure that the model you pick is designed for that. You will need to make sure that you place the fan where it will not be against a wall. If you want it somewhere that doesn’t have a water line, make sure you specify that on your list.
- Make sure you take measurements of your space. This includes height, width, and depth. Be sure to include room for the cord.
- Think about how you will use your machine. If you have large parties, you may need to consider a larger machine. You do not need a high capacity machine if you only want it for everyday use. Make a list of what you would like in a machine, that way you know what features you simply have to have.
Below you will find a chart with some of the most top-rated ice machines in certain categories. If you happen to fall into one or more of these categories, we hope you find this table helpful. Hopefully, the information here can assist you with you search for the best ice maker for your specific needs.
|RECOMMENDATION FOR:||ICE MAKER BRAND/MODEL:
|Our Top Recommendation||Magic Chef MCIM22TS|
|Best Selling Portable Ice Maker||Igloo ICE103 Ice Maker|
|Best Budget Friendly Ice Maker||Igloo Counter Top Ice Maker|
|Best Ice Maker for Parties||Portable Ice Maker AB-ICE26S by Avalon Bay|
|Best Under-Counter Ice Maker||Sunpentown IM-150US|
|Best Sonic Ice Maker for RV and Boats||Ivation Portable Ice Maker|
Types of Ice Makers
The thing to remember is that the purer the water, the clearer the ice will be. Now, you can get an ice maker with a purifier on it, but a purifier isn’t standard on most models.
This is the best seller on Amazon for a reason. The over sized bucket holds 2.2 pounds of ice. In under six minutes you can have ice in your choice of 3 different sizes. It is fast and reliable. It is the sonic ice machine that you want to have at your next event. It can easily produce over 20 pounds of ice in any given day. It is the ice lover’s dream come true and the social butterfly’s best friend.
This ice maker will only make ice for as long as the ice bucket is empty. If you want more ice than you need to move the ice out of the bucket. This really isn’t a problem if you are camping or fishing since you will need to keep your ice cooler full. However, if you are using this as a way to keep your event stocked with ice, you are going to need a freezer to move the ice to so that it keeps producing ice.
It does not need a water line. It holds 8 gallons of water at a time. While it does not have a freezer in it, it is well insulated. That means that the ice melts very slowly. The water that melts from ice is recycled back into fresh ice. That is a pretty neat advancement in sonic ice maker technology.
This is not a small device. It isn’t huge, but it does take up a lot of room on a cabinet. It would be perfect on its own stand. The drain line is a little difficult to use, but unless you are needing to move it, you do not really need to use the drain line.
This is the ice maker to use in an RV or boat because it is quiet, small, and reliable. The ice doesn’t melt fast and when it does melt it is just used to make more ice. For home use, it is great. It means that you always have ice right when you need it.
The downside to this machine is that there is not indicator light to let you know when the water is low. Other than stopping when the catch is full, you don’t really know when it is done making ice. It doesn’t have a water line, but that just means you can put it pretty much anywhere that you want to put it. The size isn’t a huge issue, but it does need its own stand if you still want to be able to use your counter tops space.
Overall, it is a great ice maker. It is easy to use, easy to clean, and easy to store. It is great for personal use. It can easily replace your freezer. It is great for RVs and camping. This is the device you want for everyday use.
The Avalon Bay Ice Maker is pretty. It stands out in the market because it blends with any décor you put it with. The is very functional with the ability to produce 26 pounds of ice in one day. It also has indicators to tell you when the water is low and when the ice bucket is full. It is the most user friendly device available. The casual ice drinker may very well find that it is overkill.
You do not need an external water line with this sonic ice maker, but that means you are going to have to fill it up. If you want clear ice, you are going to need bottled water. That means if you are having a party you are going to need to stay on top of making sure that it stays filled. It does have a drain plug at the bottom. This comes in handy when you do not want to keep it set up.
You need to remember that this is an ice maker, not a freezer. You will need somewhere to keep the ice frozen once it is made. If you do not, you are going to have watery mess to clean up.
Of all the portable ice makers on the market, this is the one that you will want to use for your everyday needs. The reason why it is ideal for casual use and not for parties and the such is that it only makes about three large cups of ice in a cycle. Each tray takes about 7-9 minutes to give you ice. It does have a window so that you can see the progress of the ice. The hinged door makes it easy to get your ice out without interfering with the ice making process. You have a notification for low water and ice capacity reached. The tray makes it easy to dump the ice into your freezer because it is removable. It is quiet.
The downside is that it does not keep the ice frozen. It isn’t even very well insulated. Seriously, the ice melts into a puddle in the bottom of the tray. You have to physically tilt the tray so that the water will go into the reservoir. To give further details, this is not a problem if you are regularly using the ice. It will not have a chance to melt, but if you are planning on moving the ice to a freezer it is a huge problem. The ice begins to melt. It then gets moved to the freezer. The freezer then refreezes the partially melted ice thus creating a big ball of ice that is almost impossible to break. Anyone can see the annoyance in that.
The drain line is a much needed inclusion in this device. Other devices include the drain as precautionary with the expectation that it will not be used very much. In this ice maker, you need it. You will use it regularly. The ice melts and you need a way to drain it, hence a drain line.
On to the ice! Unlike some other models that create ice blocks, this one creates tubes of ice. They are wonderful little cylinders of water. They are perfect for making mixed drinks, including smoothies. The blend just right in any common blender. That is why this specific ice maker is recommended for home bars or for the smoothie enthusiast.
Like most other sonic ice machine, it does not need a water line. All you need is a plug. Therefore, it can go virtually anywhere. It isn’t huge, so you can place it on any counter-top. It has an easy to remove tray that pops right out and can be easily dumped into your freezer. That makes it user friendly. Just remember, the quality of ice you get depends greatly on the quality of water you put into it.
This is an Undercounter ice maker. First, it needs a water line. You are going to be limited where you want it because it has to be installed by a plumber. This goes against the definition of portable. Once it is installed it can’t be easily moved. Second, this thing is huge. It is about the size of a mini fridge. It is not for casual use as much as the others on the list are.
This ice maker makes 12 pounds of ice a day. That is almost double what other ice makers can do. It keeps it frozen on its own, so you do not need to move the ice once it is produced. It is perfect for offices or even an outdoor kitchen because it can stand alone and hold its own. The door is reversible, which means it is easier to place where you want it a little bit easier.
The biggest flaw of this ice maker is that it comes with plastic pieces when it clearly needs more professional pieces. You are going to want to hire a professional to install this, they can help you to find the right pieces to install it. Failure to procure the right pieces can result in flooding your kitchen, seriously not a mess you want to clean up.
Overall, it is the simplest and hassle free device on the market. The water line means no filling. The freezing means no storage issues. You get what you want: constant access to ice. Once it is installed, you really do not need to do anything else to it.
What is a Sonic Ice Maker?
A sonic ice maker is a portable ice maker that makes smaller nuggets rather that the block of ice we consider cubes. There are several different types on the market. The classification for a sonic ice machine is that it must be able to make a try of ice in under 5 minutes. It must also be completely portable, which usually indicates that it does not need a dedicated water line. It has a drain line or plug on the side or bottom to release in water that needs to be drained.
Over all, the difference between a sonic ice maker and a portable ice machine is little. It is really just the size of the cubes. This machine is going to give you nuggets that can be easily chewed or blended. It is perfect to those who like to snack on ice. Some people like them simply because they cool your drink a lot more evenly than the small blocks of ice. These are what is usually used to make iced coffee drinks because they are easiest to blend.
Using an Ice Maker
Using an ice maker is pretty simple. Most devices, including the ones on this list, produce ice as long as they are plugged in. You usually have to empty the ice once it is made to keep ice production going. Unless you purchase one with a water line, you are going to need to fill it.
When you are filling your ice maker you need to keep in mind that your ice is only as good as your water. You only want to place fresh, clean water into your reservoir. Your ice machine will have fill line. Do not exceed that fill line. You will also need to make sure that you secure the door or it is highly likely that it will not work properly.
Make sure that you have the plug properly installed before you fill it with water. Do not use anything but water to fill your ice maker. As cool as the idea of flavored ice is, you will ruin your machine. The addition of sugars will cause parts to stick and will void your warranty.
Before you drain your ice maker, make sure that your drain line is secure and that the end of it is where you want the water to end up. This is the only way to avoid flooding your floor.
Caring for your Ice Maker
You will want to clean your machine regularly. The manufacture suggests purchasing ice maker cleaner and diluting it with water. You simply fill the tank up with the mixture and discard any ice that is made with it. This is usually a full day’s process.
You can also make your own mixture. It will void your warranty if it does any damage to your sonic ice maker. A lot of machine owner prefer to make their own from organic material that is safe to drink, such as vinegar as the purchased cleaner is toxic when drank. You will want to make sure that you flush out any residue of any cleaner you use.
Monthly check all your seals to make sure that you do not have air seeping in where it should not be. Any place that air can get into can be a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. You can take a cotton swab and clean the cracks of the seal to make sure that you get all the dirt that can collect.
The outside of your portable ice machine will need to be wiped down with a wet cloth to remove any dust or debris that can collect in those places. If you frequently take your sonic ice macker on camping trips you will probably need to clean it off more often. Keeping the outside clean will make sure that you won’t have dirt falling into your ice.
For most users, storing isn’t really a problem. When in use, you just place it on the counter-top. When you get ready to move your device or put it away, there are three steps you will want to do.
First, unplug your sonic ice maker. Raise the lid to the reservoir. Pour out any water that is in the trays. Make sure that you place your line that flows from the plug to the ground in the sink or a bucket. If you are camping you will want to make sure your line is going to drain somewhere that is out of the way. Then you will want to remove the plug. Most tanks will have a notch to place the plug so that you do not misplace it, but some do not. It should take 10 to 20 minutes to completely drain your tank.
Second, after allowing your sonic ice machine to sit for a while, pour out any remaining water. Then, if applicable, remove the ice trays and towel dry them. Remove external tray and pour it out, or towel it dry. This is the tray that holds the ice once it is made. Finally, you will need to use a towel and dry the inside of the tank.
Third, you need to wrap up the cord and place everything back inside you sonic ice maker for future use. Make sure that you dry it thoroughly. If you do not dry it out completely, you will have mold growing in it. The seals will also be compromised if you do not care for it totally. Be certain to place the plug back in the hole where it belongs. You do not want to lost this plug. The plug is hard to replace because it is specific to the device. It also usually has to be ordered straight from the manufacturer.
Basic pricing of a sonic ice machine is going to vary by the size and capacity of your portable ice maker. You can look online and get you a brand new one from about two hundred dollars. These are generally small and do not have freezer in them. They are good for home use. The more expensive ones can go for closer to five hundred dollars, hoshizaki ice machine is one such example. These are usually packed with features that the average user doesn’t really need. They can cost you more if you have to have them installed by a plumber, have to have a waterline installed, or need extra not included parts.
To be fair, the average household would be happy with a mid-ranged portable ice machine. You can pick one up for about three hundred that will be just perfect for everyday use, including those avid campers.
These portable ice makers have just the right features, notifications if the water is low, drain lines, and removable trays. You can use these to substitute your built in ice makers. The advantage of being able to use bottled water, rather than a water line, mean they can fit anywhere and that you get a better quality of ice. Bottled water is usually better than tap. A mid-ranged portable ice machine is also easier to turn off and store if you do not need it daily.
Also see : Crushed Ice Machine Reviews
There is so many really great sonic ice machine on the market that it can be difficult to find the perfect match for your needs. It is easy to get overwhelmed with the attributes of the more elaborate models and lose focus of what you really need. That is why it is highly recommended that you make a list of what you really want in an ice maker. There are some machines that make more sense in your office rather than your home, the opposite is true also. All ice makers will do the basics. The quality of ice is dependent on your water not your machine. So what you really need to look at is how long you want it to last and how much you plan on using it. The average life span of a portable ice machine is about three to five years of daily use. That isn’t bad considering the affordability of them. In often times, it is more economic to buy a whole new machine than it would have your sonic ice maker fixed.