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 water that needs to be drained.
Overall, 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. Some people like them simply because they cool your drink a lot more evenly than the small blocks of ice. These are what are usually used to make iced coffee drinks because they are the easiest to blend.
Which are the best ice makers that make sonic ice on the market right now?
1) Igloo ICE103 Counter Top Ice Maker with Over-Sized Ice Bucket, Stainless Steel
This is the best seller on Amazon for a reason. The oversized 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 on any given day. It is the ice lover’s dream come true and the social butterfly’s best friend.
This ice maker with sonic ice will only make ice for as long as the ice bucket is empty. If you want more ice then 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.
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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.\
Downsides to Igloo ICE103
The downside to this machine is that there is no 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 countertops 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.
2) Portable Ice Maker AB-ICE26S
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. It is the perfect at-home sonic ice maker.
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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 a watery mess to clean up.
3) Ivation Portable Ice Maker w/Easy-Touch Buttons
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 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.
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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 is 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 machines, 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 countertop. 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.
4) Sunpentown IM-150US
This is an under-counter 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.
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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.