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Best Shaved Ice Machines

Updated July 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 20 Models Considered
  • 8 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 142 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best shaved ice machines

    Last Updated July 2018

    It’s a simple law of nature: when it’s hot out, you want cold drinks. You could drive to the nearest store and pick up a slushie or smoothie. Or, you could walk into your kitchen and make one of your own with a shaved ice machine.

    Shaved ice machines quickly shave down ice into fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth flakes that can be added to any drink to cool it down and give it a little texture without making it too crunchy.

    Sold yet? Now comes the tricky part. Which one do you choose? You could spend hours sifting through hundreds of customer reviews, or you could just ask us. Here at BestReviews, we do all the legwork, so we can provide you with the best recommendations and simplify your shopping experience.

    Check out our top five recommendations above, or keep reading to learn more about how to choose a quality shaved ice machine.

    You can add syrup to shaved ice to make slushies and snow cones. You can also add it to smoothies and other cold drinks.

    Ice texture

    Before purchasing anything, you should know what kind of product you’re looking for. Shaved ice machines often take one of two types of ice: cubes or blocks. A cube shaved ice machine uses ice straight from your freezer. These machines are easy to use and refill, but the end result is often coarser and less consistent than a block shaved ice machine.

    A block shaved ice machine only takes ice blocks of a specific size and shape. These products often come with molds included. They produce the best-quality shaved ice, but they have their own limitations. If you run out of ice blocks, you can’t use the machine until you make more, and this could be problematic if you’re using it at large gatherings.

    There are also some machines that accept blocks or cubes of ice. A machine like this may be a better choice if you’re looking for a product that gives you the best of both worlds. You can start with the block ice you have prepared, and if you run out, you can switch over to cubes.

    Durability

    You want to make sure the shaved ice machine you buy isn’t going to break down after a few uses. The best models are made of stainless steel or some other durable material, and they have stainless steel blades that won’t rust over time. You should also go with a product that has a sturdy base and won’t tip over easily.

    Check to see if the machine you’re interested in comes with a warranty. This is especially important if you’re spending a lot of money. Most models come with at least a one-year manufacturer’s warranty, so any malfunctions or defects you find in that time would be covered at no cost to you. Some high-end shaved ice machines have even longer warranties.

    FOR YOUR SAFETY

    When you’re dealing with ice, there’s a chance that it could melt and leak into the machine’s electrical components. That’s why you should make sure the model you choose is waterproof.

    Ease of use

    Making shaved ice shouldn’t be a complicated process. All you should have to do is put in the ice, flip a switch, and let the machine do the rest. Block shaved ice machines tend to be a little more complicated than cube shaved ice machines, but you should be able to operate either one after a quick glance at the manual.

    Don’t forget about cleaning as well. Because you’re just putting ice in the machine, there won’t be much to clean up. Most of the time, you can just run some warm water through it and wipe it out. Make sure it’s easy to clean around the blades without cutting yourself.

    Size

    Look at the capacity of the machine and make sure it’s suitable for your purposes. Most of these products are too small to accommodate a full bag of ice at once, so they’ll have to be filled more frequently. If you only plan to use it on occasion to make drinks for yourself and your family, you may be able to get by just fine with a smaller machine. But if you plan on using it at parties, you will need something larger.

    You should also consider the overall size of the machine and make sure that you have room to store it. Most shaved ice machines are relatively compact and should fit easily on a shelf or in a cabinet.

    EXPERT TIP

    Choose a shaved ice machine with an automatic shutoff feature so the blades won’t spin when the machine is open. This enables you to easily clean it without worrying about the blades.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Speed

    The motor determines how fast the machine will produce shaved ice. The higher the wattage, the more efficient the machine. Some models can be as low as 50 watts, but most are around 200 watts, and some go as high as 300 watts. They typically only run at a single speed, and most machines produce over 100 pounds of shaved ice per hour, which should be plenty for household use. But if you’re going to use it at an event, you may want to purchase a heavier-duty machine.

    You should also note that the motor is going to impact how much noise the machine produces. Some shaved ice machines can be quite loud, which could be an issue if you need to leave it running for long periods of time.

    Accessories

    A basic shaved ice machine won’t include any accessories, but some high-end models do. If it’s a block shaved ice machine, it will likely include ice molds, so you can freeze the ice blocks yourself.

    It may also contain extras such as cups, straws, and even syrups for making drinks. These items aren’t necessities, though, and you could always buy them individually if you really needed them.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Shaved ice machines don’t require a lot of maintenance, but you will need to replace the blades periodically when they start to dull.

    Shaved ice machine prices

    Shaved ice machine prices range from under $40 to well over $100.

    • Basic

    A good basic shaved ice machine will cost you under $40. These machines are generally slower and less durable than their pricier counterparts.

    • Mid-range

    For a waterproof shaved ice machine with a fast motor and stainless-steel blades, focus your search on products in the range of $40 to $100.

    • High-end

    If you plan on using the machine a lot, it’s a good idea to invest in something durable with a longer warranty. These models usually fall on the higher end of the pricing spectrum at above $100.

    Tips

    • Go with a cube shaved ice machine if you’re using the product at an event. These machines are easier to use, and there will be less of a learning curve for any volunteers using the machine.

    • Be careful when cleaning around the blades. While many machines won’t operate when the lid is open, it’s still a good idea to unplug the machine before putting your hand into it.

    • While most shaved ice machines are relatively straightforward, you should always read the manual first so that you understand how to use and clean it correctly.

    If you’re using a block shaved ice machine, allow your ice blocks to melt a little before placing them in the machine. This will give you the best texture.

    FAQ

    Q. How often do I need to replace the blade of my shaved ice machine?

    A. When the blade is beginning to dull, you’ll notice that the texture of the ice begins to become coarser and crunchier. At that point, you should order a replacement blade. If your blades aren’t made of stainless steel, there’s a chance they could rust as well. If rust begins to develop, the blade should be replaced immediately.

    Q. How much ice do I need for my shaved ice machine?

    A. That depends on how often you use it and how much shaved ice you need per drink. If you’re just using it at home, you’ll probably have plenty of ice in your freezer already. Generally speaking, you can expect to get about two cups of shaved ice for every pound of ice you add.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Kailey
      Kailey
      Writer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor
    • Michael
      Michael
      Writer