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There’s nothing like a Margarita or Daiquiri made with shaved, crushed ice to really bring the full “bar” experience home. But maybe you only have some store bought ice, or you have a top ice machine but it only makes cubes and doesn’t shave your ice for you.
That’s where having an electric ice crusher for home use can really save the day. These machines are affordable and are capable of making a lot of different frozen treats, not just drinks.
While you’re making adult beverages for you and your friends, you can also be making snow cones for the kids. That way they stay out of your hair while you’re chatting with your guests!
Best Overall: OKF Electric Ice Crusher
The OK has 3 blades and he most powerful motor of all our researched ice crushers. Our number one pick for the best unit overall.
Best Economical: ZENY Electric Ice Crusher
At under $40 you just can’t beat this electric machine. It can shave up to 143 lbs ice per hour and comes with a 300 watt motor. What more do you need?
Best Compact: Hawaiian Shaved Ice Machine
Best Retro: Nostalgia Retro Table-Top Snow Cone Maker
Best Manual: MANBA Ice Shaver and Snow Cone Machine
This small and portable ice crusher is perfect for your basement bar or on the go. This plastic un-breakable crusher creates fluffy snow-like ice perfect or margaritas by the pool.
This is actually a tie between the Zeny and OKF machines. And the other 3 I’ve also reviewed come in at a close second. All of these are great.
But the Zeny and OKF stand out just a tad more than the others. And really, to differentiate between these machines as far as reliability and performance is almost impossible. Both machines work exceptionally well and crushed ice at speeds that can easily be used for a busy commercial bar or even snow cone vendor.
So although I’ll list the Zeny first, just be aware that in reality, they are pretty much a tie as far as I am concerned.
ZENY Ice Crusher
The biggest reason I’m listing this Zeny first is the price, less than $40. This machine is just as powerful and dependable as any other machine in it’s 300 watt motor class, yet is is also a third or more cheaper than all of it’s competitors. And just a few dollars more than the plastic hand crank models. Why exactly, no clue.
What I do know is this is definitely the most economical machine while at the same time one of the top two of my picks regardless the price. And this model comes in a few different colors.
The one pictured is the silver stainless steel version, but it also comes in blue, red and orange. All the same build, just the colors are different. Most of the other brands seem to lack any color choice.
The heavy base is great as far as keeping the machine stable during use. But that also means this is a bit weighty at 12.41 pounds. So you’re not going to want to move this around a lot.
Also, wherever you put it, be sure there’s nothing that can be water damaged. This is a great machine, but it can make a mess. One of the problems is the bowl it comes with isn’t very deep. So shavings will fly out of the bowl.
It’s best to just replace the bowl this ships with this to something a little deeper if you don’t want the mess. And maybe add a towel under your machine.
This Zeny is also one of the few machines that uses stainless steel all throughout as far as the body casing and motor housing. It has thick stainless steel for the base and spout where you place the ice as well as the other parts. The stainless blade is strong and shouldn’t need to be replaced as long as you’re not pushing down on the handle to hard.
This is a single blade, so the ice isn’t as fine as double or triple blades, but for the price it does a great job. It’s able to crush enough ice to make 50 snow cones in less than 10 minutes.
The ZENY Electric Ice Crusher comes with a 300 watt motor, plenty strong enough to make snow ice in both a home or commercial setting. The ice is great for anything from drinks to snow cones and even halo halo if you know what that is (a Filipino dessert). You can also get either a 110 volt or 220 volt motor.
TIP: Make a bunch of “puck” styled ice for consistent snowy ice. Just freeze water in some Solo paper or plastic cups instead of using regular ice. It helps a lot as far as the snowy consistency of the ice.
Things I like: The price! Ease of use, there’s one setting, simple. And cleans easily.
Things I don’t like: This is a little loud, so be prepared. You are crushing ice after all. And you need to manually rotate the bowl while it’s filling, not a deal breaker, but one thing that could be added to make this amazing.
What’s in the box
- Ice Shaver Crusher
- Ice Bowl
- Manual enclosed
OKF Ice Crushers
This is another option for my favorite ice crusher and tied with the Zeny above. The only real difference is the price of this ice crusher is around $60 while the Zeny is around $40. But like I said, either of them are great machines.
So what do you get for the extra money? Well, the one difference I saw that does actually count is the number of blades. This ice crusher has three sharp 304 stainless steel blades unlike the Zeny that only has one. This translates into finer snowy ice overall. And yes, it does grind the ice a bit finer than the Zeny.
This unit also comes with a 380 watt motor, that’s 80 watts more than the Zeny. The thing is, when I was using this, I didn’t really notice the “extra” power, but it is there.
For the design conscious, this machine does come in a few different colors; blue, orange and silver. The one thing that surprised me for the price is that the machine’s housing is actually made of ABS plastic rather than a metal alloy. Although the crusher still felt like it was quality built and not at all cheap.
This machine is rated at 220 lbs of shaved ice per hour although I never tested that. But it did make enough ice for a frozen margarita in about 10 seconds.
There is also a nice safety feature that keeps he machine from operating unless the lid is closed. Great feature for those with kids around. The handle that you push down also has a nice non-slip rubbery piece so when the ice is flying you still have a sure grip.
Tip: For really snowy ice, don’t push down hard on the handle, just soft constant pressure and the ice will come out more like snow and less flaky.
Things I like: The three blades makes nice snowy ice and the machine can handle home use or commercial applications with its 380 watt motor.
Things I don’t like: Like petty much all ice crushers, this can get messy as the ice shoots out not just into the provided bowl, but onto everything else as well. And it’s loud. You can’ buy replacement blades only at this time. So be careful or sharpen them yourself if needed.
VIVOHOME Ice Crusher
Another great ice crusher by a solid company, this VivoHome unit boasts dual anti-corrosion stainless steel blades and a 300 watt motor for home use or even commercial applications. This can give a maximum of 143 pounds of shaved ice per hour.
This made enough snowy ice for a frozen daiquiri in around eleven seconds. So no waiting here. And you can make a ton of ice at a time without this heating up.
Like the two previous machines, it has the standard safety switch connected to the lid so the blades won’t move unless the lid is closed. This is a must for me and I wouldn’t even recommend a machine that didn’t incorporate this feature. It’s a must have, period.
The design is also similar to the two other machines, and like the OKF it has a hard plastic housing, and the rest of the machine is made of food grade stainless steel. Although it is made in China, it’s a well built unit.
The one thing I was surprised with this one was that is it a bit quieter than the other two units. Not by a lot, but if noise is your number one concern, this may be the ice crusher for you.
This model comes with either a single blade, duel blades or even four blades. All of the choices have the same 300 watt motor and other than the blades everything else is exactly the same. The price difference between the single and double blades is zero or just a few dollars. So I’d go with the double for finer ice. You will see the difference so go for it.
The four blade model is about twenty dollars more. If the motor was larger I’d say it might be worth it, but the extra $20 for just the blades to me isn’t worth the additional cost. I’d stick to the double blades as the best deal.
This does come with a drainage hose that you can connect to the bottom of the unit. Mine didn’t work all that well and I just placed the machine in a baking tray to keep the mess to a minimum. Something you can do with any machine you end up purchasing.
Tip: Try freezing fruit juices for instant frozen treats! This ice crusher can handle it.
Things I like: Lighter than the other machines at 9.2 pounds, so easier to move around. Comes in single, double or four blades.
Things I don’t like: Only comes in silver or red, no other color options are available. Has the same issue with most ice crushers, the included bowl is too short and ice goes everywhere. Only a 6-month warranty. I’d really like to see a year minimum.
What’s in the Box?
- The Machine
- Ice Bowl
- Ice Pick
- User Manual
VEVOR Ice Crusher
Here’s another decent ice crusher hat has a 300 watt motor and dual stainless steel blades. What makes this machine a little different than the others is that it actually ships with replacement blades in the box. Most other machines you can’t even buy replacement blades, so this is a biggie.
It has the same basic design as the other ice crushers and it does come in a few different colors for those looking to keep your machine within your decor.
The biggest problem I have is that the customer service for this company is spotty. I’ve never personally had an issue, but I also never needed to contact them. but one friend that I have who had an issue said the company was about impossible to contact.
Again, I personally haven’t needed to deal with them, but if you have, I’d love to hear from you and your personal experience.
Things I like: This is shipped with a replacement blade! This is not just the only machine that does this, it’s almost impossible to even buy a replacement blade from most other manufacturers.
Things I don’t like: Customer service is seriously lacking which is why this is almost last on the list. And although I wrote that I liked that it ships with a replacement blade, I also see someone on Amazon saying they didn’t get theirs and the customer service says they aren’t shipping them now.
So not sure. I am looking into this and will update as soon as I hear something.
What’s in the Box?
- Electric Ice Crusher
- Ice Bowl
- Blade for Replacement (as far as I know!)
What to look for?
The two most important aspects are the motor and the blades. You want a machines that has a powerful motor of no less than 300 watts if you’re planning on making more than one or two drinks or snow cones at a time.
You’ll also want a machine with at least two blades if you need super fine snowy ice. Single blade machines simply won’t crush ice as well as a double, or better, triple blade system.
Of course you’ll also need to look at the designs, colors and materials these are made of to see if they match your decor and you simply enjoy seeing them as the top machines are usually stainless steel and weigh over ten pounds. So you won’t want to keep pulling them out and putting them away after each use if it can be avoided.
|OKF||220 lbs/Per Hour||3||380||11 lbs||$69.99|
|ZENY||145 lbs/Per Hour||1||300||11 lbs||$49.99|
|VIVOHOME||143 lbs/Per Hour||1||300||12.3 lbs||$99.99|
|VEVOR||143 lbs/Per Hour||2||300||12.13 lbs||$79.99|
What are the Top Brands?
Honestly, any o he ones I’ve listed in this article are solid brands. The biggest ones are Zany, Vevor, VIVOHOME and OKF. Any of these brands should provide you with a great ice crusher that will most probably last you your lifetime.
They are all solidly built with stainless steel parts and all have strong dependable motors. So really, any of these brands will give you a great machine.