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Buying an Ice Machine Based on Your Priorities

Just as no two businesses are exactly the same, neither will their ice requirements be. With this in mind, we created this “needs based” section at where you can find the perfect ice machine for your business based on your needs and priorities. Are you an energy efficient establishment, concerned with maintaining a clean and green reputation? We’ll help you find an ice machine that is Energy Star qualified, is involved in charitable efforts, and participates in eco-friendly events. Do you need a ton of ice (literally, 2000 pounds) every day? We’ll find you an ice machine that has the ability to make that much (or more!) Do you prefer nugget ice, like that found at Sonic’s famous Drive-in? Well, even though every company makes some variation of nugget ice, there is only one original which supersedes the rest. If something is important to you, we make sure it’s important to us.



Your Specific Ice Machine Requirement


Lots of Ice

 

When it comes to ice quantity for the price paid, no one comes close to Ice-O-Matic. Look no further than Ice-O-Matic’s slogan “More Ice for the Price” as a testament to that. Ice-O-Matic’s philosophy behind their ice machines is simple – make a machine that excels at one thing: making large quantities of ice. Ice-O-Matic does not spend their time (and you don’t spend your money) on the so called “bells and whistles” – rather, they focus their attention predominantly on the ice making process. If you compare ice machines from different brands in the same price range, Ice-O-Matic ice machines will outperform the competition nearly every time. Scotsman ice machines offer comparable ice production for the price, while Manitowoc and Hoshizaki will both cost a bit more. This is due to Manitowocs’s ability to offer a greater amount of technological features, and the fact that Hoshizaki ice machines are superiorly constructed. Just remember- external temperatures will affect your ice machine's production. These ice machines are all assumed to be operating at "ideal temperatures" when operating, but Ice-O-Matic ice machines make the most ice under these conditions. For more information regarding Ice-O-Matic ice machines, check out this blog post where we examine and highligh Ice-O-Matic ice machines in-depth.

Ice Cubes

Ice-O-Matic Gold First Place RibbonICE-O-MATIC

Scotsman Second Place Silver RibbonSCOTSMAN

Manitowoc Third Place Bronze RibbonMANITOWOC

Consistent Ice Production in High Temperatures

 

If your ice machine is going to be required to perform under the stress of high temperatures, then you’re going to want to minimize its production loss. If the temperature goes up, and you still expect your ice machine to perform well, you’ll have to consider Hoshizaki. Hoshizaki ice machines are least affected by the heat, and maintain their consistency better than anyone in the industry. Hoshizaki's water cooled ice machines, while they do use a lot of water, are nearly 100% stable in higher temperatures, dropping their production by a very small margin. A lot of this consistency can be attributed to Hoshizaki’s stainless steel evaporator plate – the only one of its kind in the ice machine world. Manitowoc ice machines are more consistent than Ice-O-Matic and Scotsman, whose ice machines may lose up to 30% of their production (yikes) when temperatures increase, but it is well known- if you want consistent ice production through all facets of ice making, go with a Hoshizaki ice machine.

Ice Making Consistency

Hoshizaki Gold First Place RibbonHOSHIZAKI

Manitowoc Second Place Silver RibbonMANITOWOC

Ice-O-Matic Third Place Bronze RibbonICE-O-MATIC

Energy Efficiency, Charity, & Conservation

 

Whether you wish to “go green”, or simply want an energy efficient ice machine to save some money, it is definitely worth taking into consideration what each company offers in terms of energy efficient ice machines. Hoshizaki offers the greatest amount of Energy Star qualified ice machines with 38. Scotsman is close in second with 35 Energy Star ice machines available, while Ice-O-Matic and Manitowoc offer 26 and 24 respectively. While the Energy Star label means a lot, it is not the quintessential element that separates one company from another. Scotsman Prodigy ice machines for example use less water and electricity to make ice than anyone in the industry, making them more energy efficient in comparison to the others. Hoshizaki water cooled ice machines tend to be more efficient in their water use (which we discuss in depth in the next category), and may save you from wasting hundreds of gallons of water every day. Scotsman and Ice-O-Matic both go even further in their energy and conservation efforts. Ice-O-Matic partnered with American Forests and employed the Green ReLeaf program to plant trees to help offset the carbon footprint of their Denver factory, while Scotsman began donating a portion of their sales on select ice machines to the Women for Water campaign back in October 2012 to help fight the global water crisis. There will always be an incentive to purchase a “green” ice machine, and if none of the previous reasons happen to persuade you, there’s always this one: Energy Star offers a CASH REBATE for using an Energy Star qualified ice machine in almost every state! Going green with your ice machine will help the green in your wallet stay in your wallet.

Ice Machine Charitable Programs

Scotsman Gold First Place RibbonSCOTSMAN

Second Place Silver RibbonICE-O-MATIC, HOSHIZAKI (tie)

Water Cooled Ice Machine that Uses Least Water

 

We just completed this study about water use among water cooled ice machines a little while ago and published the results in our blog. We’ve noted that water cooled ice machines use and waste a great amount of water in the ice making process, but some businesses have no other option, and need them to keep up with ice making requirements. Hoshizaki was the clear cut winner in most cases, using far less total water in the overall ice making process. Ice-O-Matic however, was the more efficient water consumer when we compared ice machines with greater production rates. Manitowoc pulled up the rear in every instance, using far and away more water than anyone else in the study. When we compared larger ice machines (making 1,000 pounds per day), the Manitowoc ice machine in question could use 600 gallons or more per day than Ice-O-Matic’s ice machine. Take a second and think about how much more water that would waste over the course of a year… and Manitowoc ice machines still don’t maintain ice making levels as well as Hoshizaki or Ice-O-Matic, despite the amount of water being used. Scotsman placed third in water use, but realized the highest loss in ice making percentage when temperatures increased.

Water Dumping from Pipes

Hoshizaki Gold First Place RibbonHOSHIZAKI

Ice-O-Matic Second Place Silver RibbonICE-O-MATIC

Scotsman Third Place Bronze RibbonSCOTSMAN

Slim Ice Machine with High Output

 

This is an issue faced by many in the industry – there is a need for ice, but very little room to fit an ice machine. To combat these spatial issues, ice machine manufacturers began creating 22 inch ice machine heads, bins, and ice dispensers. Hoshizaki leads the way with their KM-650MAH-E which produces up to 661 pounds of ice on a daily basis. On average, most mid-sized restaurants use between 400 and 600 pounds of ice per day, so this ice machine is excellent if you are short on space but high on ice demand. The Ice-O-Matic ICE0520 produces up to 520 pounds per day, while the Manitowoc IY-0524A and Scotsman C0522 produce up to 485 and 475 pounds respectively. 475 pounds is by no means a small amount of ice for a 22 inch ice machine, but with Hoshizaki’s, you can guarantee that you will have enough ice on hand even when operating at full capacity, and ensure quality performance in higher temperatures. It should be noted that these are all air cooled, cube producing ice machines. Scotsman has remote air cooled models in their Eclipse Series that can make nearly 1,000 pounds of ice per day.

22 Inch Ice Machines

Hoshizaki Gold First Place RibbonHOSHIZAKI

Ice-O-Matic Second Place Silver RibbonICE-O-MATIC

Manitowoc Third Place Bronze RibbonMANITOWOC

Undercounter Ice Machine with the Highest Output

 

This has become a common trend. When you need an ice machine with the highest maximum output, you go to Ice-O-Matic. Their undercounter ice machines are no different. The Ice-O-Matic ICEU300 can produce up to 309 pounds of ice per day. It is the only undercounter ice machine that has the ability to make over 300 pounds of ice in a 24 hour period. The Manitowoc QD-0270 is the second highest producing undercounter ice machine, with the ability to make up to 280 pounds of ice per day. (There is a chance that this ice machine will be replaced by one from the NEO Series in the future however, and if that happens, the NEO will make less ice, but provide a greater amount of features, benefits, and advantages.) The Hoshizaki KM-260BAH makes up to 263 pounds of ice on a daily basis while Scotsman’s CU3030MA maxes out at 250 pounds of ice per day. Undercounter ice machines are great for those who have lower level ice requirements, and for those without a great deal of space to spare. These units, while commercially labeled, can function in a residential environment as well. They are more reliable and are covered by a longer warranty than standard, residential ice machines. The ice is often of higher quality as well.

Ice-O-Matic ICEU300

Ice-O-Matic Gold First Place RibbonICE-O-MATIC

Manitowoc Second Place Silver RibbonMANITOWOC

Hoshizaki Third Place Bronze RibbonHOSHIZAKI

Sonic Style Nugget Ice Machine

 

Sonic’s nugget ice has gained immense popularity over the past few years. It has been adopted by a greater amount of restaurants, and has seen its popularity grow so greatly that it is now being offered in the form of in-home ice makers. The pioneer in the nugget ice revolution is Scotsman. Scotsman created nugget ice over 30 years ago, and the chewable ice’s popularity has grown steadily since then. Scotsman nugget ice making heads are readily available at Ice Machines Plus. Ice-O-Matic (which is owned by Scotsman) creates nugget ice making heads, and they also offer the best in-home nugget ice maker available at the moment- the GEMU090. What separates Scotsman and Ice-O-Matic’s nugget ice from Manitowoc and Hoshizaki is the quality. Scotsman’s and Ice-O-Matic’s nugget ice is light, airy, and easily chewed. Manitowoc’s and Hoshizaki’s is a bit harder and more compact. It does not break us as easily and does not melt as quickly, but if you are a fan of Manitowoc and Hoshizaki ice machines, it is understandable that you may be inclined to remain loyal to their brand. Scotsman and Ice-O-Matic’s nugget ice is of much higher quality however.

Sonic Style Nugget Ice

Scotsman Gold First Place RibbonSCOTSMAN

Ice-O-Matic Second Place Silver RibbonICE-O-MATIC

Hoshizaki Third Place Bronze RibbonHOSHIZAKI

Ice Machine with the Highest Daily Output

 

For a while, this was two horse race, but Manitowoc made a “worst to first” move when they introduced the SD-3072C. This ice machine can make nearly 3,000 pounds of ice in a 24 hour period, enough to satisfy even the largest company’s daily ice needs. Scotsman’s C-2648MR-3A can make the second highest amount of ice per day, with the ability to produce up to 2,570 pounds of ice. Hoshizaki and Ice-O-Matic do not crack the 2,000 pound mark making up to 1,903 and 1,856 pounds of ice respectively. All of these ice machines are water cooled or remote air cooled (except Hoshizaki) to keep ice production consistent and to keep the ice machine quiet. Hoshizaki’s air cooled KM-1900SAH3 will undoubtedly create more noise than any of the other high output ice machines mentioned here. These high output ice machines are for those businesses with incredibly high daily ice requirements, and will also require the purchase of an oversized ice storage bin, and may also require a special electrical hookup to create ice effectively.

High Production Ice Machine

Manitowoc Gold First Place RibbonMANITOWOC

Scotsman Second Place Silver RibbonSCOTSMAN

Hoshizaki Third Place Bronze RibbonHOSHIZAKI

Programmable Ice Machine / Scheduled Ice Making

 

The new programmable ice machines allow the operator to set up an ice making schedule in which ice is created up to a certain bin level, or solely at a certain time of day or night. Some days are busier than others and more ice is required. There may be days your business is closed and does not require ice to be made. You may want to schedule ice making at night where, in some areas, electricity costs are cheaper. Currently, Manitowoc leads the way in this area. Manitowoc Indigo ice machines can be programmed based on bin level, day of the week, or time of day. Your customers are guaranteed the freshest ice at all times with Manitowoc Indigo ice machines. Scotsman’s Prodigy ice machines are next to offer an option like this, but the Prodigy line is not quite as advanced as Manitowoc. Scotsman’s AutoAlert System also increases their ice machines’ value quite a bit. Hoshizaki offers little in the way of technological advancements and not a single Hoshizaki ice machine can be programmed to make ice on a schedule. Despite that, Hoshizaki still creates one of the strongest, most durable ice machines available to date. Ice-O-Matic also offers no production customization with their ice machines. Rather, they focus the majority of their efforts on the ice making process itself, designing their ice machines to make a great deal of ice in a short period of time.

Prodigy and Indigo Logos

Manitowoc Gold First Place RibbonMANITOWOC

Scotsman Second Place Silver RibbonSCOTSMAN

Hoshizaki Third Place Bronze RibbonHOSHIZAKI

Strongly Constructed / Durable Ice Machines

 

In terms of construction, Hoshizaki provides one of the strongest and most durable ice machines around. The stainless steel evaporator used by Hoshizaki ice machines is one of a kind, and rarely requires service or maintenance, since it never flakes, chips, or peels the way inferior evaporator plates may. Hoshizaki ice machines also tend to lose the least amount of production when the temperature goes up. Ice-O-Matic is regarded as one of the top ice machines in terms of construction for a few reasons. First, they offer the longest conditional warranty in the business on their evaporator plates – up to seven years of coverage with the purchase and replacement of an approved water filter. Ice-O-Matic evaporator plates are also used by other companies, providing a testament to their quality construction. Manitowoc is a close third to Ice-O-Matic, but their ice machines, despite their many technological advancements, simply do not make the same amount of ice as ice machines in similar price ranges. Scotsman ice machines are a bit more economical in terms of price and construction. They also tend to lose the most amount of ice production when temperatures increase, which can make them unreliable if your ice machine is forced to operate in the kitchen, or any overly warm area in your establishment. If temperatures remain consistent and cool however, Scotsman is an excellent choice. To find out more about Hoshizaki's superior construction, consider reading this article about the Hoshizaki stainless steel evaporator plate

. Hoshizaki Logo

Hoshizaki Gold First Place RibbonHOSHIZAKI

Ice-O-Matic Second Place Silver RibbonICE-O-MATIC

Manitowoc Third Place Bronze RibbonMANITOWOC

I Need my Ice Machine NOW!

 

In most cases, your ice machine will arrive around five business days after it is purchased. Occasionally, some arrive more quickly, and some may take a bit longer. With Ice-O-Matic and Manitowoc however, select ice machine can be ordered to arrive at your business within 48 hours of purchase (as long as they are purchased before noon). This program – called “Quick Ship” – was designed to get ice machines to businesses so they can be back in operation faster than ever. With Manitowoc, the service is free. Ice-O-Matic charges $50 to apply the Quick Ship option, but to have your ice machine in 48 hours or less, the cost is well worth it. Scotsman and Hoshizaki may make use of the Quick Ship option in the future, but as of September 2013, there are no ice machines from either company included in the program. Ice is an invaluable commodity, and if it is required for your business every day, being without it can be a terrible loss. Follow the link to view all of the Quick Ship ice machines and ice accessories available at Ice Machines Plus.

Quick Ship Ice Machines

Manitowoc Gold First Place RibbonMANITOWOC

Ice-O-Matic Second Place Silver RibbonICE-O-MATIC