Most manufacturers also make it clear in their product specs how long you can expect to wait until you’ll start to get ice. Most countertop ice machines will begin to produce ice somewhere in the range of 10-20 minutes after you first add water and turn them on. This will vary from model to model, so if speed is an important factor for you, then you will want to be sure to keep an eye out for this.
While it won't produce as much ice as our top pick, this wallet-friendly machine is affordable and simple to use. It can produce up to 26 pounds of ice per day, or about nine ice bullets every seven minutes, so you’ll have a constant supply of fresh ice for your next dinner party or barbecue. The ice basket holds 2 pounds of ice before it needs to be emptied, and an LED light lets you know when the basket is full or when you need to add more water to the reservoir. Choose from one of two different ice cube sizes. Customers say this machine works well, and the sleek black exterior looks attractive at home and in the office. Several customers noted that this model won't last as long as other more expensive options, but it's a great budget pick.
The Hamilton Beach has a sleek stainless-steel design with black trim, and its clear, flat lid lets you see how much ice has formed. It’s also quiet: You hear just a gentle whirring of its fan, until the next batch of ice is made. The Hamilton Beach makes two sizes of hollow, bullet-shaped ice. We programmed each size separately, but we saw no difference between them. The Hamilton Beach is well insulated, so the ice doesn’t melt, and automatically stops when the tray is full (at about 1 pound).
As every host knows, ice — and plenty of it — is a must-have for any party. Even if you’ve got great beverage containers like those we chose in our insulated tumbler review or insulated water bottle review, ice is essential for keeping any drink as cold as possible. If you’re grilling outside on a hot day, the best lunch boxes and coolers with the best insulation will still need ice to protect uncooked food from entering the bacteria-incubating danger zone.
Small enough to move on and off the counter, this impressive unit can make up to 48 pounds of ice per day, and it holds nearly 2.4 pounds for easy retrieval. Unlike other machines on this list, the Sentern Ice Maker only produces cubes—not bullet shaped ice. You can choose from small, medium, or large cubes by adjusting the cooling time, and depending on the size you choose the first batch of ice will be done in about 15 minutes. The clear, dense cubes melt slowly, keeping your cocktails cold without diluting them. Other handy features include a digital control panel for easy programming, a see-through window so you can monitor ice production, and a stain resistant exterior.

No one wants their guests to get stuck with warm drinks after whipping them a mega party; you want them to enjoy cold beverages whenever they want to ensure the ultimate fun for them. For this reason, it is vital to have a reliable supply of ice so you won’t have to keep your visitors waiting to refill due to insufficient ice. In this case, a countertop ice maker becomes an ideal item to have for your function.

Freezing water is hard work. As such, any machine that isn’t especially well made is likely to have issues within a relatively short amount of use. Unfortunately, portable ice machines aren’t the type of appliance you can count on buying once and using for a decade or more, even most of the highest-quality models are unlikely to last that long. But spending a little more can often be the difference between getting a year or less of use or a few years out of your machine.


This 15 in. automatic ice maker uses Clear This 15 in. automatic ice maker uses Clear Ice Technology to help produce cubes of uniform shape and clarity for every occasion. Distinctive styling makes it an appealing complement to other KitchenAid appliances with Fully Flush Installation for a built-in look. The signature handle design opens the door to reveal ...  More + Product Details Close
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