8 Best Portable Ice Maker: Our 2017 Reviews

The best Portable ice maker is convenient, efficient, and help owners save money over the long term. Why spend several dollars on bags of ice when you can make your own without ever leaving your home? As long as there is an outlet to power the ice maker, it is effective to use anywhere. Ice makers make crystal clear ice for many occasions. Whether a barbecue, picnic, or an extravagant ball - ice makers are dependable.

The best portable ice maker

What is a Portable Ice Maker?

These fantastic little machines are exactly what the name would make them out to be. Portable Ice Makers are appliances that require no fixed water line to produce ice. The are designed to take up little space and only need an outlet to plug into to start creating cubes (water, of course, is necessary too but you fill that up yourself). Designed with speed in mind, portable ice makers have creation cycles are fast at popping out those ice cubes.

*Editors Note- the best portable ice maker is designed to create ice but not to hold ice for substantial amounts of time. Your will need to have a separate area to store the ice like a cooler or freezer. Some portable ice makers have intelligent water use meaning if the frozen cubes become water they will drip into a reservoir, and the water will be reused others do not.​

Why Buy A Portable Ice Maker?

A portable ice maker is perfect for anytime you would run out of ice from your conventional freezer. If you host large house parties, are having an open house, or have guest over and don't have a reliable ice maker in the fridge. The PIM (Portable Ice Maker) will keep ice readily available instead of someone having to run and buy a bag from the gas station to keep up with demand.

Portable Ice Makers help out a ton if you don't have a dedicated water line to where you would need ice. If you have a bar somewhere in the house, a small portable ice maker is perfect. Instead of running a water line or trying to have you minifridge's ice bin make ice a PIM is perfect. Other places may include dorm rooms, kitchens not set up with a water line, and garages, barns, and workshops.

Finally, Portable Ice Makers are perfect for the outdoor trips. Use your PIM for cookouts/outdoor birthday parties, camping, tailgating, and RV travel. Be sure you have a reliable source of power for your machine, and you are all set!​

Your Guide To Purchasing The Best Portable Ice Maker

Value-

While this might seem like a no-brainer price is always something to factor when we rank and when you buy your portable ice maker. When we look at the cost in our rankings, we don't just go for the lower dollar amount however we look at how much you are spending compared to how much you get which this guide calls value. It makes less sense to buy $100 ice maker that goes out every year as opposed to a $300 model that last seven years. The value is much better on the $300 unit.

Capacity

How much ice can the ice maker make during a 24 hour period? On the average ice, ice makers can produce between 20-25 pounds of ice, while high-end models can produce 50 pounds of ice throughout the day. Understanding your needs and the capabilities of the portable ice maker are critical in deciding if the capacity fits your needs.

There are a couple of things to consider about capacity.

  • The PIMs have the capability to make 20 pounds of ice every 24 hours it does not mean that you will get that type of production out of your machine. If you are producing larger amounts of ice, you will need to be present to add more water from time to time. Remember that portable ice makers don't have dedicated water lines that the beauty of being able to move them around.
  • If you are using your machine regularly, it will require some maintenance downtime. From you emptying the reservoir, removing ice, and filling the machine with water you will not get as close to the 24-hour number as manufacturers specify because they were able to get those results in a lab environment with all attention on the maker.
  • The last thing to remember about this number is that you will usually or most likely will not be awake or in need of ice for a straight 24 hours. Just use these capacity numbers of a guideline for production capabilities.

Cycle Time

The cycle time for an individual batch of ice is usually 8-12 minutes. Some portable ice makers can make more than they can hold, making it essential to know how long you’ll wait for each batch of ice. It is also interesting to note that manufacturers calculate cycle time from the time you press the button to start the cycle. It does not include the setup to have your machine ready.

Type & Size of Cubes

Some models can make ice cubes in as many as three different sizes; bigger sizes take longer to make. It's important to research the ice cube size options available for a portable ice maker you are looking to purchase. Some models even offer crushed as an option. 

Maintenance

Cheaper ice makers will produce a sizeable amount of excess water while making a batch of ice, resulting in constant drainage by the owner. This hassle could be a disqualifier for those needed to produce ice for professional occasions. Portable ice makers which recycle excess water will be more expensive but are worth it for those who need an efficient process.

The Best Portable Ice Maker Buying Guide

Best Portable Ice Makers 2017

The following portable ice makers were rated the best available by our team; we considered each of the categories that were just discussed in making our decision.

NewAir AI-100R Ice Maker

We love this machine. The NewAir AI-100R is the most popular amazon with amazon testimonials for a reason. This 28-pound portable ice maker takes approximately 15 minutes to produce a batch of ice. Manufactured ice cubes are in the shape of a cup and contain a small hole which helps with cooling the liquid quicker. The model can produce small, medium, and large ice cubes. The smallest cube setting is that like the ice you would find in most hospitals with the holes in the middle. These little pieces of ices are great since it takes little effort to break into tiny chunks perfect for sore throats. Any excess ice is put through the ice making process again when it starts to melt, eliminating the need for manual drainage.

Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S

Shoppers can find this Avalon Bay model on Amazon. This portable ice maker can produce up to 30 pounds of ice in a 24 hour period. The turnaround time for the first batch of ice is usually around 7 minutes. Small and medium ice cubes are available, a small light indicates when you need to empty the ice tray or add more water. It also comes with automatic overflow protection.

ICE102 Compact Ice Maker

Able to produce the first batch of ice cubes in just six minutes, the ICE102 Compact Ice Maker features two different ice cube sizes controlled with a LED touch panel. It also features a quart reservoir that stores extra water reserves, so it doesn't have to be drained or recycled.

EdgeStar Portable Stainless Steel Ice Maker

EdgeStar is popular for their line of wine coolers. Their portable ice maker line is also of exceptionally high quality, this particular model produces 20 pounds of ice cubes during a 24 hour period, making the first batch of ice cubes in approximately 20 minutes (the model produces large ice cubes). The model is also known for being user-friendly having an ease to use user interface and drain function.

Igloo Compact IClick to replace anchor textce Maker

The Igloo portable ice maker produces about 26 pounds of ice per day. The brand is also known for its incredibly easy to use digital control panel, which alarms the user as to when they need to empty out excess water or refill the machine to produce the next batch. The model is also lightweight, another reason as to why it one of the top-selling portable ice makers on the market.

The Ivation Portable Ice Maker

This heavy duty portable ice maker from Ivation looks like it should be dubbed "Ice Maker From The Future" due to its futuristic stylings. It produces up to 26 pounds in a day, comes with a removable ice tray to make transportation of ice less cumbersome, and contains a user-friendly interface, which informs you when it's running low on water and when the ice tray is ready to empty. The model allows users to choose between three different ice cube sizes.

The NewAir AI-215SS Portable Ice Maker

The NewAir AI-215SS has a daily ice making capacity of 50 pounds. The high capacity makes it one of the best portable ice makers for commercial or substantial use. While dense it remains one of the most convenient ice makers thanks, easy to use controls and its self-cleaning feature. The stainless steel look is also great in most modern kitchens, making it an excellent countertop ice maker.

Knox Portable Compact Ice Maker

This ice maker can make 27 pounds of ice throughout the day, producing the first batch in approximately 10 minutes. It also comes with an auto on/off timer and an LCD which tells you when you’re running low on water and have reached maximum ice capacity. The interface also allows you to choose between small, medium or large ice cubes. Removing the tray is easy to do without much hassle.

Setting Up your Portable Ice Maker-

Purchasing a portable ice maker is a wise investment if you are in the food, resort, or entertainment industries. They are also ideal for cookouts, camping, and houses that do not have space for a refrigerator/freezer combo. They also make great additions in households where ice is in constant demand. This list contains the best models on the market and you will not be disappointed.​

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