Category Archives for "Ice Makers"

March 27, 2017

Knox Portable Compact Ice Maker Review

Whether you are hoping to stop buying ice for entertaining, camping, fishing or any other reason, or you just prefer to make ice on demand, a compact ice maker is probably on your radar. This Knox Portable Compact Ice Maker is ultra-compact and highly portable, allowing you to make up to 27 pounds of ice per dayIs it the right for your house, boat, RV or camp? For our full Ice Maker Buying guide click here!

Specifications of the Knox Portable Compact Ice Maker-

The Knox Portable Compact Ice Maker is ideally sized for sitting on almost any countertop, the Knox Portable Compact Ice Maker weighs 24 pounds, which is roughly average for the industry. The design is unique, offering three very stylish color options (red, silver or bright white) with color coded keys tucked below a backlit display. The design makes it a relatively discreet option for any space. It stores easily in any household or standard cabinetry, too and does not require any emptying as it fully recycles melted ice back into the enormous 26.5-pound reservoir.

Knox Portable Compact Ice Maker

The unit can hold up to 2.5 pounds of ice before the indicator light ticks on, and there is also a low water indicator to ensure you know when to refill. There are three sizes of ice available, and you can make ice in as little as ten minutes' time. The simple to use control panel features a clock and timer settings is backlit for easy reading and ensures you have ice ready whenever you want or need it. You can also keep an eye on things thanks to the window mounted in the lid. The lift out tray makes it ultra-easy to transfer cubes to a storage container or ice bucket for immediate use.It operates on a standard 115v source, it uses modern compressor refrigeration for the utmost in efficiency and comes with a convenient scoop.

Pros and Cons of the Knox Portable Compact Ice Maker-

The Pros-

  • Automated to a significant degree
  • Offers zero waste as it recycles cubes back into the water in the reservoir
  • Nicely sized and not too heavy as to be awkward to carry when empty
  • One of the easiest to read display panels and entirely customizable operations.
  • Ultra-efficient and alerts you to any need for water or emptying.

The Cons-

  • Heavy when full (Close to 50 pounds)
  • Durability (About 10% of customers claim it stops working before a year after purchase)
  • Ice Melts faster than a second cycle (must pull ice fast)

Conclusion

​This portable ice machine is a good value portable ice machine. Its price point is lower than most of our recommended products so if you are looking to save a buck or two this is a good buy. While a good value you will be sacrificing some quality and it is critical to read the warranty from where you are purchasing. Amazon offers a four-year protection plan, at the time of writing this through Asurion LLC, that might be worth the investment. A lot of customers have complained about the machines breaking down after a couple of months. Overall though its hard to find to many flaws with this portable ice maker and the price point makes it a viable option to put in your kitchen. 

Digital Display
February 13, 2017

Your Kitchen Zone’s Icemeister Az-20d Review

Icemeister Az-20d

Whether you have a large office, frequently host large family dinners, or want to get ready for your favorite sports season, an under counter 50-pound ice maker is an excellent addition to your kitchen or private bar. The Icemeister Az-20d is an ice machine that comes with a pretty significant price tag. Before you make the splurge, consider the following information about the features and potential drawbacks of this ice maker. For our full Ice Maker Guide visit here!

Icemeister Az-20d Ice Maker Features

This ice maker makes about 55 pounds of ice in a 24-hour period. Here are the other features that set this ice machine apart from similar products:

Design Features:


  • This ice maker made of heavy duty stainless steel, is resistant to corrosion and damage.

  • The machine can store up to 25 pounds of ice at once, a considerably higher amount than many other products in this range.

  • The storage container does come out for easy cleaning or transport.
The bright LED control screen includes status indicators, so you always know what you need to do next in the ice-making process.

  • The door slides up for easy access to the already made ice.


​Installation/Misc. Features:


  • This machine does require installation but comes with water tubing and a gravity drain line.

  • The entire design is meant to save water and electricity. This machine is NSF, and UL approved.

  • This machine comes approved for outdoor use.

  • The Icemeister Az-20d comes with a one-year warranty.

  • This ice maker measures about 24 x 33.5 x 15.

  • The air filter design is for easy access to clean or change.

  • This ice maker uses eco-friendly R-134A refrigerant.
Icemeister Az-20d Open Door

Potential Drawbacks of the Icemeister Az-20d

There are a handful of possible drawbacks to this 50-pound ice maker. However, most of these items are the same potential drawbacks that other under counter ice makers would have. For example:

  • This ice maker is quite heavy, weighing around 110 pounds before it is at capacity with ice.

  • This ice maker does not allow for different sizes of ice cubes, something that most portable ice makers do.
  • There aren’t many reviews available for this machine from previous buyers, which can make new buyers hesitant to pay such a hefty price.​

Our Verdict

Icemeister Az-20d Top View

When it comes to the Icemeister 50-pound under counter ice maker, the first impression a potential buyer gets is a good one. The machine has all the right features, barring the ability to choose your ice size. Also, the fact that you don’t have to refill a water tank to get ice constantly is a big plus. The Icemeister Az-20d ice maker works like a built-in ice maker for those who don’t have that option with their fridge.

However, with the lack of other customer reviews, and the large price tag, it could be a risk to go ahead with the Icemeister. A quick glance through a marketplace website like Amazon reveals a variety of other 50-pound under counter ice makers, with very similar features, for less money, and with more reviews. It may be that buyers feel more comfortable going for a product that they have a little more information. It is always hard to go off of reviews on the manufacturer's website as they are almost always skewed but good results might make you want to purge for this ice maker.

The bottom line is that if you’ve used Icemeister products before, and trust the brand, then this could be the perfect ice maker for you. There’s nothing about it that screams negative purchase. But for a new buyer with no prior experience with this brand, consider looking for a more affordable option. There are many with the same features and quite a few with even more features. ​

NewAir AI 100R Portable Ice Maker

NewAir AI 100R Portable Ice Maker: Worth the Splurge?

​As one of the most highly rated portable ice makers on Amazon, the NewAir AI 100R Portable Ice Maker has tempted many a buyer with its promise of convenience. This ice maker is designed to work ideally in compact spaces, such as camper trailers or dorm rooms, and has an extensive list of excellent features – features that are also responsible for making the NewAir AI 100R one of the most expensive 28-pound portable ice makers on the market. That hasn’t deterred thousands of people from choosing this model, but before you buy, take a look at some of the pros and cons of the NewAir Ice Maker. For our full portable ice maker guide check it out here!

NewAir AI 100R Portable Ice Maker

​NewAir Portable Ice Maker Features

The AI-100R comes in five colors: black, red, gray, cyan blue, and vermillion orange. Choose one that matches your style, and then enjoy features such as:

Capabilities-

Up to 28 pounds of ice can be produced in a day. Three ice size settings make it easy to get everything you would want out of the machine. Whether you need smaller ice for filling a cooler, or larger cubes for chilling your drink, you can get it all in one with the NewAir AI 100R Portable Ice Maker. The automatic overflow protection feature ensures that no human error will cause a malfunction when filling the ice maker.


In the AI 100R, NewAir has attempted to create the perfect portable ice maker for smaller spaces, and for many users, this is as close as it gets. The ice maker weighs just under 25 pounds and can hold 176 ounces of water at a given time.​

Design-

The slim, compact design is perfect for small places. Bring it on your boat or even on a road trip. The LED control panel is easy to see and use. There is a side-mounted drain that is a perfect clean-up feature. Just pull the plug, and any remaining water drains out into the side mount to disperse. NewAir's Portable Ice Maker is eco-friendly because it uses R-134A refrigerant, which is not harmful to the ozone layer. Finally, the ice bin is removable, so you can quickly pass the ice around or make a lot and freeze more cubes for the day.


Installation/Misc-

There’s no installation needed with the NewAir AI 100R Portable Ice Maker. You just plug it in and add water. This ice maker does include a warranty to replace the device if it breaks. Depending on where you buy the product you have the option for extended warranty as well. Check out warranty options here!

​Potential Drawbacks to the AI-100R

Despite all these amazing features, there are some things that may cause problems for some users. Potential drawbacks to consider include:

At 28 pounds, this machine may be too heavy for some users to move as easily as other smaller ice maker models. From start to finish, each ice cycle takes approximately 15 minutes. That may not seem like much, but similar products from brands like Igloo can pop out a full bin of ice in only six minutes.


While NewAir’s customer service tends to be top notch, a significant portion of reviews on their site, as well as on Amazon and other third-party seller websites, reveal that defective ice makers are frequently received. The good news is that the return process is easy and most reviews mention that the replacement maker they received worked perfectly.


The Verdict

The NewAir AI 100R Portable Ice Maker consistently rates as one of the best products for its size range, and there’s no question why. Despite the slightly longer ice cycle, and the small chance that you may have to deal with returns at least once, the fact is NewAir's AI 100R can out-perform any ice maker in this size range. If you travel frequently, love to camp, or simply have a small home and a wish to conserve space, this portable ice maker is an excellent addition to your kitchen. The AI-100R does not get our best-valued award in the 30 pounds or less category, but it easily is the best product in the category.

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.​

April 20, 2016

Top 5 Best Under Counter Ice Makers

Under the Counter Ice Maker

An under the counter ice maker is a great solution for people who have a small freezer and aren’t prepared to upgrade to a fridge with a built in icemaker (or who don’t have room for one). These small ice makers are highly efficient, perfect for cooling a glass of water, and most will fit under pretty much any sink, though you should be sure to check the exact measurements of your sink before you start looking at under-counter ice makers. If there isn’t enough room under your sink there may be enough room in another cabinet, so measuring all your cabinets is a good idea.

Once you’ve made all the proper measurements, check out these awesome under counter ice makers:

Best Under Counter Ice Maker 2017

under counter ice maker reviews

  1. The EdgeStar Under Counter Ice Machine

This sleek stainless steel machine features computerized controls and a maximum production of 50 pounds of ice per day, making it an ideal unit for large families. It comes with an ice scoop. Unfortunately the storage area can only hold 25 pounds, so you’ll have to be using a lot of ice every single day to get full usage out of this unit.

  1. The Marvel Ada

Marvel isn’t a known brand in the world of ice makers but that might change soon thanks to the introduction of the Ada. This ice maker produces a maximum of 30 pounds of ice per day, all of it beautiful, clear and cubed. Controls are simple to use and the machine has an auto defrost as well. It’s also solid stainless steel.

Big families and people who often have large dinner parties may find the 30 pound limit too low but this is fine for the vast majority of users.

  1. The Orien

The Orien can produce 44 pounds of ice every day. Its easy-to-use controls include an auto defrost setting. With an air cooled condenser and a CFC free body, the Orien is also the most environmentally friendly ice maker on this list.

Unfortunately the customer service department behind Orien isn’t known for being the greatest so you might have issues dealing with any breakdowns, but the machine is pretty solid so it usually still a good investment.

  1. iGloo ICE 102-Red Compact Ice Maker

If you don’t have a lot of space under your sink or in any of your cabinets for an ice maker this is the best option for you. Small enough to fit in pretty much any cabinet or even to take on the road with you, this ice maker can produce a maximum of 26 pounds of ice per day. This is ideal for a single person or small family but definitely won’t be enough for a large family with a high volume of ice usage.

  1. Avalon Bay Portable Ice Maker AB-Ice26S

Another ice maker that can fit under pretty much any sink or in just about any cabinet, this ice maker still manages to produce 26 pounds of ice per day. It also allows you to choose between two different sizes of ice cubes. Lights indicate when you need to add more water or empty out the ice. Thanks to the light materials it’s made out of you can also take this ice maker on the road with you.

Your under counter ice maker may not be the fanciest machine in your kitchen but it will quickly become one of your favorites. If you’re still not sure which one to choose after reading this list take the time to read some other reviews before you make a decision—you don’t want to end up with an ice maker that’s too small or not reliable.