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Nugget Ice Maker

D rinks enthusiasts know how important it is to get the right mix for their favorite cocktail. For this reason, preparing cocktails at home can be tricky, even for experienced drinkers. One of the secrets is to pour the perfect amount of liquid in your cocktail shaker and thoroughly mix the beverages.

But there is another aspect that many people neglect…and that is the ice. The science of ice in cocktails reveals us some secrets that few individuals know. For example, using the wrong type of ice for a certain drink can affect its taste. Moreover, the temperature of the ice is highly significant, as well as the amount. So, what is to be done to prepare the perfect ice for the perfect cocktail at home?

The answer to this question is pretty simple as these days you can seek appliances that can do all sorts of things. Therefore, for obtaining the perfect ice at home you can opt for a sonic ice maker or a crushed ice maker.

Most people do not find the utility of such an appliance, but those who are passionate about drinks will appreciate it. Check out our selection of the best machines that can either produce ice or crush it and acquire the one that will help you prepare the most delicious drinks.

Top 8 Nugget Ice Makers&Ice Crushers Compared

Product Name
Ice Capacity
Crashing / Production Rate
Opal Nugget Ice Maker Image
Best Overall
10 quarts
1 lb./hr.
10.5” x 15.5” x 17.25”
1 year
VivoHome Electric Ice Crusher ImageEditor’s Choice
143 lbs./hr.
5” x 14”
1 year
Hawaiian Shaved Ice Machine ImageBest for Ice Shaving
5 ice cubes or 1 ice mold
2 lbs./hr.
6.5” x 8” x 14”
1 year
Zeny Ice Shaver Machine ImageBest for the Money
143 lbs./hr.
17.5” x 12”
30 days
Waring Pro IC70 Ice Crusher ImageBest Ice Crusher
12 cups of crushed ice
50 lbs./hr.
6.25” x 9.5” x 15.25”
5 years
Costzon Electric Ice Crusher Image
12 cups
26.5 lbs./hr.
6.7” x 10.5” x 18.1”
Gourmia GIC9635 Image
8.6” x 7.1” x 5.4”
1 year
Victorio VKP1126 Image
5-1/2 cups
9.5” x 4.5” x 6”
5 years

1. Opal Nugget Ice Maker

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  • Type: Automatic
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Wattage : 330W
  • Max. Ice Capacity: 10 qt.
  • Ice Making Rate/Ice Crushing Capacity: 1 lb./h
  • Accessories: Ice Scoop, Drip Tray, Ice Container
  • Operating Temperature: 55°F – 90°F
  • On/Off Switch:
  • Colors Available: Stainless Steel

This ice machine manufactured by FirstBuild differs from other models as it does not squash ice but rather generates it. Moreover, it is not traditional cubes but rather nugget ice that is softer and chewable. It can cool drinks faster and absorb the flavor of the drink as well. The manufacturing company of this appliance is not very well known among customers, but according to the website, it is committed to designing ingenious home appliances. Furthermore, it is endorsed by GE Appliances, a trusted kitchen appliance brand.


The Opal Nugget is not the most compact option you can acquire – it measures 10.5 inches by 15.5 inches by 17.25 inches – and for installing it, you also need to consider 3 extra inches for the sides and the back. You also have to keep in mind that it should be placed in a well-ventilated area and not near a heat source. When it comes to weight, things are not much better, as it is quite heavy – weighs 44 pounds. But besides this aspect, the machine features a simple and elegant design that matches any kitchen decor.

  • We particularly like the light ring that keeps you informed about its status. There are 7 different combinations, and each of them has the following meaning: flash green – it is on, falling white – it is preparing ice, solid white – the ice container is full, and the machine has stopped, swishing blue – more water required, pulsing yellow – it is in cleaning mode, and it has to be drained, and then refilled (if you want to prepare ice), rotating yellow – it is rinsing, slowly falling white – it is in defrost mode for 30 minutes.
How Does It Work?

With user-friendly operation and comprehensive instructions, the appliance will not pose any difficulties when it comes to use. But one of its major drawbacks is that you must wait more time to enjoy the nugget ice it generates. From this point of view, it is the “laziest” machine selected by us as it only produces 1 pound of ice per hour. The advantage is that you can schedule it to start making the ice at a particular hour. This is possible with the FirstBuild app that transforms this appliance into a smart one.

  • There is a switch located on the back that permits you to set it in ice making mode or cleaning mode, depending on what you need at that moment.
  • It works with potable water, so you can use tap water to produce ice. However, water hardness should not exceed 12 grains per gallon.
  • It needs between 15 to 30 minutes to start making the ice, and it stops automatically when the container is full or when the water runs out.
Compatible with Opal Water Filter

If you like, you can also use it with the Opal water filter that was specially made for it. The filter is straightforward to install – snaps into place – and it helps reduce chlorine in the water while eliminating bad tastes and odors. For best performance, the filter should be replaced every 3 months.

See here the full review of the Opal nugget ice maker to thoroughly analyze the product and make and informed decision.

2. VivoHome Electric Ice Crusher

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  • Type: Automatic
  • Material: Food Grade Stainless Steel Hopper and Blade
  • Wattage : 300W
  • Ice Making Rate/Ice Crushing Capacity: 143 lbs/h
  • Accessories: Ice Bowl
  • Rotating Speed: 2,000 RPM
  • Automatic Shut Off:
  • Water-Resistant On/Off Switch:
  • Colors Available: Orange, Silver, Blue, Red

In case you want to crush a larger amount of ice, then the VivoHome is what you require. It features an impressive ice crushing rate that beats all the other crushers – up to 143 pounds in an hour.

The less great part is that you can press the hopper handle to press the ice, and this can be deemed a disadvantage by some people. Nevertheless, the hopper is manufactured using stainless steel, and it is simple to fill it with ice. The handle is very comfortable, and the cover features a 3D lattice design to increase its performance.

  • For preventing accidents, it features an on/off water-resistant switch, and it automatically stops when opening the hopper handle. Moreover, it is equipped with 4 rubber feet that ensure it sits stable on the countertop.
  • To crush the ice at a more rapid pace, it features a remarkable rotation speed of 2,000 rotations per minute tops.

3. Hawaiian Shaved Ice Machine

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  • Type: Automatic
  • Material: BP-Free Plastic and Stainless Steel Blade
  • Wattage : 55W
  • Max. Ice Capacity: 5 Ice Cubes or 1 Ice Mold
  • Ice Making Rate/Ice Crushing Capacity: 2 lbs/h
  • Accessories: 2 Ice Molds, Ice Crusher Cup, Support Base, Non-Slip Mat
  • Bowl Diameter: 8”
  • On/Off Switch:
  • Colors Available: White

Our next recommendation is this model made by Hawaiian Shaved Ice. It flaunts a compact design and features an adjustable blade, these two traits catching our eye. It produces fine ice with a snow-cone consistency without much hassle.

If you want to make fluffy ice, the manufacturer advises that you add only ice made in the provided ice molds. You can obtain good consistency if you add 5 regular cubes from the refrigerator as well.

Its ease of use makes it very popular among customers. Once you put the ice in and softly push the gray button on top until the whole ice is shaved, you are done. For added versatility, the blade height can be adjusted with a screwdriver, but you must be cautious when you perform this operation to steer clear of injury.

  • Since it is made of plastic, it is very lightweight, weighing only 3 pounds.
  • It is easy to store in the cabinet if you lack space on the counter.

4. Zeny Ice Shaver Machine

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  • Type: Automatic
  • Material: Stainless Steel & Heavy Cast
  • Wattage : 300W
  • Ice Making Rate/Ice Crushing Capacity: 143 lbs/h
  • Accessories: Ice Bowl
  • Rotating Speed: 2,000 RPM
  • Bowl Diameter: 7”
  • Water-Resistant On/Off Switch:
  • Colors Available: Silver, Orange

This electric snow cone maker is ideal for both residential and commercial use. Equipped with a powerful 300W motor, the machine runs very fast. The alloy steel blade is very sharp, and it rotates with a speed of 2000 rotations per minute. It can generate up to 143 pounds of shaved ice per hour.

The build is very sturdy as the machine is manufactured of stainless steel and cast. This means it is highly resistant to corrosion. It weighs 11 pounds, and it is 17.5 inches long and 12 inches tall. It includes a stainless steel bowl that catches the ice.

  • The ice shaver comes with numerous safety features. It has heat dissipation outlets that permit it to run continuously for many hours and an on/off switch that is resistant to water. Additionally, each time you open the hopper handle, the machine turns off, and the blade quits spinning. It also has a safety cover that averts the machine from running if it is not lowered.
  • To reduce vibrations and increase stability, the cast base is heavy, and it has nonslip rubber feet.

5. Waring Pro IC70 Ice Crusher

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  • Type: Automatic
  • Material: Brushed Stainless Steel Housing
  • Wattage : 150W
  • Max. Ice Capacity: 12 Cups of Crushed Ice
  • Ice Making Rate/Ice Crushing Capacity: 50 lbs/h
  • Accessories: Ice Chute, Ice Container
  • Speed Options: 7
  • On/Off Switch:
  • Colors Available: Stainless Steel

With Pro IC70, you can only crush ice, but if we compare it to the other ice crushers, the outcome is pretty close to nugget or sonic ice. Of course, the ice generated by this machine is not as smooth and small as sonic ice, but it is a great alternative.

The machine is more generous when it comes to the quantity of ice it generates – as it only crushes it – and that is around 50 pounds of ice per hour. Another great aspect of this model is the fact that when the container is detached to take the ice cubes, it stops automatically. Once you place back the container, it continues its operation. Therefore, it features a safe and user-friendly operation.

In terms of design, the machine is solid and simple to clean. It less bulky than other models, but it still occupies some space on the countertop.

  • Features an on/off toggle switch that allows you to turn it on and off easily.
  • The blade is very durable as it is manufactured of stainless steel.
  • Large ice chute – it can retain up to 12 cups of ice cubes.

6. Costzon Electric Ice Crusher

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  • Type: Automatic
  • Material: Stainless Steel, ABS, & AS
  • Wattage : 80W
  • Max. Ice Capacity: 12 cups
  • Ice Making Rate/Ice Crushing Capacity: 26.5 lbs/h
  • Accessories: Ice Bowl
  • Water-Resistant On / Off Switch :
  • Colors Available: Stainless Steel

Having a design similar to Waring Pro IC70 but a more affordable price, this ice crusher is a nice choice to consider. It features an intuitive design, and the ice chute promotes easy operation. One little aspect that we do not like, is the fact that it is bulky, so it occupies a hefty amount of space on the counter.

The machine can crush approximately 26 pounds of ice per hour, and the ice container can hold up to 12 cups of crushed ice. A neat safety feature is that you cannot utilize it until you adequately fasten the ice container. This prevents any possible incidents and injuries.

  • Comes with a pretty long power cord – 4.5 ft. This means you do not necessarily have to use it near the power outlet.
  • Features an on/off switch that makes it very user-friendly.

7. Gourmia GIC9635

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  • Type: Manual
  • Material: BPA-Free Plastic
  • Accessories: Ice Bucket
  • Ergonomic Crank Handle:
  • Weight: 1.45 lbs.
  • Colors Available: White with Grey

If you don’t want to spend your money on expensive electric ice shavers, you can go for this manually operated model. You may have to put more effort into preparing shaved ice but the price is unbeatable. It is suitable for crushing small amounts of ice.

The design is basic, so you will find it extremely easy to use. It has a crank handle that features an ergonomic design. The ice shaver is made of BPA-free materials, and it is equipped with stainless steel blades. Moreover, the compact design makes it perfect if you don’t have enough storage room.

  • Once you finish making the ice, you don’t have to transfer it to another bowl. Just remove the top and use the crusher as a serving bowl.
  • The lightweight and compact design permit you to use it for indoor parties or backyard BBQ parties.

8. Victorio VKP1126

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  • Type: Manual
  • Material: Plastic Casing, Stainless Steel Blades & Chrome Plated Steel Handle
  • Max. Ice Capacity: 5-1/2 cups
  • Accessories:
  • Suction Base:
  • Colors Available: White

The ice chips have a nice texture, being ideal for cocktails, lemonade, adult beverages, and so on. You can add up to 4 cups of ice cubes in the hopper.

Just lift the top lid and fill it with various styles of ice cubes. The container has a capacity of 5.5 cups of crushed ice. To enjoy the ice, you have to detach the top crank lid.

The crusher is manufactured of thick plastic, so it may not be suitable for daily use. The blades are manufactured of stainless steel, and even though they are pretty small, they are very sharp. It is supported by a 5-year guarantee.

  • You can choose from 2 sizes of ice. The size relies on the direction you turn the handle – clockwise for finely crushed ice and counterclockwise for coarsely crushed ice.
  • Use the suction base to fasten it to the counter. Turn the lever counterclockwise. For best results, place it on a smooth surface.

As you can see, all of our picks are countertop models. Check out here the best countertop ice makers if you are interested in this setup and want to explore more options before you reach a decision.

Quick Buying Guide

After revising the most popular and efficient machines that produce or crush ice, it is time to find out more about how exactly to pick the right model for your needs. All of them perform well, but there are some significant differences between them. Although the final choice is a matter of personal preference, these guidelines may help in making an educated decision.

Model to Go With
The main purpose of modern kitchen appliances is to help us spend less time preparing our favorite meals and drinks. But, while all of them are helpful, finding a place for each of them can be challenging – even if you have a large kitchen. Most people avoid buying appliances simply because they do not have any storage room left for them. Anyway, if you like to prepare drinks at home you are not to be blamed if you prefer an ice crusher or an ice maker machine. The texture of the ice utilized to make cocktails can make a difference in taste, so your desire is not a whim. However, in case you are limited by space, it is best to consider purchasing a compact machine.
Operation Time
When preparing drinks for one person or two, you do not need large amounts of crushed ice. Things may change a little when you’re throwing a party as the more drinks, the more ice is necessary. Anyway, in either case, you don’t require a machine that can produce more than 50 pounds of crushed ice. A machine that exceeds this rate can be categorized as an appliance for professional use. Therefore, the choice truly depends on your actual needs.
VivoHome Electric Ice Crusher and Zeny Ice Shaver Machine – crush 143 lbs. of ice per hour,
Waring Pro IC70 Ice Crusher – crushes 50 lbs. of ice per hour.
Type of Machine
Currently, there are more types of machines you can go for. There are ice makers that produce regular ice cubes, nugget ice makers that produce smaller cubes in different shapes, ice crushers that simply crush big ice cubes into small pieces of ice, ice shavers that crush the ice into fine particles, etc. The models selected by us deliver various types of ice, so it is essential to procure the one that prepares the ice as you like.
Built-In Features
For improving the performance of the machine and the convenience of the users, the manufacturers add multiple features. But these features also make the machine more expensive. Some features are not necessary, but others can make a difference in operating the machine safer and easier. So, make sure you don’t pay extra money on some features that you may never use.
Opal Nugget Ice Maker – the most versatile model.


In case you are still wondering which machine to go with, take a look at our conclusions. Maybe they will help you make up your mind and buy your first ice crusher or ice maker. Each of them has both advantages and disadvantages, so make sure you don’t skip them.

Best Overall Nugget Ice Maker: Opal Nugget Ice Maker

You will find the machine simple to use and very well-made. But what is more interesting is the fact that it is capable of making the perfect nugget ice at home. For enjoying this type of ice at home, you don’t have many options available, and none of them is as affordable as this one. Even though the price tag is not the most attractive one, it is among the most affordable nugget ice makers.

  • makes nugget ice, smartphone compatible, solid construction
  • bulky and heavy design, noisy, expensive, does not make a great quantity of ice

Editor’s Choice: VivoHome Electric Ice Crusher

We suggest this machine if you need large amounts of ice. It crushes the ice very fast, but the bowl it comes with is rather small, so you have to empty it pretty often. The machine is compact and comes in 3 color options. The price is also affordable.

  • powerful, cheap, stable
  • rather messy, small bowl

Best Nugget Ice Maker for Ice Shaving: Hawaiian Shaved Ice Machine

Go with this model if you want to make snow-like ice. It is ideal for small kitchens as it is the most compact and lightweight option. Therefore, not another bulky machine to occupy a lot of space in the kitchen. Additionally, it is more affordable than previous models.

  • affordable, compact design, blade can be adjusted
  • plastic construction, loud, works very slow

Best Nugget Ice Maker for the Money: Zeny Ice Shaver Machine

It has a similar design with VivoHome Electric Ice Crusher. The machine operates very fast, and it can generate an impressive quantity of ice very quickly. It is also very sturdy and durable. Moreover, it is one of the most affordable options. The single major inconvenience is the compact size of the bowl, so the ice tends to shoot out of the bowl.

  • fast, multiple safety features, affordable.
  • small bowl, rather loud.

Best Ice Crusher: Waring Pro IC70 Ice Crusher

It is the ideal option if you’re looking for an ice crusher that can deliver a great amount of ice. The design is pretty compact, and it includes a long warranty on the motor. It is less expensive than Opal Nugget, but it is not the most affordable selection you can get.

  • long warranty, can crush the ice into small pieces
  • pretty expensive, the ice cubes can occasionally get jammed