Are you looking to add a new treat machine for your family celebration and are considering a shaved ice machine?
You are in luck! We have pulled together the best-shaved ice machine reviews and a buying guide to help you in your search.
Besides, before you spend your hard-earned cash you will want to know what makes a quality machine, which ones might work for your festival booth, and which are safe enough for the kids to use.
We have done all the hard work for you and provided reviews on 5 of the best shaved ice machines on the market along with a step-by-step purchasing manual.
At the end, we’ll round it all up with our suggestion for the perfect ice shaver for you and your family. Simply read on and discover everything you need to know about the best ice machine available.
Do You Want a Shaved Ice Machine or a Snow Cone Maker?
Snow Cones are traditionally made out of crushed ice, not shaved ice. So in the past, you might find a snow cone maker machine that would crumble ice cubes into crunchy bits of ice topped by sweet flavored syrups. Now, Shaved Ice became very popular in Hawaii and has migrated to America.
The ice block is shaved into the pillowy soft snow and then topped with syrup. Shaved ice is now commonly used for frozen adult beverages, at carnivals, parks, and now in your home.
An You Make Shaved Ice at Home without a Machine?
You can, but we can’t imagine why you would want to. You start with a block of ice, take a manual ice shaving tool and get to work. This is how frozen treats were created before electricity.
Some of the shavers would collect the ice at the back of the tool so it could be easily dispensed into a cone or cup and then flavored with syrup.
It’s hard work! There are also hand operated shavers that will do the job of the electric machines, but you are paying the same price and still doing all the work. Trust us, you want the automatic shaved ice machine!
Features of the Best Shaved Ice Machine
When shopping for the best shaved ice machine available, you will want to look for these key features to help you avoid buying a real lemon.
- Ice Blocks or Ice Cubes:
- If you are buying a machine to make snow cones for the kids every once in a while, you might want the convenience of a machine that uses ice cubes right out of your freezer.
- However, if you intend on offering frozen treats for your neighborhood block party, a shaver that uses blocks of ice works faster and is actually quieter.
- Safe Operation:
- Look for a safety shield on your ice shaver. These machines work by spinning a blade and literally slicing off thin sheets of ice.
- The machine should have a fail-safe that prevents the blade from spinning unless the top is closed or pressure applied to an ice block.
- Make sure that the hopper, blade, and dispenser chute are all easy to take apart and clean. While it is only ice you are using, if the machine is not cleaned before storage, you can end up with mildew and mold.
Related: Best Refrigerator Under 2000
How to Choose the Best Shaved Ice Machine
Now that you know which features you will want at the top of your list, what else do you need to know?
Of course, you will want to check out some shaved ice machines reviews, but you need a starting point before overflowing your mind with too many options. Let’s consider some highlights to help whittle down the choices.
- Which Brands are the Best?
- The Hawaiian Shaved Ice brand is one of the best shaved ice machines for home use, with a great reputation and reasonable pricing. Other runners in the crowd are ZENY, Great Northern Popcorn Company, and Little Snowie.
- Made for the Home or Commercial Grade
- A quality commercial grade unit will cost considerably more than one made for the home, but it will be able to turn out 50 to 100 servings in an hour.
- Low-priced units with high output should not be expected to last beyond a single summer of steady use, as the motor is more likely to wear out. Budget for your buy appropriately.
- Gravity-fed or Pressurized Ice Hopper
- Look for a pressurized hopper instead of gravity fed. If the spinning blade is trying to shave a pile of ice cubes, it is just going to keep shifting the ice around with slow and disappointing results.
- Pressure ensures the blade is kept in constant contact with the ice, delivering a constant flow of fluffy shaved ice to the collection plate.
- Electric Motor or Manual Crank
- It is possible to find ice shaving machines without an electric motor, just know that you will be cranking away all afternoon instead of chatting with friends.
- A manual version is a great option for parties at the state park, where power isn’t so easy to find. Otherwise, you will want to check for at least 1/3 horsepower and high RPMS to shave through as much ice as possible.
- Easy to Store and Set Up
- Remember the food processor with 20 attachments, blades, chutes, and parts? You don’t use it anymore, do you? Look for a unit with a simple design that is ready to store in an instant so you will never hesitate to bring it out for family celebrations.
5 Best Shaved Ice Machine Reviews
|1|| Hawaiian Shaved |
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|2||Little Snowie 2 - |
Premium Shaved Ice Machine
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|3|| ZENY Snow Cone Maker Stainless |
Steel Shaved Ice Machine
|View On Amazon|
|4|| Great Northern Shaved |
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|5|| Hamilton Beach Icy |
Treats Ice Shaver
|View On Amazon|
1. Hawaiian Electric Shaved Ice Machine Review
Finally, a machine that is engineered for everyday use in your home. Priced just right to fit the family budget, this little machine will churn out 3 to 5 servings using one of the molded cakes of ice designed to fit the hopper.
It’s the best shaved ice machine for your kids birthday party or mixing up a couple margaritas after a long day at work.
It has an attractive compact design ready to pop into a cabinet and comes with all the molds, blades, and dispensing cups you need to get started.
Now, since is it so well designed for fixing up one or two servings, it simply won’t stand up to shaving ice for your church social or even the company picnic. The motor will overheat and burn out.
The lid must be closed before it will start spinning the shaving blade and replacement parts are easy to order. Best of all, the Hawaiian Shaved Ice brand offers up a wide variety of flavor syrups so shopping for refills is fast and easy.
- Truly designed for home use
- Priced right as a fun small appliance
- Molds and syrups are easily replaced
- Struggles to shave ice cubes–really need the molds
- Not for constant or commercial use
2. Little Snowie 2- Premium Shaved Ice Machine Review
Little Snowie really did their research before putting this little gem out on the market. It is super fast with a kid-friendly and safe design making this the best shaved ice machine for a family that wants to share the fun of snow cones with everybody.
It uses ice cubes straight from your freezer and churns out two cups of snowy ice in just about 10 seconds.
It is only 12 pounds and it about the size of your quality stand mixer, allowing you to stow it in a cabinet when not in use.
Now for the reality checks. Considering that it performs its task flawlessly, it is ridiculously expensive for a home appliance, running 8 times the price of units designed for your family.
It is noisy, but that is par for the course. And finally, it isn’t exactly a shaver–it actually chips the ice cubes into snow.
That being said, users of the Little Snowie absolutely love their units and some even use these shaved ice machines for their snow cone business.
- Super fast ice shaving action
- Lightweight, safe, and compact design
- Conveniently uses ice cubes
- Expensive for a small home appliance
- Noisy operation
- Not a true ice shaver
3. ZENY Snow Cone Maker Stainless Steel Shaved Ice Machine Review
Sometimes simplicity is the name of the game. ZENY offers up this no-frills option for churning out piles of shaved ice at a very affordable price.
This is the best shaved ice machine for school groups or community centers looking to add a shaved ice machine to their annual celebrations on a budget.
It features a safety shut off, so the hopper must be loaded with a cake of ice and the plunger manually held in place before the blade will start turning.
It is designed for adult supervision and is not recommended for use by a child. There are a few screws so you can adjust the height of the blade to get a finer or more coarse shave.
Of course, if you are getting a high-volume machine for under fifty bucks, you might expect a few flaws. Make sure to put down paper or regular towels under the unit, as the catch-plate won’t collect all the shavings.
You may need to experiment to get a shallow bowl that will work better. It will not work with ice cubes and you will either need to mold your ice to fit the hopper or chip off hunks off your block. It does come apart for easy cleaning.
- Low price
- Safety switch prevents accidental injury
- Adjustable shaving height
- Must use molded block ice–molds not included
- Dispenses shaved ice all over the counter
- Quality control is questionable
4. Great Northern Ice Cub Commercial Shaved Ice Machine Review
Okay, are you going into business or need a reliable unit for the two-week county fair? Then you need a shaved ice machine designed for the concession and commercial food industry.
Great Northern in know for their poppers, and now offer this unit that can crank out 6 pounds of shaved ice every minute.
You might have trouble keeping up with it, making it the best shaved ice machine when preparing to treat hundreds of guests to a flavored snack in a short amount of time.
You can either have the ice dispense directly into a cup for serving, or scoop mounds into a food-quality bucket so your serving line can scoop the cones while you keep shaving.
It does not come with a safety shield and only adults should use this machine. As the block of ice is shaved, use the hand crank on the side to maintain pressure on the blade to ensure constant production.
There is an optional foot pedal so you can turn on and off the blade if you are the only person working at your concession stand. You are paying more, but are receiving a unit that is designed for the foodservice industry.
It is not a portable unit, weighing over 50 pounds, so choose your point of installation wisely.
- Commercial grade unit for food service industry
- Convenient food pedal upgrade available
- Produces up to 350 pounds of shaved ice an HOUR
- No safety shield
- Heavy–not portable
- High price point
5. Hamilton Beach Icy Treats Icy Shaver Review
Now, for the budget conscious individual, you might be tempted to pick up the nicely priced Hamilton Beach machine. And you probably shouldn’t.
If you are looking for the best shaved ice machine to buy for a mid-summer party, and don’t expect to use it again, this just might fit the bill.
It accepts ice cubes in its top hopper and dispenses them in your bowl–that hopefully fits beneath the chute. Turn it to snow cone or slushie settings and then flip the switch…and wait.
It will make some very alarming noises while it slowly chews up the cubes into smaller bits. Your kids might enjoy watching the bowl fill up, but you have better things to do.
It does come apart for easy and thorough cleaning and will fit into almost any nook in your kitchen. Since you only spent a few dollars on it, it won’t make you feel guilty about wasting all that cash when it doesn’t quite stand up to expectations.
- Affordable price
- Uses ice cubes
- Small size
- Very slow
- Small capacity
Which is the Best Shaved Ice Machine for Your Family?
If you are looking for the best shave ice maker without blowing the budget, the Hawaiian Shaved Ice machine is made just for you.
It starts with an affordable price, cranks out the good stuff quickly, and offers all the syrups and accessories your kids will love, making it the best shaved ice machine available.
We hope you have enjoyed reading our shaved ice machine reviews and hope they have helped you find the product that best suits your requirements.
If you have any experience with these items, please share your thoughts in the comments below or with your friends on social media.