Best Shaved Ice Machine Reviews 2017

Shaved ice is a delicious treat that’s sure to help you cool off during those hot summer months! This deliciously cold, refreshingly fruity treat was first enjoyed by the Roman Emperor Nero in 27 B.C., and it was made from snow collected from a nearby mountain. We suspect that shaved ice has been around so long because it tastes amazing and is so super easy to make! Did we mention that Nero sweetened his treat with honey and fruit? Sounds like a yummy, healthy dessert that the kids are sure to love, too! Now, we don’t expect you to go out and collect ice from a nearby mountain, which is why we’ve gone ahead and done some research into five of the best brands of shaved ice machines and put them here in this handy review for you!
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Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Maintenance
Capacity
Size
Type of Ice
Extras
Our Top Choice
Koval Inc. Stainless Steel Ice Shaver
Koval Inc. knows that the customer is always right, which is why their customer service team is always willing to go the extra mile to help remedy any problems.
Weighs 18 pounds; crushed, cubed, or block ice can be used; includes stainless steel bowl. Shaves 440lbs in 1 hour. Rust-resistant. Durable and sleek looking.
Regular, cubed ice will create snow cones (use crushed for shaved ice).
Rinse with water and towel dry
880, 8-ounce cones per hour
18 x 17 x 11” / 22.4 pounds
Crushed, cubed, or block ice
Stainless steel bowl
Best Value
Hawaiian Shaved Ice Maker Party Pack
Hawaiian is a customer-service oriented company that knows how to make the best cup of shaved ice! Their flexible return policy shows their desire to keep customers satisfied.
Adjustable blades; two ice molds; 1-year warranty. 3 bottles of syrup included. Choose from classic or sugar free. Includes 25 colorful cups.
Noisy; may operate slowly
Plastic parts are dishwasher safe
2-3, 8-ounce cones per 16 oz. ice
14.5 x 9.8 x 7.8” / 8 pounds
Crushed, cubed or block ice
Syrups, cones, and spoon straws
Great Northern Commercial Ice Shaver
Great Northern Popcorn Company is a customer-focused company. All their products are hand packaged and shipped directly from their warehouse to ensure you receive only the best!
Stainless steel, removable and replaceable blades; 1-year warranty included; makes 350lbs of shaved ice per hour; adjust blades for coarse or fine ice shaves.
Extremely durable, but very heavy (55 pounds)
Spray with water and towel dry
32, 8-ounce cones in 60 seconds
15 x 12 x 30.5” / 55 pounds
Block ice
1-year warranty
Cuisinart/Waring Red Snow Cone Maker
Cuisinart (along with its sister company, Waring acquired in 1998) is an instantly recognizable brand that climbed its way to the top when its founder introduced food processors to the US in 1973.
4 plastic cones, 12 paper cones, and recipe book included; ice bin is removable; makes 4 cones in under a minute; side tray can hold 2 cones; compact design can fit anywhere.
Body of machine is all plastic
Remove bin and wipe unit dry
4-5, 8-ounce cones in 60 seconds
11.5 x 12.5 x 13.9” / 6.8 pounds
Cubed ice
Recipes, 4 plastic/12 paper cones
Nostalgia Vintage Snow Cone Maker
Nostalgia is a company that offers consumers the familiar comforts of childhood. Their “blast from the past” products combine modern convenience with an old-timey feel.
Includes two, 8-ounce reusable cones and ice scoop; BPA-free; stainless steel blades; stores 160 ounces of shaved ice; bundle of syrups also available.
May occasionally jam (if this happens, try using smaller ice cubes)
Remove bin and wipe unit dry
20, 8-ounce cones in 3-4 minutes
13.5 x 10 x 17.5” / 6.3 pounds
Cubed ice
Scoop and 2 reusable cones

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How Do I Choose the Best Shaved Ice Machine?

(Updated )
When it’s summertime and you’re walking around outside—at the beach, an outdoor shopping center, or park—you’ve likely seen those little ice carts selling shaved ice, Italian ice, or snow cones. You’ve also probably been tempted to pay $5 or more for a small, but super delicious and refreshing, cup of flavored ice, especially if the temperature is in the triple digits (or if you have kids with you). But why pay a premium price for deliciously cold, flavored ice when you could be making it right from the comfort of your home?

The best part about having a shaved ice machine—sometimes also called a snow cone machine—is that you can do a lot more with it than just making cups of syrupy ice for the kids. We recommend utilizing it all summer long by making slushies, adult party drinks, frozen lemonade and limeade, and, of course, snow cones and shaved ice! Think about how much fun your shaved ice machine would be at a cookout. Fire up the outdoor grill, throw some thick and juicy steaks on it, and then add a splash of fun with alcoholic slushies! And when the kids finish riding bikes and want to cool down, you can treat them to frozen lemonade.

For diet-conscious and budget-savvy users, you can purchase sugar-free syrup or you can make your own syrups at home. You don’t even need anything fancy—just a heavy-duty saucepot, some sugar (or substitute) and water, and packets of drink mix (Kool-Aid, Crystal Light, Tang, etc.). Trying to quell those diet-breaking cravings for sweets? A cup of no-calorie shaved ice with sugar-free syrup sounds like the perfect, guilt-free treat!
Price
If you’re thinking, “Oh, I could never afford a shaved ice machine,” we’re happy to tell you that you certainly can! Long gone are the days when only businesses could afford to purchase commercial-quality shavers. For as low as about $35, you can get a machine that looks great, creates fluffy ice and even comes with some extras, like reusable coned-shaped cups or syrups.

But if you’re thinking, “Oh, I want to spend a lot of money!” we’re happy to tell you that you can do that, too! For about $400, you can find a machine that’s closer to what you’d find at a shaved ice kiosk or in a store that sells snow cones. If you’re mainly looking for something for your kids, we recommend going with a cheap shaved ice machine. They may not last 25 years like your more expensive units, but they’ll last long enough for your kids to grow a healthy dislike of shaved ice and snow cones.
Features
It’s usually pretty easy to tell how one ice shaver differs from another on the outside, but it can be more difficult to figure out the differences for all the complex stuff on the inside. When you’re shopping around for your unit, we recommend taking a look at the following features:
  • Storage Box: Some machines have a built-in box (usually acrylic) where the ice is deposited after being crushed or shaved. These boxes are sometimes quite large, which is great if you need to make a lot of cones, or if you’re making a lot of party drinks. As an added bonus, the box, when full of ice, actually does a lot to cool down a small room.
  • Blades: These will almost always be stainless steel because stainless steel resists the formation of rust. Mainly, you’ll want to see if the blades are adjustable for creating finer or coarser ice. You’ll also want to check if they’re removable so, if needed, they can be sharpened or replaced over time. Most companies recommend changing your blades about once a year.
  • Safety: The blades are generally housed inside the machine itself, so there’s no risk of getting cut. However, some machines don’t grind or shave the ice in a closed container. If you have little kids, we suggest looking for a unit that has a safety shield or closed grinding area to keep small hands safe.
  • Type/Shape of Ice: Most machines can operate with regular cubed or crushed ice, but you’ll find ones that can shave ice whether it’s crushed, cubed, or molded. You’ll also find ones that can only operate with molded blocks of ice, so be aware of that as you shop.
  • Countertop/Storage Friendly: This may seem like a strange feature, but, if you’re shopping online, it can be really difficult to tell how big a shaved ice machine actually is, especially if it has a super unique design. If you plan to leave the machine on your counter, measure out your space first. We recommend doing the same for cabinet space if you plan to store it.
  • Weight: While some machines aren’t very heavy, others can weigh more than 50 pounds. If you aren’t going to use your machine all year round, or if you’ll need to store it in-between uses, make sure your storage space can withstand heavy weight.
These features will probably affect what type of shaved ice unit you buy. However, before you write off heavy machines, machines that can only shave blocks of ice and machines that are really large, we’ll explain why you may actually want these features.
Construction and Design
Typically, a heavier machine means a larger, and more powerful, motor. Sometimes these bigger motors are commercial grade, which means they can shave hundreds of pounds of ice within a short window of time (typically an hour or less). If you’ve got a lot of people to serve, or no place to really store your shaver, you may want to buy a bulkier one, shave a lot of ice with it, and then just store your shaved ice in the freezer to use whenever.

Similarly, machines with more-powerful motors can usually shave blocks of ice in addition to shaving crushed or cubed. Blocks of ice may seem like a hassle to deal with, but they actually yield the fluffiest and softest shaved ice because the blades literally sheer the ice off the block. If you’re a hater of snow cones, but a lover of shaved ice, a unit that works with ice blocks may be your best option.

If you’re wondering, a larger machine doesn’t necessarily mean a larger or more powerful motor. In fact, if the ice shaver is quite large, it’s probably because it has a storage box built into it. These machines tend to be square whereas the non-storage box ones are smaller and more irregularly shaped (usually taller and not as wide). We recommend measuring out your counter and/or cabinet space specifically because these units have a lot of variation as far as shape. Luckily, regardless of their design, shaved ice machines all operate similarly and simply.
Performance and Ease of Use
The best part about shaved ice and snow cone machines is that they’re extremely simple to operate. For machines that only take crushed or cubed ice, you just drop the ice in the hopper (the opening for your ice), flip the “on” switch, and let the machine work its magic! If you notice that it’s grinding or gets jammed, turn it off, unplug the machine, and either give the unit a small shake, or stick your hand in (even better—use a spatula or other rubber/bamboo tool) to remove the piece of jammed ice.

For units that use blocks of ice, there’s just a few more steps in the operating process. If your shaver came with ice molds, you just place your molded ice in the hopper, flip the “on” switch, and you’re just a few seconds away from tasty sweetness! If your machine didn’t come with an ice mold, you can cut a plastic jug in half and make your own. Once the ice is frozen, just place your block in the machine and let it go to work! Be aware that, most of the time, a block of ice will yield significantly more shaved ice. If you only want to make a small cup of ice, just remove your block and place it back into your freezer for later.

Some people recommend making multiple ice molds and storing them in plastic baggies to use later on. You can also purchase a shaved ice machine with a storage box that allows you to store your shaved or crushed ice in the freezer. This means you can make icy treats without needing to pull out the whole machine. We love this option, especially for kids, because you can easily scoop the ice out, pour some syrup on it and let your kids enjoy a yummy, refreshing summer snack in only a few minutes. It really doesn’t get sweeter than that!

What is the Best Shaved Ice Machine?

Are you looking for something sweet to keep your kids cool during the summer? Or maybe something to help you get over those pregnancy or diet-induced cravings? Maybe you just want to splurge and get yourself something special. Whatever your reasons, we know our picks will get you excited about the wonderful world of homemade shaved ice! Now you’ve had the chance to look through the main buying considerations, you should be ready to delve into our individual reviews.
Our Top Choice
Koval Inc.’s Stainless Steel Ice Shaver and Snow Cone Machine is a sleek, ultra-durable and rust-resistant machine that can shave 440 pounds of ice in just 60 minutes. It’s both powerful and looks great on your countertop. We all know that summertime cookouts are the best times for eating cold treats, but no cookout would be complete without deliciously fried foods! With Koval Inc.’s Stainless Steel Countertop Deep Fryer, you can take your cookouts from “fun” to “amazing!”
Koval Inc. Stainless Steel Ice Shaver Snow Cone Machine – Available in 2 Sizes and with Acrylic Box

Koval Inc. Shaved Ice Machine COMIN18JU046211 – 440 lbs/hr 250W Ice Shaver


Features
Koval Inc. knows that the best way to do business is to go the extra mile for the customer. Their customer service team is trained as if they were shoppers themselves, so they understand fully what it’s like to be on the buyer’s end when a product doesn’t work right. Koval Inc. believes that this type of training ensures that all customer questions get answered swiftly and with care. If you aren’t happy with your purchase, you can be certain that this company will do whatever they can to make things right!

The Stainless Steel Ice Shaver by Koval Inc. is a sleek, all-metal machine that features dual blades for super fluffy shaved ice. It not only looks good on your countertop, but it’s also rust-resistant and extremely powerful. With this commercial-grade shaver, you can create 880, 8-ounce snow cones in just an hour! You might expect this machine to be heavy, but it only weighs about 18 pounds, and you can use any type of ice as long as it isn’t larger than the machine’s hopper. The included user manual and stainless steel bowl will have you on your way to eating a large, tasty bowl of ultra-fluffy shaved ice in no time!

Lucky for you, Koval Inc. also offer this machine in a smaller size, shaving 143 pounds per hour or if you want the same power but with an additional acrylic box, they have that too!
Best Value
Hawaiian’s Shaved Ice and Snow Cone Machine Party Pack contains all the necessary ingredients for the tastiest summertime treat! It comes with three bottles of syrup, spoon straws, 25 colorful, non-drip snow cone cups, and more. We love all the extras that come with the Party Package, but if you only want the machine, take a look at Hawaiian’s Electric Snow Cone Machine. Make shaved ice, margaritas, snow cones and more!
Hawaiian Shaved Ice and Snow Cone Machine Party Package – Available in Classic or Sugar Free

Hawaiian Shaved Ice Machine 3512-S – Classic


Features
If there’s a company that knows shaved ice, it’s Hawaiian! Founded in 1995, the company began with just a single shaved ice cart and one employee. Today, thousands of customers praise Hawaiian’s superior-tasting syrups, and their high-quality snow cone and shaved ice machines. The company also received the Wall Street Journal’s “Best Overall” award, which was given to them because of their syrups, products, and amazing customer service. Hawaiian stands behind your purchase, so if you don’t like the product, you can simply return it for a guaranteed, full refund.

We chose Hawaiian’s Shaved Ice and Snow Cone Machine Party Package because it comes with everything you need to get the ice-shaving party started! The machine has adjustable blades so you can have coarser ice for snow cones and finer for shaved ice. You can also choose whether you want to use a molded block of ice or regular ice cubes.

The Party Package comes with a ton of great extras. You’ll love that it includes…
  • Three, 16-ounce bottles of flavored syrup
  • Over two dozen spoon straws
  • 25 colorful cone cups
  • Three reusable rubber spouts for the syrups
  • Molds for creating blocks of ice
  • A 1-year warranty
You can also choose whether you want your bottles of syrup to be classic or sugar-free! We’re guessing you might be choosing the sugar-free if you want to prevent hyperactive children getting chaotic!
To eat the fluffiest, softest shaved ice you’ve ever had at home, we recommend Great Northern’s Commercial Ice Shaver. It’s commercial-grade motor can shave up to 350 pounds of ice in an hour, and you can even adjust how fine or coarse you want your ice to be shaved. If you aren’t a fan of this shaver’s color or pattern, try Great Northern’s Polar Pal Ice Block Shaver! It’s white and has a built-in safety shield.
Great Northern Popcorn Company Premium Quality Shaved Ice Machine

Great Northern Shaved Ice Machine 6057


Features
Great Northern Popcorn Company was—you guessed it—initially a maker of popcorn machines and has since expanded their product line to include kegerators, hot dog rollers, and other equipment geared toward concession stands. Their company philosophy is to never utilize drop shippers, which means everything is packed, labeled and shipped right from their warehouse by one of their own employees. They operate in this way to ensure you—the wonderful customer—receive a quality item that’s been checked for any flaws. The best part? If you have a problem, Great Northern is ready to answer your questions and provide you with technical assistance.

The Commercial Ice Shaver by Great Northern is no joke! It can shave over 350 pounds of ice within an hour thanks to its commercial-grade motor, and, unlike other machines, it truly does shave the ice as opposed to grinding it. The blades are replaceable, but made from stainless steel, and you can even adjust them with the shaver’s “blade adjuster” to make the ice coarser or finer (we recommend using coarser ice for cooling down cocktails!).

Be aware that the machine is pretty heavy (about 55 pounds), and it can only shave ice blocks that have an 8-inch diameter and are 6.5-inches tall. We know that sounds super-specific and like a hassle, right? But you can easily create your own ice block by cutting off the top of a small plastic bottle, like a milk jug. The machine also shaves the ice right into a tray, so you can preserve your ice block for later if you’re only making one or two snow cones. As an added bonus, Great Northern backs this machine with a 1-year warranty, so there’s no risk in just giving it a try!
For people with little ones at home, Cuisinart’s SCM-10 Snow Cone Maker is a great choice because it can shave enough ice for 4 snow cones in under 60 seconds! It also has a tray on the side that can hold 2 cones, or you can expand it so that it holds 4. Want to try making ice cream instead? The Cuisinart Pure Indulgence Automatic Ice Cream Maker not only looks great, but it’s fully automatic and will make 2 quarts of your favorite ice cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet!
Cuisinart Red Compact Snow Cone Maker / Shaved Ice Machine - Also Sold Under Waring Brand

Cuisinart Shaved Ice Machine SCM-10 – Cuisinart


Features
In 1973, Cuisinart’s founder, Carl Sontheimer, brought the United States the legendary food processor, an appliance so magnificent that both Julia Child and James Beard praised its usefulness. With two world-famous chefs acting as the wind beneath its wings, Cuisinart soared into the world of national brand recognition. However, their numerous awards for product design and their belief that every home cook should have access to free culinary educational material are two areas that have significantly contributed to the company’s longevity.

We chose the Cuisinart Snow Cone Maker because it can create about 4 cones of crushed ice in less than 60 seconds, making it ideal for people with kids, or folks who have a lot of die-hard shaved ice fans living in their home. This unit, also sold under the Waring Brand (sister company to Cuisinart), features a tray that pops out and can hold 4 snow cones so that you have a place to rest your cones as you’re making (and eating) them. It also comes with 4 plastic cones and a dozen paper ones, and even a book of recipes! If you’re using one flavor, we suggest adding your syrup to the main ice box. Worried it’ll be sticky and difficult to wipe out later? Don’t be! The ice bin is completely removable so clean-up is never a hassle.
Nostalgia’s Vintage Collection Snow Cone Maker is so cute, you’ll want to leave it on your countertop! The nostalgic ice cream cart design serves two purposes: To hold two 8-ounce snow cones on its side shelf and to hold 160 ounces of shaved ice in the main box. If you want to make snow cones, but you’re only one person, check out Nostalgia’s Single Snow Cone Maker. Enjoy all that icy fruity goodness—one cone at a time!
Nostalgia Vintage Collection Snow Cone Maker & Shaved Ice Storage – Also Available as a Bundle

Nostalgia Shaved Ice Machine SCM502 - Main


Features
Nostalgia is a company that stays true to its name by offering consumers the familiar comforts of childhood. Initially beginning by producing popcorn makers, the company grew to eventually create the first home-use chocolate fountain. Today, their numerous product lines give customers “blasts from the pasts,” but updated with modern technology for your convenience. So, whether it’s the melty sweetness of freshly spun cotton candy or the cold crunch of a delectable snow cone, Nostalgia has a product that’ll take you back to those days of youthful bliss!

The Vintage Collection Snow Cone Maker by Nostalgia asks you to remember the good old days with its adorable, old-fashioned ice cream cart design. Its shape actually serves two purposes: To look super cute on your countertop and to hold approximately 160 ounces of shaved ice—enough for about 20 delicious cones of frosty-fruity goodness! You’ll also love that there’s a small shelf on the side of the machine that can hold two snow cones, which is perfect because this product includes two plastic, reusable cones! Did we mention that it also comes with an ice scoop?

If you’re thinking “wait, but I won’t have any syrup once I’ve purchased this” then don’t worry! You can also get this machine with a bundle that includes 30 spoon straws, 30 paper cups, a 16 ounce squeeze bottle and 2 sachets of syrup flavor (blue raspberry and cherry).

Get the Best Shaved Ice Machine of 2017!

Have you found an ice shaver that’ll help you beat the summer heat or your winter-season-induced nostalgia for summer? If not, we recommend pursuing some of our brands’ other products! We chose these particular brands because of their great reputations in item quality and customer service. With them, you’re sure to find something you really love!

Our Top Choice
Koval Inc. Stainless Steel Ice Shaver
Best Value
Hawaiian Shaved Ice Maker Party Pack
Great Northern Commercial Ice Shaver
Cuisinart/Waring Red Snow Cone Maker
Nostalgia Vintage Snow Cone Maker