Last updated on February 16th, 2022
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Continual cold drinks in summer, cocktails with just the right size of ice shards and slushies or snow cones, which my kids simply can’t get enough of. These all can be yours easily with an ice crusher/shaver. I review both electric and manual models, giving each’s pros, cons and features before my top recommendations.
My Buyer’s Guide unpacks the confusion that leads to the difficulty of purchasing just the right ice crusher model for you.
Best Pick – Electric
Best Pick – Manual
Electric Ice Crusher Reviews
1. LIVIVO Electric Ice Crusher
Best Pick – Electric
With the LIVIVO Electric Ice Crusher, you can have ice for most possible cooling uses. From cooling down beverages, blending up cocktails, making slushies and smoothies, and using the ice as a cool bed to keep your shellfish on before you barbeque it, this one unit provides it all.
This ice crusher can handle multiple ice cubes at once, saving you time. Your personal energy is saved as this is an electric model so you just set it up, put in the ice and press a switch. But first, you turn a dial to select between a course ice texture of bigger shards or a fine ice texture of smaller shavings.
The stainless steel blades handle all the chopping up and stay sharp and free of corrosion. An interesting addition to this ice crusher is the plaster two-pronged stirring rod within the unit. This rod turns all the time you’re crushing ice so that the ice pieces don’t stick together in a lump.
This itself is a useful feature. But add in the fact that you can put your cocktail mix into the ice container before you start crushing the ice and you will end up with a blended cocktail (alcoholic or not). Just note that online reviewers state that the fine ice produced by this LIVIO crusher isn’t the fluffy snow-like ice used for snow cones – unless you like yours a bit granular.
- Electric ice crusher in black that handles multiple ice cubes at once.
- Choose from coarse or fine crushed ice at the turn of a dial.
- Large 600ml transparent ice jug lets you see how much ice you’ve made.
- Stainless steel blades are sharp and rust proof.
- Stirrer in the ice container keeps the ice crystals separate.
- Lid has to be in place for the ice crusher to operate.
- Ice is not snow cone texture
The LIVIVO Electric Ice Crusher is my choice for Nest Pick – Electric Ice Crusher / Ice Shaver. We like that it handles multiple ice cubes at once and that you have a choice of ice size/texture just by turning a dial.
The stirrer in the collection jug is a great addition, keeping your ice from sticking together and blending the crushed ice right into your beverages. I have always loved a good multi-tasking appliance.
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2. Zeny Ice Shaver Machine Ice Crusher Electric Snow Cone Maker
If you need often need a lot of ice for parties or other gatherings, the Zeny Ice Shaver Machine Ice Crusher Electric Snow Cone Maker is one for you. This serious-looking ice crusher crushes/shaves up to almost 66kg of ice per hour. You could start your own snow cone hustle with this machine.
The stability of this large stainless steel ice machine isn’t in doubt. The heavy base holds to your worktop with six rubber rings. It’s easy to produce this much ice when all you have to do is put the ice cubes into the intake hopper, flip the lid down and switch the machine on. With this much power, users are grateful for the safety feature that turns the machine off when the hopper lid is opened.
Although this Zeny Ice Shaver Machine is designed to produce ice for snow cones, you do have some discretion about what texture of ice it delivers. Online reviewers discuss how freezing water into hockey puck-shaped disks tend to produce fluffier snow ice; using ice cubes gives a more granular structure to the ice. Make your choice depending on how you like your snow cone or if you plan on using the ice to cool beverages.
Just a quick word of warning about the blades. Even though the ice crusher switches off when the hopper lid is raised, the very sharp blade can still be easily reached in the tube. Keep children and clumsy adults away from this unit at all times.
- Sleek, stainless steel electric ice crusher.
- Six anti-slip rubber rings to hold it down onto the work surface.
- Heavy base for extra stability.
- Can crush/shave 65.75kg of ice per hour.
- Produces ice “snow” for snow cones.
- Automatic shut-off when the handle is raised and the intake tube is open.
- Ice is crushed into shallow stainless steel bowl (included).
- On/Off switch is on the side of the unit and is easily accessed.
- Heat dissipates from multiple outlets in the base.
- Blade is too easily reached even when machine is off.
- Drips water from ice left in there after use.
If you need a great deal of shaved ice (perhaps to supply a group of kids with snow cones all throughout summer), the Zeny Ice Shaver Machine Ice Crusher Electric Snow Cone Maker is a good choice.
If you can keep up with it, you can have just short of 66kg of shaved ice per hour, though you may want to use a bigger bowl than the one that’s included. The automatic shut-off when the intake tube is opened is a plus as is the easily accessible On/Off switch.
3. Cuisinart SCM-10P1 Snow Cone Maker
I just had to include the Cuisinart SCM-10P1 Snow Cone Maker, a dedicated and complete snow cone maker. This red plastic unit from a well-renowned kitchen appliance maker makes enough ice for 4 to 5 snow cones in under a minute. It’s an electric model so you don’t have to use manual energy to keep up with the kids’ demands.
Fit regular ice cubes through the hopper into the top part of the ice crusher and close the hopper lid. The crushing will start when the machine is turned on. For safety, the blades stop when the hopper cover (handle is raised) is open for you to add more cubes.
Each side of the unit has a pull-up shelf that holds two snow cone cups. Line up the cups and fill them when the ice has all been crushed. The shelves are also a good place to keep the cups while the syrup is being poured over the ice in them.
Your purchase comes with four BPA-free reusable cone cups and 12 paper ones. There’s also a recipe book with alternative toppings to syrup to use to make your snow cones delicious.
Remember that there’s a range of ice textures from snow-like to moderate granules that people consider as being key to the ideal snow cone. The texture from this Cuisinart snow cone maker looks quite grainy, so be prepared for that.
- Electric red plastic shaved ice maker with a transparent ice container.
- Regular ice cubes fit into the hopper chute.
- Makes shaved ice for 4 to 5 cones in about a minutes.
- Automatic shut-off when the hopper handle is raised.
- Attached shelf – one on each side – holds two snow cone cups.
- Comes with four reusable BPA-free cones and 12 paper cones; also a recipe book.
- Crushed rather than shaved ice.
The Cuisinart SCM-10P1 Snow Cone Maker makes crushed ice, especially for snow cones. The shelves for holding the cone cups come in handy when you’re juggling making three or four at a time.
I like the safety feature that shuts off the machine when the intake hopper is open. Plus the transparent collector bin so you can immediately see if you have enough crushed ice made for all the eagerly waiting snow cone lovers.
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Manual Ice Crushers
4. Nuvantee Ice Crusher
Best Pick – Manual
The Nuvantee Ice Crusher is a manual ice machine to which you provide the energy to crush the ice by turning the hand crank. This is a zinc alloy construction with permanent stainless steel blades so you need to wash the unit as one piece. Its chrome plating serves as protection from rust and corrosion.
The manual crank is easy to turn and the ice crusher stays put on your work surface due to the four non-slip feet. You can customise the size of your ice chips by how much you turn the crank – keep on crushing for smaller ice particles. Some of the ice gets stuck between the blades if you use too many ice cubes at one – so limit the amount of ice you crush in any session. If the blades do become stuck, just reverse the turning of the crank to reverse the blade direction and then start up again in the correct direction.
- Sleek manual ice crusher for a variety of drinks.
- Four small non-slip legs keeps the model upright and stable.
- Made from zinc alloy with chrome plating for light weight and rust resistance.
- Carbon steel 430 blade is rust proof and sharp for a long time.
- Manual crank handle is easy to turn.
- Customise your crushed ice by simply stopping turning the handle.
- Large capacity for all sizes of ice cubes.
- Ice scoop included.
- Dimensions: 15cm (diameter) and 25cm (height).
- Lifetime money back guarantee.
- Handle/crank is not detachable.
- Ice can get stuck between the blades.
The Nuvantee Ice Crusher is a reliable manual ice crusher in which you determine how crushed or shaved you want the resulting ice chips to be. Neither the blade nor the handle is detachable from the unit so you have to clean and wipe out the unit as a whole – just be careful around the sharp blade. The chrome plating, stainless steel blade and you wiping the unit dry after each use keep it from rusting up.
The Nuvantee Ice Crusher is my choice for Best Ice Crusher/Shaver – Manual in this review.
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5. Bar drinkstuff Manual Ice Crusher
Best Budget Pick
The bar@drinkstuff Manual Ice Crusher is a small ice crusher with six rotating metal teeth to crush the ice. This means that the intake hopper is quite small so you’re a bit limited to how many ice cubes you can put through at once. However, the collection bin is a fair size so you won’t have to keep emptying it to make room for more crushed ice.
The crank handle is on the side of the unit and is easy to turn. You don’t have much control over how small the ice is crushed as it falls through to the bin once it’s small enough to pass through underneath the teeth. The ice in the sales photos doesn’t look fine enough for snow cones but more of a texture to add to cocktails and other beverages.
You do need to wash this ice crusher by hand. Or just wipe it dry at the end of your ice-crushing task.
- White manual ice crusher made from plastic.
- Six rotating metal teeth to crush ice cubes.
- Semi-transparent plastic container receives the crushed ice.
- Extremely easy to use.
- Four suction feed to hold tight to the counter-top.
- Crank handle mounted on the side of the unit.
- Ice not fine enough for a snow cone.
- Small feed hopper.
- A little flimsy.
The bar@drinkstuff White Plastic Ice Crusher is our selection for Best Budget Pick of Ice Crusher/Shaver in our article. It’s a good choice for those who don’t need to crush much ice at any given time and want a small unit that sits out of the way in the corner of their bar or bar cart.
Buyer’s Guide For Ice Crushers/Ice Shavers
An ice crusher and an ice shaver have basically the same task – to break down larger slabs/cubes of ice into smaller pieces. Ice crushers usually break the ice into larger pieces than ice shavers. But then the confusion starts.
My Buyer’s Guide introduces a few points that help you make the best decision for your purchase.
The problem with deciding which ice maker to buy
There are no standard measurements to determine the difference between crushed and shaved ice. Crushed ice is usually used in drinks such as cocktails or soft beverages while shaved ice is found in slushies and in some people’s snow cones. Other people prefer a more snow-like consistency to the ice in their snow cones.
And when you add in the muddled-up language that marketing people use to describe the kind of ice produced by their ice makers, it’s difficult to know which ice crusher/shaver is for you.
What do you need the ice for?
There are several categories of use for crushed or shaved ice. Here are the main ones – all (non-alcoholic or otherwise)
- To add to a drink.
- As an ice bed to put foods or delicate foods (such as shellfish) on in the summer.
- To create a Slurpee.
- To make snow cones; but keep in mind that people have different ideas of what this ice should be like, from ice shards through to snow-like granules.
If you need ice for all of the above, look for an ice crusher/shaver with which you can customise the ice you produce (see next section). Otherwise, ice crushers are best for the first two uses and an ice shaver works well for the last two (yes, there’s some overlap). We also include a dedicated snow cone maker that makes shaved ice for that purpose.
Electric or manual?
We review both electric and manual ice machines in this article. Here’s a quick summary of the advantages of each:
- No manual labour; just flip the switch
- Can produce a lot of ice in a short time
- Sometimes has an ice texture feature, offering you a choice of coarse (larger) or fine (smaller) ice particles.
- Usually smaller than electric models.
- Models with central blades allow you to churn the ice as long as you need to make it as fine as you want.
- Can run the crushed/shaved ice through a second time for finer pieces.
- Online reviewers report that using ice frozen into a hockey pick shape gives a different texture to the crushed ice than using ice cubes. Experiment.
How much ice do you need and how often?
If you just need small amounts of ice occasionally, then a manual ice crusher could be enough for you. For more ice more often, an electric ice crusher saves you the manual labour of making sure your guests’ drinks are cold enough.
Whichever ice crusher or shaver you choose, your summer and dinner parties will be all the better for having the correct style and amount of ice available quickly. The variety of models we review covers the range from small models for just one or two drinks to a large size model that produces enough crushed ice for your largest party.
My Best Pick – Electric is the LIVIVO Electric Ice Crusher. Choose whether you want coarse or fine ice just by turning a dial.
My Best Pick – Manual is the Nuvantee Ice Crusher. You can decide how small you want your ice shards and this chrome-plated, zinc alloy unit is durable.
And to have a ready supply of ice for your ice crusher, check out our recommendations in the 5 Best Electric Ice Makers – Quick Cold Drinks review.
Last update on 2022-03-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API