Best Sonic Ice Machines & Nugget Ice Makers | Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

sonic-ice-machines-and-nugget-ice-makersAre you looking for a convenient ice machine for your home, office, or outdoor adventures?

You’ve come to the right place because we’ve put together a lengthy guide to help you choose the best sonic ice machine on the market! Why sonic ice, you may ask? Well, they don’t call it the best kind of ice for no reason!

Sonic ice or nugget-shaped ice is one of the most popular types of ice because of its round and smooth edges. This kind of ice is perfect for refreshing your drinks because it is smooth, so it won’t hurt the corners of your mouth while drinking. This ice is also hollow in the middle, which allows it to float inside the drink without affecting the flavor.

You can learn more about this type of ice below in our frequently asked questions section or the informational guide. For now, the main question is how to choose the best sonic ice machine, assuming that you want to get the best value for your money?

Well, we’ve done all the research for you, so you don’t have to spend hours scrolling through Amazon and other retailers to find what you need. We found a total of 15 best sonic ice machines currently available on the market, as well as some additional models you check out in the sections below.

When choosing the sonic ice machine for your needs, consider factors such as price to quality ratio, capacity, and the overall design of the machine. Some of the finest sonic ice machines out there have intelligent features such as sensors and indicator lights, as well as automatic shut – off abilities.

However, the most important thing you need to check is the storage capacity – that is, how much ice the machine can store at one time, as well as how much ice it can produce in 24 hours. An average of 26 pounds of ice per day is more than enough for non-commercial use at home or in an office space.

An ice maker of this size will be enough to cover your needs if you’re hosting an event or a party. However, if you are looking for an ice maker to suit the needs of a bar or a restaurant, look for machines with higher capacity rather than these portable solutions.

Table of Contents

Best Sonic Ice Machines & Nugget Ice Makers Comparison Table:

ImageProductWeight of Ice Produced per 24 Hours (pounds) Ice Production CycleWater Reservoir (liters)Max. Weight of ice in BinPricing
Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker24About twenty minutes-3Check On Amazon
hOmeLabs Portable Ice Maker Machine for Countertop26About eight (8) minutes2.21.5Check On Amazon
NewAir Portable Ice Maker Countertop28Between six (6) and fifteen (15) minutes--Check On Amazon
COSTWAY Ice Maker for Countertop26About six (6) minutes2.2-Check On Amazon
Vermi Countertop Ice Maker36About nine (9) minutes2.21.5Check On Amazon
Frigidaire EFIC103 Ice Maker Machine26About six (6) minutes-2.2Check On Amazon
EdgeStar IP210RED Portable Countertop Ice Maker28About ten (10) minutes-2.5Check On Amazon
IKICH Portable Ice Maker Machine26About six (6) minutes2-Check On Amazon
IGLOO ICEB26WH Automatic Portable Countertop Ice Maker26About seven (7) minutes-2Check On Amazon
Euhomy Countertop Ice Maker Machine26About nine (9) minutes2.21.54Check On Amazon
Colzer Countertop Ice Maker26About fifteen (15) minutes2.21.7Check On Amazon
Tavata Countertop Portable Ice Maker Machine26About eight (8) minutes21.1Check On Amazon
YongTong 33LB Ice Maker33About eight (8) minutes3.32.2Check On Amazon
Costzon Commercial Ice Maker110Between twelve (12) and eighteen (18) minutes-33Check On Amazon
Della Portable Ice Maker26About six (6) minutes1.8- Check On Amazon

With that said, here are the 15 best sonic ice machines on the market, along with plenty of valuable information that will help you choose the best product for your needs!

Best Sonic Ice Machines & Nugget Ice Makers Reviews:

#1 Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker

The first sonic ice machine on our list is the Opal Countertop nugget ice maker that produces the kind of ice known as the “good one.” This is a relatively affordable ice maker that can get the job done easily without too much hassle and maintenance.

The machine is quick and powerful, as it can produce up to 24 lbs of ice in 24 hours. Its storage bin holds 3lbs of ice at a time and, since it does not serve as a freezer, you will have to empty the bin or put the ice in the fridge to continue the production cycles.

What makes this sonic ice maker special is the fact that it is equipped with Bluetooth, meaning you can operate the machine using your smartphone and the FirstBuild application. Moreover, the machine features a sensor that prevents it from overfilling.

This is a portable ice maker solution, meaning it does not require any water connection. It is also important to mention that this ice maker recycles water by returning it to the reservoir after the ice melts.

This same water is made into ice again, meaning you won’t have to spend as much water as you would on some other machines. You can also choose to attach an additional Opal side tank to increase storage capacity by three times.

Overall, the Opal ice maker machine comes with a water filter that keeps the ice clean and odorless. It is easy to install and maintain along the way and it also comes with a one year warranty in case you face any issues.

  • Portable – no water hookup needed
  • Affordable ice maker
  • Quick and powerful
  • Sensors against overfilling
  • Bluetooth equipped
  • Easy to install
  • Simple and convenient – clean easily
  • One year warranty included
  • No cons for this one

#2 hOmeLabs Portable Ice Maker Machine for Countertop

Next up is the hOmeLabs portable ice maker machine that can produce a little over 26 lbs of ice per day. This machine gets a batch of ice cubes ready in little under eight minutes, meaning you will always have fresh ice coming out.

This ice maker also comes with an ice scoop that will make it easier to remove the ice from the bin once it is ready.

Most importantly, the maker works quickly and eliminates the need for large and noisy machines. It makes cylinder-shaped cubes that have no taste or odor.

Moreover, this ice maker is built to avoid unwanted buildups or over-freezing. It features a low-energy compressor, which makes it energy-efficient at best.

Most importantly, this ice maker is so easy to use that all you need to do is plug it into an outlet and press a few buttons. It is recommended to rinse the machine and dry it off after each use to make sure it lasts longer.

This ice maker is completely ETL certified, meaning you don’t have to worry about the safety of its components. On top of that, it features an auto-shutoff sensor and comes with a two-year limited warranty.

The company also offers a money back guarantee in case you’re not satisfied with the product after you receive it. Overall, this small but powerful ice maker is surely going to get the job done just right. However, keep in mind that it does not keep the ice frozen after production.

  • Energy efficient
  • Easy to use and maintain
  • Good ice capacity
  • New cycle begins every 8 minutes
  • Built to avoid freezing and overfilling
  • Smooth and tasteless ice cubes
  • Comes with a two year warranty
  • Money back guarantee
  • Portable and convenient
  • The ice melts quickly if not stored in a freezer

#3 NewAir Portable Ice Maker Countertop

The next model is the NewAir portable ice maker designed for countertops and small surfaces. Featuring a compact and convenient design, this ice maker machine can produce up to 28 lbs of ice per day. It allows you to choose between three ice sizes, including small, medium, and large.

Thus, you can customize the production to your needs, depending on what you’re planning to use the ice for. This ice maker is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, and it comes with a one year warranty in case something happens in the first year of using the product.

Moreover, the ice maker features a side-mounted drain that makes it easy to clean up and maintain the machine. The ice-making cycles range from 6 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the ice you choose.

Moreover, the machine can serve as a freestanding ice maker or be built into a counter, allowing you to save space in the kitchen. It features indicator lights that will let you know when the water reservoir is empty and when you need to add more water or empty the ice basket.

Moreover, the NewAir ice maker comes with an ice scoop and a convenient bucket that makes it easy to remove the ice once it is made.

  • Portable and compact
  • Three ice sizes available
  • One year warranty included
  • Side-mounted drain for easier cleanup
  • Indicator lights available
  • Comes with an ice scoop
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
  • 28 lbs of ice per day – great capacity
  • No cons for this one

#4 COSTWAY Ice Maker for Countertop

Moving on, we have the COSTWAY ice maker countertop machine that will get you some high-quality ice in less than six minutes. This machine is designed to be efficient in every way, to save time, power, and space at the same time.

Even though the manufacturer claims that the machine operates at low noise, it is still louder than usual, which can be considered a downside. However, the loud noise isn’t that big of a problem once you consider how efficient the machine really is.

For instance, it can produce up to 26lbs of ice per day, and it features a transparent window through which you can track the production process and check the ice level.

You don’t have to keep checking the window all the time because a special LED indicator light will let you know once the ice bucket is full or when you need to add more water to the reservoir.

Moreover, this ice maker machine features a corrosion-resistant condenser that will keep the inside and the outside of the ice maker fully rust-free. The large water tank can fit up to 2.2 liters of water at one time, meaning you won’t have to refill the machine so often.

Most importantly, the convenient control panel is simple and easy to use and the machine is fully ETL certified. It produces round and smooth bullet-shaped ice cubes with all of its components being fully made from food grade materials.

  • Compact and portable
  • 26lbs of ice per day
  • Transparent window for monitoring the production process
  • LED indicator lights alert you when necessary
  • 2 L water tank
  • Eco-friendly
  • ETL Certified and safe to use
  • Simple and convenient control panel
  • Louder than average, might be a problem for some users

#5 Vermi Countertop Ice Maker

Next up is the Vermi countertop ice maker that produces up to 26 pounds of ice per day with a fresh batch of ice ready every nine minutes.

This portable ice maker is made of high-quality stainless steel material, and it comes with a convenient ice bucket and a scoop. With a water reservoir with 2.2 liters of capacity, you won’t have to refill the machine every few minutes.

Instead, you can initiate the production process and go about your day while the Vermi ice maker gets the job done. This energy-efficient ice maker won’t only take care of energy consumption, but it will also reuse the water from the melted ice by returning it into the reservoir.

Moreover, the Vermi countertop ice maker is fully ETL, and FDA approved, meaning it is safe to use on a daily basis. It also has the common auto-shutoff feature and a set of warning lights that will let you know if the bucket is overfilling or if it needs more water.

Keep in mind that this ice maker does not serve as a freezer, meaning you will have to store the ice into the fridge if you don’t plan to use it right away.

Overall, this ice maker offers convenient and intelligent features from quick ice production to energy efficiency. Besides, its modern stainless steel finish will easily blend into any kitchen interior.

  • Ice ready in nine minutes
  • Capable of producing up to 26 pounds of ice per day
  • Portable and compact
  • Large 2.2 liter water reservoir
  • Reuses the water from the melted ice – efficient use of resources
  • ETL and FDA approved
  • Indicator lights and automatic shut-off features available
  • Modern design
  • You might have to throw away the first one or two batches of ice until the machine cleans itself out.

#6 Frigidaire EFIC103 Ice Maker Machine

Next up is the Frigidaire ice maker machine made of heavy-duty steel and food-grade components. This ice maker can produce up to 26 lbs of ice per day, offering three different sizes, including small, medium, and large.

Its ice bucket does not serve as a freezer, but it has a great capacity of 2.2 pounds, which is more than enough to cool several drinks at a larger event.

Each ice making cycle lasts around six minutes, meaning this ice machine can get the job done quite quickly. It features high-end cooling technology that creates smooth and clear ice without any odor or flavors.

Moreover, the Frigidaire ice maker machine features a simple LED display with an electronic control panel for easier use and production monitoring. The oversized ice bucket stores plenty of ice and makes it easy to remove the ice cubes once the production cycle is complete.

Overall, this ice maker is fairly simple to use, all you have to do is add water and press the start button after you choose one out of three available ice cube sizes. The only downside to this machine could be the fact that it is a bit nosier than average.

  • Heavy duty stainless steels
  • Three ice cube sizes available – small, medium, and large
  • Quick production cycles of six minutes
  • Oversized bucket with great capacity of 2.2 pounds of ice at one time
  • Convenient LED panel ad light indicators
  • Easy to use and control
  • Simple and hassle-free maintenance
  • Loud noise when the ice drops into the bucket – might be a problem for some users

#7 EdgeStar IP210RED Portable Countertop Ice Maker

Next up is the EdgeStar portable countertop ice maker with a modern and sleek design. It looks good in any kitchen with modern elements, and it can stand freely or be installed into the cabinet if necessary.

This portable ice maker can create ice in under 10 minutes and, even though there are plenty of ice machines that can operate even faster, this EdgeStar ice maker offers features that make it worth consideration.

For instance, this portable ice maker machine is a good choice for boats, RVs, and other outdoor environments. It can produce up to 28 pounds of ice per day in three different sizes.

Besides the great production capabilities, the ice maker can hold up to 2.5 pounds of ice at a time in its oversized bucket. Keep in mind that the bucket only holds the ice, and it doesn’t keep it frozen, meaning the ice will probably melt if you don’t use it right away or store it in a fridge.

Overall, the EdgeStar portable countertop ice maker is very easy to control, and it features an innovative water-use design. Its efficient technology saves water by reusing the water from melted ice cubes and freezing it into new cubes.

On top of that, the machine is fairly lightweight, which makes it easy to carry around and store in small spaces.

  • Compact and portable design
  • Three ice cube sizes
  • Holds up to 2.5 pounds of ice at once
  • Easy to use and control
  • Lightweight
  • Large production capability – 28 pounds per day
  • Innovative water – use design – reuses the water from melted ice cubes to create more ice
  • Doesn’t require frequent refills
  • Good customer support from the manufacturer in case you have question or concerns about your unit
  • No cons for this one

#8 IKICH Portable Ice Maker Machine

Next up is the portable IKICH ice maker machine with intelligent features and modern design. This ice maker has a capacity of 26 pounds of ice per day. It comes with a fairly large ice basket and a free ice scoop made of BPA-free material.

Moreover, this ice maker features a large viewing window with a flip-top lid for easier access to the ice once it is made. The translucent design makes it fairly easy to clean and maintain the machine after each use, as its surfaces are resistant to dirt and dust particles.

This ice maker produces hollowed and bullet-shaped ice with smooth edges that won’t hurt your teeth. The machine features a high-density polyurethane foam layer for better heat insulation and more efficient performance.

By efficiently insulating the heat from the outside, the machine keeps the ice frozen for longer. However, it is important to mention that it does not serve as a freezer, meaning the ice will eventually melt. Besides low power consumption, the machine makes little to no noise, which makes it suitable for indoor use at home.

It also features a nickel-plated pure copper evaporator for stronger corrosion resistance, making its components fully rust-resistant. Overall, the ice machine can produce up to 9 pieces of ice every six minutes, meaning it creates more than one ice cube per minute.

  • Creates up to 26 lbs of ice
  • Includes an ice basket and scoop
  • Large viewing window and flip top lid
  • Large opening for easier access to the ice
  • Low noise and low power consumption
  • Fully rust-resistant
  • Efficiently isolates the heat
  • FDA approved for food-grade components and safety
  • Infrared sensors prevent overfilling
  • No cons for this one

#9 IGLOO ICEB26WH Automatic Portable Countertop Ice Maker

Next up is the IGLOO automatic and portable ice maker machine with a similar production capability as the previously mentioned model. This machine can produce up to 26 pounds of ice per day, meaning it can make nine cubes in seven minutes of time, which equals to one production cycle.

The ice maker comes with an ice scoop and a removable basket that makes it a lot easier to clean after use. Moreover, its modern control panel and LED system showcase all controls in one convenient environment, making it easy to understand the machine without any previous experience.

When it comes to ice cube sizes, this ice machine can produce two kinds of ice cubes – small and large ones.

Its ice basket features a decent capacity of 2 pounds of ice at a time. Since the machine works quite quickly, you will have to either use the ice or put it in a freezer to continue the production cycles without overfilling the basket.

The transparent lid allows you to check the remaining capacity in the basket in case it needs to be emptied. Either way, the LED indicator will alert you as soon as you need to empty the machine.

Let’s not forget that this ice maker features a convenient drain plug that lets you drain the water quickly and easily. This allows for easier and safer cleaning after use.

  • Capacity of 26 lbs per day
  • Produces 9 cubes in seven minutes
  • Convenient LCD display with indicator lights
  • Ice cubes in two different sizes
  • The machine works quickly and efficiently
  • Transparent lid allows you to check the remaining capacity
  • Convenient drain plug for easier removal of water from the machine
  • The ice melts quickly (even though the machine doesn’t serve as a freezer, it doesn’t have a good heat isolation system as some other models)

#10 Euhomy Countertop Ice Maker Machine

Next up is the Euhomy countertop ice maker machine that also produces an average of 26 pounds of ice per day. One ice production cycle in this machine lasts approximately 9 minutes.

Just like the majority of ice makers out there, this model also comes with a removable basket and a free ice scoop for easier access to the ice.

The machine is energy-efficient, and it doesn’t waste too much energy even when running continuously for several hours. Moreover, it features a very decent water tank with a capacity of 2.2 liters, whereas the ice bucket has a capacity of 1.54 pounds.

The machine produces smooth and rounded bullet-shaped ice cubes in two sizes – small and large. On top of that, it features simple controls and a modern design that makes it easy to use without having to check the instruction manual too many times.

The ice maker has a transparent window through which you can check the remaining capacity of the basket. You can also rely on the indicator lights to inform you when the bucket needs to be emptied, or the reservoir needs to be refilled.

It is also important to mention that this ice maker comes with a one year limited warranty, even though this manufacturer does not have the best customer support service out there.

  • Good production capaciy
  • 9 minute ice making cycle
  • Energy efficient
  • Produces bullet-shaped ice cubes
  • Modern design
  • Transparent window to check the ice making process
  • Light indicators
  • Convenient control panel
  • One year limited warranty
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Poor customer support service – not very responsive

#11 Colzer Countertop Ice Maker

Next up is the Colzer countertop ice maker machine with the same production capacity of 26 pounds of ice per day. This machine operates a little slower compared to the previous models as it puts out nine cubes of ice approximately every 15 minutes.

However, it does feature a decent water tank with a capacity of 1.8 pounds. Its high-quality sensor prevents the machine from overflowing and shuts it down in case the bucket has reached its storage capacity.

What is interesting about this ice maker machine is that it supports both pure and mineral water, just in case you want to add a unique touch to your ice cubes.

Moreover, the machine features a classic digital display with an easy control system. The flip-top lid allows easier access to the ice, while a thick layer of foam insulates the external heat to prevent the ice from melting too quickly.

The ice maker comes with a convenient BPA-free plastic scoop and a removable ice bucket with a capacity of 1.7 lbs. It also has a drain plug installed at the bottom for safer and easier cleaning so you can drain all the water from the machine while it’s not in use.

Most importantly, the ice maker is not too noisy and it comes with a one year limited warranty along with good customer support services.

  • Good storage capacity and production capabilities
  • Digital display for easier controls
  • Transparent window and flip-top lid
  • Foam layer isolation
  • BPA-free ice scoop included
  • Removable basket for easier cleaning
  • One year warranty included
  • Good customer support service
  • Convenient drain plug on the bottom
  • Quiet operation and a sturdy design
  • Operates slightly slower compared to some models

#12 Tavata Countertop Portable Ice Maker Machine

Moving on, the next sonic ice maker on our list is the Tavata countertop ice maker machine with a unique function that makes it stand out among all other models in our review. Namely, this ice maker machine has a special self-cleaning function that makes maintenance easier than you can imagine.

For starters, the machine is capable of producing nine ice cubes every 8 minutes, which equals to about 1.1 lbs of ice per hour. The machine works fast, and it’s easy to control via the convenient LCD display in the front.

All you have to do is turn the machine on, fill the water reservoir, choose the ice size, and hit go!

As we mentioned, the self-cleaning feature really makes this ice maker stand out. In areas with hard water, it is common for minerals to stick to the components of the machine and hinder its performance.

This can slow the machine down or even cause the ice to have a bad flavor or a color. However, this machine has a self-cleaning function that will make sure nothing builds up inside the ice maker.

All you have to do is add water and click the cleaning button to get the process started. Overall, this ice maker produces harder and denser ice cubes, which means they will melt more slowly compared to thinner ice cubes from other machines.

  • Innovative self-cleaning function
  • 9 cubes in eight minutes
  • LCD display for convenient controls
  • Easy to use
  • Very simple maintenance
  • Operates quickly and quietly
  • Produces harder and denser ice cubes
  • The cubes won’t melt as fast as they do in other ice maker machines
  • Modern and compact design for full portability and convenience
  • No cons for this one

#13 YongTong 33LB Ice Maker

Next up is a slightly larger ice maker machine with a capacity of 33 pounds of ice per day. With the largest capacity on the list, this ice maker is suitable for those who need larger quantities of ice on a daily basis. One ice production cycle in this machine lasts up to eight minutes.

The machine also allows you to choose between three sizes of ice cubes, which is convenient for planning your drinks. All of the controls are located on a classic LED display where you can monitor the production process.

The machine also comes with a removable ice bucket and a free ice scoop for easier access to the ice.

The removable ice bucket is easy to clean, and it can hold up to 1kg of ice per day. This ice maker also has a larger water tank with a capacity of 3.2 liters. It is a very powerful machine that conveniently freezes ice every few minutes into perfect bullet-shaped cubes.

All of its components are BPA-free and made of food-grade material, which is an important feature to keep in mind. The machine also comes with a one-year limited warranty, and the manufacturer offers a responsive and friendly customer support service.

Overall, if you need an ice machine with larger capacity, consider this one as one of the best options out there. Also check out the next model we have for you, which also has a higher productivity level.

  • Large 32 pounds per day capacity
  • LED display
  • Removable ice bucket
  • 2 liters water tank capacity
  • Comes with a BPA-free plastic ice scoop
  • Bullet-shaped ice with smooth edges
  • Indicator lights available
  • Simple control system
  • Three sizes of ice cubes available
  • No cons for this one

#14 Costzon Commercial Ice Maker

We’ve finally come to the last ice maker on our list, the Costzon commercial ice maker. This machine is called commercial because it is made to satisfy larger requirements and provide more ice on-demand for bars and restaurants. You can also use it at home easily if you need a lot more ice on a daily basis.

This high-quality sonic ice maker machine produces up to 110 pounds of ice per day. Featuring a free-standing design, this ice maker comes with a high-quality ice scoop and a removable basket for easier cleaning.

When it comes to its storage capacity, the machine can hold up to 33 pounds of ice at one time.

One ice production cycle in this ice maker lasts between 12 and 18 minutes. The result of each cycle is hard bullet-shaped ice cubes that don’t melt so quickly. Moreover, even though this is a machine with a higher capacity for commercial use, it is still very simple and easy to operate.

The light indicators will let you know once you need to take action. Other than that, simply hit start, and the Costzon ice maker will get the job done.

It is also important to mention that this ice maker features an automatic shut off sensor that will prevent the machine from overflowing or causing any unwanted disasters.

The ice maker comes with one 120 inch waterline with a quick connector to the faucet, as well as one 80 inch pipe for water drainage. Let’s not forget that this commercial ice maker is backed by a one year warranty and a great customer support service.

  • Produces up to 110 pounds of ice per day
  • Very large storage capacity
  • 12 to 18 minute ice making cycles
  • Easy to use and set up
  • Energy efficient
  • Comes with an ice scoop and waterline connections
  • Backed by a one year limited warranty
  • The manufacturer offers great extended customer support service
  • No cons for this one

#15 Della Portable Ice Maker

Next up is the Della portable ice maker with a high capacity of 26 pounds of ice per day. This premium countertop ice maker is suitable for small places and offices, including kitchens, homes, corporate buildings, and even outdoor environments such as boats.

The machine is quick and efficient, and it produces bullet-shaped ice cubes within a few minutes. Moreover, this ice maker features a soft-touch panel where all the controls can be accessed easily.

The indicator lights will let you know if there is anything you need to do during the production process. The simple LCD display makes it easy to follow the cycles and keep track of the ice production.

This convenient ice maker is fully portable, and it doesn’t require any complex installation. It allows you to choose between two ice sizes, including small and large ice cubes.

The large storage capacity allows you to fill up to 1.8 liters of water into the tank, so you don’t have to refill it during the production time. The Della portable ice maker works quickly and operates in a quiet manner so it won’t disturb your peace at home or in an office.

The machine also features an automatic shut off sensor and it provides a large output of ice, which makes it a good option for those who need an ice maker for events. Let’s not forget that the Della portable ice maker also comes with a convenient food-grade ice scoop!

  • 26 pounds of ice per day
  • Premium countertop ice maker
  • Removable ice bin and ice scoop included
  • Soft-touch panel
  • Convenient indicator lights
  • Automatic shut off feature
  • Large output suitable for events
  • Quick and quiet
  • Two ice sizes available
  • Large storage capacity
  • No cons for this one

Sonic Ice Machines & Nugget Ice Makers Informational Guide Section

What kind of ice is sonic ice?

Sonic style ice is a type of ice that is often referred to as ice nuggets, pellets, pebbles, chunks, and similar terms. It is chewable, softer ice, that comes in very small pieces, sometimes even appears as if it was shredded or grated. It is usually used to cool drinks, whether they be alcoholic or non-alcoholic.

The idea of sonic ice nuggets has managed to gain popularity all over the world, and it is now being loved and used by millions of cold beverage fans, and they have even crowned it and named it the “caviar” of all ice, due to its refined shape, use, and taste (yes, it tastes like water – but better!).

How is sonic ice made?

As you may assume, nugget or pellet ice is quite different from your regular ice cubes. It is not just the end product that looks different, but the entire process of ice making differs from the mainstream.

Although the said process requires more or less the same amount of time and effort, as well as parts to produce sonic and regular ice cubes, nuggets are special.

They do not call it the caviar of ice for nothing. The ice-making starts off with water being run through a refrigerator-cooled metal cylinder. The water then begins to freeze on the sides of the metal cylinder, creating small ice scraps on the sides.

Simultaneously, the interior walls of the said cylinder, an auger that is inside of it, starts to scrape the ice and push it towards the top of the auger. And now, for the part that makes the actual nuggets.

If the process was to end now, you would get a bowl of flakey ice, ready for your dessert. However, it is nuggets we desire. In order for the machine to produce the pellets, the ice flakes are pushed through the tube and compacted into a piece of a long precious ice nugget that is then naturally broken off at the very end of the tube, into small pieces.

Some machines, however, have a blade that cuts the long ice piece into small nuggets of roughly the same size and shape. The nuggets are then collected and combined with your favorite drinks!

Why is sonic ice so good?

Well, any sonic ice lover can tell you that sonic ice is the best option for your drink, but many don’t quite understand what it is about it that’s so special. Let us help you out with this. Read the next paragraph and get to know the wonders of nugget ice!

Sonic ice floats at the top of your beverage as well as regular ice cubes, but nuggets distribute better, as they are far lighter and airier than regular ice. It also does not melt as quickly as regular ice cubes, as well as crushed ice, because of the fact that nuggets stay intact for a longer period.

Moreover, have you ever chewed on an ice cube without breaking your teeth? That’s what we thought. Ice nuggets are extremely safe as well as very satisfying to chew on. It is almost like chewing on water candy- fresh, cool, and great.

What’s the difference between crushed and nugget ice?

Believe it or not, the difference leads us to scientific explanations, but we’ll first be very general about the topic. To kick off with the difference in appearance. They seem pretty similar at first sight, right? But when you take a closer look, you will see that nugget ice is, well- small nuggets.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg (no pun intended). The way they look is, of course, caused by the way by which they were made. The process of making crushed and nugget ice is very different.

Crushed ice is pretty much what its name stands for- regular ice cubes that are crushed, whereas nugget ice is produced by compressing shredded ice and then cutting it into pebbles (more on the process of making sonic ice under question 1).

Lastly, the effect- because they’re produced in that way, this makes the nuggets lighter, smaller, and more air-filled than the regular cubes of ice.

What this means for you is that nuggets will cover more surface area of your glass than crushed ice will, making it melt slower and distribute the coolness in an equal manner.

This is supported by scientific research that claims this effect happens due to the fact that air pockets within the nuggets create and effect of insulation.

What are the best nugget ice-making machines?

In the following section, we’ll mention some of the most popular and widely used sonic ice-making machines, as well as include brief overviews of what you can expect from them. You’ve already gone through our list of best sonic ice machines, but having some additional options won’t hurt!

#1 Opal Small Nugget Ice Maker

This nugget maker monster is a best seller and a trusty companion for your cocktail perfecting technique. It is very compact, meaning that you can always find an empty corner to put it in (no space lacking excuses!). It is also easily portable, which means you will be able to move it from one place to another effortlessly and on your own.

It is also pretty cool and techy. It has a bunch of smart features, including Bluetooth control (one of our favorites). With Bluetooth control, you can control your nugget maker with an app you install on your mobile device.

Ice nuggets are only a click away and in just 15 minutes. It also has a sensor that senses when your glass is underneath it. The bin holds around 3 pounds of ice.

#2 Scotsman SCN60PA-1SS Under counter Unit

This nugget ice maker has a more sophisticated, old school vibe to it. With its classy, simple, but effective design, its compactness and simplicity of use, it will be like love at first sight.

This model has very good insulation, meaning that your nuggets will last longer. Additionally, it has a self-closing door and light within itself, plus an installed drain pump- it basically cleans up after itself.

Lastly, this baby can produce up to 88 pounds of ice, making it a perfect addition to any store or bar!

#3 Ice-O-Matic GEMU090 Pearl Self-Contained Ice Machine

This quiet, under-counter nugget maker is ideal for smaller spaces. However, don’t let its size fool you! Although it’s smaller than it’s ice-making cousins, this bad boy makes top-notch nuggets- one of the best you can get!

#4 Bourkeliving Snow Flake Ice Making Machine

If you believe that there isn’t an ice-making machine that is both easy to use and can hold up a bunch of nuggets, let us just inform you that you are very wrong.

The Bourkeliving Snow Flake Ice Making Machine is not just super simple to use, but it also starts the ice making process very quickly so that you can get your pebbles in no-time. Another awesome feature is that it holds up to 11 pounds of ice, and can make around 44 lbs a day- and you get a scoop inside!

#5 Manitowoc CNF-0201A-L

If you are looking for a high-quality smaller nugget maker- look no further! This ice maker can hold up to 10 pounds of ice, and produce a staggering 315 lbs of ice pebbles in a day!

It also has a very high quality and storage capacity rate. Its design is very modern and attractive, so it can fit in any type of surroundings. It is also useful that this machine also dispenses water alongside ice, so you get two in one.

#6 Igloo ICE103 + Manual Ice Crusher

This bad-boy gives you control over the texture, shape, and size of your ice nuggets. It is very portable and compact, meaning that it can fit in pretty much anywhere, it’s very convenient for smaller spaces, as it comes in three sizes (small, medium, and large).

The ice-making machine can hold up to 2.2 pounds of ice as well and is very popular amongst bartenders that keep it on countertops.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make sonic ice at home?

Technically, it is more than possible for you to make your own home made sonic ice nuggets. However, you need to keep in mind that if you want the real deal, you cannot but a regular ice making machine, because you will not get what you wanted, but rather just regular old ice cubes. Ice nuggets and other types of ice are very differently made, so if you really want the properly made, high quality sonic ice, you will need to look for the appropriate machine. So, this being said, you now realize that the first step you need to go through is purchasing a proper sonic ice making machine. There are several types, but the most famous is the Scotsman ice making machine. Its features, as well as more options for ice makers can be found in the question above. Regarding the very process of making sonic ice nuggets, that was covered in the first question.

Do any refrigerators make sonic ice nuggets?

Of course there are fridges that can make sonic ice nuggets! Although they are usually produced and sold for commercial purposes and businesses, like bars and restaurants, they are also available for purchases for personal and individual needs. There are two types of nugget making fridges: freestanding models and countertop models- depending on what you will use them for, or how much space in your room you have for it. There are fridges that can make some 30 pounds of ice a day, and some that can make over a thousand daily, all of course depending on the capacity of the model, as well as your requirement and desire. Just as the regular nugget ice making machines, fridges that have this feature also have a built -in draining pump that clears up the excess water within the container. When it comes to the installation and requirements of the fridge itself, they are pretty basic, and just somewhat more "needy" than your regular house fridge. In order for your brand new nugget maker to function properly, you'll need to give it air, water, electricity, as well as a drain. Your new baby will if given the proper attention and care, serve you and you close ones your precious ice nuggets. Regarding the air that it needs, it is because within the machine there is a fan that makes sure the air does not get warm and melt the ice. Water is pretty obvious- can't make ice without H2O. It has to be plugged into an electrical socket, and the drain is there to connect it to a drain tube that will run to a sewer.

How do you keep the ice nugget maker clean?

The first thing that you need to be aware of is the fact that you will need to clean your ice making machine on a regular basis for it to work properly and have a longer lasting life serving you delicious ice nuggets. By regular basis, we do not mean every week, or even every month. Two times a year you will need to commit a bit of your time to clean up your precious sonic ice maker and prolong its life. Now, on to the cleaning instructions. The manufacturer of your chosen ice-maker had most likely provided a recommendation for a cleaning supply. Using the said recommended cleaner, scrub off the scale (if any) with a nylon pad for scrubbing. It is also a good idea to sanitize the container biannually as well, using a solution of water and bleach, if the manufacturer had not provided recommendations for any other sanitizing supply. If you desire so, you can clean up your ice making machine more frequently, as well use sanitizing supplies, but only with recommended or specialized cleaners. We do not advise using cleaners that are not usually used for this purpose, as some cleaners may be too strong or not strong enough to scrub off the scale off your container, and might harm the nickel plating.

Can I use vinegar to clean my ice maker?

When it comes to home remedies for cleaning your ice making machine, there are two safe options you can always turn to- water and bleach, and vinegar. So, to answer that question directly- yes, you can absolutely use vinegar as a solution for your problems. You have to know that vinegar is a far weaker acid than the specialized ones you buy in a store, so it will probably take a bit more time and effort to scrub everything off. You should follow the machine producer's cleaning instructions, so that you clean everything properly. After that is done, you should make a batch of ice and dispose of it, as it may contain some vinegar leftovers, and no one wants that in their drink. Go over your machine with a towel once more to make sure you got every last bit, and that should conclude your biannual ice maker cleaning routine. Make sure to wear a pair of gloves to protect your skin, and you are all set!

Is nugget ice bad for your teeth?

Regular ice cubes are known to be bad for your teeth. The coldness and hardness of the ice structure and intensity can cause fractures in your teeth, as well as initiate or worsen nerve sensitivity, or even irritate the gums. Moreover, the caused teeth cracks in the enamel can lead to more serious teeth fractures, as well as other dental issues like increased cavity over time. When it comes to nugget ice, it is factually far airier than its cubed siblings, so it is softer and easier to chew on. Their size also plays a role in that. However, as it is still decently hard and cold, we do not recommend chewing on it for safety reasons. All potential teeth damaging habits should be avoided, no matter how irresistible (and nugget ice is very irresistible - we know).

What can you use nugget ice for?

Our favorite ice type can be used for many purposes. Nugget ice is most often use in restaurants and bars, so you can guess what the most popular option for using nugget ice is. That's right- drinks! Nugget ice can be used for both alcoholic drinks and soft beverages. When it comes to alcoholic drinks, it is most commonly used for cocktails. The catch is that nugget ice is smaller and it melts slower, as it covers the drink's surface better, plus it looks very fancy and sophisticated. It can be used with other drinks as well, but it is not very common. In regards to soft and fizzy drinks, restaurants and fast food restaurants have started to use it as well for convenience, as well as better taste (smaller and melts slower, thus not allowing for the drink to lose taste). Moreover, you have probably heard of slushies, the ice cold drink flavored with different fruit and colors. Well, slushies use shredded and broken ice usually, but some producers use tiny ice nuggets. Recently nugget ice started being used in various desserts as well, so that also is an option. Nevertheless, whatever nugget ice is being used for, we are pretty sure it is great and tasty!

How much time do sonic ice machines need to make nugget ice?

Well, the larger your ice maker is, the more ice they will produce, and more ice needs more time, naturally. Therefore, it very much depends on the type of sonic ice maker you own. However, what we can say is that there are some ice makers that automatically produce your ice nuggets quicker than some others. One of the most famous ones for its speed is the Bourkeliving Snow Flake Ice Making Machine. The Opal Small Nugget Ice Maker is also quite quick and very modern, so always an absolute favorite among nugget ice enthusiasts. If you are looking for a smaller option that is also very quick at producing nuggets, then you should consider getting the Igloo ICE103 + Manual Ice Crusher.

In Conclusion To

This marks the end of our quite detailed list of reviews and a guide on how to find and buy the best sonic ice maker machines out there! If you’re in need of a high-quality ice maker for your home, office, or a commercial environment, we’ve got you covered!

Our list includes a wide variety of ice maker machines, from small and portable solutions to large commercial ice makers that can pump out over 100 pounds of ice per day.

Regardless of which machine you go for, keep in mind some of the most important factors when making a purchase. It is always best to go for products that are backed up by a manufacturer’s warranty just in case you come across an issue once the product arrives.

Don’t forget to look for the most important features and information such as production and storage capacities, automatic shut off features, and sensors and light indicators. With all that said, don’t forget to enjoy fresh and quickly made ice in the comfort of your very own home or office!

Let us know if you’ve liked our reviews so far and whether or not you have any questions. You can always refer to the frequently asked questions section or the informational guide located above. However, if we didn’t address your concern or answer your question anywhere in the article, please leave a comment below, and we will get back to you as soon as possible!

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