If you’re looking to start a shaved ice business, you’ll need to be prepared for serving hundreds of customers daily or even more. To be able to do that, you’ll need a proper and reliable commercial shaved ice machine.
The demand for these machines is getting bigger and bigger since shaved ice is a favorite dessert and refreshment for both kids and adults. Therefore, the market is flooded with different types of ice and snow cone makers, and it can be quite overwhelming picking the right one.
In this article, we will select and review the nine best commercial shaved ice machines that will allow you to produce top-of-the-line products fast and run your business smoothly.
1. Paragon Simply-A-Blast Snow Cone Machine
As the best-selling product from Paragon, this heavy-duty machine is perfect for commercial use. With its stainless steel and aluminum body, Paragon Simply-A-Blast is an extremely durable unit you can rely on.
It features one of the industry’s most powerful motors with 1/3-horsepower producing 500 pounds of chunk ice for cones per hour. Thanks to this element, you will be able to serve tons of customers, even during peak hours, without a glitch.
Its panels are made of tempered and clear glass, allowing you always to have a complete overview of your product. It’s also equipped with a removable slanted drain deck and a 36-inch drain tube, enabling you to manage the ice runoff with ease.
2. Nostalgia Snow Cone Cart
The 48-inch snow cone cart has a charming old-school cart design making it a perfect addition to your shop as well as bigger events and birthday parties. No matter what kind of party you’re having, you can be sure that this retro Nostalgia Snow Cone Cart will be its centerpiece.
But don’t let its cute appearance fool you. Wits its great capacity of 8 oz. and sharp stainless steel cutting blades, this ice shaver is exceptionally efficient and powerful. In only 90 seconds, it shaves 2 pounds of fine ice.
It has a clear chamber allowing you to watch the snow build-up from all angles. Plus, with the added snow cone holders, you can prep and mix in your favorite flavor syrups effortlessly. Under the ice chamber, there’s a storage space included for better organizing your supplies.
On top of all, it has huge wheels, so you can easily move it around for the best convenience.
3. Kofohon Electric Ice Crusher
This easy-to-use ice shaver model is simple and convenient for both home and commercial use. With Kofohon Ice Crusher, making your favorite ice dessert is quite straightforward. You just need to put ice in its hopper, push the handle, and the job is done!
Kofohon is quite a powerful machine making approximately 210 pounds of ice per hour. It’s a high-quality and low-cost ice shaver suitable for ice-cream shops, restaurants, bars, cafes, schools, and various events.
With its double stainless steel blades, you can enjoy fast shaving of fine snow-like ice and serve your customers with ease. There are also different blade extensions, shorter and longer. So, if you are a fan of more chunkier ice, use the longer extensions.
4. Vevor Commercial Electric Ice Shaver
Another dual-blade model with a high-rotating speed motor which produces up to 397 pound of ice per hour. With Vevor Commercial Electric Ice Shaver, you will be able to crush huge amounts of ice quickly and easily. Suitable for making milkshakes, smoothies, sashimi ice, and others, this snowball maker is a perfect choice for bars, restaurants, bigger parties, and home use as well.
It features an ergonomic handle and limit-switch for labor-free handling and safety. It also has a thick single-piece PC storage unit holding about nine gals of the product while keeping it frozen for extended periods of time.
With its stainless steel hopper and blades, this ice maker is a durable, sturdy, and suitable for long-term use.
5. Costzon Ice Shaver
Featuring a double-cutter head, this snow cone machine has a high-performance crushing power with about 440 pounds of ice per hour. You can crush any amount of ice efficiently and without any effort to meet the needs of your business.
With its stainless steel body and blades, Costzon Ice Shaver is extremely durable for long-standing commercial use. It’s equipped with an extra thick acrylic case housing, allowing you to pre-shave and keep the product cool for long queues. It also features the drain pipe for releasing water.
Besides, it has a water-resistant on-and-off switch making it safe to handle even with wet hands. This easy-to-clean, highly durable, and efficient machine is excellent for restaurants, canteens, snack bars, parties, bigger home gatherings, and many more.
6. WYZworks Stainless Steel Commercial Ice Shaver
This heavy-duty ice shaver is made entirely of stainless steel. WYZworks Ice Shaver is extremely durable and easy to assemble, use, and maintain, making it perfect for both commercial and home use.
With the ice-output of 440 pounds per hour, you can promptly serve your guests with different kinds of desserts, including snow cones, cocktails, fruit desserts, shaved ice, and frosted milkshake, boba snow, and many others.
7. Little Snowie Max Snow Cone Machine
This portable and easy-to-clean snow cone machine is perfect for home, office, barbecues, and birthday parties, but also for smaller size businesses. Thanks to its high-speed motor and stainless sleet blades, Little Snowie Max can produce extremely fine and fluffy snow in only a couple of seconds.
Its starter kit comes with eight ice shovels, two mixing bottles, and six flavors of syrup. It’s a budget-friendly and easy to transport ice shaver, allowing you to enjoy the premium shaved ice anywhere you want.
8. Great Northern Shaved Ice Machine
Great Northern Commercial Machine is the premium quality commercial shaved ice device with stainless steel shaving blades and high performance (1/3 horsepower) motor. Plowing through 350 pounds of ice per hour, this compact but strong ice maker is ideal for both commercial and home use.
This light-weight, durable, and easily maintained machine produces the fluffiest and softest snow that will delight both your customers and family and last you a lifetime.
9. Nostalgia Countertop Snow Cone Maker
This unit can produce twenty snow cones in one batch, making it perfect for office, home, and smaller business owners. Nostalgia Countertop Snow Cone Maker is equipped with stainless steel cutting blades and 360 degrees see-through chamber, allowing you to watch how quickly and efficiently the ice cubes turn into fluffy snow.
It also features a prepping station, holding two snow cones, where you can mix in your favorite syrups. With its ideal size, this snowmaker can easily fit on a kitchen countertop, side shelf, or a small table, making it convenient for you to serve delicious deserts from the comfort of your home, small food truck, or take it wherever you go.
Buyer’s Guide to Help You Make the Right Choice
When looking to buy a shaved ice machine for your business, you might find yourself lost in the sea of different types, features, prices, etc.
To help you make the right choice, we assembled a quick buyer’s guide, including the most important factors you need to consider before making a buying decision:
1. The Purpose
Think about the size of your business and the number of customers you usually serve on a daily basis. If you’re running a bigger business venture like a restaurant or a cafe, you’ll need an extremely efficient machine with a high-level ice output. On the other hand, if you need to fulfill the needs of a start-up business like a food truck or a smaller beach bar, then you can opt for less heavy-duty and cheaper machines.
Besides considering the size of your business, it’s also essential to take into account the type of business you’re running. If you plan to use the ice maker for different events and move it now and again, you should gun for a more compact, lighter, and portable machine. However, if you don’t need to move it around a lot and have enough storage space in your canteen or restaurant, you don’t need to worry about its size and weight.
3. Shaving Capacity
This might be one of the most critical factors you need to take into consideration. The shaving capacity of a machine refers to the amount of shaved ice it can produce in one hour or one batch. Depending on your audience volume, you should adjust the shaving capacity of your ice maker. Needless to say, the bigger the audience, the higher the ice-output or shaving capacity you’ll need.
Each product should have a label on its package identifying the level of its shaving capacity. So, pay attention and read labels when purchasing a new machine.
4. Power Consumption
Another extremely important factor. To run your business smoothly, you need to consider the power consumption of your ice shaver. Suppose you’re running a food truck and operating on generators. In that case, you will need a machine that uses less energy per hour.
However, these machines usually consume a lot of power, so if you need to cut the costs, be mindful of this factor when purchasing one.
For maximum durability and efficiency, choose shaving blades that are made of stainless steel and that are exceptionally sharp. The consistency of the ice also depends on the blades. For a fine, fluffy, and soft snow, go for shorter blades. In contrast, if you want a thicker and a more chunky consistency, you should use longer blades.
A lot of snow cone machines on the market have different length blades extensions.
Besides, a good machine should have the option to adjust the angle of the blades for the desired texture of the ice. Double-blade machines produce very fine and snow-like ice, but those are usually on a more pricey side.
6. Motor Power
The high-end ice shavers generally feature good-quality and powerful motors that are energy-saving at the same time producing large quantities of ice in a short period of time.
Depending on the motor power, the shaving capacity will vary. If you have a big audience and need high-level shaving capacity, search for more powerful machines.
7. Build Quality
Whether you’re running a start-up or venturing in large-scale business, you should always go for ice shavers with good-quality, sturdy, and durable build. If you have already decided to invest in a new snow cone maker, you might as well choose wisely and buy a well-built machine that will last you for years.
8. Safety Features
A well-designed machine should feature good safety measures such as blades that are not exposed, insulated lever, enough storage compartment, and a cover to prevent water from splashing.
An electric ice shaver should have a water-resistant on/off switch, so you can handle it without worrying if your hands are dry or wet. Any machine should also be easy-to-clean to minimize the time you spend wiping the blades.
You should avoid purchasing a machine from unknown brands since you would be risking your safety and possibly get a product of a low quality that needs to be replaced often. To prevent that from happening, choose reputable brands whose equipment has been proven to be of high quality.
When it comes to price, ice makers can cost anywhere between 30 and 3,000 dollars. Depending on your business’s financial expenses, you should adjust your new snow cone maker’s price.
10. Electric vs. Manual
With electric ice shavers, the whole process is automatic and starts with just hitting one button. They are very powerful, and the product turnaround per hour is higher. There’s no mess, no hassle of manual labor, and turning the handle to crush the ice. But this type of machines usually have more components and are more complicated to clean. Also, you need to install the device close to the power outlet.
Manual shaved ice machines are more affordable but less efficient. To crush the ice, you must use your physical strength to push down the lever. While you might enjoy the process, a hand-handled ice maker is really not a good idea for commercial use. On the other hand, if you plan to have fun outdoors with your friends, the manual machine could be entertaining and a great addition to camping or barbecuing.
To Wrap Up
Having a shaved ice machine at home or for business is unquestionably a great idea. It offers unlimited refreshing dessert options, from simple shaved ice with syrup to frozen milkshakes, and many others.
If you had your troubles finding a perfect one for your needs, hopefully, you will find this article useful and helpful. With our review of the 9 top picks, we’re certain you will be able to make the right decision and choose the commercial machine that best meets your business’s needs.
Q: What is the best-shaved ice machine?
A: We handpicked the best-shaved ice machines for you. They are all available on Amazon.com.
Q: Can you use a blender to make shaved ice?
A: It is possible to make shaved ice with a sturdy blender or a good food processor. However, a blender can’t crush the ice cubes that are too large, and you can only blend smaller amounts at a time.
Q: Why do Hawaiians call it shaved ice?
A: The term stems from the Japanese word ‘kakigori.’ To refresh themselves, the Japanese immigrants that came to Hawaii used a specific technique and tools to shave flakes of ice of larger ice blocks, and then mix them with fruit juice or sugar. This refreshing treat became popular and was initially called shave ice.
Q: What is the difference between the Hawaiian shaved ice and snow cones?
A: The difference is in the ice consistency. While snow cones have larger and chunkier granules of ice, shaved ice is more comparable to snow; it’s very fine, fluffy, and light.
Q: Is shaved ice healthier than ice cream?
A: A single serving of frozen yogurt or ice cream can contain 100 calories and much more. In contrast, shaved ice is just calorie-free water. It can sometimes be combined with different syrups or fruit juices, but all in all, it generally has fewer calories and is overall a healthier dessert option.
Q: Does shaved ice syrup go bad?
A: All the ready-to-use snow cone syrups that are available today have a shelf life or one, maybe two, years. It’s best to use them in that time frame, but not because they will go bad, but because they lose flavor over time.
Q: How much ice do you need for snow cones?
A: Most snow cones are between four and six oz. Twenty pounds of ice should be enough to make 40-50 snow cones.