What’s The Cheapest Commercial Ice Makers in 2024?

Typically, the cheapest commercial-grade ice machine can be found for as little as $1600, but higher-end units will cost closer to the $5,000 mark.

In the hospitality industry, a reliable ice machine is an essential piece of equipment. For hotels, restaurants, sporting venues, and other similar facilities, reliable, high-volume ice machines are a requirement for customer satisfaction.

The ice production of a given machine is going to be the first and most important factor in how much you pay for it. Facilities that need a higher quantity of ice with a high turnover, that is to say, they will use ice constantly throughout the day, need these more productive machines. The amount of storage the machine has will also affect price, with machines with larger storage containers costing more. Poplar Ice maker brands include:

  • Ice-O_Matic
  • Manitowoc
  • Scotsman
  • Hoshizaki
  • EdgeStar
  • Igloo

The type of ice cubes that a commercial ice machine makes may also affect the price. Some types of businesses have a preference for a certain type of ice, such as cubed (or specialty types of cubes) vs. flaked, which can make this an important decision during the purchasing process.

The final major determinant of how much an ice machine costs is how the unit is cooled. The most economical ice machines are air-cooled, using air flow to cool the machine during operation. Air-cooling, while more economical in the initial purchase, is not the most effective means of cooling. This would be water cooling, and you can expect to pay a premium for any ice machine that is water cooled instead of utilizing an air-cooling design.

3 Tips to Getting the Cheapest Commercial Ice Maker

Commercial Ice Maker

Finding an affordable commercial ice maker that meets your business needs involves considering the balance between initial costs, operational efficiency, and long-term reliability. Here are three tips to help you secure the cheapest commercial ice maker:

  1. Assess Your Specific Ice Needs and Size Appropriately:

    • Why: It’s important to choose an ice maker that aligns with your specific ice production needs. Oversizing can lead to higher initial costs and increased energy consumption, while undersizing may result in insufficient ice production, necessitating additional purchases. Analyzing your daily ice usage, peak demand times, and the type of ice required (like cube, flake, or nugget) helps in selecting a model that efficiently meets your needs without overinvestment.
  2. Consider Energy-Efficient Models:

    • Why: Opting for an energy-efficient ice maker can save money in the long run despite a potentially higher upfront cost. Energy-efficient models consume less electricity and water, which can significantly reduce your utility bills over time. Look for ice makers with ENERGY STAR certification or those known for their energy efficiency. The savings in operational costs can offset the initial investment, making it a cost-effective choice in the long term.
  3. Compare Prices and Look for Refurbished Options:

    • Why: Researching and comparing prices from various suppliers is crucial to finding the best deal. Don’t hesitate to negotiate on price, especially if you’re buying multiple units or additional kitchen equipment. Additionally, consider purchasing a refurbished or lightly used commercial ice maker. These units can be significantly cheaper than new ones and often still offer reliable performance. Ensure that any used or refurbished equipment comes from a reputable source and includes some form of warranty or guarantee.

By following these tips, you can select a commercial ice maker that not only fits your budget but also provides the efficiency and reliability necessary for your business operations.

What to Look for in Low-Cost Ice Machines?

When shopping for an affordable ice machine, one of your first considerations should be the space that you have available to place the unit in. Many of these machines are quite large, and it is critical that you only purchase a unit that will fit the space that you have allocated for it.

Ice MachineOne way to accommodate tight spaces is to purchase a unit that has the condenser and storage bin as separate components. This can allow slightly more flexibility. There are also low-priced ice machines that are designed specifically to fit under standard height counters – something which is often very helpful when looking for a machine to fit in a commercial kitchen.

Always consider the energy that an ice machine requires to make ice when deciding what the most economical option is. Ultimately, the sticker price on an ice machine isn’t representative of how much it will actually cost you to use that machine. The energy utilization of the ice machine will have a huge effect over its lifetime on how affordable it is. So, to find a real bargain you need to also look for an ice machine that is highly energy-efficient, as this will help keep your electricity bills from ballooning the minute you install the machine.

Air-cooled machines are not as energy-efficient as water-cooled machines but are typically more inexpensive. However, if you’re not using the machine in a very well-ventilated area, it is also important to remember that an air cooled unit will add heat to the immediate environment the machine is installed in. This might not be appropriate in a variety of settings.


Bargain Ice Machines Companies with Discounted Prices?

Buying an ice machine can be difficult because there is often no opportunity to see the unit in action over the long term before making a purchase. This is why in addition to the sticker price and energy efficiency of the unit, you should also always ask the company about the warranty and service plans they have available.

Manitowoc LogoManitowoc: Manitowoc makes ice machines that are designed to fit underneath standard-height countertops, making them ideal for use in commercial kitchens and bars. One example, an air-cooled unit, the NEO UR-0140A, which is available at a bargain for just under $1800.

Maxx Ice LogoMaxx Ice: Maxx Ice is another major player in the market. However, they also make a variety of smaller units which may be practical for companies with space restrictions or only very limited ice requirements. They have some cheap self-contained units which can be found for under $1500, and while they will have limited production capabilities they are highly efficient and able to fit into quite restricted spaces.

Affordable ice machines are only worth the bargain if they meet the needs of your business. Carefully figure out where you need the ice machine to go in your place of business, and how much ice you need it to produce. From there, you can narrow down your search considerably in order to find the most low-cost option that definitively meets your needs.

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