Undercounter ice makers are usually bought by people needing plenty of ice and do not wish to waste any counter space. The best ones produce good amounts of ice and are also compact enough to fit snugly under counters, which are quickly accessible. This makes it easier to retrieve ice whenever needed.
This article is also a buying guide for under-counter ice makers as we will also cover several key things to be kept in mind when looking to buy. By the end of the reading, you will be able to choose the best undercounter standalone icemaker for yourself.
Best ice makers on the market
Now we list down details of five of the best undercounter ice makers available in the market.
Having a capacity of 65 pounds, this ice maker is one of the best for home use, commercial use, and parties. The Scotsman Ice Systems, a company that has a long history of manufacturing high quality and innovative products, make the Scotsman CU50GA. It comes with an exhaust system that is front-facing, making it easier to install under the cabinet. This could also be doubled as a standalone ice machine.
The storage bin holds an impressive 90-pounds, which is enough ice for an entire night of a medium-sized bar. This air-cooled machine is reasonably priced and can set various types of ice cubes like half, full, and dice cubes.
Many people rely on freezers for ice, but it may not suffice, especially for a party with friends or family. Ice makers like SPT IM-600US can produce plenty of usable ice in minutes. It is manufactured by Sunpentown, which is an American company. It is popular for making quality ice makers, air coolers, dehumidifiers, and similar machines since the nineties.
The brand is known to be reliable, convenient, and of good quality. The machine is quite priced quite low but still makes better ice than some ice makers costing double. The style is simple, stainless steel, and can also be used as standalone.
The EdgeStar IB450SS is very efficient and can produce up to 45 pounds of ice per day. It has a large storage capacity of 25 pounds.This allows you to have a good stock for an intimate gathering without running short. It has a stylish, corrosion-free, hard stainless steel body and can also be used as a freestanding ice maker.
The ice maker is quite compact to fit under counters despite its huge capacity making it fit for indoor usage. The storage bin is refrigerated and then covered with thick insulation so that ice cubes remain perfectly solid even outside in the summer. It comes with an inbuilt drain pump for disposal of water anywhere desired.
Factors to consider before buying an icemaker
Here are the key considerations to keep in mind:
Ice makers use compressors like refrigerators to make ice. The cooling effect is created by the compressor system by using either air or water.
Most of the modern ice makers use air for cooling. The air inside in an air compressor ice maker is circulated within it from the outside by the use of fans and vents. The purpose of this air circulation is to bring in cooler air and remove the warm air. This process chills the compressor automatically.
Though air-cooled compressors work in an excellent manner, they consume more energy. Also, the hot air released may require more usage of your air conditioner. This could result in higher power bills.
Compressors that are water-cooled circulate the inflowing water and cool the system. After the purpose is served, the water is removed. Water-cooled compressors work efficiently, too, but need a lot of water to function. This makes them a bit impractical in usage. That is why most people prefer ice makers with air-cooled compressors.
The ease of maintenance of an undercounter ice maker is an important aspect to consider before buying. It is recommended to clean an icemaker every six months. The machine you buy should be cleanable by you at home.
Some of them even have maintenance or cleaning buttons which, when pressed, clean themselves automatically. If the ice maker is difficult to clean, you might have to call the maintenance guys and spend more money paying them. Therefore, pick an ice maker, which is easy to maintain.
Ice Makers have three types of drainage systems: Gravity drainage, pump drainage, and no drainage.
Gravity draining ice makers need a direct pipe connection to the dumping area from the unit for any waste or melted water to be dumped.
The pump-drainage ice maker has an inbuilt pump that allows water to be pumped up to a sink or a drain at a higher level or further away than the undercounter. As the name suggests, no drainage would be the easiest to use as you just need to install them and not worry about the drainage. This is the one to prefer.
The storage bin size obviously depends on the quantity of ice needed. For instance, a bigger storage bin will be required for a bar or a minibar, whereas a smaller one for a corner office.
A few sellers avoid indicating their bin capacity, in which case the production capacity number can be used to estimate the storage capacity. The estimation can be done on the basis of the comparison that the production capacity is usually twice the storage capacity.
Another feature of the storage bin to look out for is whether it is insulated or refrigerated. A refrigerated bin ensures that the cubes that are created remain solid for longer, whereas the insulated ones do not.
For some customers, the quality of ice produced matters as they want to for different purposes. Some specifically want clear ice while some want chewable ice. Some customers, on the other hand, do not really pay attention to the kind of ice as they just want ice for drinks.
So, if the quality of ice matters to you, You must look out for the details about the type of ice produced in the ice maker.
A Final Word
You must be aware of all the things to keep in mind while looking to buy an icemaker by now. We have also listed the features of the best undercounter ice makers available in the market. This will make your selection process easier and help you compare the best ones all in one place.
You must remember that the most decent undercounter ice makers do demand more than a thousand bucks. Therefore, it is essential to know the features of the ice maker you will spend your money on to make sure it fulfills all your ice needs.