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May 19, 2013 11:37 AM

Portable Ice Maker

I am considering a basic one to use during the summer months. My refrigerator does not have an ice maker and I've grown weary of making ice runs to the store. I've done some Googling and checked out some reviews and opinions seem to be pretty evenly divided love/hate. Does anyone have any experience with one of these machines and/or any brand preferences?

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  1. Before shelling out big $$ for a Scotsman, have your water
    supply checked. I live in an area with hard water (don't like
    the taste a water softener gives off) and my Scotsman pump had to be replaced twice. Finally gave up and had drawers
    built for the space under the bar that the S. used to occupy. Bought a $300 portable model, but it makes ice chips instead
    of ice cubes. Bummer. After looking at lots of ice makers,
    the only ones that make "real" ice cubes are the Scotsman
    and several very pricey commercial ones. Boo Hoo Wishing you the best of luck.

    2 Replies
    1. re: amazinc

      Scotsman is WAY out of my budget. I'm looking at the small countertop models you fill with bottled water (I, too, have hard water) that run in the $100 - $200 price range. If you had problems within your price range, the ones I am looking at might not be worth the effort. Thanks for the info

      1. re: Pwmfan

        I use a Magic Chef model purchased from Home Depot several years ago which at the time was ~$300. Like you, hard water and a limited ice supply made the "splurge" for this pricey option a valued addition to my household.

        These days, they seem to be a lot cheaper so I would buy another without much hesitation from a big box store with a reasonable return policy in case it didn't work out or broke early. If you run it hard for 30 days, it will likely last a long time just like my 1.7 cubic foot "dorm" fridge purchased ~25 years ago (wow, I bought it used for $35 and I'm only into it a little over a buck a year :-D).

    2. I have one of the small portable ones and have used it for several years now. Before we got a refrigerator with two ice makers I would make ice for several days, bag it and keep it in the freezer. It's good for what you want it to do, just use bottled or filtered water and it will last for years. The one I have can make 3 sizes of ice "tubes" and I always use the largest setting.

      1. I have an Edgestar Titanium icemaker. It cost about $120 IIRC. I am happy with it and use it daily. The one thing to know about these icemakers is that they produce a very soft ice cube, which melts more quickly than ice made in the freezer(makes sense as it takes only 10 minutes to get ice). When I want harder ice I take the fresh cubes made in the machine and put them in a ziplock back and put in the freezer.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jlhinwa

          Yes, these portable ice makers only make ice cubes at 32F versus your freezer which can run anywhere from -5 to 5F in most cases.

          They melt fast but, for iced tea I just brew it a little stronger and add extra ice. For soda or mixed drinks, a little tub of ice from the freezer works much better.