If you’re on the hunt for the best commercial shaved ice machine, a few of the things you must look into are capacity, ice texture, and blade. To help you shop, I delved into the cool world of shave ice makers and found some of the top products on the market.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the best commercial shaved ice machines, their features, as well as their pros and cons. And if you wish to look at other options, I also included a handy buying guide.
A velvety, refreshing shaved ice with your favorite toppings is sure to cool you down on a hot day. Besides ice cream, shaved ice is among the most popular ice treats. And they are widely accessible and inexpensive.
But for entrepreneurs, there is more to the fancy, colorful toppings and flavors. To make the smooth and sweet ice shavings and fluffy snow cones that customers enjoy, specialized equipment is essential: the best commercial shaved ice machine.
Commercial shaved ice machines are vastly different from a more compact residential model. They have large ice hoppers, stronger blades, high power use, and are typically more expensive.
If you intend to serve it in a restaurant, you’ll need a commercial shaved ice machine with a larger capacity. But if your plan is to set up a small snow cone concession stand, a countertop model may be a good option to start with.
In deciding which machine to get, it can be a bit of a struggle to determine which one is worth considering. So with due diligence, I’ve put together some of the best commercial shaved ice machines for you. I’ll go over their features to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
But first, let’s have a quick look at my top picks for the best commercial shaved ice machine!
My Top Picks
|Best Overall||ZENY Snow Cone Maker||– 15 x 12 x 30.5 inches|
– 300 watts- 2000 RPM
– Makes 143 pounds of shaved ice per hour
– Stainless steel shaving blade
– Food-grade stainless steel bowl
– 1-year warranty
|Best Compact||Snowie Shaved Ice Maker||– 0.6 x 2.8 x 10.2 inches|
– 1000 watts
– Built-in dome shaper
– 301 Hardened stainless steel blade
– 1-year warranty
|Best Capacity||Costzon Commercial Ice Shaver||– 16.5 x 12.5 x 24 inches|
– 1400 RPM
– Makes 440 pounds of shaved ice per hour
– 201 Stainless steel machine body
– 403 Stainless steel dual blades
– Thickened acrylic container
|Best Design||Great Northern Commercial Ice Shaver||– 15 x 12 x 30.5 inches|
– ⅓ HP
– 1725 RPM
– Makes 350 pounds of shaved ice per hour
– Brass and stainless steel construction
– Fully adjustable stainless steel blade
– 3-year warranty
|Best Countertop||Nostalgia RSM602 Snow Cone Maker||– 10.75 x 10.25 x 13.5 inches|
– Can hold up to 160 ounces of shaved ice
– Stainless steel cutting blades
The Best Commercial Shaved Ice Machines
It takes more than a dozen ice cubes from an ice machine to produce frozen treats. The products mentioned here include a range of commercial, compact, and countertop models. All are great for both home use and confectionery businesses.
Here are the best commercial ice shavers for high-quality shaved ice and snow cones that your customers will surely wait in line for.
ZENY Snow Cone Maker – Best Overall
Coated in a bright orange finish, the ZENY Snow Cone Maker is one of the best shaved ice machines available right now. It’s equipped with a 300-watt power with high shaving capability and can make 143 pounds of shaved ice per hour.
The ZENY snow cone machine would be a wonderfully versatile option if you need a machine that you can use at home as well as for commercial purposes. This ice shaver boasts one of the fastest rotating speeds at 2000 revolutions per minute (RPM), allowing you to serve delicious frosted desserts in no time.
Aside from its lovely finish, another thing I like about this commercial snow cone machine is the all-stainless steel construction from its casing to the blade and shaved ice bowl. This means that the machine is durable and won’t cause a hassle when it’s time to clean it up.
I appreciate the strong cast base, which provides a perfectly steady workstation with low vibration and noise. The machine is also water-resistant, simple to operate, and will automatically switch off when the hopper handle is opened. This is a feature you’d want in a commercial snow cone machine as it ensures that the equipment is safe to use.
When using this ice shaver, you must take special precautions. The shaved ice machine is made of stainless steel so it can get hot. Due to the high temperature, your first batch of ice will likely melt, so you will need to lay a towel below the ice machine.
According to some user reviews, it makes a coarser ice texture. Also, this block ice shaver’s bowl is much smaller than the volume of ice it makes. But I love that it’s budget-friendly!
• All-stainless steel design offers durability and ease of cleaning
• Auto shuts off when the handle is lifted
• Low noise and vibration
• Study, cast base for a stable workstation
• Makes very coarse shaved ice
• Requires user precaution
• Small bowl
Snowie Shaved Ice Maker – Best Compact
Small concession stalls are often set up in limited spaces. The Snowie Shaved Ice Maker is a portable ice shave that is compact enough to fit in tight spaces. It could be a wonderful choice if you need a portable yet reliable shaved ice maker. This model simply has the ideal combination of durability and reliability.
The Snowie shaved ice is made of a simple, yet durable, BPA-free white plastic. Despite being promoted as a premium alternative for household use, the ice shaver’s powerful motor and constant high-yielding capability make it an excellent pick for snow cone stands.
One thing I love about this snow cone ice maker is the 1000-watt motor. Which I think is so powerful for a compact crushed ice machine. Its strong 301 grade hardened steel blade also contributes to the overall performance, allowing the machine to produce fluffy snow within seconds.
It’s also equipped with a dome shaper that allows you to fill your cup while also molding the ideal dome head onto any cup. Plus, the shaver accepts regular ice cubes from your freezer and does not need certain shapes of ice to perform.
Another feature I’m sure you’ll appreciate about this shaved ice maker is that it includes six different syrup sample bottles. It also comes with eight machine-washable party spoons.
Highly-powered machines always tend to make loud noises in operation. Unfortunately, because this shaved ice machine has such a powerful motor, you can expect it to be noisy. So there’s an obvious tradeoff here. But if you don’t mind the noise, this ice shaver machine would make an excellent compact yet reliable machine.
• Compact and lightweight
• Powerful enough to use for both home and commercial use
• Comes with built-in dome shaper to mold your frosted dessert
• Accepts regular ice cubes
• Comes with syrup bottles and washable spoons
• Loud operation
• Pricer than other countertop models
Costzon Commercial Ice Shaver – Best Capacity
For large scale applications, the Costzon Commercial Ice Shaver could be worth considering. This commercial shaved ice machine makes 440 pounds of shaved ice an hour, making it ideal if you wish to serve more.
The Costzon sice shaver machine is equipped with 430 stainless steel dual blades that rotate at 1400 RPM for more efficient crushing. When compared to single-blade commercial ice shavers, these blades deliver twice the efficiency. Its body is made of 201 stainless steel, while its container is thickened acrylic.
And since the snow cone machine container is completely transparent, you’ll be able to monitor how much ice is left. The ice shaver’s acrylic container also prevents the temperature of the shaved ice from fluctuating dramatically.
This commercial ice shaver also features a drain hole with a pipe. Also, the on/off switch is waterproof and you can lock it for added security while using the machine.
I think one major drawback of this machine is that it’s expensive. But, considering that it is designed for commercial use and has a large shaving capacity, this is to be expected.
I’ve also read comments that the machine gets hot, which might explain why some users whine about the shaved ice melting quickly once it’s in the container. You may also encounter occasions where the shaved ice gets stuck and comes out in a thick clump. Just a few things to keep in mind here.
• Makes large volume of shaved ice
• Durable design
• Waterproof and lockable power switch
• Stainless steel body gets hot
• Shaved ice might get stuck at times
Great Northern Commercial Ice Shaver – Best Design
When it comes to the design, my favorite is the Great Northern Commercial Ice Shaver. It boasts a striking blue casing that may draw kids to your dessert stand. This ice shaver is made of brass and stainless steel — materials known to be durable and easy to maintain.
This commercial shaved ice machine features stainless steel shaving blades and delivers optimum performance. It’s equipped with an industry-leading ⅓ HP motor that runs at 1725 RPM.
Aside from its power output and speed, one of the things I find impressive about this workhorse is can churn out nearly 350 pounds of shaved ice an hour. Which is a decent capacity to start with.
Another feature I love about this model is that you can adjust the blades with a turn of a knob. And if you want to adjust the texture of your shaved ice, you can do so by changing the blade.
This Hawaiian shaved ice machine also includes a plastic safety bag that protects you from large ice pieces while running it. You’ll also appreciate its key components, including the drip pan, safety switch, and foot pedal. All of which are critical components of the device’s operation.
The Great Northern ice shaver also comes at a way higher price tag than other commercial-type models on the market. But for its design and convenient features, I think it’s a great commercial ice shaving machine that offers outstanding value for money.
• Durable and unique design
• Powerful motor
• Makes large volume of shaved ice
• Adjustable and changeable blades
• Comes with handy components and safety features
Nostalgia RSM602 Snow Cone Maker – Best Countertop
Lastly, this commercial ice shaving machine from one of the leading brands for countertop appliances, the Nostalgia RSM602 Snow Cone Maker. Whether you’re serving yummy snow cones to kids or adults, they will surely appreciate this retro-inspired snow cone countertop machine.
It’s very easy and fun to use. Just feed the chopper standard ice cubes, and the strong stainless steel blades will transform them into fluffy shaves of ice, perfect for your frosted treats.
The chopper doesn’t hold much ice though, so you need to constantly feed it. Its container has a 160-ounce capacity, which is enough for twenty 8-ounce snow cones.
But one of my favorite features of this snow cone maker is the safety switch. Which means that kids can operate it, too. This machine is also the only model on my list with a side shelf to hold your snow cones. I appreciate this feature because you can conveniently add interesting syrup designs.
The Nostalgia snow cone maker features a side door that provides access to the bin, however, some users mention that it is fragile and tricky to close. Also, the opening itself may not even be wide enough if you have large hands, so you might find that feature serving no purpose.
Overall, I think it would be a wonderful addition to any kitchen. It’s also very easy to clean and gives you a 360-degree view of your finished product. Plus it includes handy accessories like an ice scoop and two reusable plastic snow cones.
• Offers a clear view of the shaved ice in the container
• Convenient side shelf for holding cones
• Kid-friendly machine; come with a safety switch
• Comes with handy accessories
• Access side door is fragile and not wide enough for large hands
• Doesn’t hold much ice shavings
Factors To Consider in Finding the Best Commercial Shaved Ice Machine
There are several factors you need to consider in choosing the ideal shaved ice machine. Think about size, blade quality, capacity, portability, motor power, and more. You can refer to the handy buying guide below to learn more.
This is the first thing to consider because it will determine the quantity of shaved ice you can serve at a time. The shaving capacity of a machine specifies how much shave ice it can create in a single operation.
Depending on the type of shave ice business you have, a higher shaving capacity means producing large enough quantities of shaved ice. An upscale shaved ice business will require a great shaving capacity to serve a crowd in a single batch.
The Costzon Commercial Ice Shaver, for example, has the largest capacity on the list. It can make 440 pounds of shaved ice in a single operation. This machine would be ideal for a snow cone stand that takes a high volume of orders on a daily basis.
When you shop online, manufacturers tend to make mistakes in their product descriptions. So, make sure to consult them about the shaving capacity of the machine.
The fluffy snow texture defines shaved ice. Some ice shavers are capable of shaving ice to a very fine consistency. Others shave ice to a more coarse texture. You can read through the customer reviews section and it should help you better assess whether an ice machine can shave to fine or coarse granules.
This is an essential component that allows your machine to operate efficiently. The blade and the mechanism used in the machine to shave the ice determine your ice shaver’s durability.
Stainless steel is the ideal material for blades. It is durable, easy to clean, and can make soft and delicate shaved ice within seconds. Such blades can withstand repeated use and for commercial applications, you certainly need them.
When it comes to creating big volumes of shaved ice, motor power can make a world of difference. You need to make sure the motor is heavy-duty and powerful. High-powered machines can produce shaved ice in large volumes all while using less electricity.
A strong motor with high horsepower, on the other hand, has the ability to easily break ice cubes into tiny chunks. Going for a less powered machine to save money may have you end up spending more in the long run. Powerful motors, especially in large commercial applications, can be a better investment.
Being able to transport your machine from one place to another is also a good key consideration. Size and weight are the two essential factors that affect your machine’s portability.
If you run a food truck or a food stall, a more compact and lightweight model would be preferable. This way, you’ll be able to easily transfer the machine, especially if you clean your countertop every day. But for restaurants, you can opt for a large machine. It won’t be an issue picking a heavier machine since you won’t have to move it around.
Having a business that runs smoothly and profitably means investing in cost-effective equipment. And commercial shaved ice machines tend to consume a lot of power. For this, you may look at machines with power-saving features. You may check with the manufacturer about the amount of power a machine requires to run per hour.
Make it a habit to check the services the manufacturer or supplier provides. They should be the ones to look after you in case your ice shaver runs into a problem. You can consult with them about the regularity of maintenance and services for any issues that could happen to your machine.
A warranty is also a great perk as it protects your investment. The length of warranties varies depending on where you get your unit.
It’s always a good idea to have an extended warranty period as it can save you money long term if you encounter any issues with your machine. A seller’s extended warranty provides you assurance and confidence that you’re getting a quality product.
Snow Cone Machine vs. Shave Ice Machine
Some people don’t realize that there is a difference between a shaved ice machine and a snow cone maker. In reality, you can use them interchangeably. However, there are subtle differences when it comes to the results they yield.
Snow Cone Makers
The ice used to make snow cones in a snow cone ice machine has a coarser quality. Ice texture is more crumbly than the delicate shavings used for shaved ice.
These equipment are also known as ice shavers, albeit this name is used interchangeably with snow cones and shaved ice.
Although both sweets are popular, snow cone makers are less expensive and easier to acquire since the technique isn’t quite as precise. You’ll see them in many outdoor venues, food parks, as well as in concession stands.
Shave Ice Machines
Commercial shaved ice machines are typically large, powered kitchen equipment. These machines rotate and shave ice cylinders or ice blocks into a container or ice bowl. They often come with a shaving blade, an adjustment knob for the blade, and some form of a clamp to hold the ice in place. A drain tube or pipe is also a common feature of shaved ice machines.
Best Commercial Shaved Ice Machine FAQs
How much does a shaved ice machine cost?
Shaved ice machines come in different price points to meet various budgets. A compact countertop machine may cost between $50 and $300. Other commercial quality shaved ice machines can range in price from $300 to more than $2,000 for high-capacity units.
What is the difference between shaved ice and a snow cone?
Due to their similarity, there’s quite some confusion between shaved ice and snow cones. While they may look the same, if you look closely at snow cones, they have larger granules than shaved ice. The latter is more similar to snow in that it is thin, airy, and fluffy.
My favorite is the ZENY Snow Cone Maker because it offers decent ice shaving capacity at 143 pounds an hour -— all thanks to its 2000 RPM crushing speed!
Its all-stainless steel design also boasts durability and ease of cleaning. I also appreciate that it’s not loud with low vibration, allowing you to shave ice without the added noise.
For good stalls with limited space, the Snowie Shaved Ice Maker could be worth considering. It’s compact and lightweight. And with 1000-watt motor power, you can expect that it can crush through the ice for commercial applications. This ice shaver comes with a built-in dome shaper to mold your frosted dessert.
If you’re looking to make a lot of shaved ice in a single operation, then the Costzon Commercial Ice Shave may be the best choice. This machine makes a large volume of shaved ice as 440 pounds per hour. Its safety features and durable design also makes it an even great option for several commercial venues.
The Great Northern Commercial Ice Shaver may be a nice, unique option if you want to add a bit of fun to the ice shaving process — all thanks to its striking design!
But there’s more to this adorable ice shaver. It boasts a powerful ⅓ HP motor that runs at 1725 RPM, which efficiently crushes through the ice without breaking a muscle. This machine also makes 350 pounds of shaved ice, which is ideal for commercial uses.
Finally, you may check out the Nostalgia RSM602 Snow Cone Maker if you’re on the hunt for a great countertop ice shaver. This retro-inspired snow cone machine is reliable and offers a convenient side shelf for holding cones. It’s also kid-friendly and comes with handy accessories.
Make sure to check out the latest prices and discounts on these fantastic commercial shaved ice machines. Good luck!