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5 Best Under Counter Ice Makers
Maybe you operate a multi-family property with a considerable number of units to serve. Maybe you have decided to stop running your restaurant and rent out the facilities instead. Maybe your boss instructed you to get one for the office staff.
Whatever the reasons, when a massive amount of ice is needed on a regular basis, the typical ice making machine is just not going to cut it.
Under counter ice makers are most often for commercial use. The capacity that they are capable of operating at makes regular ice makers look like tricycles on a bicycle track.
However also there’s nothing stopping you from buying and installing them for residences.
There are also mini under-counter ice makers that have smaller capacities than portable ice makers. Those are targeted at consumers who value it more for being under-counter than for huge production capacity.
Here are some of the best under-counter ice makers to choose from.
1) Sunpentown IM-600US
With a colossal run rate of 50 pounds of ice every 24 hours, this gentle giant in the Sunpentown (SPT) product line is the overall best of the lot.
It won’t look out of place in a hotel kitchen or any commercial kitchen for that matter. Especially with the design of it’s front facing vents covering the exhaust fan.
At a height of about 33 inches, it’s size is not too overwhelming to become a focal point in the kitchen.
Further more, reversible doors mean that you don’t have to worry about which way the door swings open as you can change the direction. But surely you are not going to do that every other week?
While the SPT IM-600US is more of a built in under counter machine, it can be of service as a stand-alone unit as well. But a licensed plumber will still be needed to install the water supply connection.
- Up to 50 lbs of ice a day
- Stores up 25 lbs of ice
- Reversible door
- Installation by plumber required
I’m actually a little surprised to find so many buyers of this product on Amazon. And many are end users who bought them for their homes instead of for commercial use.
Which means that many households find this machine as a solution to their ice shortage problems.
Maybe it can solve yours.
It’s very assuring to see such a high number of satisfied customers praising this product. And it’s listed as one of the best.
2) Whynter UIM-155
While we put a monstrous model on the top spot, Whynter UIM-155 is a much more compact model comes in at second place.
The focus on this ice maker is not it’s capacity but it’s function.
It is designed as a built-in appliance to fit nicely under the cabinet or counter.
With an operating capacity of just 12 pounds of ice in 24 hours, it’s not for heavy duty users but sufficient for the average household’s ice requirements.
The lower capacity also means a quieter machine. A comparable model is Sunpentown IM-150US.
When you consider a countertop ice maker too ugly, this product will alleviate your designs and space constraints.
The matte stainless steel finish makes it a great additional to almost any kitchen’s design theme.
- Very compact size that will slot in nicely under the counter
- Beautiful finish
- 6 lbs ice storage bin
- Installation by plumber needed
- 12 lbs of ice per 24 hours
3) U-Line BI95B-00
At about the same dimensions as Whynter UIM-155 but almost double the production capacity, U-Line BI95B-00 is like a hepped up mini cooper on the roads.
The catch is that it cost about 3 time that of the Whynter soldier.
However, with it’s badass matte black steel housing that makes it look like a safe, it could be reason enough for some homeowners to splash the cash.
I personally don’t like the black design but I can see many people gushing over it. I have to also admit that the front facing grills looks great compared to the one on SPT IM-600US.
- Posh design
- Approximately double the capacity of Whynter UIM-155 while remaining similar in size
- Installation required
If budget is no a concern and design is everything, this is the ice maker to get.
Buyers of U-Line BI95B-00 continually vouch over it’s durability and longevity.
4) EdgeStar IB450SSP
This is another heavy duty under-counter ice maker in the form of SPT IM-600US and nobody would fault you for thinking it is industrial grade.
Capable of churning out up to 50 pounds of ice a day (like SPT IM-600US) like a monster, EdgeStar IB450SSP also has an ice storage bin that can hold up to 25 pounds.
While it comes with a simple 3-step installation guide, getting a qualified plumber to do it is highly recommended.
Unlike other ice makers, this machine is able to make clear ice.
With the door wrapped with commercial-grade stainless steel, this will not destroy the many hours spent on designing the kitchen decor. The sides are finished as well. So it’s appearance won’t look too shabby as a stand-alone as well.
- Adjustable leveling legs
- Reversible doors
- Drain pump
- Elegant curved handle
- Drain required
- Plumber installation recommended
Pound for pound, EdgeStar IB450SSP matches SPT IM-600US with every step. It even has a pretty desirable design that some might find irresistible as well.
But when it comes to price point, SPT IM-600US offers better value.
5) Scotsman CU50GA-1A
If the Goliath production capacity that SPT IM-600US and EdgeStar IB450SSP at 50 pound of ice a day is insufficient, then the next logical choice is the Scotsman CU50GA-1A.
This is a titan that produces up to 65 pounds of ice a day. And it’s going to cost you.
But the higher retail price is not just for it’s higher capacity.
It is also partly due to the machine capable of producing gourmet impurity-free ice. This means it uses a unique internal system for processing and freezing ice.
And despite it’s mega capacity, it’s width measures just 15 inches, putting it firmly in the size range of the other 2 big ice makers on this list.
- Built in drain pump
- 65 lbs of ice a day
- UL approved for outdoor use
- Might need a plumber
If the ice maker you need is for commercial use, you would probably never turn back with a Scotsman CU50GA-1A sitting.
Which one to buy?
There is one key criteria that you need to determine why you want to buy an under-counter ice maker.
Is it for the high ice making capacity? Or is it to blend nicely into a built-in kitchen cabinet?
If you need one for high ice production, SPT IM-600US and EdgeStar IB450SSP have a proven track record of satisfied customers. If mass production is what you are after, then they might not be as powerful as Scotsman CU50GA-1A.
If you just need this type of ice maker to blend into kitchen interior design, then a smaller sized one in the form of Whynter UIM-155 or U-Line BI95B-00 will be able to meet your basic ice needs in the household while blending into the environment.
However, if you don’t specifically need an under-counter model, maybe a countertop ice maker is all that you need.