Table of Contents
- Top 10 Snow Cone Machines
- 10. Classic Cuisine Brand Shaved Ice Maker
- 9. Great Northern Popcorn Company’s Great Northern Polar Pal
- 8. West Bend Brand Jelly Belly Snow Cone Machine, Model JB15335
- 7. Zeny Brand Commercial Snow Cone Machine
- 6. Nostalgia Brand Retro Single Snow Cone Making Machine, Model RSM702
- 5. Hawaiian Shaved Ice Brand Snow Cone Machine, Model S700
- 4. Vivohome Brand Ice Crusher/ Ice Shaver / Snow Cone Maker
- 3. Cuisinart Snow Cone Maker, Model SCM-10
- 2. Little Snowie 2 Ice Shaver
- 1. Nostalgia Brand Snow Cone Maker, Model SCM502
- What Should You Look for in Snow Cone Machines?
What Is a Snow Cone Machine?
Snow cone machines shave or grind up ice to create an easily consumed cool treat that is popular in the summer. Snow cone machines tend to make coarser, crunchier pieces of ice, typically served in 6-ounce snow cone cups. Shaved ice machines make finer, smaller ice pieces at are served in anything from 8 to 20-ounce cups. Yet these aren’t completely separate categories, because some snow cone machines let you set them to make shaved ice. You can add almost any fruit juice or flavoring to the chopped or shaved ice to create an affordable snack to eat at home, treat for sale or refreshing beverage of your choice.
Top 10 Snow Cone Machines
There is no one size fits all package for this product. Instead, each person needs to find a product that fits their needs and expectations. That is why we’re going to list our favorite top ten snow cone machines.
10. Classic Cuisine Brand Shaved Ice Maker
This snow cone machine is safe for children to use. It won’t even operate if you don’t have the lid and securing nut in place. This machine is rather lightweight, and you can disassemble it for easy storage. It is short enough to fit on most countertops though you may have cabinets right above it.
One downside of this model is related to the price – it is cheap because it is made of cheap plastic. You could break the bowl if you drop it or just hit it too hard. It isn’t durable.
9. Great Northern Popcorn Company’s Great Northern Polar Pal
The Great Northern Polar Pal is an ice shaver and snow cone maker by a company better known for making popcorn machines. This unit has a commercial-grade motor. It puts out several pounds of ice per minute if you can feed it ice fast enough. One annoyance is that you have to load up the blocks of ice before you can start it up and see that high output. Yes, it only uses blocks of ice. If you don’t buy those, then you will need to freeze your own blocks of ice in the freezer to feed into this snow cone maker.
Better yet, it has equally good safety features. They have far better than average customer service. You can replace the blade, too, if you wear it out. A minor perk of the design is that it only dispenses the ice down – it will never spray ice all over the counter, especially if there isn’t a cup under the dispenser.
One issue with the unit is that it is too heavy to really take where you may want it. It will sit in a corner of the kitchen or you’ll need to be careful carrying the nearly 40-pound unit when putting it away.
8. West Bend Brand Jelly Belly Snow Cone Machine, Model JB15335
This snow cone machine is made for kids who want to make their own snow cones. The cheap little snow cone maker dispenses ice into cones one at a time, but the design minimizes the mess made and makes it easy to clean up, too. While it is cheap, you can switch between finely shaved ice and coarser snow cone ice. That setting is a simple twist knob your kids can safely adjust themselves.
The unit comes with several cups, straws and flavor syrup samples so you can use it at least once straight out of the box. The only downside is that it has poor quality. It is easy to break. It will work for a single summer, at most.
7. Zeny Brand Commercial Snow Cone Machine
This commercial snow cone machine is surprisingly affordable, costing as much as high-end personal snow cone machines. It is capable of making 440 pounds of shaved ice per hour. This unit has multiple safety features so you can safely feed it ice, pieces of fruit, juice, and flavoring in bulk without getting hurt. It even has a water-proof cover over the on-off switch so that you can always turn it off if concerned.
Use this to turn ice and pieces of fruit into an ultra-healthy frozen smoothie, whether you’re handing it out at parties or selling it to the public. It meets the health and safety standards for cafes and other places that serve the public. It is quite energy-efficient, too.
What’s the downside? It is truly a snow cone machine – it cannot make shaved ice. There are complaints that the manufacturer has sold used models as new.
6. Nostalgia Brand Retro Single Snow Cone Making Machine, Model RSM702
This retro snow cone machine looks like it fell out of a time warp from the 1950s. It is designed to make one snow cone at a time. You place a single snow cone cup under the ice dispenser, add standard ice cubes and let it do its work. It gives you the finely shaved ice that you tend to get with premium models.
This model is cheaper than some of the higher capacity units, and it is designed to sit on your countertop. One downside is how slow it works. A common problem with this and other Nostalgia ice makers is the tendency of ice cubes getting stuck when you load it with too many pieces of ice. Put in, at most, three ice cubes to minimize the odds of a jam. Do not put a finger or knife into the machine to clear the jam.
5. Hawaiian Shaved Ice Brand Snow Cone Machine, Model S700
We’re recommending this simple to use snow cone machine because it comes with everything. You get a basic little snow cone machine that is safe for use around children. You receive three popular flavorings to add to the ice. And you receive two dozen spoon straws and a stack of snow cone cups for guests to enjoy. This kit is ideal for buying snow cones for a birthday party or one-time use. It has the same capacity as the 6 flavor party pack by the same manufacturer but is a better overall value.
The manufacturer does sell their branded snow cone flavorings online and in the store, so if you like the smaller sampler bottles shipped with this kit, you can get more of it though it isn’t cheap. If you run the motor for very long, you may have to pause to let it cool down.
4. Vivohome Brand Ice Crusher/ Ice Shaver / Snow Cone Maker
This Vivohome model snow cone maker sits at the edge of commercial capability. It can make more than 140 pounds of crushed and chopped ice per hour. And you pay significantly less for this model than a commercial snow cone maker. It makes rather fine shaved ice, but you cannot set it to make larger “snow cone” chunks of ice.
Pour ice into the hopper and let it work. It makes relatively little noise while it operates. It has multiple safety features that you normally find in commercial models. You get a decent one year warranty. It works fast. A minor issue is that this unit does spray bits of ice everywhere, including past the edge of the large bowel.
A periodic complaint includes items damaged during shipping or sold as new while being obviously used. If you buy a unit online that was apparently used, it may be past the manufacturer’s warranty period and cannot get customer service. If you buy it now, though, and something like a seal bust, then the company is eager to help you.
3. Cuisinart Snow Cone Maker, Model SCM-10
Cuisinart is better known for blenders and salad makers, but they sell snow cone makers, as well. This unit costs a little more than some of the other models on this list designed for home use. It makes real shaved ice. You can use ice cubes from the fridge and almost any juice. One annoyance for customers is that it makes bigger ice chips, not fine shaved ice.
It works incredibly fast; you can make ice for four snow cones in less than a minute once you’ve hit the switch. The unit has two storage spots for two cones. It comes with a few reusable plastic cones and paper cones.
This unit has better than average safety features, so it is safe to use around children. By dispensing the ice into the main cube, it won’t spray ice everywhere.
The downside is the poor quality parts; it will wear out rather quickly and will break if you apply too much pressure when loading it.
2. Little Snowie 2 Ice Shaver
This ice shaver was made by Snowie. Snowie is better known for making commercial shaved ice machines, but this model is intended for home use. One upside of this model is speed – it will fill a cup with shaved ice in a matter of seconds. You can add standard ice cubes to feed it. The unit comes with half a dozen samples of flavored syrup. And you get eight serving spoons.
One downside of this model is the price; its kitchen model costs as much as high-capacity professional models you’d use in a carnival booth. Conversely, the manufacturer has an excellent reputation for replacing items that break shortly after you buy it. The unit is incredibly noisy, whether you’re running it at full speed or slowly loading the ice.
1. Nostalgia Brand Snow Cone Maker, Model SCM502
This cute little snow cone maker resembles the old popcorn making machines or ice cream carts you might have seen in the movie theater decades ago. That’s the point of nearly everything sold by Nostalgia.
The Nostalgia brand has several advantages. It shaves the ice and stores it in a convenient case that you can scoop as required. You don’t have to wait for the ice to fill the cup to dole it out; simply let it grind the ice until you’re ready to serve. While it resembles a large wheeled cart, it is designed to sit on your counter. It can hold two snow cones until they’re ready to be served, allowing a parent to prepare several before doling them out.
This snow cone maker is compatible with all Nostalgia brand snow cone kits. And you can dump in conventional ice cubes for it to convert into shaved ice. By spraying the ice into the storage bin, you won’t get ice on the counter when you use this model. The downsides include slow delivery of shaved ice and a tendency to jam, be careful to only put something like a straw in to clear the jam instead of a finger or knife.
Know what you truly want to get out of a snow cone machine so that you can find what works for you. The models that let children make snow cones on their own aren’t what you’ll want to use to make shaved ice with fruit juice so you can create upscale cocktails in volume.