Do you enjoy snow cones or frozen margaritas? Maybe you have tried making these in a blender and realized it is difficult to get the exact consistency needed for a great frozen concoction.
You are not the only one who has run into this dilemma. A shaved ice machine can certainly help to make your troubles a bit easier. These machines are designed to produce fluffy shaved ice in a matter of minutes.
You can get large quantities to feed a crowd or a small amount to make yourself a drink. Regardless of the type of shaved ice machine that you are looking for, we have pulled together ten of the best-shaved ice machines on the market.
Best Shaved Ice Machine
1. Hawaiian Shaved Ice and Snow Cone Machine with 3 Flavor Syrup Pack and Accessories
The best shaved ice machine on the market is the Hawaiian Shaved Ice brand. This is a simple and easy to use model that works for everything from a kids birthday party to a fun night.
One of the great things about this shaved ice machine that it comes as a complete kit. You will have everything from the cups to the spoon straws to the flavoring when you purchase the Hawaiian Shaved model.
One of the major things to look for in a shaved ice machine is the ability to adjust the way the ice is shaved. If you want something a little thicker or thinner, you can easily get it by adjusting the blade on the Hawaiin. This model sits on the counter quite well with the anti slip base, and you will notice that it makes the ice rather quickly.
Overall you get everything you need with this top rated model for a very fair price.
- Comes as a kit with everything you need
- Easy to adjust the ice shape
- Hawaiian flavoring is very strong and highly sought after
2. Nostalgia Snow Cone Maker
What you will love about this snow cone shaved ice maker is that it makes a reasonable amount for a very fair price. If you are feeding a crowd, this is a much easier machine to use than the Hawaiian.
The stainless steel cutting blades are efficient, and the ice is very fluffy. The blades are completely enclosed while working, making this a relatively safe snow cone maker as well.
Another fun feature is that you can watch the ice as it piles up. Overall this machine gives an excellent experience and some wonderful snow cones for everyone to enjoy.
- Can also purchase a complete kit with flavors
- Stainless steel cutting blades
- Large capacity
3. Cuisinart Snow Cone Maker
Cuisinart makes a variety of kitchen gadgets and supplies. It should come as no surprise that they also offer a snow cone maker as part of their arsenal. With the Cuisinart, you can use the crushed ice to make snow cones, slushies, or even a frozen lemonade.
This is a versatile and fast working machine. You can use standard ice cubes and come up with your own syrups and juices to create an impressive snow cone to share with family and friends.
In less than a minute, you can have enough ice for about five snow cones. This makes the Cuisinart one of the faster shaved ice makers on the market. When you want to turn your Cuisinart on and off, you will simply flip a switch on the side of the unit.
Outside of that, the operation is easy, and the pricing is fair, considering the Cuisinart name stands behind the product.
- BPA free
- Fast ice shaving
- Quick and easy to put together
4. Nostalgia Snow Cone Maker
The Nostalgia brand makes our list yet again. This particular machine is really built for parties and get-togethers. Although this looks quite nice, it is not something you are going to want to pull out to make a snow cone for one kid.
The Nostalgia Vintage is going to make about 20 snow cones at one time. The cutting blade is made with stainless steel, and it works very quickly and efficiently as well.
This particular model has a side shelf that helps you stay organized and your hand out and produce quite a few snow cones. That is what makes this one of the best models for feeding a crowd.
Since this is a model that will be built for use at children’s parties, there are safety measures in place. The safety switch is built directly into the shaving blade so that it will switch off if the door to the blade is opened while in use.
Children should be supervised while using this shaved ice machine, but it is rather safe.
- Built for children parties
- Makes a lot of snow cones in a short period of time
- Comes with accessories
5. Instant Ace Nova Cooking Blender
If you don’t want to make snow cones for the entire neighborhood, then the Instant Ace Nova could be a choice to consider. With this Ace Nove, you can make quite a few things, not just shaved ice.
The Instant Ace Nova has ten speeds and is customizable as well. You can easily make smoothies and shaved ice drinks as well. If you want to make margaritas or frozen cocktails, this is a great blender to choose from.
You probably know by now how we feel about kitchen gadgets that can complete more than one job. This powerful blender does a great job of making soups, and then it will keep them warm for up to two hours after hot blending.
- Very versatile
- Can use for cold and warm food
- Fair price for all that it can do
6. MANBA Ice Shaver and Snow Cone Machine
The Manba Ice Shaver is one of our favorite options on the list because of the simplicity of the design. It doesn’t matter where you are; you can take out this small portable unit and whip up a great frozen cocktail or slushie.
The stainless steel blades will never rust, and they are plenty sharp enough to use on regular ice cubes. The Mamba will not take up too much of your cabinet space, and it is simple and easy to operate.
Your arm will not get tired of turning the crank on the ice before you will need to refill with more ice. Of course, for a party of people looking for snow cones, the Manba will be a bit small, but if you want a few frozen drinks, this is the perfect shaved ice machine.
- Comes with an ice cube tray
- Lightweight, small and portable
- Sharp blades will not dull with full ice cubes
7. Nostalgia Snow Cone Maker
If you like the functionality and design of the Nostalgia in our other top choices, but the size is too large, then this single countertop model will be perfect for you. This smaller Nostalgia unit is still going to have that retro look to it; it is just going to be a much smaller unit.
This is a perfect shaved ice machine if you want to make a few snow cones or a flavored drink. It is much smaller in size than other large snow cone makers, and it works quickly and easily. If you are limited in space, you will enjoy this model.
There is an LED power gauge on the front of the unit that lets you know when the ice shaver is running. The on off lever is easy to use, and this machine does all the work for you.
As with all of the Nostalgia machines, safety is always a priority. There are safety mechanisms in place that help to keep little fingers from getting hurt while in the process of making a great treat.
- Stainless steel blades
- Great for making fluffy ice
- Can purchase additional kits to make it a complete solution
8. Nostalgia Slush Drink Maker
Not everyone has the same concept of shaved ice in their heads. This is a Slush Drink maker that is going to make drinks that are slightly soupier than a snow cone. In fact, if you are someone that likes when your snow cone melts a little before you eat it, this is the model for you.
The slush drinker maker can hold up to 32 ounces making it perfect for a family or a small party. You simply have to add ice and the flavoring, and the slushie maker will take care of the rest.
Another great thing about this is that the tank will stay cool and allow your slushy drink to store in there for a little while before you end up with a bowl full of liquid. Therefore you can make this slushy and serve it to everyone while it is still cold and ice like.
Although the slushy can be a bit different than a shaved ice machine, some people plan on trying to make a slush drink from their shaved ice.
- Simple to use
- Large capacity
- Creates a slightly different consistency than plain shaved ice
9. Dash Shaved Ice Maker + Slushie Machine
If you are just getting into snow cone and slushie making, then the Dash is a great place to start. This is a very small model that ways less than a pound. One of the things we like best about the Dash is the ability to take this camping or use it in a small apartment.
Of course, we wouldn’t want to make frozen margaritas for a crowd using this small model, but for a few people, it is perfect. The Dash works well with standard size ice cubes.
With 85 watts of power, you will find that the Dash has plenty of power to quickly make you a frozen drink. One of the great things about having a machine like this at home is that you can control how much sugar you add to your ice treats.
- Small and compact unit
- Plenty of power
- Easily fits in a cabinet
- Easy to clean
10. ZENY Ice Shaver Machine Electric Snow Cone Maker
Last but certainly not least on our list is the Zeny Ice Shaver. If you want something that is more of a commercial type model, this is the best choice to consider. The Zeny will help you produce a ton of shaved ice in a very short period of time. This is a model you can use in a store or school as well.
One of the great things about this commercial type shaved ice machine is that it is still very fairly priced. You can get up to 140 pounds of shaved ice in an hour. It is going to take a large crowd to eat that many snow cones!
Everything on the Zeny is going to be rust resistant and long lasting. The blade will automatically shut off when the hopper handles are open. This helps to make sure that the machine is running only when ice is in place.
- Commercial grade
- Fast working
- Good safety features in place
Things To Consider When Shopping For The Best Shaved Ice Machine
Now that you have a better understanding and knowledge of the best shaved ice machines on the market, how will you break down which one is the best for you? Let’s take a look at some of the major factors that you should consider before you purchase your shaved ice machine.
As you will see from our reviews, these shaved ice machines come in a variety of different sizes. Some are large enough to make twenty snow cones at a time, and others will make a single margarita.
You will have to choose a unit that will give you a balance of what you need it for and what you have room for. Some of the larger models are going to be something that probably gets stored in a garage or a pantry as opposed to a kitchen cabinet.
If you need a shaved ice machine for one party, choose a medium sized unit. You will get through the party just fine, and then you can still use this for future shaved ice projects. At least it one be limited to a single use.
Shaved ice machines tend to run anywhere from around $30 to over $100. Overall these are not the most expensive kitchen gadgets out there. The biggest discrepancies you will see in price will center around the size of the machine.
The larger the unit, the more expensive the shaved ice maker is going to be. You will also see that the package sets sell for quite a bit more than the basic ice makers. The package sets come with the syrup to help make snow cones or flavored drinks.
This is where the real cost lies when you start to make flavored drinks. The ice shaver and the ice itself are going to be the lowest prices of the entire project. Look for sales on the syrup and flavoring and learn how to make your own as well.
Having a shaved ice machine that can do more than just shave ice helps to keep the number of kitchen appliances down. As you can see from our list, some shaved ice machines specialize in ice, but there are others that can make smoothies or even soups as well.
Again, you will have to consider exactly what put you in the market for a shaved ice machine in the first place. If it is a children’s birthday party, then you may need the larger machine built directly for the shaving of ice.
Look for a blade that is stainless steel. There are a few reasons that stainless steel is so important. A stainless steel blade will not rust over time. When exposed to ice and water continually, a blade can start to rust. With stainless, you won’t have to worry about this.
Stainless blades also help to make sure that even large ice cubes can be cut through. The last thing you want is to have to break your ice before your shaved ice machine can break the ice. Paying for a higher quality blade is a decision that you will not regret.
Most shaved ice machines have some good safety precautions in place. They are designed so that when the door to the blades is opened, the blade will shut off. If you want your children to help you with this project, make sure to choose a model that has these safety precautions in place.
For the most part, a shaved ice machine should be relatively safe. As long as the door to the blade is properly monitored, there is very little risk for injury outside of this area.
How much shaved ice do you need?
Some machines can put out over 100 pounds of shaved ice an hour, and others are designed to make one or two treats before being put away. You will have to manage the amount you need with a few other factors like size and costs.
Although capable of producing a lot of ice, the larger machines are going to be more expensive than the smaller units. Sometimes when you see a larger shaved ice machine offered at a low price, it may be a lower powered option.
Make sure you look for the specifications and how much ice this machine can put out.
Another important factor when it comes to output is to make sure that you don’t push the shaved ice machine. If you try and take a small blender type machine and make snow cones for forty kids, you will probably end up burning out your shave ice machine.
Choose something that fits the size of the task at hand.
You will notice that some shaved ice machines are sold as a complete kit. They will come with cups to hold a snow cone, the syrup, and sometimes some other accessories to make it a complete set. You will pay considerably more for these sets because of the syrup.
Syrup for snow cones is expensive. It is a very high sugar concentration, and you should only need a few drops of it to flavor your ice. A large bottle of syrup should last you quite a bit of time.
Types of Ice
Is there a difference between shaved ice and a slushy?
As you probably saw from our reviews, some shaved ice machines make shaved ice, and others will make slush ice. There are some differences that are worth being aware of. With the shave ice, you are going to get the small hard pieces that will be like you see in a snow cone.
With the slushie, the ice is going to be slightly more melted and drinkable. Some shaved ice machines are capable of making both types of shaved ice and slushies, and some will make one or the other.
If you think you will be using your shaved ice machine to make a lot of frozen cocktails, we recommend something like the Nostalgia SM32RR. It does a great job and can feed a crowd of people.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few questions that we were asked about the shaved ice machines that we reviewed.
How do you make shaved ice Fluffy?
Fluffy shaved ice makes for really great snow cones and icy treats. When the ice stays fluffy, it is easier to eat and more fun to consume. Many people try to make ice on their own and realize that it does not stay fluffy.
Using a traditional blender to make shaved ice will sometimes lead to shaved ice that is a bit more heavy; the reason behind this is that the blade is not necessarily cut out for cutting ice. Although blenders are capable of cutting ice, it is not the same as a shaved ice machine.
Shaved ice machines have a stainless steel blade specifically designed to cut through the ice at a fast rate of speed. This fast speed, combined with a sharp blade, helps to make sure that the ice does not melt in the process of making it.
When the ice can stay cold and not turn into water before you get the chance to eat it, it will stay fluffy. The fluffy ice is going to work much better for a snow cone. When you pour syrup over the fluffy shaved ice, it will distribute itself much better across the entire cone.
When the ice gets a little wetter, you will notice that the syrup does not tend to distribute itself relatively as evenly across the ice. This is why it pays to get a shaved ice machine if you plan on making ice treats for a crowd of people.
Is shaved ice the same as Italian ice?
Shaved ice and Italian ice are not the same things. Shaved ice is going to be more of a crunch texture. Shaved ice is produced and then flavored with syrup before it is eaten. The Italian ice is made in a completely different way.
For starters, Italian ice is made with a silkier and smoother type of ice that is going to be a little different to eat than a snow cone. Italian ices contain sugar, water, and flavorings as opposed to the shaved ice that is usually just ice and a flavoring.
When making Italian ices, the flavoring will be added before the final freezing/serving process. All the ingredients are put together; all of the ice is coated with the flavoring, and then it is frozen again and served when ready. The process and the taste are different when you compare shaved ice and Italian ice.
Hopefully, our list of the best shaved ice machines has helped you narrow down some options that would work in your home. The Hawaiin shaved ice machine stands out as the best overall.
With this machine, you are going to get everything you need to make snow cones, and the process is about as simple as it gets. When finished making your snow cones, you can store the Hawaiin shaved ice machine in your kitchen cabinet with ease.
This particular model offers a ton of great benefits for a very fair value.