A drink served without ice at a social gathering is one of the biggest faux pas that any party host needs to avoid. But, depending on the cocktail selection you’re offering, ice cubes simply aren’t the right choice. After all, who wants a margarita that isn’t served over crushed ice?
Relying on cubed ice to create snow cones during the summer is something else that can be problematic, especially if you’ve got young children to cater for.
You might be tempted to throw some ice cubes in a blender to get crushed ice to get around these situations. But, if your blender isn’t up to the job, you’ll be risking snapping the blades and breaking it altogether.
So, what’s the solution? You need an ice crusher that can be called on for your all crushed-ice needs! Finding the right one can be a little tricky, though. A quick search online will bring up hundreds of options and, to put it simply, nobody has the time to look through all of them.
That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you. Below you’ll find a selection of the best ice crushers on the market.
We’ve also put together a handy buyer’s guide that’s packed with information on what to look for when searching for the best ice crusher for your individual needs.
OUR TOP PICK
This Countertop Snow Cone Maker from Nostalgia is the perfect crushed ice maker for parties.
It has a large, 8-ounce capacity. an easy-access opening, and an included ice scoop, so it’s ideal for allowing your guests to create their own snow cones or drinks.
The stainless steel blades make quick work of crushing standard ice cubes, and it’s easy to use as well. All you need to do is add your ice cubes to the compartment at the top of the machine, replace the lid, and turn it to start.
It has a 360º viewing window that makes it easy to see how much crushed ice you’ve got left. This is ideal if you’d like to keep a constant supply of crushed ice going, as you’ll know when to top it up.
The easy-access opening makes it easy to clean this crushed ice maker once you’ve finished.
There’s also a safety switch built into the shaving mechanism that keeps your hands safe while you clean or add more ice cubes.
- Large capacity - can hold up to 8-ounces of crushed ice at once
- Easy to use - simply fill the top-compartment with ice cubes, replace the lid, and turn it to start the stainless steel blades working
- 360º viewing window - gives you a clear measure of how much crushed ice you’ve got left
- Safety switch - keeps your hands safe while you’re cleaning the machine or adding more ice cubes
- Accessories - comes complete with an ice scoop and a snow cone holder
- Small top-compartment - while the main compartment can hold 8-ounces of crushed ice, the top compartment is smaller. This means you may have to top it up more regularly, depending on how much crushed ice you need.
If you’re looking for something easy to use and that can be taken from place to place, then the MANBA Premium Portable Ice Crusher is the perfect choice.
Simply fill the top compartment with ice cubes and turn the crank handle to manually create crushed ice.
The three stainless steel blades take all the physical effort out of it, so it’s a good choice for anybody that might struggle to use a manually operated ice crusher.
The high-quality blades are also rust-resistant, so there’s no need to worry about them dulling over time.
This ice crusher has a 1L capacity, so it’s ideal for family use and smaller social gatherings. Its portability also makes it a great choice for picnics and camping trips, and it’s easy to clean once you’ve finished with it too.
You’ll also receive a free, BPA-free silicone ice cube tray with this ice crusher. This is perfect for keeping your supply of ice cubes readily available, so they can be thrown straight into the crusher when you need some crushed ice.
- Portable - perfect for use at home as well as picnics, camping trips, and outdoor gatherings
- Manually operated - no need for an electricity supply
- Three stainless steel blades - makes quick, easy work out of crushing ice
- Rust-resistant - the blades won’t corrode or dull over time
- Free ice cube tray - helps you keep a constant supply of ice cubes ready for crushing
- Smaller capacity - the 1-liter capacity means that it will take longer to create larger quantities of crushed ice
Cuisinart is a brand renowned for its high-quality products, and this Snow Cone Maker is another addition to their fantastic range.
It’s perfect for creating snow cones, slushies, frozen alcoholic drinks, and anything else you might want crushed ice for. It’s also incredibly easy to use.
Simply fill the top compartment with your ice cubes, flip the switch, and it will begin making crushed ice for you.
The super-fast operation can make enough crushed ice for 4-5 snow cones in a single minute, so you won’t be sitting around waiting for it either.
The stainless steel blades have an interlock safety feature that is designed to keep your fingers safe while you’re loading ice cubes into the machine.
It also makes it much safer to clean the machine, and there’s no risk of injury if you forget to unplug it before cleaning.
There are several accessories included with this ice crusher, too. The first of these is a foldable, pull-out serving tray, which acts as the perfect place to hold snow cones or syrups.
It also comes with 12 paper cones and 4 BPA-free reusable cones.
- Easy to use - fill with ice cubes, flip the switch, and the machine will make crushed ice for you
- Super-fast - produces enough crushed ice to make 4-5 snow cones per minute
- Stainless steel blades - super tough and super sharp for ultimate performance
- Safety features - the blades have an interlock feature that keeps your fingers safe when loading ice cubes or cleaning the machine
- Accessories - Comes with a foldable, pull-out serving tray, 12 paper cones, and 4 BPA-free reusable cones
- Expensive - costs a little more than some other ice crushers, so not the best choice for anybody on a budget
If you’d like to be able to put some crushed ice out for your guests, but don’t necessarily want to have an ice crusher as a part of your party set up, this Electric Ice Crusher from VIVOHOME is a fantastic option.
The crushed ice collects in a stylish stainless steel bowl, which can be removed from the machine and placed on your bar.
The food-grade, stainless steel blades provide fast-results, and you’ll get up to 143lbs of crushed ice per hour.
The blades are also rust and corrosion resistant, so you’re guaranteed to get great results for years to come, regardless of how often you use the ice crusher.
It’s easy to use, too. Simply fill the stainless steel hopper with ice cubes and flip the switch. That’s all there is to it! It also has a sturdy base that keeps the machine in place while it’s making crushed ice, and a quiet self-noise level.
Safety has been considered with the design of this ice crusher as well, and it features a water-resistant switch for extra peace of mind when operating.
The blades also have an automatic shut-off feature which automatically stops them from rotating when the hopper is open. This means you can refill the ice crusher safely without any fear of injury.
- Removable bowl - minimizes space and allows you to place crushed ice on a bar or table
- Fast results - the food-grade, stainless steel blades are capable of creating 143lbs of crushed ice per hour
- Easy to use - add ice, flip the switch, and let the ice crusher do all the work for you
- Safety features - has a water-resistant switch and an automatic shut-off feature to keep you safe when adding more ice cubes
- Quiet - operates at a reduced noise level, so it won’t ruin the ambiance or disturb you
- Potentially messy - since the crushed ice isn’t contained, the stainless steel bowl may not be able to hold a larger amount without some spilling over the edges
This Ice Crusher from Time for Treats is another great option if you’re looking for something portable.
It’s also manually operated, so there’s no need to worry about finding an electricity supply. This makes it the ideal solution for alfresco parties, camping trips, and other outdoor get-togethers.
The chrome-plated steel handle is easy to turn, and it works harmoniously with the stainless steel blades to crush ice quickly and efficiently.
It also has a 4-cup capacity, so, despite its smaller size, it’s capable of holding a good amount of ice at once. Its small size makes it easier to store away neatly when it’s not in use, too.
One of the innovative design-features this ice crusher has to offer is its suction base. This allows you to place it on a smooth surface and manually crush the ice without having to worry about keeping it sturdy.
Instead, it’ll hold itself firmly in place, so you can use just one hand if you wanted to!
Adding ice cubes is super easy, too. Simply flip the lid open and place your ice cubes inside. And, since it is designed to be manually operated, there are no safety concerns to worry about when the blades are exposed.
This is a high-quality ice crusher which, unlike some of its electrical alternatives, comes with a 5-year warranty that acts as a testament to its durability and performance.
- Small and portable - perfect for outdoor social gatherings, picnics, and is easy to store when not in use
- Manually operated - no need to find an electricity supply
- Chrome-plated handle and stainless steel blades - durable, super sharp, and backed by a 5-year warranty
- Easy to use - simply flip the lid open, add your ice cubes, and turn the handle to create crushed ice in minutes
- Suction base - keeps the ice crusher sturdy when in use, even when you’re only using one hand
- Less capacity - Although this ice crusher has a good capacity for a smaller model, it isn’t the best choice for keeping crushed ice readily available in large quantities
Best Ice Crusher Buying Guide
You might think that purchasing an ice crusher seems like a simple enough task. After all, even though there are loads to choose from, they are all designed to do the same thing - crush ice.
However, there are certain things that you need to consider to make sure you get the best ice crusher for your individual needs. Below, we’ll look at some key points to keep in mind when you begin your search.
Giving a little extra thought to these will help steer you toward the perfect choice and save you time and effort in the long run.
Electric VS. Manual
The first, and arguably the most important thing you need to consider, is whether you want an ice crusher that is powered by electricity or by hand.
To work out which is the best choice for you, it’s worth thinking about where you’ll be using your ice crusher.
If you’re throwing a party then an electric ice crusher would be the best choice. This is because they can be filled with ice cubes, turned on, and left unattended while they crush the ice for you.
They are also a good choice for large families who might want to make several snow cones each day throughout the summer.
If you’re going on a camping trip or a picnic and would like to be able to make snow cones, mocktails, or frozen alcoholic drinks, a manual ice crusher might be a better choice. This is because they don’t require any connection to an electrical output.
Instead, you can simply turn a handle and crush the ice by hand. They are also much smaller, so they are easier to transport and store when they aren’t in use.
Your ice crusher will need to have super tough blades to pulverize ice cubes and turn them into crushed ice.
If they are too weak, they’ll simply bend or snap, and you’ll find yourself having to replace your ice crusher much sooner than you’d have liked.
Stainless steel blades are the best option to go for. These are really strong and sharp and will make very short work of creating crushed ice. Most stainless steel is food-grade too, so you don’t have to worry about any hygiene issues.
Some stainless steel blades are rust and corrosion resistant as well, and these will keep performing for years to come without dulling or getting damaged.
You also need to think about how quickly you need your crushed ice. If you’re throwing a party or you’re purchasing an ice crusher for a bar or restaurant, then you’ll need one that can give you a quick turnaround.
Most electric ice crushers can produce a great deal of ice per hour, up to 143lbs in some cases, so this is a good thing to look out for if you crushed ice in a fast time.
Manual ice crushers aren’t as speedy, but they don’t really need to be since they are designed to hold and produce a smaller amount of crushed ice.
With that being said, however, some manual ice crushers do have features (such as triple-blades) that can power through ice cubes in a faster amount of time than you’d expect.
As with all appliances, ice crushers can be dangerous if they aren’t operated carefully.
To prevent injury, most electric ice crushers have safety features that are designed to keep your hands safe while you use them,
The most common safety feature, and certainly one of the most important to look out for, is an automatic shut-off. This stops the blades from crushing the ice cubes when you’re adding more to the compartment.
Some ice crushers also have a water-resistant switch that takes away any fear of getting an electric shock from the machine when you’ve got wet hands.
There are fewer safety concerns to worry about with manual ice crushers, however, it’s always a good idea to look for something that is designed to keep you protected from the blades.
Price & Warranty
Finally, it’s always worth setting yourself a budget when you start shopping for an ice crusher and trying to stick to it as much as possible.
Pay attention to the features rather than the brand name, and you may find yourself being surprised by the price difference of two ice crushers that have the same features, only one of them is from a better-known brand.
It’s also a good idea to look at what sort of warranty is included with your ice crusher. Generally speaking, you’ll want the longest included warranty possible. This is a great way of getting more bang for your buck, as you’ll be covered for repair or replacement if anything were to go wrong.
Is an electric ice crusher better than a manual ice crusher?
This depends on two factors; how much crushed ice you need to make and the environment you’re using the ice crusher in.
If you’re going on a picnic or dining outdoors, and only have a few people to cater for, then a manual ice crusher would be perfectly suitable.
However, if you’re throwing a large party and have many people to provide crushed ice for, an electric ice crusher will make your life much easier.