Nothing beats shaved ice as a quick and easy dessert, especially on a hot day. Just shave a block of ice, pour some syrup and condensed milk over it and viola, an instant sweet treat. This dessert often confused for a snow cone, but the difference is in the ice. Snow cones have finely crushed ice; shaved ice is fluffy, almost snowy.
The best shaved ice makers will have you making snowy desserts quickly and smoothly. These gadgets take the tediousness out of shaving ice. And because they’re designed with playful colors, kids will love using them to make their own ice desserts.
Adults, meanwhile, will find them handy for more than just making a low-calorie frozen dessert. They’re a great alternative to heavy duty ice blenders because they can easily produce ice for a glass of margarita using less power and noise.
Shaved ice makers come in two types: manual and electric. The electric model is more popular because it’s more easy and convenient to use especially when you’re making more than one dessert.
Electric ice makers also offer more features. Some models come with options for making crushed ice for snow cones or shaved ice for Hawaiian ice. Others offer fully automatic functions that include flavoring the shaved ice with your desired syrup.
But if you’re looking for portability, a manual model is the better choice. It does the job of producing shaved ice as efficiently as the electric version but at a lesser cost. It’s also useful if you want to make shaved ice outdoors where there is no electrical outlet.
In this list, I’ve reviewed the best ones available on Amazon. Here are my top five shaved ice makers for making frozen desserts.
Table of Contents
- The Best Shaved Ice Makers
- 1. Hawaiian Shaved Ice Shaved Ice and Snow Cone Machine, 120V, White
- 2. Cuisinart Snow Cone Maker, One Size, Red
- 3. Little Snowie Max Snow Cone Machine – Premium Shaved Ice Maker, With Powder Sticks Syrup Mix, 6-Stick Kit
- 4. Dash Shaved Ice Maker + Slushie Machine with Stainless Steel Blades for Snow Cone
- 5. MANBA Ice Shaver and Snow Cone Machine – Premium Portable Ice Crusher and Shaved Ice Machine with Free Ice Cube Trays
- Buyers Guide to Picking The Best Shaved Ice Maker
The Best Shaved Ice Makers
- Hawaiian Shaved Ice Shaved Ice and Snow Cone Machine, 120V, White
- Cuisinart Snow Cone Maker, One Size, Red
- Little Snowie Max Snow Cone Machine – Premium Shaved Ice Maker, With Powder Sticks Syrup Mix, 6-Stick Kit
- Dash Shaved Ice Maker + Slushie Machine with Stainless Steel Blades for Snow Cone
- MANBA Ice Shaver and Snow Cone Machine – Premium Portable Ice Crusher and Shaved Ice Machine with Free Ice Cube Trays
1. Hawaiian Shaved Ice Shaved Ice and Snow Cone Machine, 120V, White
This is an electric shaved ice and snow cone machine that can be disassembled for easy storage. It has an adjustable, stainless steel blade that’s great for making shaved ice which you can use for slushies, snow cones, or even your margaritas.
It will shave a block of ice in about 2 minutes, after which it needs to rest for 3 minutes. About 5-7 minutes are needed to make each serving of shaved ice. The blade can be adjusted to produce finer snow ice. The manufacturer, however, recommends thawing out the ice block for 5-10 minutes before shaving it in order to get fine and fluffy ice.
The machine plugs directly into any standard household electric plug (120V) and uses a 55W motor to run the shaving blade. Its 3-piece design makes it quick and easy to assemble it.
The housing is made from BPA-free plastic; 2 ice molds and a non-slip mat are also included with the unit. There is also an option to buy additional ice molds and an extra replacement blade.
This is an ETL listed product. It comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- Makes snowy ice and crunchy ice
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Relatively noisy
- May have some difficulty with shaving freezer ice cubes; needs to use ice from its mold
2. Cuisinart Snow Cone Maker, One Size, Red
This is another electric snow cone maker that uses a professional motor and blade mechanism to make shaved ice for snow cones, slushies, or cocktails. It’s made from BPA-free plastic and features a removable ice bin and a pull-out serving tray with an interlock safety feature. It won’t run if the lid is open or the ice tray is removed.
It can make enough ice for 4-5 cones in under a minute using regular ice cubes. One user commented that using freezer ice cubes will result in more powdery snow ice while ice from a stand alone ice maker will result in chunkier, softer ice.
The unit includes 4 BPA-free reusable cones, 12 paper cones, and a mini recipe booklet. It comes with a limited 3-year warranty.
- Easy to use and clean
- Interlock Safety feature
- Its plastic arm doesn’t feel durable
- Some comments about the quality of the shaved ice; they say it’s actually crushed ice.
3. Little Snowie Max Snow Cone Machine – Premium Shaved Ice Maker, With Powder Sticks Syrup Mix, 6-Stick Kit
This is a heavy duty snow cone machine that’s equipped with a 1000W motor capable of reaching 2.7 peak horse power. Its blade is made from 301 hardened stainless steel with an extra full hard temper.
The blade has 10 edges so it produces fluffy snow ice in just 3 seconds. It also works on regular freezer ice cubes or store bought ice cubes just as easily and quickly.
It’s also equipped with a built-in dome shaper so that you can conveniently fill your cup and mold the perfect dome top on any snow cone or cup.
It also has a safety feature: it will only operate when the lid is fully pressed down. This prevents any fingers from being cut by the blade when it is being used.
Compact and portable, the kit also includes 6 flavor powder sticks (makes 6 pints of syrup), 2 mixing bottle with pour spouts, and 8 Snowie shovels. It comes with a no hassle 1-year warranty.
- Super fast
- Easy to use and clean
- Blade isn’t adjustable for coarseness
- Very loud
4. Dash Shaved Ice Maker + Slushie Machine with Stainless Steel Blades for Snow Cone
This is an automatic shaved ice maker that’s so easy and fun to operate that even kids can do it themselves. It weighs less than a pound and can be stored away conveniently so it’s also ideal for small kitchens or for dorm rooms.
It is equipped with a stainless steel blade, an 85W motor and dishwasher safe parts for easy cleanup. Just plug it in, add regular ice cubes, twist the transparent lid on, and watch it shave ice.
This product comes with a 1-year manufacturer warranty.
- Easy to use and clean
- Blade is not adjustable
5. MANBA Ice Shaver and Snow Cone Machine – Premium Portable Ice Crusher and Shaved Ice Machine with Free Ice Cube Trays
This is a portable hand crank ice shaver that’s perfect for making iced desserts even in places without electricity.
It uses four 18/8 stainless steel blades that are durable and rust resistant. The blade mechanism sits on top of a transparent bowl. You can choose between getting coarse crushed ice or fine shaved ice by pressing the lid hard or lightly. One user recommends using big pieces of square ice and not shaking it while shaving in order to get snowy ice.
It has a built-in non-slip bottom that adds stability to the machine when it’s being cranked. The bowl can also be used as an ice bucket or a serving bowl. It also comes with a flexible silicone ice cube tray that holds 15 ice cubes.
The non-metal parts are made from BPA-free, food grade plastic and are dishwasher-safe.
- Kid friendly
- Portable and easy to use
- Takes a while to produce shaved ice, unlike automated models
- The handle feels lightweight so go easy on the cranking
Buyers Guide to Picking The Best Shaved Ice Maker
If you like making shaved ice desserts for a large crowd, get a large one so that you don’t have to refill the ice often. But if you’re fine with just making 1 or 2 servings at a time, a smaller machine would suffice.
A shaved ice maker with a 30W motor is enough for household use and is good for making frozen desserts in small quantities. It’s also cheaper than a high wattage machine.
But if you’re looking to make shaved ice in large quantities, get a gadget that’s powered by a 100W motor at the minimum. This way it will be able to withstand shaving many pounds of ice for longer periods of time.
A high powered motor would also be able to provide a fast rotation speed for its stainless steel blade. The faster its RPM, the more quickly it can produce shaved ice for your needs. For example, an ice machine with a 2,000 RPM rotation speed can produce 145 pounds of shaved ice per hour which is more than enough for your party needs.
High quality shaved ice gadgets use 301 stainless steel for their blades which makes them stronger and durable for mechanical applications like ice shaving. These types of blades may have more than one shaving edge and the more edges there are, the more easy it is to produce shaved ice.
For instance, a blade with 10 edges makes about 14 total inches of shaving space so that it more efficiently produces shaved ice than a 1-edge stainless steel blade.
The texture of the ice can vary among brands. The high end models can definitely create powdery snow-like ice shaving but as you go down the price ladder, you can encounter models that make finely crushed ice that’s crunchy, not soft. There’s no right or wrong texture though; pick the one that you prefer. The best option would be a gadget that can do both.
Electric or Manual
This all boils down to ease of use. If you don’t want to do the tedious task of cranking an shaved ice machine, you can pick an electric model so that everything can be done automatically. Some will even have convenient features that allow you to program flavor and consistency.
If you want to have more versatility with your frozen dessert, pick a shaved ice maker that comes with accessories that allow you to be creative. Examples of these are ice molds, cups, straws, and even flavor syrups.
While this type of product isn’t really that expensive, it still makes good consumer sense to get one that has a warranty. Most models come with at least a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty which is the industry standard. Getting a warranty will save you a lot of frustration later if the unit happens to have any malfunction or defect and you need to have it replaced.