Countertop Ice Makers: Know Your Options

Author’s Note: When I look for any new product, I always like to compare my options and get as much information as possible. While customer reviews are helpful, I find that opinions vary too often on the same product. This article reviews the facts about the four most popular countertop ice makers on our site, how they perform, and the price at which they are currently being sold (subject to change). This is to help you make the most educated choice possible, and if you have any further questions, please call us, email us, or leave them in the “Comments” area below.

When it comes to finding the right countertop ice maker for your hospital or health care facility you have quite a few options. Every major ice machine provider has some sort of countertop ice maker to offer, but no two are exactly the same. We created this page to help you sort through the differences and to find the best ice maker for your establishment. Whether you don’t have a lot of space, require a lot of ice, or want to have more ice stored in your storage bin, we have a countertop ice maker for your facility.  These are the four best-selling countertop ice makers available from Ice Machines Plus.

All of these countertop ice makers are air cooled, and all of them make some form of nugget ice (despite some calling it by a different name). Scotsman is credited as the creator of nugget ice, and their ice is generally the most preferred out of all of these ice makers. They all provide distinct advantages and benefits however, so consider each one before making a decision.

Scotsman Nugget IceWe’ll start with the Scotsman MDT5N25A, since Scotsman is credited with being the pioneer of the nugget ice frenzy, beginning nearly 30 years ago. When it comes to output, this ice maker is near the top, with the ability to produce up to 523 pounds of nugget ice in a 24 hour period. Like most Scotsman ice makers, the MDT5N25A uses the least amount of water and electricity when compared to the three other brands. Another desirable trait that the MDT5N25A features can be found in its consistent production when air and water temperatures increase. On warm days, or with a warmer water supply, the MDT5N25A will still produce ice consistently, something that not all of Scotsman’s ice makers do regularly. If there is one drawback to the MDT5N25A, it would be its size. This ice maker is among the largest of these four, so it may be somewhat difficult to find space for it to operate, especially when it requires six inches of clearance on the side as well.

Ice-O-Matic’s GEMD525A is nearly identical to Scotsman’s MDT5N25A. They share the same physical features, output, water and electrical consumption, and dispense methods. The Ice-O-Matic GEMD525A sells for hundreds of dollars less than the MDT5N25A, and is the least expensive option among all of these ice makers. Ice-O-Matic ice makers do not enjoy the same popularity as the three other models mentioned in this article, but they are a subdivision of Scotsman Industries, so it makes sense that these two ice makers are similar and that the GEMD525A is built with the same lasting quality as Scotsman’s MDT5N25A. Again, the only major difference between the two is that Ice-O-Matic’s GEMD525A sells for a fraction of the price.

Manitowoc SN-20AT Thin Ice MakerManitowoc, for most people, is the most well-known brand in the world of ice makers, but in the countertop category, they leave much to be desired. Manitowoc’s largest countertop ice maker is the SN-20AT, but it produces only 261 pounds of ice in a 24 hour period – 200 pounds less than any of the competitors. All three of the other countertop ice makers provide much higher outputs and they all offer larger countertop ice makers with GREATER outputs if desired. The most desirable characteristic of Manitowoc’s SN-20AT is its size, since it measures only 16.25 inches wide- nearly 10 inches slimmer than the other ice makers. This is because the Manitowoc SN-20AT features only one spout that dispenses both ice and water. That makes the SN-20AT the best choice for areas with spatial restrictions. Otherwise, in terms of height, electrical use, and ice output, the Manitowoc SN-20AT leaves a lot to be desired. Manitowoc’s nugget ice is also not nearly of the same quality as Scotsman’s nugget ice either.

Hoshizaki’s DCM-500BAH-OS is similar to Ice-O-Matic’s and Scotsman’s ice makers in terms of size, ice production, and power and water usage. The biggest difference between Hoshizaki’s DCM-500BAH-OS and the rest is the price tag. This model is easily the most expensive, and while Hoshizaki is well-known for the high quality ice makers they produce, this unit does not exactly live up to the hype. It does not produce ice as consistently in stressful conditions as the Ice-O-Matic and Scotsman ice makers do. Hoshizaki’s DCM-500BAH-OS dispenses ice via their patented Opti-Serve dispense mechanism, and dispenses ice and water from two separate spouts, just like Ice-O-Matic and Scotsman.

Hopefully, armed with these facts and statistics, you will be able to find the best countertop ice maker for your business or health care facility. Be sure to make use of the image below that has all of the aforementioned ice makers neatly organized in one are. Feel free to download and/or share it as well if you know of someone struggling to find the right countertop ice maker for their establishment.

Countertop Ice Maker Buying Guide

This image contains all of the information listed above in one downloadable image. Only from Ice Machines Plus.