Commercial Ice Maker

Why Are Nugget Ice Makers So Expensive? Also, An Affordable Option

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Nugget ice is distinct from other types of ice, and it is one of the most sought after types of ice on the market today. Its popularity and preference among most ice enthusiast are largely due to the impressive properties and versatile uses of nugget ice.

Related: Is nugget ice any good for coolers? Check out the answer here.

Nugget ice is also known as pellet or chewable ice and is soft, airy, and chewable. It flows and distributes more evenly around drinks compared to regular cubed ice. As different and unique nugget ice is, compared to regular cubed ice, so is the process of making it. 

The major challenge most people face with the production process of nugget ice is the cost of the commercial machine used for making it. These machines are quite expensive, and thus, it is not affordable for most individual buyers and smaller business services.

Nugget ice makers are expensive because of their size, complexity, overall design and the technology inside the unit to produce ice that’s soft and chewable.

More factors for the high cost of a nugget ice maker include:

  • Size of The Nugget Ice Makers: Most commercial nugget ice makers are quite big. Its size is important so it can meet the demand of nugget ice customers. The large size translates to more materials for its production, more integrated smart technology, and better designs. Although these contribute to the overall functionality of the product, it also massively influences the cost of the machine. 
  • Technical Set-Up: Commercial nugget ice makers and their unique design require a more sophisticated technical setup. This technical setup is oriented toward favoring the large ice production and overall efficiency of the product. This technical setup includes a built-in drain pump, sturdy base construction, stainless steel panels, and other easy control features.
  • Overall design: The design of commercial ice makers is made to suit its commercial functionality, contributing to its cost. The design can make the maintenance of the product more challenging, and even small repairs would need an expert. 
  • Regulatory Action of The Product: A commercial nugget ice machine is designed to favor a massive production of ice; thus, it must include special regulatory features to ease the operational control of the product. The inclusion of these special regulatory features also means additional cost. 
  • Multipurpose Use: A larger percentage of nugget ice machines are designed for multipurpose use. Most of the products can make other types of ice on a large scale, just as they produce nugget ice. This means the products must take up extra features for them to perform these extra tasks. The more the features included in the product, the higher the cost. 

Considering the high cost of commercial nugget ice machines, it isn’t a great choice for homeowners or even small retail businesses. It also might not be a great option for start-up businesses that are working within a limited budget.

Although owning a commercial nugget ice maker can make you a reliable supplier of ice; it might be far too expensive for your budget or capital.

Nevertheless, this cost doesn’t mean you should give up on your desire to acquire a nugget ice maker. Instead of breaking the bank on an expensive nugget ice maker, you can spend a limited amount of cash on a countertop nugget ice maker that are relatively inexpensive. Looking for our full list of the best countertop ice makers? You can check them all out here.

Cost-Effective Alternatives to Expensive Nugget Ice Makers 

There are nugget ice makers that offer amazing performance and good nugget ice production, yet come at a moderate and affordable price.

These products are portable and moderate sizes. Although they might not be able to work on a large scale, like a commercial nugget ice maker, they can be just as effective.

Related: Check out our best commercial ice makers for your business here.

NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker is an impressive and affordable option for nugget ice makers. Of all the commercial products in the highly saturated market, the NewAir Countertop Nugget machine seems to be a perfect fit for most homes and kitchens.

The Opal Nugget Ice Maker is also an affordable nugget ice maker. With the Opal Nugget Nugget Ice Maker by FirstBuild, you can produce 24 pounds of ice each day and have nugget ice in 20 minutes. You can read more about the Opal Nugget Ice Maker here. To read our comparison between the Opal Nugget Ice Maker and the NewAIr Nugget Ice Maker read our article here.

The Opal Nugget Ice Maker produces 24 pounds of ice each day. It also produces nugget ice in 20 minutes. The GE Profile Opal Nugget Ice Maker weighs over 40 pounds and has an elegant design. It is also an affordable option for homeowners to have a nugget ice maker.

The NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker has several impressive features that make it an ideal product for home and business owners that need an affordable, yet effective nugget ice maker. Some of these features include:

  • Compact Design: The NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker has a compact design and portable size. The compactness of the product alone has numerous advantages. Aside from allowing you access to nugget ice anytime you want, it will also fit into a limited space. 
  • A Fast Nugget Ice Maker: The NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker is arguably one of the fastest nugget ice makers on the market today. This product is capable of making a batch of ice in about 5 minutes compared to most other products that take about 20 minutes or more. The fast ice production of this product is primarily due to its rapid cooling system. 
  • High Value for the Money: Any buyer desires to purchase a product that will offer a high value for their money. The NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker will do just that. Despite the impressive performance of this ice maker, it is still one of the most affordable ice makers you will come across. 
  • Impressive Production: The size of this product does not limit the effective output of this product. The NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker can make up to 40lbs of ice in a day which is an impressive performance. 
  • Perfect Output: The NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker will give you nugget ice just as you want it; chewy and soft. With this ice maker, you’re going to get the same quality nugget ice as a commercial ice maker.

Technical Specifications of the NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker

The NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker has impressive technical specifications that give you lots of value for your money. Likewise, they contribute to its impressive performance and overall functionality. This product has a self-cleaning feature that keeps the product clean at all times. 

Aside from having a compact size, the product only weighs about 34lbs, making it lightweight. The NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker have an impressive water tank capacity (2L) and you don’t need any water lines or drains. Other impressive specifications of the product include an automatic overflow protection system, removable ice bin, ice storage container, and full ice basket and Low water indicator.

Overall, The NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker does not only suit your needs in term of cost, but it also fits into your lifestyle. It offers nugget ice just as you want it. 

Factors to Consider While Choosing the Best Nugget Ice Maker 

When an individual shops for any product, they certainly want to get the best. Although the market is highly saturated with diverse products, knowing the factors to consider before making a purchase, will make your decision a lot easier.

The key factors to consider while choosing the best nugget ice maker include; 

  • Cost: The best deal is usually the best price and performance in one. You’re going to get the most satisfaction when you choose a product that is affordable, yet offers impressive performance. You can also check out the warranty on the product and match it with its cost and quality.
  • Quality of Ice: Quality of ice is one of the primary features to look out for in a nugget ice maker. Producing nugget ice is not just about processing water from liquid to solid; any cooling system can do that. It is essential to find a product that will offer you the highest-quality ice. As far as nugget ice is concerned, Scotsman is the leader. In fact, in 1981, Scotsman created the concept of nugget ice. When Sonic Drive-Thru’s started to use Scotsman’s nugget ice in their stores, it really put nugget ice on the map. Now people call nugget ice – sonic ice. To learn more about the TOP Scotsman ice makers click here.
  • Production Capacity: The production capacity of the nugget ice maker is also worth due consideration. It must be efficient enough to produce quality ice in a quantity large enough to meet your needs without overworking it. 
  • Size of The Product: The size of a nugget ice maker is an essential consideration because it can influence a whole lot of other factors. It can influence critical functionalities like operational control, product capacity, versatility, and ease of maintenance. You should also consider the space you have available for an ice maker. 
  • Durability: Durability and versatility are two factors you shouldn’t overlook while considering a nugget ice maker to buy. Although nugget ice makers don’t last forever, you don’t want to purchase a product that’s going to need repairs all of the time.
  • Versatility: Any ice maker should be versatile enough to produce nugget ice just as you want it. A versatile product should be flexible enough to perform personal and commercial purposes. 
  • Ease of Installation and Set-Up: The setup and installation procedure of a good nugget ice maker should be hassle-free. You should be able to carry out some basic technical tasks on the product without having to request the service of an expert each time. 


Nugget ice is growing increasingly popular among ice fanatics, business owners, and various restaurants. Despite its high demand, the cost of acquiring a commercial nugget ice maker is proving to be a huge barrier to its availability. 

Nevertheless, there is a more affordable and portable alternative to these expensive makers.

NewAir Countertop Nugget ice maker has proven to be an effective, affordable, and versatile alternative.

Related: To learn more about the NewAir Countertop Nugget Ice Maker click here.

Related: To check out more information about the Opal Nugget Ice Maker click here.

You should also consider some critical factors such as durability, efficiency, size, operational control, and production capacity while deciding on the product to go for. 


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