Best Nugget Ice Maker For 2022

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Are you a guilty ice chewer?

Instead of buying bags and bags of sonic ice, why not get a pellet ice maker for home so you never have to worry about running out of your favorite ice?

Homemade sonic ice has become more accessible to ice lovers over the years, thanks to the innovation of portable nugget ice makers. These compact countertop units are more affordable compared to the commercial units which cost thousands of dollars.

We’ve put together 5 best nugget ice makers so you can find one that matches your needs in terms of features and nugget ice production capacity.

Best Nugget Ice Maker – Top Picks

Nugget ice maker is also often known as Pellet Ice Maker Or Sonic Ice Maker.

Others Worth Mentioning

Contents

What Is Sonic Ice Also Called?

Sonic ice got its name as it was made famous by the fast-food chain Sonic. It is also called nugget ice or pellet ice.

What Is Sonic Ice and What’s the Hype?

Not all ice is made equal.

Regular ice is easy to make. You can do it in your freezer without special equipment. But the biggest problem with normal ice is that it is hard as a rock.

It is difficult to bite so you can’t really enjoy the crunch. Your dentist wouldn’t like it too.

Nugget ice on the other hand is softer and chewable, so you can enjoy the satisfying crunch in your mouth. The ice is also more porous so it’s able to absorb and retain the flavours of your drink, making it tastier.

The size of nugget ice is smaller so it can really fill up the whole glass and cool down the drink faster than the regular chunky ice cubes. Compared to crushed ice and regular ice, nugget ice melts slower so they keep your drink cool longer without diluting the drink too quickly.

The reason why nugget ice has a lighter and more airy texture than the regular ice lies in how it is being made. Ice is first flaked then layered and compressed into nuggets or pellets (hence the names nugget ice or pellet ice). In the process, there are tiny air pockets trapped within the layered ice giving the soft, airy, chewy texture.

Even if you are not an ice chewer, you’ll find that nugget ice can improve your drinking experience due to its versatility and superior texture. After all, ice is a major component of any cocktails, frappes and sodas.

Do You Really Need an Ice Machine That Makes Sonic Ice?

A sonic ice maker for home use is not a cheap appliance to own.

I know it’s not easy to justify, especially if it’s a single-function appliance costing in the range of over 300 to 600 dollars.

However, if you are an ice lover and regularly buy bags of ice, the ice pellet maker will pay for itself in no time. And you don’t have to worry about running out of ice during parties or gatherings.

#1 – GE Profile Opal Nugget Ice Maker– Best Overall

GE Profile Opal | Countertop Nugget Ice Maker with Side Tank | Portable Ice Machine with Bluetooth Connectivity | Smart Home Kitchen Essentials | Stainless Steel Finish | Up to 24 lbs. of Ice Per Day

The GE Profile Opal Nugget Ice Maker is a tried and tested sonic ice machine. In fact it is the pioneer of portable nugget ice makers.

The ice bin capacity (3 Ibs) and ice production rate is pretty much mid of the range compared to its peers. However, the quality of the nugget ice is well-loved. On top of the common features of countertop nugget ice machines, Opal has a couple of unique features which makes it more convenient.

The only downside is that it doesn’t seem to be able to last for years. Perhaps this is due to the fact that this is still a relative new technology, say compared to a refrigerator? Given the cost of the unit, I would recommend to get the extended warranty.

If you are interested to find out more, we have an in-depth review of the Opal Nugget Ice Maker.

Features Unique to Opal

  • Water filter and UV-light in the water reservoir to sanitize the water. Keeping the water and ice tasting fresher.
  • Extra side tank accessory hold 3x cacpacity so you don’t have to refill water frequently
  • Opal 1.0 features bluetooth connectivity. Upgraded to wifi connectivity and voice control

Common Sonic Ice Machine Features

  • Automatic refill of ice when run lows
  • Transparent ice tray… easy to see, easy to access. Pull out drawer and tilt open so that you can be hands-free. Can be removed to make more ice.
  • LED light
  • No need to connect to water soure
  • Compact for countertop
  • Self-cleanng

Opal 2.0 Nugget Ice Maker vs Opal 1.0

A common question is whether the Opal 2.0 is worth it, so let’s take a look at what has changed.

The Opal 2.0 comes with a color update. The new steel black which looks cool and sleek on the countertop.

It is also more intuitive to use – more buttons and text-based indicators

Smart features have definitely improved. The bluetooth connectivity is now replaced by Wifi connectivity. you can pair up with the app to check on status and start/stop ice creation program, turn on/off the lights. You can even use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant

PROS

  • Good quality nugget ice
  • Makes nugget ice in 20-30 minutes
  • Ice bin holds 3 Ibs of ice
  • Automatic/Smart refill when ice runs low
  • Sensor to detect when ice bin is full to prevent overfill
  • Removable and easy to access ice bin
  • Extra water side tank to reduce frequency of refilling water
  • Water filter and UV-sanitizing light in the water reservoir
  • Self-cleaning feature
  • 1 button operation
  • Different indicator light to show status
  • Compact for countertop
  • No need to be hooked up to a water supply
  • Easy to carry with its simple and ergonomic rectangular design
  • Bluetooth connectivity (but limited function)
  • Detailed user manual (but very long)

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Heavy
  • Ice production rate slower than some of its peers
  • Makes humming noise due to the compressor running
  • Advisable to get extended warranty

Key Specifications

  • Dimension (without side tank): 10.5” x 15.5” x 16.5” (WxDxH)
  • Dimension (side tank): 3.75” x 7.5” x 17.2” (WxDxH)
  • Clearance needed: 3 inches on the sides and back
  • Weight: 44 Ibs
  • Ice production rate:  24 Ibs of ice per 24 hours
  • Ice storage capacity: 3 Ibs
  • Voltage: 120 V
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Refrigerant: R600
  • Drip tray and Ice scoop included
  • Stainless steel exterior

Who Is It For?

If you a sonic ice lover, you will be pleased with the quality of the nugget ice and convenience. Opal 2.0 comes with new features that are nice to have but if smart features are not important to you, Opal 1.0 still offers great value.

If you are interested to find out more, we have an in-depth review of the Opal Nugget Ice Maker.

Who Is It NOT For?

This is an expensive unit so it may not fit everyone’s budget. I understand that it could be difficult to justify. But if you are already regularly buying bags of sonic ice, the Opal will pay itself back very soon.

#2 – KBice Self Dispensing Countertop Nugget Ice Maker – Best for Self-Dispensing

KBice Self Dispensing Countertop Nugget Ice Maker, Crunchy Pebble Ice Maker, Sonic Ice Maker,Produces Max 30 lbs of Nugget Ice per Day, Stainless Steel Display Panel

The problem with most portable nugget ice makers is the risk of unintentional contamination due to the use of ice scoops, especially if you are not the only one using the ice maker.

This can be avoided with the KBice ice maker, which is a self-dispensing countertop nugget ice maker.

It is a more sanitary option when serving large groups of people, which is perfect for both home and office.

Enjoy Pellet Ice With The Push Of A Button

You don’t have to worry about germs spreading as the ice storage is enclosed. The self-dispensing feature effectively keep people away from handling the ice themselves.

Simply place your glass under the nozzle and press the “Dispense Nuggets” button.

Not to mention, having a self-dispensing ice maker at home is pretty cool.

Perfect For Countertop (Under Overhead Cabinets)

The compact dimension is perfect for the countertop and would fit under most overhead cabinets.

Water is refiled from the front so you do not need to set aside extra clearance space on the top for the opening of the lid.

However, heat is generated when the unit is running. An air vent is situated on the left side panel. So, you have to set aside a minimum clearance of 12” on the left, 2” on the back, 0.5” on the right and top for the heat to dissipate.

No Need To Hook Up To A Water Supply

Similar to the GE Profile Opal Nugget Ice Maker, KBice does not need to be connected to a permanent water source. So, you are free to place it anywhere as long as it has access to a standard 120V outlet.

Recommended to Use Distilled, Filtered or Bottled Water

You are not supposed to use tap water with hardness more than 100 PPM.

While it is understandable that water with hard water with high mineral content can affect lifespan and proper functioning of ice makers in general, I’m still a little disappointed that it didn’t come with a filter like the Opal.

It is not a deal breaker if you already have distilled or filtered water in place. But it could be a consideration if you are planning to use tap water directly.

Automatic Ice Refill, But Holds Only 1 Pound of Ice (smallest in the list)

It has a relatively small capacity of just 1 pound of ice.

This would not enough if you have a large family and everyone wants ice at the same time. However, it does works well for dispensing ice throughout the day.

When the ice melts, the melted ice water will flow back into the reservoir. The ice machine will start making ice when the ice level runs low, until either the bin is full or water reservoir needs to be replenished.

Makes Crunchy Ice in 20-30 Minutes

You can start enjoying your first glass of ice in about 20-30 minutes. The production rate is around 30 Ibs in 24 hours, which is slightly higher than Opal’s.

Easy and Intuitive to Use

The unit is easy to operate. There are 3 buttons, clearly denoting the functions – Clean, Dispense Ice, Make Ice.

On the front panel, you will also see 4 LED indicator lights displaying the current status: “Cleaning”, “Water Level”, “Power” and “Making Ice”.

When the water level runs low, the water level indicator will change from green to blinking blue.

Easy to Refill, But Frequently

There are 2 ways you can refill the water reservoir.

  1. Insert the funnel into the water port on the front panel, and pour in the water until you hear beeping sounds. The funnel is pretty convenient to use. But it is a little shallow so you will still have to pour in the water slowly.
  2. You can also remove the front panel (attached by magnets) to give you access to the water reservoir. Then pour in the water till the max fill line, denoted on the left-hand corner. However, it is recommended that you unplug the unit first before refilling then plug it back it and pressing on the “Make Ice” button.

When the storage bin is full, the ice cycle will stop automatically so you don’t have to worry about overfill.

However, you will need to refill the ice machine frequently due to the small capacity. This can be rather inconvenient if you are consuming a lot of ice.

Easy to Clean

Similar to Opal, KBice is also a self-cleaning unit. Simply press on the “Clean” button and hold 3 seconds.

There are 2 water drain tubes attached to the back of the unit. You can easily unhook them to empty out water from the ice maker into the sink or a bucket (so you don’t have to shift the unit) for cleaning.

PROS

  • Sanitary due to enclosed ice storage and self-dispensing feature
  • Good quality nugget ice
  • Enjoy ice in 20-30 minutes
  • Good customer service
  • 2 ways to refill water from the front
  • Automatic refill of ice
  • Looks elegant
  • Compact for countertops
  • No need to be connected to water supply
  • Easy to use buttons and LED notifications
  • Self-cleaning feature
  • Comes with a drip tray, which is held in place by magnets

CONS

  • Small ice storage capacity of 1 Ibs
  • Cannot use tap water with >100PPM hardness
  • Require distilled or filtered water
  • Require frequent refilling

Key Specifications

  • Dimension (DxWxH): 16” x 12” x 17.5”
  • Weight: 40 Ibs
  • Ice production rate:  30 Ibs of ice per 24 hours
  • Ice storage capacity: 1 Ibs
  • Voltage: 120 V
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Refrigerant: R600

Alternative Self-Dispensing Models?

There are other self-dispensing counter-top nugget ice makers, but they tend to be very expensive. One alternative self-dispensing nugget ice maker is Manitowoc , which comes with a hefty price tag in the thousands. Arguably, it has a much bigger ice making capacity of 500 pounds a day. But that’s probably too much to ask for in a home unit.

Affordable options are limited.

Who Is It For?

If you like self-dispensing machines, KBice is the one for you. You won’t have to worry about germs and don’t have to deal with the mess of scooping or spilling ice.

Who Is It NOT For?

The biggest con of this unit is the small ice bin. If you have a big family and everyone wants ice at the same time, this is probably unable to satisfy everyone. You will also need to refill the water reservoir very frequently if you consume a lot of ice.

#3 –Euhomy Countertop Nugget Ice Maker – Flexibility of Manual or Auto Water Refill

Euhomy Nugget Ice Maker Countertop, Ice Maker 26-30lbs/day, Self-Cleaning & Auto Water Refill Pellet ice Maker, Sonic Ice Maker for Home/Kitchen/Office.

Euhomy Countertop Nugget Ice Maker is a new kid on the block. But it sure looks promising.

It is the only portable pellet ice maker that offers you the option to manually refill the water reservoir or connect the ice maker to a permanent water supply.

The benefit of not having to hook up to a water supply is that it allows you to place it anywhere on the countertop. But the caveat is that you will need to manually refill the water reservoir to ensure that there’s sufficient water to keep the ice machine running.

If you have easy access to a water supply, you can connect Euhomy directly to the water line so that the water reservoir is automatically refilled.  

In this manner, you can be assured that your ice bin will always be full of ice without having you to check in on the water reservoir.

Slanted Lid At The Top With Viewing Window

Appearance wise, the Euhomy seems to be more similar to the traditional bullet ice makers.

Unlike the Opal where the ice bin can be pulled out like a drawer, Euhomy’s ice basket is accessed by opening the lid at the top. That’s also where you add water to the water reservoir which sits beneath the ice basket.

The top lid is slanted downwards.

This is a nice and thoughtful design feature so that you don’t have to factor in extra overhead space when you open the lid to scoop the ice or add water.

You can see through the viewing window easily to see how much ice you’ve got.

Takes 15-20 Minutes For The First Batch Of Ice

Initially you will see water running when you first start the ice making process. This is normal. When the unit has cooled down sufficiently, you will start seeing the slushy ice. This usually happens under 10 minutes but the quality improves and you should get nice crunchy ice in about 15-20 minutes

Storage Capacity Of 3.3 Ibs

It takes about slightly more than 3 hours to fill the bucket of 3.3 Ibs capacity.

PS. If you level the ice pellets to prevent them from piling up and blocking the infra-red sensor, you could fill it up closer to 4Ibs.

Easy to Operate

The control panel sits at the top of the ice maker, just above the door.

There are 2 buttons to operate – On/Off and Clean.

Next to them are 2 indicator lights to indicate “Ice Full’ and “Add Water”.

Don’t Need To Worry About Overfill

Infra-red sensors are found in the ice machine to detect the level of the ice in the ice basket. When the storage bin is full, the “Ice Full” indicator light is turned on and the machine stops making ice.

Water reservoir sits below the ice basket. Removing it gives access to the water reservoir which you can easily fill without worry of spillage. Max fill line clear.

Automatic Ice Refill

The ice basket has got drain holes to allow the melted ice water to flow back into the water reservoir below. The water is then recycled to make new ice automatically when the ice level falls.

Easy to Clean

To activate the self-cleaning function, simply press the “Clean” button for 3 seconds. The drain tubes are at the back of the unit to drain the water from the unit before and after the cleaning process. The ice bin, however, needs to be cleaned manually.

Key Specifications

  • Dimension (DxWxH): 10″ x 16″ x 17″
  • Weight: 40 Ibs
  • Ice production rate:  26 Ibs of ice per 24 hours
  • Ice storage capacity: 3.3 Ibs
  • Voltage: 120 V
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Refrigerant: R600

PROS

  • Option for manual water refill or connection to a water supply for automatic refill
  • Automatic ice refill when ice runs low
  • Easy to fill reservoir
  • Stainless steel exterior
  • Viewing window
  • Well insulated for longer-lasting ice
  • Price is on the lower price range
  • Slightly faster production compared to Opal
  • Comes with a plastic ice scoop

Cons

  • Requires some plumbing work. It is not directly attaching to the facet.

TIP: Keep the unit upright for 24 hours before use.

Who Is It For?

If you have a water source that is easily accessible, you might want to consider connecting Euhomy to the water source. In this manner, you can eliminate the need to manually check and refill the water reservoir.

Who Is It NOT For?

However, the connection to the water source is not as simple as attaching to the facet directly. There is still a little plumbing work needed.

This is a relatively new model, Hopefully we’ll be able to get back in a couple of months for an update.

Others Worth Mentioning

FRIGIDAIRE EFIC235-AMZ Countertop Crunchy Chewable Nugget Ice Maker – Highest Ice Production Rate

Frigidaire EFIC235-AMZ Countertop Crunchy Chewable Nugget Ice Maker, 44lbs per day, Self Cleaning Function

The FRIGIDAIRE Countertop Crunchy Chewable Nugget Ice Maker is one of the more affordable portable pellet ice makers. Yet it boasts the fastest ice production rate of 44 Ibs per day.

However, the storage bin capacity is the same as Opal at 3 Ibs, which is pretty much the average capacity of most portable pellet maker’s ice bin.

It features a pull-out transparent ice bin, similar to Opal, and looks sleek on the countertop with its stainless-steel exterior and black finishing.

May Not Fit Most Countertops with Overhead Cabinets

Like most portable sonic ice makers, the Frigidaire Nugget Ice Maker does not need to be connected to a water supply. It doesn’t have to be restricted next to the sink. But unlike most units, Frigidaire’s water tank sits at the top of the unit.

The water tank can be removed for cleaning or refilling. You can also refill it by opening the lid at the top.

I am not particularly a fan of this design because you need to set aside extra clearance space at the top. The unit is a pretty tall unit to begin with. As a result, it might not fit on most counters under cabinets. However, it could work well on a kitchen cart.

Simple Controls

The Frigidaire is easy and intuitive to operate. There are 4 buttons on the front panel for you to select the functions – Ice, Clean, UV and Light. The 4 indicator lights (Add water, UV, Power and Ice Full) clearly inform you of the status of the ice machine.

Remember that this is not a freezer. As the ice melts, water flows back into the water reservoir and is recycled. The ice machine will automatically restart the ice creation process when the ice run low. It will go on until the bin is full (“Ice Full” indicator will light up) or when the water reservoir is empty (and that’s when the “Add Water” indicator will light up).

The blue LED light in the interior of the ice bin is a nice feature to have. Not only does it look elegant, it allows you to get the ice in the dark without having to switch on the kitchen lights.

The UV function is not found in most portable pellet ice makers, except for the Opal. Unfortunately, it’s not well explained in the manual, resulting in a lot of confusion. The UV light bulb is inside the machine (so you can’t see it) and what it does is to sanitize the water.

Note: The blue LED light in the ice bin is not the UV light. UV light can harm human eyes.

Leakages and Mechanical Failure?

Even though the high ice production rate is very appealing, we are hesitant to give a strong recommendation as many users have complained of problems with leakages and mechanical failures.

Some users have resorted to stacking folded towels at the front legs to angle the unit backwards to reduce the leak. There are cases where the leaks are so serious that the user has placed the entire unit on a baking tray to collect the water.

We are also concerned about a commonly reported mechanical failure. I’m not sure exactly which part failed, but something seems to have frozen and jammed. The nugget ice is not being knocked down into the bin, which then cause the ice and pressure to build up and push against the top of the ice machine. The force is so strong that top broke off from the screw tabs. So loud that it sounded like an explosion but thankfully there is no fire or electrical spark. It is still scary, nonetheless.

PROS

  • Price is on the lower range
  • Fastest ice production rate of 44 Ibs per day
  • Makes nugget ice in 15 minutes
  • Easy to operate
  • Self-cleaning feature
  • Automatic refilling of ice (as long as there’s sufficient water in the reservoir)
  • No need to be hooked up to a water source
  • UV function to sanitize the water (though it is not well explained in the manual)
  • Ice bin tilts open so you can scoop the ice without having to hold onto the door
  • Transparent ice bin so you can see how much ice you’ve got
  • Comes with an ice scoop and drip tray

CONS

  • May not fit under most cabinets due to the height and extra clearance space needed
  • Recommended to use filtered water
  • Complains of leaks and mechanical failure
  • Poor user manual
  • Poor customer service

Key Specifications

  • Dimension: 12” x 17” x 19”
  • Weight:  Ibs
  • Ice production rate: 44 Ibs per day
  • Ice storage capacity: 3 Ibs
  • Clearance space needed:
  • Voltage: 120 V

Who Is It For?

The Frigidaire Countertop Crunchy Chewable Nugget Ice Maker makes ice the fastest and is the most affordable one among the models in this list.

But there’s risk.

It comes with 1 year warranty. However, customer service is poor. If you decide to give the Frigidaire a try, we think that it might be easier to deal with Amazon.

Who Is It NOT For?

This is a tall unit requiring extra clearance space on top. If you plan to place the ice maker on the countertop underneath a cabinet, it is best that you first measure the space (height) you have first before making the decision.

Due to the complaints and quality issues, I wouldn’t recommend this model if you don’t like the hassle of dealing with potential returns and refunds.

NewAir Nugget Ice Maker –Largest Capacity

NewAir Nugget Ice Maker, Sonic Speed Countertop Crunchy Ice Pellet Machine 40 lbs. of Ice a Day in Stainless Steel, Self Cleaning Function and BPA-Free Parts - NIM040SS00

The NewAir Countertop Crunchy Ice Pellet Machine is ONE of the FASTEST portable nugget ice makers on our list, with the LARGEST ice storage bin of just under 5 pounds!

The ice bin is bigger than the average 3 Ibs, which would be plenty even for a family of ice lovers.

You can start enjoying your first scoop of ice in around 8 minutes, which is great if you tend to make ice on demand.

It is also perfect for parties due to its fast ice production rate of 40 pounds of nugget ice a day, ensuring that you have a continuous flow of ice nuggets for your guests.

However, the BIGGEST PROBLEM with NewAir is that it does not automatically restart the ice creation process when the ice runs low. You have to manually restart the ice creation process.

Sits anywhere on the countertop (but take note if you have overhead cabinets)

The unit weighs around 34 Ibs, so it is lighter and easier to move around compared to Opal.

Similar to other units, it can sit anywhere on the kitchen countertop as it does not need to be connected to a water supply.

However, if you plan to put it under the overhead cabinets, do check that you have 2 feet clearance for the height. This unit is slightly taller than 16”, but you also need to take into account the extra space needed for you to fully open the lid. That’s where you scoop the ice and add water into the reservoir.

The ice maker also has vents at the back and on the left side of the unit to prevent overheating. To ensure proper ventilation and prevent overheating, do ensure that you leave at least 6” clearance between the walls and the vents.

Easy To Use – 1 Button Operation With 2 Indicator Lights

There is just 1 button to operate in the front panel of the unit. Next to it, there are 2 indicator lights showing “Ice Full” and “Add Water”.

There’s a window at the top so you can see how much ice you’ve got without having to open the lid and letting in the warm air.

The water reservoir lies under the ice bucket. Simply remove the ice basket and manually fill the reservoir up to the max fill line. To turn on the unit, press on the power button once. The blue LED light around the button will light up, indicating the start the ice creation cycle.

The ice creation cycle stops when the infra-red sensor detects that the ice basket is full. The unit will then be turned off automatically to prevent an overfill, and the “Ice Full” light will light up.

IMPORTANT: to restart the ice creation cycle, press on the power button 2 times. It does not refill automatically. Pressing it just once put it on a standby mode, as indicated by the red LED ring light.

If the water level falls below the minimum fill line, the unit will also be turned off and the “Add Water” indicator light will light up. Again, you’ll need to press on the power button 2 times to restart the ice cycle after filling up the water reservoir.

Can Be Annoying When You Find Yourself With An Empty Ice Bin

When the ice bin is full, the “Full” light will come on. However, if you are away in the day and not there to check in on the ice maker, the ice would have all melt.

The melted ice water flows back into the water reservoir, which can then be recycled in the next cycle of ice creation.

BUT unlike the rest of the nugget ice makers, NewAir does not automatically start the ice creation process to refill the ice bin when the ice runs low. You will have to manually press on the power button twice to restart it.

The only comforting news is that you only have to wait for around 8 minutes for the first scoop of nugget ice.

Easy to Clean

As with the other ice machines, NewAir also has the self cleaning . Simply hold the front button for 3 seconds until it flashes purple and blue. Let it run. When you think that it’s done, press the button for 3 seconds again to stop the cleaning cycle.

There is a drain tube at the back of the unit to empty out the water into the sink or a bucket.

Nice Little Features

There’s 2 slots in the ice bucket where you can fit the ice scoop, which is a nice addition. You can keep the ice scoop inside to make sure you don’t lose it or dirty it.

The ice basket is also removable so you can easily empty it out to make more ice.

Mixed Reviews About Quality

I do have concerns that this is a relatively new model and there seems to be rather mixed reviews about the quality. Issues included leakage and unit mal-function. It doesn’t help that the owner manual and customer service provided limited help in trouble-shooting. It is an expensive unit, so might want to buy from somewhere that has an easy refund policy/process (just in case).

Key Specifications

  • Dimension (DxWxH): 16.5” x 10.6” x 16.3”
  • Weight: 34 Ibs
  • Ice production rate: 40 Ibs per day
  • Ice storage capacity: 4.8 Ibs
  • Voltage: 120 V
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Made of BPA-free plastics
  • Refrigerant: R600a

Pros

  • One of the fastest portable nugget ice makers
  • Enjoy your first scoop of nugget ice in 8-12 minutes
  • Makes 40 Ibs of ice per day
  • Larger than average ice bin capacity of 4.8 Ibs
  • Does not require connection to a water supply
  • Self-cleaning feature
  • Extra thick wall and insulation to retain the ice longer
  • Removable ice basket
  • Stainless steel exterior

Cons

  • Does not automatically refill the nugget ice when it runs low
  • Loud
  • Poor user manual
  • Poor customer service

Who Is it for?

If you have a family of ice lovers or enjoy parties, you’ll be pleased with NewAir’s large ice bin capacity and fast rate of ice production. It is also suitable for those who tend to make and use ice on demand as you can enjoy the first scoop of ice as soon as 8 minutes.

Who Is It NOT for?

For people who wants their ice bin always full of ice, you will need to “babysit” the ice maker and  manually restart the ice creation process. If you tend to be away for the whole day and expect to have ice immediately, you will be disappointed.

Final Verdict

The Opal Nugget Ice Maker is a tried and test nugget ice maker. The quality of nugget ice is well-loved but it is advisable to get extended warranty. The upgraded Opal 2.0 not only looks sleeker, but is also more intuitive to use due to the additional button and text-based light indicators. The smart features are also much better compared to the previous Opal 1.0’s bluetooth connectivity. However, if the wifi and smart features are not important to you, Opal 1.0 still offers good value.

KBice is the one for you if you are looking for a self-dispensing unit. It is a more sanitary option if you are not the only one using the ice maker. But the small capacity makes it unsuitable for large families.

Compared to Opal and KBice, Raytronics is a newer model. It is worth a try if you would like to have the flexibility of connecting to a permanent water supply so you don’t have to manually refill the water reservoir.

FridgeAire and NewAir are also very new models. You might want to give them a shot if you are looking for the fastest countertop nugget ice maker, or the one with the largest ice bin. However, we have concerns about their customer service and product quality. So, that’s keeping us from giving them very strong recommendations. If you decide to give them a shot, remember to take note of the refund policies and validity.

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