Shaving ice into a bowl

13 Best Ice Shavers For Uniquely Cold Drinks and Treats in 2023: Reviews & Buying Guide

Shaving ice into a bowl

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Ice is an important component in a drink, and one of its most interesting forms is shaved. Shaved ice can be made using a food processor or blender, but an ice shaver does a better job of creating a finer, fluffy, and smooth texture.

Shaved ice is an excellent way to revamp cocktail presentations and chill drinks. It is usually placed directly in a glass, and then the other ingredients are poured on top of it, giving the drink an instant dilution and a slushie-like consistency.

But if you use a lot more shaved ice and pour cocktail mixes or liqueurs on it, you’d get a delicious boozy snow cone! If you want to give new meaning to refreshing cocktails, check out the best ice shavers now!

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: SUPER DEAL Upgraded 300W Electric Ice Shaver


Runner-Up: Cuisinart SCM-10P1 Snow Cone Maker

Best Value: MANBA Ice Shaver and Snow Cone Machine

Best Construction: VIVOHOME VH482-SL Ice Crusher Shaver

Best Compact: Hawaiian Shaved Ice S900A Shaved Ice and Snow Cone Machine

Best Commercial-Grade: Great Northern Popcorn Company Commercial Ice Shaver

Best Set: Little Snowie Max Premium Shaved Ice Maker

Best Look: Nostalgia Snow Cone Cart

Best Features: VIVOHOME VH 437 Electric Ice Shaver

Best Sleek: ZENY Ice Shaver Machine

Best Manual: Time for Treats VKP1101 SnowFlake Snow Cone Maker

Best Capacity: Paragon Simply-A-Blast Snow Cone Machine

Best Retro Design: Nostalgia Retro Table-Top Snow Cone Maker

1. Best Overall: SUPER DEAL Upgraded 300W Electric Ice Shaver

SUPER DEAL Upgraded 300W Electric Ice Shaver

Why We Think It’s Great

  • DURABLE: Excellent durability and high efficiency, thanks to quality material, commercial-grade blades, and precise craftsmanship.
  • SAFETY FEATURE: It automatically shuts off when the hopper handles are open.
  • WATER-RESISTANT: Built with an easily operated on/off toggle that is safe from water and, consequently rust. 
  • COLORED DESIGN: Added with a splash of orange, making it more noticeable.

What We Don’t Like

  • It is loud. 

What Our Editors Say

“This ice shaver works quickly, and we appreciate that it’s simple to operate. Simply fill the snow cone machine with regular ice cubes, press the power button, and then push the handle. With just a little prodding, you're good to go!

It also includes a stainless steel basin for catching your shaved ice. However, due to the speed of the dispensing of ice, some may spill outside the bowl. Furthermore, its body is made of solid plastic and metal, which feels sturdy and durable. It's definitely worth buying!”

Material: Plastic and stainless steel | Capacity: 143 lbs/hr | What’s Included: Bowl

Related: The Best Countertop Ice Makers

2. Runner-Up: Cuisinart SCM-10P1 Snow Cone Maker

Cuisinart SCM-10P1 Snow Cone Maker

Why We Think It’s Great

  • QUICK OPERATION: Produces 4-5 snow cones in approximately a minute by constantly refilling the snow cone machine with ice. 
  • FREE CONES: Comes with 4 reusable plastic cones and 12 paper snow cones.
  • CONE/CUP HOLDERS: The machine has two cone holders that fold down for convenience and storage.
  • BIG ICE BIN: Enough to hold a huge pile of shaved ice, designed with an interlock safety feature. 

What We Don’t Like

  • The handle could be more durable.

What Our Editors Say

“We adore how this machine looks sleek, modern, and elegant. Apart from appearance, it also excels in functionality. We like the safety mechanism that disables the device if the lever is raised too high. The ice drawer also removes easily and smoothly, making it easy to clean.

The majority of this shaved ice machine is made of plastic, making it easier to transport. Since the handle is crucial in crushing the ice, we recommend handling it with care to ensure longevity. The scoop is also convenient in making round shapes, perfect for cones!”

Material: Plastic | Capacity: 4-5 snow cones/minute | Manufactured: China | What’s Included: Disposable and reusable cones, scoop, recipes,

Related: The Best Ice Scoops

3. Best Value: MANBA Ice Shaver and Snow Cone Machine

MANBA Ice Shaver and Snow Cone Machine

Why We Think It’s Great

  • TRIPLE BLADES: Designed with sharp 18/8 stainless steel blades for quick and precise shaving.
  • PORTABLE: With a compact size, this can be easily brought anywhere.
  • FREE ACCESSORIES: Includes a silicone ice cube tray which makes 15 ice cubes.
  • EASY TO USE: Functions manually with a sturdy and functional hand crank.

What We Don’t Like

  • The top and bottom parts are not secured with a lock. 

What Buyers Say

“We needed a nice, functional ice shaver we could bring during our travel, and this works best for us as it’s compact and light. The manual hand crank is easy to operate and functions well; however, we admit it sometimes gets tiring.

This snow cone machine features three stainless steel blades, which explains how well and quickly it shaves ice! This shaver also comes with a free ice mold to be used for making ice that will go into the shaver.”

Material: Plastic | Capacity: 1 liter | Manufactured: China | What’s Included: Ice tray

Related: The Best Ice Trays

4. Best Construction: VIVOHOME VH482-SL Ice Crusher Shaver

VIVOHOME VH482-SL Ice Crusher Shaver

Why We Think It’s Great

  • SMART DESIGN: The crusher body and elbow are elevated to accommodate different containers and improve appearance. 
  • GREAT LONGEVITY: Made with food-safe, corrosion-resistant stainless steel for a longer lifespan.
  • ERGONOMIC FEATURES: The strong base and little rubber pads ensure a steady and silent operation, and the cooling vents allow heat dissipation. 
  • SAFE TO USE: When the hopper handle is opened, the motor turns off.

What We Don’t Like

  • The ice splatters a bit. 

What Our Editors Say

“If you need high crushing ability from your ice shaver, we highly recommend this model. With a maximum crushing capacity of 143 pounds per hour, this shaver is ideal for frequent use in large gatherings.

It is constructed from rust-proof, food-grade stainless steel, so it will withstand years of service. Because of its powerful blades and motor, it's ideal if you want light, snow-like ice. We also appreciate its safety feature, allowing you to use it without worrying about severing a fingertip.”

Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 143 lbs/hr | What’s Included: Bowl and ice pick

Related: The Best Bar Ice Picks

5. Best Compact: Hawaiian Shaved Ice S900A Shaved Ice and Snow Cone Machine

Hawaiian Shaved Ice S900A Shaved Ice and Snow Cone Machine

Why We Think It’s Great

  • EASY TO ASSEMBLE: Can quickly put together the shaved ice machine thanks to its 3-piece design.
  • 2 SHAVED ICE STYLES: Can make fluffy ice or crunchy snow cone-style ice.
  • STABLE AND SECURE: Designed with a non-slip mat to keep it in place.
  • 1-YEAR WARRANTY: Assures you of a high-quality product and gives you the benefit of replacement. 

What We Don’t Like

  • The blade gets dull easily.

What Buyers Say

“We are impressed that this snow cone maker produces crunchy or fluffy ice. Although, mastering the ideal texture requires some practice. We recommend letting the ice sit out for about 5 minutes so it’ll be smoother to shave and the blades will have an easier job.

The mechanism is also easy to understand. Water is frozen in the mold to make ice discs, which are then placed inside. Then, press the grey section at the top of the shaved ice machine to shave it. Medium pressure will make fine ice while more pressure makes crunchy bits.”

Material: Plastic | Manufactured: China | What’s Included: 2 ice molds, and a non-slip mat

Related: The Best Ice Buckets

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6. Best Commercial-Grade: Great Northern Popcorn Company Commercial Ice Shaver

Great Northern Popcorn Company Commercial Ice Shaver

Why We Think It’s Great

  • HIGH-FUNCTIONING MOTOR: Clocking in at 1/3 HP at 1725 RPM, suitable for commercial use. 
  • ADJUSTABLE BLADES: Features a knob that can make different textures of ice, including snow-like consistency.
  • WORKS WITH BIG ICE BLOCKS: Easily accommodates ice cubes up to 8 inches in diameter and 6.5 inches in height.
  • SAFETY SHIELD: Keeps ice from splattering all over the place.
  • 1-YEAR WARRANTY: Feel free to reach out to customer service to have your shaved ice machine replaced if damaged.

What We Don’t Like

  • The ice needs to be adjusted occasionally to stay at the center.

What Buyers Say

“We were initially impressed by how much bigger and heavier it actually was than our expectations. The majority of the machine was pre-put-together, but the feet and handle had to be attached. It's very versatile, offering anything from soft, gelato-like ice to a sharper, faster cut.

We also like how it is a breeze to use. Just simply insert an ice block, attach the shield, then flip the switch. The ice rushes out in no time! We also didn't fret over cleanup because it only required a damp towel.”

Material: Brass, stainless steel, and plastic | Capacity: 350 lbs/hr | Manufactured: China | What’s Included: Safety shield, and tray

Related: How To Make Clear Ice

7. Best Set: Little Snowie Max Premium Shaved Ice Maker

Little Snowie Max Premium Shaved Ice Maker

Why We Think It’s Great

  • QUICK OPERATION: Commercial motor allows for quick filling of an 8-ounce cup in 5 seconds. 
  • 301 STAINLESS STEEL BLADES: High rust and corrosion resistance ensures durability.
  • SAFETY FEATURE: Only activates when the top is completely closed and pressed down.
  • 110 WATTS: Features 2.7 peak horsepower for strength, speed, and longevity!

What We Don’t Like

  • It makes loud noises.

What Our Editors Say

“If you’re looking for a functional and portable shaver, this one’s for you! Its size and weight are perfect for home bars because it saves space and is easy to carry around. With this shaved ice and snow maker, you’re not only getting the shaved ice machine but also some fun accessories!

It is also a very straightforward machine, requiring no more than closing and pushing down the lid. We also like how the dome shaper makes perfectly shaped snow cones and prevents the ice from splattering too much.”

Material: Plastic | Capacity: 64 oz. | Manufactured: China | What’s Included: 6 flavors, 2 mixing bottles, 2 pour spouts, and 8 mini shovels

Related: The Best Pour Spouts

8. Best Look: Nostalgia Snow Cone Cart

Nostalgia Snow Cone Cart

Why We Think It’s Great

  • EFFICIENT OPERATION: Makes 2 lbs of ice in 1.5 minutes, perfect for large cocktail parties.
  • CARNIVAL VIBE: Its unique design resembles a popcorn maker and is quick to catch people’s attention. 
  • TRANSPARENT STORAGE: Adds visual appeal and transparency to the ice-shavings production process.
  • WORKS ON A COUNTERTOP: The top is detachable, allowing you to set it on any flat surface.
  • SPACIOUS STORAGE: Includes a paper cone dispenser, snow cone holder, side table, and a hidden space for extra supplies in the base.

What We Don’t Like

  • The instructions are hard to read.

What Buyers Say

“We bought the Nostalgia snow cone maker and ice shaver because of how amazing it looks, but now that we have used it, we are much more impressed with its functionality.  Using the provided screwdriver and other equipment, assembly took only 20 minutes.

The design is also much more stunning in person; it’s like having an ice cream truck! Although it's not a commercial-grade machine, this device is great for making shaved ice at home for parties and is more than adequate for snow cones and any shaved ice dessert and drinks.”

Material: Metal and glass | Capacity: ≈ 576 oz. | Manufactured: China | What’s Included: 1 ice scoop, 2 bottles, 100 paper cups, 100 straws

Related: The Best Portable Ice Makers

9. Best Features: VIVOHOME VH 437 Electric Ice Shaver

VIVOHOME VH 437 Electric Ice Shaver

Why We Think It’s Great

  • DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: Rotating blades are made from sturdy aluminum, while the body is made from high-quality ABS plastic.
  • PREVENTS MESS: Includes a water tray and drain port for conveniently removing drip water.
  • VERSATILE: A blade-adjusting knob makes it simple to customize the ice's consistency.
  • SAFETY FEATURES: Has a safety protection mechanism so that the ice shaver will only work when the lid is shut tightly.

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s a bit big for the countertop.

What Buyers Say

“This ice crusher is incredibly user-friendly, substantial, and attractive that it has become very popular in our house. It’s also very easy to tidy up since we’ll just allow the water to run out through a drain hole, and then we wipe the interior with a paper towel to avoid rust.

It's nice that we can customize the ice's thickness and fineness to suit the beverage or food you're preparing. And we appreciate how there is a reverse button for jammed ice, and they are powerful enough to cut apart even larger chunks.”

Material: ABS plastic and aluminum | Capacity: 260 lbs/hr | Manufactured: | What’s Included: Drip tray

Related: The Best Ice Mallets

10. Best Sleek: ZENY Ice Shaver Machine

ZENY Ice Shaver Machine

Why We Think It’s Great

  • COMMERCIAL-GRADE: Can survive at fast-food establishments, cafes, bars, restaurants, carnivals, and more!
  • RUST RESISTANT: Makes it highly durable and neat.
  • GREAT MOTOR POWER: Paired with sharp blades, making this efficient. 
  • LESS NOISE: Vibration and noise are reduced because the heavy cast base provides stability. 

What We Don’t Like

  • The stainless steel bowl doesn’t catch all of the ice shavings.

What Buyers Say

“We didn't anticipate how quickly it would shave or how little ice it would need to fill two huge cups. The motor turns off as soon as you pull the lever to add ice, so even the inexperienced can use this without worrying about their fingers getting sliced.

The shaved ice machine was also a breeze to clean; we simply unplugged it and wiped it down, being cautious not to let any water or cleaning solution near the blades. The bowl is a little too far forward, in my opinion. Therefore it doesn't collect all of the ice, but we can still work with it.”

Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 143 lbs/hr | Manufactured: China | What’s Included: Bowl

Related: How To Build A Bar & Restaurant Business

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11. Best Manual: Time for Treats VKP1101 SnowFlake Snow Cone Maker

Time for Treats VKP1101 SnowFlake Snow Cone Maker

Why We Think It’s Great

  • PRECISE ICE MOLDS: Comes with special ice molds that fit the ice storage perfectly.
  • NON-SLIP BASE: Helps you be comfortable when using the shaved ice machine as it prevents movements
  • ADJUSTABLE BLADES: Let you adjust how thick or fine you want your shaved ice.
  • NO DRIP DESIGN: Designed with a plate-like base that will catch excess ice shavings.

What We Don’t Like

  • It is a bit flimsy.

What Our Editors Say

“Although it’s not made from the strongest material, this snow cone maker works well! The blade can be adjusted to your desired degree of ice thickness, and three servings can be made from a single block of ice.

Sometimes, the blades are loosely positioned, resulting in larger ice cubes. So for smoother results, tighten the blades. We appreciate that it includes three containers with covers, making them ideal for stacking in the freezer.”

Material: Plastic | Manufactured: Taiwan | What’s Included: 3 ice molds with lids

Related: The Best LED Ice Buckets

12. Best Capacity: Paragon Simply-A-Blast Snow Cone Machine

Paragon Simply-A-Blast Snow Cone Machine

Why We Think It’s Great

  • EASY TO CLEAN: Features a 36-inch drainage tube to dispose of the melted ice.
  • ADJUSTABLE BLADES: Can produce either fluffy ice or crunchy ice.
  • FAST-FUNCTIONING MOTOR: An hourly output of 500 lbs. of cubed or block ice is possible, thanks to the 1/3 HP, 1725 RPM, 635 Watt motor.
  • SPILL FREE: A covered container is used to keep the shaved ice from scattering.

What We Don’t Like

  • It is hard to carry around with its heavy weight and lack of handles.

What Our Editors Say

“The use of see-through materials in the design is something we appreciate. All the walls are made of glass, while the door is made of plexiglass, which is a great way to see when we need to refill. And despite its big size, it is quite easy to set up due to the clear instructions.

Furthermore, we are pleased that this snow cone machine is not as loud as other brands or models. Best of all, we are impressed by how much ice it can make in a short time, allowing you to accommodate as many people in your bar or at events.

Material: Cast aluminum, stainless steel, and tempered glass | Capacity: 500 lbs/hr | Manufactured: USA | What’s Included: Drain deck, drain tube, and ice scoop

Related: Tips On Opening Your Dream Bar

13. Best Retro Design: Nostalgia Retro Table-Top Snow Cone Maker

Nostalgia Retro Table-Top Snow Cone Maker

Why We Think It’s Great

  • RETRO DESIGN: This eye-catching design is sure to gain attention and strike a conversation.
  • DURABLE BLADES: Features sharp, stainless steel cutting blades for rapid shaving.
  • DESIGNED WITH A SHELF: Keep the snow cones and cups you intend to use on the side shelf for easy access.
  • SAFETY FEATURE: This model doesn’t have a switch, and it only works when the lid is locked and stops when unlocked. 

What We Don’t Like

  • It doesn't have a drain plug.

What Our Editors Say

“One of the best features of this ice shaver is that it works with regular ice cubes, so you don’t need to make big blocks or discs. It also sports a stylish red retro design which is truly eye-catching. It looks like a nice piece in your bar even when you're not using this!

Additionally, this snow cone machine works amazingly fast, thanks to the sharp and durable stainless steel blades. It is also equipped with a side shelf that holds the reusable snow cones it comes with, and you can easily scoop out the shaved ice with the scoop.”

Material: Plastic | Capacity: 160 oz. | Manufactured: China | What’s Included: 2 reusable cones, and an ice scoop

Related: How To Beautify A Bar

Final Verdict

Shaved ice is usually used for icy desserts, but it is also surprisingly good in cocktails. Investing in a quality shaved ice machine is a great way of making snow cones and other refreshing treats!

For starters, check out our top pick, the SUPER DEAL Upgraded 300W Electric Ice Shaver, a classic and reliable model that works efficiently and is easy to operate.

So what are you waiting for? Get shopping for your very own snow cone or shaved ice machine today!

Best Ice Shavers Buying Guide

Shaved ice margarita by the beach

Ice shavers and snow cone machines come in many forms, so we advise you to keep these considerations keep in mind when choosing one.

  • Material

It is important to look at what kind of material the shaver frame is and its blades since this will determine the durability, portability, price, etc. Ice shavers are often made out of plastic and stainless steel, and sometimes, glass is incorporated.

Plastic is lightweight and portable; however, it isn't as sturdy and long-lasting as a stainless-steel shaver. The downside of stainless-steel ones, on the other hand, is they can be heavy and expensive.

Plastic shavers are ideal for home use, but they won't be able to suffice in a commercial establishment. Meanwhile, businesses often use stainless steel as they can make more shaved ice cones per hour.

As to the blades, make sure they are corrosion-resistant, durable, sharp, and have easy-to-find replacements.

  • Type

Some of the most common types of ice shaver and snow cone maker include the following:

Manual Ice Shavers

Manual ice shavers are the most affordable type but they rely on your elbow grease to crank through the ice, taking some time and effort. However, they're reliable and easy to use.

Electric Ice Shavers

An electric snow cone machine uses an electrical motor to shave the ice, which is generally faster and easier than a manual crank. However, they can be more expensive and may require more maintenance. 

Commercial Ice Shavers

A commercial shaved ice machine is designed with high-volume uses in mind, so they are usually electrical. These snow cone machines are much larger and can be pretty expensive. They can also be large, requiring sufficient space.  

Portable Ice Shavers

Portable ice shavers are becoming increasingly popular, as they offer the convenience of being able to take them with you wherever you go. These devices are often smaller and can either be manual or electrical. 

But since they have less strong motors, they tend to shave slower than commercial ones.

  • Ease of Use/ Power 

People will aim for something that works simply and doesn't have complicated buttons. Fortunately, most ice shavers are one-button.

They only differ in their ice compartments. Some ice compartments need to be pushed for the ice to start shaving. Meanwhile, some don't need any force. You just need to fill the compartment with ice and turn the machine on.

Additionally, Luke Slater from TheCaskConnoisseur says, “Look for an ice shaver that has a powerful motor to ensure that it can handle the toughest ice cubes.”

The general rule is that bigger watts have more power, meaning an ice shaver is quicker and can shave through big ice blocks. However, they consume more electricity, which can increase your bills, especially if you’re continuously using the machine.

  • Size/Capacity 

It's also important to consider how much ice your shaver can produce, how easily it can be cleaned, and how portable it is before buying one.

A smaller model may be adequate for home use, which can produce four to eight portions at a time. Due to their compact size, they are also easy to clean.

On the other hand, you can get large ones that produce 140+ pounds of ice shavings each hour, so you don’t need to constantly shave to have a sufficient supply. But because they are larger, they can impose difficulty in cleaning. 

  • Look/Features

Some people are content with merely having a simple-looking but high-performing shaver, while others desire one that is both attractive and efficient. The latter wants to show off something flashy that'll make a statement in their bar.

With fashionable ice shavers, shaved ice for frozen cocktails has never been more exciting and fun. These shavers are guaranteed to be conversation starters wherever you set them up.

And in terms of features, there are ice shavers that prioritize the user's comfortability, so they may be designed with ergonomic handles, shields, and sturdy bases.

Additionally, look for ice shavers with safety features like water-proof switches, lids, drain plugs, etc. There are also ice shavers that come with free accessories, shelves and extra storage, and more! 

  • Price

Ice shavers can be bought at varying price points depending on the type.  Manual and a few electric options are often offered for $20 to $50. These types are perfect for you if you're willing to prepare a few cocktails occasionally.

Pricing for typical electric models is between $50 and $100, which s a good option if you have a bar at home. Meanwhile, choose ice shaver machines in the $100-$200 price range if you want high-tech, well-built products for commercial use.  

Best Ice Shavers FAQ

Person shaving ice using a machine

1. How do I use my ice shaver/snow cone machine properly?

    To make your ice shaver last longer, you should always choose the right type of ice depending on the machine’s style and blade size. 

    Don’t use huge ice for smaller shavers, and don’t overfill the hopper even for bigger shavers to prevent jamming and dulling the blades quickly. 

    Also, clean the machine after each use, and store it in a cool, dry place. Avoid using soap when cleaning your shaved ice and snow maker, and never submerge it in water. 

    Simply wipe the shaving plate, ice chamber, and ice chute with a soft cloth to prevent rust. Don’t forget that the blades used to slice through the ice are incredibly sharp.

    2. How do shaved ice and snow cones differ from each other?

      Although some people consider the two the same, the two frozen delicacies are quite different. 

      Snow cones are made with more significant bits of crunchy ice. The syrup drips to the bottom of the cup after a time, making it popular at carnivals and ballparks. 

      Shaved ice texture is more delicate and fluffier, like real snow. Since it is historically shaved off a block of ice, it is also known as SnowBalls, Shaver's, or Hawaiian Shaved Ice.

      In a bar setting, both types of shaved ice are acceptable. 

      3. How to make cocktails with shaved ice?

        You can make drinks with shaved ice the same way you would make snow cones. Scoop a sufficient amount of shaved ice into a glass, then pour your favorite liqueurs or cocktail mixes on top.

        If you don't want to use syrups, you can make your own mix from scratch. Combine your ingredients in a cocktail shaker without ice, and shake. Then pour the mixture into a glass filled with shaved ice. Try this method with Margaritas

        Why Trust Advanced Mixology?

        We believe that our readers should have access to unbiased, well-informed reviews when deciding which products to buy, and we work hard to provide that type of content. Our editorial team is experienced and passionate about mixology and bar equipment. In addition, we often consult with industry professionals when gathering information, which gives us an insider's perspective on the products we're reviewing.

        Read Next: The Best Alcohol Infusion Kits

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