6 Best Shaved Ice & Snow Cone Machines 2019 Dont Buy Until You read This

Best Shaved Ice and Snow Cone Machines
Best Shaved Ice and Snow Cone Machines

The 6 Best Shaved Ice or Snow Cone Machines are:

  1. Little Snowie 2  
  2. Hawaiian Shaved Ice S900.
  3. Nostalgia Vintage Snow Cone Maker
  4. ZENY Ice Shaver Machine
  5. Victorio Manual Ice Shaver
  6. Great Northern Shaved Ice Machine

1-Little Snowie 2 Ice Shaver

The Little Snowie is the Ice Shaver that I recommend the most, it makes unbelievably good and consistent snow-like shaved ice.

Ontop of that it is one of the best selling Ice Shavers on the market, you will find it in thousands of homes, mine included.

The Little Snowie is made by Snowie Shaved Ice Inc, one of the largest manufacturers of commercial Shaved Ice machines. The Snowie 2 is their version of a home-use shaved ice machine.

The Snowie company also operates and franchises hundreds of snow cones and shaved ice stands, you have probably eaten one of their shaved and didn’t even realize it.

And because it is made and designed by a company that makes commercial shaved ice machine, most of the parts used are of the highest standard.

The blades and motors used by the Little Snowie are the same used by high-grade ice shavers.

Fun fact it took almost four years to design the Little Snowie.

Pros of the Little Snowie Ice Shaver

  • Makes really good shaved ice: with that fluffy snow-like texture, as good as most commercial ice shavers, meaning the shaved ice will have the same texture you are accustomed to having at shaved ice stands
  • Little Snowie has a Sleek and modern Design, unlike most premium, shaved ice machine which usually has a dreadful box design that is hard to store and usually looks out of place.
  • Small and Compact making it easy to move around and this makes it easier to pack away.
  • Made by a reputable and well-known company, so you can be certain that parts and customer support will be there, also most Little Snowies come with a great warranty.
  • Very Easy to Use and Set up perfect for beginners and anyone who doesn’t like having to deal with a bunch of moving parts.
  • Can make shaved ice from almost any ice meaning you can use ice cubes made from your regular ice trays in your fridge, you won’t need to make an ice block using any special molds.
  • Most premium ice shaver requires you to make an ice block and won’t work with ice cubes.
  • I always hated having to make pre-made molds of blocks of ice, thankfully now with my Snowie I can use the ice cubes made from my fridge.
  • The little Snowie is made of polycarbonate making it very tough and will not wear and tear easily, unlike other ice shavers that are made of cheap plastics.
  • The Little Snowie can make large quantities of Shaved ice at a very fast pace, the machine itself can hold a half gallon of ice in one batch and because of its powerful motor and sharp blades it produces shaved ice rapidly.
  • Blades can be changed the first thing that will go bad after years of usage is the blades of an ice shaver, thankfully if this happens with the little Snowie you can always get a new one and not have to change the whole machine
  • Has a Nice big Handle that makes it easy to move about.
  • Built-in Safety Measures The Snowie is one of the safest shaved ice machines around, with a bunch of safety features to prevent injuries.

Cons of the Little Snowie

  • Has a High Price Tag, this Little Snowie like most other premium Ice Shavers tend to cost more than the budget-friendly ones. Though as the old saying goes you usually get what you pay for.
  • Can be a bit Messy one of the drawbacks that the Little Snowie comes with is that it can make a bit of mess, unlike other ice shavers which shaves the ice into a container to be scooped out, the little Snowie pours the shaved ice directly into your cup and spills do happen.
  • I usually avoid this by placing my little Snowie close to a sink making it easy to clean

How to Use the Little Snowie 2

  • The Little Snowie comes assembled, no extra work needed,
  • The first thing you need to do is plug it in,
  • Next, you need to add the ice into the container.
  • And then place a cup into the nozzle in the front of the Snowie
  • Finally, press down the lid on the container, this will activate the motor and shave your ice which will come out of the nozzle into your cup.
  • You can see it in action in the short video below.

Video Showing the Little Snowie 2 in action

Who Should Get the Little Snowie 2 Ice Shaver

The little Snowie is ideal for;

  • A large family or an individual that loves and consumes, a considerable amount of Shaved ice, that’s why I got one, my two boys absolutely love shaved ice.
  • A small restaurant or shaved ice stand, if you are on a budget and can’t afford a commercial shaved ice machine, the Little Snowie is your best choice.
  • If you plan to make shaved ice for large events such as parties and other gatherings.

Where You Can Get the Little Snowie 2

I got my Little Snowie from Amazon who usually has great deals on them,  you can click to see the current price of the Snowie on Amazon, this set even comes with sample syrups to try out.

The Most Affordable of Budget Shaved Ice Machine that I recommend is the Hawaiian Shaved Ice S900A.

2- Hawaiian Shaved Ice S900.

This is an easy to use and very affordable shaved ice machine, which will make that soft and fluffy shaved ice.

It is electrically powered and its blades can be adjusted to make both shaved ice and snow cones.

And because of its low cost and high-quality performance, it is one of the best selling shaved ice machine.

Its made by the Hawaiian Shaved Ice Company that specializes in making Shaved Ice products.

Pros of the Hawaiian Shaved Ice S900A

  • Gives you that fine, snow-like texture of Shaved iced which melts in your mouth The majority of budget shaved ice makers out there I have found usually gives you more crushed ice which is more suitable for making for snow cones, not shaved ice
  • Though the blades of the S900 can be adjusted to make both fine-snow like ice or crunchy ice.
  • So you can get the best of both worlds.
  • Inexpensive: these machines are very affordable with a low initial cost.
  • Compact: these machines are small and would fit easily in your kitchen without taking up too much space,
  • Sleek Design: Unlike other larger and cumbersome commercial shaved ice machine, the S900 will fit in with your other kitchen appliances easily and will not stand out.

Cons of the Hawaiian Shaved Ice S900A

  • Can’t Make large Quantities of Shaved Ice this is the main drawback of the S900 is that it cant hold and make large batches of shaved ice, its ideal for making small quantities of Shaved Ice
  • Needs a break after two minutes of use this is to allow the motor to cool down and not overheat, let it rest for a minute then go again
  • Much slower than a premium Shaved Ice machine because it can’t make too much-shaved ice per batch and also you have that 2 minutes of usage and 1 minute of rest you won’t be able to make a lot of shaved ice very fast.

How to Use and Set up The Hawaiian Shaved Ice S900A Machine

  • The first thing you need to do is have your ice ready you have two choices here,
  • you can either use the plastic mold that the s900 comes with and make an ice block, by adding water into the mold and then refrigerating it
  • or you can use ice cubes made from regular ice trays.
  • I would advise using the ice mold since this makes a higher quality shaved ice, meaning its more fluffy and snow like.
  • Now you can work on setting up your machine
  • The S900 comes in three parts; the Base or stand, the Container for the ice and, the Motor.
  • To assemble you need to first put the base on a firm surface, you can put it on the non-slip mat that the s900 comes with
  • Next, you can insert the container into the base.
  • After this you need to prep your ice, to do so you need to take the ice out of the fridge and let it sit on your kitchen counter for 5-6 minutes to thaw out
  • this is to allow the machine to shave the ice better and make it into that consistent snow like texture
  • Once the ice is thawed out you can add into the container of the s900 and then put the motor section on
  • Finally, you can plug your machine in and insert a bowl underneath the s900 to catch the shaved ice, then you gently press the grey button on top of the motor to start the machine.
  • You can check out the video below to see the S900A in action
  • Please be careful with the blades when assembling the s900 they are very sharp

Video Showing How to Use the Hawaiian S900A Ice Shaver Machine

Who Should Get the Hawaiian Shaved Ice S900A Machine

The S900A is suitable for;

  • an individual or a small family who won’t use a lot of shaved ice.
  • a beginner who just wants to try making Shaved Ice and not sure if their family would eat a lot of it.
  • someone with a small budget and still wants good shaved ice
  • someone not wanting to put pressure on your expensive blender,
  • certain blenders can make that high quality shaved ice, though these blenders are more expensive, will talk more about this later on.
  • An affordable neat gift for someone

Where Can You Get  the Hawaiian Shaved Ice S900A

This machine should be available in a lot of retailers, though Amazon usually has amazing deals on them, so you can click to see the current price on Amazon for the S900A.

3-Nostalgia Vintage Snow Cone Maker

The Nostalgia Vintage Snow Cone Maker is a Budget snow cone maker that is made by the Nostalgia Company.

The Nostalgia Snow Cone Machine is one of the most popular snow cone makers, it is ideal for making snow cones rather than shaved ice, the ice made tends to be more crunchy.

The Nostalgia Company specializes in selling niche kitchen appliances such as a Snow Cone makers.

They have a wide range of products from cotton candy machines to popcorn machines.

Pros of the Nostalgia

  • Has a Container to Hold the Ice Unlike the Little Snowie and the Hawaiian Shaved ice machine the Nostalgia has a tank where the Ice is deposited after being crushed
  • This prevents ice from messing up your counter
  • The tank also allows you to make a batch of snow cones rather than having to make it cup by cup.
  • Though I won’t advise making too much ice at a time or it will melt before you get to enjoy it.
  • Can work with Regular Ice Cubes just like the Little Snowie, the Nostalgia can work with normal ice cubes made in your fridge no need for making ice molds
  • Very Popular so Parts and Guides will be easy to find
  • Very Affordable even cheaper than the Hawaiian Shaved Ice S900A

Cons of the Nostalgia

  • Can’t Make Shaved ice The Nostalgia makes crushed ice dont expect nice, fluffy and smooth shaved ice.
  • Takes up a lot of space The Nostalgia is pretty big thanks to its container
  • It stands out a lot in most kitchens, so if you are buying it, plan to make space for it
  • Harder to Clean because the Nostalgia is bigger and has a tank it is going to be tougher to clean.
  • Needs to be rested after every 5 minutes so you dont burn out the motor.
  • Has a tacky look This machine has wheels that serve no purpose added with its bulky look makes me very put off on its appearance.
  • Imagine this machine next to your shiny new microwave or blender it just looks out of place.

Who Should Get The Nostalgia

  • If you are a big fan of Snow Cones meaning you like your ice crunchy the Nostalgia is more suited for you.
  • You need an affordable Snow Cone Maker with a Container to hold the Shaved Ice, this will come in handy if you have to make large batches of crushed ice.
  • You hate having to make ice molds and just want to make crushed ice using regular ice cubes.
  • The Nostalgia has wheels on it which can be a pro for some and con for others
  • An advantage in it would have an appealing appearance for kids who enjoy the toy-like look.
  • Just remember this is not a toy it has fast moving sharp blades that could cause injury.
  • Another negative is that it looks kinda tacky and out of place in a sophisticated kitchen.

How to Set Up and Use the Nostalgia

The Nostalgia comes nearly fully assembled to set up you;

  • First, you need to remove the top part of the nostalgia
  • and then remove the Ice Shaving Canister- this is the part that holds the ice cubes
  • to do so you must first remove the lid and then take off the ice shaving canister
  • Next, proceed to wipe down the entire machine with a damp non-abrasive cloth
  • please be careful with the blades
  • Now after a thorough cleaning reassemble back the unit by placing the ice shaving canister back on the top part of the machine
  • and then place the top part of the machine on the container again

To use you need to;

  • First, remove the lid and place the ice cubes inside the ice shaving canister which is on top of the machine
  • Ensure you dont overfill the canister, make sure there is enough room to put the lid back on.
  • Now once the lid is on you can proceed to plug the unit in
  • And then turn the lid counter-clockwise to lock and turn on the unit
  • Turn Lid clockwise and unplug the unit from the outlet when finished.
  • Open the door in the container and scoop out your crushed ice

Where to Get the Nostalgia Snow Cone Maker.

You can click to see the price of the Nostalgia Snow Cone maker on Amazon. 

4-ZENY Ice Shaver Machine

The Zeny Ice shaver is a completely stainless steel shaved ice machine.

I would consider it as a mid-tier shaved Ice machine.

It has the affordability of the budget one and the performance like a premium shaved ice machine.

It performs better than the Nostalgia and the Hawaiian Shaved Ice Machine but it is more expensive than the two.

Pros of Zeny

  • Makes Really Good shaved ice for the price you are paying for the machine, the texture of the shaved ice made by the Zeny is really good and it exceeded my expectations
  • Stainless Steel Design
  • Very Tough Design now because it is made out of stainless steel which is a rust-resistant material it will last hopefully a long time.
  • Affordable for the quality of shaved ice that it makes the Zeny is definitely worth its value.
  • Can Work with regular Ice Cubes You won’t have to make any special molds just add normal cubes from the fridge.

Cons of the Zeny

  • Messy The Zeny doesn’t come with a tank to catch the Shaved Ice instead the ice is deposited into a metal bowl and spillage and leakage will happen will happen
  • Won’t be able to Make a Large Amount of shaved Ice The Zeny can’t hold a lot of ice in its container so this limits the amount of shave ice you can make
  • Won’t work as fast as other Premium shaved ice machines Such as the Little Snowie
  • Needs some amount of Manual work with the Zeny you will need to press down the ice to push it into the blades unlike the Snowie or other premium ice shaver which are so powerful they dont need any extra help
  • Not mobile The Zeny design makes it tough to move around.

How to Use The Zeny

  • The Zeny comes fully assembled
  • The first thing you need to do plug it and turn the switch at the side on
  • Now you need to place the metal bowl under the Zeny to catch the shaved ice.
  • Next, you need  to lift up the handle and add the ice into the mouth of the Zeny
  • Be careful with blades they are very sharp
  • This machine is not to be used by kids
  • Finally, to start the machine up you need to press down the on the handle of the Zeny which will start the rotor blades and the shaved ice will be deposited in the tray.
  • You can see the Zeny in action in the Video below.

Video of the Zeny Ice Shaver

Where to Get the Zeny

You can check out the Zeny on Amazon they usually have it stock at great prices, click to see the current price of the Zeny.

5-Victorio Manual Ice Shaver

The Victorio is very different from all the other machines in this article in that it is a manual shaved ice machine.

It uses no electricity and instead relies on you to hand crank a lever which turns the blades and thus shaves the ice.

The Victorio is made by the Victorio Kitchen Products which makes several different shaved ice products such as shaved ice syrups and other shaved ice machines.

Pros of the Victorio Shaved Ice Machine

  • Affordable The Victorio is the cheapest machine on this list
  • Makes Decent Shaved Ice given how cheap this machine is, it still gives you decent shaved ice
  • Doesn’t use any Electricity ideal for using outside

Cons of the Victorio

  • Needs You to Make an Ice mold The Victorio requires you to make an ice mold,
  • the Victorio comes with two containers that you would have to fill up and freeze to make an ice block which is placed inside the Victorio to make the shaved ice
  • it won’t work with ice cubes
  • Using the Victorio takes a lot of time and requires a good amount of effort this machine will give you a workout.
  • Can only make a small amount of Shaved ice dont even think about using this machine to make shaved ice for a family it will take a long time
  • Won’t give you great shaved ice like the other machines on this list.

Who Should Get a Victorio

Even though this machine isn’t ideal I still wanted to include it on this list because I know that a manual shaved ice machine might be really handy for someone.

  • It is great if your country or area has electricity problems.
  • Nice family activity to have with your kids, imagine spending an afternoon cranking away making shaved ice.
  • perfect if you want to make shaved ice in the outdoors think on a camping trip.
  • If you are on an extra tight budget the Victorio might be the best for you because it is the cheapest machine on this list.

How to Use the Victorio

It is pretty easy to use all you need to do is make the ice mold and place it inside the container of the Victorio and then place the cover on and crank away.

You can see the Victorio in action in the Video below.

Where to Buy the Victorio

Amazon usually has great deals on the Victorio Ice Shaver You can click to see the current price of it.

6-Great Northern Shaved Ice Machine

The Great Northern Shaved Ice machine, in my opinion, makes the highest quality shaved ice. Meaning the texture of the shaved ice is on par with snow.

The Shaved ice produced is very soft and fluffy almost melts in your mouth, even better than my number one pick the Little Snowie 2.

The reason why I won’t buy one even though it produces so good snow is that of the work involved.

You see the Great Northern requires you to make huge blocks of ice to shave, it cant work with ice cubes. For me, this is just too much work.

Great Northern is actually commercial shaved ice machine rather than for home use, the reason why it is on this list is because of its low cost even though it is a commercial shaved ice machine, which makes it a viable option of home use.

Commercial shaved ice machines can be in the price range of thousands of dollars whilst the Great Northern costs slightly higher than the Little Snowie.

Why it Makes so Good Snow

From my research, I have found the key to making really good shaved ice is using an ice mold or ice block,

Which the ice can then be shaved off, think of when you sharpen a pencil using a sharpener, you would get thin layers wood being produced, the same with ice shaver.

This is how the Great Northern makes amazing snow with sharp blades on a block of ice, just at a cost of lots of work and effort.

This also amazes me with the Little Snowie 2 even though it doesn’t use ice blocks it still makes really great shaved ice.

Pros of the Great Northern Shaved Ice Machine

  • Makes the Best Shaved Ice I remember when I first tried shaved ice made from the machine I was at a friends party and I was blown away at how the ice just melts in your mouth.
  • Reasonably well priced for a commercial shaved ice machine. Commercial shaved ice machines can be in the price range of thousands of dollars, in comparison the Great Northern is very affordable.
  • The Blades are adjustable so you can make different textures of shaved ice if you like your shaved ice more like crunchy you can change it to that setting.

Cons of the Great Northern Shaved Ice Machine

  • Requires you to Make Large Ice Block or Ice Molds The biggest drawback that the Great Northern has is that it cant work with ice cubes instead you have to make huge ice blocks
  • And worst yet you can’t even make small ice blocks instead you have to make 5-8 inch tall blocks of ice
  • which for me would take up a lot of space in my fridge.
  • Tedious to Operate other than having to make blocks your gonna need to trap the ice block on to long hooks to keep the ice block in place to allow it to be shaved.
  • Not the safest shaved ice machine most home shaved ice machine has built-in safety precautions to prevent the blades from accidentally slicing you, the Great Northern doesn’t have that, if its on and your finger gets on it, your gonna have one less finger.
  • So its definitely not kids friendly
  • Expensive its the most pricey shaved ice machine in this article.
  • The Great Northern is really big and heavy weighing around 57 pounds
  • So it will take up a lot of space and be really hard to move around
  • added to that it will look out of place in your kitchen.

Who Should Get the Great Northern

  • If you are looking to make shaved ice to resell example a restaurant owner, and you are looking for something affordable and that produces high quality shaved ice then this is for you.
  • If you dont mind making large blocks of ice and have plenty of space in your fridge then you can consider going for it.

How to Use the Great Northern Shaved Ice Machine

  • The First thing you will need to do is make your ice molds you can use a big container and add water freeze it
  • Just make sure one side of ice block is flat to allow the machine to grip it easier
  • next, once you have your ice mold place it at the mouth of your machine and turn the knob at the side to bring down the clamps, which holds the ice block in place to be shaved
  • Once the Ice block is in position, place the protector on and place a bowl under to catch the shaved ice
  • Finally turn the switch on and you are finished
  • You can see the Great Northern in action in the short Video below.

Video showing the Great Northern Ice Shaver in Action

Where to Get the Great Northern Shaved Ice Machine

Amazon usually has the Great Northern Machine at a big discount you can click to see the current price there.

Difference between Shaved Ice or Snow Cones

The main difference is that shaved ice has smaller ice particles giving it a smoother texture that melts in your mouth whilst Snow Cones tend to be larger and will give you that crunchy taste.

All of these machines in this article can help you make both snow cones and shaved ice.

Things to Look for When Buying a Shaved Ice Machine

1-Good Brand

I prefer sticking with large well-known brands by doing this I know I would get;

  • Great Customer Service
  • Easy to find Parts if it gets broken
  • Guides and Manuals are easy to find
  • Usually, have a solid warranty

2- Popular

I prefer sticking with shaved ice machines that are popular by doing so I know that the machine is tried and tested by thousands.

3- Blades Can Be Changed

The first thing that would go bad for these machines are the blades so ensure the machine blades can be changed before buying.

4- Small and Easy to move around

My kitchen already has tons of appliances I dont like it being cluttered so I prefer sticking with a shaved ice machine that is compact so that it can be stowed away until I need it.

5- Consistent

Shaved ice machines should be able to make consistently good quality shaved ice and snow cones.

6- Safety

All shaved ice and snow cones machines work with really sharp fast moving blades that can cause severe injuries, make sure your machine has built-in safety features.

Is it Really Worth Buying a Shaved Ice or Snow Cone Machine

I know you might be wondering why should you spend money on one of these machines why not just use my blender or food processor and you can use them you can read how to in my article by clicking here.

A blender and a food processor just wouldn’t give the quality as one of these machines and you will damage your blender blades over time.

Reason to Buy a Shaved Ice or Snow Cone Machine

The main reason why I have one of these machines is that my family loves shaved ice and for my two sons I prefer giving them a tasty treat in the form of shaved ice instead of sugary sodas.

By owning one is like a mental push to use it since my wife and I both know that we paid good money for it.

Shaved ice and snow cones are a great way to keeps your kids hydrated and happy on those hot summer days.

Conclusion

I hope this article has helped you decide on the shaved or snow cone machine.

Now you cant have a shaved ice or snow cone machine without syrups you click to see my recommendations on the Best Syrups.

Scroll to Top