Finding the perfect appliances to use in your kitchen can sometimes take time. Do you need a portable ice maker but want to try and support an American-made option? Are there any portable ice machines currently available that are made here in the USA?
We will answer this question below and tag some American-made ice makers as well. Let's begin!
The good news is that a few great portable ice makers are USA-manufactured. Some brands/models we recommend for American-made ice makers are:
- Follett 125 lb Countertop Nugget Ice & Water Dispenser
- Ice-O-Matic Air-Cooled Nugget Pearl Ice Machine & Water Dispenser
- Hoshizaki Cubelet Ice & Water Dispenser
- Manitowoc Ice Maker & Water Dispenser
- Marvel 15" Crescent Ice Maker
Of course, there are other brands and machines, but these five stand out for reliability and overall quality.
As we begin, we will cover all things portable ice makers and discuss which ones are made here in the USA. Whether you're trying to shop more locally or want to try a new brand out, we're here to offer some insight. With that said, let's dive right into this topic!
Are There Any Portable Ice Makers Made In The USA?
Yes. Although it can sometimes feel like everything is outsourced to other countries, plenty of American-manufactured ice machines exist.
Like any appliance or product, US options are always available, although they tend to be more expensive. The same applies to portable ice makers, which can be thousands of dollars.
Some major US brands for ice makers include Follett, Ice-O-Matic, Hoshizaki, and Manitowoc, which all do most, if not all, of their manufacturing here in the United States.
When selecting the perfect portable product, you want to also factor in quality. Of these brands, you can expect a higher-grade product, regardless of the model, which is nice.
Most of the time, overseas production comes at a higher environmental price than market value. For example, you might be able to snag a non-USA product for a bit less than one made here, but at what cost?
Try to factor in the shipping and distribution it takes to move a product from China and then compare it to the United States. Even though we rely on China/Asia for many items, it's not always the best choice from an environmental standpoint.
How Much Does An American-Made Portable Ice Machine Cost?
Even though it may not seem like a major purchase, buying a portable ice maker can cost you thousands of dollars. Referring to our top five models, these all cost between $2,000 and $4,000, which is not cheap by any standard.
As we mentioned, American products tend to cost more to produce. That can increase their market pricing, which some people don't like.
Again, you aren't supporting such a heavy environmental impact and helping aid our economy, but sometimes, it's cheaper to shop from off-shore brands.
For example, most Follett ice makers will average around $4,000-$5,000. Considering some people spend that on their entire refrigerator, it's understandable why this is a lot to ask.
However, with a higher price tag comes a better quality item. Like anything, when you shop from the USA, there tends to be higher, better quality than products mass-produced overseas.
Our Top Five USA-Made Portable Ice Makers
Now that you know the basics let's dive into each portable ice machine we tagged earlier. Remember, these are all coming from American brands, which promise most, if not all, of their ice makers are manufactured here in the United States.
It is worth mentioning that this isn't always 100% accurate, as many brands have manufacturing plants in other countries besides the United States.
However, most of the actual production is done here, so that's assuring.
1. Follett 125 lb Countertop Nugget Ice & Water Dispenser
First, we have an American-made portable ice machine from Follett. This ice maker is generally made to order, so that's one thing to consider when shopping.
In addition, this model can sit on your countertop, making it perfect for a smaller space. You will get cubed ice from this machine, and it also does not include an ice bucket/bin.
This model is Energy Star rated, so it's a great option for those wanting to save electricity. Price-wise, you can expect this portable ice maker to retail at around $5,000, but this is always subject to change.
This machine also disperses water, so that's a nice feature to have.
2. Ice-O-Matic Air-Cooled Nugget Pearl Ice Machine & Water Dispenser
Next, we have another USA-manufactured portable ice machine from Ice-O-Matic. This model produces up to 273 pounds of ice daily, stores up to 12 pounds at a time, and can also dispense water.
The brand prides itself on being made here in America, with its central location being Denver, Colorado. Furthermore, this ice maker promises a quiet operation, making it perfect for office or in-home use.
Pricing for this model will be around $5,500, depending on the retailer. Again, this is a more expensive appliance, but you support an American-made product and business.
3. Hoshizaki Cubelet Ice & Water Dispenser
Coming in third, we have another US-manufactured ice and water dispenser from Hoshizaki. Although this brand sounds Japanese, it is made here in the United States in Peachtree City and Griffin, Georgia.
This specific product produces up to 257 pounds of ice daily, and features an advanced "CleanCycle24", which purges your machine for 15 minutes, and can go on the countertop or below.
This ice machine also includes a removable air filter, which is perfect for cleaning. Moreover, this appliance retails at around $5,300, comparable to the other brands we have mentioned.
4. Manitowoc Ice Maker & Water Dispenser
Fourth, we have a USA-made portable ice maker from the company Manitowoc for you to try. This machine produces up to 315 pounds of ice daily and can hold roughly ten pounds at a time.
In addition, this product has blue LED lighting, so you can always see what's going on inside. This ice maker is also small enough to fit on the countertop, making it perfect for a dorm room or office.
Price-wise, this machine currently retails at nearly $4,500, making it a bit cheaper than the other brands/products listed above.
It's also worth noting that most Manitowoc appliances are manufactured in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, although the company also has factories in Mexico and China.
5. Marvel 15" Crescent Ice Maker
Last but certainly not least, we have a 15-inch ice maker from the brand Marvel. This ice maker is produced here in the United States and can make up to 25 pounds of crescent-shaped ice daily.
Furthermore, this appliance minimizes water usage, features a removable ice bin, has leveling legs, and doesn't require a pump or drain to operate.
On top of that, this machine is the least expensive on our list, coming in at roughly $2,600. Compared to the brands above, this ice maker produces less ice daily but is the most affordable.
Moreover, all Marvel appliances are manufactured in the USA, specifically in the company's Greenville, Michigan location.
Why Do American-Made Products Cost More?
Generally, products made here in the United States will cost significantly more than those made abroad. A huge reason for this is that America lacks the infrastructure to mass-produce certain appliances and everyday items.
On the other hand, China tends to do better than us in terms of its manufacturing process and infrastructure. They have created an entire economy on mass production, hence why it's so much cheaper to go through them.
You also want to factor in the cost of labor between both countries. The average hourly salary for a Chinese factory worker is roughly $3.60 US dollars, while many US factories pay between $15 and $18.
With that said, you want to consider what that much lower salary does to Chinese people. Factory workers have historically been mistreated worldwide, but especially in China.
Therefore, shopping through an American company can boycott the unfair wages and unsafe conditions that Chinese workers constantly face to produce such "cheap" items.
This comes down to much more than what appliance is the cheapest, but rather which one is made more ethically.
Is It Better To Buy American-Made Appliances?
Yes, you generally want to try and buy American-made appliances and products. As we said, factory workers in the USA tend to be paid fairly and have much better treatment than those abroad.
Furthermore, American products go through stricter quality checks and last longer than those mass-manufactured in China or beyond.
One of the main reasons USA-made things cost more is that they are higher-grade. Especially for a kitchen appliance, this can make a huge difference.
Suppose you buy a super cheap ice maker from China. You will likely get to use it for a few years before it eventually fails.
In contrast, many American-made products come with warranties that will last decades. So, the higher price tag comes with the luxury of not having to replace your things every few years.
Again, this isn't always the case, but more times than not, US-manufactured products/appliances work better and longer than their competition.
To Finish Things Up
Whether you want to try an American-made product or need a new ice maker, it's always good to know where a product comes from. We found that many American companies are offering portable ice machines for somewhat hefty price tags.
Brands like Follett, Ice-O-Matic, Hoshizaki, and Manitowoc manufacture their appliances here in the United States, which is great to know.
However, these appliances range in price from $2,500 to over $4,000. Not everyone can afford such a significant investment for their ice maker.
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