Erin Doman on May 11, 2016 0 Comments If you are shopping for an ice maker, you might have trouble spotting the important differences between undercounter ice makers and the smaller portable ice makers. Although they seem to be similar beyond their size, there are, in fact, distinct differences between the two. When you are comparing ice makers, particularly undercounter vs. portable ice makers, it is important to understand the features of each so you can choose the option that best suits your needs. Undercounter Ice Makers Undercounter ice makers are built into your cabinetry and are typically a permanent appliance. Whether they are installed in a home, office, restaurant, bar or coffee shop, these appliances are used to produce and store large quantities of ice for extended periods of time. Click Here to Shop for a Built-In Ice Maker Benefits of Undercounter Ice Makers There are a number of notable pros to choosing an undercounter ice maker. Here are the top three benefits: • The large capacity allows for a lot of ice production & storage Whether you enjoy entertaining in your home, you have a large family or you are using the ice maker for your business, you might have a need for a steady flow of ice. Having an unreliable source of ice can put a damper on your party or on your business. Undercounter ice makers are built to be reliable and meet the demands of family and commercial use. • You only need to install this permanent fixture once. As with many other appliances in your home, undercounter ice makers only need to be installed once, and they require little maintenance over their lifetimes. • Undercounter ice makers allow you to have as much ice as you need at all times. Most undercounter ice makers are highly automated, and they run continuously and automatically until the unit is full of ice. Others have an option to press a button or pull a lever for instant ice production. Both kinds of models mean the user will never have to worry about running out of ice. Cons of Undercounter Ice Makers There are some downsides to undercounter ice makers that could keep them from being an ideal appliance for you. Some things that are important to consider include: • These appliances can be difficult to move. While smaller than a full-size freezer, undercounter ice makers are large enough and heavy enough that changing their location in your home or business often requires a dolly, and moving them to a new residence or business will require a truck and possibly multiple people for loading and unloading them. • The space under your counter may be prime real estate, and undercounter ice makers take up space. Because they are installed under your counters, you will lose that space for storage, which could be critical in your home, bar or restaurant. • Constant ice means constant water, which requires a water line and a drain. Installing an undercounter ice maker will require the assistance of a plumber, as they need the proper hookups in order to work. This instillation may be costly if it requires laying new pipes and drains for your home or business. Portable Ice Makers If space is a premium in your home or business, a portable ice maker might be a better option for you. These compact appliances operate similarly to traditional ice machines, but are small enough to sit on a table or countertop. Benefits of Portable Ice Makers What happens to be considered the drawbacks of undercounter ice makers ends up being some of the many pros associated with portable ice makers. Some of the most notable benefits include: Click Here to Shop for Portable Ice Makers • There is no need for a water line or drain with portable ice makers. These units produce ice from water poured into a well instead of from water fed into the machine through a line. Installing new plumbing in your home or business will not be necessary with a portable ice maker, making them an affordable option. • Portable ice makers are very easy to move. Named for their portability, these appliances are made so that they can be carried around. Some models are equipped with adaptors so your car can power them. This is especially useful if you intend to use them in an outdoor park or at a festival or tailgating party. Cons of Portable Ice Makers There are limitations with portable ice makers that might make them unsuitable for your needs. The two biggest drawbacks of portable ice makers are some of the biggest benefits of undercounter ice makers: • Water must be added by hand in order to produce new ice. Unlike undercounter ice makers that are capable or producing ice continuously, portable ice makers must have water added every time ice is needed. • The compact portable size also means a smaller total capacity. Most portable ice makers are only capable of producing approximately 30 pounds of ice a day. While this may be enough to meet the needs of a family, portable ice makers might not have the capacity to produce enough ice for a large party or business. Which Ice Maker is Right for You? All ice makers have the benefit of being self-contained, allowing you to maximize space. Portable ice makers prevent the need for carrying multiple bulky coolers full of ice when hosting an outdoor party. Undercounter ice makers fit snugly into your cabinetry and allow you a seemingly never-ending source of ice. Both undercounter and portable ice makers store ice, freeing up space in freezers. Whether you are serious about entertaining, camping or tailgating, bags of ice can be cumbersome and unreliable. It may be difficult to chill drinks with large chunks of ice broken from the lump in a bag, and the ice may be stale from sitting in the store too long. Smashing bags of ice in front of guests can be awkward as well, especially in more formal settings. None of these things are worries with the aid of an ice maker, which produces fresh ice on demand with water from your home. Finally, with an ice maker you probably won’t ever run out of ice. Sometimes it can be difficult to plan how much ice is necessary for a gathering. Running out of ice in your business can deter customers from purchasing their drink of choice, and explaining to them that there is a wait for ice can be embarrassing and lead to poor reviews of your business. Sometimes it is hard to remember how important ice really is until you’ve run out. If you are a business owner who needs ice in your office or restaurant and at off-site events, it may be beneficial for you to own each kind of ice maker. Others should determine their needs regarding space and ice production to know which kind of ice maker is best for them. Comparing undercounter and portable ice makers will help you understand which kind of ice maker will work for your home or business.