The best shaved ice machine for commercial use, What do I think it is? well that depends…
Having sold shaved ice at local events for the past 6 years, I think I know what the best shaved ice machine is.
But first lets get some background.
People from the mainland will pronounce it “shaved ice” if your from Hawaii you will pronounce it “shave ice”. I don’t know why that is. Maybe saying “shave ice” feels more authentic since thats where the icy treat got its popularity.
So There are two types of shaved ice. You have ice cube shaved ice machine and you have block shaved ice machine. The difference is huge.
When you use ice cube, the shaved ice is not as fine, so flavoring will tend to settle at the bottom.
When you use block ice the shaved ice is very fine, like new fallen snow. flavoring won’t immediately settle at the bottom since the ice is very fine.
I’ve used block shaved ice machine the first 3 years and switch to ice cube shaved ice machine and have never looked back.
Let me explain.
When I first started out on selling shaved Ice. I did a ton of research. I wanted to offer the best quality products for my customer. So naturally I went with the block shaver. I ordered the highest quality syrup money can buy.
By the 3rd year heres what I found out:
- I get praises all the time about how great my shave ice was, but I wasn’t making a lot of money.
- Using block shaver is very labor intensive. If you ever go to events where they are using block shaver, you’ll notice thats all that they sell, they don’t have time to add other food items.
- I’ve had 100+ people wait in line before and they would wait a long time just to get their treat.
- You need to temper the ice blocks, meaning you can’t just use it straight from the freezer, you need to let it sit out for a little bit to be able to shave nicely.
- You risk running out of ice blocks. If you keep your ice blocks in 7 foot chest freezer you know there only so many ice blocks you can keep in there.
- It takes 4 days to freeze the ice blocks and takes up a lot of your chest freezer space during storage.
Heres why I switched to the best shaved ice machine for ice cubes:
- You can never run out of ice cubes. So if you ever run out at a busy event you can just go buy more.
- You can pump out products faster and server people faster thereby making you more money with less work.
- You can fit more bags in the chest freezer or ice chest.
- The end product isn’t as good as using the block shaver but it comes close. After the switch I’ve never heard any complaint about the quality from my customers.
When I made the switch. My sales tripled, because I can put out a faster product and still charge the same price and everyones happy.
There is one other thing that I did that made all the difference.
- instead of putting on the flavors myself, I turned it into a self serve station where they put on their own flavors. The lines really move fast.
So now that you know a little bit more about it. I did say it depends.
Here are instances where I would use a block shaved ice machine:
- If I own a shop. Owning a shop relies heavily on returning customers. I would definitely use block as they provide the more superior end product.
- If I sell at a weekly event. Just like owning a shop you rely on the same customers returning.
- If I only sell shaved ice at the event and nothing else.
- If I have a shaved ice trailer or shaved ice truck, because why spend that much money on trailers/truck if your not gonna provide the best shaved ice to your customer.
Here are instances where I would use a cube ice shaved machine:
- If I do a lot of events or big events. this is where cube ice comes in handy. I won’t have to worry about running out of ice.
- If I do once a year event. Those events are best because your not relying on weekly repeat customers.
- If I want to sell other items beside shaved ice. I sell fresh squeezed lemonade also. So I don’t need to carry two different types of ice because they both use cube ice.
So now lets take about exactly which machine I believe are the best shaved ice machine out there in the market.
If you decide to go with the block shaver. I recommend the Swan SI-100E Block Ice Shaver. I think it produces the finest shaved ice out there. I’ve used it for 3 years and never had a problem with it breaking down on me. Matsumoto’s shave ice and Ululani’s hawaiian shave ice in Hawaii uses this same machine. So does tropical snow, Bahama Bucks and Hokuluia’s shave ice in the states. You can’t really go wrong this machine.
For cube ice shaver. I recommend the Hatsuyuki HC-8E Cube Ice Shaver as the best shaved ice machine. I think it produces the best shaved ice for a machine that uses cube ice. This is the machine I still use.
I’ve bought all these machines used. These commercial machines are built to last. The Swan SI-100E Block Ice Shaver cost about $2,000 brand new. The Hatsuyuki HC-8E Cube Ice Shaver cost about $1,700 brand new.
I paid $800 for a used Swan SI-100E Block Ice Shaver. I spent another $200 changing gears, blades, to get it running smooth. At the end of 3 years, I sold it for $800. So you can see it has great resale value.
I paid about $800 for my current Hatsuyuki HC-8E Cube Ice Shaver. The only thing I changed was the blade. It is still currently running great as of today. If I plan to sell it in the future, I’ll prolly get around $800 for it as well.
You’ll find I like to spend money on used brand name commercial equipment because they are built to last and have great resale value.
If your looking for the best shaved ice machine for home use. You can read it here.