12 Must-Have Snow Cone Machines This 2021

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Odette Published: July 1, 2021 Modified: October 1, 2021
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We all know how much the summer heat makes everyone uncomfortable. But along with summer comes the tastiest icy treats, from refreshing tropical fruits to ice-cold desserts! You can debate over the differences between gelato vs ice cream while you’re picking which one to treat yourselves to. But another way you can relieve the summer heat is by getting yourself an ice-cold snow cone! If going out to buy snow cones seems to defeat the purpose of staying cool, here’s some food for thought: why not make your own snow cones at home, with the help of a handy snow cone machine instead?

Snow cones themselves are easy to make, but you can’t just use ice on your blender to make shaved ice. For that particular task, you will need a machine that finely shaves ice, to the point that it’ll easily melt in your mouth. Making your own homemade treats also allows you to customize your snow cones as well.

So take your pick from our list of the best snow cone machines, from electric to manual options in the market. Browse through this article to find out more about these ice shaving machines as well as our top picks to help you choose among these snow cone makers.

Want to set up your own snow cone parlor at home for your kids? Check our Shaved Ice & Snow Cone Recipes

Our Best Snow Cone Machines at a Glance

Colorful shaved ice

Best Overall: Hawaiian Shaved Ice Snow Cone Machine

A snow cone maker for home use. Good for slushies, snowballs, and margaritas.

Best for Kids: Cra-Z-Art Disney Frozen 2 Slushy Treat Maker

A Disney-themed snow cone maker for kids. Great activity for playdates, sleepovers, and after-school fun with friends.

Best Vintage: Nostalgia Coca-Cola Countertop Snow Cone Machine

Another vintage-themed snow cone maker from Nostalgia. This one is Coca-Cola-designed that will give you retro vibes.

Best Commercial: Great Northern Premium Quality Commercial Ice Shaver

The heavy-duty snow cone maker for commercial use shaves six pounds of ice per minute.

Best Shaver: ZENY Stainless Steel Electric Snow Cone Maker

A well-built stainless steel snow cone maker that shaves 143 pounds of ice per hour.

Best Manual: Gourmia GIC9635 Manual Hand Crank Operated Ice Breaker

A manual snow cone maker that yields shaved ice as effortless as the electric options.

Best Electric: Hawaiian Shaved Ice Snow Cone Machine, 120V, White

The easiest and the no-fuss electric that gives you shaved ice in a snap.

Best for Party: Nostalgia Snow Cone Machine Cart

Bring yourself to the past with this Nostalgia snow cone machine cart for parties and fun-themed events.

Best Kit: Time for Treats Snow Cone Maker Ice Shaver Gift Pack 

Time for treats is your all-in-one stop for all your snow cone accessories.

Best Small: MANBA Premium Portable Snow Cone Machine

Effortlessly portable and easy-to-carry around snow cone machine from Manba

Best Budget-friendly: Nostalgia Snow Cone Maker plus Reusable Cup and Molds 

An affordable snow cone maker that does the job efficiently!

Best Luxury: Little Snowie Max Premium Shaved Ice Snow Cone Machine

One of the best snow cone machines in the market. The top pick for those who have money to spare.

12 Best Snow Cone Machines of 2021

Best Overall

Hawaiian Shaved Ice Snow Cone Machine

Hawaiian Shaved Ice snow cone maker, 2 round ice molds

For an efficient, yet compact ice shaver, nothing beats Hawaiian Shaved Ice. Hawaiian delivers everything you need in a snow cone maker: heavy-duty, compact, and easy to clean. Using it is a breeze too! Just take out the mold, put it in the shaver and cap it, and press to start shaving. Plus, it’s designed so kids can also enjoy making one, minus the worried parents lurking about on their every move. If you’re curious, this can also be used for making slushies, snow balls, and ice for your margaritas if you wish.

Straight away you’ll notice it is lightweight thanks to its three-piece design that’s compact and easy to assemble (even for kids). It also comes with two round ice molds that perfectly fit the shaver, making it easier for the machine to shave ice thinly. You can easily make a classic Thai dessert called nam sang kai topped with crunchy croutons for a special treat!

The only downside when you use this snow cone maker is the vibration of the machine while you’re using it. Good thing Hawaiian made up for it with a non-slip mat that keeps the machine steady on the countertop.

What You Like: 

  • Compact
  • Includes a non-slip mat
  • Easy to use
  • One year warranty

What We Don’t Like: 

  • Machine is not as steady as we’d hoped

Find the best overall snow cone maker with Hawaiian Shaved Ice Snow Cone Machine from Amazon.

Best for Kids

Cra-Z-Art Disney Frozen 2 Slushy Treat Maker

Cra-Z-Art Disney Slushy Treat Maker

If you’re irritated with the heat the summer brought, we’re sure your kids are too! With just one look at this Cra-Z-Art Disney Frozen 2 Slushy Maker, we’re sure your kids will enjoy it. And what a fun downtime for them during the summer too! This Disney-themed snow cone maker is also great if your kids have friends to play it with. To add, it comes with two syrup dispensers—the perfect place to use this snow cone syrup recipe. Let the kids enjoy themselves or let them play waitress for you and the whole family.

If you’re looking at the cutesy design and left wondering if this is a real snow cone maker, then rest assured that it is. They did include a real ice shaver in Olaf, the snowman’s, head. Although this one is manual, they’ll be able to work on this snow cone maker just fine using the crank above Olaf’s head. Teach your kids how to work it and they should be fine working alone. Or better yet, play with them and enjoy fun downtime together during the summer. The whole set includes a shaving machine, one ice bucket, three ice cube mold trays, two juice or syrup dispensers, two cups, and one mixing spoon.

What We Like: 

  • Two juice dispensers
  • Fun design for kids
  • Perfect for kids

What We Don’t Like: 

  • Needs additional cups and spoons

Look for the best snow cone machine for kids with Cra-Z-Art Disney Frozen 2 Slushy Treat Maker from Amazon.

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Best Vintage

Nostalgia Coca-Cola Countertop Snow Cone Machine

Nostalgia Coca-Cola Snow Cone Maker

Get yourself a whiplash from the past with a nostalgic-looking and vintage snow cone machine with Nostalgia Coca-Cola Snow Cone Maker. If you have a small cinema at home, its retro design will fit right in! But if you wish to use it for summer parties and garden cookouts, moving it out and using it for parties should be an easy task too, thanks to its slim and steady build. And if it’s summer, you may as well use it beside the pool where you can enjoy a cup (or two) of snow cones while having a lazy dip with friends.

Because this snow cone machine is equipped with stainless steel shaving blades, it can effortlessly yield, not rough chunks of ice, but fluffy ice that melts in the mouth. In case you’re still not convinced with this one, this ice machine has a side shelf where you can easily store your favorite syrups. However, we admit, its clear 360 degree-view is the cherry on top. Watching ice shave as you wait for your turn will be the absolute life of the party if you ever tried this snow cone maker. Plus, it holds 20 cups of ice and quickly fills up when you turn it on again. Lastly, the Nostalgia snow cone maker includes two snow cones and one ice scoop for serving.

What We Like: 

  • 360 degree-view
  • Safety switch

What We Don’t Like: 

  • Need additional cups
  • No straw and spoon included for this set

Procure a must-have vintage item with Nostalgia Coca-Cola Countertop Snow Cone Machine from Amazon.

Best Commercial

Great Northern Premium Quality Commercial Ice Shaver

Great Northern Premium Ice Shaver, snow cone on a table

On the lookout for the best commercial snow cone machine? Well, call off the search! Great Northern snow cone machine has flawlessly combined efficiency and design that can mesmerize any passerby into getting a snow cone. Thanks to its heavy-duty motor combined with quality stainless steel, it can sit through the heaviest of use. It also proves it’s worthy of praise as it can shave up to 6 pounds of ice per minute. Approximately, that’s about 350 pounds of ice per hour, perfect for those who will put up a snow cone parlor.

But it’s not just priced for these features. We’re amazed at how the blades are replaceable unlike other models in the market. This feature will ensure users can enjoy and make use of this machine for a long time. So if you have any problem with the blade, then no problem! Have them replaced and you can have it running smoothly again.

Do you happen to want chunks of ice for your frozen watermelon margarita? Or perhaps a fluffy snow-like ice? What about the regular kind for snow cones? Whatever your favorite is, you can also adjust the blade to your desired thickness with this snow cone maker.

What We Like: 

  • Heavy-duty motor
  • One year warranty
  • Shaves 6 pounds of ice per minute
  • Adjustable and replaceable blades

What We Don’t Like: 

  • Noisy when in use

Your best bet for commercial-grade snow cone maker with Great Northern Premium Quality Commercial Ice Shaver from Amazon.

Best Shaver

ZENY Stainless Steel Electric Snow Cone Maker

Zeny Ice Crusher Electric Snow Cone Machine, orange

Although this one looks basic when it comes to design, it sure whips up shaved ice faster than some models. It can be used in a variety of functions too. This one is ideal for this refreshing Slurpee recipe, slushies, ice for drinks in diners, snack bars, or even restaurants. If you’re planning on using it beyond the snow cone, preferably for bigger commercial use and different purposes, then this is your best option next to Great Northern.

Additionally, it also has all that you’re looking for in a good ice shaver: it’s fast, easy, can produce a relative amount of ice per hour, stainless, rust-resistant, and has reduced vibration and noise. And the icing on the cake? The power automatically shuts off when the handle is open for safe operation.

What We Like: 

  • Automatic shut off
  • Reduced vibration and noise

What We Don’t Like: 

  • Ice makes a mess

Seize a great shaved ice machine with ZENY Stainless Steel Electric Snow Cone Maker from Amazon.

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Best Manual

Gourmia GIC9635 Manual Hand Crank Operated Ice Breaker

Gourmia Hand Crank Manual Ice Shaver

If you’re not a fan of kitchen gadgets that have anything complicated in them and would like to keep operating simple and straightforward, then your choice would be Gourmia’s manual snow cone maker. Using this is pretty elementary; put a block of ice in the upper compartment, close the lid, and rotate the crank handle. Rotating is a no-sweat too thanks to its ergonomic crank handle that provides a comfortable grip.

This one may not be the ideal ice shaver for large batch ice shaving, but it will do the trick nicely for small servings of slushies put into stemless wine glasses during dinner parties. And it may be manual but the blades are made from durable and high-quality stainless steel that shaves ice just as easily as the electric ones. To add, the lower compartment can also serve as an ice bucket during dinners and parties. That’s one less dish to worry about clean-up later!

What We Like: 

  • Ergonomic crank handle
  • Lower compartment can be used as an ice bucket
  • Portable and easy to carry around

What We Don’t Like: 

  • Crank handle looks fragile

The carry-around, manual ice shaver with Gourmia GIC9635 Manual Hand Crank Operated Ice Breaker from Amazon.

Best Electric

Hawaiian Shaved Ice Snow Cone Machine, 120V, White

Hawaiian Electric Snow Cone Machine, white

Would you rather spend your energy doing something useful in the kitchen rather than trying to shave ice? Then you should probably consider getting electric ones that do not need much attention. Try this snow cone machine from Hawaiian Shaved Ice that can make shaved ice in a snap! That leaves you to worry about other things during a sleepover or parties, like preparing another party punch.

This machine has compact dimensions, with a width of 6. 5 inches, a diameter of 10. 5 inches, and a height of 11 inches that’s suitable for saving counter space. You can just as easily tuck it in the cabinet after each use too! What more, this snow cone machine also has adjustable blades if you ever decide to have fine, melt-in-your-mouth ice. Cleaning is a cinch too! Just wipe the whole thing with a tablecloth and it should be fine. That is if you didn’t mess the machine with juice and syrups.

What We Like: 

  • Adjustable blade
  • One year warranty
  • Kid-friendly
  • Space-saving and portable

What We Don’t Like:

  • Machine too loud

Discover the best electric snow cone maker with Hawaiian Shaved Ice Snow Cone Machine, 120V, White from Amazon.

Best for Party

Nostalgia Snow Cone Machine Cart

Nostalgia Snow Cone Machine Cart

We’re sure your guests—child and adult alike—will be delighted to find this fun addition of a snow cone cart to get your party going! Now who can pass that up? This particular one from Nostalgia approximately holds 72 snow cones in one go, making this ideal for any party. And if you ever run out, it’s easy to stock up on ice too. Thanks to its 360 degree-view, you can easily check if you have enough or when you need to run it again for a fresh batch of ice.

And just like any food cart, it also has a storage compartment in the base that gives you ample space to store all your snow cone accessories. There’s also a side shelf where you can put your snow cones while you’re preparing them. If you want to keep the party alive and kicking, this is surely one of the best ways to do it, especially if there’s a lot of kids.

What We Like:

  • Large capacity, good for parties
  • 360 degree-view
  • Shaves two pounds of ice in 90 seconds

What We Don’t Like: 

  • Loud motor

Keep any party rolling with Nostalgia Snow Cone Machine Cart from Amazon.

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Best Kit

Time for Treats Snow Cone Maker Ice Shaver Gift Pack 

Time for Treats Snow Cone Maker Ice Shaver Gift Pack 

Busy parents probably have no time to nit-pick all the snow cone accessories you’ll need that are available in the market. In fact, it’s more likely they don’t have time to judge every snow cone machine either. Luckily, this gift pack from Time for Treats has all you need to make a snow cone at home! The gift pack includes an electric snow cone maker, 25 snow cone cups, straws, and three popular syrups your kids can choose from: cherry, blue raspberry, and piña colada.

Another feature that’s worth boasting about is its replaceable blades that are also adjustable depending on your preferred shave for the ice. Get finely-shaved ice as fluffy as a cloud, or you can also get one that’s for slushies and smoothies. Prepping is fuss-free too! No ice mold is required. You can put in any ice you have in the freezer.

What We Like: 

  • 25 snow cone cups
  • Adjustable and replaceable blades
  • Packed with accessories
  • Budget-friendly

What We Don’t Like: 

  • Not so easy to clean
  • Not very durable

Get the perfect starter kit with Time for Treats Snow Cone Maker Ice Shaver Gift Pack from Amazon.

Best Small

MANBA Premium Portable Snow Cone Machine

MANBA Premium Portable Snow Cone Machine with free ice mold

Here’s another small snow cone machine for fans of anything simple and easy! This 7.28 by 5.1 by 7.87-inch snow cone machine is extremely easy to operate despite being manual. Its ergonomic handle is also comfortable enough to grip. Its three blades are also made of high-quality blades that are rust-proof, just like what you look for in blades frequently exposed to water.

If you’re apprehensive about the ice it will produce, then there’s nothing to worry about! Applying different pressure in the lid when you push it down ought to be enough to adjust how fine and chunky your ice should be. For cloud-like ice, apply more pressure on the lid.  Otherwise, reduce pressure for chunky ice that’s more suited for Vietnamese iced coffee.

What We Like: 

  • Free silicone ice cube tray
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to clean
  • Portable and easy to store

What We Don’t Like: 

  • You need to turn the crank slowly for finer ice

A small, portable snow cone maker with MANBA Premium Portable Snow Cone Machine from Amazon.

Best Budget-friendly

Nostalgia Snow Cone Maker plus Reusable Cup and Molds

Nostalgia Snow Cone Maker with two molds and reusable cups

We have one for those always on the lookout for inexpensive kitchen items like this snow cone machine from Nostalgia. It may be incredibly affordable, but this is an electric snow cone machine that’s absolutely capable of providing you shaved iced in no time! If you have kids who would like to play waitress with snow cones, then you may let them play with this one! Don’t worry, it’s easy to operate thanks to its simple on and off switch.

To add, it is also equipped with stainless steel blades that can keep up with the heaviest of use. To get you started with this snow cone maker, how about you amp up the ice and replace the ice cubes with shaved ice for your punch ice cubes recipe?

What We Like: 

  • Simple on and off switch
  • Affordable
  • Comes with two ice molds

What We Don’t Like: 

  • You need to push the ice harder for it to start shaving ice
  • Machine overheats when used for a very long time

Get your hands on an affordable snow cone maker with Nostalgia Snow Cone Maker plus Reusable Cup and Molds from Amazon.

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Best Luxury

Little Snowie Max Premium Shaved Ice Snow Cone Machine

Little Snowie Max Premium Snow Cone Machine Starter Kit: Entrepreneur

Got a little cash to spare? Why not invest in a snow cone machine that ticks all the boxes on your list? Although this one can be used for businesses, you can also get one for you and your family especially if you love snow cones. What’s more, is that this product comes with a kit, so you don’t have to spend on anything else too! This kit has all you need and want in a snow cone machine: it’s durable and heavy-duty. It also comes with 16 cups, 80 straws, 16 Snowie shovels, one drip tray, and 12 powdered-stick flavors.

For a kid, 12 syrup for a snow cone machine is a wonderland! Choose from black cherry, blue bubble gum, lemon-lime, and more!

What We Like: 

  • Generous supply of cups and straws
  • Variety of flavors you can choose from
  • Easy to use

What We Don’t Like: 

  • Loud motor

You’ll find a luxurious snow cone maker with Little Snowie Max Premium Shaved Ice Snow Cone Machine from Amazon.

What to Look For In a Snow Cone Machine

Given the range of available snow cone machines in the market, it’s not exactly surprising if anyone would feel lost and overwhelmed with what they have to buy. After all, we have to make sure that we get our money’s worth. But now you can take it easy, because we listed down factors you have to consider and look for when buying one.

Electric vs Manual

Over the years, manual ice shaving was the only way to shave ice for your ice-cold desserts. But now, it can be as easy as pressing a cap or a lid to push the ice on the blades. Electric ones definitely need less energy and attention. They’re less dangerous to work on too as they have an automatic turn-off feature when it detects you lifted the lid.

However, you also need to consider how much counter space you need when buying electric ones. They’re definitely bulkier than some manual snow cone machines in the market. We recommend knowing your needs before deciding which ones you need.

Capacity

When you search the market for snow cone machines, few options you’ll get are commercial, party, and home use. There are snow cone machines that are more likely built for heavy-duty use that store more ice. There are also party sizes and small snow cone makers. Take into consideration what’s more useful in the long run, not just what you need today.

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Power and Speed

This one’s dedicated to electric snow cone machines. Electric snow cone machines have varying shaving speeds. Some machines shave six pounds of ice per minute, some shave 143 pounds of ice per hour. Get a machine that’s faster if you intend to use it for business or parties. Otherwise, you can get a medium-speed machine for home use.

Ease of Use

A good snow cone machine should be easy to use without hassle. For a manual machine, check if the crank handle is easy to rotate, or if it’s comfortable to grip. But if you’re planning to buy an electric one, look for one that’s easy to assemble as well as operate.

Accessories

Most snow cone makers you can buy comes with a starter kit like cups, snow cones, straws, trays, syrups, and an ice molder. If this is your first time buying one, you definitely should get a starter kit and gift pack. This is also one way to know if you like their flavored syrups. Try one or two and judge before buying the whole bottle.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Difference Between Shaved Ice and Snow Cones?

Contrary to what everyone thought, shaved ice and snow cones are actually not the same. Shaved ice is fluffy ice that melts in your mouth. The consistency is more suited for Korean shaved ice like bingsu. Meanwhile, snow cones have slightly chunkier ice than shaved ice. It doesn’t melt as easily and you will get a crunch should you decide to munch on it. Most ice shavers and snow cone makers, however, have options for how fine you want your ice to turn out.

How To Use a Snow Cone Machine?

Snow cone machines are quite easy to operate despite how daunting the task sounds. You usually need a block of ice that is placed in a compartment with the blades. Turn on the machine and with enough force, push the block of ice using the lid, a crank, or a handle. Some machines require you to push harder for a finer consistency. Catch all the shaved ice in a bowl or a snow cone cup.

How To Clean a Snow Cone Machine?

Since you’re using a block of ice, a gentle wipe using a non-abrasive cloth to clean the machine should be enough. Don’t immerse and clean the machine with water and soap. If you happen to put in flavored ice, you can simply clean it with a mixture of vinegar and water put in a spray bottle. Spray the machine with the solution and wipe with a damp cloth.

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Odette

Odette is a content writer and proofreader by day, and living her inner artist as a poet and singer by night. She's also a former member of a publication who she now mentors from time to time. She likes how sharing a tiny bit of her life and her journey can help others in return. And because she is a curl embassador, she finds joy in empowering fellow curlies to embrace their natural curls. She also loves doing random acts of service to people she loves by cooking for them during her free time. This girl loves anything pasta and French cuisine though she just went through her Japanese and Korean cuisine phase.

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