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A Buyer's Guide to Shopping by Ice Production Rate

Ice Maker Production Rates

When shopping for the perfect ice machine, you will want to be sure to pay attention to ice production rates. The ice production rate indicates how much ice a machine will make in a 24 hour period, assuming that it is located in ideal environmental conditions. If the ambient temperature or water temperature is fairly warm, then the ice production rate will not be as high as originally listed. The closer the ambient temperature and water temperature are to the ideal conditions, which are 70°F and 50°F respectively, the closer the ice production rate will be to the stated amount.

Ice Production Rate vs. Ice Capacity

It is important to take into account the difference between the ice production rate of an ice machine and the ice capacity. These two measurements are typically different, the production rate being significantly higher than the capacity rate. What this means is that the ice maker can only hold a fraction of what it is capable of making. This typically isn’t an issue as long as you are planning to gradually use the ice as it is made. If you would like to have the full amount of ice the machine is capable of making available at one time, you can purchase ice bags to fill up with ice once the machine has reached capacity. If you start a day prior to needing the ice and continue to empty it into bags once capacity is reached, you will have the full ice production rate amount available in bagged ice.

Portable Ice Maker Production Rates

Although it varies between units, the average ice production rate of a portable ice maker is a little less than 30 lbs., while the average ice capacity is a little over 2 lbs. A portable ice maker is meant for small-scale residential or on-the-go ice needs.

Undercounter Ice Maker Production Rates

The ice production rate of undercounter ice machines is fairly varied. Rates can be as little as 12 lbs. a day to as much as 65 lbs. a day. Undercounter ice machines are meant for larger scale residential use, making them perfect for large families or for those who often entertain guests. Also, if certified for it, some undercounter ice makers can be used for small-scale commercial use.

Commercial Ice Machine Production Rates

Commercial ice machine production rates vary greatly. On the smaller side, a commercial ice machine may produce as little as 70 lbs. a day, while on the opposite end of the spectrum are ice machines with a production rate of over 1,000 lbs. a day. The larger your business or commercial ice needs, the larger the ice production rate you will need.


When shopping for an ice machine, production rate is an important component to take into account, especially if you need a specific amount of ice available on a daily basis. Remember to also take into account ice capacity in relation to the production rate and the environmental conditions the ice machine will be placed into. With all these things considered, it will be easy to find the perfect ice machine for your ice making needs.

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