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This review is from: EdgeStar Portable Ice Maker - Titanium
Pros: Fast, efficient, lots of ice output
Cons: Fragile, noisy
Other Thoughts: This is my third ice maker of this genre in 5 years. They all come out of the same factory in China, they all have the same oval control panel on the front, they all have the same oval window on top. The only thing that changes is the brand badge, so you should shop for value on that basis. They work well until they break, but they are built to break. The plastic freezing chamber and the little blade that moves the ice into the collecting bin are not as strong as the motor that drives them on one side, or the ice that piles up on the other. Unless you are using ice as fast as it is made (which is pretty fast), these parts get caught in the middle, and fail. They typically last 1 to 2 years; more if you're lucky, less if you're not.
The refrigeration unit itself is quiet. The noise -- and it is very noisy -- comes from the ice dropping into the shelf below the freezing tray, and then from the ice falling into the collecting bin when it is pushed off that shelf. Since the unit is basically a plastic box, it serves as an echo chamber for this noise. Worse, the noise sounds like a door being broken through, not what you want to hear in the middle of the night. The unit automatically stops making ice when the collecting bin is full, so letting the collecting bin fill up does stop the noise to some extent, but then the ice sits there and degrades. The ice degrades in two ways: First, by melting, which means that even when the bin is full, the unit will eventually need to make more ice. Second, by the cubes freezing together, which makes the ice difficult to use, since it becomes one big chunk. Breaking up the ice in the collecting bin is risky, because it, too, is plastic and looks fragile.
Finally there is the matter of cleaning and drainage. The unit is self-contained -- there is no water inlet. It makes ice from the water you pour into it, and then from water recycled from the ice that melts. If you do not regularly drain the unit and clean it, you risk building up contaminants in the water and potentially even mold or mildew in the unit. There is an outlet that allows you to drain the unit. This is located at the bottom of the unit on one side, so in order to drain the unit you need to elevate it, or place it next to a sink. The drain outlet consists of a tube, a small silicone plug for the tube, and a cap that screws onto the tube and holds the plug in place. If you are not careful when opening this assembly over a sink, when the cap is removed the plug can pop out on its own and end up getting washed down the drain by the stream of water draining from the unit . Once the unit is drained, the accessible areas are not that accessible, making them difficult to clean.
This review is from: MAGIC CHEF MCIM22TS 27-lb portable mini ice maker ,silver
Pros: Makes great ice quickly
Cons: Freezing tray cracked and became useless with prolonged use. Finicky in cycling and determining ice quantity. Difficult to clean with various hard to reach nooks and crannies. Makes a lot of worrisome noise when dumping ice.
Other Thoughts: This ice maker starts producing quality ice within minutes after being turned on. Unfortunately, it continues to make ice long after the receptacle basket is full. This is the source of the eventual breakdown, since the freezing tray also operates as a shovel to dump the newly made ice. The pile of ice that builds up in the basket on one side of the shovel and the motor that drives it from the other side are both stronger than the plastic in the middle, and it eventually fails.
The ice is dumped into the receptacle basket with a lot of loud clattering and crunching noise. At night you will think your house is being broken into (we did) until you get used to it. Or you put it in a room where you can isolate the noise by closing the door (we didn't have that option).