if you are not a fan of noise (or there is no electricity around), getting the best manual ice crusher might just be the right call for you. Portable, compact, and lightweight – ice crushers fall into the category of some of the most straightforward tools in any kitchen. Throw some ice in, operate the handle by hand, and you will have loads of ice to work with. Ice cubes are nice but you can’t go without finely-crushed ice if you want a perfect décor for your cocktail glasses or cold food plates.
Some of these machines even allow you to choose the desired thickness of crushed ice. Which ones? You will find in our manual ice crusher reviews. Yet, we went a step further and created a comprehensive buyer’s guide to help you out with finding the right tool. Let’s crush it!
Advantages of Manual Ice Crushers
Here are just a couple of benefits of owning a manual ice crusher:
1. Becoming a Skilled Cocktail Master
Obviously, having a manual ice crusher will make you want to prepare mixed drinks almost daily. Cocktails are in trend during summer and winter months. Yet, are you familiar with ice making techniques? This tool can help you become a skilled cocktail master who knows how to garnish drinks for the family or guests.
Yet, keep in mind that crushed ice melts quite rapidly and you should be careful with decorating. It takes time to earn some skill in making cocktails. Make sure to make them yummy and garnish them in just a couple of seconds so your guests can actually see and taste your effort.
2. Simplicity Of Use
Manual ice crushers are quite simple to use. You add the desired amount of ice, move the crank, and that’s it. We have mentioned another type of manual crusher that comes with a mallet that is even simpler to use. All you have to do is to add some ice into the bag, seal it, and crush it with a mallet. It all depends on the design you prefer – rugged or fancy.
3. Serving Varieties
With some manual ice crushers, you can set the desired thickness and fineness of the ice. This can be extremely useful if you own a bar, café, or restaurant as you will need different forms of ice for making different drinks or garnishing cold plates.
Manual ice crushers come at a relatively low cost but they provide much greater value. If you are tight on the budget for any of the shaved ice machines, a manual tool might be the best alternative.
You are not confined to making cocktails at your home or a bar only. Manual tools are compact and lightweight you can carry them wherever you go. If you like camping or beach partying, you can take it with you and enjoy your drinks outdoors.
Best Manual Ice Crushers Comparison Chart
Nuvantee Manual Ice Crusher
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VICTORIO VKP1126 Portable Hand Crank Ice Crusher
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Viski 4371 Professional Lewis Bag and Mallet and Bartender Kit
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Westmark Germany Manual Ice Crusher
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Winco ICP-9 Manual Portable Ice Crusher
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WineNeeds Ice Crusher with Handle and Blue Top Bartending Tool
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Best Manual Ice Crushers Reviews (Updated List)
1. Nuvantee Manual Ice Crusher
This easy-to-use manual ice crusher is one of the most versatile appliances in this category. It makes it super-convenient to chop, cut, and grind the ice until you achieve the desired size and texture. This means you can make delicious margaritas, juleps, Moscow mules, and other mixed drinks.
Durable and stable, this appliance comes with non-slip legs that provide stability and safety of use. You can turn that hand-crank without worrying the machine would move or fall apart meanwhile.
Besides the fact the Nuvantee ice crusher/blender is sturdy and reliable, it also features razor-sharp stainless steel blades. It takes just a couple of seconds to get the finest-grade ice for your fav beverage. Working with this machine is actually quite effortless.
Made of zinc alloy and plated with chrome, this unit is resistant to rust and guarantees durability once again. This type of construction ensures you will have your ice crystal-clear and perfectly shaped.
The Nuvatee ice crusher might be a good choice for small business owners (if you own a bar or cafe) as it comes with a large ice container. The same applies to homes with high-traffic kitchen areas, so take this one into account if the family loves icy beverages. As a cherry to the top, the Nuvantee gives its customers a hassle-free lifetime guarantee for this portable ice crusher.
2. VICTORIO VKP1126 Portable Hand Crank Ice Crusher
Whether you need some crushed ice for making cocktails, drinks, or cold platters, the VICTORIO hand crank ice crusher might be a reliable unit you are looking for. It is perfect for kitchen use (especially if you have friends over on weekends and you like throwing parties) but for use in bars, cafes, and small restaurants as well.
This unit comes with an integrated chrome-plated steel handle you can turn with minimal effort and produce a batch of high-quality crushed ice. The VICTORIO ice crusher is stable and fits on most kitchen surfaces. Its sturdy suction base prevents movements whilst you are turning the handle.
Open the top lid, add the desired amount of ice (this machine can take on any type of ice cubes), turn the handle counterclockwise, and you will have your crushed ice ready in just a couple of minutes.
The VICTORIO ice cracker can store up slightly more than 5 cups of crushed ice. Lightweight yet sturdy, this machine can save up a lot of your time by producing nicely defined ice. Also, it is portable so you can take it camping with you and enjoy your fav drinks to the sounds of cranking fire and bird songs.
Read More: VICTORIO VKP1126
3. Viski 4371 Professional Lewis Bag and Mallet and Bartender Kit
Some people like old-fashioned methods and crushing ice with a mallet is one of these. As you can already guess by the title of this tool, it makes the best choice for those who like sipping whiskey from the comfort of their homes or bar owners looking for something to spice their customers’ experience up.
This tool features a rugged 19th-century design and comes with a Lewis canvas bag and a mallet. Whiskey lovers know how dry their ice should be, which is why you might appreciate this handy tool. Inserting the ice to this canvas bag makes it easy to get rid of excess water so all you have to do besides is to crush it with a mallet. It’s literally a no-brainer kind of process and takes no more than 2 minutes.
Not only you will have the driest ice in the hood but you will have a killer ice crushing set in your kitchen. Made of beechwood, the mallet you get in the package is long-lasting and sturdy. The bag itself shows no signs of wear and tear with time, which all contribute to having a great overall impression of this elegant and unique kit.
4. Westmark Germany Manual Ice Crusher
Although this Westmark manual ice crusher can withstand heavy use, it is still more convenient for occasional use in private households. If you believe in German’s quality, this manual ice crusher won’t let your expectations down.
The base and the handle of this crusher are made of heavy cast aluminum so you can rest assured your kitchen assistant won’t turn rusty even after years of use. Aluminum is well-known as one of the most lightweight materials that can resist corrosion and rust. Actually, this manual ice crusher looks quite indestructible.
You can’t throw in a batch of ice inside but you can split it up into a couple of smaller portions. The ergonomic handle makes it easy for your wrists to crush the ice and requires very little effort. Quick and simple, you will have crushed ice ready-made in a second for cool summer drinks.
Comfortable, super-easy, and sturdy, this machine comes with a 5-year warranty that brings you to complete peace of mind for your upcoming ice crushing adventures. The best thing of all? It uses no electricity so you can enjoy yummy cocktails even when in the case of a power outage and takes very little space so you can take it with you when camping.
5. Winco ICP-9 Manual Portable Ice Crusher
If you are a business owner or a party maniac who can’t go without a Mojito or Aperol Spritz, the Winco ICP-9 will help you achieve that perfect balance in your glass. This ice crusher makes it so pleasing to make ice chips that you will want to mix some drinks all the time.
It can take the largest ice cubes with ease and still provide the same-sized, ideal texture of crushed ice. This makes this machine a great choice for cold food displays so keep it in mind if you have a food bar. The way you garnish your dishes can contribute to a drastically better or worse impression while crushed ice on those plates can make you appear more professional.
Probably the best thing about the Winco ice crusher is that you can choose between fine and coarse chips – depending on what you are going to use it for. As it is hand operated, all you have to do is to make a couple of clockwise movements with the handle and you will have your chopped ice in seconds.
Compact, eye-catching, and rust-proof machine, the Winco ICP-9 provides great value for the money and ensures a couple of years of service life.
6. WineNeeds Ice Crusher with Handle and Blue Top Bartending Tool
If you find the ice crushing process pleasing to watch, the WineNeeds machine might be a lot of fun to use! This bartending tool comes with a see-through medium-sized storage bowl. It makes it easy to track the amount of ice crushed but also contributes to the overall aesthetics in your kitchen.
WineNeeds made this ice crusher of high-quality and sturdy plastic so you can rest assured it won’t break when exposed to pressure. Some people think plastic is not the right way to go when crushing ice, but this unit definitely makes an exception to this rule.
It boasts a rather simple design and operation. Just throw in some ice cubes through the lid and turn the handle until you achieve the desired amount.
Although it can’t store a batch of ice, it still can take a couple of cups. Store your WineNeeds ice crusher into the fridge and your crushed ice will remain crisp and fresh for the next couple of hours. Compact and lightweight, it is easy to store under the counter as well.
What Is a Manual Ice Crusher?
A manual ice crusher is a useful tool in any kitchen – whether it be private or commercial. The biggest benefit of manual crushers is that you can step out of the shell and tailor-make ice for drinks that go best with finer texture.
For instance, commercial ice makers are great for making ice cubes but sometimes, you will need crisp and fresh ice. Whiskey, Punch Romaine, Gin-Gin Mule, Crush, and Swizzle – if you want to meet your guests’ or customers’ expectations, crushed ice is a must-have in your kitchen.
Yet, you might be using crushed ice for other purposes than just preparing cocktails. Bars and restaurants need it for garnishing seafood.
We guess you don’t want to hurt yourself crushing ice by hand and hurt yourself. A manual ice crusher is quite simple to use and saves you a lot of effort. Depending on your crushing needs, you can get a tool with a mallet or the one that comes with an integrated handle you operate in order to crush the desired amount of ice.
Either way, manual ice crushers require very little to no effort and crush your ice in a precise manner without making a mess in your kitchen. Manually operated, you need no electricity to make iced-based drinks.
Crushed Ice vs Ice Cubes
If you are having second thoughts about whether you need your ice crushed or cubed, the following lines can help you find your perfect pick.
1. Crushed Ice Melts At a Speed Rate.
One of the best and, at the same time, the worst things about crushed ice is that it melts away faster than ice cubes do. Now, some people don’t mind this at all as they like their drinks diluted. If sipping drinks for hours in a café seems boring and you take no more 5 to 10 minutes to have a glass, crushed ice is for you.
On the other hand, ice cubes melt at a more constant speed, allowing your drink to stay cooler for a lot longer and dissolve it slowly.
2. Ice Eaters Love Crushed Ice.
Let’s be honest – have you ever tried to crush an ice cube? Would you risk breaking your teeth? We either. That is why crushed ice makes a better choice for people who find crushing the ice with their teeth satisfying. If you would have to choose between pieces of ice of manageable size and ice cubes, which way would you go/
3. Crushed Ice Cuts Through Overly-Sweet Drinks.
If you have a sweet tooth, run away from crushed ice as fast as you can – ice cubes are the way to go. However, some people like the chemistry happening between a sweet drink and crushed ice. It can balance out the excessive sugar content in cocktails or Coca-Cola and make your glass more potable. Crushed ice goes very well with bourbon as well.
Types Of Ice Crushers
We are talking about manual ice crushers in this guide. Yet, we have two subcategories of this tool and electric variants as well. Here are a couple of sentences about each and their benefits and disadvantages.
1. Hand Crank Ice Crusher
Most products we reviewed above fall into this subcategory. Not powered by electricity, these units are easy to use and efficient as long as your wrists don’t feel the pressure. If you have low to moderate needs for crushed ice and would use some storage capacity, there is no reason to look any further from this type.
2. Handheld Mallet and a Bag Ice Crusher Kit
Some people want to enjoy their cocktail making experience to the fullest. Handheld ice crushers are made of wood, which approves of their quality and durability. Although we don’t doubt their sturdiness it is a bit tricky to crush large amounts of ice with a mallet. That is why this type of manual tool makes a great choice for households who need crushed ice occasionally.
Did you know you can use your blender to crush ice? Well, some specialty blenders support this function if they are sturdy enough. This option can be convenient for occasional use, so keep your eye on blenders for ice crushing.
4. Ice Crushing Machines
If you need batches of crushed ice for commercial use, the electrical machine might be the best choice for your needs. These units can crush several pounds per hour and feature higher capacities than hand-crank ice crushers. Yet, the costs of top-quality ice crushing machines can make you a bit dizzy.
Manual Ice Crusher Buying Guide
To choose the right tool for crushing ice, you should have some of the basic features in mind. There is a lot to consider before making the final decision. Take a look at the following factors when looking for your next manual ice crusher.
We have already listed two types of manual ice crushers – hand crank and mallet kit. Which one should you choose? This depends on your crushed ice needs. If you don’t need a commercial-grade tool, a mallet kit might be a good choice.
On the other hand, if you like throwing parties at the pool or need something to help you elevate your cocktail game, a hand crank ice crusher is a better solution.
Some factors clearly point out to durability or a manual ice crusher. One of these factors includes materials used to make this unit. Doubtless, stainless steel boasts the longest lifespan as it is sturdy and resistant to rust.
Your second option here is a crusher made of plastic, which can be a relatively good choice if you find one made of sturdy and tough plastic. Last but not least, wood (such as beechwood) can last for at least a couple of years.
If you don’t want to go for a wooden kit or classic manual crusher, that means you should be looking for a hand crank unit with sharp blades. Blades integrated into manual ice crushers are mostly made of stainless steel that ensures high efficiency and precision. This means they are resistant to wear and rust. Detachable, stainless steel blades are super-easy to clean and reattach.
Does your ice crusher come with an on/off switch? Well, it should, as this switch ensures your safety while taking the ice out. Make sure to press the switch beforehand add ice and once you are happy with the amount in it. If you don’t turn the switch off on time, sharp blades can hurt your fingers.
Most tools on the market come with a bit short warranties. However, one of the models we reviewed comes with a 5-year warranty and the other comes with a lifetime warranty. If you want to have your peace of mind with your new manual ice crusher, these tools might be your best picks.
However, the rest of the manual ice crushers in our reviews are quite inexpensive, which can compensate for the warranty duration.
- Never use your brand new manual ice crusher before reading the owner’s manual beforehand. Each unit is different and you should get familiar with the instructions on time if you want to prevent injuries.
- Switch off your ice crusher before taking the ice out.
- Don’t touch crushed ice with bare hands as it can be very sharp. Instead, use a glass or a handy scoop.
FAQ About Manual Ice Crushers
1. Can I Use My Manual Ice Crusher To Make Snow Cones?
You can, although electrical machines produce ice of better texture for snow cones. Ice crushed with a manual machine is slightly more convenient for garnishing seafood and making cocktails.
2. Can I Put Flavored Ice Cubes In My Manual Ice Crusher?
Absolutely. Manual machines work great with any type of ice – including flavored ice.
3. How To Clean My Manual Ice Crusher?
Different tools require different cleaning techniques. Some models are dishwasher-safe, others can be washed in the sink. Check the owner’s manual to find the right cleaning instructions.
4. Can You Make Crushed Ice In a Blender?
If you have the right machine, of course, you can! Sturdy and well-built blenders can handle ice cubes and crush them effortlessly. Add a couple of cubes into your blender, place the lid on, and press the button a couple of times. Short bursts will crush your cubes precisely. If you want fine-crushed ice, press the button for 2 to 3 times more. You can use your food processor for crushing ice as well.
If you want to master the art of decorating cocktails, frozen drinks, and various dishes, the best manual ice crusher can help you on this mission.
We have included the top-notch products to our manual ice crusher reviews only so you can get the most of this experience. Portable, manual-operated, lightweight – these units make it easy to crush some ice wherever you are – at home, camping, throwing a party on your boat. Still, don’t forget to check out our other ice-making guides.