The Sunpentown Portable Ice Maker is a handy countertop ice machine that makes up to 26.5 pounds of ice a day and is ready to go with only a quick set up in filling with water.
Ease of Use/Performance: 20/25
How much I enjoy 21/25
The Sunpentown IM-120B is a countertop ice maker that makes about 26 pounds of ice per day, but this is limited to how often you can refill and empty the maker. The ice maker is a small freezer that quickly freezes ice cubes in a cone shape due to the design of the maker.
You can make three different sizes of ice, small medium and large with cubes being an inch or so long and made in only about ten minutes. It does not take that long to get your first cubes out of the machine with about a cycle every ten minutes you can make a decent amount of ice quickly.
One of the main reasons for wanting a countertop ice maker instead of using my freezer is the convenience of making cubes and not having to wait so long for ice. With all the products I have been getting such as a Cafe Frappe, blenders and an ice cream maker, making ice for drinks and frozen treats takes a long time in the freezer.
I do not have an ice maker in my refrigerator and one would cost a lot to have installed or for me to install so getting a countertop ice maker just makes sense. It can help when trying to make a lot of ice as it makes ice much faster than conventional freezing in trays in your freezer.
The IM-120B Ice Maker makes cubes using a self contained freezer system and an internal pump, actually peering around inside the maker while it works reveals quickly how it makes ice. The bottom of the maker is a tank for water and to one side is a small pump that is just like those little pond pumps you immerse in water.
Also in the bottom is two screws that tell the device when the water is too low and to quite pumping the pump to not burn it out when it has no water going through it. Keeping those two screw heads clean is an important part of maintenance, an additional sheet regarding this is included with the unit.
I have been using a filter pitcher to add water to the maker but even with filtered water you will need to occasionally clean out the bottom tank area as well. The water from this bottom tank area is pumped up toward the top of the unit where a small square shaped bowl is on a motor.
This bowl turns over to dump the cubes once they are made but at the start of the cycle it moves into position and water is pumped into it. When the bowl turns into position ten metal spikes will be dipping into the water by about an inch and a half and this is where your cubes are formed.
The spikes are attached to a refrigerant coil that freezes the water that is contacting the spikes and it is only a matter of time till ice forms on these ten points. When the cycle is complete for the size of cubes, small, medium or large, the bowl turns and dumps the cubes into the bucket along with the water that was not frozen to the spikes.
Because the cubes are continuously in water while freezing the cubes slide right off the spikes and what water was not frozen into cubes will fall through the slots of the ice bucket. Cubes when formed are 1 1/4 inch tall and 1/2 inch across for small, 1 3/8 inch tall and 7/8 inches across for medium and 1 1/2 inch tall and 1 inch across for large.
The cubes fall into the ice bucket and you can make four or five cycles depending on the size of cubes before the bucket is full and needs emptying. There is a post that sticks out of the back of the machine into the ice bucket and a corresponding groove in the back of the ice bucket to allow this post to stick into the bucket when it is in place on the machine.
This post tells the maker when the bucket is full and to stop the ice maker till you empty the bucket, there you have the full scoop on this pretty ingenious device. The front controls give you the different sizes, a start and stop button and indicators for full bucket and when you need to fill the water.
To fill water you simply pour the water from the included cup or any pitcher into the area below the ice bucket by simply removing the ice bucket. You may need a pitcher with a longer spout as you have only a 4 by 6 inch area to use for filling into the front of the ice maker and the included one is about a two cup size.
The included cup has a long spout but I use the same smaller pitcher I use for filling my coffee maker and just slant it sideways to fill the water reservoir of the ice maker. You also remove the ice bucket to dump the ice into your freezer or other appropriate place to store your ice as the ice maker does not keep your ice cold, it just makes the cubes.
Once the ice is made it will not start to melt much but emptying the bucket when its full is a good idea, they also include a scoop for the ice removal if you want but dumping works just as well. I found that emptying the bucket after three cycles kept things moving along with making the ice and emptying them into my freezers ice bucket or an old ice cream bucket for storage.
The Sunpentown Ice Maker does an excellent job of making ice and not making a mess of things doing so for an inexpensive solution to a built in ice maker. I have had no problems at all with the Sunpentown Ice Maker IM-120B and can highly recommend this as a solution for making ice without the hassles of ice cube trays in your freezer.
The Sunpentown Ice Maker can be found at many internet sites including Amazon and Overstock as well as brick and mortar stores like Sears, Home Depot and Target. The Sunpentown IM-120B costs about $150 and is a great buy for a countertop ice maker that goes well with just about any decor with it black or silver options for exteriors.