Whether you’re planning a social event or fulfilling a business need, renting an ice machine might be the best option for you. Ice machines can be expensive to buy, so renting presents an affordable option. This option allows you invest less up-front capital into your ice machine (or shaved-ice machine) and often avoid repair or replacement costs. Not all ice is created equal, so before you rent or sign a lease, here are five ice machine rental options for you to consider.

In This Article:

  • Advantages of Renting an Ice Machine

  • Disadvantages of Renting an Ice Machine

  • Ice Machines v. Shaved-Ice Machines

  • Ice Machine and Shaved-Ice Machine Rental Pricing and Options

Advantages of Renting an Ice Machine

Ice machines are a major investment, usually costing thousands of dollars for a new unit. Used units are considerably cheaper, but still usually cost hundreds of dollars and can quickly accrue repair costs. Shaved ice machines are an investment as well, usually costing hundreds of dollars. If you only need an ice machine for a limited time, buying your own machine will likely max out your budget. Renting will help you stay in budget for your event, and you won’t have to store the machine.

Since ice is an expected resource for most consumers, businesses in the food and drink industry need ice machines to function. Others may need ice machines for frequently scheduled events or in their office. In these long-term situations, signing a lease to rent an ice machine may be the most advantageous choice. Signing a lease allows you invest minimal money upfront in the machine. Some leases come with regularly scheduled maintenance, repairs, and ice delivery if your machine fails. These perks ensure that you have ice when you need it without incurring extra costs for maintenance, repair, or replacement.

Disadvantages of Renting an Ice Machine

Like other major purchases, it’s important to keep equity in mind when deciding if renting or purchasing is the best option for you. The greatest disadvantage of renting an ice machine is that you won’t be able to keep it when you end your lease. If keeping your ice machine long-term is important to you and you aren’t ready to invest thousands of dollars, a lease-to-own option might be the best compromise for you.

If you’ve ever leased a machine or even an apartment, you know that scheduling repairs can be tricky. Your vendor will set the rules for who may and may not service their machine during your lease, so you run the risk of waiting until your leaser’s preferred service specialist can schedule a visit. If you’re worried that this may disrupt your business, then you can select a vendor that offers free ice deliveries if the machine fails. However, this alternative may not be preferred to hiring your own repair service when you need to do so.

Ice Machines v. Shaved-Ice Machines

Most vendors that rent ice machines offer large, industrial machines that are designed to continuously produce ice at high volumes. Some ice machines are specialized for restaurants, and others are stand-alone units appropriate for a variety of settings. Ice machines are also specialized to produce specific kinds of ice, including cubed (usually used in bars), crescent (usually seen in home refrigerators), chip (usually seen in restaurants), and nugget (also called crushed, chewable, and pellet).

Most shaved ice machines for rent are smaller, event-themed, and designed to produce ice at manually triggered intervals. Even if you are in the market to rent both a regular ice machine and a shaved-ice machine, you might end up renting from separate businesses. The commercial ice machine lending industry has very little overlap with the shaved-ice machine lending industry. Ice machines are an industrial product with the possibility of a long-term commitment, while shaved-ice is more entertainment-centric and often rented for very short intervals. Because shaved-ice has a different consumer base, most vendors do not rent both kinds of machines.

One similarity between ice machines and shaved iced machines is that they both have more local rental options. Depending on your area, what you’re renting, and for how long you’re renting, a local vendor might have more competitive rates than a large, national vendor. To find and compare local rates, you can submit your information and rental requirements into this tool.

Ice Machines and Shaved-Ice Machine Rental Pricing and Options

Do you want to rent an ice machine short-term, or do you want to sign a lease for a longer commitment? Either way, compare these ice machine rental and lease options to see what best fits your needs

Commercial Refrigeration Services, Inc.

  • Price: $69-165
  • Deposit: None
  • Rent or Lease: Rent (1-month minimum)
  • Machine Types: Standard, under-counter, and dispensing
  • Ice Types: Cubes, nuggets, and flakes
  • Brand: Manitowoc Ice, Hoshizaki Ice, and Ice-O-Matic Ice
  • Accessories for Rent: Bins, storage, and dispensers
  • Included Maintenance: Scheduled maintenance and repair
  • Orders are placed online and over the phone. You can view Commercial Refrigeration Services, Inc.’s contact information here.

Creative Ice Rentals

  • Price: Around $165
  • Deposit: None
  • Rent or Lease: Lease / 48-month term
  • Machine Types: Standard and dispensing
  • Ice Types: Cubes, nuggets, and flakes
  • Brand: Manitowoc and Ice-O-Matic Ice
  • Accessories for Rent: None
  • Included Maintenance: Scheduled cleaning and repair
  • Orders are placed online and over the phone. You can view Creative Ice Rental’s contact information here.

Easy Ice

  • Price: $129-$229
  • Deposit: None
  • Rent or Lease: Rent (1-month minimum)
  • Machine Types: Standard, under-counter, and dispensing
  • Ice Types: Crescent, cube, and chip
  • Brand: Hoshizaki
  • Accessories for Rent: Bins, storage, and dispensers
  • Included Maintenance: Two cleanings per year, repairs, and possible ice delivery if machine breaks.
  • Orders are placed over the phone. You can view Easy Ice’s contact information here.

Kwipped

  • Price: $37-$250
  • Deposit: None
  • Rent or Lease: Lease / Minimum lease varies by product between 1-12 months for regular ice machines
  • Machine Types: Standard
  • Ice Type: Cube, flake, and shaved-ice
  • Brand: Cornelius and Hoshizaki
  • Accessories for Rent: None
  • Included Maintenance: None
  • Orders are placed online and over the phone. You can view Kwipped’s contact information here.

Lease Ice Machine

  • Price: $69-165
  • Deposit: None
  • Rent or Lease: Lease (24 months minimum lease)
  • Machine Types: Standard, under-counter, and dispensing
  • Ice Types: Crescent, cube, chip, nugget, and flake producing.
  • Brand: Manitowoc Ice, Scotsman Ice, Hoshizaki Ice, and Ice-O-Matic Ice
  • Accessories for Rent: Bins, storage, and dispensers
  • Included Maintenance: None
  • Orders are placed online and over the phone. You can view Lease Ice Machine’s contact information here.

In Summary

Renting or leasing can be great options if you need an ice machine for a short time, want repair and maintenance options, or aren’t ready to invest thousands of dollars upfront. Before choosing your ice machine, it’s important to decide what kind of ice you want to provide, how much ice you’ll need, and for how long you’ll use the machine. Most companies that offer ice machines for rent and lease do not offer shaved ice machines. You’ll have more options if you rent an ice machine and shaved ice machine from separate vendors. The options listed here display a range of options, costs, and included maintenance. You can contact one of the vendors here or request a local quote for an ice machine rental. Whether you choose a national or local vendor, make sure to compare fees and delivery so that you don’t overpay.