Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Cuisinart Snow Cone Maker at surlatable.com
"Handy little machine uses standard ice cubes to make shaved ice quickly."
Best High-End: Little Snowie 2 Snow Cone Machine at Amazon
"The angled dispensing system lets you fill the snow cone directly."
"Same brand used at many shaved ice stands."
Best Budget: Nostalgia Snow Cone Maker at Amazon
"Resembles an old-fashioned push-cart, with two wheels, two legs and a handle."
"You can make snow cones wherever you go, as long as you have ice on hand."
Best Commercial-Grade: ZENY Electric Stainless Steel Snow Cone Maker at Amazon
"Super speedy and efficient, producing 143 pounds of shaved ice per hour."
Best for Parties: Nostalgia Retro Snow Cone Maker at Amazon
"Whether kids or just kids at heart, guests will get a kick out of this retro-inspired snow cone machine."
Best Ice Shaver: Great Northern Popcorn Company Hawaiian Shaved Ice Machine at Amazon
"A heavy-duty model that shaves fluffy, consistent ice for snow cones and more."
01 of 08
Best Overall: Cuisinart Snow Cone Maker
This handy little machine uses standard ice cubes to make shaved ice quickly – it can make enough ice to fill up to five cones per minute. And operates with a simple on-off switch, so it’s simple enough for anyone to use.
All of the parts that come in contact with food are BPA-free and the ice bin is removable for easy cleaning – but since you’re just running ice through it, you can just wipe it dry and tuck it away. This is small enough to fit on your counter or store easily when it’s not in use and the bright red color is festive.
This has a pop-out tray that holds four cones, which makes filling them easy – or use it for serving the finished cones. The ice maker includes four reusable cones, which are great for family treats at home, plus 12 disposable paper cones for eating on the run. Recipes are included, but if you want pre-made syrups you’ll need to order them separately while you’re getting extra paper cones for serving at your next barbecue.
02 of 08
Best High-End: Little Snowie 2 Snow Cone Machine
The Snowie company is a maker of commercial shaved ice machine that cost thousands of dollars, so they’ve included some of those commercial features into this machine that’s designed and priced for home use. It makes enough ice for a single snow cone in about three seconds and the angled dispensing system lets you fill the snow cone directly and create the familiar domed top with ease.
Of course, if you don’t want to fill cones, just put a bowl under the chute to collect ice. This uses standard ice cubes, so you don’t need to freeze special shapes and it’s designed to look at home on your counter, right next to the coffee machine.
This includes six sample-sized bottles of syrup to get you started, but you’ll likely need to buy more to keep the party going. It also includes eight reusable and dishwasher safe “Snowie Shovel” spoons. This is the second version of this machine, and users have noted that it is definitely an improved model.
03 of 08
Best Kit: Hawaiian Shaved Ice and Snow Cone Machine Party Package
This festive machine includes everything you need to get the party going, with no need to shop for extras. It includes three, 16-ounce bottles of shaved ice syrup (cherry, grape and blue raspberry) that the manufacturer says is the same brand used at many shaved ice stands, so you’ll have the authentic flavor at home. It also includes 25 plastic spoon straws, 25 paper snow cone cups and three pourers for the bottles that make serving easy.
To operate, just press on top to start shaving the ice. By pressing harder or easier, the texture of the shaved ice changes, so it might take some practice to figure out exactly what texture you prefer.
Two lidless containers are included for making ice “pucks” that fit into the machine. Each puck makes about two cones, so it’s advised to make the pucks in advance and store them in a zip-top plastic bag in the freezer, so you’ll have enough on hand for a party or a snow cone emergency. Since the containers don’t have lids, they can’t be stacked in the freezer (and you need to place them where they won’t tip). This machine can also use standard ice cubes, but the finished quality won’t be quite as good.
04 of 08
Best Budget: Nostalgia Snow Cone Maker
The design of this snow cone maker resembles an old-fashioned push-cart, with two wheels, two legs and a handle – but it fits neatly on your kitchen counter. It’s playful, but the white and gold coloring adds some class.
The ice collects in a clear enclosed bin that holds enough for about 20 snow cones, while a shelf in front holds two cones for filling and serving. The machine uses standard ice cubes and turns on when the lid is locked in place, which makes it very safe to operate. Each ice refill makes enough shaved ice for about three snow cones in about 30 seconds, so no one will be waiting long for their treats.
This comes with two reusable plastic cones and an ice scoop, but it does not include flavorings. An upgraded kit is available that includes spoon straws, paper cups, two flavorings and a squeeze bottle.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Best Manual: Victorio Kitchen Products Time for Treats Manual Snow Cone Maker
This manual ice shaver means you can make snow cones wherever you go, as long as you have ice on hand—so bring the machine, pack your cooler with ice, and make snow cones on a picnic, at the beach or in your backyard.
This includes three lidded ice molds for making the ideal ice shape for use in this machine, but you can also use regular ice cubes. The molds are stackable and the lids keep them from spilling in the freezer, so you won’t make a mess if you bump them while reaching for the frozen peas. For big parties, make the ice ahead of time and freeze it in zip-top plastic bags.
This relies on human cranking to shave the ice, so it might not be ideal for making snow cones for the entire neighborhood unless everyone’s taking a turn shaving their own ice.
06 of 08
Best Commercial-Grade: ZENY Electric Stainless Steel Snow Cone Maker
Snow cones are just the start of what can be made with this industrial stainless steel machine. It can also shave enough ice to make margaritas, slushies, and more for a crowd. It's super speedy and efficient, producing 143 pounds of shaved ice per hour. Though rated for commercial use, it's great for in-home use as well.
The ZENY has a heavy base, so you can confidently crush ice without worrying about the unit sliding around or creating extra noise (though note that this is not by any means a quiet machine—it does crush ice, after all). Other safety features include a water-resistant on/off switch and auto-shutoff when the hopper is open.
Reviewers rave about its durability, safety features, and speed, as well as its ability to produce uniform ice shavings. One complaint is that the bowl is on the smaller side, meaning messy overflow at times.
07 of 08
Best for Parties: Nostalgia Retro Snow Cone Maker
Whether kids or just kids at heart, guests will get a kick out of this retro-inspired snow cone machine. Feed regular ice cubes into the chopper, and stainless steel blades will turn them into frozen fluff fit for sweet treats. Though the chopper doesn't hold much ice (meaning you'll have to continuously feed it), the tank has a 160-ounce capacity—enough for 20 8-ounce snow cones.
A side door allows access to the bin, though some reviewers note that it feels a bit flimsy and difficult to latch, and the hole itself may not be big enough for large hands to fit inside. Thanks to a safety switch, this maker is not only fun for kids but also safe. Like the other Nostalgia product on this list, the side shelf holds two snow cones, making it easy to add fun designs with syrups.
08 of 08
Best Ice Shaver: Great Northern Popcorn Company Hawaiian Shaved Ice Machine
Don't let the name fool you: Great Northern Popcorn Company offers more than just popcorn makers. The brand is known for its high-quality concession equipment, including this seriously solid ice shaver. With its adjustable, stainless steel blades and 1/3 HP motor, this machine can demolish 6 pounds of ice per minute (that's more than 350 pounds per hour). Feed it ice blocks up to 8 x 6.5 inches.
Measuring 15 x 12 x 30.5, this model does take up a fair amount of counter space, and it has a big price tag to match, but if you've got the storage (and the budget), you'll be rewarded with a heavy-duty unit and fluffy, consistent ice for snow cones and more.
Despite its cheery design, keep in mind that this ice maker is no toy. Essentially a drill press, there is no shield, and the blades are quite sharp, so it should be used with caution around kids.