We have an expensive Whirlpool fridge that had (past tense) an ice maker built into the door. It managed to work until its warranty expired and then it stopped. It turns out those things are a known problem and expensive to replace (over $1,000). Well, the chilled filter water still worked so I wondered about other options.
Yes, good old fashioned ice trays are an option but we rarely have room in the freezer section for them, we forget to fill them and they are slow to make ice. It was an option but not realistic in our family.
What I really wanted to do was to find a counter top ice maker. We stayed at a cabin with one last year and it did a pretty good job. I had no recollection of the make or model of it so I turned to Amazon and started reading.
First off, there are tons and tons of options ranging from relatively small counter top ice makers all the way up to commercial units on Amazon. I wanted something that wouldn’t take up a ton of space, had a refillable water supply tank (not plumbed in other words) and could crank out ice quickly.
The good news is that there are a number of units to choose from. I read reviews and went for a combination of great reviews and price to select the AgLucky HZB-12/B. When we bought it, the price was $119.99 and there was a coupon for $10 off. When I checked the price just now, it was $129.99 and no coupon but this gives you an idea of the price.
It scores 4.4 stores with 14,024 reviews and to be honest, I can see why. It does the job very well with some small issues but for the price, I’d buy it again. We’ve used it a ton for a month now and am quite happy.
The units is 12.6″ tall, 8.7″ wide and 12.3″ deep. It is not large and there are color options. We went with grey and there is also black and red.
Setting Up The Unit
It comes completely assembled in a sturdy box. You do need to go through the top of the unit and remove the tape they installed to secure everything at the factory. I washed it with mild soap and rinsed it thoroughly. I then ran a couple of containers of test water through the unit to make ice that we tossed out.
It took less than an hour from when I got it out of the box, cleaned and tested it to when we were then cranking out ice. Not bad at all.
They say it makes cubes every 6-8 minutes and that is about right – it really does. It can crank out 9 ice cubes with each batch at that pace – it’s surprisingly quick especially compared to old fashioned ice trays. By the way, the ice produced is shaped more like a cylinder that is hollow at one end – they are not really “cubes”. I think it can crank the ice out so fast because it focuses on cooling extended metal rods to make the ice.
Definitely use filtered water. We keep a large plastic cup near the unit to refill the unit with filtered water. Yes, there are much more expensive units you can tap into your water line with but we wanted portability
The ice basket is in the front of the unit and is not refrigerated. Why, I am not sure – maybe to keep costs down. As the ice melts, it drips and goes into the water tank directly below the ice tray.
The basket is also relatively small – the whole unit is small. We keep the provided ice scoop by the unit. If more ice will be needed in the future, we would dump the ice from the bin into a plastic bag and freeze it. To be honest, it works but if you need a bunch of ice fast for a party, you may still want to buy ice.
There is an infrared sensor at the back edge of the ice bin – just above the rear of the basket. If a cube gets in front of it, the unit will assume the bin is full and stop making ice even though the bin has room. I just got in the habit of looking when I walked by and would use the scoop to move the cube out of the way.
Sound Level Is Acceptable
When the fan kicks in to make ice, it is about 60-62 db at about a 6″ distance according to a sound level app on my phone. This puts it at the level of normal conversation or background noise. 70db, for comparison, is the sound level inside a car or an office. Our house is relatively quiet but we got used to the sound and the sound it makes when the ice drops off the fingers and is pushed into the bin. Sure, I wish it was quieter but for the price, I will happily live with it.
The AgLucky unit is a work horse. It does its job and is totally worth the price for us — it’s nice to have a ready supply of ice again.
Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.