The Danby Portable Ice Maker Rocks

Oct 24, 2008
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Reliable, fast ice production. Stand-alone, self-contained, just plug in and add water.

Cons:Does not keep ice frozen, heavy, draining and cleaning can be a drag.

The Bottom Line: The Danby Ice Maker is reliable, fast, self-contained and makes ice continuously.  Just plug in and keep adding water.  Not a freezer, it will not keep ice frozen.

I have had this Danby Ice Maker for over a year and still love it.

Ice where you never thought you would have it...

This wonderful device brings ice to an ice-less place. Just plug it in, pour in water, and minutes later... ice. I love it. No more buying bags of ice, ever!!

Ask a New Yorker and they will tell you that most NYC apartments are nothing like you see on television. Oh, we have great views and there is much exposed brick and charm. But most NYC apartments do not have kitchens large enough for side-by-side refrigerators with in-the-door-water-and-ice.

What it does...What it does NOT do...
The Danby Portable Ice Maker makes ice without being connected to any plumbing. All you need to do is plug it in to a standard outlet and add water. The cubes start coming out in about 10 minutes, 12 at a time - - it is fast.

It DOES NOT keep the ice from melting as it does not have a cold container to store the ice. It is not a freezer. It is just an ice maker.

It makes wonderful bullet-shape ice in your choice of size until it fills an internal plastic ice basket. It then turns off until you use the ice or empty the basket.

As long as there is water in the unit it will keep making ice to refill the ice basket so it will keep itself filled for parties or use throughout the day. The ice will eventually melt down if left in the unit overnight unless you transfer it to a freezer.

How it looks and feels...
The Danby Portable Ice Maker is completely free-standing and self-contained. It is white, plastic and metal and utilitarian sleek in appearance.

It is probably bigger than you think. At approximately 18" tall by 18" deep and 14" wide, it takes up a big hunk of counter space - - I keep mine on the floor under a counter and it is easily accessed since the access door is on top of the machine in front. I have seen these devices in stainless steel. I would argue against them because you have to move these units around to drain them and the white does not show finger prints.

This ice maker is also solidly built and pretty heavy. At a shipping weight of slightly over 50 pounds, it takes effort to lift it to a sink to drain it. If you keep it on a countertop next to a sink this will not be so hard to do. Likewise, this is not an issue if you are planning to use it outdoors where you can drain it in place. But if you keep it on the floor like I do, remember that you will need to be strong enough to lift it to a sink to drain and clean the Ice Maker. More on cleaning later.

How it works...EASY!
The Danby Portable Ice Maker has a simple illuminated control panel in front that lets you run it with a few buttons, usually just the on/off button is needed. It plugs in to a standard outlet and plays well with other small appliances on the same circuit. You need to add water to make ice and you do this by pouring water into the reservoir.

You access the reservoir the same way you remove ice...when you open the door on the front top of the unit, there is a clear plastic basket that catches the ice being made. Remove the basket to access the large water reservoir. Just pour water in (I use tap water and the ice tastes fine but NYC has great water - - would only do this in my Florida place with filtered water) and push the ON button.

According to the Ice Maker's specifications, the water reservoir holds up to 1 gallon of water and the removable ice basket will fill to hold 3 pounds of ice.

That is it - - it will keep making ice, 12 cubes at a time, until the basket is full. If you empty the basket through use or by loading a bag to place in your freezer, the unit automatically starts making more ice. When it runs out of water, an indicator on the front panel comes on to let you know to add more water if you want more ice.

Select the cube size you want...
You can select the size of ice cube you want from three sizes ranging from small to large. Smaller cubes get made faster, larger ones take a bit longer. All are a very efficient rounded gumdrop shape with a hole in the middle. I find I leave the machine on large most of the time for soft drinks like Sodas, Iced Tea, and Iced Coffee or pitchers of cocktails. On the rocks cocktails look better with the smaller cubes.

Continual operation for parties...
With the Danby Portable Ice Maker, dead space under a kitchen counter now turns out ice on demand and will keep making ice until it runs out of water. Add more water, get more ice. If I start it about 90 minutes before a cocktail party (or more when I want to bag some ice before the party starts), I never run out for parties of up to twenty people. According to the unit specifications, it can make up to 33 pounds of ice every 24 hours.

Draining and cleaning...
To keep the unit clean, you must drain it after use. This is done through a drain hole at the lower right back of the unit. You unscrew a small grey cap and any water left in the unit shoots out into a sink or onto the ground. You can do this in place into a plastic container or lift the unit over a sink. Just remember the thing is heavy.

Wiping the unit down inside must be done VERY CAREFULLY so as not to break any of the moving parts that create and move the ice into the bucket.

Danby recommends using the automated cleaning cycle on a regular basis. This entails filling the unit with white vinegar (like you would use to clean a drip coffee maker) and pressing a combination of the three front buttons. The unit then runs through an automatic cleaning cycle using the vinegar instead of water. You must drain the unit after this completes and toss the next batch of 12 ice cubes.

Bottom line...
If you want an easy, reliable, inexpensive way to make ice and do not have the option of a refrigerator/freezer that has an ice-maker then this unit is a wonderful and highly recommended answer to the problem. I got mine over a year ago at the on-line store of one of the country's biggest discount retailers for $199 plus shipping. Still love it and still recommend it to friends. Would buy this again in a heartbeat.

Recommend this product?

Read all comments (4)

Share this product review with your friends   
Share This!