Pros: Size, Output, Idiot-friendly operation
Cons: Makes shavings in small batches only.
I bought this shaver after a friend of mine had purchased one and Proceeded to tell me one day during lunch about it and how much she loved it. She stopped eating fattening foods like ice cream and cakes and still craved sweets. Instead of Junk food she started having fruit smoothies and snow cones made with sugar free Kool aid as sweet substitutions and had dropped 15 pounds. After hearing that, I had to try it.
I payed $15.00 for the unit as it was out of season and on clearance. I have seen them priced as high as $25.00. The box it came is was a little banged up, but the unit inside was immaculate. I figured at that price, I wouldn't mind paying a dollar a pound!
The entire unit is composed of seven pre-assembled parts; The lid, (which the power on light is located), the Hopper/Bowl where the ice cubes go, the upper and lower housings, the blade, the adjustment knob, and the shavings container. The design of the unit and the colors used are cute and refreshing. Blue on white is so very appropriate for it's purpose. The plastic is heavy duty and the base has suction cups to maintain stability. The container is a different color than the housing and pulls out for easy access to the shaved ice. It measures about 11 by 8 inches so it doesn't take up too much space but holds a decent amount of flakes.
To operate the unit, you would plug in the attached cord. The lid on the top is removable by turning it counter clockwise. You throw in 7-8 ice cubes, depending on their size, leaving about 1/2 an inch of space at the top. Be Careful that there aren't any fingers around when operating the unit as the blades, (which are out of the way), are very, VERY sharp. The lid locks into place to prevent anybody from accidently hurting themselves. There is the option of placing the included container under the shaving outlet or you may place a cup to catch the flakes when you just want to make an individual serving. Included is a manual that has many yummy recipes, I tried them all and my favorite is the "breakfast avalanche".
Pour 1/4 cup of chilled Orange Juice and 1/4 cup chilled Pineapple juice over a bowl of shaved ice. Mix with Fruit Cocktail or chop fresh fruit for a delicious morning treat.
Another pretty good one is the milk shake recipe...
Icy Cold Milk Shakes
Freeze chocolate or regular milk in ice cube trays, (I use chocolate Silk Soy Milk). Shave the frozen cubes, and add a cup of milk to the shaved ice and stir.
Upon using the unit, I found the operation to be surprisingly quiet and the procedure to be fast. The results were mounds of airy, light flakes; silky when consumed, like snowflakes that land on your toungue. The unit came with a snow cone molder which I used and find it fun and easy to operate. It also came with mixes for snow cone syrup, but I stuck with the sugar free kool aid and sometimes like to snack on the ice shavings alone or sprinkle a little splenda in to the flakes and sugar free lemonade mix.
I've lost 9 pounds so far! Well worth the investment.