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Updated 2/11/20: Frigidaire replaces Igloo.
There really aren’t as many different countertop ice makers out there as you might at first think. Even the Frigidaire EFIC108, which I think is the best ice maker available today (formerly the Igloo ICE108), has a clone in the Della Premium model.
You can find some of the most popular countertop ice makers marketed under several brand names. (More on that below.) They all have their pros and cons, but the EFIC108 seems to top them all, if only by a little in some cases.
In this review, I’ll look at the Frigidaire portable ice maker – the EFIC108 – with you to show you why it’s probably the model you should buy, if you need a small ice maker at all.
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Sixteen Models Are Really Just Three
There are more than just 3 models of ice makers currently in the market, but not all that many. Even Wirecutter.com couldn’t find more than a baker’s dozen or so.
Three of the more popular models are the Frigidaire EFIC103 (which replaces the Igloo ICE103), Magic Chef HNIM27SV, and the NewAir AI-215.
But here’s the deal.
If you check these out, you’ll be looking at (virtually, if not exactly) the same ice makers as any of the following (according to the Wirecutter).
For the Frigidaire EFIC103…
- NewAir AI-100
- Edgestar IP210SS1
- ThinkGizmos TG22
For the Magic Chef HNIM27SV…
- Costway Portable Compact Electric Ice Maker
- Della Portable Ice Maker
- Frigidaire EFIC101
- Magic Chef MCIM22ST
- Whynter IMC-270MB
- Whynter IMC-270MS
And for the NewAir AI-215…
- Della Stainless Steel Ice Maker 48 lb
- Frigidaire EFIC115
- Whynter IMC-490SS
A couple of other countertop ice makers that seem to be models all their own are the Vremi Portable and the Avalon Bay AB-ICE26S. While popular, I still think the EFIC108 is better.
You Might Not Need a Portable Countertop Ice Maker
Do you have a refrigerator with a built-in ice maker? If you have a newer model, odds are that you do. Odds are also that this ice maker will work better than even the EFIC108.
If you’re like me and don’t own that kind of fridge, you still might find it easier to trot down to the neighborhood convenience store, pick up a bag or two of ice, and dump it into your cooler, than to make ice on your own.
If you don’t want to be constantly making trips to the store for ice though, get yourself an Frigidaire EFIC108.
Since this is a portable unit, you can quite easily use it in an RV, on a boat, at a campground, while tailgating in a parking lot, or any other similar situation you can think of.
Why You Should Get the Frigidaire EFIC108 (or Della Premium)
The Frigidaire EFIC108 portable ice maker is fast, relatively speaking. You can get your first batch of 9 bullet-shaped ice “cubes” in about 7 minutes. You won’t get the same speed of ice production from your freezer, nor will you get it from most other countertop ice makers. The Magic Chef HNIM27SV does produce ice at roughly the same pace, but it costs significantly more money.
If you run the Frigidaire for about an hour, you’ll end up with a nice bucket of ice – enough to keep several friends’ drinks cold for as long as necessary. Della claims you can make 26 pounds of ice per day.
Compared to other models, the ice from the Frigidaire tends to stay cold longer. This should mean the ice lasts longer, which in turn, should mean you need to produce less of it.
The Della Premium measures 14 ½ by 9 ¾ by 12 ¾ inches, so I assume the Frigidaire model is the same size. This is a little smaller than many other models, meaning it will take up less countertop space.
It weighs right around 20 pounds, so while I wouldn’t exactly call it lightweight, it’s really not all that heavy either. Virtually any adult should be able to move it around as needed.
The water reservoir holds 2.3 quarts. When you’re done using it for an extended period of time, you can drain any remaining water by opening the plug on the bottom. Very handy.
You can make 2 sizes of bullet “cubes”. I’m not sure there is a big advantage in being able to change ice cube size, but most models do have this option. Perhaps if you are using smaller glasses for your drinks you’d want smaller cubes.
Operating the EFIC108 is easy. There are just a few buttons and indicator lights on top. There are lights that tell you when the maker is full to capacity and when you need to add more water.
Most ice makers have a filter to keep unwanted materials out of your ice. The Frigidaire has such a mesh filter as well. You shouldn’t have to worry about dirt, debris, hair, and so on getting into your ice.
There is some noise while the ice maker is running. The moving parts inside can’t be completely silent, but you shouldn’t have to raise your voice to be heard if you’re talking nearby. The storage bin is insulated, but that’s for temperature reasons, not sound.
You have a choice of at least 2 colors – red and white – for the outer shell of the unit. One or more of those will likely work well with the decor of your kitchen, or wherever else you want to keep it.
An ice scoop comes packaged with the maker. That’s a nice touch.
Conclusions about the Frigidaire EFIC108
As with most products, there are complaints. The most common one with all countertop ice makers, not just the EFIC108, is that they never worked or that they stopped working too soon.
Some of these problems could be due to the shipping and initial use of the maker. These ice makers should stand upright for a day (at least) before their first use so that the refrigerant gases inside settle properly. That gives the compressor the best chance of working correctly the first time and for as long as possible. Some users simply might not realize this and too eagerly fill it up, plug it in, and turn it on, only to be disappointed later.
So don’t be that guy who ignores best practices when setting up your Frigidaire ice maker and then complains later that it doesn’t work.