Commercial Ice Machine Buying Guide

You may argue that ice is just ice, but that’s not entirely true. These days with Commercial Ice Machines, ice comes in various shapes and types on its own. In our commercial ice makers, the ice may be different in shape and type as well. In fact, there are five different sizes and shapes of ice that you may run into with our various machines: crushed, sphere, king cubes, regular cubes, and half-moons. Knowing the various sizes and shapes of ice can help you to make a better decision about the type of ice that you might prefer for your food displays, beverages, or special events.

Here, we'll be looking at five basic types of ice and what their best uses are.


  • You can get crushed ice by using some simple DIY snow cones. Crushed ice can be used for a number of classic cocktails like mint juleps and Moscow mules. Or you can even blend it together when making smoothies and frozen drinks.


  • Gigantic ice cubes are ideal for any spirit you’re enjoying on the rocks, as it doesn’t melt quickly thereby not watering down the spirit too fast. These sphere cubes are also great for punch bowls or pitcher drinks for the same exact reason as above.

King Cubes

  • King cubes are among one of the most common ice shapes you can find. The king cube is just perfect for any drink, and the shape is very popular at any place where drinks are served, like restaurants, convenience stores, and bars. You are also most likely to find king ice cubes in ice dispensing machines, displays, and with ice retailers.
  • King cubes can be used in the same way as sphere ice cubes, in punches and pitchers because they also melt slowly. They are also perfect for stirred cocktails where you just want a little ice but don’t want to water it down too quickly

Regular Cubes

  • As the name implies, regular cubes are half the size of king cubed ice. Their shape resembles a butter pat. They are very easy to handle, dispense easily, and blend well into most drinks.
  • Cocktails taking a handful of ice cubes like a Tom Collins, gin, and tonic, or a Dark & Stormy are a perfect spoiler for a few regular cubes. Regular cubes are also ideal for just about any cold drink, from lemonade to iced coffee.

Half Moons

  • These are your regular everyday ice cubes — the type that you can just grab from your freezer's ice machine in a hurry. They do a lot of magic when you drop them into your water glass or iced coffee or iced tea. You can also use them in the shaker when you're shaking your cocktail and don't need anything too special

If you don't know what type of Ice is best for your establishment, then contact Alpha Catering Equipment to help you pick out your next Ice Machine.