The 5 Basic Types of Ice

Ice machines have a way to go before they catch up with nature, as far as the different kinds of ice they offer. Scientists say there are 17 different forms of natural ice. There are only six basic types of ice created from ice machines! Ice makes refreshing drinks so much better, and can also help offices, healthcare facilities, and factories provide a fun and delicious perk. For the millions of people who enjoy crunching on ice, the various options include some that cater to that particular pleasure.

1-Flake Ice

Small, hard bits of ice ideal for preserving food on display, such as produce, meat, and seafood, is called “flake ice.” This type of ice consistently maintains food hydration for longer periods of time than other alternatives. Anytime perishable food is being transported, flake ice is best. It is also perfect for making blended drinks and for use at a bakery and deli as well as food retail. Just about every major ice manufacturer offers flake ice, including Scotsman ®, Manitowoc ®, Follett ®, and Ice-O-Matic ®.

Flake ice

2-Crescent Cubes & other Gourmet Ice

There are various kinds of gourmet ice, including crescent cubes. Other names, depending on the machine making the ice, include “cubelet,” “octagon,” and “top hat.” Liquid easily flows over these gourmet ice cubes, ensuring less splash. These types of ice are slow-melting. The unique shapes make maximum use of storage in an ice bin.

Crescent Ice


Many different companies manufacture popular nugget ice, which is used by Sonic restaurants. The soft texture of the ice makes it easy to chew. It also serves to keep beverages cooler for a longer period of time. There is a higher liquid displacement, which lowers the amount of liquid needed per cup. Nugget ice is ideal for smoothies, and soft drinks. Scotsman is the manufacturer with the claim on producing The Original Chewable Ice ®. Manitowoc makes nugget ice and also has cube and flake ice machines. Chewblet ® ice by Follett also manufacturers this type of nugget ice as well as Pearl Ice from Ice-O-Matic.

Micro Chewblet Ice PileMicroChewbletIcePileSonic Ice

4-Classic Cubes

The most standard type of ice produced in commercial ice machines is classic cube ice. This type of ice is ideal for carbonated beverages, mixed drinks, ice dispensing machines, ice retailing, ice displays, and banquet services. However, classic cubes may be the toughest on teeth, for those who love to chew ice and cube machines use more water and electricity.

Classic Ice Cube

5-Half Ice Cubes

Half cubes are half the size of classic cubes. They have universal use and are perfect for quick service, schools, retail, hospitality, and fine dining. Half ice cubes are easy to handle and dispense and are also have beneficial uses such as iced coffee and mixed cocktails. Ice-O-Matic, Manitowoc, and Scotsman all offer commercial ice makers that produce half cubes.

Half Dice Ice

When choosing an icemaker for commercial use, it’s important for a business to consider the various benefits of the different shapes of ice. Over time, using ice with greater liquid displacement will help to boost profits. Many company owners make the choice to get chewable ice, to cater to customers who are fond of chewing ice.

Ice is really just frozen water, so it doesn’t provide any nutritional value, but it does keep you hydrated, and if ice makes water or other drinks taste better, chances are people will drink more! Chewable or nugget ice has proven to be a fun, affordable office amenity, that enhances an employee’s day. So chew on that!