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Home // Shaved Ice University | Resource Center // Machines // What are Block Ice Shavers?
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What are Block Ice Shavers?

What are Block Ice Shavers?

Block ice shavers are shaved ice machines that require actual blocks of ice. Some machines take round blocks while others take rectangle blocks. Ice can be difficult to find. Check to see if you have an ice distributor in your area. Oftentimes, they can provide you the ice you need. Your other option for ice would be to freeze your own using our ice molds. We have an entire section in Shaved Ice University dedicated to ice - go check it out to learn more.

[Infographic: Cube Shavers vs. Block Shavers]

Yes, block ice shavers do seem inconvenient compared to cube ice shavers. You can't simply run to the store and grab a block of ice. However, block ice shavers will give you the absolute fluffiest snow possible. Shaving the ice on a flat surface reduces a lot of the texture and creates mounds of fluffy white snow. Personally, when I make a shaver topped with my favorite flavor, the ice is so soft, its like ice cream on my tongue. There is no noticeable crunch to the ice.

Block shavers come in two styles, Hawaiian (corkscrew) style and New Orleans style.

Hawaiian Style Block Machines are more upright or vertical. They shave round blocks of ice which are roughly seven inches in diameter and weigh up to seven pounds. With Hawaiian Style block ice shavers, the blade remains stationary and the block of ice rotates against the blade. The “corkscrew” nickname originates from the rotating shaft that applies pressure to the ice block. Instead of a dispensing spout, the ice simply falls straight down from the blade. The ice is either caught in a cup or in the operator's gloved hand. With Hawaiian style block ice shavers, the machine applies the pressure against the rotating block of ice, not the operator, making it easier to train new employees. Our most popular Hawaiian Style Block Ice Shaver is the Swan SI-100E and the Hatsuyuki HF-500E block ice shavers.

New Orleans Style Block Ice Shavers are more horizontal and far bulkier than the Hawaiian Style. With the New Orleans style machine, three blades rotate while the block of ice remains stationary. The blocks of ice used in these machines are rectangular, weighing around 10 to 14 pounds. All New Orleans style machines are made out of stainless steel and have a hand lever on the left which the operator uses to apply pressure forcing the ice against the rotating blades. They feature an ice spout on the right side where the shaved ice is dispensed. Our most popular New Orleans Style Block Ice Shaver is the New Orleans Snow Block Ice Shaver.

I've recommended my two favorite block shavers on the right. The top is a Hawaiian style machine and the bottom is a New Orleans style machine. Below are a few key features about block ice shavers.

  • One Block of Ice Can Make 10-15 Servings
  • Shaves Ice Quickly
  • Soft and Snow-like
  • Sturdy and Durable
  • Uses Single Blade or 3 Blades
  • Corkscrew Models Offer Blade Adjustment Knobs for Adjusting Ice Texture
  • Tractor Models Allow the Operator to Control Ice Texture with Gentle Pressure
  • All Models Feature Safety Guards/Doors

Hopefully this has given you plenty of information about the block ice shavers. Check out the the product descriptions of each machine for detailed information and make sure to watch the video while you're there. Brittany has done a great job demonstrating most of our machines. If you have additional questions, give us a call and any team-member will be glad to assist you.

Hatsuyuki HF-500E Block Shaved Ice Machine
WAS: $2,316.00
NOW: $2,095.00
New Orleans Block Shaved Ice Machine
WAS: $2,477.99
NOW: $2,389.50