Scotsman Vs Hoshizaki Ice Machines: What Are The Differences?

Investing in an efficient ice machine for business or personal purposes is essential. When ice machines come to mind, you've probably already heard or read of Scotsman and Hoshizaki ice machines. What makes the two different? Read more of the information we found so you can choose between the two.

The most significant difference between Scotsman and Hoshizaki ice machines is their functionality. Scotsman is a water-cooled machine that requires a water line. Meanwhile, Hoshizaki is an air-cooled machine that removes heat to make ice.

Aside from this, there's a difference between their:

  • Energy Efficiency
  • Types of ice made
  • Durability
  • Maintenance
  • Price

Learning the details about the two ice machine's differences is vital so you can make your decision. Furthermore, doing so will help you determine if it suits your business. Aside from this, we included how to use the Scotsman and Hoshizaki ice machines to help you out after you buy one of them. Scroll down for all the things you need to learn and more.

A view of an employee scooping ice out of an ice machine, in a restaurant setting, Scotsman Vs Hoshizaki Ice Machines What Are The Differences

Differences Between Scotsman And Hoshizaki Ice Machines

Scotsman and Hoshizaki ice machines are two reputable brands that have been around for years. Although they function the same way, there's still a considerable difference between them.

cube ice in ice making machine that door open food industrial background close up

For starters, each machine makes ice differently. Scotsman is a water-cooled machine, which means it uses water to make use. This requires a water line to pass through them, so installing it is more tedious.

Meanwhile, Hoshizaki is easier to install as it is an air-cooled machine. It functions to move heat away from it by using air. But note that it also needs an open-air vent and at least 70°F to work.

Aside from these, here are more differences between the two:

Energy Efficiency

Because Hoshizaki is an air-cooled ice machine, it is not as energy efficient as Scotsman.

Air-cooled ice machines must remove heat from their refrigerant coils to lower the temperature, making them use more power. Meanwhile, Scotsman is a water-cooled machine, meaning it uses less electricity. 

To give you an overview, Scotsman can save up to 20% of energy, while Hoshizaki can only save up to 12% of energy consumption.

Types Of Ice Made

ice cubes reflection on black table background.

Both ice machines offer a wide variety of ice they can make. For Scotsman, here are the types of ice you can produce:

  • Supercube ice - you can use it for restaurants, pubs, or clubs. It's shaped like a thimble and melts slowly.
  • Dice ice -  is used only for cooling drinks and is quickly produced. Because of this, it is ideal for fast-food restaurants. Additionally, it's also softer, so it's easy to blend if you plan to use ice for cafes or serve different drinks.
  • Nugget ice - is a hard, compacted flake of ice shaped like a cylinder. The machine can quickly produce it, making it great for quick service in restaurants or bars.
  • Cubelet ice - is a cube-shaped ice that melts slowly, which you can use for self-serve soft drinks.
  • Flake ice - is an irregular-shaped ice. This type of ice is most suitable for fisheries, laboratories, or storing frozen food.
  • Scale ice - has a dry texture and is colder than most ice. The food industry uses it for transporting products.

On the other hand, Hoshizaki ice machines offer these types of ice:

  • Crescent cube ice - like its name, it's crescent-shaped. Additionally, it's ideal for restaurants and bards.
  • Square cube ice - is a square-shaped ice that's hard and great to use for drinks.
  • Cubelet ice - is chewable and pellet-shaped. Also, it's soft and an excellent choice for restaurants and convenience stores for drinks.
  • Top hat ice - is round and shaped like a hat. It's best for individual use in homes, kitchens, or suites and is not suited for fast food service.
  • Flaker ice - it is soft and irregular-shaped ice. Using them for grocery stores, fisheries, or displaying food is best.


A view of an employee scooping ice out of an ice machine, in a restaurant setting.

Between both ice machines, Hoshizaki is more durable even when it produces a large amount of ice daily. Hoshizaki can last for more than 15 years, while Scotsman can only last up to ten years.


While Scotsman only requires regular wiping, Hoshizaki requires a few more steps because of its air-cooling method.

Air cooling means more dust particles can enter the machine, so you'll need to wipe its interior with dampened cloth dipped in a gallon of warm water with two tablespoons of baking soda. After, wipe it with a dry towel.

Check out this ice machine cleaner on Amazon.


Scotsman ice machines are generally cheaper than Hoshizaki. While a Hoshizaki can cost you $2000 to $12000, a Scotsman can only cost between $1850 to $4800.

How To Use Scotsman Ice Machine

Stainless steel body ice maker machine

Did you choose to buy a Scotsman ice machine? After installation, you may need some help with using it. Here's a guide for you:

  1. Open its water supply valve.
  2. Turn on the circuit breaker connected to your machine.
  3. Open the front panel and check the ice size control shaft. Adjust it counterclockwise if it isn't in a preset size position.
  4. Wait for ten minutes as the ice machine goes through a dry cycle for the water to fill. The water fill cycle will take approximately three minutes before the freezing begins.
  5. See if the machine's plastic curtain assembly hangs evenly and if no large water streams are passing.
  6. After several minutes, the machine will release the ice. Check if it is the right size.

Click here to see this Scotsman ice machine on Amazon.

How To Use Hoshizaki Ice Machine

Cube ice machine. Suitable for small beverage shops.

Have you decided to buy a Hoshizaki ice machine instead? If so, refer to this guide for your first use after its installation:

  1. Open the machine's shut-off valves in its water supply line.
  2. Open its front panel. Then, turn the control switch in the control box into the "Ice" position.
  3. Put the front panel back.
  4. Power on the circuit breaker where the machine is connected and its power supply line.
  5. Wait ten minutes as the machine runs before turning off its power supply.
  6. Open its front panel and insulation panel. Then, slide the cube guide to the right and remove the overflow pipe's rubber cap and sleeve covering.
  7. Unscrew the machine's overflow pipe and reconnect it only after its drained the water tank. Then, place the rubber cap, sleeve, and cube guide back to where you removed them.
  8. Place the front panel and the insulation panel back. After, clean the ice storage bin with a neutral cleaner before proceeding.
  9. Turn the machine's power on and wait several minutes for the ice to be released.

Tap here to check out this Hoshizaki water valve on Amazon.

How Much Water Does Scotsman Use?

Because the Scotsman ice machine uses a water-cooling method, it relies on the water for more than just using it for ice production. It needs water to remove the heat from the device, which is about three quarts per unit cycle.

One quart is used to rinse the machine's reservoir and goes down the drain, while the remaining is for the water cycle.

The exact amount of water used per hour will depend on what model and type of ice maker of the Scotsman machine you're using.

How Long Are Scotsman And Hoshizaki's Warranty?

cube ice from clean water in ice making machine for restaurant food industry background close up

Most Scotsman ice machine models have a six-month warranty for their parts and labor, with an additional two years if its compressor is damaged.

for SCC, DCE, SCR, and SCV models, the parts, including the labor, have a one-year warranty.

SCN models have a two-year warranty for parts and labor, while its compressor has a three-year warranty. All models mentioned have a three-year warranty for their compressors.

On the other hand, for Hoshizaki ice machines, there's a three-year warranty for the parts and labor on the entire device. But, they offer a five-year warranty for the evaporator and air-cooled condenser coil parts.

In Closing

Scotsman and Hoshizaki ice machines have an excellent reputation in the food industry, but the two have significant differences.

For instance, Scotsman ice machines are water-cooled, while Hoshizaki ice machines are air-cooled.

Though this may not seem like an essential difference upon hearing, water-cooled machines are easier to use, while air-cooled ones require a specific temperature to work.

Aside from this, Scotsman is more energy efficient, has more variety of machines to make different kinds of ice, requires less maintenance, and is cheaper.

Hoshizaki is also more durable, which is suitable if you want to make large amounts of ice in a day as it will last longer.

Aside from having a suitable ice machine, you may want to read these posts to learn how to regulate the temperature in a kitchen:

How To Cool Down A Hot Kitchen

How To Insulate The Kitchen Floor

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