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Manitowoc vs. Hoshizaki Ice Machines | 360Connect

There are lots of commercial ice machines on the market today, so deciding which is best for your business can be difficult. Two leading ice machine manufacturers that you may have heard of are Manitowoc and Hoshizaki. Both manufacturers provide top-quality ice machines that you can buy all over the world. However, which ice machine is best for your business? We are here to help you to decide between Manitowoc vs. Hoshizaki: consider factors such as products and offerings, ice type and quality, cost, warranties, customer support, and pros and cons. 

Related: Commercial Ice Machines: A Buyer’s Guide

Who is Manitowoc?

Manitowoc is one of the leading ice machine manufacturers providing top quality products. They are based in Wisconsin but also manufacture ice machines in Mexico and China, producing over 200 different ice machine models sold globally. 

Manitowoc ice machines are designed to be energy-efficiency and easily serviced, with all repairable parts located in the front of the machine for easy access. Manitowoc products are also now cleaner and more innovative than ever before. They have added new touch-screen technology as well as deep sanitation systems to ensure the machine stays clean.

Who is Hoshizaki?

Hoshizaki is the world’s largest commercial ice equipment manufacturer, manufacturing ice machines in the USA, Japan, England and China. They produce more products than just ice machines, including refrigerators, freezers, back bars, and much more. Hoshizaki is also the first ice machine manufacturer to gain food service equipment certification ISO-9001 and ISO-114001. They are ideally used in food and beverage service settings, as well as hotels.

Ice Machine Products

Both Manitowoc and Hoshizaki manufacture top-quality ice machine products. In fact, they are the two most widely used commercial ice machines worldwide. If your business is in need of an ice machine, chances are either Manitowoc or Hoshizaki offers a product that suits your needs.

Manitowoc productsHoshizaki products
Remote condensing units
Traditional remote units
Hotel dispensers
Ice/beverage dispensers
Specialty machines
Ice storage and accessories 
Air-cooled condensing
Water-cooled condensing
Remote condensing
Hotel ice dispensers
Ice & Water dispensers
Back bars
Ice storage and accessories 

Manitowoc and Hoshizaki both produce air-cooled, remote condensing, and water-cooled units. Their machines also produce various types of ice, including sphere, crescent, top hat, cubelets, flakers, and more.

Note that many Hoshizaki products are categorized based on the type of ice they produce. For instance, Hoshizaki markets their “Undercounter AM Cuber,” which makes top-hat style ice cubes.

Ice Type and Quality

Manitowoc offers ice machines that produce cubes, flakes, nuggets, and chewable ice. Depending on whether you are looking for a Manitowoc modular unit or self-contained unit, you can typically choose what type of ice you wish the unit to produce. Learn more about what type of ice is best for your business.

Hoshizaki ice machines produce mainly crescent cubes, top hat cubes, cubelets, and flaked ice. They have different “series” ice machines that will produce different types of ice, depending on your needs. For instance, their “Cuber” series comes in water-cooling, air-cooling,or remote AC forms. This makes it easy to find a Hoshizaki ice machine that feels customized to your needs. 

In terms of quality, keep in mind that both Manitowoc and Hoshizaki are the world’s most quality ice machines. However, there are some customers online who report that Manitowoc ice machines can produce “sheets of ice” rather than cubes, which you have to manually break down by hand.


When it comes to deciding between Manitowoc vs. Hoshizaki ice machines, of course pricing will be an important factor. Considering these are the two leading brands in the ice machine and equipment industry, you will find that their pricing is very competitive for similar ice machine models. 

Both Manitowoc and Hoshizaki commercial ice makers cost between $1,500-$10,000 per machine, depending on whether you are choosing:

  • Modular vs. self-contained unit 
  • Water-cooled vs. air-cooled vs. remote cooled
  • New vs. used ice machine 

We recommend comparing the best commercial ice machines, both Manitowoc and Hoshizaki models, to get a better sense for pricing.

While cost is similar between Manitowoc vs. Hoshizaki, Manitowoc ice machines tend to be slightly more affordable. Part of the reason for this is that Manitowoc machines are more energy-efficient. This can help you save more money ($1,000’s in energy bills) in the long-term, as the machine won’t use as much power. Additionally, Manitowoc’s good warranty on ice machines allows businesses to save some money on repairs and maintenance. 

Warranty, Maintenance and Customer Support

Manitowoc is known for their great warranty on ice machines. Under their replacement part warranty, they will replace any part on the ice machine up to 90 days after installation. Compressors and evaporators are covered under warranty for up to 1 year after installation. Some parts and labor are covered for 3-5 years, depending on the ice machine. This can save your business some serious money when it comes to maintenance and fixes. 

Hoshizaki’s warranties depend on the particular ice machine. Their products are typically covered anywhere from 1-5 years under warranty, with certain limitations on what is covered. 

Overall, Manitowoc customers have great things to say about their customer support and service tech. Many report fast and efficient service with maintenance and technical needs. On the other hand, Hoshizaki products are easier to fix on your own, but their customer support isn’t on par with Manitowoc, according to online reviews. 

Manitowoc vs. Hoshizaki: Pros and Cons

Pros-Great customer support  
-Easy set up and maintenance  
-Good warranty
-Easy to fix/replace 
-Can wait long time between cleanings 
-Good ice quality
Cons-Ice quality can waver
 -Must keep up with maintenance 
-More expensive 
-Slower customer support

Overall, when deciding between Manitowoc and Hoshizaki, you will want to prioritize factors that matter most to your business. To name a few key factors that can help you make your decision:

  • Cost and low energy bills 
  • Ice quality
  • Warranty and maintenance 
  • Set-up and installation 

If cost is the most important factor to you, especially long-term cost: choose a Manitowoc ice machine. Its energy efficiency will help you slash energy bills in the long run. However, while Manitowoc has a great warranty for up to 5 years, you may have to get maintenance on the machine every 3 months thereafter. 

If ice quality matters most, you might choose a Hoshizaki ice machine instead. Customers report superior ice quality when using Hoshizaki machines. You might be able to go longer between cleanings due to the machine’s quality (but always first ask your supplier for advice on this). However, keep in mind that customers support slower customer support with Hoshizaki products.

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