Ice makers are not created equal. Even though many of the industrial devices can seem this way. Much more differentiation is found within the portable ice makers. This is not just limited to how much ice they can produce per hour, how big their ice storage compartment is or how fast they can produce ice after being powered on. For an exhaustive list visit IceMakingExpert.com.
They also contain a number of features that make the ice making process considerably easier and user friendly. Perhaps one of the simplest and most useful features is an ice maker that has a viewing compartment as it allows the user to quickly see if the ice maker is running low on ice or on water and has stopped producing ice without having to open up the device itself.
Another great feature is having the option to create different types of ice and in different sizes. For example a portable machine that can create ice cubes is great for filling up an ice box. But then if it is able to produce ice flakes it is perfect for decorating cocktails if having a party.
An automatic cleaning cycle is almost a required feature. As it ensures that the internal parts of the ice maker are clean and you are able to consistently produce great fresh ice without any strange after taste.
It depends on the purpose but if the ice is just for drinks, the best feature is a touchless dispenser which will automatically fill a glass with ice when it is underneath the outlet. However, it is the previous three features that are most useful in ice makers.