The Opal Nugget Ice Maker is Perfect For Your Home: An Honest Review

FirstBuild Opal01 Opal Nugget Ice Maker Portable, Countertop, Stainless Steel with Black Accents, 1-(Pack), Wrap

$379.95 in stock
14 new from $379.95
2 used from $364.74
Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was on: August 17, 2019 3:44 am

I have some pretty exciting news for ice chewers!

Now you can enjoy nugget or sonic ice at your home without buying an expensive commercial unit.

The Opal Nugget Ice Maker is a perfect portable ice maker for your home. Save yourself the time of always running down to the Sonic Drive-in and grabbing ice with the Opal Nugget Ice Maker.

Nugget or sonic ice is very popular today in offices, home bars and kitchens. It’s used for smoothies, ice coffees, slushies or any kind of ice drink that you create.

The invention of nugget ice dates back to 1981. The creator of this type of ice was Scotsman Ice Systems.

What is so appealing about nugget ice?

Why I Love My Portable Ice Maker

Bartender Jayce McConnell of Edmund’s Oast explains the appeal of nugget ice like this:

“It’s porous and chewable, and every little pebble can carry some of the beverage with it.”

The Opal Nugget ice Maker is the perfect ice maker which allows you to enjoy the excellence of nugget ice at home. Not like the other ice makers that produce hard, smooth ice, which is terrible for your teeth, the Opal nugget countertop ice maker produces porous chewable ice, the same kind you’d find at a restaurant.

Now, this ice maker isn’t the cheapest portable ice maker on the market today. You’re looking to spend about $500 for this unit on Amazon. There are other options available if you’re looking to pick up a cheaper countertop ice maker (which produces bullet-shaped ice and not the nugget ice).

When it comes to producing nugget ice, the Opal Nugget Ice Maker is a lot cheaper than installing a commercial ice maker which could cost you thousands of dollars.The Opal Nugget Ice Maker does what it suppose to do, and delivers some surprises as well.


There is doubt about it; the Opal Ice Maker is a sharp looking unit. The front is a stainless steel band, and the back is a glossy black trim. It has a clear bin in the front that is lit with a LED light. Very sharp!

It really is a beautiful design.

It doesn’t have that boring ice maker look that most portable units have. It’s well built and has an elevated, elegant look.

It’s Built Well, A Little Heavy

The unit measures 17.2 by 10.5 by 15.5 inches (HWD) and weighs 44 pounds.

The ice maker isn’t light that’s for sure.

The average portable ice maker will weigh between 20-25 lbs. You’re going to want to find a home for this unit and leave it there – it’s not designed to be moved around.

If you are looking for an ice maker that is perfect for camping or your RV, I would check out my post on the perfect ice maker for camping.

How The Opal Ice Maker Works

Most portable ice makers freeze ice around a small cylinder which produces bullet or hat-shaped ice. The Opal Ice Maker scrapes ice flakes from a cooled cylinder and compresses it together. This is what gives you that light-chewable ice.

Makes 24 Pounds of Ice Every 24 Hours

The Opal Nugget Ice Maker will produce for you one pound of ice every hour (24 lbs of ice every 24 hours).

This is a decent amount of ice. Usually, refrigerator ice makers produce 2-3 pounds of ice every day.

A Removal Ice Bin

At the front of the unit, there is a clear plastic removal bin. The bin is lit by an LED light which gives it a really nice look. You can slide the bin out whenever you need ice.

Beneath the clear plastic bin is the water reservoir. Like most portable ice makers, the ice drawer has holes to drain the water from the melted ice. This allows the water to return to the water reservoir to make more ice.

No Built-in Freezer

There is no built-in freezer with this unit. So the ice will eventually melt. As the ice melts, the Opal Ice Maker will replace the bin with new ice.

Indicating LED Light

On the front of the unit, there is a LED circle light that lets you know what the ice maker is doing.

If the ring is solid white the bin is full of ice. When the circle light is cascading white, it means that the unit is making ice. A prolonged cascading white light says it is in defrost mode and should not be turned off for at least 30 minutes. A pulsing yellow light means that the ice maker is in cleaning mode, and a rotating yellow light indicates that it is in rinse mode. If the ice maker is showing a swishing blue light, it means that the water reservoir is empty and that it needs more water before it can continue.

The Back of the Ice Maker

At the back of the unit, you’re going to find 14″ drain tubes that are used to drain extra water from the clean cycle. You’re also going to find a toggle switch which is used to switch between cleaning mode and making ice mode.

The unit also comes with a small black plastic scoop. The scoop isn’t much to behold. I went on Amazon and purchased a stainless steel one which matches the ice maker perfectly.

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The great thing about the Opal Ice Maker is that you don’t have to pay for a professional to come and install it. All you have to do to start making ice is prepare your ice maker.

First, wash the bin with warm soapy water and then do your best to rinse it thoroughly.

Next, plug it in and switch the toggle mode to cleaning.

You’ll need to fill the reservoir with water and then begin the cleaning cycle (Which will last for about 3 minutes) by touching the button.

Price history for FirstBuild Opal01 Opal Nugget Ice Maker Portable, Countertop, Stainless Steel with Black Accents, 1-(Pack), Wrap
Latest updates:
  • $379.95 - August 14, 2019
  • $410.00 - August 13, 2019
  • $379.95 - August 10, 2019
  • $418.48 - August 8, 2019
  • $379.95 - August 7, 2019
  • $406.99 - August 6, 2019
  • $395.00 - August 6, 2019
Since: April 6, 2019
  • Highest Price: $489.99 - April 6, 2019
  • Lowest Price: $333.21 - July 3, 2019

When the light ring begins to pulse yellow, you need to disconnect the tubes and place them in a sink or bucket. It’s a good practice to clean your ice maker at least once a week. I recommend using about five cups of water and one teaspoon of bleach as a great homemade cleaning solution.

Keeping your ice maker clean is vital in keeping your nugget ice tasting great and machine working correctly.

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The Opal Ice Maker also has a mobile app that you can download from your mobile’s phone app store. This app allows you to connect to your ice maker through Bluetooth.

Remember that this isn’t a wifi connection and so you would have to be in the same house as the ice maker for this work.

The app allows you to turn your ice maker on and off. It also allows you to create an ice making schedule.

To be honest, I never really use the app that much. I guess it depends on the person.

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It takes 10 minutes for the first batch of ice to fall into the bin. Your ice bin should be full in about 3 hours. If you need a lot of ice, I would suggest that you purchase freezer ice bags from Amazon, and every three hours fill the bags and put them in the freezer.

If you are looking to add a nugget ice maker to your home than the Opal Ice Maker is your best bet. For under $500 you’re going to get an ice maker that delivers excellent nugget ice in a compact, stylish unit.

One person joked about the side effects of owning the Opal Nugget Ice maker:​

A couple side effects I have noticed since yesterday (owned it for 24 hours)

1) I judge all restaurant ice as inferior. Didn’t even get a refill because my ice in my opal was better than that crap they were selling. 2) I have been walking around randomly saying “Nugget Ice” and smiling. 3) I’m scared to post on my social media, because I know people will hate me even more for my awesome life with nugget ice. 4) My daughter woke me up this morning and first thing she said was “the ice bin is full,” A warm glow of happiness washed over my body​. 5) I quit drinking beer because it doesn’t go with nugget ice.” ]Check out the best price below and start using the Opal Nugget Ice Maker today!

FirstBuild Opal01 Opal Nugget Ice Maker Portable, Countertop, Stainless Steel with Black Accents, 1-(Pack), Wrap

$379.95 in stock
14 new from $379.95
2 used from $364.74
Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was on: August 17, 2019 3:44 am

Download the Opal Nugget Ice Maker Manual

5.3 Total Score
Opal Nugget Ice Maker

The Opal Nugget Ice Maker allows you to enjoy nugget or sonic ice from home without the expensive setup and installation.

Reliability - Is It Made Well or High Quality?
Usability - Is It Easy to Use?
Affordability - Is It Worth the Price?
Capability - Does It Function as Advertised?
Desirability - Is It Nice To Look At?
  • Stylish Design
  • Produces Great Nugget Ice
  • Bluetooth/Mobile App
  • Expensive For A Portable Ice Maker
  • A Little Heavy
  • Small Capacity
User Rating: 1 (1 votes)
  1. is there comparable machines with same ice?

    • No. There are no other portable ice makers that produce nugget ice. This is what makes this ice maker so ground breaking! Opal has created the first nugget ice maker that is both compact and designed to be placed on your kitchen countertop. If you have never had sonic ice before then you’re going to love sonic or nugget ice, and if you have had nugget ice, you’re going to love this unit.

  2. hello i have a question about the Opal. Our Opal ice seems to come out solid and not porus. we are using water that comes from a water store that sell it for .35 cent a gallon. its clear and not white looking. is there something we can do to get it more pours like .my wife said it kind of hard like it is.. Any help with this problem. thank you Bob

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