Swan, Hatsuyuki, Fujimarca: How Do They Differ From Less Expensive Generic Machines?

20 Sep

Most likely, one of the first things you did when deciding to utilize a block ice shaver was peruse Ebay for a deal on your very first major purchase. Let’s face it, they ain’t cheap! And while scrolling page after page, you find very simlar looking machines for a fraction of the cost. Hmmm…you wonder…..could they do the job? As we mentioned in another blog post, the machine you choose will be one of the most expensive purchases you will make. And who doesn’t want to save a little moolah when establishing a new business?

The first thing we notice about the generic brand, is the lack of a protective shield where the ice block is placed. Who wants a 5 pound block of ice to spin out of control at your face?…any takers? Moving on. With the exception of the Fujimarca, each of the brand name machines have nozzle at the base where a drain hose can be attached. This is especially important because the residual ice will melt and you’ll have a wet mess if it doesn’t have somewhere to drain to. Not to mention, the melted ice can drip down onto the foot pedal or other electrical plug and cause a hazard. We believe this might be one of the reasons the Fujimarca is not NSF approved, but eh, who knows? A large pan and hose can be purchased to catch and drain the water  so we guess it’s not too much of an issue but still something to consider.

One of the few things that need to be maintained on these commercial ice shavers is the blade. Since blades are unique to each machine, it seems that it would be difficult to find replacement blades or any other parts for that matter. Which brings us to our most important concern. Customer service. These generic machine are mass produced in China while Hatsuyuki, Swan, and Fujimarca have been long-standing makers of ice shavers and their machines have been proven to last through years of heavy use. If nothing else, the reputation of the brand name shavers would give us enough reason to purchase one.

What kind of machine do you use and why?


13 Responses to “Swan, Hatsuyuki, Fujimarca: How Do They Differ From Less Expensive Generic Machines?”

  1. vinodmurtimuseum June 15, 2017 at 11:59 am #

    Hi I am vinod, I love shave lce, now I want to bring this to india. Can any one guide me about to machine, equipment need for this. Which one is good to buy and from where i can buy and import this to india.
    Where i can buy ingredient & flavor for this.
    Thanks in Advance

  2. torstenlehrigd1 August 14, 2015 at 8:04 am #

    One of the few things that need to be maintained on these commercial ice shavers is the blade. Since blades are unique to each machine, … mshavera.wordpress.com

  3. Dan September 25, 2013 at 5:09 am #

    Global bear claims that their blades are more precise than the swan when it comes to shave snow (or milk ice). Any information on their claim of this?

  4. John Smith June 22, 2012 at 10:06 am #

    have been looking for the shaver below. we brought back one one of the model on our trip in taiwan. the machine has been working well. trying to get more of the shavers in US, but don’t know where they offer this made-in-taiwan shaver…


  5. thebrianstudio May 3, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

    I also am new to this. Heck, I’m still researching – a lot before I buy. What I have come away with is exactly what you guys are saying. I thought to start small scale with a manual, but I’ve since realized that for any real growth, I need a powered unit with foot pedal. So with that being said, I will be purchasing the Swan unit for the very reasons listed.

    Thanks for the discussion. It has helped me – and Swan to sell another product!


  6. Cindy March 23, 2012 at 4:14 am #

    I am fairly new to the shaved ice business. I bought my first machine(snowizard southern style) last summer and love it. I just purchased a used Hatsuyuki 500e early this week. Not sure if I like it or not. Does any one know where to find an operations manual for it. I need to find a manual or videos that show the adjustments. The guy I bought it from used the foot pedal but also use the wheel for the pressure. The video on you tube show people using it hands free. When I adjust the tension it will shave some hands free but not like I have seen in videos. Any suggestions please. I live in Colorado so it isn’t easy to find any thing shaved ice locally.

    • Joe July 19, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

      Are you interested in selling your Hatsuyuki 500e?

      • Cindy July 20, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

        Hi Joe I need to keep it because the health dept here insist on NSF aproved equipment. So I won’t be selling it.

  7. Eric Esguerra October 11, 2011 at 4:14 am #

    We use a Swan. We had it for about a year and half now. I changed the blade once. Kept it lubed up. Adjusted and readjusted the brake a few times. It is like a car, you need to maintain it and should last you for a long time. I love the Swan, in fact we are about ready to buy or second machine. I tried the Fujimarca but I returned it because it was shaving the block ice unevenly, even after adjusting the blade (it was not NSF approved anyway….can’t use in CA)…..most def, block shavers are best hands down!

    • shaveicelover October 19, 2011 at 5:18 am #

      Mahalo for your feedback, we agree that the Swan is an excellent machine! Sorry to hear about the Fujimarca =( Our only beef with the Swan is the fragility of the hood and back cover, and the expense of having to replace them if they crack or break! $$$

      • McKinley July 30, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

        Hi! I know this is crazy but, I want to buy a shave ice machine–not for commercial/business use–but because I just love it so much and I am sick of driving to the next town over to get it every day! Price isn’t totally a concern {although, who doesn’t love to save money when possible!}, so what I’d really like to know is which brand/model gives the best texture of ice, which one is the most user friendly, which one y’all just, plain like the best, etc.
        Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer!

        • Jodi February 12, 2013 at 1:41 am #

          I’m with you! We just returned from our first trip to Hawaii, and I consumed so much shaved ice that I want to be able to make it myself in my back yard this summer for myself/family/friends. Most of the machines we saw at Waikiki were Hatsuyukis, so that’s what we have been researching, but these are pretty pricey at $1700 and up (cheaper for used online, but then I don’t know how well they will hold up if they have been used previously). I did not run across Swans while in Hawaii, but will investigate these too. I see you posted back in July 2012 – did you end up purchasing a machine? If so, which one and are you happy with it? How much did it cost?

          • McKinley February 12, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

            Had a crisis this summer {husband left our family, FUN!} so sadly, researching a shave ice machine went to the back of my list of things to do:( It is STILL ON my list thought and I have a tax refund burning a hole in my pocket for one–as soon as I know which one to buy, it’s MINE! I plan to bury all my abandonment issues in tons and tons of shave ice!! YUMMMM!

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