The Temptation Of Buying A Chinese or Korean Frozen Dessert Machine
When you have a tight budget, purchasing a Chinese- or Korean-made ice cream machine is tempting. The distributors of these machines offer a significantly lower price for one of these machines (usually about half the price of a Taylor, Electro Freeze, Stoelting, or Carpigiani machine).
They boast about their energy-efficient machines, contrasting them to their power-churning American/Italian-made counterparts. They greatly exaggerate the virtues of their warranties and advertise their US-based warehouses as having all the parts that you need. These claims are very misleading & can cause you to buy a bad product.
1) WHY WOULD YOU SPEND $16,000 ON A BRAND NAME ICE CREAM MACHINE WHEN YOU CAN SPEND ONLY HALF THE PRICE ON A CHINESE/KOREAN ICE CREAM MACHINE?
Since the Chinese/Korean manufacturers offer you extra parts when you purchase a new machine (extra compressors, beater motors, board, etc), this should raise a red flag in your mind. Ask yourself, why would they offer you free parts that should instead be durable (or have a few years durability)?
The answer is simple: they're not quality parts to begin with. These machines tend to have very poorly made compressors and beater motors. Their refrigeration lines are usually made of very thin copper tubing that breaks often or makes it difficult for refrigeration techs to work on your machines.
Their condensers and water coils often rust out and leak. Even the steel used to construct these machines is thinner and more brittle, therefore making it easy to break. All of these factors are what makes these machines so cheap in the initial buying price.
2) IS IT TRUE THAT MACHINES SOLD OVERSEAS TEND TO HAVE LOWER POWER CONSUMPTION THAN THE MAJOR NAME BRAND MACHINES DO?
While using less power is a good thing, it is also a bad thing when it's an ice cream machine. Simply put, more power = more ice cream. The Chinese/Korean ice cream machines tend to have cheaper/smaller compressors and under-powered beater motors. When a compressor is small, it means you make less ice cream per hour, and your machine might have issues keeping up with demand.
For example, if you have a long line of customers on a busy day, the cheap Chinese ice cream machines will not be able to keep up & will likely break from being overstressed. If a beater motor is underpowered, it will break more often, and you will have more electrical issues (such as blown capacitors and windings) than you would with a higher quality name brand machine. Using an underpowered Asian machine to make large quantities of ice cream is like using a small Toyota Corolla to pull a huge boat.
3) Difficulty Finding Parts & Communicating
Another problem with maintaining Chinese/Korean ice cream machines is finding replacement parts. Your supplier may give you extra components/parts because they know that finding parts might be an issue. A likely scenario is that their importer stays in business only for a few years, and when they go under, you will have a hard time finding parts.
Cheap Chinese ice cream machine parts that break easily are often impossible to find a replacement for. Communication issues with the Chinese manufacturer will also be an issue, should you bypass the distributor when purchasing your machine.
Our Recommendation When Looking To Invest In A Machine
To sum it up, we strongly recommend sticking with either Taylor, Stoelting, Electro Freeze, or Carpigiani machines. Here's a little story for you: While we were working out at our local gym, we witnessed a Chinese machine catch on fire, and the solution from the manufacturer was to paint the sealing foam in the machine with flame retardant paint.
When doing any kind of shopping don't shop on price, as we have seen so many people make that mistake and end up regretting their purchase. If you need help financing, feel free to contact us and we can set you up with a leasing agent.
If you want to save money, buy a used Taylor, Stoelting, Electro Freeze, or Carpigiani machine, which can have a shelf life of 30+ years. Chinese/Korean ice cream machines have no proven track record and will last a few years only to be thrown away or used for parts.
* Follow all local and national health codes. Always refer to local and national rules. This article is just a suggestion.
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