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U-Line vs. Sub-Zero Clear Ice Makers (Reviews/Ratings/Prices)

Steve Sheinkopf  |  December 16, 2013  |  4 Min. Read

Sub-Zero  |  Ice Makers  |  U-Line  |  Refrigerators

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Clear ice makers spray the water through a sheet of metal so the impurities and air bubbles are drained and removed from the water resulting in higher quality clear ice. Clear ice takes longer to melt and does not change the flavor of the drink. Regular ice makers simply freeze tap water impurities, just like an ice maker in a refrigerator.

U-Line and Sub-Zero are both premier and highly popular undercounter ice makers. We will compare both and even look at the differences between clear and regular ice makers.

Click on this short video about Clear versus Regular Ice


scotsman undercounter ice maker CLR2160S01U-Line is family owned and based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They are a manufacturer of built-in
undercounter refrigeration products for the home. They started in 1962. They were the first built-in ice makers and wine units for residential use. Now, the U-Line Corporation manufactures several undercounter built-in appliances such as ice makers, refrigerators, freezers, wine storage systems, and refrigerator drawers.

U-Line’s most popular clear ice maker is the CLR2160S01 model for $2,249.99 in stainless steel. This model has the following features:

  • Makes 60lbs. of ice in a 24 hour period
  • Stores 30 lbs. of ice
  • Touch glass digital controls
  • 3 hour temporary shut off option
  • Clean indicator light to let you know when to clean the ice maker

When the clean indicator light is illuminated there will be a 45 minute self-cleaning cycle. This is very important because it will help the ice maker operate more efficiently, make sure you get clear ice cubes, and cut way down on service calls. Clear ice makers also require a drain. The CLR-2160 has two ways you can drain the unit. The first is a gravity feed drain, which drains into a drain pipe.

The other option is the highly recommended U-Line P60 pump. The ice maker will have less of a chance for the drain to clog as well as a much lower chance of needing a service call when installed with a pump. The ice maker can be built-in under the counter or freestanding. You can put on a ¾” wood panel on the door by using a U-Line overlay kit. It also is available in stainless steel.


subzero undercounter ice maker UC15ISub-Zero is also family owned. They were founded in 1943 and also specialize in residential high-end built-in appliances. While U-Line primarily manufactures undercounter units, Sub-Zero also manufacturers the full height built-in refrigeration appliances and is considered the leader in that category.

Sub-Zero has the UC-15IP clear ice maker with a pump, which is about $3,700 when you add the stainless steel panel and handle to it. It has the following features:

  • Makes 50lbs. of ice in a 24 hour period
  • Stores 25 lbs. of ice
  • Produces ice in temperatures up to 100 degrees F
  • Clean indicator light to let you know when to clean the ice maker
  • Water filter

The Sub-Zero costs more money because of the name, reputation, and water filter. Is it $1,500 better? It depends on what else is in the kitchen, and whether or not it is being covered with a wood panel that matches the cabinets. In the end, we do sell more of the U-Line because it is a low risk way to save money on a more or less comparable and proven product. 

U-Line vs. Sub-Zero Clear Ice makers

Both are really good choices.

Sub-Zero has the name, reputation and also has the water filter. The ice maker can be combined in their $2,500 rebate program.

U-Line is reliable, with a 16.67% repair record within the first year and is also $1,500 less expensive. It will also make and store 10 pounds more ice than Sub-Zero.

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Additional Resources

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A few review sites have placed this at the bottom of their articles. So here is our take: Our mission is to find reliable products for you to buy. Other review sites may say this as well.

However, we don’t love every product. Quite frankly, it costs us way too much money in repair costs to support less reliable brands.

In fact, we sell fewer brands than most appliance stores. Here is why:

We feel it is our responsibility to repair your appliances after you buy them.

We now have 30 service technicians, each averaging 8-10 calls a day Monday through Friday, plus another 110 on Saturday. That's over 30,000 service calls logged in one year.

The labor rates of fixing an appliance do not come close to the true cost in any product’s warranty period.

That is why no major retailer has a service department. It costs too much labor, money and time.

Our Blog is a bit different than most others you will read. We cannot write glowing reviews of unreliable products.

Hopefully, the bloggers and organizations who write such glowing product reviews for every brand consider servicing these products first. Only then they will understand the consequences of their marketing.

Steve Sheinkopf

My goal has always been simple: I want Yale to be the best retail experience anywhere. I have tried to create a compelling environment for customers and employees alike.

A Note About Pricing

Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.

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