Small ice makers are portable, require no water hook-up, make ice faster and can supplement the ice made by a refrigerator's ice machine. Most models make nugget shaped ice pieces that don't stick together if they are bagged and stored in the freezer.
Small ice makers work equally well on a kitchen counter top, in an RV or on a boat, as long as there is an electrical connection and access to fresh water. The water is poured into the ice maker's reservoir and replenished as needed. A drain plug is on the bottom to empty out stale water. Most manufacturers recommend the machine be drained at least once a day while in use and before it is stored.
In addition to the nugget or bullet ice shapes, some ice makers make three sizes of ice, handy for serving different types of cocktails or chilling certain foods. Ice makers can also produce up to 28 pounds of ice per day. Most ice making machines on refrigerator-freezers can't keep up that pace.
Storage bins vary in size, but once the ice is made, it must be used fairly soon. This is where the bagging and storing option comes in. Maintenance is simple -- just a wipe-down inside and out, along with cleaning the reservoir with diluted vinegar or lemon juice.