I will say this the item is definitely solid and heavy - well built. The machining is smooth with no burrs or rough spots. However, you should really ask yourself if you need an item like this. It is a great conversation starter, and it does work as advertised. But I guess I was expecting a lot more excitement given the asking price of this piece. It works great, and it does not take too long to melt down an ice chunk to a ball. I have a big silicone cube tray, and the cubes are slightly bigger than the sphere on this unit. So it only takes about 15-20 seconds to melt it down to a sphere. It does seem to last a little longer than regular ice when I pour bourbon in the glass, so that is another neat feature. I will say the packaging is also great, as it comes in a wooden box with a sliding lid and foam to keep it in place/from getting scratched. If you have the money, you will definitely enjoy this piece and your friends will like it and comment on it. (at least mine did) As far as the unit itself, it definitely does what it says it will do and its well built. Would also make a great gift given the packaging.
There is probably no less efficient more time consuming way to make ice cubes. Maybe if you tried 3D printing with ice filament. That might be worse.Why, then, did I award this 5 stars?Because this isn't about efficiency (not cost, nor otherwise). And it's not about saving time. It's about making round ice in the coolest way possible. Forget the pun. This is about having a giant chunk of aluminum to melt ice chunks into ice balls. If you need to justify the cost, you're in the wrong place, so don't bother.Now, why did I get it? I think it's the coolest looking thing EVER. I want to use it as a movie prop for making indie films. Picture it...the villain slowly opens this aluminum cylinder to expose the glowing, radiating, humming nuclear core inside. This is PERFECT as a movie prop, or even as a "What on earth is THAT?" shelf decorator item. You don't HAVE to use this to make balls of ice to appreciate it, believe me. I appreciate it profoundly, and I'll probably never make a ball of ice with it in my life.Literally, one of the coolest things I own. And we're back at puns again. I'm sorry, I'm a bad man. But has I said, there's a lot to appreciate here. Personally, I like the way it LOOKS. I'm going to display it on a shelf, and pray people ask me about it. Because what an interesting thing this actually is.I recommend this, not only to make round balls of ice. Yeah, whatever. I recommend this to people who, like me, just like INTERESTING THINGS. I must have sat and played with this and looked at it for almost an hour today. It's wonderfully crafted, very accurate and true. Life is, itself, very interesting. We should fill our interesting lives with interesting things like this. You don't justify it. You buy it. And welcome to the world of interesting things.
Love love this! My wife got this as my Father's Day gift and it's incredible! Heavy high quality, all my friends love it. Obviously if you get this you'll need to make your own 2 1/2 ice blocks so you can get the perfect sphere, but it's worth it.