The machine has a strong motor with a heavy cast metal ice chute. I had to adjust the blades on the cutting wheel because at the factory set depth they were not shaving ice. Firm pressure on the handle is needed to push the ice into the cutting wheel. It has a toggle switch that must be held to run the machine. It makes very nice, soft sno-kones. Much better than I was expecting. They are not like crushed ice but rather like very soft snow flakes. Much better when you pour the syrup on top.
The blue doors are made from thin plastic. I'm puzzled why they don't use glass doors as they do on the less expensive version of this machine. I suppose it'll be less costly to replace and maybe less dangerous if it were to drop or fall. The machine is very top-heavy, best to transport lying on its side. Overall quite happy with it.
We purchased this machine for our party rental business and I was very satisfied with not only the machine but how fast the delivery was. The machine itself is super easy to use and looks like it will last quite a while. Only concern is there should be a safety feature on the hole... it is pretty big (big enough for an arm to fit in) however you need to push the button for it to go on so it seems fine.