So, you want to buy an ice cream maker. What features do you look for? If you are like me, you would want ease of use and for it to be easy to clean. That sounds like a good start.
There are many from which to choose. Manufacturers such as Cuisinart, Kitchenaid, Whynter, Lello, and Hamilton Beach, just to name a few. You do want to buy an ice cream maker with a good reputation like Cuisinart and Whynter.
I would want convenient features such as a large spout for adding ingredients, a transparent lid to see what's going on, dual or multiple speeds, a timer with automatic and safety shut-offs, two freezer bowls, easy clean up, and a quiet operation . These are the things I would look for when I buy an ice cream maker.
Units that use a freezer bowl are the most popular of these types of machines since they are affordable. Also, with two of them, you can put them in the freezer, have them ready for use and can do more than one project. When purchasing, see if you can buy an additional bowl for your unit, unless, of course it already comes with two. Most of these types of machine do not come with two bowls, however. The more expensive units have their own compressor which precludes freezing the mixing bowl in your freezer beforehand. These freeze the ingredients for you.
Now, realistically, I may not get all the features I am looking for depending on the price I am willing to pay. For example, the Cuisinart ICE-30BC, is a 2-quart model that sells for about $ 64.00 at my local Lowe's. It has a large spout, one double-insulated freezer bowl, is easy to clean, and easy to use. However, it is somewhat noisy. I would not get all the features that I wanted, but, the price was right. Or, how about the pricier Whynter model IC-2L SNO, 2-quart version that sells for around $ 235.00 on Amazon.com? This unit, in addition to being easy to use and clean, has an electronic timer and its own high-efficiency CFC-free compressor! Wow! With this model you do not have to pre-freeze the mixing bowl! You get what you pay for folks. It all depends on your budget when you buy an ice cream maker.
All in all, see what features you want, go with a manufacturer you can trust, and determine what price you are willing to pay. Then, go buy an ice cream maker and let's have ourselves an incredible, tasty homemade treat!