What's the difference between a Pump and Gravity Machine?

What’s the difference between a Pump and Gravity Machine?When you’re looking to choose a new a soft serve ice cream or frozen yogurt machine you’re faced with a number of choices; either counter top or floor standing, single flavour or twin flavour, single or 3 phase electrics, air or water cooled, 3 day or 14 day cleaning cycle etc. etc. etc…

But one of the hardest decisions is choosing between gravity or pump fed…

What’s the difference between a Pump and Gravity Machine?

Taylor 152
Small gravity machine

There are two types of soft-serve machines; pump and gravity. Both versions have a refrigerated hoppers which you pour your liquid soft serve mix. This then feeds the internal freezing cylinder where the freezing takes place. To prevent the mix being frozen into a hard solid lump, there is a beater inside the cylinder. This beater whips the product while its freezing to incorporate air into the mix to make it smooth and soft. So when you open the draw valve on the door, you serve perfect soft serve each and every time.

The difference is how the mix is fed into the freezing cylinder; when it comes to gravity soft serve machines, the mix flows into the cylinder with gravity through a mix feed tube. The ratio of air to mix is fixed depending on the size of the mix feed hole but this is typically around 30-35% overrun (or percentage of air incorporated into the ice cream). In contrast, the pump fed machines have a pump installed in the hopper which forces a controlled amount of mix and air into the freezing cylinder. The ratio of air to mix can be adjusted allowing the machine to be set up with an overrun of anything from 10% to 80% overrun.

What’s the difference between a Pump and Gravity Machine?

Taylor C706
Pump fed machine

There are advantages and disadvantages with each type of machine and it is interesting to learn what they are…

When it comes to the addition of air into the mix which is called the overrun, you have better control when you use one with the pump. With gravity fed machines control of overrun is not as easy as with the ones with pumps. The maximum overrun you could get with a gravity fed machine is around 30% which means when you add one litre of mix you could get a yield of 1.30 litres. But with a machine that has a pump to feed the mix could give you an overrun of up to 80%.

Gravity type machines are easier to use, clean and maintain, they have fewer parts in comparison to the pump machines, making them easier operationally reducing ‘operator error’ service calls due to incorrectly assembled machines or missing bits.

What’s the difference between a Pump and Gravity Machine?

Taylor C712
Twin flavour Pump machine

Your choice of machine could depend on the size of your business; If you’re a busy operator with a large sales, a machine with a pump is the better choice. Forcing the mix and air into the freezing cylinder makes the process faster, producing more finished product every hour. If you’re business is smaller, or you’re looking to add soft ice cream to an already successful operation then a smaller  gravity type machine would be better as the wastage is lower and the machines are a smaller investment.

One of the critical differences between those machines also comes down to taste. When you have a well-aerated soft serve ice cream (pump machine), it has a better texture; it is smoother and perceived as creamier. It also looks bigger on a cone than a less aerated serve of the same weight (gravity machine). On the other hand, a soft-serve ice cream made on a gravity machine has usually a stronger and more intense flavour on it. It is also heavier that its counterpart which comes handy on a self-service store where clients pay by weight.

Taylor Gravity soft ice cream machines models are:

152, C161C707C709C723C713C717

Taylor Pump soft ice cream machines models are:


There are so many options when it comes to soft ice cream machines, the best thing to do it call us to have a chat with one of the Taylor UK team who can help guide you though the maze of machine to make sure that you have the correct machine for your business, producing the right type of product in the correct volumes.

Call the Taylor UK sales office on:

0800 838 896 or email:

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