We enjoy our snow cone maker, but it doesn't get used as much as it could be used. We have found no major problems with ours. It has lasted several years so far. It's easy enough for my third and seventh graders to use, but not the third grader alone. The ice does seem to make a melted mess all over the counter, but this is because when you use lots of little pieces of ice, it's just going to happen. My girls enjoy creating a snow cone any flavor or mixture of flavors, for "free"! As for Durability: we have had ours for several years / summers of use and not had any problems at all with it! Ease of cleaning: It's very easy to pull out the ice container to wash it. Ease of use: Fairly easy to use, but wish there were an easier way to deal with the top and getting the ice in, top closed and so on. This would not work very well for a large group of children wanting a snow cone! We've had no trouble with our motor, but I wonder if making more than the 2 we make, would be difficult.