Choosing the best product of its type is never as easy at it sounds. Is the most expensive one the best, the one with the most reviews or should you just buy the same one all your friends and colleagues have? The same questions arise when you are shopping for the best pasta maker. With pasta makers becoming more popular in American households, it’s only rational that more people are trying to find the best pasta makers out there. With so many great (and lousy) machines out there, I will help you find the perfect pasta maker that suits your needs.
The popularity of making your own homemade pasta has risen a lot the recent years, with more people aiming towards reaching a more healthy lifestyle being the most convincing reason to do so.
It is important that when looking to buy a new pasta maker to actually know what you are looking for, seeing that there are a lot of pasta makers out there that are of poor quality. Poor quality equals a short lifespan of the machine and a lot of hassles and inconvenience when making the pasta itself.
I have compared a number of pasta makers over the last few years, ranging from the cheap to the more expensive and high-end pasta makers. The comparison table below will show you the four best pasta makers that are currently available in 2016. Buying either one of these models will make sure you aren’t buying yourself into any future headaches.
|Image||Product Name||Specifications||Where to buy|
|Marcato Atlas Wellness 150||High quality manual pasta roller with available motor attachment. Available in variety of different colors and has multiple attachments.||Buy on Amazon|
|Philips Pasta Maker||Best electric pasta extruder. Multiple attachments available. Mixes the dough for you.||Buy on Amazon|
|CucinaPro Imperia 150||Great manual pasta roller for a low price. Comes with multiple attachments and more can be purchased separately.||Buy on Amazon|
|Marcato Atlas 150 Wellness with Motor||Electric version of the Marcato Atlas Wellness. Easy and fast to use, less work to make homemade pasta.||Buy on Amazon|
What exactly is a pasta maker
The core definition of a pasta maker is exactly what you would expect it to be: a machine that makes fresh pasta. However, there are multiple types of pasta makers available on the market, making the choice for the best pasta maker that suits your needs a little bit more difficult.
Manual pasta makers: rollers & cutters
The classic design for a pasta maker is actually quite old, and has not had many dramatic changes. There are four different parts of the pasta maker that are most important: the rollers (1), the cutters (2), the manual handle (3) and the regulating knob (4). These three compartments are the very basis of every manual pasta machine. Rotating the handle by hand will put the rollers and cutters to work, the rollers will roll your pasta dough flat and the cutters will cut it in the shape as you want it to be. You can use the regulating knob to reduce the thickness of the pasta, as the two rollers will get closer to each other.
The types of pasta that can typically be made with a classic pasta maker are the longer types of pasta, such as spaghetti, fettuccine, pappardelle, angel hair and lasagna sheets. More adventurous types of pasta such as ravioli can also be made with the help of a ravioli stamp or a pasta cutter.
Manual pasta machines are perfect for those that plan on making pasta a few times a month, as it requires a bit more work than using an electric pasta maker. Of course, you can also use a manual pasta maker if you plan on making pasta more often; this will just require a bit more work and time.
Manual pasta roller brands
Currently the best pasta maker brands out there for manual pasta makers are Marcato and CucinaPro. Both these brands have proven themselves over the recent years and even decennia. Besides the fact that they are made from high quality materials, they are also both manufactured in Italy. Almost all cheap pasta maker models are made in China and are of poor quality.
Electric pasta extruders: mixing & extruding
Besides the classical pasta roller there is also a more modern type of machine, the pasta extruder. This type of pasta maker does not use rollers or cutters, but shaping discs (1) that it will push the dough through. Pasta extruders are more advanced than manual rollers, as most of these extruders will also mix the dough for you in a special mixing compartment (2).
While you can make certain types of pasta that you can also make with a classic pasta maker, such as spaghetti and lasagna sheets, you can also make round shaped pasta such as penne with a pasta extruder. As always, ravioli can be made if you have a ravioli stamp or a pasta cutter.
Electric pasta makers are most sought after by those that are planning on making pasta on a more regular basis. The ease of use of these machines is very high, as a lot of work is taken out of your hands. The more often you plan on making pasta, the more interesting an electric pasta maker becomes, especially a pasta extruder. If you are looking for an electric pasta machine, read my guide on buying the best electric pasta maker.
Pasta Extruder Brands
Where lesser known brands dominate the market for classic pasta machines, a better known brand is actually performing better when we are looking at pasta extruders. Philips is doing very well for themselves and their customers with the Philips Pasta Maker, which is one of the best electric pasta extruder out there right now. Lello is another brand that is doing fairly well, but their products don’t match with the high quality Philips Pasta Maker.
Choosing the perfect pasta maker
While a certain pasta maker can be the best in comparison of other pasta makers, this doesn’t always qualify it as the best pasta maker for you as well. Maybe you are planning on making pasta a few times a week, and automating this process as much as possible will be quite possibly be the best solution in that case. Or you are planning on making pasta a few times a month, buying a classic pasta machine in this case sounds like a better plan.
It is my job to make sure that you pick the pasta maker that fits your needs the most. Whether this isn’t my favorite type of pasta maker doesn’t play a role in this case. The pasta makers that I recommend are all high quality pasta machines, and I make it very clear when I do not recommend a certain pasta maker.
The Four Best Pasta Makers
While there are a lot of different pasta makers out there, I have made a list of the four best ones that are currently available in 2016. Three of these pasta makers are classic pasta rollers, and the other one is a pasta extruder. Two of the four pasta makers are electric pasta makers, this includes the pasta extruder.
In every short review below I will write down what type of use every pasta maker is recommended for. If you want more in depth information about each pasta maker, feel free to read every full review that comes with it.
Marcato Atlas 150 Review
If you truly want to bring Italy into your home, the Marcato Atlas 150 Wellness is one of the best choices that you can make. The Atlas 150 machines are entirely produced in Italy, including the rollers and the blades, which are made of anodized aluminium. The rollers and cutters are actually quite special for a pasta maker, as they are patented by Marcato. They are the only company that can promise that there will remain no harmful particles in your pasta dough and that your pasta maker will last you a lifetime if you take decent care of it.
The pasta machine features a beautiful design as well as a sturdy and durable cast stainless steel body. You can choose between 9 beautiful colors that the Marcato comes in, ranging from blue to pink and of course the classic silver body.
The Marcato Atlas 150 Wellness makes it easy to make your own pasta within a matter of minutes. With the standard roller and cutter set that comes with it, you will be making your own spaghetti, tagliolini, fettuccine and perfect flat lasagna sheets. The adjustment knob makes it easy to determine the thickness of your pasta - you can choose from 0.3mm 2.5mm.
As Marcato is one of the largest and oldest manufacturers of pasta machines, and there are plenty of optional additional attachments that will let you make different kinds of pasta or even motorize the process for you.
In summary, if you are in the market for a classic manual pasta maker and you are set on buying a high quality pasta maker, the Marcato Atlas 150 Wellness (Amazon) is definitely the right pick for you. The Marcato is a good choice for those that are planning on regularly making pasta a few times a month, but can also be used for those that are planning on making pasta more often than that.
If you want to learn more about the Marcato Atlas 150 Wellness, you can read the full review on the Marcato Atlas here. I also have an extensive comparison of the Marcato Atlas VS the CucinaPro Imperia written in this review.
CucinaPro Imperia 150 Pasta Maker
Of all the classic pasta makers that I own, they are made in Italy. The CucinaPro Imperia 150 (Amazon) is one of the machines that gets manufactured in Italy and are sold all over the world. This solid and shining machine will make sure that you can make your own delicious homemade pasta. Made from shiny chrome plated steel, the CucinaPro Imperia Pasta Maker will look brand new for decades if you take good care of it.
While the CucinaPro looks like most other standard pasta makers, the build quality is a lot better than the cheaper brands out there. Most of those brands don’t manufacture their pasta makers in Italy, but rather do it in countries such as China. One of the things that is a big plus in my eyes is the fact that the handle of the CucinaPro is made of wood instead of plastic. This sets it apart of many other pasta makers out there.
Using the CucinaPro Imperia to make your own pasta couldn’t be easier. It comes with an attachment to make spaghetti, fettuccine and lasagna sheets. With a ravioli cutting tool you will also to make any type of ravioli that you wish to make. With additional attachments that are available for purchase you can also make different types of pasta such as angel hair or different kinds of spaghetti.
CucinaPro has chosen to implement the standard 6 inch rollers, which mean that your lasagna rolls will have a maximum width of 6 inches (or 150mm, hence the name of the pasta maker). Of course, the CucinaPro also features a knob that will allow you to choose the thickness of the pasta sheets that you are rolling.
Just like the Marcato, the CucinaPro is a perfect fit for people that are planning on making pasta a few times a month. It can be used if you want to make pasta more often, but an electric pasta maker or an extruder is a better choice in that case.
If you want to know more about this pasta maker, I have written an extensive review of the CucinaPro Imperia 150 for you.
Philips Pasta Maker
If you are in the market for a pasta extruder rather than a classic pasta roller, the Philips Pasta Maker is definitely the best choice and at the top of the best electric pasta makers out there. Its ease of use really surprised me and many of the other pasta lovers that initially bought this machine.
The Philips Pasta Maker is a pasta extruder, rather than a pasta roller. The Philips is one of the pasta extruders that does more than just extrude pasta, it also mixes and kneads the dough for you. It features a food processor built inside the machine itself, taking most of the work out of your hands. You simply add the ingredients of the pasta dough and the Philips machine will do the rest.
Using the Philips Pasta Maker you can quickly make batches of pasta; in under 30 minutes it allows you to make up to 2 pounds of fresh pasta. Philips advertises this as 20 minutes, but before you have all the ingredients ready some time will have passed as well. With the four default shaping discs that come with it, you are able to make spaghetti, fettuccine, lasagna sheets and penne. Of course, there are also more pasta discs available for you to purchase so you can experiment with even more shapes of pasta.
The Philips is perfect for daily use with how fast it can make a batch of pasta, and of course how easy it is to clean it. Making a batch of homemade pasta for your family and friends has never been so easy as with the Philips Pasta Maker. I often make a bigger batch of pasta for a few days with the Philips, as I can do other things when the machine is doing the mixing and kneading. Where the Marcato is the best manual pasta maker, the Philips definitely takes the crown if we look at electric pasta machines.
Read my extensive review and comparison on the Philips Pasta Maker and learn why this machine gets and deserves all the praise that it receives. You can also buy the Philips Pasta maker directly on Amazon.
Marcato Atlas Electric Pasta Maker with Motor
If you are looking for a pasta maker that offers the best of both worlds, both manual and electric, the Marcato Atlas with motor attachment is a good choice. This versatile machine comes with a motorized attachment that will turn the pasta maker into an electrical machine, making it even easier for you to make your own homemade pasta. Besides the motorized attachment, the box also contains the standard hand crank, giving you the option to operate the pasta maker by hand as well.
The motorized attachment that comes with the pasta maker will make it easier for you operate the machine, as you will be able to use both of your hands to get the pasta through. With the help of the motorized attachment, you will be able to make your pasta in a single flow. One of the biggest advantages of this electric pasta machine is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be attached to a table, this will make sure you can use the pasta maker anywhere you like if there is a power source near. However, this set does include a clamp for the times you decide to use the hand crank.
Like most pasta machines, the width of the rollers is the standard 6 inches. You can choose between 9 different thicknesses, from a minimum of 0.2mm to a maximum of 3mm; this will assure that the pasta has the perfect thickness that you desired. The motorized attachment that can be used instead of the hand crank has a power of 220 volt, which will provide you with the perfect speed to roll your dough through the rollers.
With the Marcato Atlas Electric pasta maker you can easily make four different kinds of pasta: spaghetti, fettucine, lasagna sheets and tagliolini. As with every pasta maker, you can use the perfect pasta sheets you make to create a lot of different pasta besides the basic four that you can make with this pasta make. For this purpose Ihave written a instruction on pasta making for you, which will help you with making all kinds of pasta with your new pasta maker without any extra attachments.
Conclusion: If you want to conveniently make pasta, a few times a week or multiple times a month, the Marcato Atlas Electric Pasta Machine (Amazon) is the right pick for you. The machine is made with top of the line materials, and with the motorized attachment making pasta has never been this easy. If you want to know more about this machine, read the full review on the motorized Marcato Atlas.
KitchenAid Pasta Roller & Cutter Attachment Set
I have a few close friends that own everything that is made by KitchenAid. If you can be classified as one of these people, you might be interested in the pasta roller and cutter attachment set for your KitchenAid stand mixer. If you don’t own a KitchenAid stand mixer, other pasta makers might be a better fit for you if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on the stand mixer as well.
The KitchenAid Pasta Attachment Set is a set that consists of three different parts: a pasta roller for the lasagna sheets, a spaghetti cutter and a fettuccine cutter. You can easily attach the attachments on your KitchenAid without much effort. As the stand mixer is motorized, you will only have to feed the pasta dough through the rollers and cutters; the KitchenAid will do most of the work for you.
The quality of the KitchenAid attachment set is high, as you can expect from KitchenAid. The thing that I really love about the KitchenAid is the fact that it helps you make pasta really easily and very quickly. The dough feels like is just running through at a very fast pace, letting you make pasta at a very high speed.
The pasta attachments are perfect for people that already own a KitchenAid and are planning on making pasta on a regular basis. As the whole process (except making the pasta dough) is automated, a lot of work is taken out of your hands. The speed of the pasta maker is also a big plus, as you can make a big batch of pasta in a fairly short period of time.
Choosing the best pasta maker
I wish I could point at a certain pasta maker and tell you ‘buy this one, this is the best pasta maker out there’. It isn’t that easy, since every single person has different needs and wants. I can point you in the right direction, and I can make sure that whatever pasta maker you end up purchasing will be of high quality.
In the past I reviewed cheap pasta makers as well, but I always ended up not recommending any of these machines. The quality of the pasta makers were low, they wouldn’t last me very long and there were always little annoyances. With the pasta makers that I have currently reviewed on FabulousPasta I am sure that they are of a high standard. By recommending these high quality pasta makers I can be confident that my visitors are buying themselves a pasta machine that they will still be using after 10 years.
Frequently Asked Questions about Pasta Makers
There are quite a few questions that I get asked more often that I had expected when I had written the initial set-up for my homepage. These questions I will answer in the paragraph below.
Should I buy a manual pasta maker or a pasta extruder?
I recommend buying a manual pasta maker if you plan on making pasta a few times a month. A pasta extruder is a better solution if you are planning on making pasta more regular than that. Manual pasta makers cost a lot less than a decent extruder, such as the Lello or Philips. If you aren’t sure if you will make pasta that often, start with a manual pasta maker. You can always sell the manual pasta maker later and buy a pasta extruder, or give it away as a gift.
How long will a pasta maker last with good care?
Typically a pasta maker will last quite a long time, ranging from a few years to a few decennia. As long as you clean the machine every time that you have made a batch of pasta, the decennia part should count for you as well. Manual pasta makers have very little mechanical parts, and the high class pasta maker brands such as Marcato and CucinaPro aren’t flimsy like the cheaper brands out there.
How do I clean my pasta maker?
Cleaning your machine should is a task that shouldn’t take too much effort if you do it right. Manual pasta makers can be cleaned by simply wiping off the remaining flour and dough particles, whereas pasta extruders can be cleaned by washing the machine and removing the remaining dough. A very important side note: do not use water on your stainless steel pasta maker, as can permanently ruin your pasta maker and leave ugly black marks on the design itself.
How much does a pasta maker typically cost?
The prices of pasta makers range from very cheap to a bit more pricey. You can already buy a manual pasta roller for around $30,-. However, these pasta makers are of very low quality and I do not recommend them since they don't have a long product life. If you pay a little more, you can already get yourself a major brand pasta machine for around $50,-.
What is the warranty of a pasta maker?
The standard warranty time is typically a year long. However, the Marcato offers a standard two year warranty and has an extended warranty of an extra eight years. This total of ten years is exceptional and I haven’t found another brand that offers the same warranty deal. As I have mentioned earlier, with good care your pasta maker will last long enough for you not to worry about the longevity of the warranty.
Are pasta makers easy to use?
This is the question that I get asked most often, and the answer I have ready is quite direct: yes, it is easy to operate a pasta maker and to make homemade pasta. The most important part is knowing how to make the perfect pasta dough so you won’t run into problems with too dry or too sticky dough. There are a lot of resources online about making pasta dough, and I have made a short list of recipes that I think explain the process perfectly. You can find the list here.
What types of pasta will I be able to make?
This question cannot be answered for every single pasta machine in a single answer. Most machines come with a set of rollers and cutters that will let you make certain types of pasta. Machines like the Marcato and the CucinaPro come with both a roller for lasagna sheets, and cutters for fettuccine and spaghetti. As long as you can make lasagna sheets, you will be able to create a whole variety of pasta with a simple pasta cutting tool. Think about various ravioli recipes, farfalle, and a lot more.
What do I need besides the machine?
You don't really -need- anything to make delicious homemade pasta. However, there are quite a few accessoires that can help you when making pasta yourself. I have compiled a list of pasta makers accessoires, and these little gadgets can help you experiment and make your pasta making life easier.
What are a few simple but fun techniques when making pasta?
There are quite a few tricks that you can use to make your pasta endeavours even more fun. Using a simple pasta cutter or ravioli stamp you can make a lot of different shapes. You can also experiment with different types of colored pasta. With a few simple changes to the pasta dough, you can make black, purple, green and a whole lot more of different types of colored pasta. A few examples are using squid ink for black pasta, tomato paste for red and spinach for green.
What is the best type of pasta flour for my pasta maker?
While it isn't a problem at all to use standard all-purpose flour that can be bought at every supermarket, there definitely are better options when choosing flour. The type of flour that I prefer when I use any kind of pasta maker is type "00" flour. This flour will give your homemade pasta a more silky texture and will give your pasta a better taste, not only in my opinion but also that of professional chefs. I have written an extensive guide about the best flour for pasta, which will answer most questions you might have about pasta flour.
What are some delicious pasta recipes?
We are on the internet, there are a lot of different pasta recipes out there. If you are getting started and want a versatile list of some pasta recipes, you should check out this list of 17 pasta recipes from SeriousEats. If you prefer having a collection of cooking books, I recommend picking up Making Artisan Pasta by Aliza Green for a whole book dedicated to pasta recipes for your pasta machine. Want more allround knowledge about the Italian cuisine, I absolutely love the Silver Spoon Cookbook, which hosts more than 2,000 different Italian recipes. This cookbook is written by multiple authors that added their absolute favorite recipes.
If you have any remaining questions that you would like to have answered after reading this buyers' guide on pasta makers, feel free to send me a message using the contact page or by simply commenting on any of my articles here at FabulousPasta.