There’s nothing quite like freshly made pasta. Adding a pasta maker to your cooking paraphernalia allows home cooks to create restaurant-quality dishes that would make any Italian grandmother proud.
Luckily, there are plenty of options available, ranging from simple manual devices to more complex electric models. Once you’ve chosen the best pasta maker, all you’ll need to get started is flour, water, eggs, and salt.
- BEST OVERALL: Marcato Atlas 150 Pasta Machine
- RUNNER-UP: iSiLER 150 Roller Pasta Maker
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Nuvantee Pasta Maker
- BEST ELECTRIC: Philips Compact Pasta and Noodle Maker
- BEST ADD-ON: KitchenAid Pasta Roller & cutter attachment set
- MOST VERSATILE: Hamilton Beach Electric Pasta and Noodle Maker
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Pasta Maker
There are a few considerations to keep in mind before purchasing a pasta maker. Different models offer various levels of speed and ease of use. Shoppers will want to consider how much time and effort they want to put into the process, along with what type of pasta they like to cook and how much effort they want to spend on cleanup.
Electric vs. Manual
Pasta makers can be either manual or electric. Making pasta with a manual machine requires some level of care. The user turns a hand-crank mechanism while feeding the dough through the rollers, a method that can require two people to master unless the machine includes a clamp that holds it in place. This might appeal to cooks that desire a more authentic, hands-on pasta-making experience.
An electric pasta maker will offer a simpler operation by automatically turning dough into thin pasta sheets and strips with the help of a motor. Some options will even knead the dough for you. Electric models often come with various-size pasta settings and are typically sold at a higher price point than manual alternatives.
In addition to stand-alone pasta makers, there are also pasta roller attachments, which are meant to be used with a stand mixer. When the machine is turned on, the roller attachment runs electrically. For those who like tubular varieties of pasta, pasta extruder add-ons with different-sized shaping plates are also available.
It’s important to consider pasta preferences when purchasing a machine. Cooks looking to make long, flat pasta such as spaghetti and fettuccine will find that a manual machine with standard blades should work just fine. If it’s lasagna or ravioli you’re after, look for a machine that includes these cutting attachments as well. Separate attachments can offer a bit more variety.
Electric pasta makers can offer a wider repertoire when it comes to noodle shapes, often including extruders for smaller varieties like macaroni, penne, rigatoni, and shells. An extruder attachment can make tubular types of pasta such as fusilli and bucatini, as the dough is pushed outward through the shaped discs.
To get the most out of your investment, look for pasta makers that are constructed with durable materials that won’t deteriorate over time. Most manual options are made of stainless steel, while some feature a chrome or nickel coating on the exterior.
Electric pasta makers may have a hard plastic body, but they usually include stainless steel parts. Attachments to create varying pasta shapes are available in both steel and plastic, depending on the manufacturer.
Whether you opt for a manual or electric pasta maker, the process of making fresh pasta can be time-consuming. Unless the machine mixes and kneads the dough, the process will start by preparing the dough by hand, which includes mixing, kneading, rolling, flattening, folding, and resting. Once it’s ready, the user applies the desired thickness setting before loading the dough into the machine. With a manual machine, a lever is then rotated to flatten the dough. After it’s flattened, the dough is run through again, this time using a cutting attachment to make the final product. Some manual options will also offer a motor attachment for those who want to speed up the process.
An electric mixer will be a bit faster, dispensing pasta in about 15 to 20 minutes. Just add freshly made or stored dough and hit start, or choose a model that offers automatic mixing and kneading to save time on preparation.
Using a pasta maker is relatively straightforward, thanks to simple, easily adjustable settings, though some models will require more care than others. On a manual machine, the pasta will need to be loaded in while simultaneously using the hand crank, so it can end up being a two-person job. Often, a clamp will secure the device to a counter or table, eliminating the need for the user to also hold it in place.
An electric pasta maker will be easier to operate—the user simply presses a button and adds the ingredients or feeds the pasta dough into the machine.
Ease of Cleaning
Unfortunately, pasta makers are not small appliances that can be simply wiped down or thrown in the dishwasher. In fact, these machines can be a headache to clean, as most feature lots of gaps and crevices where the dough can easily get stuck. Some models include a brush for cleaning out the rollers. Brushing off the machine right after use can be helpful, but options that come apart, especially those with dishwasher-safe parts, will require significantly less elbow grease.
Our Top Picks
The best pasta makers will allow the user to make fresh pasta quickly and without too much sweat. There are models to meet the needs of different shoppers, from those who want to experience a more traditional process to others who prioritize efficiency. The following options top the list due to their quality and ease of use.
Versatile, durable, and authentic, the Italian-made Marcato Atlas 150 is an excellent option for any home chef who wants to add fresh pasta to their repertoire. This manual model includes a pasta cutter, hand crank, and a clamp to secure it to the counter. A simple adjustment dial allows the user to choose from 10 thickness settings, depending on the user’s preference. If you’re looking for more variety in your noodle shapes, 12 additional accessories are available, allowing for an impressive 15 pasta varieties. Further demonstrating its versatility, the Marcato Atlas 150 can also be used to make dumplings, pastelitos, and even pita bread.
For cooks who want to speed up the pasta-making process, this model can be easily connected to a motor attachment. Keep in mind that this device, like most pasta makers, is not dishwasher safe. The manufacturer recommends brushing or wiping it down with a cloth after use. With a nickel-plated stainless steel body, this durable pasta maker should crank out fresh pasta for a long time.
Another great manual option, the iSiLER 150 is a sturdy, easy-to-use pasta maker. A regulating knob lets the user choose from nine thickness settings, while the cutter can be adjusted for two widths that are perfect for making spaghetti, fettuccine, lasagna noodles, or dumpling skins. An included clamp ensures that it stays in place while in use.
Made of nontoxic aluminum alloy, the pasta cutter and roller, which can be separated, are washable, but they should be dried immediately.
Featuring a chrome-plated steel body, nickel-plated rollers, and a polished finish, this pasta maker is both durable and attractive. Nuvantee boasts a smooth-turning crank for easy operation, while a simple dial allows the user to choose from nine pasta thickness options. Cutter attachments are included for both fettuccine and spaghetti, as is a removable table clamp for securing the device. For cooks who want to try their hand at ravioli making, the company offers an optional attachment.
Making fresh pasta doesn’t have to be an all-day affair. In less than 20 minutes, this electric pasta maker from Philips automatically kneads dough and molds ready-to-make pasta. Three classic shaping discs allow users to make two to three servings of spaghetti, penne, or fettuccine at a time. For more variety, additional shaping discs are available for purchase separately.
A 40-inch cord makes it easy to move around if necessary, and a compact design with built-in storage for the discs makes this both countertop-friendly and easy to store. The machine can be disassembled for easy cleaning. As an added bonus, this pasta maker comes with cups for pouring ingredients, a cleaning brush, and a recipe book.
Home chefs who own a KitchenAid mixer can get fresh pasta without buying an entirely separate appliance. The KitchenAid pasta maker add-on attaches to the mixer to turn it into a pasta-making machine without sacrificing additional kitchen space. No need to hand crank it, either—the roller runs electrically when the machine is turned on.
The set also offers a pasta roller, which includes eight thickness settings and produces 6-inch sheets of pasta, and also comes with a spaghetti cutter and a fettuccine cutter. All the parts are stainless steel and made in Italy.
Pasta lovers who want fresh noodles beyond the traditional shapes should consider this electric pasta maker from Hamilton Beach. With seven pasta-shaping discs, home chefs can make thick or thin spaghetti, lasagna, angel hair, wide noodles, penne, and fettuccine. A storage drawer conveniently houses the seven discs, saving on valuable cabinet space.
Perfect for beginner pasta makers, this device will automatically mix, knead, and extrude pasta in just 15 minutes. An internal scale even weighs the flour to determine how much water is needed.
Included with the pasta maker and shaping discs are measuring cups, a cleaning tool, and a handful of complementary recipes.
FAQs About Pasta Makers
Now that you’ve learned about the types of pasta makers available and what to consider when shopping, you may still be wondering how to actually use your new device and how long it will last. Get answers to these and other commonly asked questions about pasta makers.
Q. How do I choose a pasta maker?
When choosing a pasta maker, it’s important to consider how much effort you want to put into the process and what type of pasta you want to produce. Choose a manual option if you prefer a more authentic experience at a lower price point and an electric model if efficiency is your top priority.
Q. How do you use a manual pasta maker?
To use a manual pasta maker, start by preparing the dough by hand, which includes mixing, kneading, rolling, flattening, and folding. Depending on the recipe, the dough may also need to rest before being loaded into the machine. Once it’s ready, apply the desired thickness setting to the machine before loading the dough and winding the hand crank to roll it. After it’s flattened, the next step is to run it through again, this time through the cutting attachment to make the final product. All that’s left to do is boil, strain, and serve your fresh, homemade pasta!
Q. How long will my pasta maker last?
When properly cared for, stainless steel manual pasta makers should last for many years. Electric ones may have a slightly shorter lifespan due to the electrical components wearing out over time.