Best Pasta Maker of 2020
The Marcato Design Atlas 150 is all-around exceptional. Marcato has been producing Italian machines since 1930. Made in Italy, the Atlas 150 is beautifully crafted and runs like a well-oiled machine. The patented rollers are made from a durable anodized aluminum, which reduces the number of times you need to feed the dough into the rollers to achieve your desired thickness. We dig that we can easily read the numbers on the thickness dial and love how well the Atlas 150 cuts each noodle into separate strands of even width. As a bonus, you can choose from seven different colors to match your kitchen color scheme.
The only real downside to the Atlas 150 is it doesn't make spaghetti. However, it does make taglioni, which is just slightly wider than spaghetti, and you can purchase an additional spaghetti accessory. Spaghetti aside, the Atlas 150 has impeccable performance any homemade pasta enthusiast can appreciate.
The Imperia Model 150 features a timeless look with impeccable stability. The double pasta cutter fits onto the roller stand like a glove. The wide base, along with the sturdy metal table clamp, secure this machine into place while you easily crank away. The smoothness of the rollers and pasta cutters are as satisfying as the shape of the pasta produced. This Italian made product also includes an additional extension plate to rest the dough on.
Although this is a quality product, the main gripe we have is the thickness dial design. The majority of manual pasta makers include a pull and turn style dial. The Imperia dial requires pushing down a small button, then turning to your desired thickness number before it locks in place. This not only required the use of two hands but was difficult to operate since the dial wouldn't always turn. Other than that, Imperia is a solid buy for anyone wanting a sturdy, classy, and smooth rolling pasta maker.
The Shule Pasta Maker is an affordable option for those on a budget. One of the reasons we like this machine is the cutter plate rested snug and secure during testing. Also, the dough rolled through surprisingly smooth, making the process more user-friendly. You can choose either an eye-popping red or sleek silver color for a classic look.
Of course, like any budgeted item, there are some drawbacks. The directions suggest starting at the widest setting (one) and working your way down to the thinnest setting (seven). In reality, seven is the widest setting, and one is the thinnest. There was also a small dent in one of the rollers leading us to believe either a piece of metal chipped off or this was a manufacturing defect. Despite the drawbacks, we feel the Shule is a solid buy for those on a tighter budget.
With the CucinaPro Deluxe Set, you don't have to fork over extra money for additional pasta shapes. This pasta maker includes three attachments allowing you to make spaghetti, angel hair, fettuccine, lasagnette, and even ravioli. No matter which attachment you use, we found the base of the machine held solid to the countertop when clamped down.
That said, the biggest weakness we encountered was the attachments don't secure well, causing them to fall off repeatedly when in use. Although the CucinaPro did not test as well as we had hoped, if you can use it gingerly, you get a decent bang for your buck.
If you're looking to quickly and efficiently whip up a large serving of pasta, you should consider the Philips Kitchen Appliances HR2375/06. The feature we appreciate most about the Philips is it does all the mixing, kneading, and cranking for you. Fully electric, simply add your ingredients into the mixing chamber, push a button, and then out comes your pasta. A small plastic pasta cutter is included so you can decide on your desired length. There are also four shaping discs included so you can choose your pasta shape.
What we don't like about the Philips is the ingredient measurements have to be spot on. If not, the mahcine won't extrude the pasta, and you'll have to start from scratch. The machine is also bulky, taking up a large amount of counter real estate. This is a factor you'll want to keep in mind if you don't have a lot of kitchen space to spare. However, if space is not an issue, large families can benefit greatly from the Philips.
For those new to the world of homemade pasta, the iSiLER Adjustable Pasta Machine is a good place to start. The setup is simple, cleaning is easy, and the price is affordable. While most pasta maker components are hydrophobic, you can wash the rollers and cutters. For the rest of the machine, use a dry cloth to wipe clean.
Although the iSiLER includes easy to follow directions, the noodles don't come out in even thickness, and they stick together. This means you'll have to separate them by hand if you want single noodles. On the other hand, the rollers run smoothly. Overall, this is a decent machine for beginners who want to dabble in homemade pasta making.
The Elegant Life Deluxe Set rolls out pasta dough to a razor thin measurement of less than 0.1cm. This is a good feature for someone looking to make thin noodles like capellini or angel hair. The simple design makes it easy to produce pasta at a modest price.
The manufacturing of the Elegant Life looks and feels cheap, leaving us to question the longevity. This was further negated by some bits of metal found on the surface of the dough after it passed through the rollers.
The Bellmain Ravioli Maker is about as straightforward as ravioli making can get. This ravioli maker consists of a plastic mold and a metal frame, that's it. The mold eliminates messy fillings and makes stuffing raviolis a breeze. Meanwhile, the frame gives each square a classically crinkled, uniform shape. The Bellmain is ideal for smaller servings as this pasta maker produces a dozen 1in raviolis at a time. You can even use water to wash both components, which is a rarity for pasta makers.
Keep in mind this product only makes ravioli, so if you desire other pasta shapes, you'll want to go with another option. Also, the metal cutter doesn't slice completely through the dough. That said, the Bellmain is super user-friendly and a good option for taking the fuss out of ravioli making.
The CHEFLY P1801 is a compact, inexpensive option. This pasta maker features a simple design that stores well in small kitchens and takes up minimal countertop space. We like how the CHEFLY can be assembled just as quickly as it can be disassembled.
While we are all for a compact design, CHEFLY's performance leaves something to be desired. This machine was the most difficult to clean during testing due to dough gunking up in the pasta cutters. The noodles came out just the same, leaving us with a mess.
The Newcreativetop Manual Noodles Press has a rather unique, portable design that packs well and stores easily. This makes it a good option for pasta parties at your friend's house or gourmet cooking at camp. There are five pasta molds included, and the manufacturer claims you can even use it to squeeze fruit juice, making it a more versatile option.
Although we love the concept, the Newcreativetop did not follow through in execution. We found the hand crank was very difficult to operate, taking all the strength we had just to produce an inch worth of noodles. The plastic caps on the handle would not stay on, and the cleaning process was just as frustrating.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our primary tester for this review is Carissa Stanz. She brings over a decade of experience in the food and beverage industry to the table and has been testing a range of product categories for the past four years. As a freelance food writer, she has immersed herself in the culinary world to craft mouthwatering content and informative kitchen product reviews. You can find her obsessively devouring food blogs, cookware reviews, and tips and techniques for the home chef.
For this review, we sifted through 100 products, then narrowed down the list to the top ten. We then put the products to the test by preparing a simple dough recipe, feeding it through every setting, and cleaning each pasta maker as instructed by the manufacturer. Examining the craftsmanship, features, and components, we used our research to weigh our metrics and rate the products accordingly.
Analysis and Test Results
For our tests, we assembled, operated, and cleaned each pasta maker. Then we evaluated each one using five different metrics - quality and durability, performance, user-friendliness, ease of cleaning, and features.
Quality and Durability
Right out of the box, the first thing we examined was quality and durability. We looked at the materials used, construction of components, and overall craftsmanship. We researched the materials and assembled the products to see how well the components fit together. After testing all the settings, we re-inspected each one to determine how well they would stand up with repetitive use.
We found the quality and durability of the Atlas 150 and Imperia to reign supreme. Not only are the patented rollers of the Atlas 150 durable, but they won't leave you with metal flakes on your plate. The Imperia added a nice touch to the design with a wood handle and a hefty table clamp. Both machines feature components that fit together seamlessly.
Others like the CHEFLY, iSiLER, and Elegant Life were almost identical in construction and components, but made with slightly different materials. Less expensive options, you certainly get what you pay for in quality, earning them an average score.
The most important factor of a pasta maker is performance. If it doesn't perform well, you'll wind up with a glob of dough and a gunked up machine. The better the product was at operating smoothly and producing perfect noodles, the better score it received. For example, we loved the feeling of rolling and cutting dough with the Atlas 150. Imperia offered a similar experience, producing clean cut noodles of even lengths and separate strands.
Surprisingly, Imperia is also made by CucinaPro. When we tested the CucinaPro Deluxe Set, we found the two machines delivered significantly different results. While the rollers ran smoothly, the cutter didn't slice through the dough completely. There were also issues with each of the three attachments, which repeatedly fell off the base while cranking the handle - which also fell out in use. Due to these reasons, the CucinaPro scored average.
While we expected the Philips to be a breeze due to the automatic feature, the performance proved to be a blessing and a curse. Despite following directions, it took us three tries to get the machine to extrude dough. However, when the ingredients were weighed perfectly on a kitchen scale, we had no issues producing visually appealing pasta. There is certainly a learning curve, but once you learn the nuances of the Philips, it performs admirably.
Along with the Philips, the iSiLER, Elegant Life, and Shule performed well here. Each one of these produced modest looking noodles with slight variations in width along with some noodles sticking together. There was also the occasional drop of the loose fitting crank handle when in use. The Bellmain produced uniform raviolis, but the metal cutter merely crimped the dough rather than cutting.
The CHEFLY and the Newcreativetop were by far our least favorite performance. The CHEFLY produced globs of dough with the occasional straggly noodle strands. The Newcreativetop barely produced any pasta noodles at all. However, what did come out was oddly shaped and, in our opinion, not appetizing.
User-friendliness was scored on ease of set up and use. The Atlas 150 stood out in this category. From securing the pasta cutting plate to rolling dough through, using the Atlas 150 was about as effortless as a manual pasta maker can get.
While we would have loved to score the Imperia the same, we had to deduct points for the dial. We found the push button and turn style of the dial to be frustrating. The dial turned with some resistance from settings one to six, but when turning the opposite direction, the dial wouldn't budge. It took us several tries to get the dial to turn, which would make any user unhappy. The sturdy clamp, however, kept this machine stable, making it much easier to operate.
Thorough directions can go a long way in how user-friendly a pasta maker can be, and the Philips had the most thorough user manual. In addition, we loved the automatic features! Simply push a button, and this electric machine does all the hard work for you. However, we couldn't give the Philips a perfect score because a slight variation in the weight of ingredients means the machine won't extrude pasta, which to us is not very user-friendly.
The Newcreativetop came with instructions on two sheets of paper, which were equally confusing. Luckily, our testers found the setup to be intuitive. However, using the handle proved to be difficult. It took a great deal of strength and energy to twist the handle so the pasta would extrude. Our testers felt most people would rather give up on the process than grow tiresome from trying to make a meal.
Ease of Cleaning
Meticulously picking dough out of a pasta maker is tedious and time-consuming. That's why we included ease of cleaning in our testing process. Before and after testing, we cleaned each one according to the specifications outlined by the manufacturer. If we found we still had a dirty machine after testing, we then used a brush or wooden bamboo skewer to fine-tooth comb all the tiny bits of dried dough from hard to reach places.
What we found was the hand-washable Bellmain was the easiest to get squeaky clean. The only way this ravioli maker could have earned a higher score was if it was dishwasher-safe. Next, the iSiLER surprised our testers with how easy it was to wipe clean. We also appreciated we could hand-wash the aluminum alloy components. Most pasta makers have metal components that cannot be washed with water due to rust. This includes the Marcato, Imperia, Shule, and Elegant Life, which were equal in the effort it took to clean.
We found the molds of the Philips and Newcreativetop to take a bit more patience as our testers had to poke the dough out bit by bit. The Philips also had multiple components that had to be dissassembled and cleaned thoroughly. Although, we did appreciate this machine included a tiny brush with a metal poker. While we don't expect this accessory to last, it certainly did the trick.
Of all the pasta makers we cleaned, the CHEFLY was the most time-consuming. We started by pulling out all the dough that gunked up and worked our way towards cleanliness by picking out every single tiny piece. To do this, the manufacturer recommends a cleaning brush and dry cloth. There was no cleaning brush included, but luckily we had one on hand. All the effort it took to clean this machine, when compared to the others, earned it the lowest score for this metric.
For features, we first looked at whether or not you could make pasta without buying additional add-ons. We then considered how many different thickness settings and pasta shapes each product included, along with the overall design. Take the CucinaPro, for instance. This pasta maker is the complete package, including six thickness settings and three attachments. You have five different types of pasta to choose from all in one box without having to spend more money. The Newcreativetop also makes five different pasta shapes but doesn't allow you to choose the thickness setting.
We liked how the Philips automatically mixed and kneaded the dough at the push of a button, but still allowed us to cut the noodles to our desired length. We also loved the base featured a small drawer, so we could store all the shaping discs, cleaning brush, and plastic cutter. Small items can get lost very easily so this clever feature is much appreciated. Speaking of kitchens, anyone with a small kitchen can appreciate the compact design of the CHEFLY.
Choosing the right pasta maker all depends on your cooking needs. Whether you're looking to occasionally whip up a plate of spaghetti or are looking to get serious about perfecting your homemade pasta, our testing can point you in the right direction. While you may have to experiment on dialing in your recipe, we hope our recommendations have satisfied your tastebuds.
— Carissa Stanz