Manual Pasta Roller
Manual pasta makers are much easier than making homemade pasta by hand, but they still require a good deal of time and work.
They use a classic design that involves rolling the pasta through the machine using a manual handle and then using the machine’s cutting tool to snip it at the end.
These machines are best for longer styles of pasta like fettuccine and spaghetti. They typically cost less than automatic past makers and they can usually be counted on to work reliably for a long time, since the design and parts are fairly basic.
Automatic Pasta Maker
Automatic pasta makers do more of the work for you, making the job faster and easier.
As an added bonus, electric pasta makers also allow you to make a wider variety of styles of pasta. Options like macaroni and ziti are within easy reach with these machines.
These do cost more than manual pasta makers and adding electric components to an appliance comes with a higher risk of having to deal with issues and repairs. But with these, you simply make the dough, feed it into the machine, and you get your pasta. And the cleaning process is often easier, since many models make it possible to disassemble the machine and toss parts into the dishwasher.
If you plan to make pasta frequently enough that a faster process is worth paying more, then an electric pasta maker is worth considering.
Ease of Use
The whole point of buying a pasta maker is that it puts making pasta within reach of most people who aren’t quite up for the work of doing it all by hand. Any pasta maker you buy will immediately simplify the process of making pasta, so you’re starting from a place of winning on this point.
As previous sections make clear, the biggest factor in determining how easy a pasta maker is to use is whether it’s manual or electric. But beyond that, different models within each category have features and designs that influence how much work is involved in using them.
The models that get highest points for ease of use are any electric models designed to mix and knead the pasta dough for you, on top of making all the pasta as well. With these, all you have to do is add ingredients to the machine and wait for your pasta to be ready.
For manual machines, features that ensure the pasta maker stay in place effectively while you work, a knob that’s easy to adjust to different thicknesses, and a handle that stays in place will add to how easy the machine is to use.
The best way to get an idea of whether or not a pasta maker might be difficult to use before you buy is to check the reviews and see what other customers have to say about their experience. If there’s anything about the design that places obstacles in the path of getting that pasta made, your fellow consumers are highly likely to let you know in their reviews.
Speed of Use
Making pasta with a manual machine can be slow and they generally won’t be a huge difference between how different manual models fare in this category.
With automatic pasta machines, one of the biggest selling points different brands can claim is how fast making pasta with their product is. You should be able to easily find how fast these products claim to be. If speed is a top priority for you, then look at the listings for a few different electric pasta makers and compare their speed claims. Take a few minutes to check those claims against what reviewers say just to be sure though.
A fast pasta maker will enable busy home cooks to make pasta more often, so it’s an important consideration if you want to use your new machine regularly.
Ease of Cleaning
Cleaning any kitchen appliance can elicit groans, but pasta makers have lots of nooks and crannies for dough to get into, making them especially groan-worthy.
Machines that you can take apart will often make it easier to get to all those otherwise hard-to-reach nooks when cleaning time comes. And any machine that has dishwasher-friendly parts will take a lot of the work off of your plate.
As with ease of use, if the work that goes into cleaning a kitchen appliance can be a detractor to your actually using it, then take time before buying a pasta maker to research what’s involved in cleaning it.
A well-made pasta maker can last many years, but you should be prepared to pay more for a machine of that kind of quality. One of the best ways to make sure you go with a machine that has real staying power is to seek out brands that have been working in the space for a while, and have built up a solid reputation for making high-quality appliances.
This is one category where manual pasta makers easily edge out electric ones. Not having an electric motor thrown into the mix means that as long as they’re made of high-quality materials and are well maintained, you can easily expect manual pasta makers to have a very long life. For all that they cost more, electric pasta makers will wear out faster.
Another important consideration is whether they offer a warranty. A year long warranty is pretty standard for pasta makers, although some brands will go up to ten years. You should especially look for a warranty for any electric pasta maker, since there’s a higher chance you’ll encounter trouble with them.
Another important factor to consider is the body material of the noodle and pasta maker. You can find metal and plastic pasta makers. Metal pasta makers, though sturdy, need a lot of maintenance. Metal pasta makers may also rust easily which makes the product useless. A pasta maker made of ABS plastic is a better option as you don’t need to worry about rust or cleaning the machine.