Generally speaking, there are just two type of pasta machines, manual crank and motorized. With the many of the manual crank variety, you can also purchase a motor attachment. Both the manual and the motorized types have their pro’s and con’s which are typically based on:
- The type of pasta you will be making
- How often you will be making it
- How much of it you will be making
Manual or Motorized?
Manual pasta machines are generally better for if you do not make pasta on a very regular basis and if you do not make it in large quantities (enough for several services for a regular sized family is easy). The main reason one would opt for the manual crank method is that the machines tend to be very durable since, they require no outlet so less moving things around your counter, less parts to break, and are very quiet. The cranking operation is very simple and the pasta dough moves through the machine with little effort regardless of the type of pasta you are making.
Electric or motorized Pasta Machines have the added benefit of being able to quickly feed the machine with dough while not having to simultaneously (or pausing) crank the device. One of the biggest factors for electric pasta machines is that they tend to cost more than the manual ones. That being said, a good quality manual one (see the vendors link) can easily cost just as much however you can expect the machine to be of sufficient quality to pass on to your grandkids.
Other Key Factors
Outside of deciding if you manual or motorized is right for you, here are some additional features, considerations, and questions you should ask yourself to help you decide on the right machine for you:
- What types (shape and variety) of pasta would you be making?
- Is noise or power going to be an issue?
- Are all types of doughs usable?
- Are there additional features that the machine should have (some meat grinders or dough mixers have pasta machine addon modules)?
- What is my budget?
- How often will I realistically use it?
Regardless of the device you choose, making your own fresh pasta at home is a spectacular way to enjoy one of the worlds most popular foods. After one taste of freshly made pasta, you’ll never go back to the hard store bought variety ever again!