If you want to make pasta at home every now and then for a small family, you don’t necessarily have to pay big bucks on an electric appliance to do the job. You can instead get a manual device that is powered by your own physical efforts as you use a hand crank to work the moving parts. Our reviews for the best hand crank pasta extruder or roller will help you find one that is easy to use and gives you the best fresh pasta possible.
There are two types of pasta machines available. The more popular one is a roller and cutter pasta maker that rolls pasta dough into sheets that are then cut into ribbons or strands of any thickness during the final pass through. You can use uncut sheets for making lasagna or ravioli. While you can make a decent amount of pasta this way, you may find that it takes some practice cranking the handle and handling the dough at the same time. Another pair of hands will definitely help or you can get an electric pasta roller/cutter.
The second type is a pasta extruder that makes shaped pasta from the dough that is pushed through die cast plates. However this is not a very common pasta maker used at home, particularly manual extruders. This is because the effort needed to extrude a good quantity of pasta is quite a lot. If you want to make a lot of shaped pasta at a time or if you do it frequently, I recommend that you get an electric pasta extruder.
Check out a few more manual pasta machines on Amazon or read on for our reviews.
Manual Pasta Roller and Cutter
Manual pasta roller machines are great for making excellent pasta sheets that can be cut into strands. They’re inexpensive too. However, if you’re not a practised user of these machines, they can be cumbersome to use, as one hand has to crank and the other hand has to guide or hold the pasta sheet and cut strands as they roll out. To make things easier, consider one of these electric pasta roller/cutter machines made for home use.
Marcato Atlas Wellness 150 Pasta Maker
This is the pasta maker by which all of the others are judged, and if you want the best of the best, the Marcato Atlas Wellness 150 can’t be beat.
This is one of the most versatile pasta rollers made, and you’ll be able to make virtually any pasta sheet or noodle with the included Fettuccini or Spaghetti cutters or the optional ones, that are available at an extra cost. The 9 size adjustment knob lets you cut pasta in virtually any width size desired, just dial in the size you want and turn the handle. It’s just that easy. The clamp lets you attach the machine to virtually any flat surface, and it holds tight for true one-handed operation.
The chrome steel body is incredibly easy to clean, just damp wipe the body and you are done. The rollers and cutters are made of anodized aluminum, which means no unsafe heavy metals, like chromium or nickel, touch the pasta dough as it runs through the machine. Cleaning the rollers and blades is a snap, just use a dry brush to whisk away any pasta bits and pieces. Never use water in this cleaning process or the dough will become sticky and incredibly hard to remove.
You’ll pay a bit extra for this unit, but that’s because this is the best pasta machine for home use at any price.
CucinaPro Imperia Pasta Machine
Another pasta machine that is built like a tank is the CucinaPro Imperia Pasta Machine.
It is also made of chrome plated steel, so it is easy to clean with a damp cloth. The blades are made of steel, unlike the aluminum types on other machines, but they must also be dry brushed clean or you’ll end up with a sticky mess if you use water in the cleaning process. The clamp holds the unit firmly in place, and the wooden handle makes it comfortable to turn with every pasta batch.
This machine has a 6 cutting adjustment size knob that works flawlessly. Dial in the size you need and start cutting pasta. You can make virtually any sized pasta noodles, including up to 6 inch wide sheets, and there are many optional cutting blades to make it an extremely versatile unit. The double cutter Fettuccini and Spaghetti attachments are included with this model.
When it is first used, prepare a throw out batch to run through the rollers and blades at the no. 6 setting, as they need to be cleaned first, unless you want metal dust in your pasta!
If there is a problem here it’s a small plastic piece on the roller that a few users say broke off after many uses. The small tray that is attached to catch the falling pasta comes off easily, but it is not a necessary attachment, as you can just catch the pasta on a plate underneath as it comes out or let it fall on the counter. Not a big deal here at all.
This is one of the best manual pasta machine units available, and truly, you could pick or choose between the Marcato Atlas or this CucinaPro, and not go wrong.
HomeStart Pasta Maker
The HomeStart Pasta Maker is another fine unit, and it is priced a bit less than the other two roller cutter units on this list. If you are new to pasta making, or want to get into home-made pasta making, but don’t want to break the bank, this is certainly a good hand crank pasta maker to consider.
Although it may be a bit less expensive, it is still a high quality chrome steel unit with anodized aluminum cutting blades.
There are 9 actual adjustments here, which allows you a width selection that is second to none. The plastic handled clamp lets you clamp it to any table edge so you can have one handed operation.
There are minor issues with the cutting blades not fully cutting the pasta dough, but only perforating it like the edges of stamps. However, that is usually due to the fact that the dough is not dry enough before first running it through the machine. Any pasta maker will have trouble cutting when the dough is too moist, so this may very well be a dough issue and not a cutting issue.
For the price, this is the best bang for the buck pasta maker here, and if that is a priority on your pasta making list, you’ve come to the right place.
Manual Pasta Extruder
Before we go any further, you should know that most manual pasta machines made for the home are the roller and cutter type. If you’re looking to do a good amount of shaped pasta at home, pick an electric type of extruder. The following are decent options only for light use and small quantities.
Norpro Meat Grinder, Mincer, and Pasta Maker
The Norpro Meat Grinder, Mincer and Pasta Maker, is among other things, a very decent basic pasta extruder. Yes, it is inexpensive, which means if you want to learn about extrusion, this is the unit to get, but it does a very credible job with the extrusion discs provided, extruding pasta into rigatoni, spaghetti and linguine.
Although it’s versatility as a grinder and mincer can’t be matched by any other unit on this list, you’ll only be able to extrude those 3 basic types of pasta. You can turn ground meat into sausage, but it will struggle with tough meat grinding. After all, this unit is almost completely made of plastic, so stick with higher quality meats like sirloin or round steak, and you’ll be okay. It has a good suction base and locking key to keep the unit in one place while you work it.
With this extruder you’ll have to experiment with the wetness and stiffness of the dough. You’ll need to use smaller amounts of food or make a drier dough and add them in regularly as you grind or extrude. But the price is right, and if you want unmatched versatility that will mince and grind nuts for spreads, make a coarse mince out of veggies, grind up softer meats, and even make very good extruded pasta, this machine is a good choice.
Marcato V202 Regina Atlas Extruder Pasta Maker
From the makers of the highly rated Wellness pasta maker, comes the Marcato V202 Regina Atlas Extruder.
You’ll get 5 pasta dies with this machine, Rigatoni, Maccheroni, Maccheroncini, Bucatini, and Fusilli. There are different accessories that can be ordered for mincing and extruding meat, but really, this machine is made to make pasta, and it does a wonderful job when used for that purpose.
Because it is a manual pasta extruder, the crank may be hard to turn for stiffer dough. Adding water will make the dough softer and therefore easier to crank the handle, although it will need a bit more drying time afterwards.
This hand crank pasta machine is made primarily of thick plastic, so it is fairly light weight. Make sure to add smaller pieces of pasta dough to minimize hard cranking, and smaller batches made at one time work best. This is also the most expensive pasta maker on the list, but because it extrudes the dough directly into the shape you want, with no cutting, it is the the easiest to use when making shaped pasta. That alone may be the best reason to get one.