What We Like
Cuts noodles cleanly
Versatile in use
Easy to store
What We Don't Like
More expensive than similar hand-crank machines
Doesn’t come with spaghetti attachment
If you’ve been thinking long and hard about making fresh pasta at home (or you already do and just want to upgrade your machine) this Italian-made pasta maker is just for you. With a wide range of thickness settings, an easy-to-use adjustment knob, and razor-sharp blades, the Marcato easily tops its class. We put the machine through its paces, cranking out spaghetti, fettuccine, and tagliolini to see how it fared against a handful of its competitors. Keep reading for our findings.
Performance: Precise and consistent
After testing out multiple hand-crank pasta makers, we were starting to think that they were all essentially the same—until now, that is. The Marcato Atlas easily blew the competition away to earn its place as our favorite manual pasta machine.
While each of the hand-crank models has a similar style and functionality, the Atlas 150’s smart design made it the easiest machine to assemble, use, and clean. Our first step of rolling the dough was a breeze. With 10 thickness settings, this machine boasts both the widest and the narrowest settings of all the hand-crank models we tested, ranging from 0.02 inches to 0.24 inches. Plus, the Atlas 150’s user-friendly adjustment knob allowed us to easily control the distance between the rollers (which determines the thickness of your pasta sheets).
Rolling the dough was a breeze.
We found that the rollers closed evenly, effortlessly producing smooth, flat sheets of pasta. We did notice that the texture of the sheets seemed the slightest bit shaggier than those we made with other models. After doing some research, we learned that this may actually be part of an intentional effort to help the noodles absorb sauces more easily, though we didn’t notice much of a difference in our results.
Next came the fun part: cutting our noodles. The Atlas 150 comes with two cutters—one for fettuccine and another for tagliolini. You can also use the whole uncut sheets to make lasagna. It’s worth noting that the Atlas 150 doesn’t come with a spaghetti cutter, which might be a disappointment for some. However, you can purchase separate attachments for making spaghetti, capellini, lasagnette, linguine, pappardelle, ravioli, and vermicelli. The Atlas 150 is also equipped to attach a Pasta Drive motor, which negates the need to hand-crank your pasta and allows the machine to run freely while you feed dough through the attachments.
In our testing, the fettuccine and tagliolini attachments consistently delivered cleanly cut noodles that rivaled those made with our other favorite pasta maker, KitchenAid’s electric-powered attachment. This was our first time making homemade noodles and we couldn’t believe how quick and easy it was. At first, we weren’t sure whether homemade pasta would be worth the effort, but in the end, we found that it was more tender and absorbent than store-bought pasta, making for all-around tastier dishes.
We used the fettuccine noodles—as well as the fettuccine noodles we made with two far less expensive hand-crank pasta makers—to make fettuccine alfredo. In a taste test, all three machines delivered equally delicious pasta. We did find that the Atlas 150 noodles were more sharply defined, though, earning this machine higher points for presentation.
At first, we weren’t sure whether homemade pasta would be worth the effort, but…we found that it was more tender and absorbent than store-bought pasta, making for all-around tastier dishes.
The thin tagliolini noodles were just as easy and fun to make, and we served them with a luxurious wild mushroom sauce that also earned rave reviews with our guests.
Design: Melds form and function
Processed and assembled in Italy, the classic model is made of high quality chrome steel, while the more colorful options are made of aluminum. The machine’s rollers are constructed of anodized aluminum, which is stronger and more durable than most other coatings, helping ensure that harmful particles (such as nickel and chromium) don’t flake off into your dough. This machine is also BPA-free, which means you won’t have to worry about any dangerous chemicals leaching into your pasta.
The fettuccine and tagliolini attachments consistently delivered cleanly cut noodles that rivaled those made with our other favorite pasta maker.
The Atlas 150 has a sleek, modern look, and is the only pasta maker we tested that comes in a variety of custom enamel colors to coordinate with your kitchen, including blue, black, red, pink, copper, gold, green, and black.
Cleanup: The norm for a pasta maker
Like most pasta makers, this machine should not be washed with water or in the dishwasher. To clean the machine, Atlas recommends using a brush and a wooden stick. We didn’t have a brush on hand, so we used a toothpick to remove the remaining bits of dough.
Unlike other pasta makers we tested, the roller combs on this machine are removable, which made cleanup faster and easier. We also liked that this machine came with detailed instructions for cleaning and removing the rollers.
Price: Just right!
The Atlas 150 retails for $70—a reasonable price considering its high-quality construction, swift execution, and delicious results. Add an unbeatable 10-year manufacturer's warranty to the equation, and this product a no-brainer buy.
Competition: Battle of the hand-crank pasta makers
OxGord Pasta Maker Machine: This hand-crank pasta maker is similar in style and functionality to the Atlas 150, and at roughly $30, costs half as much. Despite this, we think the Marcato Atlas 150 is worth paying up for, as it runs more smoothly and is made of higher quality materials. We also found the Atlas 150’s removable clamp and handle to be sturdier and more secure than those of the OxGord.
CucinaPro Pasta Maker Deluxe Set: Also very similar in style to the Atlas 150, the CucinaPro hand-crank pasta maker has a little bit more versatility with attachments specifically designed for making ravioli, lasagnette, and angel hair pasta. At $70, the CucinaPro is around the same price as the Atlas 150, and both are equipped to attach motors to speed up the pasta-making process. We think the Atlas 150 has the edge because of its sturdy construction and easy operation. It also has more thickness settings (10 to CucinaPro’s seven) and a much longer warranty (ten years to CucinaPro’s one).
- Product Name Atlas 150 Wellness Pasta Machine
- Product Brand Marcato
- MPN 8320
- Price $69.99
- Weight 5.42 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 8 x 8 x 7 in.
- Material Chrome steel
- Warranty 10-year manufacturer’s warranty