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Jan 12, 2007 10:32 PM

Hand cranked pasta machines: Atlas vs Imperia vs VillaWare

Hi All -

When it comes to handcranked pasta machines everyone seems to recommend Atlas. But looking on Amazon I see similar Italian-made machines by Imperia and VillaWare. Are they all the same? Or should I stick with Atlas?



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  1. Ampia and Villa Ware are comprable and can take different attachments. I have an Ampia imported from Italy I go over 30 years ago as a wedding gift. I has a flat roller and 2 built in cutters, spaghetti and fettucini. Works well after all this time but it realy needs 3 hands and does not clamp to all countertops

    1 Reply
    1. re: Candy

      I meant to say Atlas and Villa Ware are comparable.

    2. I love my Atlas, but my only complaint is that the vice-grip thingie to hold it down on the counter never really works great. The lip on my counter doesn't really extend far enough and I can never seem to get the vice-grip on there sufficiently. I have other products by Villa Ware which I'm happy with. Do you know what kind of mechanism that one has to hold it down on the counter?

      1 Reply
      1. re: dukegirl

        That is why I never use mine!! In fact I was going to chime in and suggest to get one that doesn't use the vice grip. Pampered Chef (I don't sell it and have never bought anything)has a stand for its apple peeler, I'm not sure if it would work but if you know someone who is handy I am sure one could be rigged up to accomodate a pasta maker. I also saw a few PC stands on ebay.

      2. I don't have any experience with any of these brands except Imperia; I got an Imperia machine for my birthday last summer and I really like it. The one weak point I think is that clamp, which doesn't tighten up enough to suit me. I can't use it on my counter, because it has to have a pretty substantial overhang; but I use it on my prep cart, which works fine, if I can get it tight enough.

        1. I've had an Atlas for a while (10+ years) that gets steady if not frequent use and it's been satisfactory, but I've always slightly drooled over the Imperias, which seem more solidly made (as well as being quite a lot more expensive, at least when I bought mine.) Never heard of Villa Ware, so I can't comment on that one.

          I think the clamping thing is an issue with all of them, and of course, any hand-cranked machine really does need 2 sets of hands for easy use. If you have a KitchenAid mixer, consider their attachment, even though it's very expensive. It's no more expensive than the hand-crank machines plus motor, and it'll take up less (new) space. If you use it often, you will be wanting a motor, if only to free up your hands, and weigh down the machine. (Nice plus is that you don't clamp it when you use the motor attachment - the weight holds it more or less in place.)

          6 Replies
          1. re: MikeG

            I'd recommend strongly against the KitchenAid attachment. Mine cost 5x as much as a hand-cranked machine and broke after half a dozen uses. Took it apart and found that the mechanism is made of cheap plastic. Called KitchenAid to ask about replacement parts and was informed that they're not available. Fortunately my local retailer took it back, refunded my money, and returned it to the factory as defective.

            This was my second KitchenAid appliance where the unavailability of a cheap plastic part (the first was a blender clutch) rendered the whole machine useless. Love my stand mixer, but I will never, ever buy another KitchenAid appliance.

            1. re: alanbarnes

              I would have to agree. I've had two of the KitchenAid pasta cutters completely break after less than 10 uses. They are heavy and look nice, but they're poorly made and clearly aren't intended to be used very often.

              1. re: alanbarnes

                You know why? They don't make'm like they used to. Just found out my Kitchenaid stand mixer, which is under 10 years old, does not have metal gears or metal gear housing (has plastic). Kitchenaid was purchased by Whirlpool, and now everything under their umbrella is inferior. Also bought a Jenn-Air gas cooktop last year still new in the box from someone who was going to re-do their kitchen and then lost job. After 4 months, the glass on the cooktop cracked in several places (all by itself!!!). Because I didn't buy it from a retailer and don't have a receipt, there is no warranty. I will never buy anything that's part of the Whirlpool conglomerate again.

              2. re: MikeG

                I have a question for an Atlas 150 user. I just got my Atlas 150 "wellness" it is supposed to cut round spaghetti. No matter how dry the dough, it always cuts so that two strands are stuck together- I guess they don't have any US based support, so I emailed them but was just wondering if anyone else has this problem?

                1. re: 2sleepy

                  Totally agree. It works really well for rolling sheets of pasta, and the combination cutter (linguine and fettucine) that came with the machine works well.

                  The spaghetti (regular size) is challenging -- you really have to let the pasta dough hang for a while and let it get really tough. I tried the capellini cutter and returned it the next day -- too frustrating!

                  Suffice to say, I use my Atlas mainly for sheets and the square-cut pasta, since I can cut those when they are still a little soft.

                  I have a butcher block kitchen table, so clamp works just fine, but I feel your pain if you are trying to clamp to a kitchen countertop.

                  1. re: MikeB3542

                    Thanks, at least I know it's not me, and it's not broken lol. The front cutter (fettucine I guess) is terrific and I have made lasagna without the attachment just by rolling it out, then cutting it by hand- that works too, too bad about the spaghetti - I tried again today and I let the dough dry until it was like a piece of leather and the thing still cut with every 2 strands stuck together. They do have US support (sort of) the # is 1-718-386-0896. They told me a few thing to try and said if it didn't work to send it back to them and they would look at it, I'm not sure if I will send it back or just give up on the idea of making spaghetti

              3. Atlas is also known as Marcato & someone at my local kitchenware wholesaler just told me that they are rumoured to be shutting down their plant in Italy and that the accessories won't be available for long.

                Fine Cooking did a recent review and said the Atlas/Marcato was their fave although all 3 were basically equivalent. I actaully have the Imperia and like it. I got it as a gift, but if I were buying one, I'd get the Kitchen Aid attachment as described in many posts.