Most helpful positive review
65 of 68 people found the following review helpful
2730/3000 vs the 2720/2200 model
on May 5, 2012
I'm very pleased with this machine (the 2730/3000 model). While I've been using a traditional roller pasta maker (an Atlas) for decades, my only experience with an extrusion machine was many years ago with a Ronco. Not a good experience, to say the least. The Lello, in sharp contrast, is built like a tank. Very solid construction that inspires confidence that it will last a while.
My only complaint is the recipe book. While it offers several pasta options, it only provides quantities for the max amount that the 2200 or the 3000 can make. You can scale them back, of course, but it would be nice if they did that for you. Also, the instructions are in desperate need of good color photos, rather than the poor B/W photos.
Rather than get into a blow-by-blow description of the features (which are very well covered in other reviews) I wanted to concentrate on two points: Should you get this? If so, which model?
If you're considering purchasing either Lello model you've seen several negative reviews that basically state "I followed the instructions EXACTLY, and it didn't work." I have no doubt that the reviewers followed the instructions to the letter. So why did they fail? Mainly because instructions, regardless of their detail, can't take into account the inherent variances of different flour types and brands, plus the fact that dough is affected by the environment (how humid or dry the air is).
Success in making your own pasta means you have to pay attention to the dough - how it looks, feels, and moves. My grandmother, who taught me how to make pasta (or, for that matter, pretty much everything involving dough) used to say that the dough is alive and has to be treated as such (she said it in Italian, which sounded a lot more poetic).
Certainly use the directions as a starting point, but you need to experiment, learn from your mistakes, and keep trying. Sure, you might nail it on the first try. Then again, it may take a bunch of tries. It's much like making espresso - there's a learning curve and, if you stick with it, you'll be rewarded with a wonderful treat.
Unfortunately, these machines (much like many espresso machines) are marketed as "just add ingredients, push a button, and success!" It can set up some unrealistic expectations. Yes, you'll get to the success point, but expect to put in some time and effort.
Now to the second point: should you get the 2720/2200 or the 2730/3000 (this one)? They are much the same - same motor, gearing, warranty, etc. The only difference is that the 3000 holds a bit more (3 pound capacity vs 2.2 pound). To accomplish this, the 3000 has a one inch taller mixing bowl. That's the only design difference. The 3000 also comes with 2 additional extrusion disks: one for lasagna and one for Bucati (it's a hollow spaghetti). Since the disks run about $15 each, the two extra discs cut the actual price difference way down (provided, of course, that the two additional disks are something you'd want).
Even if the extra disks are not of interest, it's still worth going for the 3000 regardless if you won't be making a full 3 pound batch (which is a LOT of pasta!). The reason why is that the taller bowl makes it easier for the paddles to mix the dough even if it is not filled to the max. For example, my standard size batch is ½ the quantity listed in the Lello recipe book for the 2200. Having the larger bowl gives the machine more working room, and makes it easier to tweak the flour/moisture ratio.
But, regardless of which Lello you get, if you put in some effort, you're going to be treated to some wonderful pasta. Highly recommend!