A pottery wheel is one of the most essential pieces of equipment required for making pottery. Thus, it can be a challenge to make a wise purchase decision whether you’re looking to get a new pottery wheel or your first one.
What are the best electric pottery wheels? The best electric pottery wheel should be large and powerful enough to fit your needs. For new potters and hobbyists, look for a wheelhead diameter of 8-14 inches and 1/4 to 1 hp. Other key features include removable basins and bat pins, adjustable speeds and turn direction, and loudness.
We looked at a couple of different products and reviewed the best products we could find. Before we get to the reviews, let’s learn more about electric pottery wheels and what you should look out for when considering a product.
What Are Electric Pottery Wheels?
A pottery wheel is a machine that is used for throwing, or shaping, round ceramic ware like pots, vases, mugs, etc. The clay is placed on the wheel, which spins around at a steady rate while the potter molds the clay by hand into a uniform circular shape.
An electric pottery wheel is a modern type of pottery wheel that, you guessed it, uses electricity to function. The other major type of pottery wheel is the old-school kickwheel, which doesn’t require electricity but is instead powered by the potter’s foot.
Electric pottery wheels are lighter and smaller than kickwheels. Thus, they’re more portable. Throwing is also faster with electric pottery wheels. On the minus side, electric pottery wheels can be quite noisy. They’re also dependent on electric power to function unlike kickwheels.
You should also note that many electric wheels DO have a foot pedal. They’re not a true kickwheel because they’re not powered by the potter’s pedaling. Instead, the pedal is used to control the speed – but it is powered by electricity.
Electric Potter’s Wheels: What to Consider
If you’ve decided to get an electric pottery wheel for its portability, speed, or ease of use, what are some factors to consider when shopping for one?
The horsepower of an electric pottery wheel’s motor dictates how much clay you can center on it. Electric wheels typically range from ¼ HP to 1 HP. Some wheels with 1 HP can center up to 150lbs of clay.
If you’re just getting started with pottery, an electric pottery wheel with a ⅓ HP motor will likely suffice for throwing up to 50 lbs of clay. If you’re an advanced potter or you want to throw larger pieces of clay, then you should get a wheel with a horsepower of 0.5 HP or higher.
If you’re purchasing your first pottery wheel, you may be inclined to get a pottery wheel that is targeted at beginners.
However, if you plan to take pottery very seriously, it might be a wiser decision to spend a little more money to get an electric wheel that will last for a long time. A properly maintained high-quality electric wheel can last for up to a decade.
Thus, instead of thinking short term, evaluate your long term goals and purchase an electric pottery wheel that’ll suit your needs as you grow as a potter.
3. Wheel Head Configuration and Diameter
The wheel head of a pottery wheel is the revolving part of the wheel where you throw your clay on. Wheel heads come in many shapes and sizes and have different configurations. They’re most commonly flat circular metal surfaces, and range from 8 to 14 inches in diameter.
Wheel heads have bat pins which are used to attach the bat to the wheel head. Some electric wheels have wheel heads with removable pins which allows them to also be used for trimming.
Bat pins can vary in size, number, and layout across different wheel heads. So if you already have bats that you want to continue using, you’ll have to look for a wheel with a wheel head that supports the specific pin layout of your bats.
To some extent, the wheel head diameter determines the size of ceramic pieces you’ll be able to throw.
If you plan to throw large items such as big pots, platters, or any kind of pottery with a wide base, you’ll need a wheel head with a large diameter. On the other hand, if you’re fine with working on smaller projects, you can get a wheel with a smaller sized wheel head.
While electric pottery wheels can be loud, some models run quieter than others. Thus, if you care a lot about having a relatively quiet time while throwing, or if your housemates do, look for a quiet model.
5. Work Spaces and Splash Pans
Some electric pottery wheel products consist only of the basics – a wheelhead, a frame, and a power source. Others feature work tables, which can come in different sizes, and some feature raised edges to protect you from splashes.
These workspace additions can be used for storing your tools. Some products also include splash pans which are useful for reducing the mess generated while throwing.
When choosing an electric pottery wheel, decide which additional features or accessories are important to you. Also consider the amount of space you have to work with and your unique style and preferences.
The cost of electric pottery wheels varies depending on the capabilities of the products and the included features.
Of course, getting a good, high-quality pottery wheel is essential whether you’re a professional, a hobbyist, or an amateur potter. However, you can save some money by getting a product with just the right mix of features for your needs.
Budget electric pottery wheels are great for beginners and casual hobbyists. However, these wheels tend to be less durable, less powerful, and generally more basic. Standard electric pottery wheels, on the other hand, offer greater durability, more power, larger wheel heads, and a smoother operation.
Considering that electric pottery wheels can be quite an investment, if you’re new to pottery, you might want to take some classes to make sure that your interest and love for the art is great enough to justify spending on an electric pottery wheel.
The Top 5 Electric Pottery Wheels
Now that you know what to look for when weighing your options, here are our top 5 picks for the best electric pottery wheels you can buy today.
|1.||YaeTek Electric Pottery Wheel||25cm, 350W, quiet, versatile|
|2.||Mein LAY Pottery Wheel Machine||25cm, 350W, incl. tools, has legs|
|3.||Tech-L Pottery Wheel||25cm, 350W, leakage protector|
|4.||SEAAN Electric Pottery Wheel||25cm, 350W, incl. sculpting tools|
|5.||Tuntrol Pottery Forming Machine||25cm, 350W, good for beginners|
A pottery wheel is a big investment, so let’s look at each of these picks a little more closely.
1. YaeTek Electric Pottery Wheel
This YaeTek electric pottery wheel machine is an excellent product to consider if you’re looking for an affordable, high-quality electric pottery wheel.
The wheel features an elegant, compact design. It has a wheel head diameter of 9.84 inches (or about 25 cm). The wheel can spin at a speed of up to 300 revolutions per minute.
The YaeTek electric pottery wheel has an advanced brushless motor. It features a foot pedal that can be used to regulate the speed of rotation of the wheel head. The wheel also offers forward and reverse rotation. It’s also relatively quiet with a noise rating of fewer than 60 decibels.
This product has a small footprint and is very portable. It offers a lot of value for money and is one of the best electric wheel products you can find today.
2. Mein LAY Pottery Wheel Machine
The Mein Lay Updated Pottery Wheel boasts a number of really nice features. It comes with a large and responsive foot pedal, which can be used to control the speed. It also offers a detachable basin, which serves as a splash pan and can be cleaned easily.
The Mein Lay pottery wheel also features an LCD screen that displays the speed of the wheel. The convenient LCD display is waterproof and a nice addition.
The product has a high-quality brushless motor that can spin the wheel head at a rate of up to 300 rpm. The wheel head is also 9.8 inches (or 25 cm) in diameter which should be large enough for most small and medium projects. Plus, it has a power output of 350W.
3. Tech-L Pottery Wheel
Next up, we have the Tech-L Electric Pottery Wheel. Like the other products reviewed above, the Tech-L is a high-quality, yet affordable electric pottery wheel with a solid feature set.
The wheel also comes with a foot pedal for speed regulation and has a wheel head diameter of 9.8 inches. It has a speed of 0-300 rpm and a power output of 350W, so it will definitely suit your needs.
This Tech-L electric pottery wheel is also nicely designed and very portable – just in case you need to take your pottery skills on the road. It operates smoothly and reliably. The product also comes with an 8-piece pottery tool kit, which is just icing on the cake at this point.
4. SEAAN Electric Pottery Wheel
The SEEAN electric pottery wheel features a compact, durable design and a removable splash pan, perfect for your next pottery workday.
This electric pottery wheel can reach a speed of 300 rpm and comes with a pedal which also doubles as a hand crank – just in case you prefer to do things differently, since foot pedals are so yesterday.
The SEEAN electric wheel features a ¼ HP motor and operates at noise levels lower than 60 dB. The wheel also features a reverse switch to change the rotational direction of the wheel head. It’s very easy to use and has a power of 350W, so there are no worries on that front, either.
5. Tuntrol Pottery Forming Machine
The Tuntrol Electric Pottery Wheel is a well designed, high-quality wheel. It features that trusty foot pedal, forward and reverse switches, and a wheel diameter of 9.8 inches (or 25 cm). Plus, its power output is 350W.
The product is also very portable, weighing just 32.9 lb. And it has a working noise rating of less than 60 dB. We doubt you’ll disturb the neighbors with this bad boy.
The Tuntrol Pottery Forming Machine is easy to use, easy to clean, sturdy electric wheel. It’s got all the basic features you could want in a pottery wheel and is a great choice for beginners who are turned off from the ultra-fancy, high-grade professional options out there.
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