Entering the world of pottery can be daunting for beginners. When it comes to pottery wheels, you have a wide range of products to choose from. It is quite possible that with the variety on offer, you will be hard-pressed to find one that is ideal for your needs.
What are the best pottery wheels for beginners? Not only will you need to get the right size and weight for your workspace, a pottery wheel with at least a 14-inch wheel head and a splash pan will make learning pottery a lot easier and less messy. You should also consider other features like the speed, motor power, foot pedal, etc.
In this blog post, we will make things easier for you by providing information on exactly what you should look for when shopping for a reliable and quality pottery wheel to make your work easier and more efficient as a beginner.
If you are looking to buy a good pottery wheel for beginners, here are some of the things you will need to consider.
Electric Vs. Manual
There are two main types of pottery wheels: electric pottery wheels, which use motors to make the wheel head spin, and manual kick wheels, where you have to physically spin the wheel to operate them.
With electric pottery wheels, you can easily set the rotational speed of the wheel to suit your needs. This allows you to easily switch between throwing and centering. This one is also friendlier to beginners since you don’t have to manage too many things while throwing clay.
Of course, electric pottery wheels depend on power to operate, and depending on the motor, they can also be quite loud. On the other hand, using a kick-wheel is more romantic than using modern technology. However, it is still hard to learn as it requires a lot of practice.
One of the most challenging aspects of this activity is keeping the speed consistent while also trying to make the pot – you have to physically spin the wheel with either your hand or your feet and try to shape the pot at the same time!
Kick wheels can also be quite heavy and not very portable. If you use a kick wheel for a long time, you may even experience injuries and chronic knee or joint pain as a result of spinning the wheel manually.
We highly recommend using an electric pottery wheel if you are a beginner since it saves you half of the effort. In the following considerations, we’ll mainly discuss the features of electric pottery wheels.
If you’re lucky enough to have a lot of space, then it may not be a factor that matters when it comes to the size of your pottery wheel.
However, pottery wheels tend to consume a lot of space in your workshop, so if you have limited space, size may be the first thing you should consider.
There are various types of pottery wheels that you can choose from. Beginners’ pottery wheels are usually compact and can be stored away in a drawer or a corner. On the other hand, professional potters usually have big pottery wheels that are a staple in their workshop.
People who have been making pottery for a long time may have a dedicated space where they can make their pottery. This can be anywhere from the garage to the basement.
However, having a dedicated space is not ideal for everyone. You need a wheel that fits into your lifestyle and can be easily stored. In this case, you should consider the dimensions of your pottery wheel before buying.
If you are looking for a portable pottery wheel that can be stored away if it’s not in use, then the weight is an important factor to consider. If the wheel is too big or heavy, keeping your workspace neat when the wheel is not in use may become a challenge.
Tabletop Or Free-Standing Wheel
There are two main designs for pottery wheels, a tabletop pottery wheel and a free-standing wheel.
Free-standing wheels are designed to work on their own, as they have their own legs to situate them on the floor. The person using the wheel then sits by it while they throw their pots.
Some free-standing wheels have adjustable legs that can be adjusted in length. Leg extensions can also be purchased to lengthen the legs of the wheel. This can give you more flexibility when it comes to the height of the wheel, especially if you’re taller than the average potter.
Table Top Pottery Wheels
A tabletop pottery wheel is typically designed to go on a table. Unlike free-standing wheels, tabletop models do not have legs that are permanently attached. Instead, they have a flush base and rubber gaskets that can help prevent the wheel from sliding across the table.
Although there are varying preferences when it comes to the height of the container, it’s generally recommended that you sit a little bit higher than the pottery wheel’s head, which gives you more control over the clay.
If you’re planning on using a tabletop pottery wheel, then it’s important that you have a low table to accommodate the container.
You can also position the wheel on a higher surface and throw your pots while you’re standing. One advantage of this type of setup is that it allows you to stand up while throwing, which can alleviate back pain after working for long hours.
Some models of tabletop wheels also have legs that can be used as free-standing wheels. This allows you to use the wheel as both a table and a free-standing model.
One of the advantages of a tabletop model is that it can be moved around and used in different rooms. It can also be used as a demonstration wheel when you’re at a workshop, for example.
The head of a pottery wheel is the disc that holds the clay while you work. The standard size of a wheel head is 14 inches, which works with a wide variety of projects. However, you can also find a wide range of other sizes as well.
The diameter of the wheel head is directly related to the amount of clay that it can handle. Since the centering capacity of a wheel is its measurement, it’s important that it has a diameter that’s no less than 10 inches. Otherwise, the centering capacity will not be reliable.
Some people use the wheel head as the base for their pots. However, it’s also useful to have the option of throwing on a pottery bat, which is just a disc that’s secured to the wheel head via bat pins.
A pottery bat is convenient because it allows you to remove the finished product without having to touch it – the bat will do it for you. This allows you to easily set the product aside while it’s still wet and soft and only remove it from the bat after it’s completely dry.
Bats are usually secured to the side of the wheel head using metal pins. These pins are then connected to the holes on the underside of the bat. Once the object is placed inside the wheel, it can be easily lifted off.
If you want to use a pottery bat, then you’ll need to get pottery wheels that have bat pins, which are suitable for a variety of pottery bats.
Foot Pedal Or Hand Lever
Pottery wheels are usually operated by hand using a lever or a foot pedal. This is really a matter of personal preference for the potter.
Some people prefer to use a lever to control the speed of their wheels. This type of wheel can be beneficial for people with mobility issues. Others use a foot pedal to adjust the speed of their wheels.
You can also choose the best of both worlds, as some pottery wheels allow you to switch between a hand lever or a foot pedal.
Some pottery wheels have a switch that allows you to change the direction of the wheel head. This is handy if you are left-handed since you can turn the wheel head in the direction that feels natural to you.
A splash pan is a type of container that goes around the circumference of the wheel head. It’s designed to catch water, dirt, and clay as you throw. These containers are usually made of plastic.
When learning how to throw, beginner artists often use a lot of water, so you’ll often waste a lot of clay. The best type of pottery wheel for beginners has a removable and easy-to-clean splash pan that can catch the mess and keep your work area clean.
Most splash pans are made up of two parts, and they can be easily removed by clicking them off the wheel. Some types of pottery wheels have one-piece splash pans, and they can be removed by lifting them off the shaft.
The speed at which the wheel spins is indicated by the number of rotations that the wheel produces per minute, or RPM.
Potters usually have a speed preference when throwing, but it’s not important to set the wheel at a specific RPM for it to work.
A powerful pottery wheel is more important than a speedy one. Aside from the speed, the other factors that are also taken into account when it comes to choosing a pottery wheel are its power and its torque.
Electric pottery wheels are powered by a motor. The power of a pottery wheel’s motor is usually measured in horsepower (HP).
A strong and powerful pottery wheel motor is required to handle the forces that are working against it as it forms its pots. For instance, as you shape the clay, the clay’s weight and even your shaping hands can create a force that affects the movement of the motor.
The power of the motor that’s used in a pottery wheel is important to ensure that it can handle the forces that are working against it as it forms its pots. A stronger motor will allow it to handle heavier clays and produce more power.
The hp you’ll find in a commercial pottery wheel ranges from ¼ hp to 1 ½ hp. If you’re planning on making small pieces like bowls and dinner plates, then 1/2 hp is ideal. Large vases and other pieces, on the other hand, should be made with more power.
The centering capacity of a pottery wheel is also important to determine if it can handle the weight of the clay that you’re going to throw. This figure can give you an idea of how the wheel will perform as you use more clay to form your pottery.
Some ceramists use a combination of physical strength and their body weight to create the ideal center for their work. If they’re using a lot of strength, the wheel will tend to slow down.
Conversely, if the artist uses less muscle and strength, then the force that they’re applying to the wheel will decrease. This means that the centering capacity of the pottery wheel will increase.
Best Pottery Wheels For Beginners
|1.||VIVOHOME Pottery Wheel||9.8” wheel head, up to 300 RPM, adjustable speed|
|2.||VEVOR Pottery Wheel||9.8” wheel head, up to 300 RPM, adjustable speed, 350W electric motor|
|3.||SEAAN Electric Pottery Wheel Machine||9.8” wheel head, up to 320 RPM, adjustable speed, LCD Screen|
|4.||U.S. Art Supply Table Top Pottery Wheel||11" wheel head, up to 300 RPM, LCD Screen|
|5.||Speedball Clay Boss Pottery Wheel||14” wheel head, up to 240 RPM|
|6.||ETE ETMATE Pottery Wheel Machine||9.8” wheel head, up to 300 RPM|
|7.||Brent C Pottery Wheel||14” wheel head, up to 300 RPM|
1. VIVOHOME Pottery Wheel
The VIVOHOME pottery wheel is a necessary tool for potters. It has a steel plate that is resistant to corrosion and rust.
The 9.8-inch wheel head is made of high-quality aluminum alloy, which not only enhances the strength of the pottery wheel but also makes it more stable for working.
This pottery wheel includes an advanced brush motor that provides a rotary speed from 0-300 RPM, controlled by a foot pedal. Additionally, you can also use a handle to adjust the speed.
Additionally, it also allows you to change the direction of the rotation, which comes in quite handy for left-handed or ambidextrous potters.
This pottery wheel is designed to be used both as a free-standing tool or on a table, and its sturdy structure can provide a strong base for a variety of projects.
2. VEVOR Pottery Wheel
The VEVOR pottery wheel is uniquely designed to help you have an easy, comfortable, and enjoyable time when making your beautiful pottery pieces.
Its 9.8-inch wheel head is made from aluminum alloy that is rust-resistant, ensuring a long lifetime for your pottery wheel. The ABS splash pan is detachable, making cleaning much easier.
The model features a brushless electric motor with 350W power that can go from zero to 300 RPM easily by just pressing a button on the display panel.
All the settings are easily adjustable using the waterproof LCD screen, which allows you to change the speed of the spin, the direction of the spin, switching from manual turning to foot pedal control, etc.
This makes controlling the wheel quite effortless, especially for beginners.
3. SEAAN Electric Pottery Wheel Machine
The SEAAN electric pottery wheel is a great tool for beginners and experienced pottery enthusiasts.
The wheel is easy to operate thanks to the convenient LCD screen, which allows you to control the speed with ease. The 9.8-inch wheel head provides plenty of space for working on larger projects.
This electric pottery wheel features a powerful motor that can spin up to 320 RPM, which includes forward and reverse directions for the spin.
The removable splash pan allows you to clean up quickly after each use without having to worry about getting your workspace dirty.
And finally, the compact structure is comfortable enough as a free-standing tool but still makes it easy for you to store when not in use.
4. U.S. Art Supply Table Top Pottery Wheel
The U.S. Art Supply Pottery Wheel is a professional heavy-duty portable tabletop pottery wheel.
The 11″ wheel head holds up to 25 lbs. of clay and is strong enough for any type of clay, whether you’re a beginner or an expert potter.
The powerful 3/4 hp motor has a maximum torque of 1,200 ft./lbs. And operates at various speeds (up to 300 RPM), making it perfect for any type of clay, even very soft clays like porcelain clay.
The tabletop pottery wheel has an easy-to-use LCD display that shows the speed setting and motor RPM at all times so you can see what speed you’re turning at while working on your project!
The tabletop pottery wheel also comes with a foot pedal for easy control of the motor. In addition, you can also switch up the direction of the spin for both left-handed and right-handed use.
5. Speedball Clay Boss Pottery Wheel
The Clay Boss is a high-quality pottery wheel that provides smooth, even clay spinning and easy use.
It features a 1/2 HP motor and up to 100lb centering capacity, making it perfect for professionals and hobbyists alike.
This pottery wheel features a 14″ wheel head and foot pedal with smooth, variable speed control (up to 240 RPM) and reversing turn for quick and easy changes of wheel direction.
The tabletop is made from polyethylene plastic that won’t chip like wood or crack like metal. The two-part splash pan is easy to clean while also keeping the clay inside.
This design makes it easy to work with large pieces of clay without having to worry about them getting all over your work area!
6. ETE ETMATE Pottery Wheel Machine
This pottery wheel is the perfect piece of equipment to get started in pottery.
It has a 9.8″ wheel head and a compact structure, which is small enough to not take up too much space in your home but still enough to work with most pottery projects.
This electric pottery wheel also comes with a foot pedal and handle for easy control. The wheel can spin clockwise or counterclockwise, which is comfortable for most users.
In addition, the advanced high-quality brushless motor enables a rotary speed of up to 300 RPM.
This pottery wheel also has an easy-to-clean ABS splash pan, so you no longer need to worry about sticky clay residue on the wheel head after use.
Since it’s such a lightweight device, you can easily take it out and start a new project anytime you’d like!
7. Brent C Pottery Wheel
Brent C is one of the most popular pottery wheels on the market today. They are known for their high quality and durability while still being affordable.
The Brent C Pottery Wheel is a great choice for beginners and advanced artists alike. It has a 3/4 HP motor that can handle 225 pounds of clay continuously.
The powerful motor also has optimal torque at all speeds, making it easy to control your clay without having to worry about getting stuck or slowing down at any point during your project.
The Brent C Pottery Wheel comes with on/off and forward/reverse switches that are easy to locate on the front panel of the machine. The foot pedal is made from cast aluminum which makes it durable as well as smooth when controlling and using your machine.
The Brent C Pottery Wheel has a 14″ wheel head, which makes it ideal for a wide range of projects. In addition, the wheel head also has bat pins for those who want to opt for pottery bats to set up their projects.