If you have ever indulged in pottery, then you would know that potter's wheels are the biggest expense that you will have while indulging in the hobby. For a good quality potter's wheel expect to spend a few hundred dollars at least. There are two basic types of pottery wheels. These types are electric and kick wheels. If you want a portable option, then you need to opt for electric wheels which are small and light, but these need a constant source of electricity and tend to be extremely noisy. Kick wheels are more permanent fixtures are they are heavy and large. The problem with kick wheels is that to power the wheels you need to constantly kick it with your legs which can be aggravating after some time.
The Best Brands
When referring to reviews, there are many terms that you will come across. It is important to understand these terms in case you are serious about the hobby. A term you will often come across is the centering capacity which is the ability of the wheel to balance the clay in the center when the wheel is spinning. Other terms that you may across are hp which is the horsepower of the motor of the wheel, RPM which is the speed of rotation of the wheel head, and the wheel head which is the platform on which the ball of clay is thrown and given shape. Most pottery wheels are judged depending on the horsepower and the centering capacity. For amateurs, a horsepower of ½ is good enough but for professionals, you may need to look at machines which have a motor with a higher horsepower.
The first wheels from the Brent house were introduced in the market in 1967. The company was taken over by the American Art Clay Company in 1978. If you are looking for a kick wheel, then the Wood Kick wheel from Brent is a great option. It comes with a 12'' wheel head. For professionals looking for an electric version the Model CXC is a great option. It has a 1 horsepower motor, a centering capacity of 100 pounds, a wheel head of 14'', and a warranty of five years. It is though, one of the more expensive options in the market at USD 1124.
Nidec-Shimpo America Corporation
Originally from Japan, the company established itself in America in 1974. The best thing about varieties from Shimpo is the fact that they are extremely quiet and have a good torque strength. One of the best models for professionals is the VL Whisper which has the distinction of being the quietest of all pottery wheels. With a motor which has ½ horsepower, a centering capacity of 100 pounds, a 14'' wheel head, and a weight of 135 pounds, this is one of the most popular options in the market right now.
This company features in almost all reviews. Maybe it is because, the company has been in existence since 1971, manufacturing some of the best wheels in the market. Some of their best selling models include the Artista and the Clay Boss. The Artista is a portable wheel with a 11'' wheel head and weighs a minimalistic 35 pounds. It has a centering capacity of 25 pounds and the speed of the wheel can be adjusted as needed. The Clay Boss is an electric wheel and excellent for users with some experience, with a centering capacity of 50 pounds, It has a ½ horsepower motor and a wheel head with a 14'' diameter. Priced at USD 535, it is a perfect buy.
Laguna Clay Company
After merging with the Lockerbie Manufacturing Company in 2007, the Laguna Clay Company took over the manufacturing of the Lockerbie kick wheels that were first manufactured in the 1960s. These kick wheels are extremely popular at educational institutions. The most popular model remains Model K. Weighing about 270 pounds, it has 14'' wheel head, a 1/3 horsepower optional motor and the option to add foot rests. It is priced at USD 698.
After acquiring Thomas Stuart Pottery Wheels in 2008, Skutt Ceramics has become a name to reckon with, in the pottery accessory world. They are known to manufacture durable, quality pottery wheels and have a range of both electric and kick wheels. One of their best-known products is the Legend which is perfect for someone who has some experience with pottery wheels. With a 14'' wheel head, a 1/3 horsepower motor, a price tag of USD 795, and reversible switch for left-handed users, it is a great buy.
Other well-known brands which have products that often feature in reviews are Soldner Pottery Wheels and Kemper. This article has hopefully helped you figure out which wheel you should invest in for your purpose of creating hand thrown pots. Pottery can be an extremely stress-busting hobby to have, and can also be profitable.