Buying Guide: The Best Pottery Wheel for Beginners

Pottery is a ceramic tool made by craftsmen. The most basic pottery tool is the hand. Meanwhile, pottery is a tool made of clay that is formed and then burned to be used as tools helpful in helping human life.

Nowadays, most potteries are made on the pottery wheel. To make the most delicate and creative pottery, potter lovers, especially beginners, should choose the best pottery wheel for themselves.


Things to consider when buying a pottery wheel


Buying a pottery wheel is a big step and can be pretty scary. Before deciding to buy your pottery wheel, you need to consider many variables. Here are some key factors to keep in mind.


1. The cost of the pottery wheel


Your pottery wheel will become an integral part of your work. There are differences in wheels, so you need to determine your needs and then look for the best-priced wheels that suit them best. Pottery wheels are a significant expense; be sure to compare stores. Check with several online suppliers and local ceramic and artist suppliers. Don’t forget to compare the shipping cost with the cost of the pottery wheel itself.

It is expected that a new pottery wheel will cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. I strongly recommend that you take a course to discover whether your interest level is high enough to justify purchasing your pottery wheel.



2. Longevity: Don’t just consider the pottery wheel for beginners


If you purchase your pottery wheel, it seems appropriate to get a “beginner” wheel. However, if you want pottery to be a fundamental part of your life, you may want to spend more money on wheels.

The reason is that your wheels will last a long time. With proper maintenance, electric wheels can be used for ten years or more.

Not only should you consider your current needs, but also your long-term goals in pottery. It would help if you had a pottery wheel to continuously meet your needs as you grow and develop as a potter.


3. The portability of your pottery wheel


When choosing between electric wheels and kick wheels, portability is the primary consideration. Electric wheels are almost always easier to carry than handwheels. They are smaller and lighter.

If you foresee moving your studio later in the future and want to carry it with you, for example, at an art festival, not only portability plays a role.


 4. Grinding head configuration


Some potters like to throw plaster. Bucket grinding heads can be used for gypsum bats; however, the grinding wheels are more commonly flat metal discs with or without pins to hold the bats in place.

The bat pins on some pottery wheels are easy to remove, allowing potters to trim utensils directly on the grinding head. Most flat-end grinding heads are equipped with bat needles, but the pin configuration is different. The size of the pins may vary, and the distance and number from the center of the grinding head will also vary. If you have a bat and want to continue using it, you need a matching wheel.

Flat grinding wheels also have different diameters. If you throw large pots, plates, or other pottery with a broad base, you need a grinding wheel large enough to accommodate your work.


5. Workspace and splash pan


Some pottery wheels are fundamental, composed of a grinding head, frame, and power supply (motor or flywheel). Others have additional workbenches, some have raised edges, and some don’t. Such working spaces can also have different sizes and locations around the grinding wheel. Check the options and decide which setting is best for your style. Please consider whether you prefer to create your work surface.

Another widely used accessory is the splash pan. These are useful if you want to reduce the confusion of throwing. However, for some pottery, the splash plate can interfere with throwing. Consider your style and preferences again.


6. Types of pottery wheels


  • Electric wheel


    • Lighter and smaller
    • The throwing speed is faster, which is especially important in production work.
    • Many models can be transported.


    • Rely on electricity
    • May be noisy
    • Inexperienced potters tend to increase the rotation speed, which adversely affects throwing



  • Kickwheel


    • Deficient maintenance usually lasts a lifetime
    • Many electric motors are equipped with electric motors to assist the flywheel to accelerate
    • Easily allow counter-clockwise and clockwise rotation of the wheel head thrown by the right and left hands
    • For some potters, the wheels provide a better “feel” for the throwing process


    • Extremely difficult to move and transport
    • If the flywheel is considered as a step, an injury may occur
    • Long-term use may cause knee problems and aggravate arthritis


7. Convenience


The overall outcome and impressions of the lesson depending on how comfortable it will be to work with the pottery wheel. There should be different adjustments to adapt the device to a specific task. For example, the choice of the rotation speed. Convenient when the speed is controlled using a pedal. No need to switch gears with dirty hands.

Stability is also important – the best option is a pottery wheel for children and adults, equipped with four legs. There should be height adjustment because it plays a role and space availability for a container with water at the level with the work surface. Pay attention to the height of the side – if it is too low, the slip will drip onto the floor.


8. Power


High power is vital for professional potters who plan to create bulky earthenware a meter or more in height. In this case, you need to choose circles with clay centering weighing up to 20 kg.

A circle with low power is suitable; a maximum clay mass of 5 kg will be enough.


9. Security


The frame must hide all moving parts of the pottery wheel. It will protect the electrical component from water ingress and the potter himself from mechanical injury and electric shock.


10. Dimensions


If you plan to buy a pottery wheel for your home, you should not choose bulky professional equipment. It is more intended for a separate workshop. Better to pay attention to the circle for beginner potters. It will take up no more space than a bicycle, and you can place the equipment right in the apartment.


11. Information support


It is essential whether the seller of pottery wheels provides information support. How correctly intermediaries do not do this. But some responsible manufacturers help. This is worth paying attention to.


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