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  • Writer's pictureMJ

Comparing Four Pottery Wheels in the $150 to $750 Range



Hey guys!

Today, we are talking about Potter's wheels and I wanted to do a quick comparison video. I bought seven wheels in the past three years, and that might seem kind of weird, but we've lived in several places and I've taught lessons here. And I want to just share with you some of the pros and cons of each of these wheels.


So I have two wheels that looked like this. This is the least expensive of the wheels on this board. Two wheels that looked like this. I just got this in like three days ago. And the newest, this is the newer model of this same style. If you go on Amazon, you'll see a lot that look like this. They have different colors they have, but generally they look like this. Sometimes the controls are a little bit different. Sometimes it'll have a touch screen on here. If it does, don't buy that. I don't like the touch screen, but these wheels have the hand foot crank the hand, crank foot pedal combination, which I like a lot. It has this splash pan that comes off,

which I like a lot, because you can fit a Giffin grip on there. I liked it. The power cord comes off. What I don't like is four feet because in pottery and life and geometry, three points to find a plane. If you take three points In any configuration, You always have a, not a flat plane, but a plane that will be level with the floor.


So frequent problem I hear with these wheels I've experienced is wobbling. And the reason is because when you have four wheels, four feet, one of them almost invariably is going to be slightly off. So it really just needed to, this is a great wheel. This is actually the wheel that I recommend the most right now. It's my favorite of the budget wheels of the cheap inexpensive wheels.


But you just got to kind of fig configure the feet so that they're not wobbling wherever you are. Well, here's another budget wheel. And I like this design better. I like the three wet legs open and it's sturdy. This one feels really sturdy. The legs and the feet are really sturdy. The splash pan also comes off, comes on and off real easy.

I like it a lot.


And what I don't like about this one is the touch screen. I think you should generally stay away from touch screens for these they're not useful. Sometimes you'll hit them and it'll either go in reverse or it'll turn off or it'll speed up real fast. Or you just generally don't want to touch screen. The foot pedals are better on here, but, and this is better. This is obviously a inexpensive construction, especially when you compare it to something like one of these two, this is a plastic, but here it is a year later with all sorts of kids trampling and stomping on it. And it's still working. So I'm not going to knock it too much. It's clearly a different quality of this metal with high quality parts in there, and this plastic with a little flywheel in there, a little gear wheel that controls the speed, but it works. You'll find this wheel on Amazon. It comes in up by a lot of different manufacturers. A lot of times how this, how the white labeling system works is you'll find a factory overseas that can produce a product for you. And then they'll put your label on it and that you, you buy it from them. You buy X quantity at a much reduced price, and then they'll ship it over with your label on it. But a lot of times it's the same model, oftentimes from the same factory. But anyhow, you'll see both of these on there in various colors and with different modifications, but they're generally the same. Stay away from LCD panels. Foot, hand cranks are generally good. This pedal, this style pedals on a lot of the budget wheels right now. And it hasn't broken in a year with little kids mashing on it. So it was probably going to be okay. And that brings me to this wheel right here, which is one of my favorites.


This is the Shimpo Aspire or Nidec. It is a great wheel. And it's got these removable bats, which are, have different center points. It's not 10 inch centers. They're more like seven or so. I'm not sure exactly, but those come off and then the splash pan, it kind of locks in there nicely. I like that too. It's super light. It's super portable. You can throw it in a bin with some clay and then it's a self-contained unit on the go.


So this is a great for trade shows or for, you know, you're selling at a fair, or you're doing a workshop or, or you just want to take it on vacation with you. Like I often did and sometimes do. So this is a great wheel. The, this comes in two models. It has a hand crank, which is great. When you're learning the hand, crank oftentimes is a little more deliberate when you're adjusting speed foot pedals. Sometimes you can slip and it goes fast and it starts getting wonky here. And it just takes some getting used to, but this foot pedal is awesome. This is a great high-quality foot pedal, every bit as good as a, a more expensive wheel that you'd find this last wheel is my go-to. And it has never looked this clean since the day I bought it. So this is the clay boss, And it is excellent.


This is My workhorse. I would say, this is the wheel you want to get. That's faithful like the son. So I have one of these. I've had this for two and a half years. My friend Lucas,

who's been a Potter for 20 years has two of these. They've never given me any problems. This has never given me any problems. And it's just a very reliable machine, but the problem is it's really heavy. So I have a bad back and I can't lift heavy stuff and you don't want to be taken this to trade surgeon, trade shows or fairs or anything.

You want this to sit up in one place and that's where it lives. And that's how I use it as it lives right there. That's, it's home temporarily displaced for this video. Okay? That's my quick and dirty pros and cons list of these different wheels. If you want to go for power and productivity and it's not moving, go with this one.


If you are moving around a lot, or you just have a little bit of space and you need to clean up, take down, it needs to disappear, go with the Shimpo Aspire. And if you're on a budget, go with one of these inexpensive wheels you can get on Amazon. They are worth it. They are great value. I wish they had been around when I get out of college because I would have gotten a pottery wheel.


Then when I was getting out of college, they were all like 1500 bucks and I couldn't do that. So I'm so glad that this is more accessible. Now the barriers to entry are coming down and more people are throwing pots. Speaking of which, if you want to get started with your home studio, check out my studio essentials course, where I'll help you set up your studio,

give you the things you need to think about the factors in your unique situation. So you can get set up and throw in quickly. Also, if you want the complete 14 point PDF of these wheels, all the criteria that I'm evaluating them on, you can get that free in the comments below. Hey, thanks for watching. Keep learning and I'll see you next time.


Interested in this wheel? Here are several versions (some may have a different color, but it's still the same thing): https://amzn.to/3vVLH2q

Need a Giffin Grip (they're AWESOME!): https://amzn.to/3l0Px54

Pottery Wheels and Other Studio Equipment: https://kit.co/OutpostPottery


**Some product links are affiliate links which means if you buy something we'll receive a small commission at no charge to you.

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