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The Best Pottery Wheels: A Buyer’s Guide

When considering the best pottery wheels, you will need to consider your own skill level and your own needs.

With so many options on the market, it can be difficult to choose the right one for you. In this guide, we will explore the various aspects of pottery wheels and how to decide which one is best for you. So whether you're a beginner or an experienced potter, let's get started!

woman making pottery


Understanding pottery wheels

Pottery wheels are an essential tool for any potter, whether you're a beginner or a seasoned professional. Understanding the different types of pottery wheels available can help you make an informed decision when purchasing one.

There are two main types of pottery wheels: electric and manual. Electric pottery wheels are powered by electricity and have a motor that rotates the wheelhead. These wheels are more popular among potters due to their convenience and ease of use. They provide a consistent rotation speed, allowing for precise shaping and throwing.

Manual pottery wheels are powered by the potter's foot or hand. They require more effort to operate but are often preferred by traditional potters or those who enjoy the tactile experience. Manual pottery wheels offer a more hands-on approach to pottery-making, allowing for greater control and connection with the clay.

When choosing a pottery wheel, consider factors such as wheel size, speed control, noise level, and durability. Beginners may want to start with a smaller, more affordable wheel, while professionals may require a larger, more robust option.

Understanding the different types of pottery wheels available will help you choose the right one for your needs and level of expertise. Whether you prefer an electric wheel for convenience or a manual wheel for a more hands-on experience, there are plenty of options to suit every potter's preferences.


Factors to consider when choosing a pottery wheel

When it comes to choosing a pottery wheel, there are several factors to consider that can greatly impact your pottery-making experience. Most notably, wheel size, speed control, and durability.


Wheel size

One important factor is wheel size. A larger wheel will allow you to work on bigger projects and create larger pieces of pottery. However, if you're just starting out or have limited space, a smaller wheel may be more practical.


Speed control

Another factor to consider is speed control. Some pottery wheels offer variable speed control, allowing you to adjust the rotation speed to suit your needs. This can be particularly useful when working with different types of clay or when trying out new wheel throwing techniques. Noise level is also worth considering, especially if you plan on working in a shared space or if noise is a concern for you.



Durability is another key factor. Look for a pottery wheel that is built to withstand heavy use and can withstand the pressure of shaping and throwing clay. It's also important to consider the type of wheel head you prefer. Some wheels have removable heads, allowing you to switch between different types of heads for different projects.

Ultimately, the best pottery wheel for you will depend on your personal preferences, skill level, and budget. Take the time to research and read reviews to find the perfect pottery wheel that suits your needs and helps you create beautiful pieces of art.

pottery wheel process


Best beginner pottery wheels

If you're a beginner looking to get started in the world of pottery, finding the right pottery wheel can make all the difference in your learning journey. We've rounded up our top recommended pottery wheels for beginners to help you make the best choice.


Speedball Artista Pottery Wheel

The Speedball Artista pottery wheel is a great introductory wheel that is perfect for classrooms and hobbyists. Don't be fooled by its small size - this wheel is a true workhorse. This lightweight wheel's compact frame means it is easy to transport and store, and the Artista's 25 lb. centering capacity makes it a great fit for studios, classrooms, or home use.


Speedball Clay Boss Pottery Wheel

The Speedball Clay Boss pottery wheel is perfect for both amateurs and professionals looking for a more powerful wheel. With a .5 HP industrial motor and a 100lb centering capacity, the Clay Boss can handle some of the biggest projects. The Clay Boss features a polyethylene table top and two-part splash pan making cleanup a breeze, and the 14"" wheel head and included foot pedal with variable speed control (0-240 rpm) make operating this wheel simple.

Remember, as a beginner, it's important to choose a pottery wheel that is easy to use and suits your learning style. These recommended options are perfect for beginners and will help you kick-start your pottery journey with ease.


Best professional pottery wheels

For professionals looking to take their pottery-making to the next level, investing in a high-quality pottery wheel is essential. Here are our top recommended pottery wheels for professionals:


Speedball Big Boss Pottery Wheel

The Speedball Big Boss pottery wheel is a high quality wheel that offers outstanding performance for professionals and amateurs alike. The Big Boss glides on a quiet-running 1.0 HP industrial motor and centers up to 175 lbs. of clay. With a 14" wheel head with variable speed control (0-240 rpm), this wheel can handle the big projects.


Speedball Big Boss Elite SQ Pottery Wheel

The Speedball Big Boss Elite SQ is the true workhorse of the Speedball line of wheels. For professional potters needing a strong motor with a large form, Speedball's Big Boss Elite SQ is the answer. Features include a 1.0 HP industrial motor, 14" wheel head and 175 lb. centering capacity for the biggest ceramic projects.

When it comes to choosing a pottery wheel for professionals, it's important to consider features such as motor power, speed control, durability, and overall build quality. These recommended pottery wheels are all trusted options that will meet the demands of professional potters and help them create stunning works of art.


Maintenance and care for your pottery wheel

Taking care of your pottery wheel is crucial to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. Here are some tips to help you maintain and care for your pottery wheel:

  1. Clean regularly: After each use, make sure to clean your pottery wheel thoroughly. Remove any clay residue and debris from the wheelhead, splash pan, and surrounding areas. Use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe down the surfaces.
  1. Lubricate moving parts: Regularly lubricate the moving parts of your pottery wheel, such as the wheelhead and pedal mechanism. This will help to prevent rust and ensure smooth operation. Use a lubricant specifically designed for pottery wheels.
  1. Check and tighten bolts: Over time, the vibrations and movements of the pottery wheel can cause bolts to become loose. Regularly check and tighten all bolts to prevent any wobbling or instability during use.
  1. Protect the motor: If you have an electric pottery wheel, protect the motor from dust and moisture. Cover the motor with a plastic bag or a specially designed motor cover when not in use.
  1. Store in a dry area: When not in use, store your pottery wheel in a dry area away from direct sunlight and moisture. This will help to prevent any damage or deterioration.

hands making pottery with a wheel


By following these maintenance tips, you can ensure that your pottery wheel remains in top condition for years to come, allowing you to continue creating beautiful pieces of art.

Buying a pottery wheel, whether for a hobby or as part of a commercial enterprise, is a significant purchase, so it’s best to understand all of the pros and cons of each model before committing. If you have any additional unanswered questions please do not hesitate to contact us.