How Do I Choose the Best Pottery Wheel?

Autumn Rivers

Choosing the best pottery wheel should happen only after you've considered various options and weighed the pros and cons of each. Among these considerations is whether a kick wheel or an electric wheel would best suit your needs. You also should think about the amount of work space you want with your pottery wheel, unless you prefer to purchase a table and splash pan separately. You also may want to consider the size of the wheel, because this will determine both portability and the size of the pots you can make.

Some pottery wheels come with no accessories, while others have their own work tables attached.
Some pottery wheels come with no accessories, while others have their own work tables attached.

Among the most important details to consider is whether you should purchase an electric wheel or a kick wheel. The electric kind relies on electricity to move the wheel and, while this may make it somewhat noisy, it typically is easier than the kick wheel for most people to use, because it does not require you to start it with your feet. A kick wheel requires you to push a pedal to spin the wheel. This type of wheel is known for being durable, low maintenance and able to spin both clockwise and counter-clockwise, but it typically should not be used if you have arthritis or are otherwise unable to kick your feet comfortably.

Another detail to think about is the work space included with the pottery wheel you purchase. Some wheels are rather bare-bones and come with no accessories or work space, while others have their own work tables attached. They also may have their own splash pan, which can be helpful when it comes to keeping the area clean while throwing clay. If you want to avoid having to shop for your own accessories after you buy your wheel, then you may want to consider the type that comes with its own table and splash pan. If you are particular about these items and wish to pick them out yourself, then you are likely better off sticking with a basic pottery wheel and purchasing the accessories separately.

The size of your wheel is another consideration to make before purchasing, because this may determine the results of the pottery you make. For example, you should consider the size of the wheel head, because a larger one typically is required to make larger pots. In addition, the size of the motor also often counts, because larger motors can usually handle more clay at once than small motors. In addition, you may want to consider the size of the pottery wheel as a whole, especially if you plan to move it anywhere. A kick wheel usually is larger than an electric wheel and, therefore, less portable in most cases.

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