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Pottery Wheel Brands: Our List of Top Manufacturers

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by Emma Sullivan  • Updated: September 26th, 2022  •  8 min read    Pottery Guides » Pottery Wheels

When it comes to purchasing a pottery wheel for beginners, one of the most important things to consider is the manufacturer of the wheel. As with any other purchase, pottery wheel brands vary quite a bit, with some naturally being better than others.

The more you research and shop around for your wheel, the more certain brands will pop up, but this means that those brands are usually the best.

Still, it’s a good idea on your part to spend some time on the brand itself, and below is some information that can help you.

Brent Pottery Wheels

The Brent company has been making pottery wheels and accessories since 1969, so they know what they’re doing. Used for both personal and small-business use, the most popular Brent models are:

Models B and C are used in classrooms and by the average potter, but if you need to throw very large pots, you might want to consider models CXC and EX.

The Brent wheelchair accessible power wheel even comes with armrests and an adjustable height. Their pottery wheels start at around $1600 and go up from there.

Our Top Pick
Brent Model Power Wheels

All of Brent’s power wheel models come with an unbeatable 10-year warranty and include the highest-quality precision speed controls and heavy-duty construction.

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Speedball Pottery Wheels

Speedball started out as a fine arts supplier in 1899 and has since added all sorts of pens, printing supplies, and of course, pottery wheels. Their main products in the latter category include:

They also make numerous accessories such as underglazes, glazes, bats, stools, and just about anything else you might need for the perfect pottery project.

The Artista potter’s wheel starts at around $100 and is very portable and lightweight. You can also add accessories to any of their wheels to make them more versatile and adaptable to your particular project.

Our Top Pick
Speedball Clay Boss

Since its release, Clay Boss has rapidly become one of the most popular wheels on the market. The Clay Boss features a 14” wheel head and foot pedal with smooth, variable speed.

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Shimpo Pottery Wheels

The Shimpo company makes high-quality but reasonably priced pottery wheels and has four main brands:

Shimpo first started making pottery wheels in the late 1950s and has since improved all of them thanks to updated technology and their commitment to quality.

The Aspire is a tabletop pottery wheel that both beginners and more advanced potters can use, and it is very reasonably priced because it starts at around $190. Of these four models, the VL-Lite pottery wheel is the most expensive and priced at around $1400.

Our Top Pick
Nidec Shimpo VL-Whisper

The Nidec Shimpo VL-Whisper Potter’s Wheel is an excellent selection for the classroom or studio as it is by far the most quiet potter’s wheel available on the market.

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Pacifica Pottery Wheels

Pacifica has been around since 1972 and is considered by many potters to be the best value on the market today. They offer a total satisfaction guarantee to give you the peace of mind you deserve, and they have two main models.

The first is the Glyde Torc GT400, which has a 13-inch aluminum wheel head and a 1/2 HP motor. The wheel weight is a little over 100 pounds, and it has a splash pan that is super-easy to remove.

The second model is the Glyde Torc GT800, which has a wheel weight of around 115 pounds, a 13-inch aluminum wheel head, and a magnetic magic pedal. Both of these pottery wheels are of excellent quality and start at around $1100.

Our Top Pick
Laguna Pacifica Glyde Torc 400

The Pacifica Glyde Torc 400 is built to last, from the 13-inch (33-cm) machined aluminium head to the welded steel frame and robust moulded top. The GT400 from Pacifica isn’t indestructible, but it’s pretty darn close.

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Skutt Pottery Wheels

The Skutt company got its start in 1953 when a father/son team made the very first multi-sided ceramics kiln, and as a result, it became possible for hobbyists to bring the pottery wheel into their home.

Today, the company makes dozens of pottery wheels for everyone, from high school students to professionals, so they truly offer something for everyone.

Some of their most popular models include:

Skutt pottery wheels start at around $1000 and go up to around $7600, but keep in mind that a lot of the higher-priced wheels are meant for large businesses and commercial applications, not for personal use.

Our Top Pick
Skutt Thomas Stuart Legend

For power and professional performance at a reasonable price. More than 100 pounds (45 kilogrammes) of clay can be effortlessly centred with the Legend’s 1/3 HP engine, making it ideal for most studios and classrooms.

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Soldner Pottery Wheels

These pottery wheels were made by a master of pottery, Paul Soldner. The wheels come in two categories: the S series, designed for individuals and studios, and the P series, designed for the professional user.

The two things that Soldner pottery wheels are known for are their very smooth and responsive pedal and the quiet, long-lasting motor.

They have five main models: the S50, S100, P100, P200, and the P400. The S50 is the least expensive one at around $1400, while the P400 is the most expensive and sells for around $2400.

Lockerbie Pottery Wheels

The kick wheels made by Lockerbie have been around since the mid-1960s, and you can find them in dozens of educational facilities all across the country.

Currently, the manufacturing and marketing of their pottery wheels have been taken over by Laguna Clay Company, which merged with Lockerbie in 2007.

The company has three main pottery wheel models: the C 121-1, which costs roughly $1370; the C 121-2, which costs around $1635; and the C 121-2-R, which can be purchased for around $1760.

They also have two separate motor kits that you can buy. One is a standard motor kit that sells for around $570, and the other is a motor kit with reversing capability, which sells for around $725.

What Else to Look For

Pottery wheels can be manual or electric and come in various designs and weights. Some are lightweight and portable, while others are heavier. The manufacturer is certainly important when researching and shopping for pottery wheels.

Still, you should also consider your budget, whether you want an electric wheel or a manual one, how much space you have available to put the wheel, and how portable you need it to be.

Other Pottery Wheel Considerations:

Here are a few extra tips to keep in mind when you’re cleaning your pottery wheels:

  • The power of the motor, which can range from 0 to 300 RPM.
  • The size of the splash pan.
  • The noise level (decibel level).
  • The pedals and how good they are at controlling your speed.

The motor on your electric pottery wheel can run from 1/6 HP to 1 1/12 HP, so as you can see, you have a lot of selection available to you. These things being said, you can’t consider the strongest and most powerful pottery wheel to be the best one, especially if you’re a beginner.

You should take other things into consideration because you simply may not need the biggest and best pottery wheel on the market. In fact, all of these things, when taken together, can help you decide which pottery wheel is the best one for you in the end.

Conclusion

Pottery is a fun hobby that allows you to express yourself, and the right pottery wheel can have you looking forward to every session you participate in. Among many other factors, you should research the manufacturer of the pottery wheel. While there are many other reputable brands besides those mentioned above, this is a great place to start.

Emma Sullivan discovered clay at school and became completely captivated with it! She's been researching, producing pots, and teaching pottery to beginners for the past 15 years. Outside of the office and studio, she enjoys reading, cooking, hiking and just hanging out with her family.
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