Big Ceramic Store Blog

The Potter's Wheel - Which One Is Right For You

If you're in the market for a potter's wheels, whether you need a new one, or if you're just getting started, this is the post for you. We will discuss the different styles, manual vs. electric, and the benefits of each.

Let's get started with the most popular wheel...

Electric Wheel

Electric wheels are by far the most popular for several reasons...

  1. Easy to use
  2. Versatile
  3. Forward/reverse functions
  4. Many styles to choose from
  5. Tabletop models available for portability

So what makes electric wheels so easy to use? Well, you put your clay on the wheel head... turn it on... and press the pedal! It rotates at the same speed for as long as you want, or you can speed it up and slow it down when needed.

If you're a beginner, the simplicity of this wheel's operation is exactly what you need! No need to worry about keeping your feet moving while you're concentrating on your hand movements.

If you're working on a "masterpiece" and have to stand up or move around to see it from different angles, or in motion, this is the perfect type of wheel for you.

There are a wide range of makes/models available on the market today. When you are deciding on a purchase, my suggestion is... "Don't go for the cheapest... go for the best... the one that best suits you!"

Kick wheels

Kick wheels are not as popular as electric wheels, however; many professionals prefer them over electric wheels for several reasons...

  1. The ability to rotate freely clockwise/counter-clockwise
  2. Without a motor, they are pretty much maintenance free
  3. They virtually last a lifetime
  4. They are perfect for trimming your pieces
  5. There is a unique feeling that goes with a kick wheel... often referred to as a "zen-like feeling"
  6. Some manufacturers offer kickwheels with motors. You simply engage the motor when you need a break, or for detailed work.

Note: Kickwheels are very heavy making them difficult to move. They also require a lot of leg action, which could lead to knee problems in the future.

That being said, if you want to be "one with nature," this type of wheel will help you get there!

Specialty Wheels

Portable Wheels are great for those that want to take them along on vacation, or if you live in different homes throughout the year. They also make a great wheel for teachers!

Rehabilitation Wheels are phenomenal for those that cannot use a regular wheel. They are wheelchair accessible, larger than other wheels, have casters that make them easy to move into position, and lock down feet to keep them stationary for throwing.

Whatever your wheel needs are, don't hesitate to email our Customer Support Team, or call us toll free at 888-513-5303,for additional information and answers to any questions you may have!

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