Pottery wheels, also known as sculpting wheels, have come a long way ever since their invention in roughly 1400BC and today are more advanced and available in a range of options. Given this vast array of choices, choosing the best pottery wheel may seem daunting. But we’ve done the research, and bring you information on five top pottery wheels that will help you get the right one for your artistic interests, whether you’re a novice or seasoned artist.
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Our Top Choice
Faber-Castell Do Art Pottery Studio
Faber-Castell was founded in 1761, and is one of the biggest wood cased pencil manufacturers in the world. It offers a wide range of decorative cosmetic products as well.
For kids ages 8 and up. Includes pottery wheel, 12 pots of paint and 2 paintbrushes. Teaches different pottery techniques. Contains non-toxic materials.
Batteries aren’t included in the box.
Battery-powered; clay, paint
Foot pedal operation
Kids ages 8 and up
Darice Stainless Steel Sculptor Turntable
Darice has made crafting supplies for over 60 years, and has grown tremendously ever since its inception.
Great choice for a wide range of clay projects. Extremely easy to use. Manually operated turntable measures 11.8 inches in diameter. Made of robust stainless steel.
Little space for the water and clay particles to leak into the base may be present.
11.8 inches/9.7 lbs
Novice to professional
MindWare Pottery Wheel for Beginners
MindWare is the pioneer of the best-selling Bella's Mystery Deck and several other brainy toys for kids of all ages.
For kids ages 7 and up. Includes pottery wheel with pedal, 12 paints, five tools and instructions. Clay is air-dry.
Wheel may slow down if too much pressure is applied, as a safety stop feature.
Electric; 7.5lbs air-dry clay
Foot pedal operation
Kids ages 7 and up
US Art Supply Large 12" Sculpting Wheel
US Art Supply is home to several leading brands that include airbrushing and art supplies, markers and pens, and crafts and hobbies.
Large sculpting surface. All-metal construction. Surface embossed with concentric circles. Skid-free boot on base.
A bit heavy compared to the competition.
Manual; skid-proof base
Concentric holes, weighted rim
12 inches/1 lb.
Heavy-duty cast metal
Novice to professional
National Artcraft 12" Decorating Wheel
For over 60 years, National Artcraft has designed and manufactured superior off-the-shelf and custom products, including musical movements and studio equipment.
Two hardwood discs. Lightweight at six pounds. Steel ball bearings for long service life.
Purchasing the best sculpting turntable can be a significant investment, which is why you should give equal thought to all the factors mentioned in our pottery wheel buying guide. Now that you know what to look for, let’s get right to our top five suggestions, so you can choose the perfect pottery wheel with confidence.
Our Top Choice
The Faber-Castell Do Art Pottery Studio is designed for kids ages 8 and up. It includes a battery-operated pottery wheel, 12 pots of paint and two paintbrushes. In the event you do run out, you can replenish these items with the Faber-Castell Creativity for Kids Do Art - Pottery Studio Refill. It includes six tubs of translucent glaze paint, two pounds of clay and a paintbrush, and can be used without or without the Pottery Studio.
Faber-Castell Do Art Pottery Studio, Pottery Wheel Kit with Foot Pedal Operation and for Kids 8+
Faber-Castell is one of the world’s largest and oldest manufacturers of pencils, pens and other office supplies. Headquarted in Stein, Germany, it is also a big name in the luxury leather goods and high-end writing instruments department, and has a footprint in more than 100 countries worldwide.
The Faber-Castell Do Art Pottery Studio comes with everything young potters over the age of eight will need to boost their creative skills. This includes a six-piece tool set, a table cover, a craft apron, three pounds of clay, 12 pots of paint, detailed, illustrated instructions, two paintbrushes and a battery-powered, pedal-operated pottery wheel. The synthetic clay included in the box contains little or no bacteria, and is non-toxic, making it extremely safe to use. If you’re looking to boost your child’s creative skills, look no further than Faber-Castell.
The Darice Stainless Steel Sculptor Turntable is a great choice for a wide range of clay projects, and is extremely easy to use. If you need other supplies, the Darice Art Brush Basin and Water Storage will make it easier to create great products. It features four water tanks, and its rim serves as a holder for your brushes.
Darice Stainless Steel Sculptor Turntable with 11 3/4" in Diameter Top and Easy to Use, Manual Design
Darice is a highly respected name when it comes to crafting supplies. This family-owned business has grown tremendously over the last 60 years for several reasons, most notably its great art products and unsurpassed customer service.
The Darice Stainless Steel Sculptor Turntable is made of heavy-duty stainless steel, and is extremely easy to use once you get used to it. It measures 11.8 inches in diameter, and rests on a sturdy 7.5-inch round base, making it a great choice for a wide range of clay sculptures. This wheel provides a 360-degree angle view as the platform rotates, so that you can check pieces for any flaws before putting them in the clay oven.
The MindWare Pottery Wheel for Beginners with Clay Refill is for kids ages 7 and up. It includes an electric pottery wheel with pedal, paints, tools and illustrated instructions. When you need more clay once the included supply has run out, get the Mindware Air-Dry Clay Refill. It comes with five pounds of clay and detailed instructions to ensure there are no hiccups in your child’s creative time.
MindWare Pottery Wheel for Beginners with Clay Refill with 5 Tools, 12 Paints, Paintbrush and Illustrations
MindWare was founded in 1990. This award-winning company is one of the leading manufacturers of brain-centric toys for kids. As home to four great brands, including Learn365, Oriental Trading and Marry Me, it boasts a massive catalog of products that include creative play activities, brainteasers, educational toys and games, coloring books, building sets and more.
The MindWare Pottery Wheel for Beginners with Clay Refill is a great way to introduce your child of age 7+ to the creative craft of ceramic making. It comes with 7.5 pounds of air-dry clay, five tools, an AC adaptor, a paintbrush, illustrated instructions and 12 paints. Its safety stop feature slows down the wheel when too much pressure is applied, in order to prevent overheating of the motor. The onsite tool support allows your young one to paint pottery items while they are spinning on the two-speed adjustable wheel. The air-dry clay included in this kit is extremely safe to use, and when it's combined with the instructions, children will enjoy their time at the wheel.
The US Art Supply LARGE 12" Diameter Sculpting Wheel offers a large sculpting surface, and has all-metal construction. If you’d like the same quality build, only with a smaller sculpting surface, the US Art Supply 7” Diameter Sculpting Wheel might be a better option. It also features a skid-proof rubber base, and concentric circles to enhance the stability of your work.
US Art Supply Large 12" Diameter Sculpting Wheel with Heavy Duty All Metal Construction & Turntable with Ball Bearings
US Art Supply is a highly reputable name in arts and crafts supplies. It has a massive range of products that include airbrushes and art supplies, items for crafts and hobbies, markers and pens, face painting and office supplies. It is a distributor of several big name brands, including Chalk Master, Halloween Haunters and Custom Shop.
The US Art Supply LARGE 12" Diameter Sculpting Wheel is a manually powered device made of nearly indestructible robust cast metal. It features a quite large 12-inch sculpting surface with concentric circles to keep your creations stable in the center. This wheel has a capacity of 40 pounds. The skid-proof rubber weighted base helps prevents the wheel from moving all over the place, and also eradicates the need to drill unwanted holes in your work station. It stands tall at 3-3/4", and even with its heavy-duty build is still fairly lightweight at five pounds. If you’re a sculptor, painter, cake decorator or pursue any other form of artistic work, this sculpting wheel is a great tool.
The National Artcraft Decorating/Sculpture Wheel is a combination of two discs made of warp-resistant, pressed hardwood. It has an easy-to-clean formica surface. If you’d like a smaller pottery wheel with an all-metal build, the National Artcraft Sculpting Wheel with 7" Diameter is worth a second look. It offers smooth rotation thanks to its embedded heavy-duty ball bearings, and rests securely on a skid-proof base.
National Artcraft Decorating Sculpture Wheel with 12" Diameter & Formica Top-Ball Bearing Performance
National Artcraft opened in 1949. Today, it's a huge manufacturer and distributor of off-the-shelf and bespoke products that are shipped from its massive 35,000-square foot facility in Cleveland, Ohio. Its products are used extensively in the novelty, gift, craft, and other decorative markets, and include musical movements and kids' activity sets.
The National Artcraft Decorating/Sculpture Wheel consists of two 12-inch warp-resistant hardwood discs. The top rotates smoothly owing to the integrated high-quality ball bearings. Both the top and bottom surfaces feature a laminate finish for easy cleanup, and aren’t susceptible to damage from spilled water or liquids. This pottery wheel tips the scales at just six pounds, so it is lightweight to haul around, and it has a compact footprint at just two inches high.
Whether you’re looking to make clay pots or top up a cake with glaze on your pottery wheel, you should consider buying other essential pieces of equipment to make your task easier. You may want a cake knife or spatula to help with evening out frosting, chamois towels for easy cleanup, and, most importantly, a collapsible bucket for water that you can put away when you close up shop. Once you’ve narrowed down the tools you need, consider your skill level as an artist, so you can buy a pottery wheel that won’t be overwhelming to use. There are several pottery wheels for kids as well that help encourage creative skills, but before buying any of these play sets, be sure all the tools they come with (especially the clay) are safe to use. Read on to learn a few tips on what to look for in the best pottery wheel.
The price of pottery wheels vary and depend for the most part on the features and size. A cheap pottery wheel is not always the worst one, and the one with the biggest price tag is not always a sure winner. But pottery wheels can be a significant investment, especially if you’re buying a turntable for professional tasks. The accessories a pottery wheel comes with, such as clay and modeling tools, can also raise the price, but still be more cost-efficient than buying them separately. Expect to pay anywhere between $30 for a kids' pottery wheel set, to over $100 for a model designed for professional use.
There are several factors to consider when buying the best pottery wheel, most notably its design, feature and ease of use. They include:
Power Source–Pottery wheels can be operated manually by hand or foot, or through an AC power source. Most kids' wheels run on batteries
Size –The right size for you will depend on your needs, and the space you have on the sculpting table
Weight –The heavier the pottery wheel, the more torque is produced, translating to more revolutions per minute
Wheel Surfaces–Some turntable tops are engraved with concentric circles that help stabilize your project in the center
Foot Pedal–This is usually included in kids' pottery sets and allows them to control the wheel with their feet. You might want to invest in a pedal if you suffer from knee pain or any other similar ailments
Skid-Free Feet/Weighted Base–These help keep the wheel from slipping all over the place
Material–Kids' pottery wheels are generally made from non-toxic plastic; professional models are usually metal or wood
Ball Bearings–Ball bearings integrated into some pottery wheels ensure smooth rotations
Accessories–A wheel is only as good as the accessories you use, and if you’re going to buy a complete set, ensure the clay and other items are suitable for you or your young artist
Brand–You'll want to invest in one that will rotate for years on end and is safe to use, especially if you’re buying it for a budding artist
Warranty–This allows you to buy with confidence
Construction and Design
If buying a toy pottery wheel set, look for features that will make work easier, such as holes on the rim of the base to hold paintbrushes and other tools. For use in classrooms or professional environments, buy a pottery wheel that boasts a robust build and sits on a equally sturdy base, preferably one that is powder-coated to prevent scratches and corrosion. Some pottery wheel are constructed of wood, but make sure they're warp-resistant and rotate smoothly with high-quality ball bearings. If you’re looking to travel with a sculpting wheel, look for options that are lightweight and can be easily stored when not in use. A few sculpting tables have basic designs consisting of a little more than the wheel head, while other models may be larger and need more work space.
Performance and Ease of Use
Pottery wheels aren’t just for making clay pots and vases; they're also great for both hobby cake decorators and seasoned bakers. Applying frosting or glaze on a cake is a skill all its own, so it's important that you buy a heavy pottery wheel to get it done right. Operating a pottery wheel is simple for most people, and can be done by hand or with a foot pedal. Sculpting wheels designed to introduce young ones to the world of pottery are generally much smaller, and should be made of child-friendly materials. When buying a pottery wheel for kids, pay attention to the recommended age range, because some sets may contain small parts or tools that may be unsafe for kids of certain ages.
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