I’ve had my Clay Boss pottery wheel for a number of years now and it’s still going strong. If you are considering purchasing one for yourself, read on for our independent review and whether or not it will suit your needs.
The basic model comes with everything you need to get started, including a sturdy stand, a 6″ hook on ball head and one piece arm.
The machine itself is not huge, but it’s sturdy and there’s no lightweight plastic or flimsy pieces here. The frame is made of welded steel. The wheel is 18 inches in diameter. It can also be used as a slab roller if you have the optional slab roller attachment (sold separately). The motor is a 1.5 HP, AC only, 110V.
The stand is a simple wood base with two level-adjustable feet. The wheel comes pre-lubricated with Speedball’s clay lubricant.
The arm does not tilt but can move left and right and even up and down if you have the optional ball head (sold separately). The arm has a 6″ hook on ball head, which gives you quite a range of motion although it does not have to tilt. It does not have a brake.
The arm is made of steel, which means you can easily modify this to fit your needs. You can also add weight, such as sandbags or plates to help balance the pottery wheel during throwing and to reduce vibrations.
Who It’s For
This machine is for the beginner and the intermediate potter. It’s also a good choice if you have limited space or you want to take your wheel on the road.
As I noted above, you can also use it as a slab roller which means if you already own a pottery wheel and would just like to have an option of rolling out slabs with it, this is something to consider.
Why We Love It
We did a lot of research before buying this pottery wheel and we love it for its stability. This baby doesn’t shake or wobble during throwing, which is hard to find in a pottery wheel that’s not super expensive.
Although the motor is only 1.5 HP, it feels plenty powerful to us. We like that the arm can move up and down if you have the optional ball head and you can also easily adjust the height of the stand to your own needs because it comes with level-adjustable feet.
What Could Be Improved
The pottery wheel does not have a brake, which means you need to stop the motion of the arm by hand. This isn’t as easy as it sounds because if you jerk the throwing pot off the wheel, it can hit your hand or wrist and could cause injury.
How It Performed In Our Tests
We tested the Clay Boss pottery wheel with various kinds of clay and put it to work for days, throwing and building.
In our tests, the clay boss did a good job at spreading the clay evenly on the wheel. The machine’s throwing arm provided a lot of control but didn’t rock back and forth excessively, so we weren’t concerned about slipping or making an ugly mess when we released it.
We were able to quickly adjust the arm and tilt the wheel, which is important for getting your throwing angle just right.
The clay boss did a nice job of distributing the clay evenly on the wheel, without pushing it too hard. In some cases, we had to apply some extra pressure in order to get a smooth throw but we were able to do this safely without causing excessive vibrations or wobbling. The same was true of changing direction of the machine.
All in all, this is a sturdy machine that requires minimal maintenance. It’s not the easiest to use but if you are looking for something that’s a solid piece of equipment, this is a good choice. It offers solid performance, durability, and a reasonable price point.