Selecting Your New Potter's Wheel

Axner.com offers only potter's wheels with strong reputations for quality and value. The three most important variables in the selection process being: power, durability and comfort.

Power: Perhaps the most confusing factor in making a wheel selection is in evaluating power. Many people ask "What is the horsepower?" Horsepower can be important or very unimportant. In an A/C powered wheel the horsepower is certainly no more important than the type of drive and subsequently how that drive converts the electric horsepower to usable power. In a D/C powered wheel, the horsepower rating is even less important compared to the wheel's electronic controls, and the constant power created by those controls. The easiest way to evaluate a wheel's power for your specific needs is to focus on the centering capacity. Does the manufacturer's stated centering capacity meet your maximum anticipated throwing requirements? Keep in mind that very few potters ever center more than 25 lbs. at a time.

Durability: A quality wheel is built to last for many years. Important features include a stable, solid base (many are of steel construction), and a durable and easily cleaned surface. If possible, examine the wheel prior to purchasing, "kick the tires." Does it look and feel like a "friend" you can count on for the long haul?

Comfort: If you are comfortable, you are in control of your project. You will spend many hours sitting at your wheel, so consider height, seat and the pedal sensitivity. As far as height is concerned, consider whether the legs are adjustable or whether adjustable leg extensions are available. Nothing is more important to comfort and the ability to spend hours at a time at your wheel than a good seat. Several manufacturers offer seats which differ significantly in style; try them out for comfort, support and durability. Nobody knows better than you what seat is right for you. Finally, the foot pedal on your wheel is critical. Is it comfortable and responsive; does it provide constant power; is it adjustable within your desired range of speed?

Wheel Integrity: Accessory items can add convenience to your throwing, but don't trade "bells and whistles" for the proven reliability of a quality potter's wheel. The best wheels incorporate the highest quality components - motor, electronics, pedal sensors; even drive belts are critical to the reliability of your wheel. The proven wheels on the market are fundamentally sound. Their reputations are built on durability, value, warranty protection and, ultimately, customer satisfaction.

Warranty Protection: As with most consumer products, the warranty is as good as the manufacturer or dealer behind it. All wheels sold on Axner.com are backed by quality manufacturers. If you are unable to test a wheel firsthand, consider purchasing a wheel with a "satisfaction guarantee" that allows you to return the wheel "for any reason" if it does not meet your expectations.

See our full selection of Pottery Wheels on Axner.com