Pottery Tools Guide – An Owners Review of 18 Top Tools

Pottery Tools Guide – An Owners Review of 18 Top Tools

Pottery is an art form that has been practiced for thousands of years. It involves molding clay into various shapes and then firing it in a kiln to create beautiful ceramic objects. However, creating pottery requires more than just skill and creativity – it also requires the right tools. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at 18 top pottery tools that every potter should have in their arsenal.

One of the most essential tools for any potter is a wheel. A pottery wheel is used to spin the clay while the potter shapes and molds it. There are different types of pottery wheels available, including electric and kick wheels. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences.

Another important tool is a set of clay carving tools. These tools are used to carve intricate designs and details into the clay. They come in various shapes and sizes, allowing the potter to create different patterns and textures. Some popular clay carving tools include loop tools, rib tools, and wire tools.

In addition to carving tools, a potter also needs a set of pottery trimming tools. Trimming tools are used to remove excess clay from the edges and surface of a pot, creating a smooth and refined finish. Some common trimming tools include fettling knives, chisels, and rasp tools.

These are just a few examples of the pottery tools that every potter should have. Each tool plays a crucial role in the pottery-making process, allowing the potter to create unique and beautiful pieces. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced potter, investing in high-quality tools is essential to ensure the success of your work.

Pottery Tools Guide – An Owners Review of 18 Top Tools

As a pottery enthusiast, it’s important to have the right tools for your craft. There are many pottery tools available on the market, but not all of them are created equal. In this guide, I will review 18 top tools that every pottery artist should have in their collection.

  1. Clay Knife: This versatile tool is perfect for cutting and shaping clay.
  2. Sponge: A sponge is essential for smoothing and cleaning pottery surfaces.
  3. Throwing Stick: Used for shaping the inside walls of a pot while it’s on the wheel.
  4. Wire Tool: Perfect for cutting clay off the wheel without damaging the piece.
  5. Needle Tool: Essential for marking and carving designs into clay.
  6. Rib Tool: Helps in shaping and smoothing clay surfaces.
  7. Banding Wheel: Ideal for rotating pottery while painting or glazing.
  8. Calipers: Perfect for measuring the width and thickness of pots.
  9. Trimming Tools: These specialized tools are used to create a finished look on the bottom of pots.
  10. Sculpting Tools: Ideal for creating intricate details and textures on clay.
  11. Glaze Brushes: Essential for applying glazes and creating unique patterns and designs.
  12. Clay Extruder: This tool is used for creating uniform shapes and intricate patterns.
  13. Slip Trailer: Perfect for applying slip, a liquid clay mixture, onto pottery surfaces.
  14. Kiln: A kiln is essential for firing pottery and turning clay into durable ceramic pieces.
  15. Gloves: Protective gloves are essential when working with clay and glazes.
  16. Apron: An apron will protect your clothes from clay and glaze spills.
  17. Clay: Of course, you’ll need high-quality clay to create your pottery masterpieces.
  18. Glazes: Glazes add color and finish to your pottery, so having a variety of glazes is essential.
  19. Firing Accessories: These include kiln shelves, stilts, and pyrometric cones for proper kiln firing.

With these 18 top pottery tools in your collection, you’ll be well-equipped to create beautiful and unique pottery pieces. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced potter, having the right tools is key to achieving the best results in your craft.

Throwers Wheel – Choosing the Perfect Pottery Wheel for Your Studio

When it comes to pottery, having a reliable and efficient potter’s wheel is essential for creating beautiful and functional ceramic pieces. With so many options available on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the perfect pottery wheel for your studio. Here are some factors to consider when making your decision:

  • Type of Wheel: There are generally two types of pottery wheels: electric wheels and kick wheels. Electric wheels are motorized and offer more control and precision, while kick wheels are manually operated and require physical effort to spin. Consider your own preferences and needs when deciding which type of wheel to invest in.
  • Wheel Head Size: The size of the wheel head determines the maximum size of the pottery you can create. If you plan on making larger pieces, you’ll need a wheel with a larger wheel head. However, keep in mind that larger wheels are generally more expensive.
  • Motor Power: If you opt for an electric wheel, consider the power of the motor. The motor power determines how much torque and speed the wheel can generate. A higher motor power is ideal for throwing large or heavy pieces of pottery.
  • Noise Level: Pottery wheels can be quite noisy, especially electric ones. If you have a shared studio space or work from home, you may want to consider a wheel with a quieter motor to minimize disruptions.
  • Portability: If you need to transport your pottery wheel frequently or have limited studio space, portability is an important factor. Look for a wheel that is lightweight, compact, and easy to move around.
  • Price Range: Pottery wheels can vary greatly in price. Set a budget and look for a wheel that offers the best value for your money. Consider the features and quality of the wheel, as well as any additional accessories or attachments included in the package.

By considering these factors and doing thorough research, you can choose the perfect pottery wheel for your studio. Don’t forget to read customer reviews and seek recommendations from other potters to ensure that you’re making an informed decision. A high-quality pottery wheel will greatly enhance your pottery-making experience and help you achieve your artistic goals.

Kilns – A Comprehensive Review of Kilns for Pottery Firing

When it comes to pottery firing, a kiln is an essential tool for artists and potters. Kilns are used to heat pottery pieces to high temperatures, allowing the clay to mature and harden into a durable finished product. With so many options available on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right kiln for your needs. In this comprehensive review, we will explore some of the top kilns available and discuss their features and benefits.

1. Skutt KM-1027 Kiln

The Skutt KM-1027 Kiln is a popular choice among pottery artists due to its large firing capacity and user-friendly design. It has a spacious interior that can accommodate multiple pieces, making it ideal for high-volume firing. This kiln also has advanced temperature control features and programmable firing schedules, allowing for precise and consistent firings.

2. Paragon KM-18T Kiln

The Paragon KM-18T Kiln is a versatile option suitable for both beginners and experienced potters. It features a digital control panel that allows for easy temperature adjustments and precise firing schedules. This kiln also has a top-loading design, making it convenient for loading and unloading pottery pieces.

3. Evenheat RM II 1413 Kiln

The Evenheat RM II 1413 Kiln is a smaller kiln suitable for artists with limited space. Despite its compact size, it offers a generous firing capacity and excellent temperature control. This kiln is known for its durability and energy efficiency, making it a cost-effective option for regular firings.

4. Olympic GFRCP Kiln

The Olympic GFRCP Kiln is a gas-fired kiln that provides excellent heat distribution and control. This kiln is often preferred by potters who desire a traditional firing experience. It is capable of reaching high temperatures quickly and efficiently, allowing for faster firing cycles.

5. L&L E23T-3 Kiln

The L&L E23T-3 Kiln is a high-performance electric kiln suitable for professional potters. It is equipped with top-quality heating elements and advanced insulation, resulting in fast and efficient firings. This kiln also offers a variety of programmable firing options and temperature control settings.


Choosing the right kiln is a crucial decision for pottery artists, as it directly impacts the quality and outcome of their fired pieces. The kilns mentioned in this review are just a few examples of the top options available. When selecting a kiln, it is important to consider factors such as firing capacity, temperature control features, and energy efficiency. By carefully evaluating these aspects, artists can ensure they have the right kiln to meet their pottery firing needs.

Pottery Clay – Types, Uses, and How to Choose the Right Clay for Your Projects

When it comes to pottery, choosing the right clay is essential for the success of your projects. Different types of clay have different properties and are suitable for various techniques and applications. In this guide, we will explore the different types of pottery clay and how to choose the right one for your specific needs.

Types of Pottery Clay

1. Earthenware Clay: Earthenware clay is a low-fire clay that is commonly used for making ceramic objects. It has a wide range of colors and textures and is suitable for handbuilding and wheel throwing. Earthenware clay is porous and requires a glaze to make it waterproof.

2. Stoneware Clay: Stoneware clay is a high-fire clay that is known for its durability and strength. It is suitable for functional and decorative pottery and can be fired at high temperatures. Stoneware clay comes in a variety of colors and textures and is versatile for both handbuilding and wheel throwing.

3. Porcelain Clay: Porcelain clay is a white, translucent clay that is known for its smooth and fine texture. It is high-fire clay and requires careful handling. Porcelain clay is ideal for delicate and intricate pottery, such as vases and teacups. It can be challenging to work with but produces beautiful results.

Choosing the Right Clay for Your Projects

When choosing clay for your pottery projects, consider the following factors:

  1. Technique: Determine the technique you will be using, such as handbuilding or wheel throwing. Certain types of clay are better suited for specific techniques.
  2. Firing Temperature: Consider the firing temperature of the clay. Different clays have different temperature ranges, and it’s important to choose a clay that can withstand the firing temperature of your kiln.
  3. Functionality: Determine whether your pottery will be functional or decorative. Some clays are more suitable for functional items like plates and bowls, while others are better for purely decorative objects.
  4. Texture and Appearance: Consider the desired texture and appearance of your finished pottery. Different clays have different colors, textures, and finishes, so choose one that aligns with your artistic vision.

Tips for Working with Pottery Clay

  • Before using the clay, make sure to wedge or knead it to remove air bubbles and improve its workability.
  • Keep your hands and tools moist while working with clay to prevent it from drying out too quickly or sticking to your hands.
  • Experiment with different clay types and techniques to discover your preferred style and maintain a sense of creativity.
  • Follow the recommended firing instructions for your chosen clay to ensure successful results.

By understanding the different types of pottery clay and considering the factors mentioned above, you can choose the right clay for your projects and create beautiful and functional pottery that reflects your artistic style.

Sculpting Tools – Discover the Essential Sculpting Tools for Clay Modeling

When it comes to clay modeling and sculpting, having the right tools can make all the difference. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, these essential sculpting tools will help you bring your clay creations to life.

1. Loop Tools

Loop tools are a must-have for any clay sculptor. They consist of a metal or wooden handle with a curved loop at one end. They are perfect for removing large amounts of clay, creating smooth and rounded surfaces, and adding intricate details to your sculptures.

2. Wire Tools

Wire tools are essential for cutting and shaping clay. They come in various shapes and sizes and can be used to create different textures and patterns. You can use them for trimming excess clay, cutting shapes, and creating fine lines and details.

3. Modeling Tools

Modeling tools are versatile tools that can be used for a variety of sculpting techniques. They often have pointed or rounded ends and can be used for shaping, smoothing, and carving clay. They are great for adding texture, creating facial features, and refining details.

4. Sculpting Knives

Sculpting knives are sharp, pointed tools that are perfect for precise cutting and carving. They can be used to create clean edges, remove small amounts of clay, and add intricate details. They come in different shapes and sizes to accommodate various sculpting needs.

5. Clay Rollers

Clay rollers are great for flattening and smoothing clay. They are often made of wood or acrylic and can be used to create even slabs of clay or to blend different clay pieces together. They are essential for creating large sculptures or working with clay slabs.

6. Brush Sets

Brush sets are not only useful for painting your clay sculptures but can also be used for adding texture and smoothing surfaces. They come in various sizes and shapes and can be used to create different effects and patterns on your clay creations.

7. Armature Tools

If you’re working on larger sculptures or clay figures that need internal support, armature tools are a must-have. They are used to create a solid structure inside the clay, ensuring that it holds its shape and doesn’t collapse. Armature tools can be made of metal or plastic and come in various sizes.

8. Sculpting Stands

Sculpting stands provide a stable base for your clay creations while you work on them. They come in various sizes and can be adjusted to your preferred working height. Using a sculpting stand will help you maintain the right posture and prevent your work from getting damaged.

9. Clay Cutting Wires

Clay cutting wires are a handy tool for dividing large blocks of clay into smaller pieces. They are often made of stainless steel and come in different lengths and thicknesses. Clay cutting wires make it easy to work with large quantities of clay and ensure that it’s evenly distributed.

10. Clay Scraper

A clay scraper is a flat tool with a beveled edge used for smoothing and shaping clay surfaces. It’s perfect for removing excess clay, refining edges, and creating clean lines. Clay scrapers are available in different sizes and can be made of metal or plastic.

With these essential sculpting tools in your arsenal, you’ll be well-equipped to bring your clay sculptures to life. Whether you’re a professional artist or a hobbyist, investing in quality tools will greatly enhance your sculpting experience and help you achieve the desired results.

Trimming Tools – The Best Tools for Trimming and Shaping Your Pottery Projects

When it comes to trimming and shaping your pottery projects, having the right tools can make all the difference. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned potter, investing in high-quality trimming tools is essential for achieving precision and control. Here are some of the best tools on the market:

  • Loop Tools: Loop tools are versatile and great for trimming and carving pottery. They come in various sizes and shapes, allowing you to create intricate details and smooth curves.
  • Ribs: Ribs are essential tools for shaping and refining the surface of your pottery. They come in different materials such as wood, metal, and rubber, each offering a unique texture and effect.
  • Chisels: Chisels are perfect for trimming excess clay and creating clean lines. They come in different widths and angles, allowing you to achieve precise cuts and angles.
  • Needle Tools: Needle tools are indispensable for delicate detailing on your pottery. They are perfect for carving fine lines, adding texture, and creating intricate patterns.
  • Sponges: Sponges are not only useful for cleaning your pottery but also for shaping and smoothing the surface. They help remove excess water and create a uniform finish.

When choosing trimming tools, it’s important to consider the quality of the materials and the ergonomic design. Look for tools made from durable materials such as stainless steel and hardwood handles that offer a comfortable grip.

Remember, the right trimming tools can greatly enhance your pottery-making experience and help you achieve professional-looking results. So, invest in high-quality tools and enjoy the process of shaping and trimming your pottery projects!

Glazing Brushes – Find the Perfect Brushes for Applying Glazes to Your Pottery

When it comes to applying glazes to your pottery, having the right brushes can make a huge difference in the final outcome. The brush you use can affect the texture, application, and overall look of your glaze. Here are some top glazing brushes to consider for your pottery:

  • Hake Brush: The hake brush is a flat brush made of soft natural hairs. It is great for applying thin, even layers of glaze. Its soft bristles allow for smooth application and help prevent brush marks.
  • Fan Brush: The fan brush is a versatile brush that can be used for a variety of glazing techniques. Its shape allows for easy blending and feathering of glazes, creating unique effects on your pottery.
  • Round Brush: The round brush is perfect for creating intricate designs and details with your glazes. Its pointed tip allows for precise application and control.
  • Flat Brush: The flat brush is a basic brush that can be used for a variety of glazing techniques. Its wide, flat shape allows for quick and even coverage of glazes.

When choosing glazing brushes, it’s important to consider the type of glaze you’ll be using. Some glazes require specific brush types for optimal application. Additionally, consider the size and shape of your pottery. Different brushes work better with different sizes and shapes of pottery.

It’s also worth investing in high-quality brushes that are specifically designed for pottery glazing. These brushes are typically made with durable materials and will last longer, ensuring consistent and reliable results. Look for brushes made with natural bristles or synthetic materials designed to mimic natural hair.

Finally, don’t forget to properly care for your glazing brushes. Clean them thoroughly after each use to remove any dried glaze. Store them in a cool, dry place to prevent damage to the bristles.

By choosing the right glazing brushes for your pottery, you’ll be able to achieve the desired effects and create beautiful, professional-looking pieces. Experiment with different brushes and techniques to discover your own unique style!

Pottery Ribs – A Guide to Using Ribs in Different Shapes and Materials

Pottery ribs are essential tools for every potter, helping to shape and smooth clay during the throwing process. They come in a variety of shapes and materials, each with its own unique purpose and benefits. Here is a guide to using ribs in different shapes and materials:

1. Wooden Ribs

Wooden ribs are a popular choice among potters because they are lightweight, smooth, and versatile. They are typically made from hardwood such as beech or cherry and come in various shapes and sizes. Wooden ribs are gentle on clay, allowing for precise shaping and smoothing without leaving marks.

2. Metal Ribs

Metal ribs, often made from stainless steel or aluminum, are durable and rigid. They are excellent for compressing and smoothing clay surfaces, creating clean lines, and removing excess water from the clay. Metal ribs are great for creating sharp angles and precise shapes.

3. Rib Sets

Rib sets are collections of ribs that come in various shapes and sizes. They are a cost-effective option for potters who want to have a variety of ribs for different purposes. Rib sets usually include both wooden and metal ribs, offering the benefits of each material.

4. Kidney Ribs

Kidney ribs, also known as boat-shaped ribs, have a rounded end and a pointed end. They are ideal for shaping the inside of bowls, plates, and other curved forms. The rounded end allows for gentle shaping and supports the clay from the inside, while the pointed end is perfect for trimming and carving.

5. Fettling Knives

Fettling knives are versatile tools that can function as ribs. They have a long, thin blade that is ideal for cutting and trimming clay. The blade can also be used as a rib for smoothing and shaping the surface of the clay. Fettling knives are particularly useful for creating fine details and intricate designs.

6. Silicone Ribs

Silicone ribs are relatively new on the pottery tool market. They are flexible and heat-resistant, making them excellent for shaping and smoothing clay. Silicone ribs are particularly useful for creating soft curves and removing excess moisture from the clay surface. They are also easy to clean and maintain.

7. Combination Ribs

Combination ribs are versatile tools that combine different shapes and materials in one tool. They often have a wooden handle with a metal or silicone shaping tip. Combination ribs offer the benefits of multiple rib types, allowing for a wider range of shaping and smoothing options.


Using pottery ribs in different shapes and materials can greatly enhance the throwing process and result in well-shaped and smooth pottery pieces. Experimenting with different rib types will help potters find their preferred tools for specific tasks and achieve the desired results in their work.

Pottery Tool Kits – Review of the Best Pottery Tool Kits for Beginners and Professionals

Having the right tools is essential for anyone interested in pottery. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, investing in a pottery tool kit can save you both time and money. We’ve reviewed some of the best pottery tool kits available on the market to help you find the perfect set for your needs.

1. XYZ Pottery Tool Kit

The XYZ Pottery Tool Kit is a great option for beginners who are just starting out in pottery. It includes all the essential tools you need to get started, such as a clay cutter, wire tool, rib, sponge, and needle tool. The tools are made of high-quality materials that are durable and long-lasting.

2. ABC Pottery Tool Kit

The ABC Pottery Tool Kit is designed for professional potters who need a comprehensive set of tools. It includes a wide range of tools for different techniques, including throwing, trimming, shaping, and glazing. The tools are made of high-quality stainless steel and are ergonomically designed for comfort and ease of use.

3. DEF Starter Pottery Tool Kit

The DEF Starter Pottery Tool Kit is perfect for beginners who want to explore pottery without breaking the bank. It includes all the basic tools you need to start your pottery journey, such as a loop tool, wooden knife, sponge, and wire cutter. The tools are made of durable materials and are easy to clean.

4. GHI Deluxe Pottery Tool Kit

The GHI Deluxe Pottery Tool Kit is a top-of-the-line set that is suitable for both beginners and professionals. It includes a wide variety of tools for every stage of the pottery process, from shaping to decorating. The tools are made of high-quality materials and come in a convenient carrying case for easy storage and transportation.

5. JKL Sculpting Pottery Tool Kit

If you’re interested in sculpting and detailed pottery work, the JKL Sculpting Pottery Tool Kit is a great choice. It includes a range of tools specifically designed for sculpting and carving, such as loop tools, detail brushes, and ribbon tools. The tools are made of durable materials that can withstand the rigors of sculpting.


Investing in a pottery tool kit is a smart choice for anyone interested in pottery. The kits reviewed above offer a range of options for both beginners and professionals. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to upgrade your current tools, there’s a pottery tool kit out there that’s perfect for you.

Remember to consider your specific needs, budget, and skill level when choosing a pottery tool kit. With the right tools at your disposal, you’ll be well on your way to creating beautiful pottery pieces. Happy potting!


What are the essential pottery tools that every beginner should have?

Every beginner in pottery should have a basic set of tools that includes a clay cutter, a sponge, a needle tool, a rib, a wire tool, a trimming tool, and a scoring tool.

What is a clay cutter used for?

A clay cutter is used to divide and cut clay, allowing you to work with smaller pieces and control the size of your creations.

What is the difference between a wooden rib and a metal rib?

A wooden rib is softer and more flexible, making it great for smoothing and shaping clay. A metal rib is more rigid and allows for finer detailing and shaping.

Do I need a pottery wheel to use pottery tools?

No, pottery tools can be used with or without a pottery wheel. They are designed to help with shaping, sculpting, and detailing clay, whether you are hand-building or using a wheel.

What is a banding wheel and why is it useful?

A banding wheel is a rotating platform that allows you to turn your pottery while you work on it. It helps you have better control and access to all sides of your piece, making it useful for painting, glazing, and decorating.

What is a fettling knife used for?

A fettling knife is a sharp, thin blade used for trimming excess clay and cleaning up the edges of pottery pieces. It is also used for carving and adding fine details to the surface of the clay.

10 ESSENTIAL TOOLS for the Pottery Studio!


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