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Soldner vs. Thomas Stuart Professional Electric Wheel 1HP vs. Shimpo VL Whisper

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Hi Everyone! 

Can you please provide your expertise on what wheel is best to purchase? 

The following are the criteria I'm looking for:

1. Can handle 25-30 lbs. when centering without losing torque

2. Is quiet even after years of use

3. Has a very responsive pedal

4. Great customer service in case something goes wrong 

5. Has parts that can be easily repaired 

 

I'm willing to invest some money but don't want to spend unnecessarily.

 

Can you please share your thoughts between the following wheels: Soldner vs. Thomas Stuart Professional Electric Wheel 1HP vs. Shimpo VL Whisper

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond, I've been researching for a long while and my head is starting to hurt :huh:

 

Warmly, 

AJ

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I like my TS prodigy, it's their 1/3hp model.  It's not super quiet but I love the removable wheelhead it really comes in handy, and I think the professional model comes with their SSX controller that really makes a difference at low speed.

I used Brent's and shimpos at school. But old ones so I don't know what a properly taken care of one is like.  All three are solid brands tho

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Hi AJ!

Haven't driven a Soldner...

I'd consider the Shimpo only if quiet operation is the priority.

From there, I also have a Skutt - TS Steven Hill model; it has the torque! It's also not the quietest, however, the belt and brush sounds can be mitigated with some twiddling, and also diminish with use... Skutt service, per my experience, is top notch. Not sure if the ssx controller is/will be something I need - the Brents at school are sensitive enough for me. Any road, the pedal is good! 

Likely I wouldn't have chosen the Steven Hill model if buying brand new, however, got a deal on a used unit (previously owned - it wasn't used at all - with years remaining on transferrable warranty) + some clay and tools.

Other considerations:

  Fit - like a bike, it has to fit! Height can be adjusted - there's some differences in reach, pan configuration, etc. that aren't easily adjusted. If you can get some test drives in, do it.

  Pan - Steven Hill model has built in (heavy cast aluminum) splash pan, which isn't for everyone (I like it, very much!). The removable plastic pans have advantages, among them, imo, they are safer; if/when you jam your hand/arm between the pan and wheel then step on the pedal... that said, I like the built in pan. Many instructors emphasize anchoring one's forearms by elbows against thigh, hip, rib, etc. - good idea that - my ulna is on the lip of the cast pan! ...on a removable pan wheel, I lean in for final center, anchoring against the body (meh). The removable head is cool, but I don't use it.

  Reverse - "reverse" lol! Ahem, clockwise is not "reverse" - not to me it ain't!! Got to have feature, imo - must have!

Notes: My understanding is Skutt five year warrantee begins countdown when it ships out to retailer, which may explain some of the discounts you'll see; get the serial number and call Skutt for the expiration date.

Brent makes good wheels as well - many fans here; their warrantee is ten years.

  

 

Edited by Hulk
Hi

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where are you in the world?   are there pottery schools nearby where you can ask to try the various wheels and ask opinions?   brents are noisy and from reading posts here over 9 years, seem to need tweaking, adjusting, fixing often.   or maybe there are so many of them out there that the number of fixes needed reflect only their commonness. 

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The TS is a beter wheel than the whisper -The brent is for me is a step up as well.

As to the soldner I have not used one but wonder how parts and service will be in years ahead?Soldner have a great rep but just are not that many out there.

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Soldner wheels are wonderful, but they don't have much of a splash pan so they can be pretty messy. TS/Skutt wheels have tons of power, and the large splash pan will keep your studio much cleaner than other wheels. There's probably no need for the 1hp model. The 1/2hp has more torque than a Brent 1hp. I've centered 25 pounds on mine no problem. TS/Skutt wheels are not the  quietest, but I don't think they're any louder than a Brent. The pedal is smooth. No need for the SSX upgrade IMO. Only buy the Shimpo if you require quietness. They have very little torque compared to the TS/Skutt and Soldner.

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14 hours ago, Hulk said:

Hi AJ!

Haven't driven a Soldner...

I'd consider the Shimpo only if quiet operation is the priority.

From there, I also have a Skutt - TS Steven Hill model; it has the torque! It's also not the quietest, however, the belt and brush sounds can be mitigated with some twiddling, and also diminish with use... Skutt service, per my experience, is top notch. Not sure if the ssx controller is/will be something I need - the Brents at school are sensitive enough for me. Any road, the pedal is good! 

Likely I wouldn't have chosen the Steven Hill model if buying brand new, however, got a deal on a used unit (previously owned - it wasn't used at all - with years remaining on transferrable warranty) + some clay and tools.

Other considerations:

  Fit - like a bike, it has to fit! Height can be adjusted - there's some differences in reach, pan configuration, etc. that aren't easily adjusted. If you can get some test drives in, do it.

  Pan - Steven Hill model has built in (heavy cast aluminum) splash pan, which isn't for everyone (I like it, very much!). The removable plastic pans have advantages, among them, imo, they are safer; if/when you jam your hand/arm between the pan and wheel then step on the pedal... that said, I like the built in pan. Many instructors emphasize anchoring one's forearms by elbows against thigh, hip, rib, etc. - good idea that - my ulna is on the lip of the cast pan! ...on a removable pan wheel, I lean in for final center, anchoring against the body (meh). The removable head is cool, but I don't use it.

  Reverse - "reverse" lol! Ahem, clockwise is not "reverse" - not to me it ain't!! Got to have feature, imo - must have!

Notes: My understanding is Skutt five year warrantee begins countdown when it ships out to retailer, which may explain some of the discounts you'll see; get the serial number and call Skutt for the expiration date.

Brent makes good wheels as well - many fans here; their warrantee is ten years.

  

Thank you so much for your thoughtful response!! I'll look into getting used, the new are a bit expensive. Will also check out brents as well! 

 

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Hi Everyone!

Thank you all so much. What a wonderful and resourceful community this is :)

 

I'll look more into the Brent CXC. Soldner is out, so I'll decide between brent, whisper, and the TS/Skutt. Warranty is super important. Looks like brents are made to last. 

 

Thanks again to everyone for being so rad and knowledgable. 

 

--AJ

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I have a 15 year old Brent C. It’s a workhorse, and it’s known problems are easily fixable, although I haven’t had any with mine. Some are put off by the hum, but I’ve never found mine bothersome at all. I’m not compelled to work in absolute silence though, and I can’t  hear it over the music. 

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I have two TS wheels a 1/3 hp and the other TS is the 1 hp and I like them both very much my local dealer sent me the 1/3 by accident first and I decided to keep it. the 1 hp wheel is obviously much more powerful but the 1/3 will handle 25 pounds of clay although it will slow some centering large amounts, I like them both but if I had to make a choice and was keeping only one  it would be the 1 hp. 

I just gave an old Shempo RK2 wheel I bought back in the late 1970’s to a friends son who was learning to throw that still worked perfect after 50 years in the studio that’s the type wheel I learned to throw on and there’s still a lot of them in classrooms everywhere.

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I have both a new Thomas Stuart and a shimpo whisper.  I can definitely cause a little slowdown in the whisper with larger amounts of clay, but most items are under 5 pounds and it is not really an issue.  I end up throwing 95% on the whisper for two reasons: 1) it is in a better spot (had it first) and 2) the wheel spins freely when the pedal is stopped.  I find it really annoying to have the wheel stopped and not be able to spin it with the stewart. 

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I wouldn't worry about the length of the warranty. If it works out of the box, chances are it will work for years. There's just not enough moving parts in a wheel for something to wear out quickly. Get the wheel that feels best to you.

I've got 11 TS/Skutt wheels, and we run all of them at the same time, with the radio on, and are still able to have conversations. I don't think there's a wheel on the market that is annoyingly loud.

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TS all the way. I have the TS Pro... So much torque i doubt there is a human who can stop the wheel. As far as warranty 5yrs I think. It is so well built I doubt anything will ever have to be repaired on mine. Customer service is excellent.  Perry will answer your questions at Skutt........  my 2cents.

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