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Are cheap Wheels worth buying?


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I was curious if cheap potters wheels were worth it? I'm mainly referring to the table top ones you can get new for around $150. I'm interested in trying a wheel, but suspect it won't be my main focus, so I'm hesitant about spending hundreds, but are the little cheap ones just an annoying waste of time and money? I'm rather lazy and was hoping not to have to hunt around for a local used wheel (I would know what to look for to begin with). So I was just curious. (I promise not to blame anyones advice if I go ahead and buy something that's essentially garbage).

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I personally think they are not worth it. When you think about learning a reasonably difficult dexterous skill on a product that is likely inferior, it often adds to more frustration than learning. I am inclined to say just take a semester course and see if you like wheel throwing, on a decent wheel. If so, continue to improve your skills and use the decent wheel to learn and improve  Just my opinion though, I am not a fan of the knock off wheels for any use.

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Many people buy these and find they break right away and the 150$ spent is down the drain

As you said (essentially garbage) and I might add these does not discribe them well enough they are worse than that.

You can buy a quailty wheel and if you find later clay and yoj are a poor match sell it for nearly what you paid

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22 minutes ago, MartinD35 said:

I'm thinking about buying one to use as an electric banding wheel

If the wheel head is wonky (not running straight as these can do) then even the banding wheel idea is flawed

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Those cheap wheels that are available on Amazon and eBay are junk. We've had a couple of people come to the forum with them because they broke almost immediately. One person was kind enough to upload pictures of the inside of the wheel, and we were shocked at how poorly it was made. Save up for a good wheel. Any of the common US brands will work well- Brent, Skutt, Bailey, Pacifica, Speedball, etc.

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If you’re looking for an electric banding wheel, just spend a few extra bucks on the really good Shimpo one that spins forever. If you want just a low powered wheel to make a few cups on, something like an Aspire would be a better choice than those cheap ones on Amazon. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen people post in FB groups about how happy they were with their brand new cheap wheel, and a month later come asking why the foot pedal won’t turn off, or where they can get a replacement motor, or how they can rewire them, etc etc.

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