There are certain Pottery Tools you will need and others you will just want because they are cool or they create a great effect. The more tools you have, the more creative you can get with your clay.
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The tools listed in the post are tools I have used or am using at the present time. The tools are also optional, being that you may have, and use many of them already.
This Small Rib is made of a nice soft durable material. It’s the softest of all the ribs, which makes it the most flexible. It holds up great under normal use. Still has no cracks after many many hours of use.
Ease of Use:
They made this Rib to use all four edges. The smaller end is excellent for hard to reach spots. The larger end is great for rounded corners. The rounded side works well when shaping bowls. The curved side is excellent for rounding out the outside of your piece. It works well with clay molding and shaping beautifully, also smoothing the clay nicely without making marks. Click Here (amazon) – (blick arts) to get yours.
I like the hole in the middle; it really helps give you good control over the rib while your fingers are wet.
The fact that it’s small is nice because it fits easily in small cylinders and other small areas. I also love that it comes in different sizes.
Large Red Rib
If you want to go longer this Red Rib is as flexible as the smaller polymer ribs. The Long Blade Shape is great for smoothing and shaping on the wheel as well as smoothing your slabs of clay when handbuilding. Click Here (amazon) – (blick arts) to check it out.
Get All 6 Red Ribs
With a selection of Six Different Shapes, you will find the right size you need for the projects you are working on. These soft Ribs work beautifully for shaping and smoothing out your clay. Because clay is so soft these ribs are more gentle and forgiving on clay. The soft Ribs work great for smoothing Transfers or Decals on your pottery. This set will definitely take care of your soft rib needs. Check out all Six Here. (amazon) – (blick arts)
The Ultimate Edger
This tool is Very durable, with 20-gauge steel it doesn’t bend. I like the sturdy feel of the edger in my hands. This is important especially when you have thrown a beautiful piece of pottery, you don’t want to mess up as you are putting the edges on.
Ease of Use
Is listed as a six in one tool. I would say it’s at least a 7 in one and probably more. I use The Ultimate Edger on most of my pieces. Rounding the lip of a bowl or carving a foot on a mug takes practice, the Ultimate Edger makes it fast and easy.
You can round out squared edges on the lip of your pottery. Put a nice raised edge on a lid or pot. Makes attractive nobs. Creates a single edge to the foot of your piece. Makes a nice rounded shape on the lip of your larger pottery. Puts a double edge on the base of your mug, pot, vase, etc…
The Ultimate Edger not only helped me to easily to do rims and feet, but it also can be used for textures and adding some cool designs to your pieces. To get yours Click Here (amazon).
I liked the Ultimate Edger so much I wrote an in-depth article about how to use one, which you can check out Here .
And here is a video where I show you exactly how to use the Ultimate Edger, Enjoy the Video Here.
Double Ended Trim Tool
This six-inch Japanese style Double Ended Trim Tool (amazon) has a large hook that gives you more area to cover and a spade shape for the foot of bowls and plates. I like the feel of this good quality metal. Even with extensive use, it is still sharp.
Ease of Use
This Trim Tool works beautifully for my smaller pottery. All though it does take some getting used to, it’s a fun Tool to use and helps create great shapes on pottery. This sharpened spade end gives you a precise cut that feels nice when you’re trimming. The small curl hook is best used for the bottom inside of the foot.
Having a curved edge on one end and a straight edge on the other end makes this a good versatile tool. The more you use this trim tool, the more you will enjoy it. Instead of picking up three different tools, you have almost all you need in one tool. To get one Click Here (amazon)
These sponges are durable and also fit comfortably in your hand which is important. I find them not to be too fat or thin. The colors will fade after a while, and all of them may become white, but you can still tell them apart by the different textures they have.
Ease of Use
When making pottery or ceramics having good sponges is a must. To check the current price and availability on all three Mudtool Sponges Here (amazon). These are great to use in all stages of pottery making. From shaping and smoothing out your clay, sponging off your bisque ware, to removing any glaze from the foot of your pots. It’s nice to have all three for your sponging needs. These are not your ordinary sponges and do not feel like them either.
This Blue Sponge (amazon) is the workhorse of the three sponges. Its texture is more course and great for clean up.
The Orange Sponge (amazon) – (blick arts) works great when throwing on the wheel. It helps guide your fingers up and keeps the clay smooth. Great for beginners on the wheel.
The White Sponge (amazon) – (blick arts) are great for smoothing and finishing your pottery.
My Favorite Wire Cutter
This Mudwire stays together even after heavy use. The looped handles are easy to grab on to even if your hands happen to be full of clay.
Ease of Use
It would be quite hard to work with clay without a wire cutter. This Mudwire on (amazon) cuts through the clay nicely and wire doesn’t tangle up.
You will love the feel of the handles when cutting through clay or cutting a piece off the wheel. The handles on this cutter are also nice for hooking in a convent spot in your work area. Click Here (amazon) to get yours.
When it comes to decorating Pottery, it’s always fun to have decorating tools to help make your pottery unique. It’s great that your choice of tools can be endless. Here are a few tools that I have found to be fun and helpful to use that I would like to recommend to you.
Stainless Steel Serrated Scraper
The Stainless Steel Scaper is good quality steel that does not bend and last a long, long time.
Ease of Use
To make all kinds of cool patterns Check out this Stainless Steel Serrated Scraper (amazon) . You can use all four sides and even mix up the patterns. You can move the serrated edge diagonally or horizontally. Even move your hand back and forth as you glide it around the clay. Making patterns in the clay adds a different dimension to your pottery.
Clay Hole Cutters
When it comes to making holes in the clay, the Hole Cutters are strong and cut through the clay nicely. The wood handle doesn’t splinter with normal use and last a long time.
Ease of Use
It’s nice to have four different sizes to choose from. The size of the holes measures 1/8 inch, ¼ inch, ½ inch, and 3/4 inch across. You can use these hole makers for all types of designs and functional purposes like making toothbrush holders and hanging pottery pieces as well as decorating.
Having to make a precise hole in your pottery can be a bit tricky, especially if you can’t draw an exact circle. The secret to making a good hole is making sure your clay is not too dry and to twist your tool gently while pushing into the clay. Check out these Jack Richerson Hole Cutters (amazon) or (walmart) to save time and make creating holes easy.
Kemper Clay Cutters
Teardrop Shaped Cutters (amazon) – (blick arts) or (walmart) Sizes 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″, 5/8″ and 3/4
The spring plunger holds up well. The spring plungers on clay cutters have not fallen apart making these tools pretty durable.
Ease of Use
You can cut out shapes or use the inside to score and slip on your pottery. You don’t even have to cut through the clay you can leave impressions instead. These clay cutters make decorating easier and are great time savers.
These Clay Cutters are the answer to eliminating fingerprints on the clay when you’re pushing them out of the mold.
The spring plunger on the clay cutter pushes your clay out of the mold effortlessly. Just make sure you don’t push the clay out of the cutters too fast or hard and your clay is not too soft or the plunger will go right through the clay.
You can get your Set of 20 Clay Cutters (amazon) or (walmart).
You can also get five different shapes individually, each with five different sizes to choose from.
Heart Shaped Cutters: (amazon) – (blick arts) Sizes 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″, 5/8″ and 3/4
Triangle Shaped Cutters (amazon) – (blick arts) Sizes 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″, 3/4″ and 1″
Star Shaped Cutters (amazon) – (blick arts) or (walmart) Sizes 3/8″, 1/2″, 7/16″, 5/8″, 3/4″
Circle Shaped Cutters (amazon) – (blick arts) Sizes 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″, 5/8″ and 3/4″
Square Shaped Cutters (amazon) – (blick arts) or (walmart) Sizes 1/4″, 3/8″, 7/16″, 5/8″ and 3/4″
8-Piece Pottery Tool Set
- Wooden Modeling Tool
- Wooden Rib
- Loop Tool
- Ribbon Tool
- Needle Tool
- Metal Scraper
- Wire Clay Cutter
You will find this tool kit has all the essential tools for throwing pottery on the wheel. These tools will always be part of my growing tool supplies. I like the 8-Piece Tool Set (amazon) so much I bought two.
The tools have a nice sturdy feel to them. The Loop and Ribbon tools are not that sharp, but all and all this Tool Set is very durable and lasts a long time.
Ease of Use
The modeling tool is great for decorating and trimming the extra clay off the bottom of your piece. The wooden rib works really good for scrapping the excess clay off the bat. Each tool works well for its use.
This Tool Set is a must-have for beginner Potters. It has all you need to get started. To get your Set or even Two Click Here. (amazon)
Seronline 24-pcs Clay Modeling Set
This Set is a great value for all the modeling tools you get. They are sturdy tools that have not fallen apart or broken with all the use I have given them.
Ease of Use
This Set of Modeling Tools (amazon) has come in so handy. Having different tools to choose from makes pottery making a bit more enjoyable. They are great for decorating and smoothing areas of your clay you can’t get to with your fingers.
From Sgraffito to Inlay, these Modeling Tools are great for creating many different patterns. I use the pointy end of the plastic modeling tool to smooth out my clay when I’m making handles. I have not had a broken handle yet. (knock on wood). Check out these Modeling Tools Here (amazon). You can use all these Tools from the slip Stage of Clay, all the way to the bone dry stage.
Beskit 30 Piece Clay Sculpting Tool Set
After you throw the pumpkin, pig, or apple shape on the wheel, you want some carving and sculpting tools to finish creating your piece with. This set has everything you need to complete your projects.
Although these tools are not strong enough to carve real pumpkins, this Tool Set is still durable and can carve and shape the clay even when it’s a little past leather hard. The overall quality of this set is good. The wooden modeling tools hold up very well even after continual use with wet clay. Also, the wooden tool tips don’t wear down fast.
Ease of Use
Love the carving tools. The handles are a good size and fit comfortably in your hands as you carve and shape your creation. The round loop tool is not sharp but does the job just fine for sculpting. Keep in mind the knives work well but are not as sharp as a fettling knife. The wire texture tool is great for creating fine lines and joining clay together.
The six different rubber tips are soft and flexible and smooth out the clay nicely. You’ll be happy with the variety of tools you’ll have to choose from. These tools are great for decorating flat and round surfaces as well as tight spaces. You can find this Tool Set on Amazon. Click Here (amazon) to check them out.
US Art Supply 14-piece Ceramics Tool Set
This 14 set Pottery Tool Set was made with the creative ceramic carver in mind. This is a good sculpting set to get started with. It helps the beginner feel like a pro.
The modeling tools and ceramic tools are good and solid. They hold up nicely over time. The wooden modeling tools last a long time and hold up to moisture really well. However, you don’t want them to be floating in your water container or have them wet for a prolonged period of time.
Ease of Use
Whether you are pro or just a beginner, you will be pleased with this set. The model tools fit nicely in your hands even when your hands are wet or full of clay. The ribbon tool handles are thin but still work well. They carved thin areas with smooth precision for me.
This Tool Set comes with a Canvas Zippered Case. The case holds the tools in place well but, because the case is canvas and given the nature of pottery, you will be hard-pressed to keep it clean, especially when used often. Most of the pieces in this 14-piece set, are double-sided which gives you 23 different tools to work with, making it a nice compact versatile set of tools. To get your set Click Here (amazon).
Meuxan 30-Piece Pottery Sculpting Tool Set
This set is great for starters. You get your basic tools every potter needs to throw on the wheel with, (needle tool, wooden rib, and modeling tool, wire clay cutter, metal rib, loop, and ribbon tool and sponge) plus a whole a lot more.
These tools hold up well and feel sturdy. The wood tools haven’t splintered after a year of steady work. This is important since these tools do get wet from time to time, especially when working on the potter’s wheel a lot. A few of the tools were loose, but they popped back in. A touch of glue does wonders.
Ease of Use:
The wire loop tool is on the dull side and knives are not as sharp, but they do a good job of carving and are great for beginner potters. The wood handles have a comfortable feel when carving and creating designs in the clay.
You’ll be surprised by the number of different tools you will have to choose from. Much better than using nail files, screwdrivers, paper clips, and other assorted household items to create the desired effect on your piece. These sculpting tools do the trick, so you don’t have to search the house for the right tool. Click Here (amazon) to get yours.
Blisstime 30 Piece Pottery Carving Tool Set
The Blisstime Tool Set is made well. The tools don’t slip out of your hands when they’re wet or covered in clay. These are sturdy tools for the price.
The carving tips can be very sharp, so it good to use caution when carving.
Ease of Use:
These tools are very versatile and carve, shape, and smooth out your clay with ease. The wooden modeling tools shape and cut into the clay effectively. The rubber shapers smooth out the surface of the clay plus shape and draw beautifully. The loop tool is also not sharp in this set.
This is a great set to have for your studio. You may not need all the tools all the time, but whenever you need a certain carving tool, this Tool Set will have it. This set makes carving and shaping your pottery easier. To get yours Click Here (amazon).
Blisstime 34 Piece Pottery Sculpting Tool Set
This Blisstime Pottery Sculpting Tool Set is one of the best and affordable Tool Set s. Perfect for the beginner potter that doesn’t quite know which tools to get yet. This Set has the sculpting tools plus other basic tools needed to throw on the wheel, including a sponge.
For the number of items you get and the quality is pretty good. I have only had two carving tools detach from the wooden holder. I just glued it back in and continued with my work.
These tools hold up well, even with my hands full of wet clay.
Ease of Use:
These tools perform nicely with each task I have. The loop tool could be a bit sharper for carving, but all in all, they do the job cutting, carving, smoothing, and scraping.
Each tool in this set has served its purpose. The metal rib is thin and flexible, just the way I like it. The different types of sculpting tools really help you to achieve the right shape you want. The Plastic modeling tool with a smooth pointy tip on one end and spear on the other is one of my favorite modeling tools.
Pottery Tool Bag
As your pottery tool collection grows, you will find this Studio Art Bag (amazon) is perfect for keeping all your pottery tools together and in order. This tool bag is also great for potter’s that go to a studio and have a home studio.
When you go to the studio, you may not want to leave tools and supplies there. A tool bag makes it easy and convenient to take all the tools you need on the road.
This bag holds up to 25 lbs and measures 16″ × 9″ × 12. It also has two large compartments, 17 pockets of various sizes and 16 tool holsters, great for trimming tools and other pottery essentials. This tough and sturdy art bag has a canvas-reinforced plastic bottom that prevents punctures and tears. It will last a long time and has a good amount of space for growing your pottery tool collection.
Hope you enjoy these pottery tools as much as I am. As I go through my pottery journey, I find the tools you can choose from seems endless. That’s another fun part of playing with clay. I will be happy to share my new found fun tool suggestions with you.