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Shimpo potter´s wheel - current offers

logo Shimpo
Shimpo RK-3E Shimpo RK-3D Shimpo Whisper-T Shimpo RK-55 Shimpo RK-5T
 RK-3E RK-3D Whisper-T RK-55 RK-5T 
features   features   features
Effective potter´s wheel in a modern coat.
Effective potter´s wheel in traditional box design. Popular potter´s wheel with lower power output. Cost effective free standing model. Table top model.
motor/construction   motor/construction   motor/construction

400 W, 230 V/

direct drive

400 W, 230 V/

direct drive

300 W, 230 V/

direct drive

100 W, 230 V/

belt drive

100 W, 230 V/

belt drive

height adjustable   height adjustable   height adjustable
YES, 5 variants NO YES, 3 variants NO NO
wheelhead   wheelhead   wheelhead
Ø 350 mm Ø 300 mm Ø 300 mm Ø 300 mm Ø 178 mm
noise level   noise level   noise level
30 dB 30 dB 30 dB 55 dB 55 dB

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...::  click for detailed technical features for all potter´s wheels ::...

shimpo RK-3E

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How to choose an appropriate potter’s wheel

The purchase of a potter’s wheel usually follows after the purchase of a kiln. The choice of an appropriate potter’s wheel is not usually as demanding as the choice of an appropriate kiln. There are not many potter’s wheel manufacturers, the trademark Shimpo belongs to the world class quality in constructing wheels and offers wheels for various purposes. While choosing, however, it is necessary to define a few aspects:

    shimpo RK-3E
  1. The purpose: what do you want to produce
    - occasional hobby use without greater demand for wheel performance
    - semi-professional throwing with lower demand for the machine performance (i.e. lower profi class)
    - professional throwing with greater demand (i.e. higher profi class)

    Remember, if you take up throwing, your skills will get better. The wheel performance should not limit you a few years after the purchase.

  2. Price: cost limitation
  3. The price should not be the number one determining factor purchasing a potter’s wheel, because a cheap purchase can go up in price later. We recommend taking your time before purchasing a potter’s wheel. The machine prices differ in their sophisticated construction and machine performance.
  4. Required quality, durability, reliability, references
  5. Potter’s wheels high quality is not a matter of course like in other businesses. If you decide to buy a Shimpo wheel you will join a large group of satisfied customers worldwide. It is also good to take advice from an experienced potter.

After clarifying all mentioned aspects you can follow technical features of individual models.

With regard to the fact that we have been selling potter’s wheels for over 17 years, and in cooperation with experienced potters, ceramic makers and technicians, we would like to introduce basic points which are found as the most important and should be considered before the purchase. Information on this page is not instruction to purchase but an easy guide for customers who want to be advised how to choose the appropriate potter’s wheel.

We recommend to found out about and compare the following points:

    shimpo RK-3D
  1. Potter’s wheels are nowadays in 99% electricity driven, kick wheels are over, they are suitable for traditional fairs (as attractions) or as decorations of old time rooms. For throwing in mass production mostly electric driven potter’s wheels are used.

  2. Find out the types of transmission of individual models. Besides the fact that each transmission decreases the motor performance, it also causes noise and vibration, which is the biggest enemy of a potter. Transmission to be understood as – a belt, a gear box, cog wheels, or frictional drives (e.g puck drive popular in the Czech Republic in the past) etc. The latest machines have no type of transmission; the motor is placed directly under the wheelhead – the direct drive construction.

  3. When purchasing a potter’s wheel, give your attention to the speed regulation. Pedals gas/break are old-fashioned and rarely used today. Especially by beginners it happens they step on both pedal at the same time. The break can be worn out. Stepless speed regulation is favourable and modern (electric or electronic), with a hand lever or a foot pedal. Regulation from 0 – 250 rpm is fully sufficient. If possible, try to avoid fly-wheels, their construction has been surpassed (Shimpo stopped using this construction over 20 years ago).

  4. An important aspect is also the noise level. The quietest potter’s wheels have about 30 dB which is similar to a quite computer. With low noise level wheels you can work in the living room and you will not disturb anyone while working. Wheels with low noise level can be also sucesfully used in workshops with more wheels.

  5. Wheelhead diameter is not the most important, most potter’s work with the wheelhead of ca. 30 cm. If necessary there are also special extension parts for larger products. The most important aspect is material which the wheelhead is made from. Aluminium alloys are the most popular. Plastic wheelhead have short-lasting durability.

  6. If you plan to create large products (vases, amphoras, large or wide bowls, large or thick-walled products, e.g. garden etc.), compare wheels performance carefully. The potter’s wheel performance is not determined by power ratings (kW) but its efficiency (which is achieved by sophisticated machine construction). Wheels performances are comparable according to the maximum load. In other words how much material you can centre at maximum avoiding unprompted decrease of speed which was caused by heavy load. Follow the specifications “maximum capacity”. Take this specification with a pinch of salt, it is an approximate capacity. It always depends on particular shape of a product and material consistency.

  7. Power consumption also differs significantly with each model. Wheels with motor over 400W are uneconomic and usually little efficient. Brushless motors which have low consumption and are maintenance-free are favourable.

  8. shimpo RK-5T
    It often happens that there is a need to manipulate the potter’s wheel, to move or transport it. For that reason you will probably be interested in its weight and tension. The statement that a potter’s wheel with higher weight is more stable is a myth, it is not true. Weights of modern machines approximate 40 kg and they are very stable. As for tension, we recommend common home sockets, 230 V. Wheels driven by motors of 400W (380V) are always limited to the socket of this type. Btw. lower tension is safer.

  9. With potter’s wheels there are many qualitative signs which should be followed and which continuously influence their durability, e.g. spare parts need, throwing results, user-friendliness, power consumption, and functional reliability.

  10. The spin direction is given by the orientation a left-hander a right-hander to a certain extent. If there are more potters working on this wheel it is good, if necessary, easily change the direction.

  11. For the reason of eventual claim for warranty it is not tactical to consider purchasing a wheel outside the Czech Republic. It is the same with wheels which were not designed for the Czech market and were imported from another country excluding the exclusive representation for CZ. With world known SHIMPO potter’s wheel our company provides warranty and post-warranty service only for wheels designed for the Czech market distributed by our exclusive representation of potter’s wheels and our authorized dealers (if you are not sure whether your dealer is our authorized dealer – inform us and we will help you).

  12. Height adjustability is also favourable. Some wheels can be adjusted which is useful for individual adjustment according to the potter’s needs. It is important to adjust working height of the wheelhead from the floor.
Shimpo stool original

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