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The Best Pottery Tool Kit for Beginners


So, you’re signed up for your first wheel class—prepare to get “wheel-y” addicted! More often than not, your studio will ask you to show up with the essentials on the first day of class (check out our article, “8 Clay Tool Name & Uses: Wheel Addition” to find out what those are). It can be difficult to know where to start—are the cheap kits okay? What are the brands the pro potters use? Do I need any tools outside of the basic pottery tool kit? We’re breaking it down in our ultimate beginner kit guide—we’ve tried and tested pottery products, and we have a few recs for the best of the best, and some suggestions for additional tools you might want in your back pocket. Let’s buy a pottery tool kit and start throwing! 

Editor’s Top Picks

Editor’s Choice – Kemper Pottery Tool Kit: The Original 8-Piece Pottery Tool Set
Renowned for its impeccable quality, Kemper provides a solid foundation for beginners. Longevity, performance, and reputation make this set the gold standard for budding potters.

Runner Up – Blisstime Set of 42 Clay Sculpting Tool Wooden Handle Pottery Carving Tool Kit
With a plethora of tools to choose from, this kit offers both variety and functionality. Its compact zip-up case and diverse tool set cater to both beginners looking to explore and intermediate potters expanding their skill set.

Honorable Mention – Evwoge 8 Pcs Ceramic Clay Tools Set, Clay Wax Pottery Tool Kit Ceramics Wax Carving Sculpting Modeling Tools Ceramic & Pottery Tools Pottery Molding Tools
For those on a tighter budget or trying pottery on a whim, this kit offers decent quality without breaking the bank. It covers the essentials needed for a starter class and proves that affordability doesn’t have to sacrifice functionality.

How We Assessed the Best Pottery Kits

Navigating the world of pottery tool kits can be overwhelming, especially for beginners. With so many choices available, how does one identify the crème de la crème? We’ve devised an evaluation system that allows us to sift through the options and highlight only the standout products. Here’s a deeper dive into our assessment parameters:

Performance: It’s not just about having a tool; it’s about how well that tool works. We rigorously tested each tool’s ability to sculpt, shape, and trim pottery with precision and ease. Our performance rating reflects a tool’s efficacy, comfort in handling, and its adaptability across different pottery tasks.

Durability: A tool’s lifespan is indicative of its quality. We put each kit through extensive use, simulating the wear and tear of regular sessions over extended periods. Our durability score factors in aspects like resistance to rust, sturdiness of design, and resilience to continuous usage. We believe that a quality pottery tool should be a long-term investment, serving its user for numerous sessions.

Cost-to-Value Ratio: The world of pottery offers products across a broad price spectrum. But price alone doesn’t dictate quality. Our “Cost-to-Value Ratio” evaluates the balance between the price tag of a pottery tool kit and the tangible and intangible benefits it offers. This involves assessing the tool’s performance, durability, any extra features or tools provided, and overall user satisfaction relative to its cost.

We evaluated each kit based on this scale, and compared the overall scores to determine the best kits. Only the top scores made our guide. Let’s get into it!

Pottery Tool Kit Buying Guide

Kemper Pottery Tool Kit: The Original 8-Piece Pottery Tool Set

Pros: High quality, reputable brand, sturdy tools

Cons: No case, no extras

Kemper is one of the biggest brands in tools for pottery, and for good reason. Their original 8-Piece tool set is a long lasting start set—you’re just getting the basics in this set, but they are quality tools that will last you session after session. This is a pottery tool kit I bought at the recommendation of my studio, and I’m glad I did. These tools have lasted me 4 8-week class sessions, and through numerous at home projects and studio sessions. 

Performance: I’d have to rate these tools a 10/10 in terms of performance—the sponge absorbs water well, the wooden tools are comfortable to use, and the metal tools (rib, trimming tools) haven’t dulled a bit. On that note, do be careful with your metal tools! Be sure to keep your metal rib in an envelope or other case. 

Durability: This kit hardly shows any wear or tear. My sponge hasn’t ripped, my trimming tools have stayed in good shape—mostly the same as when I got them day 1. My wire tool does have a bit of kink in it, but it’s still perfectly usable. These are tools that I expect to have for years to come, and I haven’t needed to make any replacements so far. 

Bang for your buck: Like I said, you’re just getting the basics here. Given how well they’ve lasted, I’d say they’re worth the investment. I do wish they came with a carrying case for organization.

Evwoge 8 Pcs Ceramic Clay Tools Set

Pros: Affordable, Great for beginners

Cons: Basic set, Flimsy wire cutter

If you’re looking for a set to get through your first class, this is the kit for you. It comes with just the basics, and is one of the most affordable options on the market. While it doesn’t have the same quality or brand name as Kemper, this is a kit that will do the job. This is ideal for people who are experimenting with pottery, or are maybe doing a 1-time class. 

Performance: All and all, these tools do the job. They’re sturdy, ergonomic, and perform well for throwing and trimming. This kit does get docked a point for the wire cutter—it’s a bit flimsy, which isn’t great for cutting cleanly through your block of clay. But for the price, this kit stands on its own.

Durability: With their wooden and stainless steel features, the tools in this kit are made to last. While the wire cutter will need replacing after a class session or two, you can expect the rest of the tools to stay in your kit throughout your beginner journey. 

Bang for your buck: This is the most affordable kit on the market! Pottery can be expensive—if you don’t want to break the bank on tools, this is the kit for you.

Blisstime Set of 42 Clay Sculpting Tool Kit

Pros: Compact case, number of tools

Cons: Cheap apron, A lot for a beginner

While this kit doesn’t boast a big brand pottery name, talk about THOROUGH. This kit basically has any tool you’d ever want to try as a beginner—you’ll be like a kid in the candy store sorting through your tools to try one out. What we really like about this kit is that it includes a zip-up case—it organizes 42 tools in a super compact way. 

Performance: Beginners and more advanced potters alike will be happy with how these tools perform. The basics hold up well, and all of the extra sculpting tools and knives allow you to add some real “pro” qualities to your pieces. We like that this comes with an extra sponge—you can never have too many sponges!

Durability: These tools stand the test of time, but we do have to admit, the apron is a bit cheap and small. But with everything else you’re getting here, we don’t mind! 

Bang for your buck: With 42 tools to play with, we feel like this kit is a no brainer. While your basic 8 tools do the job, the beginner phase is a fun time to experiment and see what tools you like!

MudTools Sherrill Essential 10 Piece Starter Tool Kit

Pros: Ergonomic polymer ribs, long lasting tools

Cons: High price point, not for true beginners

This is a go big or go home option out of all the starter tool kits—maybe you know in your heart of hearts that pottery will be a lifetime hobby, or maybe you’ve taken a few beginner classes and want to upgrade. MudTools is a brand known and loved by the pros—and these tools will last you many years to come. 

Performance: We LOVE polymer ribs. They’re much more ergonomic, and there’s no chance of cutting yourself like there is with the metal rib. They are perfect for smoothing your pieces, and getting rid of the excess clay and moisture that beginners often accumulate. We’re also a big fan of the mudtools sponge—it’s super absorbent, and longlasting. 

Durability: This kit it built to last throughout your pottery career. And, with polymer tools, there’s no chance of mold, so your ribs will last you a long time. 

Bang for your buck: These tools are expensive, and for good reason. If you’re just starting out, we’d recommend one of our other basic kits. But if you’re looking to make some permanent swaps and upgrades, this is the kit for you.

Consider Adding These Tools

These aren’t tools that you necessarily need, but they are tools that will make your life a heck of a lot easier. Buy now, and thank us later. 

Sherrill Mudtools Shape 1 Polymer Rib

We’re honestly shocked that more beginner kits don’t come with polymer ribs! The metal rib is scary—I’ll be honest, I accidentally cut myself during one of my first classes, and haven’t used it sense. This rib does the job just as well, and is much easier to hold and bend to your piece. It’s great for shaping, smoothing, compressing—all the steps that’ll get your pieces looking professional. 

Xiem Tools Stainless Steel Sponge

When you’re throwing it’s important that you soak up all the moisture inside your pot. That’s easy to do for bowls or wider mugs—but what about when you’re pulling narrow walls? Never fear, the tall sponge tool is here! Gone are the days when you accidentally dent your pot from sticking your hand towards the bottom!

Potchen 20 Pieces Pre Cut Chamois

Used for smoothing your piece and compressing the lip—it’s an absorbent btu thin fabric, easy to control in your hand.

Wrapping Up

Choosing a pottery kit boils down to what’s important to you—whether you need tools for a single class session or want to experiment with every tool under the sun, there’s no wrong choice. The beginning of a pottery journey is an exciting time—and while tools for pottery elevate your work, you should focus on learning the technique and enjoying this creative outlet. Happy throwing! 


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