Speedball Big Boss Pottery Wheel Review

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Are you a professional looking to equip yourself with the best pottery wheel around? Or are you a hobbyist looking to upgrade to a wheel that can handle ridiculous amounts of clay?

Well then, you should check out Speedball’s Big Boss Pottery Wheel. A large wheel and an impressive motor throw as much as 150 lbs. of clay.

speedball big boss pottery wheel review

In spite of a somewhat awkward height, this is a great pottery wheel for those looking to make an investment.

But is it right for you? Let’s find out in our Speedball Big Boss Pottery Wheel review below!

Speedball Big Boss Pottery Wheel: The Details

Specs

  • Weight: 80 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 5 x 24.5 x 23.5 inches.
  • Wheel Head Size: 14-inch.
  • Centering Capacity: 150 lbs.
  • Warranty: Five years (10 years if bought directly from Soul Ceramics!).

Construction

A one-horsepower motor spins the wheel up to 240rpm, with the speed controlled via a sensitive foot peddle.

A sturdy, steel table keeps the system from wobbling during use, and a full-coverage splash pan catches most of your runoff. This is a great system for minimizing mess!

Overall, the Big Boss lives up to its name; it’s a seriously large pottery wheel.

Accessories

The Speedball Big Boss Pottery Wheel comes with two free bats, an instructional DVD, and a sampler selection of Speedball glazes.

Features

Reversing Plug

Changing the direction of the wheel is handy for intricate projects or for those who are not ambidextrous.

The inclusion of a reversing plug is great for enabling a healthy level of customization.

Centering Capacity

The size of the wheel and the sturdy design of the overall machine means that the Big Boss pottery wheel has a serious centering capacity.

It comfortably holds 150 lbs of clay, and is able to manage 175 lbs if you’re careful. The size of the sculptures you can create is quite impressive.

Full Splash Wheel

Throwing all that clay and water around often means a lot of mess.

The fact that the Big Boss comes with a full splash wheel is incredibly convenient, and a nice touch from Soul Ceramics.

Sturdy Build

Rather than being a free-standing pottery wheel, the Big Boss is affixed to a small table that offers stability – even when the wheel is at full carry capacity and spinning at top speed.

This is great for novice potters that don’t know the ins and outs of pottery wheels.

Load Sensing Control 

We mentioned its sturdy build, now let’s talk about its steady speed.

Expect the Big Boss to keep up with you when you’re adding to your wheel without slowing down, skipping or jumping so you won’t have to spend extra time going back to fix these annoying mistakes.

Speedball Big Boss Pottery Wheel Review

The Positives

Adaptable to Users’ Needs

Pottery is fun! But, certain pottery wheels can make it less so. Finding the right wheel (one that can adapt to how you like to work) is a wonder. The Speedball Big Boss is definitely adaptable.

Changing the direction of the wheel is as easy as flicking a switch, and you can work from any angle with the tethered foot pedal.

This is great for those wanting to perfect all the details from different angles and allows you to create a little more freely without being restricted by your wheel.

speedball big boss review

Big Sculptures? No Problem!

Hoo-boy, can this pottery wheel support a serious amount of weight!

150 lbs of clay is not a small amount of material, and the fact that the Big Boss can spin all of it at nearly 300rpm is impressive.

This means you can craft huge projects on the wheel and not worry about them straining the machine.

The sturdy construction of the table also means there is no danger of the pottery wheel toppling to one side; there a few things worse than having a near-completed project squashed flat because of shaky moorings on the wheel.

This allows crafters to go above and beyond their comfort level and experiment with bigger projects, while professionals can achieve their biggest goals with this wheel.

Minimal Mess

Pottery is messy. Experienced potters either surrender and embrace the mess, or have a convoluted system of plastic tarps, aprons, and towels set up to catch run-off and splatters of clay.

Whatever your methodology, the full splash pan is super useful, as is the positioning of the wheel itself.

Without having to reposition the overall machine, you can throw from any direction and feel secure that any mess will be caught long before it gets to the floor.

If you enjoy working on a project from all angles, the splash pan has got your back.

Beginners won’t have to worry about getting down and dirty in clay, but this is also a great feature for teachers in classrooms, making cleanup less of an ordeal so you can focus on the important task at hand – teaching an art.

Built to Last with a Long Warranty 

A five-year warranty shows a great deal of confidence from Soul Ceramics in the Big Boss. Clearly, they expect this pottery wheel to stand the test of time and use.

The warranty covers the cost to repair or replace your pottery wheel should an error in manufacturing or craftsmanship be found in your wheel.

You’ll simply need to contact the company and they’ll be able to take it from there.

If you buy this product from Soul Ceramics directly, you’ll get a 10-year warranty instead of five. You can also purchase an extra splash pan for your wheel from Soul Ceramics which is great for long-haul jobs!

Instead of stopping halfway through and spending half an hour cleaning out the splash pan, just swap the full one out for the spare – talk about efficiency.

Not only that but in addition to the warranty, this pottery wheel is really built to last. Some customers have had their wheels for over a decade without any issues.

These wheels are built sturdy, with a heavy duty metal frame, so you won’t have to worry about investing in a new wheel anytime soon.

This is great for artists and potters looking to grow with their machine, as this one can take you from beginner to pro.

Speed Control

However you like the wheel to turn, fast and furious or slow and tranquil, the foot pedal is sensitive enough that you have complete control over the speed of the wheel.

This is great for maintaining control over the clay, as the wheel will respond to even minor adjustments smoothly.

Quiet 

With the Big Boss Pottery Wheel, you can craft in peace without getting annoyed by your wheel being too loud to get completely zen. Pottery can be quite relaxing if you have the right tools.

Whether you’re in a studio or class setting, a quiet pottery wheel goes a long way in ensuring an enjoyable overall experience. Now you won’t have to blare the radio to get into a groove.

Powerful 

When we say this pottery wheel keeps up, it really does! The motor packs power – perfect for tackling heavier loads of clay for bigger projects.

There’s elegance in its power too. It doesn’t pack a punch just to throw you off. The motor runs smooth, ensuring that there are no skips or jumps in your wheel that could really ruin a project.

Know that this wheel will assist you, instead of deterring you.

 

The Negatives

Cumbersome

Given the amount of weight the wheel can handle, you probably aren’t surprised that the Big Boss is a hefty machine. At 80 lbs., many will struggle to comfortably carry the Big Boss.

You will want to find a permanent spot for the pottery wheel to sit, as moving it in and out of storage for use will be a strain.

If you enjoy weight-lifting, carting the Big Boss around won’t be much of an issue. Otherwise? Clear a space for it to remain.

Speaking of that space… if you are putting it on a table, be sure that the surface can handle 230 lbs. of weight. Placing the Big Boss on the floor is the ideal option.

Quality Control

There have been issues with the Big Boss arriving with loose screws and labels not affixed properly.

Tightening the screws isn’t a challenge, but if you don’t check them on arrival and they keep coming loose down the line, problems could arise.

It would be a terrible day if a leg were to fall off under a nearly finished project.

Price

At its price point, the Speedball Big Boss is an expensive pottery wheel – perhaps too expensive for hobbyists that don’t make an income off of their pottery.

If you have the cash to burn, a steep price isn’t much of an issue. However, the Big Boss is definitely an investment that needs to be carefully considered.

Given the few faults we were able to find in the Big Boss, we hesitated to label the price as a negative point.

In the end, though it is still a bigger number to pay than other wheels. For some, that is one number too many over their budget.

speedball big boss review

Overall Verdict

In spite of a large price-tag and cumbersome weight, the Speedball Big Boss Pottery Wheel is capable of handling an enormous amount of clay.

Armed with a powerful motor and a full splash pan, there are few projects this machine cannot support.

Creatives that enjoy fine control over even the largest of projects will greatly enjoy all that this pottery wheel can do.

Where to Buy the Speedball Big Boss Pottery Wheel

Speedball isn’t new to the pottery game, offering a range of professional quality pottery wheels to accommodate small to extra-large projects.

These pottery wheels are a popular choice, and while it’s always best to check specialty shops and craft stores, you can find the Speedball Big Boss Pottery Wheel both in-store and online.

To kickstart your search, check out the following online retailers.

And of course, you can also find this pottery wheel on Amazon.

speedball big boss review


Our Speedball Big Boss review has covered the highs and the lows of this pottery wheel. Now that you have been informed, does this machine seem like the right one for you?


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