December 17, 2023
With the Holidays quickly approaching, lots of friends and family of Potters are trying to decide which tools they should buy! We thought it would be fun to start a new series of Blog Posts highlighting the tools our crew at the shop use most, and first up is Scott from @cynicalceramicsco. Read below to find out which tools he uses most often and why:
Hey everyone! So, we all have a ton of tools, but we all have our favourites; these are the ones I use most often, Let's check them out!
#1 - The Giffin Grip Mini
While I have and use both the original Giffin Grip, I tend to use the Mini since it came out in recent years. It is compact and small and has a few features that make it EXTRA great. First, the system fits on your bat pins, which keep its low profile below your splash pan, meaning all my trimming bits stay in the tray and not on the floor. Second, there is a lock which, once you have tightened it up against your pot, you can click into place, which prevents it from loosening while trimming; super helpful during production work.
#2 - Dirty Girls Pottery Tools Round Bat System
Hands down the best bat system I’ve ever used. The addition of Masonite inserts helps prevent warping, and little features such as an easy notch to remove the inserts, some beveling on the bottom to easily remove from the wheel, and lastly, the ability to buy extra packs of inserts all make this a heavily used system in my studio.
#3 - DiamondCore B3 Rounded Corner, 200 Grit Sanding Pad
Diamond Core B3 sanding pad: If you know… you know. Sanding pads from Diamondcore are AMAZING! And help me get a smooth bottom to give pieces that extra bit of finishing. This particular pad is 200 Grit, and if I had to choose just one pad, this one would be it. I also find the rounded corners tend to not peel back over time, but its more personal preference than anything
#4 - Mudtools Orange 9" Wire Tool
Mudtools Orange Wire: I have long and short wires, but at 9” long, this little guy is handy for mugs and smaller pieces without having to wrap the wire up on your fingers to get the right length.
#5 - Garrity Tools Fish Fillet Wooden Rib
Garrity Tools Fish Fillet I use a few ribs, but this Garrity Tools “Fish Fillet” gives me a taller, straight edge, so I don’t have to move the rib as I pull up on taller pieces, which works great for me. I like being able to plant the base of the rib on the wheel head so I know I'm getting a straight side. Also available in the "Fish Stick" smaller version of the tool.
#6 - Xiem Tools SCR2 Blue "Firm" Rib
Xiem Tools SCR2-B: A smaller rib, but just the right size for compressing the base of pieces; the blue ribs are “firm” in flexibility but still have a bit of flex; these ribs are a bit thicker, which works excellent for compressing wider bases like bowls or plates. This is the small version, but I also like using Shape 5 (bigger of this shape) and Shape 7 if I'm throwing Plates
#7 - Mudtools Blue "Workhorse" Sponge
Mudtools Blue “Workhorse” sponge: I told myself I’d never pay more than a few bucks for a sponge, but here we are… of the three Mudtools sponges, if I had to pick just one, it would be the blue one, its great for pulling walls, and thin enough to feel the pressure being applied but still is fine enough to help with finishing at the end of a throw.
#8 - Mudtools Green Medium Firmness Polymer Rib
Mudtools G4 (Green #4 Rib): This rib is of medium firmness, and I’ve used it for years; the hard 90-degree angle and the thin, somewhat sharp edge are a favourite for throwing and getting those more complex angles. If you weren't aware, each colour of Mudtools Ribs is a different Firmness:
Red = Extra Soft
Yellow = Soft
Green = Medium
Blue = Firm
The Other Mudtools rib that could have made the list is the Red Shape # 2 Rib. This rib is great for compression rolled out slabs when Handbuilding.
#9 - DiamondCore T5 “Torch” Trimming Tool
DiamondCore T5 “Torch” Trimming tool: I have a handful of DC trimming tools, but this is the one I grab most, with a wider and narrower side, it’s quite versatile. The stainless blades on these tools stay sharp until the end when they wear right through, and while it’s a more expensive option, they come with an extra blade! (two tools in one) and spare blades are available. I can’t say enough about this tool.
A close second for me in DiamondCore Trimming tools is one of the new XL trimmers, specifically the T204.
#10 - Xiem tools Stainless Steel Stoneware Needle Tool
Xiem Tools “Stoneware” needle: Yes... it’s just a needle tool, but with surgical-grade stainless steel and has a tapered design from thick to smaller, which for me, is a bit more robust than your average needle tool. No more bending by accident; this tool will last for years to come; It’s rugged and the best I’ve used.
#11 - Xiem Tools RST Scoring Tool
Xiem Tools RST Scoring tool: those who know me are aware of my desire to get one of these gold-plated (HAHA); there are a ton of scoring tools out there, but this one is hands down my favourite and a reasonable price under $10. Makes a great stocking stuffer, and your potter friend will love you for it!
#12 - Euclid Stainless Trimming Tool – Wide Arrowhead
Euclid Stainless Trimming Tool – Wide Arrowhead: From Pottery Supply House, I use this tool a ton. Made with super sturdy stainless steel, I use this for trimming away the skirt of a pot just after throwing, which is still wet. I’ve never liked using a wooden knife coming at a piece from the side to trim away excess clay, but this tool allows me to hold from behind and works way better in my opinion. It’s solid enough that I sometimes use it to remove stuck-on bats from the wheel.
Well, these are my main “go-to” tools. A few more could be here just as easily, but I figured I’d start here. Thanks so much for reading along.
Join us for future “What Tools Do You Use” from some of our other crew and friends. Do you use any of these tools? Let us know in the comments what your #1 used tool is!