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5 Best Pottery Wheel Bats

Best Pottery Wheel Bats

Pottery wheel bats allow you to work efficiently on a pottery wheel. They’re a great tool to easily remove thrown projects from the wheel head without having to worry about damaging your work. 

Choosing the right one for your particular pottery wheel can be a difficult decision, though, especially with so many choices out there.

How do you know which pottery bat will make your life easier? 

If you’re looking for the best pottery wheel bats, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to a handful of the best pottery wheel bats you can buy, as well as show you what to look for when you shop for a pottery bat. 

Ready to find your next pottery bat? Let’s get started. 

Got no time to read? Here are our best picks and why we picked them.

Product Name Good For
Speedball B14 Universal Pottery Wheel Bat Large bat for projects of many sizes
Penguin Pottery Medex Bat Beveled edges for comfort during throwing
U.S. Art Supply Set of 2 Round Pottery Wheel Bats 3 bat holes on underside
Penguin Pottery Heavy Duty Bat System 5 total bats
Amaco Plasti-Bats Waterproof

Best Pottery Bats

Below is our list of the top 5 best pottery wheel bats you can invest in to easily move your creative projects from the wheel to the kiln. 

Speedball B14 Universal Pottery Wheel Bat

Speedball B14 14

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Speedball makes it easy to attach and detach your throwing projects with their 14-inch universal pottery wheel bat. This particular bat is available in a variety of colors and can also be purchased in 12-inch round specifications or a 7.5-inch square. 

Pre-drilled holes in these Speedball pottery plastic bats are set at 9 and 10 inches apart to fit most standard pottery wheel heads.

The easy lift rim include unique ribs at specific points to help lift the plastic bat off the wheel.

The plastic bats are made from injection-molded plastic to stay waterproof and resilient under heavy use. 

Pros

  • Large bat for projects of many sizes
  • Universal bat hole spacing
  • Can be purchased in square and round shapes 

Cons

  • Pottery bat pin hole doesn’t go all the way through the bat

Penguin Pottery Medex Bat

Penguin Pottery - 12

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Made from durable MDF material, this Medex bat from Penguin Pottery is ¼-inch thick and 12 inches in diameter.

Designed to fit all standard pottery wheel throwing heads, the Medex plastic bat is handmade here in the USA.  

Pre-drilled pottery bat holes are spaced 10 inches apart on this particular plastic bat, which is also water resistant.

Made from renewable wood sources, this plastic bat is formaldehyde free. It also contains beveled edges to support resting your hands on the edges as you throw. 

Pros

  • Made from renewable wood sources in the USA
  • Universal fit 
  • Beveled edges for comfort during throwing 

Cons

  • Takes up a lot of shelf space 

U.S. Art Supply Set of 2 Round Pottery Wheel Bats

U.S. Art Supply - 11" Round Plastic Pottery Wheel Bats, Set of 2 - Durable, Balanced Bat for Use Spinning Clay & Making Ceramics - Design to Only Fit U.S. Art Supply Pottery Wheel

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This set of 2 pottery bats from U.S. Art Supply makes removing your thrown projects from the wheel an easy task.

With 2 bats to work with, you can easily throw multiple pieces without having to worry about making room on the wheel head for your next project. 

Made from injection molded plastic, these pottery wheel bats are 11 inches round and contain 3 bat pin mounts on the underside. They are also cut out on the bottom in order to provide a better gripping surface during removal.

The pottery wheel bats are ⅜ inch thick, so they’re sturdy enough to support large projects. 

Pros

  • 2 pottery bats
  • 3 bat holes on underside
  • Injection molded plastic is durable and waterproof 

Cons

  • Specific to the USA PW-101 Pottery Wheel 

Penguin Pottery Heavy Duty Bat System

Penguin Pottery - Heavy Duty Bat System for Potters Wheel - Includes 5 Bat Inserts - Great for Saving Space - Increase Productivity for Mugs, Pots and Other Small Pieces

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The only thing better than a single pottery bat is an entire system. That’s why we’ve included the Penguin Pottery Heavy Duty Bat System on our list. It’s an entire production lineup tool you can use to speed up your throwing process. 

There are two main components to this pottery bat system from Penguin Pottery: the adapter bat and the bat inserts.

The adapter bat is 14 inches round and attaches to the pottery wheel head using pins placed within the dual bat holes that are spaced 10 inches apart. This allows it to fit most standard pottery wheel heads. 

The second component of this bat system is the square bat which fits into the adapter bat. These square bats measure 6 inches and there are 5 included in this set.

What’s unique about this particular bat system is that both the square inserts and the cutout for those inserts include rounded edges. 

These openings allow your fingers to easily grip the square bat to remove it after you’re done throwing. Plus, you can easily insert a fresh bat in place without having to get out any tools.

These bats are made in the USA from ⅜-inch thick eco-friendly MDF that’s also water-resistant. 

Pros

  • Entire pottery bat system 
  • 5 total bats
  • Universal pottery bat adapter 

Cons

  • Best for small thrown projects less than 6 inches in diameter

Amaco Plasti-Bats

View on Blick

Made from high-impact plastic, these ¼-inch thick pottery wheel bats from Amaco can be purchased in a variety of shapes and sizes. They’re a great addition to any pottery studio, especially if you plan on throwing a number of projects. 

Amaco and Brent pottery wheels accept these square and round plastic bats, which will not shrink, swell, or splinter. The 9-inch square bats are great for stacking projects on a shelf next to one another.

You can also choose a 12-inch round or 14-inch round Plasti-Bat for larger projects. 

Versatile and long-lasting, these plastic bats are water-resistant and impervious to most chemicals. They’re easy to clean and can be used again and again on whatever projects you can come up with.

A pair of holes for pottery bat pins are spaced on the outer edge about 10 inches apart. 

Amaco Plasti-Bats are a smooth surface that still retains enough texture to hold clay as you throw. These bats stay flat and are easy to attach and release as you complete your throwing projects. 

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Durable and easy to clean
  • Available in square or round shapes 

Cons

  • Only available in one color (black) 
  • Not necessarily universal

What to Consider when Buying a Pottery Bat

As you look through options for pottery wheel bats online, there are a few characteristics you’ll want to pay attention to.

These features will help point you in the right direction when it comes to choosing the best pottery bat for your situation. 

Pottery Wheel Head

making pottery design

As you look through listings for pottery wheel bats, you’ll notice that some bats are specifically meant for particular pottery wheel heads. Most pottery wheel bats can be used universally, but that’s not always the case.

For instance, one of the pottery wheel bats we included on our list is specific to the U.S. Art Supply pottery wheel. This set of 2 bats could potentially be compatible with other pottery wheel heads as well. However, it’s easier to choose pottery wheel bats that are advertised as compatible with your pottery wheel head than to guess and find out you purchased the wrong pottery bat.

Pottery Bat Pin Holes 

Pottery bat pins are tiny dowels that hold the pottery bat to the pottery wheel head. The spacing of the pottery wheel bat pin holes for these pins is crucial when looking for a pottery bat.

pottery wheel bat pin holes

After all, if you’re not able to securely attach the bat to the wheel head, the pottery bat is useless. 

One of the easiest ways to figure out what spacing you need for your pottery bat pin holes is to measure the wheel head itself.

Most of the time, pottery bat pin holes are spaced evenly from the edge of the pottery wheel head, about 1-2 inches. 

For example, if you had a 14 inch wheel head, and the pottery bat pin holes were spaced 1 inch in from the outer edge, the holes would have a 12 inch spacing. You would subtract 1 inch from either side of the circle, thus reducing the diameter by a full 2 inches. 

Most pin holes are spaced between 10 and 12 inches away from one another.

This spacing fits most standard pottery wheel heads, but it’s always a good idea to check your particular wheel head to make sure you purchase the right bat with the proper bat pin holes. 

Pottery Bat Material

Many pottery bats are made from waterproof and durable materials.

After all, they will be covered in water and wet clay most of the time, so they have to withstand the elements.

Plastic Bats

clay vase project

That said, most of the pottery bats we included on our list are made from MDF, a type of plastic. Plastic works well with water, since it sheds more than it captures. However, plastic can still bend and warp with time, though not as easily as wood, since it is slightly absorbent.

Plaster Bats 

Some pottery bats can be made from plaster as well. Plaster is a great material to use, especially if you’re throwing in a drier climate. Where plastic and wood bats may suck up the moisture in the clay and dry it out, plaster helps the entire shape retain moisture so it dries evenly.

Pottery Bat Shape

making a pottery project

Though pottery wheel heads are circular in shape so that they spin true, that doesn’t mean your pottery bats have to be circular as well. In fact, one of the pottery bat systems we included on our list featured a circular adapter bat with square bat inserts. 

There are arguments for both circular and square pottery bats. For instance, circular pottery bats fit onto the overall shape of the wheel head, which can help your eyes orient to the throwing surface as you go. 

Square pottery bats, on the other hand, provide a few different benefits. For example, the edges of the square bat, even if they are rounded, give your hands purchase to easily lift the bat off the wheel. Square bats can also fit better on a shelf, increasing your efficiency in a studio and/or a kiln. 

Pottery Bat Size

small clay project large pottery bat

Most of the pottery bats we’ve included on our list are large enough to fit a decent-sized project on them. However, you can throw smaller pieces on a larger bat if you want to. It all depends on what amount of surface area you need to work in for that particular project. 

For example, working with a small bat system that includes 6 inch round or square bats can be great for throwing bowl sets or even cups. But larger bats, such as those that measure 10-14 inches, can also be helpful in capturing larger projects. It’s always better to have excess bat space than to push the limits and potentially ruin your project. 

Common Questions What can I use for pottery bats?

Pottery throwing bats come in many shapes and sizes. They’re basically flat discs you can use to remove work from the pottery wheel head. In fact, a pottery bat saves tons of time when used properly.

You can use a plastic bat, a hydro bat, a Masonite bat, a foam bat, or even a bat system. Bat systems are great to use if you plan on throwing more than a few projects at a time. Plastic bats are durable and easy to use. In fact, plastic bats are probably the most common type of bat.

removing clay from wheel

If you don’t have access to things like plastic bats or a bat system, you can also make do with your own bat, potentially creating your own to work with in the future. The main characteristic of any bat is that it makes removal from the pottery wheel head simple and it’s a flat surface to throw on.

Are Masonite bats good?

Yes, Masonite bats are a great investment. They are made from wood fibers but are coated with linseed oil to protect their shape. Many potters swear by Masonite bats, using them for years and years in their ceramics studio.

Do you need to use a bat on a pottery wheel?

Pottery bats are not required for throwing on the wheel. However, they do make removing projects you’ve thrown easier if you plan on spending more time on the wheel to make even more projects.  

How do you attach a bat to a pottery wheel?

Most pottery bats have bat pin holes. These mate to the surface of the pottery wheel head via bat pins, which are like small dowels. These press into the holes in the wheel head as well as the bat, mating them together. 

Some pottery bats do not have holes. This is okay because you can easily attach the bat to the wheel head via clay. Simply place 3-4 pieces of clay in a triangular or square pattern on the bare wheel head and center the pottery bat on them. Ensure that the bat is centered by spinning the wheel up and adjusting as necessary. 

How do you use pottery bats?

small clay bowl on pottery bats

Pottery bats are incredibly easy to use and provide plenty of benefits. Bats can be used on the pottery wheel or they can easily store hand-formed projects on a shelf to be fired. Pottery bats are simply flat surfaces that allow your work to have its own space to be worked on or shelved for firing.  

How do you clean a pottery bat?

cleaning pottery bat

As with any other pottery tool, pottery bats, when properly cared for, can last for years. After you’ve thrown a piece on a pottery bat, gently clean off the excess clay and water, ensuring you don’t mess up your project.

Once you let the project dry enough to be placed in the kiln, remove it from the bat. While you can put the bat under water to clean off the excess clay, never leave submerged bats as they can soak up water and warp.

When stored vertically, bats are able to dry and retain their shape. Allow the bat to fully dry before you use it again, but this time work on the opposite side. Alternating between sides can help weather the bat evenly so it doesn’t warp.

Can you leave pottery bats attached to the wheel head?

Many potters have their own system when it comes to leaving bats attached to the wheel head. When properly maintained, bat systems that include an adapter bat can certainly be left on the wheel head. The inserts are only what’s removed, so there’s not much use in centering the adapter bat time and again if you only need to remove the center.

At the same time, leaving pottery bats on the wheel could eventually lead to warping, especially if there’s lots of moisture present.

Wrap Up

We hope you’ve found this guide to the best pottery wheel `bats useful in your search. Pottery bats are a great way to easily switch from one project to the next as you throw. What will you fill your pottery bats with?