Shimpo VL Lite Review

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Not everyone needs a big pottery wheel when it comes to crafting with clay. Even if you bring home a massive wheel, chances are, you might not ever use the features and end up paying so much more. If you are someone whose prime prerogative is to throw small or medium-sized pots, you don’t necessarily need a high-end wheel. This is perfect for beginners who are experimenting with the crafting process. In this context, we bring you an amazing crafting wheel that fits into your budget and provides you with all the necessary features without compromising on quality.

So, let us talk more about its features.

Shimpo VL Lite: Features

If you tend to work with clay that doesn’t weigh more than 10 pounds, you need to find a pottery wheel that isn’t too humungous or loaded with unwanted features. All you need is a sturdy and reliable wheel that easily handles regular use for a long time without affecting your budget.

This is where the Shimpo VL Lite pottery wheel comes in. Its high RPM motor ensures that you can modify it to your crafting needs. Moreover, the machine is light in weight and even quiet regardless of being an electric pottery wheel. If you are worried about whether it works for left-handed potters, then you are in for a treat. This machine is suited for left-handed as well as right-handed individuals.

The pottery wheel also features a sturdy and high-quality foot pedal that can be operated remotely. It helps you establish a better foot grip as compared to the machines with pedals that are connected to the mainframe.

Further, the Shimpo VL Lite features a detachable splash pan that can be divided into two pieces for an easy cleaning experience once you are done crafting. The wheel head is made of high-quality aluminum that reduces the risk of rust-related damage. Plus, the reversible motor allows your wheel to easily move in the desired direction and helps with a glitch-free crafting experience. The motor has a 100-watt capacity and doesn’t add a lot to your electricity bills.

Given its ½HP engine, this pottery wheel can acquire a high speed that can be controlled remotely. Most beginner-friendly pottery wheels are equipped with a similarly powered motor. In this context, the Shimpo Wheel isn’t an exception. This high-quality wheel can easily get you a 250 rotations/minute speed. This speed doesn’t get affected regardless of the clay weight on top. However, this might not be applicable if the clay weight goes beyond the stated limit.


Wheel Weight51 lbs
Warranty5 years
Motor Power½ HP
Brand NameShimpo
Clay Centering Weight25 lbs
Wattage100 Watts
Package Dimensions36 Inches X 24 Inches X 24 Inches

Material and Design

In the realm of electric pottery wheels, the composition of these tools typically involves a combination of three primary materials: aluminum alloy, steel, and plastic. Notably, the choice of the material significantly impacts the wheel’s durability and overall performance. Plastic-based wheels, for instance, are often deemed fragile and may not endure as desired. In contrast, wheels with an aluminum alloy construction boast superior sturdiness and durability, making them a preferred choice.

Enter the Shimpo VL Lite, a pottery wheel that stands out with its aluminum alloy composition, ensuring longevity and robust performance. What sets this wheel apart is not only its durable construction but also its optimal size. Characterized by its compact and lightweight design, the Shimpo VL Lite becomes an ideal selection for those who seek portability, allowing for easy transportation to studios located at a distance. Its dimensions are tailored for effortless maneuvering, enabling users to load it into their cars without rearranging the backseat.

An added advantage of choosing the Shimpo VL Lite lies in its removable splash pan. Recognizing the importance of maintaining a clean workspace in pottery, this feature simplifies the cleanup process, making it efficient and swift. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned crafter, the convenience of removing the splash pan contributes to a seamless and time-effective post-creative ritual.

Furthermore, the Shimpo VL Lite boasts a commendable clay-centering capacity of approximately 25 pounds. This feature proves particularly advantageous for beginners, eliminating the need for constant interruptions to replenish clay during a single session. The automated belt-tensioning design enhances the wheel’s reliability, ensuring a smooth rotation without glitches or pauses. Striking a balance between lightness for portability and sturdiness to prevent excessive vibrations, the Shimpo VL Lite emerges as a reliable companion for pottery enthusiasts, seamlessly blending convenience with performance.

However, the pottery wheel does have some drawbacks which you should know about. The splash pan is created from plastic material that might not be as durable and should be removed or attached with care. Make sure you don’t let the clay in the pan harden a lot, or it could lead to cracking issues.

  • The quiet motor, even with a high rotation speed
  • Light in weight for portability
  • Detachable splash pan
  • Achieves about 250 rotations/minute
  • Reversible handle for left-handed and right-handed potters
  • The splash pan might be a bit flimsy


Shimpo VL Lite is perfect for someone who is on a budget. It provides you with all the necessary features for throwing without getting you anything extra or unwanted. The pricing is on the down-low without compromising on the quality. Moreover, the machine is backed by 5 years worth of manufacturer warranty. So, you do not have to worry about the machine going bad for a minimum of 5 years.

How to Use the Shimpo VL Lite Wheel?

The Shimpo VL Lite pottery wheel stands out as a favored choice among individuals at various skill levels, ranging from novices venturing into pottery to seasoned artisans appreciating its user-friendly configuration and unwavering dependability. Whether you embark on the initial stages of your pottery journey or consider upgrading your existing equipment, this comprehensive guide aims to assist you in maximizing the potential of your Shimpo VL Lite pottery wheel.

Step 1: Set Up Your Workspace

Before diving into the pottery wheel, preparing your workspace is essential. Choose a well-ventilated area with ample space to move around. Ensure the surface is level, as stability is crucial when working with a pottery wheel. Position the Shimpo VL Lite on a sturdy table or workbench, ensuring it’s anchored.

Step 2: Adjust the Seat and Splash Pan

The Shimpo VL Lite has an adjustable seat and a removable splash pan. Adjust the seat height to ensure you’re comfortable and have proper body alignment while throwing. Attach the splash pan securely onto the wheel head to catch excess water and clay during pottery-making.

Step 3: Center the Clay

Place a lump of clay (prepared and wedged beforehand) in the center of the wheelhead. Start the wheel slowly and use your hands to center the clay by applying gentle pressure. Centering is crucial in pottery as it ensures an even and balanced form.

Step 4: Open the Clay

Upon achieving the precision of a centered clay mass, employ your thumbs with a deliberate touch, carving an indentation at its core. Methodically widen this incision, orchestrating a transformation into a flat disc. This intricate process is the cornerstone, laying the structural groundwork for your forthcoming pottery creation. Each nuanced movement of your hands contributes to the evolution of the clay, ushering it from a centered lump to a poised and flattened canvas.

Step 5: Pull Up the Walls

As the malleable clay transforms, moisten your hands before delicately coaxing its walls upwards, molding it into the envisioned height and contours. Ensure a steady pace on the wheel, utilizing a sponge to maintain the clay’s lubrication, thus facilitating the sculpting process. Sustain the dampness on your hands, a strategic measure to prevent any unwarranted adhesion of the clay, ensuring a smooth and uninterrupted creative flow. This meticulous approach contributes to the seamless crafting of your pottery piece.

Step 6: Shape and Trim

As the walls of your pottery piece take shape, refine the form using your hands and various shaping tools. Experiment with different techniques to create unique textures and designs. Once you’re satisfied with the shape, use a trimming tool to refine the base and remove excess clay.

Step 7: Clean Up

After completing your pottery piece, turn off the wheel and remove it from the wheel head. Use a wire tool to cut the piece from the bat. Clean the wheel head and splash the pan thoroughly, removing any clay residue. Wipe down the wheel and surrounding workspace to maintain a clean working environment.


With the Shimpo VL Lite Pottery Wheel by your side, it is now time for you to initiate the learning process. If you are easily irked by noise, this machine will be your best friend for years. Operating the pottery wheel becomes very easy with the video instruction guide. However, maintenance is essential to ensure the wheel lasts long. So, wipe down the wheel and the splash pan after each crafting session. It helps prevent clogging of the movable parts. So, start your journey to learn crafting and throwing some exquisite pottery pieces.


With the Shimpo VL Lite Pottery Wheel by your side, it is now time for you to initiate the learning process. If you are easily irked by noise, this machine will be your best friend for years to come. Operating the pottery wheel becomes very easy with the video instruction guide. However, to make sure the wheel lasts you a long time, maintenance is very important. So, make sure you wipe down the wheel and the splash pan after each crafting session. This helps prevent clogging of the movable parts. So, get started on your journey to learn crafting and throwing some exquisite pottery pieces.

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