Shimpo RK-3D potter's wheel review

Shimpo RK-3D potter's wheel review

The Shimpo RK-3D is an extremely versatile wheel for a variety of pottery needs, especially when you throw large pieces or throw off the hump.

Here is a video of the wheel, courtesy of Northern Kilns:

I used an RK-3D for the first time when I took a week long one-to-one course with a professional potter in Japan back in 2019. Since then, I have spotted RK-3Ds being featured in many artists’ social media pages. The wheel appears to be very popular.


  • It can handle a large amount of clay with ease (centre load weight is 45kg)
  • It feels well made and robust
  • It is very quiet to run
  • The wheel speed can be controlled by the foot pedal or hand lever


  • It is not so portable due to its heavy steel body (52kg)
  • There is limited space to place your tools
  • I find leveling the wheel takes a little getting used to
  • The foot pedal and hand lever is fixed to one side


The specification of the wheel can be found on the manufacturer’s website:

Who It Suits

This wheel would suit virtually any potter from beginner to expert. Even if you are just starting out, if you think you are going to spend a lot of time practising the craft it will most likely suit you.

Who It Doesn’t

Perhaps it would be overkill for those who throw predominantly small pieces or who mainly want a wheel for turning pots.

It is also worth mentioning that although the wheel is compact, it is quite heavy and kind of awkward to manoeuvre on your own. If you are in a situation where you need to move your wheel frequently, you might find this an inconvenience.


The RK-3D is on a pricey side but it is worth every penny because it sure will be an excellent companion along your pottery journey. As your skills grow so will the amount of clay you can throw. Once you reach a level where you can throw a moon jar out of 10kg of clay, this wheel will handle that demand!

I highly recommend this wheel. 👍

I bought my RK-3D from Bath Potters Supplies.

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