Makin’s Professional Ultimate Clay Machine Review
A clay machine is a perfect tool to make even and flat sheets of polymer clay. It’s also able to knead a couple of different colors together or you can use this machine to simply soften up clay the easy way. With the help of a clay machine, techniques such as slab working and marbling become faster and easier once the clay has been rolled through it.
The truth is, if you enjoy working with clay, a clay machine will definitely come in handy for mixing colors and flattening sheets. Most potters use a clay machine instead of softening clay manually because it’s a much faster option.
Enter the Makin’s Professional Ultimate Clay Machine.
The Makin’s Professional Ultimate clay machine is made from stainless steel and comes equipped with a handle, rollers, and table clamp.
- This is the perfect machine for blending and mixing colors and provides even and thin textures.
- This highly versatile model will handle all the heavy work for you. Reasonably priced, this machine will become an asset in your studio.
- The solid steel construction tells us this is one model that’s meant to last and the number of thickness levels proves it can offer a lot of versatility to your work.
Ultimate Clay Machine Overview & Features
Avid potters and general polymer lovers will come to rely on this machine thanks to the non-stick coating on the rollers, which allows the clay to move smoothly and quickly through the machine. You’ll be able to run wider sheets, up to two inches more than some of Makin’s top competitors.
Using this machine will take plenty of skill and tons of practice. In fact, in order to use it correctly, you’ll need to be able to crank the handle, feed the machine, and pull the clay out, all in fast succession.
When the clay comes out it falls straight down onto the base of the machine, which is based around three inches from the rollers. If you fail to closely monitor the process you’ll quickly find that the clay lands on the floor as soon as you release it.
- The machine works well if you work with small pieces of clay that are about 3/16 of an inch thick or less. But if you want to work with larger pieces, using this machine can be a real challenge.
- This model works best if you first prep the clay by hand rolling it into a sheet with a quarter of an inch thickness before you begin feeding the clay into the press.
- The machine’s reinforced bottom is important. It’s what will prevent the machine’s rollers from distorting the clay when you’re conditioning a larger volume or if the clay is tough.
The thickness setting affects the open space between the rollers. If you want to make thicker sheets then thin settings are not essential. Often, most pros have found that the thinnest setting is too thin for a polymer.
So, if you’re using the thinnest setting and the machine jams it doesn’t mean there’s an issue with the machine, just that the setting doesn’t work for the type of polymer you’re using. Which is why the manufacturer recommends using only Makin’s brand clay. This clay machine is designed for avid polymer clay users. If you don’t work with polymer often and you aren’t sure if
If you don’t work with polymer often and you aren’t sure if a polymer is a type of clay you’ll frequently use, then this machine may not be for you. However, if you work with polymer often enough and you’re tired of using a rolling pin, then it can help to take your art to the next level.
If you enjoy working with polymer but you don’t do much sheeting, you can still use this model for conditioning and mixing colors.
This model is described as the perfect starter machine. While it can’t do everything and it’s definitely not what you’d call a high-end tool, it will still serve you well.
If you want to expand your pottery skills, the US Art Supply large twelve-inch diameter sculpting wheel has received plenty of positive feedback from avid potters and can make the perfect addition to your home studio.
Makin’s USA Pros & Cons
Pros: The machine’s non-stick rollers are fantastic. The clay is able to glide easily through and comes out perfectly smooth every time.
- The gear markings are legible and easy to read.
- The thickness settings go from one, the thinnest setting, to nine, which is the highest thickness setting. One is around 1/8-inch-thick, while the nine thickness level is comparable to a sheet of paper.
- Many consumers chose this model for the optional motor you can purchase for it.
- Since this machine is designed for optimal use with Makin’s Air Dry Clay, you’d expect the machine to easily handle clays that feature a similar hardness and it truly does handle other brands like a champ.
Cons: Some potters complained that the included screw clamp doesn’t hold the unit firmly enough to a workbench. We recommend ditching the included clamp and instead using a standard C clamp. Another issue is safety. The metal edges on the machine are very sharp, making it easy to cut your fingers on.
Clay Machine Conclusion and Rating
The feedback for this clay machine is somewhat mixed. While some users raved about the nine thickness levels, quality construction of the machine and the clamp, others felt that the rollers were placed too far apart from each other and the gears didn’t fit in at the level one setting, causing the machine to jam.
But ultimately, any issues consumers had with the machine jamming tended to stem from using a brand of polymer that wasn’t Makin’s.
Overall, we feel that for the price, the machine performed better than what we were expecting. Sure, the clamp isn’t anything special, but by swapping it out for a basic C clamp we think it’s an easy fix. Consumers who purchased this model gave it a rating of four out of five stars for ease of use, construction, lightweight design and overall quality.