The 10 Best Clay Sculpting Tools
This wiki has been updated 13 times since it was first published in October of 2017. Clay sculpting is an art form that demands different techniques, which is why any hobbyist is going to need a variety of tools in order to achieve their desired designs. But buyers should also consider their tools' durability and efficacy in addition to overall diversity, which we kept in mind when putting together our selection. We've made sure to add some budget-friendly options, too. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
December 02, 2020:
At this time, we've added a few upgrades to our previous selections. For instance, we removed the Comiart Hole Cutters, adding the Vidillo Hollow Punches, instead. Both kits help you make perfectly round holes, but the latter is much easier to clean, since the pieces don't have handles. But don't worry, they're large enough for most users to manipulate comfortably, even without a handle.
We also removed the Meuxan 8 Piece Ball Stylus and replaced it with the Meuxan 13 Piece Ball Stylus. As you can easily guess, the latter has more pieces and represents a better value. With that said, there are occasional issues wherein the spheres are not perfectly smooth, but the kit has a 12-month warranty against defects.
As for popular maker Kemper, we selected the Kemper Ribbon Set over the similar Mini set. Both offer well-made tools, but the larger size makes the former easier to manipulate for most. They're a bit pricier than many similar choices, but they have strong ferrules that keep the tips from falling off while you're working.
Finally, as for sets that put a huge range of tools at your fingertips, we have opted for the Arteza Set of 42, the U.S. Art Supply Set, and the Hush Pure Sleep Kit. They're geared more toward novices than pros, so if you're a professional artist with many years of experience, you might find these lacking — you might instead beef up your collection with the aforementioned Kemper set or the Mudtools Essentials. But if you're just looking to take up clay sculpting for fun, these affordable kits make that possible, especially if you've already spent a lot on clay or a pottery wheel.
March 08, 2019:
Buying clay sculpting tools can quickly become a black hole, as there are so many that do so many different things — it's hard to ever have enough. But we've made sure to keep a well-rounded sampling here, featuring several sets that will serve beginners well. These include the Arteza Set of 42, the Sculpt Pro 15 Piece Deluxe, and the Skilled Crafter Clay Tools. They all include quite a few double-sided pieces that allow for seemingly endless methods of expressing creativity. For the pro, we added the Kemper Mini Ribbon Set, which comes from one of the top names in tools for ceramic arts. This particular set does not disappoint, offering sturdiness and the knurled grip that makes work fly by, but you should expect to pay for this quality. And, last but not least, we decided to leave the Comiart Hole Cutters. They'll certainly help you make nice, tidy holes, but it should be said that they're not the easiest to clean.
Sculpture House Detailing Tools Set With the Sculpture House Detailing Tools Set, you'll receive a total of nine stainless steel tools, each with two distinctly shaped heads for versatility. This strong and sturdy, if pricey, kit is made to last, and stores easily in the included leather pouch. sculpturehouse.com
DiamondCore Tools 6-Piece Essential Set Each piece in the DiamondCore Tools 6-Piece Essential Set is a work of art in its own right, boasting an attractive wood construction with a comfortable grip that lets you work for hours. The tips include square, U, V, and more, featuring "never dull" technology for durability you can count on. diamondcoretools.com