Is Axner pottery wheel OK?

I am looking to order a pottery wheel, budget is
about $500. Axner sells one for about $600, but I
guess I could go this much. Anybody know if their
wheel is good, or has a history of problems? I am
a relative newbie to using a wheel, want my own to
make dinnerware, play making small vases. Mainly I
am a 2D visual artist. Also Creative Industries
makes one for about $500 -- is that brand OK?
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I don't have an Axner myself (use a Pacifica) but I have heard through the grape vine that Axner has excellent customer service. Should anything happen to go wrong (and I dare say that doesn't happen often) they stand behind their product and will fix it quickly.
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In article , says...
My wife is a beginning potter, and I bought her the smallest of the Axner wheels earlier this year. She has been _very_ pleased with it thus far. Obviously, based on the time frames we're talking about, there is not much to add regarding long-term reliability! However, we have been very pleased with how strong and quiet the wheel seems.
CharlesJ -- ======================================================================== Charles Jones | Works at HP, | email: Hewlett-Packard | doesn't speak | ICQ: 29610755 Loveland, Colorado | for HP | AIM: LovelandCharles USA | |Jabber:
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Charles Jones
Thank you Charles. Today I ordered the Axner M600 and am pretty excited to get it. Also ordered about 200# of clay so I guess I will be cranking out some pottery soon!
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I have had my Axner 600 since the second round of shipping & I love the thing! The splash pan is terrible but I would not be shocked if they have upgraded them by now. One thing that bugs me is having to remove the wheel head in order to clean the splash pan. I do not have running water on the back patio (where the wheel is) But removing the head is not that hard to do & it came with the tool to do it. After almost 2 years I am starting to get some rot starting where the splash pan hole is but the wheel is outside (covered & screened in) Removing the wheel head is easy like I have said but getting it seated back on is not as easy to do. I find sometimes I have to back the screw off & re-tighten it a few times. The wheel itself is very heavy &I like that about it.
If I had to do it again, I would without question buy another Axner wheel!
I also want to mention to you that they have awesome clay from the end of batches for only 12 cents per pound ! No guarantee on what it will be but they do guarantee the proper cone. I have gone through about 1000lbs of it & have gotten so many positive comments on my work using that unklnown stuff. I even re-sold several bags at my community school class & everyone wanted to know what it was & where they can get more etc... at $7 per bag (what I charged), it was half price compared to the local art stores here in Palm Beach!
Happy throwing
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