Vid #90: Don’t Buy A Cheap Clay Extruder. You’ll Be Sorry If You Do:
There are so many things you can do with a clay extruder. I use mine almost every day for making polymer canes. But you must be sure to buy a good one. The wrong polymer clay gun will leave you frustrated and physically exhausted!
There are three basic types of polymer clay extruders available:
1) Squeeze trigger… much like a caulking gun you would use to seal around a tub.
2) End Plunger style that requires thumb pressure to push the clay through the barrel of the extruder.
3) End Plunger that works with a screw mechanism. This third style is how the Makins Professional Ultimate Clay Extruder works.
Some squeeze trigger and thumb pressure extruders are so difficult to use that many crafters give up on them very quickly…
I will have to try the Makins extruder. I got the cheaper brand, tried it once, and decided that was enough of that! I would have to be a body builder to get the clay to come out with it, but it looks like the Makins brand probably gives a lot more leverage. I actually saw a woman on a craft show using her feet to get the cheaper brand extruder to work! I don’t know if I am athletic enough for that! ~CindyE
See Full Story Here: Making Polymer Clay Canes
In addition to the 3 types of extruders described above, you must also choose between plastic or metal construction. As I’m sure you can imagine with all of the variations available, there is a wide range of prices to have to deal with as well.
Makins sells a low end clay extruder with a plastic thumb plunger for around $5. I don’t recommend it. They also make a metal screw plunger unit called the Makins Professional Ultimate Clay Extruder for around $25. This is the one I use and recommend. From here, you can find higher volume clay guns in the $60-$95 range. And there’s even a $375 power extruder if you want to let a motor do all the hard work for you.
I get so many emails from polymer clay newbies and beginners about which extruder to buy. As already mentioned above, my advice is to start with the Makins Professional Ultimate Clay Extruder. It is made of aluminum so it is way stronger than the plastic ones. And it uses a screw in plunger which is fairly easy on your wrists and hands.
This Makins Ultimate Extruder is reasonably priced at $25 and comes with lots of extruder disks. You can also purchase additional disks if you ever need them. And there is a “clay-core-adapter” available for purchase as an add on. This adapter allows you to put holes through tube beads extruded from the gun.
Plus, the Makins Ultimate Clay Extruder is easy to find! You can get it at Amazon or at most craft stores including Michaels. You’ll probably find it with the Makins Air Dry Clay, instead of with the regular polymer clays, but it is usually there. Just make sure to get the one I pictured above and not the cheap plastic one by Makins.
I have created a video tutorial about how to use and care for a Makins Ultimate Clay Extruder, which I know you will find helpful. The full video is available for library members, but you can watch a preview clip below.
Here’s That “Link Below” Referred To at End of the Video
>> Polymer Clay Tutorials <<
The full version of the “Clay Extruder“ preview video shown above, is available for purchase at my Polymer Clay Bead Making Videos Library in the Volume-007 Back Issue Package.
In this “Makins Clay Extruder” video I show how to properly use the Makins Professional Ultimate Clay Extruder and all of it’s pieces. I also demonstrate how to take it apart for proper cleaning. Other topics covered in the video include:
- Using the right consistency of clay.
- Mixing in dry clay to achieve a cool crackly effect.
- Types of beads and canes you can make with the extruder.
- Replacement O-Rings.