Years and years ago, I discovered polymer clay, and when gifted with some, decided I should get some tools to work with it. I was a terrible sculptor, and the tools and clay sat in a box and have been moved several times. With my leatherworking improving my dexterity and 3D abilities, I thought I would take things out again about a year ago… and discovered I wasn’t half bad.
Everything came out again in May, and again this past month, and I feel I have used the tools enough now to review them. So, that’s my background in the subject, and here we go.
There are 8 individual pieces, 5 of which are double-ended and made of wood, and 3 of which are single ended and made of metal. They work nicely to manipulate clay and seem well-made. I assume they are originally traditional clay sculpting tools, but I have no real issues with the polymer adhering unnecessarily to them.
I use the metal tools much less frequently than the wooden ones of the set, because I generally make additive sculpture, not subtractive. The times I have used the metal, they have worked nicely, and pulled through the clay smoothly.
This set, depending on what you plan to sculpt, could be almost all the tools you need. I feel it only needs a blade of some sort to be truly complete. You can, of course, cut through clay somewhat accurately with the “knife” end of the one wooden tool, but it drags more than my metal bladed tool, and that makes a lot of difference when crafting tiny pieces. I also suppose if you are making giant bronze casts of your pieces you might be manipulating much bigger amounts of clay than these tools could handle (…but how many people really get to do that nowadays?).
They are fairly ubiquitous to find in many arts and crafts stores, and if you are thinking about picking up a set, I would suggest doing so. They should serve you for many years to come, and the variety of marks you can make with them are well worth the initial cost (which should be under $15).