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Makin's Ultimate Clay ExtruderAfter last week's Polymer Clay Pincushion post, I got a friendly email from Susanna. She asked,

"I just wanted to know if you had any advice on extruding clay using a clay extruder. I have so much trouble pushing the clay out and then cleaning it afterwards! Do you have any tips on how to make it easier?"

Ugh. I knew almost without asking that Susanna was using the old silver plunger-style extruder. I knew that because I lived with my plunger-style extruder for years, and so I recognized her frustration.

I "treated" myself to a Sculpey Clay Extruder not long after I started using polymer clay. "Treated," I say, because it was definitely a mixed blessing. The effects you could achieve with the discs were cool. Some of the shapes would have been very difficult to create without an extruder.

But it turned out they were also difficult to create with the extruder. My hands ached after using that thing. And Susanna's right -- it was difficult to clean. I looked for suggestions online and tried a few. Glass Attic's tip on baking a clay plug to clean the extruder barrel was the most memorable of my failures. That extruder was (literally) a pain to use and a pain to clean.

So I stopped using it.

I skipped over projects that required extruders. I did my best to roll out my own perfect clay snakes when I needed them. I avoided using that old thing whenever possible.

One day, I heard about Makin's Ultimate Clay Extruder. People raved about how much easier to use and clean it was. It sounded interesting, but for the most part, I ignored them. After all, I didn't use the extruder I had, so it was hard to justify buying another.

That's where I was wrong. After I finally caved in and bought the Makin's Extruder, I realized that this is one case where tool quality makes all the difference. I'm no longer reluctant to use my clay extruder. It's so easy to use and easy to clean that I'll pull it out even for small jobs.

Here's an overview of the Makin's Clay Extruder, in case you've been holding out on buying one too.


  • Easy to use. Doesn't hurt your hands like the cheaper silver plunger-style extruders.
  • Easy to clean. The rubber O-ring inside takes care of most cleaning for you.
  • Nice variety. The included 20 discs give you lots of shape options. If you need more, there are 2 10-disc add-on sets available. You can also buy core adapters, which you use along with your existing discs to extrude hollow shapes.


  • Price. The Makin's Clay Extruder will probably cost you at least twice as much as the cheaper silver type.

For me, the pros far outweigh the cons. Yes, the Makin's Clay Extruder is expensive. But in this case, you get what you pay for. The Makin's extruder is a much better tool, and it's much more enjoyable to use.

Stay tuned in the coming days for an explanation of how to use & clean the Makin's Ultimate Clay Extruder, plus a few tips & tricks on getting the most out of your extruder.

Posts In This Series:

Buy the Makin's Ultimate Clay Extruder now.


I love my Makins extruder. I also found that I can use some of my old disks from my smaller silver extruder with it. For example, the Kemper disk set includes two disks that have slightly smaller single round holes than the Makins set, so I put the Kemper disk next to the clay and then put a Makins disk with a larger opening on the outside. Then I screw on the lid. The smaller disks stays centered on the larger disk and the Makins disk supports the smaller one so it doesn't "blow out". I just crank slowly so I don't put too much pressure on the assembly.

Thanks for the tip, Cynthia! I got rid of my old extruder after years of not using it -- now I'm thinking it (or at least its discs) might have been good for something after all!

Thanks so much for the recommendation and review. I just placed my order and I cant wait to get it and start using it. Yay to no more achy hands!

Susanna, I hope you like yours as much as I like mine! Be sure & let me know how it works out for you.

Oh Angela,
Your post is just what I wanted to read..I've been hurting myself for way too long with that awful thing.
Will take your word for it and go for Makin's.

Spray the inside of the extruder with a shot of WD40 or CRC. It works wonders to let the clay slide right out. A small piece of wax or plastic wrap on the end of the plunger works to keep it from sticking to that part.

Hi, Your review was very helpful and It's helped me make up my mind to replace my current extruder. I do have one question. I've seen a stainless steel version for twice as much money and half as many discs. Is this better or just pricey because it's stainless?


Hi, Robin! The stainless steel version was designed to be used with precious metal clays (the regular version of the extruder apparently reacts with the metal clays). The stainless steel one is shorter, which may be a factor if you're wanting to extrude longer strands of clay. The discs are interchangeable, and you can buy disc sets made for the regular version for a pretty good price -- so I wouldn't worry about getting fewer discs. I have *heard* that the stainless steel version is stronger, but since I haven't used it, I can't give you a comparison based on personal experience.

It probably depends on how you plan to use it. If you might be interested in using PMC, go for the stainless steel version. If you're caning daily or regularly using your extruder for firmer brands of clay, it might be worth investing in the (potentially) stronger version. Otherwise, the regular version will probably work fine for you.

Have been trying too produces ultimate clay extruder,the problem i face,is how too produce a prefect push. I'm a student of AMBROSE ALLI UNIVERSITY EKPOMA IN NIGERIA

I use my Makin's Ultimate extruder for almost every project (I like the mosiac style). I cut the "handle" off with a hacksaw (the rod that slips through the hole, and bought a low-torque hand drill with a 1/2-inch chuck. The piston fits in the drill, and I have an extruder!

I'm buying a new extruder, plus one of the stainless ones, because I've worn my old one out.

If you like using an extruder, try this method. It's great!

Thanks for the tip, Sandy. I saw a similar "hack" at the IPCA Retreat & just had to say "Wow!" It really makes for quick, effortless extruding!

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