9 Best Pot Friction Calls for Turkey Hunters

By Shaggy Outdoor Team

March 5, 2023

9 Best Pot Friction Calls for Turkey Hunters by Shaggy Outdoors

A Pot Call Produces Yelps, Purrs, Cutts, and Clucks

Pot calls are one of three types of calls used by turkey hunters to talk with turkeys while hunting. Since turkeys are naturally vocal, using one singular call could be all you need. But crazy turkey hunters like you and I know that every hunt is different; therefore, having multiple calls in our vest can make or break your hunt on a particular day.

Each type of call is used in different situations and while one might be the best choice today, tomorrow the gobbler may not be interested. The pot calls are very versatile. If you want to make several hen vocalizations including a yelp, cluck, cutts, and purrs, a pot call can provide all of these in one call.

Springtime is breeding season for turkeys and gobblers will be interested in any hens calling out during this time of year. With the proper sounding call, you can trick a tom into believing you’re an available hen and he’ll come looking for a hen to breed.

The Shaggy Outdoors Team has put together the “9 Best Pot Friction Calls for Turkey Hunters”. These friction pot calls include the traditional Slate, Slate over Glass, Ceramic, and Crystal pot calls.

No two calls will have the same sound. Mixing the different finishes of the pot with different types of strikers, you will get a variety of turkey sounds. Typically, each pot-style friction call will come with at least one striker, but you may, over time, purchase several different calls and strikers to find the one or two having the best sounds. Check out our review of The 11 Best Strikers for Pot Calls Reviewed for additional strikers that could have excellent sounds and results for your pot call. 

All hunters are looking for an advantage when hunting turkey. If you can sound like a turkey your odds of success will increase. Two additional factors that can give you an advantage are:

1. Being Invisible - having the right apparel - Check out our Ultimate Gear Guide for Turkey Hunters

2. Using Quality Decoys - get good decoys and the right decoy setup with Montana Decoys Turkey XD Series

With preparation and the right gear, your turkey hunt this season will get you the mature tom of a lifetime.

Recommended Books for Turkey Hunters

Turkey Hunting Tales, Tips and Tactics

Book Contents by Chapter:

  • Mountain Merriam's
  • Ridiculous Rios
  • Egotistical Easterns
  • Only the Osceola
  • Foul-Weather Birds
  • Going Public
  • Late-Season Public-Land Gobblers
  • Archery Turkey Gear & Proper Practice
  • Be a Run-And-Gunner

Ballad of a Turkey Hunter

Book Contents by Chapter:

  • Not Subject to Change
  • 82-1
  • Curiosity vs. Persuasion
  • The Learning Curve
  • Woodsmanship
  • Noxubee
  • Two Empty Coffee Cups
  • Ripped Out Journal Pages
  • To Whom It May Concern
  • Superstitions
  • Dad

Best Overall Slate Call

Woodhaven Calls Next Level Ninja Slate Turkey Pot Call is our #1 Best Overall Slate Call choice for both avid experienced and beginner turkey hunters looking for a quality call for years of hunting enjoyment. The quality of this new and improved with a popular profile design change. 

Click Here to Buy Now at Sportsman's Warehouse!

Best Overall Slate Call by Woodhaven Calls

Call Features:

  • "Next Level" - new popular profile pot design
  • Walnut Profile Pot
  • Comes with a Hickory and Purple Heart Striker
  • Produces Crisp Cutts, Cackles, and Raspy Yelp
  • Produces Soft Clucks and Purrs

Woodhaven is an American homegrown company started in the 1980's by Mike Pentecost the Founder and Owner. Each call is Made in the USA and they are located in St. Heflin, Alabama. Not only does Woodhaven produce friction calls, but they also have mouth calls and locator calls for your turkey-hunting needs. 

Best Overall Glass Call

Bone Collector's Sweet April Mahogany / Glass over Glass Pot Call is our #1 Best Glass Call for turkey hunters. This quality call is used primarily when conditions are dry, but also the glass allows for use when you are hunting in wet weather conditions. "This 'go anywhere' call will consistently perform in the worst conditions". Overall glass choice for different weather conditions. 

22 Ratings

Call Features:

  • Excellent Choice for Wet Calling Conditions
  • Glass Call - has raspy sounds with a higher pitch
  • Turned mahogany pot
  • Realistic Cutts, Clucks, Purrs, and Yelps
  • Custom Striker Included

Bone Collector series of calls are designed and crafted in the USA. Located in Hamilton, GA Michael Waddell, a significant name in the hunting and outdoor community, started Bone Collector in 2008. A popular hunting show on TV the Bone Collector series of products can withstand the harshest of environments. Not only does Bone Collector produce friction calls, but they also have a line of mouth calls, box calls,  and locator calls for your turkey-hunting needs. 

Cabela's Tactical Turkey Vest. 1 of 20 Top Turkey Vests for Turkey Hunting.

Looking for a good Turkey Hunting Vest to stow your gear?

Check out our article on the 20 Top Turkey Vests Reviewed

We've put together 20 options to choose from. Check out the minimalist vest, vest with kickstands, and traditional turkey vest we've assembled.

Best Overall Crystal Call

Phelps Game Calls - MeatEater X Phelps Crystal Over Slate Turkey Pot Call is our #1 Best Crystal Call for turkey hunters. This quality call is used primarily when conditions are dry, but also the crystal allows for use when you are hunting in wet weather conditions. Starting in 2009, Phelps Calls has been producing above-industry-standard calls for all types of hunters. Overall crystal call choice for its versatile use in both dry and wet conditions. 

7 Ratings

Call Features:

  • Excellent Choice for Wet Calling Conditions
  • Crystal Call - has raspy sounds with a higher pitch
  • Walnut wood pot
  • Realistic Cutts, Clucks, Purrs, and Two-Tone Yelps
  • Crystal over Slate Soundboard
  • Hickory-tipped Striker Included

Phelps Game Calls was originally started by Jason Phelps in 2009 in the mountains of PeEll, Washington. As an avid hunter, Jason started his line of calls to get the game to come to him. With a civil engineering degree, his calls have been produced with high-quality materials and design. In 2021, Phelps Game Calls and Steve Rinella's MeatEater Brand joined forces to increase visibility and sales for Phelps. Under ownership by the MeatEater brand, the company will continue operations in PeEll, WA, while expanding its line of calls by partnering with some of the best custom call manufacturers in the US. Jason Phelps will continue to head business operations and not only does Phelps Game Calls produce friction turkey calls, but they also have a line of mouth calls, box calls,  and locator calls for your turkey-hunting needs. 

Best Overall Ceramic Call

Hank's Game Calls Padauk Ceramic Turkey Pot Call is our #1 Best Ceramic Call for turkey hunters. This quality constructed and engineered call can be used in a variety of hunting conditions. The ceramic material aallowshunters to continue calling when the weather starts to turn to rain.  How good is the Hank's Game Call Series for Turkey? Look at all these awards

  • 3 X D.D. Adams Award Winner
  • 2020 Grand Nationals - 1st Place Aluminum / 2nd Place Owl Hooter
  • Virginia Call Maker of the Year
  • 2019 Grand Nationals - 1st Place Owl Hooter
  • Midwest Call Maker of the Year - 1st place in Slate, Glass, & Aluminum

Click here to buy now at Sportsman's Warehouse!

Best Ceramic Friction Pot Turkey Call. Hank's Game Calls by Shaggy Outdoors

Call Features:

  • 1st Place, Best of Class and Virginia Callmaker of the Year Award Winner
  • Ceramic Over Glass surface
  • Padauk wood pot
  • Realistic Cutts, Clucks, Purrs, and Two-Tone Yelps
  • 2 Piece Striker Included

Hank's Game Calls is located in Reidsville, NC and you can purchase your calls through their website or at Sportsman's Warehouse. The calls are not available on Amazon. The company has a history of producing quality calls that compete and win at many regional turkey calling competitions. The hand made in the USA calls are very popular among turkey hunters in the Carolinas. Believing in making the best calls, Hank's Game Calls produce a variety of friction turkey calls, but they also have a line of mouth calls, box calls,  and locator calls for your turkey-hunting needs. 

Best Pot Call for Beginners

Hunter Specialties H.S. Strut Cookie Cutt'R Tracer Friction Lid Pot Call is our #1 Best Beginner Pot Call for turkey hunters. This call is not of the highest material quality and is one of the few calls with a lid on the market. The lid for this call is designed for first-time friction slate users. The lid has three tracer slots to mimic the Yelp, Purr, and Cluck of a hen. If you follow the guide on the lid you will make the basic calls using The Cookie Cutt'R. The lid can be removed to utilize more of the surface for calling once you become for efficient and to resurface or condition the slate stone.  How good is the HS Strut Cookie Cutt'R? Look at all these reviews:

  • "This product is great. Bought this product for my kid to learn. He loves and I find myself using it more than my other calls..."
  • "I had no problem with getting Tom's to come to the turkey call plus I needed something fast to get out in the woods" 
  • "Good place to start for calling turkeys"

702 Ratings

Call Features:

  • Tracer Lid - allows beginning hunter a guide for making calls 
  • Injection molded pot coupled with a slate striking surface 
  • Quick reference cap is removable 
  • Realistic Clucks, Purrs, and Yelps
  • Striker Included

Hunter Specialties makes a vast line of turkey calls for beginner to advanced hunters. H.S. Strut Game Calls is located in Irving, TX and you can purchase through their website or on Amazon. Other brick-and-mortar big box retailers like Sportsman's Warehouse have a variety of Hunter Specialties calls. Based out of Irving, TX Hunter Specialties produce a variety of turkey calls and other species calls under the Hunter Specialties, Johnny Stewart, and Wayne Carton's series. Pick up this turkey call if you are in a hurry or need some practice. 

Best 2-for-1 Slate & Glass Pot Call Combination

ESH Custom Calls - Wooden Pan Friction Call with Realistic Turkey Sounds  Combo is our #1 Best 2-for-1 Slate and Glass Pot Style Call for turkey hunters. This double-sided call has slate on one side and glass on the other. Having multiple surfaces gives the hunter the advantage of mixing up their calls to mimic more birds or even a flock of hens. How good are the ESH Turkey Calls? They are designed and have been fine-tuned by 14 Time Major Call and Call Building Champion Pat Strawser and Rodney Eckstine has won the 2022 and 2023 National Wildlife Turkey Federations Friction Division. 

  • All Calls are Hand Made in the U.S.A. 
  • ESH Offers Premier Customer Support 
  • 100% Money Back Guarantee 

634 Ratings

Call Features:

  • Flip Over Pot Call - two-sided with glass and slate 
  • Includes conditioner and sandpaper 
  • Cherry and Walnut Wood
  • Top Coated for Protection 
  • Comes with Purple Heat 2 Piece Striker
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • 100% Satisfaction Money Back Guarantee

ESH is so good they put a warning on their packages that reads "ESH Custom Calls may attract other hunters. You, the hunter, assume all risk of injury with the use of this product". You know you have the right call when they know you will sound as good or better than a live turkey. Glass surface is a higher pitch sound while the slate side gives you an opportunity to be softer with your purrs.

Based out of Millersburg, PA ESH Custom Calls produce a variety of turkey calls including mouth calls and friction calls. 

Best Overall Pot Turkey Call for the Price - Less than $50

Strut Commander - Ole Scratch Slate Turkey Pot Call is our #1 Best Turkey Call for Less than $50 for all turkey hunters. This slate stone is housed in a walnut wood pot and comes with a two piece purple heart wood striker. An inexpensive call option, should not be taken lightly. This call has the ability to sound and mimic turkeys in the wild. With a little practice you can be pulling in those bearded gobblers in no time. 

  • All Calls are Hand Made in the U.S.A. 
  • 40+ years of combined Turkey Calling and Guiding Experience Goes into Each Call 
  • Built by Turkey Hunters  

319 Ratings

Call Features:

  • Carries warm slate tones 
  • Smaller Hand Turned Walnut Wood Pot 
  • Walnut Wood
  • Great for Tree Yelps 
  • Comes with 1-Striker

Strut Commander if it sounds familiar is a sister company to Buck Commander and is manufactured under the Duck Commander name. The television show and hunting experiences have transformed into a turkey-calling company under Strut Commander's name. The calls are relatively inexpensive and able to be used by everyone from a novice to an advanced hunter. Mike Miller, world champion caller, and Jordan Summitt are leading the way for design and implementation at Strut Commander. 

Best Combo Kit of Turkey Calls for Beginners

Hunter Specialties Super Strut Combo Kit is our #1 Best Beginner Combo Kit for turkey hunters. You can purchase a slate Cookie Cutt'R alone, but his package of calls gives you one mouth call, the Cookie Cutt'R, and a Crow locator calls. If you have no calls in your turkey vest, this package is a great place to start.  How good is the HS Super Strut Combo Overall? Look at all these reviews:

  • "Bought this as a back up in case I lost any of my primary equipment. It's not too of the line stuff but for the price it's pretty good! Would highly recommend as a beginners set or a back up set"
  • "Editing my post, owl call is perfect, crow call is perfect, compared to an expereanced hunter the sound quality is as expected. The pot call acually earned me a complament on the sound. The diaprhame call however i gave to my daughter to practice. Feels to stiff in comparison. Though the diaprme i owe was much more exapensive then this set so for a starter kit this will give you more then enough calls to start working witg again i replace led only the diaprhame call. And intend on add a wet dry friction call and gobbler call. Would definitly recomend this set" 
  • "i have had this set for about 2 weeks and I love it I have been hunting with it and it is GREAT! I have had success with everything the mouth call works great the owl call works great and the slate call is great the only thing I don't like is the crow call the Turkeys on my property did not respond to it but everything else is fine good qaulity and great price!"

273 Ratings

Combo Package Calls and Features:

  • Double D Diaphragm Call
  • Hammerin' Crow Call
  • The Hooter Locator Call
  • Li'L Deuce Pan Call & Carbon Striker
  • Realistic Clucks, Purrs, and Yelps
  • Striker Included

Hunter Specialties makes a vast line of turkey calls for beginner to advanced hunters. H.S. Strut Game Calls is located in Irving, TX and you can purchase through their website or on Amazon. Other brick-and-mortar big box retailers like Sportsman's Warehouse have a variety of Hunter Specialties calls. Based out of Irving, TX Hunter Specialties produce a variety of turkey calls and other species calls under the Hunter Specialties, Johnny Stewart, and Wayne Carton's name series. Pick up this turkey call combo pack if you are a beginner wanting to try multiple calls on your next hunt or you are looking for an inexpensive backup when things go wrong. We like this call combo as it has the crow call included. One call every turkey hunter needs is a locator call and this crow call does the job. 

3 More Good Pot Call Options

Pot Slate Calls for Turkey Hunters by Woodhaven Calls and Shaggy Outdoors

Woodhaven Calls Legend Slate Turkey Pot Call

Overall Rating: 5/5

"Best sounding and most quality built slate"...

Comes With:

  • Surface Conditioning Kit
  • Surface Saver Lid
  • 2 Hand Matched Strikers
Hank's Game Calls Osage Green Slate Turkey Pot Call by Shaggy Outdoors

Hank's Game Calls Osage Green Slate Turkey Pot Call

Overall Rating: 1/5

Made by a team of Champion Game Callers

Comes With:

  • Slate Call
  • Striker
  • Conditioning Pad
quaker boy triplet turkey slate call. Comes with three strikers.

Quaker Boy Triplet Turkey Slate Call

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

3 Strikers for Variety of Tones and Sounds

Comes With:

  • Compact Molded Pot
  • Slate Surface
  • Carbon, Wild Ash, and Acrylic Strikers
  • Abrasive Clean Pad

How to Condition My Pot Call

The Amazon package has arrived...

Is there any better day for a hunter than when a package arrives for a recent purchase? I know that I can't wait to jump into knowing and understanding my new purchase. In this case, we are talking about a new Pot Call.

Once you receive your pot call in the mail you will need to condition it to make those sweet sounds of the hen turkey. 

It is very important to start by determining how you will hold the pot in your hand. Determining which direction or how you will hold the pot every time will provide you with a fit for your hand and from there, you will condition it in the same direction every time. 

Conditioning a Slate Surface Pot Call

Depending on the type of slate surface you have, you may not need much conditioning. Conditioning a surface is the act of rubbing a piece of the scuff pad on the surface of the slate. The direction should be the same every time you rub the pad across the slate. For the best results do not go in a circular direction. 

Once you scuff up the surface for several seconds, take your striker and produce a cluck, purr, and yelp. How did they sound? Keep working the surface till you get those nice clear and crisp clucks and yelps.

Pro-Tip: most pot calls will come with a small scotchbrite-style pad so you can scuff the surface of the slate and it will have sandpaper on the other side to condition your striker. Make sure you are cleaning off the striker with the sandpaper side to keep the debris off the tip. 

Conditioning a Glass or Crystal Surface Pot Call

The surface of the glass or crystal will come out of the box clean and brand new. When you use your striker on this surface you will have no good turkey sounds. Like the slate call, you will need to condition the surface immediately after you open the package.

Use the provided scuff pad in a back-and-forth direction making sure you are working the groves being made in the same direction. Do not go in a circular direction when conditioning the glass. 

Once you rough it up some, grab your striker and produce some purrs and yelps. How does it sound? Go back and condition some more if you are not satisfied with the sounds. Each sound with a glass or crystal surface will be different that those being made with a slate or ceramic surface. 

Pro-Tip: when conditioning the glass you are looking to get clear scuff lines that you will run your striker perpendicular to get the turkey sounds. Using sandpaper may be a good choice to condition the call. Be careful you don't put too much pressure on the glass and crack or break the glass. 

Conditioning a Ceramic Surface Pot Call

The ceramic pot calls are made with a manufactured material. The ceramic is typically a very hard surface that will take some time to condition. A small scuff pad or piece of sandpaper may not do the trick.

Your ceramic pot should have come with a conditioning stone. A conditioning stone is more coarse and can make the necessary groves in the surface of the ceramic so you can produce the purrs, cutts, and yelps you are looking for.

When you are conditioning the ceramic pot work the stone in a back-and-forth direction similar to that of the slate or glass surface. You will need to make many small close together groves to get the right sounds. Keep working the stone and make sure you are cleaning off the striker to get good sound from each call.

Pro-Tip: once you have rubbed your conditioning stone several times and are happy with the sounds. Rub fine sandpaper across the top in the same direction to get rid of some coarse finishes on the surface. Not work the striker again, how does that sound?

Condition the Striker for my Pot Call

You cannot condition the surface and not the striker. The striker will, over time, have a buildup of fine material that will affect the sounds of the call. So don't forget to condition your striker when you condition your stone.

If you did not receive sandpaper in your packaging you can pick up a piece of fine sandpaper at any hardware store or Walmart. Take your sandpaper and rub the tip of the striker several times. If you have a rounded striker tip then go ahead and circle the striker in the sandpaper to keep the rounded edges clean on the striker. Do this several times while working the surface of the pot to get the crisp sounds of the turkey.

Pro-Tip: if you are hunting in the rain or there is any moisture in the air. Recondition the tip of the striker several times to get and keep the wetness off the tip. You will get a much better sound with a dry tip than one with some moisture. 

How to Make Turkey Sounds with My Pot Call

Congratulations you have picked up your first pot-style call. Now you are ready to start shredding out all the calls turkeys make. But first, you need to understand the direction and positioning of the striker to make the calls. 

How to make turkey sounds using a pot call. Directionally working your striker.

The directional pattern seen above can be used for every pot-style call. Many professional callers will note the best sounds are coming from the edges of the pot. See the illustration above, the arrows are all on the edge of the pot.

While many believe this is the best area to use on the surface. You will need to work with your pot to determine where you get the best and crispest yelps and cutts. 

Start practicing your movements and listen to the sounds of turkeys from the link below from the NWTF. Practice, practice, practice...

What Sounds Do Turkeys Make

When you listen to a flock of turkeys it is difficult sometime to point out each particular sound being made. Their communication is, at times, extremely complex for the untrained ear to hear and understand.

Breaking down each sound being made one by one you will start to hear the yelps, purrs, clucks, and cutts. These are the typical repeatable sounds you can make with your pot all. But those are not all the sounds of the turkey. The NWTF has published "The Sound of the Wild Turkey" where you can listen to the different sounds of a turkey. While sitting at home learning the slate call, listen to these sounds by the NWTF and duplicate what you hear. Once you hit the woods pay attention to the cluster of calls and sounds turkeys are making. Now that you have a handle on your call, try to repeat and use different variations to attract a hen with a tom or a singular tom on the prowl.  

Here are the calls you can make using a turkey pot call:

Yelps – Yelps are intended to let other birds know a fellow turkey is over here and come on over. All turkeys yelp to bring attention to themselves. You can use Yelp calls to have other hens with a Tom come to you, or single out a tom to make him think you are available and he should come to see you. 

Clucks – Clucks are often used by toms and hens to call other birds towards them. 

Cutting – Cutts or cutting are used by hens when they are ready to mate. Cutting is a series of quick yelps and clucks. You can make this sound by mixing clucks and yelps on your call.

Purrs – Purrs are typically a sound you will hear when birds are moving or feeding. Toms will use an aggressive purr to tell other males, Toms or Jakes, that you are in my area and you better be ready to fight. During breeding season Toms will fight for the hens ready to mate. So being aggressive with a purr may get a mature tom all riled up to fight. 

Kee Kee – The kee kee sound is a high chirp sound by the young poults or chicks. When a flock scatters for any particular reason these birds will produce a Kee Kee sound with the intent for the hens or mature toms to come gather them up. If you see a group scatter, the Kee Kee could be a sound you add to your calling sequence. 

What are the Pros and Cons of Slate Pot Calls

Turkey calls, styles, and brands all have different sounds. No two are ever going to be the same. Like many factors in the hunting kingdom, the hunter chooses what they like best. What is the best sound, what is the best fit, etc? Sometimes hunters will choose pot calls manufactured by small individual callers who provide high-quality and low-quantity calls. The bottom line is turkeys are turkeys and calls are calls. You can use several tactics and calls to attract and the same for scaring away your prey. A pot call is an important tool for your turkey hunting success. If you plan on living a turkey hunter's life then try several calls and give them all a try.

  • Pot Calls are versatile for making several turkey sounds
  • Different surfaces will make different sounds
  • Glass can be used in wet conditions
  • Dual or Combo surface calls are beneficial as you don't need to carry multiple pot calls
  • Some surfaces like slate and ceramic may not perform in the wet conditions
  • Glass surfaces may crack and break
  • Takes two hands to make the calls

Get These Strikers to Enhance Your Pot Call

Strut Commander Turkey Pot Strike Callers

  • 3 Turkey Strikers
  • Cocobala/Birch Striker
  • Birch/Hickory Striker
  • Maple/Purple Heart Striker

Each produces a different friction, sound, and feel to get a better turkey sound.

Hunter Specialties Realistic Sounds

Storm Striker Pack

  • Cross-Cut Acrylic
  • Wire Stik
  • Carbon Striker

Each of the 3-pack will produce a slightly different sound to enhance your turkey hunting experience.

Primos Hunting PS1510 Striker, 2-Pack

Two Strikers in one package

  • Cuttin' striker used for loud crisp yelps and deep purrs of a hen. It has a mushroom shape tip.
  • Kee-Kee striker produces runs and high-pitched hen sounds with its tapered tip
  • Made in the USA

Final Thoughts on Turkey Pot Calls

As one of three styles of turkey calls the pot call is one of the oldest in the turkey hunting community. The slate stone with a friction striker has been used for years to mimic the sounds of the turkeys.

Each turkey hunter should use a pot-style call when hunting. This call is small and portable for those run-and-gunners or guys sitting out the day in a cozy popup blind. A versatile call, the pot call can be used in combination with a mouth or box-style call to mimic the sounds of several birds in a flock. 

The Shaggy Outdoors Team has utilized the slate pot calls for every hunt over the past 30 years. A pot is always in our backpack or vest and used when calling birds. The difficulty of learning the pot call is minimal with time and commitment. 

Get to know your call, condition the call and start using a variety of strikers to hone in on the sounds of the turkeys in your hunting area. 

Check out some of our other articles and blogs on turkey hunting and turkey hunting tactics and gear. The Shaggy Outdoors Team produced The Ultimate Gear Guide for Turkey Hunters which is packed full of useful information and products for every turkey hunter.