Ceramic kilns are a great way to get into pottery, whether you want to make art or just dabble in the hobby. But with so many different kilns on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you.
Although all the ceramic kilns out there essentially serve the same purpose—to heat materials to high temperatures—there are a few different types, each with its own set of features and benefits.
Keep reading the article to learn more about the best ceramic kilns for home use and the important things you need to consider before deciding on one.
Best Ceramic Kiln For Home Use – Our Top Picks
For people who are on the run, below is a quick overview of our top picks of ceramic kilns and why we choose each of them.
How Do I Choose a Ceramic Kiln?
Selecting a kiln can be tedious, especially if you don’t know what to look for. With all of the different brands, models, and features, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
Here are the most important factors you need to consider when choosing a ceramic kiln:
The first thing you need to consider is what temperature range you need. Different materials require different temperatures, so it’s important to know what you’ll be using the kiln for before making a purchase.
For example, glass fusing kilns typically operate between 1,500 and 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, while ceramics require temperatures around 2,300 degrees.
TIP: Always consider the temperature a little higher than what you need. This is because kilns tend to reduce heat as they age, so it's better to have extra heat than not enough.
Kilns come in a variety of sizes, so you’ll need to decide how much space you’re willing to dedicate to your new hobby. If you’re just getting started, a small tabletop kiln might be a good option.
However, if you’re planning on doing a lot of work or you have a large space, you might want to consider a floor model.
Another thing to keep in mind is the size of the projects you’ll be working on. If you’re planning on making large pieces such as vases or bowls, you’ll need a kiln that can accommodate them.
There are a few different features you might want to consider when choosing a ceramic kiln. One is the type of heat source it uses. Electric kilns are the most common, but there are also gas and wood-fired kilns.
Another feature to consider is the type of controller it has. Some kilns come with simple on/off switches, while others have more advanced digital controllers that allow you to set precise temperatures.
TIP: If you're using a kiln for the first time, it is best to consider one that has pre-set temperature programs. These are usually easy to use and make sure you don't overheat your materials.
Some other features you might want to look for include automatic shut-off, a timer, and a peephole so you can check on your project without opening the kiln.
Power or Amperage
The power of a kiln is typically measured in watts or amps. The higher the number, the more powerful the kiln and the faster it will heat up.
For example, a 1,000-watt kiln will heat up faster than a 500-watt kiln. However, it will also use more electricity, so you’ll need to factor that into your decision.
TIP: If you're not sure how much power you need, consider a kiln with a higher wattage. You can always turn it down if it's too powerful, but you can't make it more powerful if it's not enough.
Kilns come with either a two-prong or three-prong plug. Make sure you know what type of outlet you have before making a purchase.
Two-prong plugs can only be used with outlets that are grounded, while three-prong plugs can be used with both grounded and ungrounded outlets.
Before buying a kiln, make sure you have enough space to store it. Floor models can be large and heavy, so you’ll need to make sure you have a dedicated spot for them.
You’ll also need to consider the space around the kiln. There should be at least 3 feet of clearance on all sides to allow for proper ventilation.
Proper ventilation is important when using a kiln. Make sure the room you’re using it in has good airflow and that there are no flammable materials nearby.
Some kilns come with a venting system that helps to remove smoke and fumes. These are a good choice for people who are living in 2-bedroom apartments with pets.
NOTE: Do not store your kiln in a garage or shed. These are typically not well-ventilated, and the fumes from the kiln can be dangerous.
What Are the Best Ceramic Kilns for Home Use?
Now that we have discussed and know the essentials for selecting a good kiln that fits your needs, let’s have a detailed look at the ones we have listed below.
Remember that there is no good or bad kiln in itself. Instead, it depends on your needs, the type of clay you’ll use, your expertise and so on.
- 60 Amperage
- Can store up to 12 programs
- Digital Controller
- Cone 10, 2350 F Temp
Skutt is a well-known brand when it comes to ceramic kilns and the KM 1027 is one of their most popular models. This bad boy is a workhorse – perfect for any studio or production line.
With up to 32 segments and 12 firing programs, you can create whatever kind of firing profile you need including fuse glass, slow cool cone 6 glazes, grow crystals and more. And if you ever run into trouble, its built-in diagnostics will help you troubleshoot in no time.
Plus, with twice the element grooves of some of its competitors, Skutt KM 1027 has more design flexibility than anyone else on the market. It features a 23-inch tall and 21-inch wide chamber which is large enough to accommodate multiple pieces at once – this saves you a lot of time.
What I like about this kiln is the environment – a great way to get rid of smoke and fumes quickly and efficiently. In addition, it also comes with a stand and shelf for easy loading and unloading of your projects.
- Safety Switch – Auto Shut-off
- Easy to use – allows you to set up and store your firing temperatures
- Large chamber to accommodate multiple pieces
- Can fire up to cone 10
- Compact design
- A bit expensive
- 2200 F Temperature
- 15 Amp Circut
- Digital Controller
- 6″ x 5″ x 6″ heating chamber
The RapidFire Pro-L is the perfect kiln for beginners especially If you like making jewellery, metal clay or ceramics. It offers the ultimate combination of portability, function, and performance. You can use it to fire your creations with ease and precision.
Plus, it comes complete with a digital control panel and embedded heating element so you can always get the results you want. Also, it comes with a programmable ramping controller, you can customize your firing experience however you like.
Furthermore, with just 12 lbs of weight, this kiln is light enough to take with you on the go. You’ll never have to worry about being without your favourite firing solution again.
- Lightweight and portable
- Easy to use
- Precise temperature control
- Comes with a digital control panel
- Sturdy material
- Small chamber size
- Not recommended for wax burnouts
- 10 Amp
- 120v Standard USA outlets
- 1400 F temperature
- 8.5″ x 3-1/2″ firing chamber
If you’re passionate about glass fusing and want the perfect kiln to help you take your skills to the next level. Then Fuseworks Craft Kiln is worth your shot.
It is an easy-to-use beginner/intermediate level kiln with an adjustable electronic timer. Unlike other digital controllers, this one is less complicated and comes with an auto shut-off feature.
You can fully fuse a two-layer project in as little as 15 minutes with this kiln! Plus, there are so many other things you can do with it – like glass slumping, ceramic slumping molds allow you to shape the glass by bending (slumping or draping) over a form to make unique art, dishes, and more.
.Furthermore, you can use it to create beautiful jewellery, ornaments, and even sculptures. The possibilities are endless with this kiln. Plus, this Kiln is ETL certified meaning that it has been tested and proven to meet the highest safety standards.
- Affordable, portable, and impressive design
- User-friendly timer
- Self-regulating heating coil
- Wooden handles prevent accidental burning of fingers
- High temperature within 15 minutes
- Comes with stand
- Not recommended for wax burnouts
- Keep away from children under 16 and pets
- Touch screen TAP controller
- 16 pre-set programmes
- Large 15″ x 6-1/2″ firing chamber
- 3 Prong 120V Standard USA plug
If you’ve ever wanted to try fusing but were intimidated by all the options and settings, then Delphi EZ-Pro is for you.
Delphi has partnered with Jen-ken kilns to create the EZ-Pro. Jen-Ken is a well-respected name in the kiln industry, so you can be sure that you’re getting a high-quality product.
You’ll never have to worry about ruining another piece of jewelry because you forgot to change the program on your kiln again. With the Delphi EZ-Pro, all you have to do is touch the screen and you’re good to go. No more guesswork or wasted time – this kiln is practically foolproof!
It is ideal for glass, metal, clay, enamelling, PMC, and ceramics. You can use it to fire both small and large projects with ease. Plus, the large 15″ x 6-1/2″ firing chamber means that you’ll never have to worry about running out of space.
- Large firing chamber
- Comes with accessories including a stand, 13′ shelf, posts, shelf wash
- Advanced control system
- Adjustable temperature
- You might need a large space to store it
What are Different Types of Kiln Firing?
Different types of firing are best for different materials and purposes. The three most common types of kiln firing are:
Annealing is a type of heat treatment that is used to relieve stress in metals and glasses. It is also used to toughen some ceramics. To anneal a piece of glass, you need to heat it slowly and evenly until it reaches a specific temperature.
Then, you need to let it cool down gradually. This process allows the molecules in the glass to realign themselves and reduces the risk of breakage.
2. Bisque Firing
Bisque firing is the first step in the process of glazing and painting ceramics. During bisque firing, the clay is heated to a temperature that makes it hard but not solid.
This allows the piece to be handled without fear of breakage, and also makes it ready to accept glaze.
3. Glaze Firing
The glaze firing is the process of heating a piece of pottery or ceramic to a high temperature to melt the glaze onto the surface.
This type of firing needs to be done slowly and evenly to prevent the piece from cracking.
Tester Kiln VS Industrial Kiln: What’s the DIfference?
Industrial kilns are large, expensive, and not suitable for home use. They are designed for use in commercial settings such as factories and laboratories.
Tester kilns, on the other hand, are smaller and more affordable. They are perfect for home use and can be used for a variety of purposes including firing ceramics and metals.
When it comes to choosing a kiln, it is important to consider what you will be using it for. If you only need to fire small items occasionally, then a tester kiln is a good option.
However, if you plan on firing large items or doing a lot of firing, then an industrial kiln is a better choice.
What are the Different Types of Ceramic Kilns?
There are two main types of ceramic kilns: electric and gas.
- Electric Kilns – They are the most common type of kiln, and come in a variety of sizes. They are easy to use and can be plugged into any standard outlet. These kilns are ideal for firing small items and usually come with a variety of features that allow you to control the firing process.
- Gas Kilns – They are powered by natural gas or propane, and one of their main advantages is that they can reach higher temperatures than electric kilns. They are also more expensive and require more maintenance. Furthermore, these kilns are usually only used in commercial settings.
NOTE: Electric kilns are easy to use and can be plugged into any standard outlet, but they have a lower maximum temperature than gas kilns. They are also not suitable for firing large items.
What are Toploading and Front Loading Kiln?
A toploading kiln is the most common type of kiln. It has a door on the top that allows you to load and unload items. In our list above, Delphi and Tabletop kilns are examples of top-loading kilns.
TIP: When looking for a toploading kiln ensure it has good insulation. Additionally, look for an elongated hinge structure that balances the weight of the door.
On the contrary, front-end loading kilns have a door on the front. These kilns are less common, but they offer some advantages over toploading kilns such as:
- You don’t have to bend to load/unload them
- They allow you to see the items when being fired
- They are reliable and have a longer lifespan
How to Use a Ceramic Kiln at Home by a Beginner?
If you are new to using a kiln, it is important to first test with small and simple projects. This will allow you to get a feel for the process and learn how to use the kiln without damaging your pieces.
Here are some tips for using a kiln at home:
- Read the instruction manual that came with your kiln. This will help you understand how to use the kiln and its features.
- Start with small projects. As we mentioned above, it is important to start small and simple when you are first learning how to use a kiln.
- Use the correct type of clay. Not all types of clay can withstand the high temperatures of a kiln. Be sure to use a type of clay that is designed for use in a kiln.
- Place your pieces on a kiln shelf. These are made of heat-resistant material and help to protect your pieces from the direct heat of the kiln.
- Follow the firing schedule. It is a set of instructions that tells you how long to fire your piece and at what temperature.
- Let the kiln cool down before opening it. This will help prevent the pieces from being damaged by the sudden change in temperature.
Be sure to check out the video below where Marie answers some important frequently asked questions regarding ceramic kilns.
The best temperature for firing kilns depends on the type of project you’re working on. For example, bisque firing should be done at around 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, while glaze firing needs to be done at a much higher temperature, around 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Yes, you can bisque and glaze in the same kiln. However, it is important to make sure that the kiln is big enough to accommodate all of your pieces. Additionally, you will need to use a firing schedule that takes into account the different temperatures required for bisque firing and glaze firing.
Yes, ceramic kilns can be used for pottery. Most potters use kilns to fire their pieces. However, it is important to note that not all ceramic kilns are suitable for pottery. For example, some kilns do not get hot enough to properly fire the glazes.
A ceramic kiln is used to fire clay and other materials made from clay, while a glass kiln is used to fuse glass. Both types of kilns use high temperatures to achieve their desired results.
Many different types of kilns can be used for pottery. Some of the most popular include electric kilns, gas kilns, and wood-fired kilns. Each type of kiln has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, electric kilns are typically less expensive than gas kilns, but they can be more difficult to control.
The length of time it takes to fire a ceramic kiln depends on the project you’re working on. For example, bisque firing typically takes around 8-10 hours, while glaze firing can take up to 12 hours.