Along with a decent pottery wheel, the backbone of any home pottery studio has to come in the form of a kiln. Any home crafter, whether you’re a hobbyist or professional, will find a home-based kiln to be a great asset.
Ceramics, jewelry, and metal-work can all be done with a home kiln. But aren’t they big, cumbersome things? Not at all. Some are uber portable and ideal for tight spaces, weighing as little as 10 pounds.
So what is the best ceramic kiln for home use? Let’s take a look.
At a Glance: Our Pick of the Best Ceramic Kilns on the Market
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Typical Features of a Kiln
You will find varying features, depending on costs and brands; but most kilns will have the following:
- Inner chamber to hold projects
- a handle for portability
- Heating capability around the 2000°F mark
Buyer’s Guide – Key Considerations
So what should you be looking for?
Size – Smaller kilns are ideal for beginners or those who only work on small projects.
Electricity – most kilns run at around 120V, but you can buy larger ones that need around 240V. Take note of the wattage it uses, some run as low as 1500 watts making them more economical to use than many household appliances.
Weight – if you need to move the kiln about the house, then weight is an important factor as you won’t want to be putting your back out every time you move it.
A quick word about safety. Kilns run at incredibly high temperatures. This might immediately set off alarm bells if you have children or animals running loose in the house. There are a few rules you should follow in order to keep you safe:
- Protective Gear: Always wear gloves. The kiln will stay extra hot for a good time after use. Do not touch with bare hands until it is fully cooled.
- Glasses: Sunglasses will do nicely here. Inside the kiln can get very bright, using glasses protects your eyes.
- Toxins: The chemical changes of the clay means toxins will be released. Make sure the kiln is in a well-ventilated place.
Best Ceramic Kiln for Home Use
Paragon Quikfire 6 Kiln
The Paragon is one of the more portable kilns on this list. It is also handily one of the cheaper ones available. This doesn’t mean it should be overlooked as the budget option, far from it. Paragon has created the ideal item for the beginner potter, or those who haven’t got the room in their home for an industrial-sized kiln.
While the chamber may be small, the heat it can create is not. Burning up to temperatures of 2000°F, the Quikfire is certainly capable of bringing the heat to any home. Its chamber can hold small projects, with ceramic pieces taking around 50 minutes to be fired and cooled to room temperature. Yes, it really does deserve its namesake.
Selling point? Apart from the price, the low power it needs. At only 1560 Watts, the Quikfire uses less power than a lot of household appliances.
The Rapidfire is roughly the same size as the Paragon, but has a few little extras hidden in its chambers.
A very portable number here, weighing in at only 12 pounds. The ergonomic handle is a classy touch, making Rapidfire the kiln for the discerning crafter. It does have a small chamber, perfect for those little projects you’ve been craving to make. The heating possibilities are slightly more than its competitor, as the Pro can heat up to around 2200 degrees. This higher temperature allows for greater control over time frames and the use of other materials.
Selling point? Its digital temperature control allows you to handle separate projects at the same time. Useful for beginners testing out various skills. As Rapidfire has been around a long time and are a trusted brand, it hikes up the price a bit though.
Delphi Ez Pro 15-6 Kiln
The beast has arrived. The Delphi is the premium kiln designed for the gods. Or at least someone with a large budget. As the highest ticketed item on this list, the Delphi does show it deserves its price tag.
The massive chamber measures in at 15” X 6.5” deep. Perfect for those wishing to create larger pieces. It does have a lower temperature capacity than the others on the list, reaching around 1800 degrees. Your items will take longer to create, but the quality will be top-notch.
The great aspect of the Delphi is its multifunctional use. You can use this for ceramics but also for glass making. Jewelry as well as pottery? Call me a happy crafter.
Selling point? Pre-set programs for ease of use. For anyone not familiar with how to use kilns or for those wishing for simplicity; this is the kiln for you. It’s top and side-firing elements allows for your precious projects to be evenly heated.