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Best Kiln for Jewelry Making

kiln pendant design

Making your own jewelry can be an incredibly rewarding experience. But knowing which kiln to invest in can be a tricky decision, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for. After all, kilns can be a large investment. 

If you’re looking for the best kiln for jewelry making, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll introduce you to some of the best kilns you can invest in to make your own jewelry. After all, it should be about letting your creativity run free, not worrying about whether or not all your hard work will turn out in the end. 

Are you ready to learn more about the best kilns for jewelry making? Let’s get started. 

Got no time to read? Here are our best picks and why we picked them.

Product Name Good For
RapidFire Programmable Tabletop Kiln Door opens wide for loading
Esdabem Microwave Kiln and DIY Fusing Glass Jewelry Set Includes a starter kit of glass, a diamond file, and ceramic fiber kiln paper
Paragon Caldera Kiln Reaches temperatures up to 2,350 degrees Fahrenheit
Paragon Quikfire 6 Kiln Reaches 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit
Skutt FireBox 8 Kiln Cool touch wooden handle
Skutt GlassMaster Kiln Large interior measures 41.5 inches by 24.5 inches by 13.5 inches deep
Skutt FireBox 8×6 Kiln Digital controller with preset and custom program options
Paragon SC-2 Digital Silver and Glass Kiln 2 separate heating elements provide even firing
Skutt HotStart Pro Studio Kiln GlassMaster LT3 digital controller

Best Jewelry Kilns

Without further ado, here are some of the best jewelry kilns you can choose from. Which one will be your next partner in jewelry-making crime? 

RapidFire Programmable Tabletop Kiln

Melting Furnace RapidFire Programmable Tabletop Kiln Melter Jewelry Gold Silver PMC Metal Clay Enamel Bead Making Ceramic Firing

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Made right here in the USA, the RapidFire Programmable Tabletop Kiln makes jewelry creations easy to fire. With a front-loading style setup, this stainless steel kiln has an embedded heating element and a large LED display. The exterior dimensions are 8 inches by 7 inches by 13 inches, so it can easily fit on a hobby table or workbench. 

The wide-opening door on this kiln allows you to easily reach the 6 inches by 6 inches by 5-inch interior. The embedded heating element is wrapped in ceramic fiber and heats up to 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit. 

This particular unit features a programmable digital controller with 30 settings and a lighted cooling fan. The PID temperature controller has ramp/soak features and a dual alarm relay to alert you that the firing process is complete.   

Pros

  • Made in the USA
  • Door opens wide for loading
  • Heats up to 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit

Cons

  • No viewports 

Esdabem Microwave Kiln and DIY Fusing Glass Jewelry Set

Microwave Kiln and DIY Fusing Glass Jewelry Set - Professional Simple Making DIY Jewelry Glass Fusing Tools Set

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Yes, you read that right. This is a microwave kiln you can use to create and fuse glass jewelry. With at least 1,000 Watts of power, you can fuse glass jewelry pieces in under 10 minutes in your very own microwave. 

This particular DIY fusing glass jewelry set includes a microwave kiln that measures 3.25 inches by 4.5 inches with an interior fusing platform of 2.75 inches in diameter. The kiln itself is small, compact, and eco-friendly. Plus, it’s energy-efficient, convenient, and safe to use in your home. 

Included with this DIY set are a diamond hand file, 10 sheets of ceramic fiber kiln paper, a glass cutter, a pair of gloves, and a bag each of opal glass, confetti glass, glass frits, and dichroic glass. That’s plenty to get you started with fusing glass in your own kitchen to create one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces. 

To use this kiln, simply clean the interior of your microwave to remove any impurities. Wipe down the kiln to achieve the same effect. Place a sheet of kiln paper larger than your project on the fusing platform and arrange your glass jewelry piece. Fire your microwave on high for 6-8 minutes and when the timer goes off, you’ve got complete and cured jewelry piece of your very own. 

Pros

  • Can easily fire glass jewelry pieces in your own microwave 
  • Includes a starter kit of glass, a diamond file, and ceramic fiber kiln paper
  • Firing only takes 1,000 watts of power and 6-8 minutes

Cons

  • Small firing chamber

Paragon Caldera Kiln

View on Blick

Paragon is a recognized name in the industry, and the Caldera Kiln series is no exception to the brand’s dedication to serving the artist, whether they’re just beginning or have years under their belt. 

This particular kiln is portable and can easily slump, sag, and fuse glass. The kiln is capable of firing up to 2,350 degrees Fahrenheit, which is plenty for most glass fusing and jewelry making operations. The unit runs off 120 volts and is made right here in the USA. 

The firing chamber on the Caldera kiln measures 8 inches by 8 inches by 6.75 inches. The interior consists of 2.5-inch thick firebricks, which are assembled in L-shaped notches to insulate more efficiently. Coiled heating elements are made from high-temperature wire and the element connectors are heat-dissipating to provide longevity. 

The thermocouple within this Caldera kiln is protected by a stainless steel sheath. There’s also a vented switch box with heavy-duty wiring to stay durable and water-resistant. The heavy-duty steel stand sits upon rubber feet as well. 

The Sentry Xpress Digital Controller on this kiln is remarkable. It has a 3-key operation for heating and cooling, with a toggle on/off switch for ease of use. The digital controller allows you to do quite a few things, from a single-speed firing to a ramp hold. You can create custom programs to run up to 8 segments each, and even change the target temperature during the firing, without having to stop and start the process all over again. 

Paragon also offers a 1-year warranty on the Caldera kiln to protect your investment. 

Pros

  • 1-year warranty
  • Reaches temperatures up to 2,350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Sentry Xpress Digital Controller 

Cons

  • Pricey for the beginner jeweler 

Paragon Quikfire 6 Kiln

View on Blick

The Paragon Quikfire 6 Kiln is a great learning tool, especially if you want to get into jewelry making as more than just a hobby. This particular kiln can fire up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and fires small pieces in just under an hour. 

This Paragon kiln only requires 120 volts, so you won’t have to worry about installing extra wiring. The 6 inches by 6 inches by 6 inches firing chamber is plenty for most jewelry projects. 

Plus, there’s also a built-in pyrometer that will keep you updated on the temperature. A ceramic fiber shell with an embedded heating element sits on a ceramic fiber base with a steel stand. 

Pros

  • Built-in pyrometer
  • Reaches 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Relatively large firing chamber 

Cons

  • No programming available 

Skutt FireBox 8 Kiln

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If you’re looking for versatility in your jewelry-making kiln, look no further than the Skutt FireBox 8. This particular kiln may not look like much, but it’s got plenty of features to help you create amazing jewelry. 

The Skutt FireBox 8 reaches temperatures of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit within 20 minutes. Plugged into a 120-volt outlet, the kiln features a firing chamber that measures 8 inches by 8 inches by 4.5 inches. 

Built upon a sturdy stand, the kiln is actually buckled to the base. The kiln can be loaded from the top since the lid opens over 90 degrees. However, you can also remove the lid and the sides of the kiln to assemble your pieces within. Simply reassemble the kiln and you’re ready to fire. 

Speaking of which, the GlassMaster LT3 Button Controller allows you to write and store up to 5 programs with 8 segments each. There’s also the exclusive Skutt Glass Fire Mode, which allows you to fuse, tack fuse, and slump based on the size and thickness of your project. 

The digital pyrometer on this kiln is easy to read and there’s also a 2-year warranty to protect your investment.  

Pros

  • 2-year warranty
  • Cool touch wooden handle
  • Skutt Glass Fire Mode 

Cons

  • Can be pricey for the hobbyist jewelry maker 

Skutt GlassMaster Kiln

View on Blick

If you’re a jewelry maker who specializes in glass, then the Skutt GlassMaster Kiln might just be calling your name. This particular kiln is capable of firing large projects that require more room than tabletop kilns. 

This top-loading jewelry-making kiln sits upon an 8-inch stand. The oval shape measures 41.5 inches by 24.5 inches, with a 13.5-inch deep firing chamber capable of achieving 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The GlassMaster controller features top and side-firing elements to heat the kiln evenly. The encapsulated Type K thermocouple remains protected, while the lid brick material features a pinless design that won’t ruin your projects. The lid also features a two-position brace so you can be sure it will stay open as you load and/or unload the kiln.

The lid is also fitted with an easy-lifting design that only requires a single finger. The kiln can be purchased in 208 volts or 240 volts.   

Pros

  • GlassMaster digital controller
  • Large interior measures 41.5 inches by 24.5 inches by 13.5 inches deep
  • Encapsulated Type K thermocouple 

Cons

  • A serious investment for sure 
  • Requires 208V and/or 240V

Skutt FireBox 8×6 Kiln

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Skutt creates a lot of amazing kilns for jewelry makers, and the FireBox 8×6 kiln is no exception. This particular kiln fires up to 2,350 degrees Fahrenheit.

A perfect starter setup, this kiln runs off 120 volts and sits compactly upon a workbench or craft table. The digital controller features preset programs as well as custom programming options to anneal and/or temper as you please. You can also fuse and slump to your heart’s content. 

The Skutt FireBox 8×6 kiln has a firing chamber measuring 8 inches by 8 inches by 6 inches. Included with the kiln are a kiln shelf kit, kiln wash, and an instructional DVD. 

Pros

  • Fires up to 2,350 degrees Fahrenheit, or Cone 6
  • Digital controller with preset and custom program options 
  • Accessories such as kiln shelf and kiln wash included 

Cons

  • No viewports for glass projects

Paragon SC-2 Digital Silver and Glass Kiln

View on Blick

There are many Paragon kilns included on this list, and the Paragon SC-2 Digital Silver and Glass kiln is just one of the many great options they offer when it comes to kilns. 

This particular portable kiln can reach temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The firing chamber measures 8 inches by 7.75 inches by 5.75 inches and accommodates up to 3 shelves. It’s also made here in the USA.  

The interior of this kiln consists of ceramic fiber wrapped in a steel inner case. The steel outer case remains cool to the touch, however. Plus, there’s also a fast-firing heating element embedded in the firing chamber shell, which retains heat but also cools down quickly. 

The Sentry Xpress 3-Key digital controller includes programmable options and the ability to select your preferred firing schedule. You can program up to 8 segments and even change the temperature during the firing process if necessary. The temperature is displayed throughout the firing process and the LED display makes it easy to see exactly what you need to. 

There are 2 separate heating elements on both sides of this kiln. This allows for even heat distribution. Plus, the doors open up to 180 degrees for maximum maneuverability as you work with this kiln. 

Options on this kiln include a glass viewport and a 6.5-inch wide bead door with a mandrel holder. 

Pros

  • Sentry Xpress 3-Key digital controller 
  • Made in USA
  • 2 separate heating elements provide even firing 

Cons

  • Bead doors and viewports are not installed from the factory 

Skutt HotStart Pro Studio Kiln

View on Blick

This list wouldn’t be complete without the Skutt HotStart Pro Studio Kiln. This particular model is an ideal starter kiln, no matter what type of hobby you get into that requires a kiln. 

The Skutt HotStart Pro kiln features the GlassMaster LT controller, which is the most versatile 3-button controller on the market. This controller allows you to write up to 5 custom programs with up to 8 segments each. The firing chamber is 15 inches in diameter. 

There’s also the GlassFire Mode, which allows you to select from preset buttons for fusing, slumping, and tack fusing glass. The heating element sits within the lid but it contains no pins, so you won’t have to worry about them falling on your work. The kiln features solid-state relays for safety and durability, as it runs off 120 volts. 

Included with this kiln is a 13-inch shelf with 3 posts measuring 1 inch, ThinFire shelf paper, and 8 ounces of kiln wash. 

Pros

  • GlassMaster LT3 digital controller
  • Includes kiln furniture and kiln wash
  • Large firing chamber 

Cons

  • Can be pricey for some artists, especially beginners

What to Consider When Buying a Kiln for Jewelry Making 

Before we get too far into the different kilns you can use for jewelry making, let’s take a look at the characteristics you should keep an eye out for as you check out the product descriptions. Paying attention to these details will help you purchase a better kiln for your projects. 

Maximum Firing Temperature

working with small kiln

Depending on what type of materials you choose to work within making your own jewelry, you’ll want to pay attention to the maximum firing temperature of the kiln you’re considering. 

While you may be tempted to go with a kiln that just barely covers the temperature required for your materials, having a bit of wiggle room can make all the difference. This is especially true if you plan on keeping the kiln for a few years because the unit will degrade over time and may not be able to maintain those high temperatures after a few hundred firings. 

Digital Controllers

While you can purchase kilns with manual controllers, digital controllers do a whole lot when it comes to the firing schedule for your jewelry projects.

Purchasing a kiln with a digital controller allows you to set the kiln up for firing and walk away. It’s a bit like putting dinner in the oven and setting a timer. However, digital controllers for kilns do quite a bit more than just keeping time. 

In fact, as you’ll see from many of the products we’ve chosen, digital controllers allow you to do a variety of things. You can easily set a timer, but you can also choose to program the firing cycle to fit your particular needs. Programmable digital controllers allow for quite a bit of flexibility when it comes to creating your own jewelry. 

Interior Insulating Material

Most of the kilns you’ll find online are either made from fire brick or ceramic fiber. These interior materials accomplish the same task of keeping the heat of the kiln contained and circulating over the contents. However, they do differ slightly and some artists even prefer one over the other when it comes to kilns. 

Brick Kilns

clay projects inside kiln

Kilns with a fire brick interior can allow for greater energy efficiency. The ceramic blocks soak up the heat and keep it contained for longer, but that also lengthens the cool-down time in most cases. A brick kiln is often heavier than a ceramic fiber kiln. But at the same time, a brick kiln can be sturdier.

Ceramic Fiber Kilns

The ceramic fiber in kiln interiors acts more like an insulating blanket, keeping the heating elements within them warmer for longer. Since the fiber material itself isn’t necessarily storing the heat, these kilns tend to cool faster as well as get up to temperature in a shorter amount of time compared to fire brick interior kilns. 

Loading Style

clay projects inside kiln

Kilns are typically either front- or top-loading, which signifies how you place your projects within the kiln.

Top-loading kilns are most often larger in size, so they can handle more pieces. However, front-loading kilns can be easier to fill up, especially if you’re unable to bend over a kiln for a long period of time. 

When it comes to firing, both types of loading styles achieve similar results. Artists may prefer a top-loading kiln or a front loading kiln for a number of reasons, but the loading style doesn’t affect the kiln’s ability to fire what’s within.

Bead Doors and Viewports

Many independent jewelers choose to create their own beads, especially in the glass. If you’re an artist who works with glass, looking for a kiln with bead doors and/or viewports could be a great way to keep an eye on your projects as they fire. 

Bead doors open to allow mandrels to be inserted through the door for annealing the glass within. Viewports allow the artist to see within the kiln, which is also a useful feature for enameling. 

Kiln Shelf and Accessories

bid firing dish

Some of the best jewelry-making kilns are those that come with some accessories, or kiln furniture. These pieces may include a bead firing dish, which you can fill with supporting media to help your small projects during the firing process. 

Fiber blankets can also provide crucial support. While they’ll only last a few firings, they can provide the oddly shaped support your projects may need. Kiln shelves work well for glass, especially if you plan on working in larger pieces. Most kiln shelves will last quite a few firings and can also be an easy way to transport projects in and out of the kiln. 

Common Questions Can you fire clay in a jewelry kiln?

metal clay jewelry

Firing clay and jewelry is all about achieving the proper temperature. While many jewelry-making kilns achieve anywhere from 1,800 to 2,350 degrees Fahrenheit, these may or may not be suitable for firing clay in. It all depends on what you’re working with, so be sure to check temperatures before you buy.  

Many potters fire metal clay in jewelry kilns since they reach the necessary temperatures. Metal clay must be fired in order to cure, so it requires a higher temperature than typical air-dry clay. Working in metal clay can be a great way to get started with jewelry making, as metal clay works just like air-dry clay, but can be manipulated after firing.

If you plan on working with metal clay to create your jewelry projects, a jewelry kiln should have plenty of power to make that happen.

What can you do with a jewelry kiln?

Jewelry kilns allow you to do quite a few things. In fact, you can easily test glazes in a jewelry kiln to see how they react and what colors you can achieve. 

You can also enamel and fuse, slump, and tack fuse glass projects as well. Suffice it to say that purchasing a jewelry kiln could lead you to quite a few other hobbies that you may enjoy as well.  

What are the three types of kilns?

wood kiln type

The most common types of kilns are electric, gas, and wood. The kilns we’ve included on this list are all-electric, meaning they’ll plug into an outlet (be it 120 or 208/240 volts) in order to receive power.  

What is an enameling kiln?

An enameling kiln is used mostly as a testing kiln. Within this kiln, you can enamel smaller projects or even test out glazes to use on larger projects. Since most enameling is done with glass, you’ll typically see enameling kilns referred to as glass kilns.  

Wrap Up

Hopefully, you’ve found this guide on the best jewelry-making kilns useful in your search. Now you can let your creativity run wild as you fire up your kiln to make your own jewelry to wear.