Working with glass can be an incredibly rewarding experience. You’re able to create a lot of different glass projects with various uses, made to your own design specifications.
Choosing the best kiln for fusing glass, however, can be a not-so-fun task to tackle.
That’s why we’ve written this guide. Within this article, you’ll learn more about fusing glass, especially when it comes to kilns. We’ll introduce you to a handful of the best kilns to fuse glass with, as well as what you should look for when you shop for a glass-fusing kiln.
Are you ready to get started? Our list of the best kilns that fuse glass is first.
|Product Name||Why We Picked It|
|Rapidfire Programmable Tabletop Kiln||Ceramic fiber interior is energy efficient|
|Delphi Glass Beginner Fuseworks Kiln and Craft Kit||Comes with a variety of glass to try out|
|Paragon Caldera Kiln||Reaches up to 2,350 degrees F|
|Skutt FireBox 14 Kiln||3-button digital controller|
|Paragon Quikfire 6 Kiln||Firing chambers measures 6 inches by 6 inches by 6 inches|
|Skutt FireBox 8 Kiln||GlassMaster LT3 Button Controller|
|Skutt GlassMaster Kiln||Easy lift kiln lid|
|Skutt 1014 GlassMaster Kiln||Top and side firing elements for even heating|
Best Kiln for Fusing Glass
Here are some of the best glass fusing kilns you can purchase in today’s market.
Rapidfire Programmable Tabletop Kiln
Tabletop kilns are often a great solution if you don’t have enough room to work with a larger kiln. This particular kiln from RapidFire is programmable and easily fits on a workbench.
Featuring a stainless steel exterior, this RapidFire kiln has a firing chamber that measures 6 inches by 6 inches by 5 inches. The exterior dimensions are 8 inches by 7 inches by 13 inches.
Made here in the USA, this front-loading kiln is perfect for glass fusing projects. A wide-opening door gives full access to the interior of the kiln, which is wrapped in ceramic fiber that contains an embedded heating element.
The large LED display shows the temperature of the firing chamber, which can reach up to 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit. The PID temperature controller has a ramp/soak feature, and the programmable digital controller has 30 settings, along with a lighted cooling fan.
- Ceramic fiber interior is energy efficient
- Sized just right for tabletop placement
- Large LED display
- Limited digital controller
Delphi Glass Beginner Fuseworks Kiln and Craft Kit
If you’re new to glass fusing and want to make a single purchase in order to start you off right, check out the Delphi Glass Beginner Fuseworks Kiln and Craft Kit. This particular kiln and supporting materials is also a perfect gift for the crafter in your life.
This ceramic fiber body kiln contains stainless steel reinforcing bands. Powered off 120 volts, the kiln features a 6-foot long cord and a firing chamber measuring 8 inches by 4 inches. It’s also made here in the United States of America.
Delphi’s kiln is perfect for fusing glass, especially when experimenting with different types of glass. The tabletop kiln includes a timer you can set to monitor the firing schedule. Plus, the clam shell-like lid includes the heating elements and timer controls.
Included with this kiln is a 1-year warranty, as well as 5 pieces of 6 inch by 6 inch sheet glass (black and assorted colors), a quarter pound bag of dichroic scrap, 24 pieces of half-inch transparent chips, 24 pieces of half-inch of black dichroic chips, 24 pieces of half-inch warm transparent chips, and a 20.5 square of kiln shelf paper.
- Comes with a variety of glass to try out
- 1-year warranty
- Made in USA
- Small firing chamber
Paragon Caldera Kiln
Portable and made here in the USA, the Paragon Caldera Kiln runs off 120 volts and comes with a 12-month warranty. With the ability to reach temperatures of up to 2,350 degrees Fahrenheit, this excellent kiln is perfect if you’re looking to fuse glass.
In fact, the Sentry Xpress Digital Controller is specifically designed to help program the kiln to work with glass. You can design custom programs with up to 8 segments. Plus, the temperature is displayed throughout the firing process, so you can keep an eye on it as you work. You can even delay the start of the kiln’s firing cycle if necessary.
Besides the 3-key controller that heats and cools this kiln, you’ll also get the chance to take advantage of the vented switch box, which has heavy-duty wiring that’s coated with a water-resistant finish. Heat-dissipating element connectors prevent the coiled heating elements from overheating.
The interior of this kiln is made from insulating fire bricks that are placed in an L shape in the corners to provide stability. The heavy-duty steel stand of this kiln sits on rubber feet. Plus, the firing chamber measures 8 inches by 8 inches by 6.75 inches total.
- Reaches up to 2,350 degrees F
- Sentry Xpress Digital Controller
- 12-month warranty
- Pricey for the beginner glass fuser
Skutt FireBox 14 Kiln
If you’re looking for a compact kiln, the Skutt FireBox 14 is a great option. While this kiln might be a bit pricier than some of the starter kilns, it’s one of the best investments you can make if you’re working in both glass and ceramics.
The interior firing chamber of this kiln measures 12 inches by 12 inches. The top-fired design features a heating element embedded in the lid. However, you won’t have to worry about pins falling out of the lid and onto your work, as they’ve been removed in this design.
The wooden handle on the lid of this kiln stays cool to the touch in order to help you open the kiln easier. The 3-button programmable controller has plenty of programming options to choose from, and the entire thing runs off 120 volts. You won’t have to worry about complicated wiring with this glass fusing kiln.
- 3-button digital controller
- Large 12 inch by 12 inch firing chamber
- No bead doors
Paragon Quikfire 6 Kiln
Fusing glass should be about the process, not having to worry about setting up a complicated kiln. The Paragon Quikfire 6 kiln makes it easy to reach and maintain glass fusing temperatures without much fuss.
The firing chamber on the Paragon Quikfire 6 kiln measures 6 inches all the way around. The kiln itself runs off 120 volts, and includes a built-in pyrometer as well. You can easily reach temperatures of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit with this kiln.
A great learning tool for nearly all ages, the Paragon Quikfire 6 kiln consists of a ceramic fiber base with a steel stand. The ceramic fiber shell includes an embedded heating element to maximize efficiency within the firing chamber.
- Maximum temperature is 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit
- Firing chambers measures 6 inches by 6 inches by 6 inches
- Built-in pyrometer
- No viewports or glass window
Skutt FireBox 8 Kiln
The Skutt FireBox 8 kiln is one of the more versatile models on our list. While it may look like your standard top-loading kiln, you can also take the sides and lid off in order to assemble your project within. Simply buckle the base, sides, and top back together and you’re ready to fire.
Speaking of firing, the chamber in this particular kiln measures 8 inches by 8 inches by 4.5 inches. The lid opens over 90 degrees so you can easily access the chamber within. Plus, the kiln can reach maximum temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit within 20 minutes. This kiln also runs off 120 volts.
The wooden handle located on the lid stays cool during firing so you won’t get hurt. The GlassMaster LT3 Button Controller allows you to do a lot of cool things with this kiln, particularly when it comes to working with glass.
For instance, the easy-to-read digital pyrometer allows you to keep an eye on the temperature within the kiln. The digital controller can be programmed for up to 5 individual firing schedules, with up to 8 segments each. You can also choose from Fuse, Tack Fuse, or Slump.
Skutt includes a generous 2-year warranty on this particular kiln.
- 2-year warranty
- GlassMaster LT3 Button Controller
- Fires up to temperature quickly
- Wooden handle still close to the exterior kiln wall
Skutt GlassMaster Kiln
Most of us think of circles when we imagine a kiln, but in fact the Skutt GlassMaster Kiln is oval-shaped instead. Running off 208 or 240 volts, this particular kiln makes the most of its shape to offer artists an efficient way to fuse glass or fire pottery.
The GlassMaster kiln includes the GlassMaster controller, which features top and side firing elements to provide an even firing. The firing chamber is 41.5 inches by 24.5 inches by 13.5 inches deep. The kiln sits upon an 8 inch stand as well.
Skutt’s Glassmaster kiln encapsulates the Type K thermocouple. This kiln is capable of firing up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit and uses fire bricks to achieve insulation. The lid includes a two-position brace that opens with the effort of a single finger.
- Oval-shaped unit
- Easy lift kiln lid
- Encapsulated Type K thermocouple
- Requires 208 or 240 volts
Skutt 1014 GlassMaster Kiln
Just like the oval Glassmaster kiln, the 1014 GlassMaster kiln includes a GlassMaster controller that features top and side firing elements. There’s a low-mass Type K thermocouple included in the design, which also features a hinged control box as well.
This GlassMaster kiln also sits upon an 8 inch stand and measures 23.5 inches by 13.5 inches. The control box is hinged and the maximum temperature is 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. While you will need 208 or 240 volts to power this kiln, it does contain porcelain peep plugs.
- Top and side firing elements for even heating
- 8 inch stand
- Fires up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit
- Requires 208 or 240 volts power
Esdabem Microwave Kiln and Glass Fusing Set
For those of you who aren’t sure purchasing a kiln is in the cards for you right now, there’s the Esdabem Microwave Kiln and Glass Fusing Set. Yes, you heard right. You can fuse glass in your very own microwave oven.
This particular set includes a microwave kiln that measures 3.25 inches by 4.5 inches, with a fusing platform measuring 2.75 inches. With 1,000 watts of power or more, you can easily fuse glass right in your microwave, in under 10 minutes.
As far as microwave kilns go, this one from Esdabem is eco-friendly, small, energy saving, and convenient. Plus, it’s safe enough to use at home without having to worry about plugging kilns in or drastically increasing your energy bill.
This kiln comes with a diamond hand file, 10 sheets of ceramic fiber kiln paper, a glass cutter, a pair of gloves, a bag of opal glass, one bag of confetti glass, a bag of glass frits, and 1 bag of dichroic glass.
- Includes a diamond hand file as well as an assortment of sample glass to experiment with
- Fuse glass in under 10 minutes
- Easy and convenient
- Larger glass projects will not fit on this fusing plate
What to Consider When Buying a Glass Fusing Kiln
When it comes to purchasing a glass-fusing kiln, there can be a lot of numbers and features thrown around. Here are a few you’ll want to pay attention to as you scroll through.
Kiln’s Maximum Temperature
Fusing glass doesn’t take quite the amount of heat that firing ceramics does, but it’s still well over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, you’ll need a glass fusing kiln that can achieve at least 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it’s still better to go with a kiln that far surpasses this temperature, as kilns degrade with time.
We may think of glass as being both hard and fragile at the same time. But the truth of the matter is that when you’re fusing glass, temperature is a huge deal. That’s why it’s good to have a digital pyrometer, since you can easily reference the temperature as the kiln fires.
Bead Doors and Viewports
Many people use glass fusing kilns to create their own beads. In these cases, it’s good to have bead doors and/or viewports. These openings into the kiln will allow you to put eyes on your glass projects so you can manipulate them as necessary when they hit the right temperature.
A bead door differs from a viewport in that bead doors can be opened, while viewports cannot. Many industrial sized kiln bead doors are large, offering artists the chance to oversee their beads as they fire. Bead making can be done without bead doors, but it’s much easier to keep an eye on things if you do have them.
Many of the kilns we’ve listed above include a digital controller. This is simply an automated system that allows you to walk away from your kiln in order to let it do its thing. In many cases, a digital controller can even change up temperature for you to achieve the perfect glass fusing.
Digital controllers work in tandem with digital pyrometers to keep an eye on the firing chamber temperature.
Firing Chamber Dimensions
There’s nothing saying you have to create small pieces of fused glass. Well, except the only limiting factor is the size of the kiln’s firing chamber.
Most of the firing chambers on the kilns mentioned above are a good handful of inches wide. The larger your kiln’s firing chamber, the more possibilities you have to create different sized glass pieces.
Choosing a kiln that includes kiln wash, kiln furniture, or kiln shelves can be a big step up. The best glass kilns are those that include kiln shelves as well as kiln posts in order to arrange your projects. A kiln shelf can be a handy thing, especially if you don’t want to place your glass pieces directly on the kiln floor.
Common Questions Can you use a ceramic kiln to fuse glass?
Since most ceramic kilns must reach higher temperatures than the majority of glass kiln models, it’s safe to say you can fuse glass in a ceramic kiln. You can also fire metal clay in a ceramic kiln as well.
At the same time, you will want to have a digital pyrometer on hand in order to keep an eye on the temperature, since you’ll need to achieve a certain temperature range for glass fusing to occur.
How much does a glass kiln cost?
Most glass kiln models cost about the same as your typical ceramic kiln. A glass kiln can cost you only a few dollars if you’re looking at a microwavable model, while a more expensive glass kiln might set you back a few thousand dollars at the most. However, most kilns are a solid investment if you plan on dedicating some time to fusing glass.
If you’re not sure which model should be your first kiln, this guide should definitely help point you in the right direction, no matter your budget.
In many cases, choosing a glass kiln that costs a bit more could be to your advantage. While the economical choice might seem tempting, it’s always better to spend bit more to get excellent functionality. This is especially true when it comes to kilns with an automatic controller. Choosing from the pre-set programs is much easier than trying to figure it out on your own.
How long does it take to fuse glass in a kiln?
Most glass should fuse within a few minutes. However, large glass projects will require more time. Complex projects may need fusing done in stages as well.
As you saw with the microwave-ready kiln, you can easily fuse glass in roughly 6-8 minutes. It all depends on the size and shape of the glass pieces you’re working on.
Can you fuse glass in a regular oven? A microwave?
While it’s true that glass requires very high temperatures in order to melt, you can still fuse glass in a microwave. Most household ovens don’t get above 500 degrees Fahrenheit, so they’re not a great candidate for fusing glass at home.
Most microwave kilns are a small kiln with the required dimensions to fit into a standard home microwave. Having a small kiln you can pop into your microwave can make it easy to fuse your projects quickly without having to worry about babysitting a large kiln.
Can you have glass kilns in your home?
Glass kilns are most often electric, so they’re okay to use in your home. Plus, they’re most often able to plug into a standard home outlet.
We strongly suggest installing your glass kiln in a well-ventilated area. The high temperatures of the kiln may heat the space up, but it’s not good to inhale the odors that might come from your kiln.
We hope you’ve found this article on the best glass fusing kilns useful in your search. Purchasing a glass fusing kiln might be a big step for some artists, but it can be one of the most rewarding things you do if you’re truly passionate about working with glass.