Glasswork and metal clay can be amazing additions to your jewelry endeavors, but only if you have the right tools! The best electric kilns can truly take your craft to the next level.
Of course, with such a vast range on the market nowadays, it can be a real challenge to choose the electric kiln you need. That’s why we prepared this guide! We’ve reviewed three top-notch electric kilns we particularly like to help you make the right decision.
Read on to see our electric kilns of choice, along with their key features and specifications. Towards the end of our article, we share the most important criteria you need to consider before you commit to an electric kiln model and we answer some commonly asked questions – so be sure to stick around!
Without further delay, let’s get to work!
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The Best Electric Metal Clay Kilns: Our 2020 Reviews
The Rio Large Kiln is truly one of the most affordable metal clay kilns on the market. It seems very compact at first sight, but its capacity is more than suitable for heavy-duty work. And yes, it can still be an expensive investment but remember this: should you decide to purchase this powerful Rio Large Kiln, you’ll get more than what you pay for!
The Rio Large Kiln can handle a variety of applications, largely thanks to its nine program controller. It’s absolutely adequate for firing PMC (Precious Metal Clay) and it’s suitable for flask burnout in casting work as well. Feel free to also use it to fuse glass or maybe cure coatings on pottery. All of these are made possible by its versatile ceramic-fiber firing chamber, designed for optimum performance on each application.
A feature we simply love when it comes to the Rio Large Kiln is that you can choose a version that suits your style. For example, if you’d like a different color you can get a customized kiln in some of the following colors: purple, black, turquoise or hot pink.
We’re impressed by this metal clay kiln’s spaciousness. Yes, it isn’t a mere coincidence that the Rio Large Kiln is called Large. This kiln offers enough space for both more and larger pieces to fit inside, which means you can do more work in a shorter amount of time. It’s also a great choice for folks who do larger work as well as jewelry projects.
It’s somewhat under $900 (which is relatively okay), but keep in mind that the price can increase if you decide to customize it (as we’ve already mentioned above).
Like all our picks Rio Large Kiln has ceramic-fiber chambers. Although ceramic fiber chambers heat and cool way faster than firebrick chambers do, firebrick usually outlasts ceramic fiber and you can replace it more easily. If this is important to you, alternatives are available.
It also has a 1-year limited warranty, which is not the best warranty out there. For example, there are kilns on the market offering from 3 to 5-year warranty options.
The Rio Large Kiln has fewer pre-set programs than our other picks (for example, the Delphi Ez Pro 15-6 Kiln has 16 pre-set programs).
Keep in mind that if you decide to customize your kiln you’ll have to pay around $50 more for this service, and you should also allow 2-3 more weeks for delivery.
The Delphi Ez Pro 15-6 Kiln is a very user-friendly metal clay kiln with a capable and yet compact design. It’s a great tool for every jewelry artist and it’s popular with all sorts of users. So, let’s meet the electric metal clay kiln that has it all and does it all!
When it comes to this metal clay kiln, one of its strong points is its versatility – you can set it to different programs so it can be used for all sorts of applications. This makes it nice and practical for both beginners and more advanced users.
For example, the Delphi Ez Pro 15-6 Kiln comes with sixteen pre-set programs (which is way more than the Rio Large Kiln above) aimed at firing glass, annealing glass or working with metal clay. It also has the capacity to store up to 22 custom programs so you can find the settings that work best for you and save them. All you have to do the next time you want to use that particular setting is select the custom program you need at the moment. It really couldn’t be any easier!
As you’d expect from our top pick, the Delphi Ez Pro 15-6 Kiln is very customizable. You can adjust the time and temperature on any setting, or use the default programs. Its absolutely flexible firing schedule allows you to work whenever you want and it gives you the freedom every serious jewelry artist appreciates.
This kiln also features an Accessory Pack that contains the following items: posts, stand, shelf wash, and the kiln shelf.
As much as we love the many programs and options this kiln offers as they are great for advanced users, they can be overwhelming for people who are just starting out. This is overkill for newcomers.
Another potential drawback is that if you want to place lots of pieces into the kiln at the same time you’ll probably have some issues. As the Delphi Ez Pro 15-6 Kiln only has enough space for a few jewelry items, this would be a bit of an issue. If roominess is a priority, check out the Rio Grande!
The Delphi Ez Pro 15-6 Kiln also has only a 1-year limited warranty.
In collaboration with en-Ken Kilns and Orton Controllers, Delphi has designed the perfect kiln for beginners to use without fuss. That being said, this kiln will continue to serve you well as your skill grows. It’s perfectly suitable for your more ambitious jewelry undertakings in the long run!
It’s good to know you need no kiln shelf to use this electric clay kiln. It’s enough to just put the fiberboard onto the kiln floor, and that’s it. Simple and easy!
Also, the EZ-Pro Bonnie Glo Kiln’s fiber body construction is capable of holding heat much longer than others with the same basic materials. Unlike cheaper kilns, its construction helps the heat remain inside the firing chamber, rather than just be absorbed by the kiln itself.
The Delphi EZ-Pro Bonnie Glo Kiln can be adjusted to satisfy many needs and purposes, thanks to its sixteen pre-set firing schedules. All the programs enable firing glass, annealing beads, and metal clays. Plus, there’s an option to store twenty-two custom schedules too.
If you’re a beginner we recommend focusing on the pre-set firing programs (for example, The Delphi EZ-Pro Bonnie Glo Kiln comes with four pre-set programs for each type of glass you might want to use). On the other hand, if you’re already a professional or just starting to dabble in larger projects, you can make use of its 22 custom programs liberally. You might even make one for each new project, such as pattern bars or maybe drop rings.
When it comes to purchasing the Delphi EZ-Pro Bonnie Glo Kiln, one potential deal-breaker is its price. It’s around $1100, and if you’re still just a beginner it may be quite the investment. The Rio is a more affordable (but less versatile) alternative.
It also has a 1-year limited warranty.
So, which of these electric metal clay kilns should you pick?
If you’re in the beginning stages of your work but have bigger plans, you should consider the Delphi EZ-Pro Bonnie Glo Kiln – it really is a kiln that can satisfy all your needs even as your skill and the scope of your projects increase. It allows you to do projects at your own pace, and make use of programs progressively along the way.
Additionally, if you want a less expensive first kiln, or you’re a more experienced jewelry maker who wants to keep it simple and save some money, our best value-for-money option would be the Rio Large Kiln.
Finally, if you’re a professional who’s interested in an all-encompassing electric kiln able to hold the heat longer and offer better versatility than the competition, then the Delphi Ez Pro 15-6 Kiln is definitely a worthwhile splurge.
Choosing the Best Electric Metal Clay Kiln: How To Do It
Read through our brief guide to learn what you need to consider when buying an electric metal clay kiln.
How Much Are You Willing To Spend?
Decide on your budget before you start shopping. Electric metal clay kilns are an investment and usually last a long time, so it might be worth buying a more expensive one. You can get a good kiln for less than $900 (such as the Rio Large Kiln), or if you’re willing to spend more to get an all-encompassing kiln you have a $1500+ option, which is the Delphi EZ-Pro Bonnie Glo Kiln.
“Electric metal clay kilns aren’t something you buy frequently, so it might be worth buying a more expensive one”
However, if you think you won’t use the kiln so frequently, opting for something more affordable is definitely on the table. So, it’s overkill to consider purchasing the Delphi Ez Pro 15-6 Kiln if you’re only going to use it sporadically.
What Are Your Current Needs?
Why are you buying an electric kiln anyway? Are you planning on working on larger projects or you’re still just testing the waters when it comes to metal clay & glasswork? How frequently are you firing? If you only dabble occasionally, then you should consider the Rio Large Kiln, for example.
“being mindful of your needs is truly a key factor you have to consider”
Also, how many pre-set programs do you need? Is it important for you to adjust the time and the temperature for custom programs? If yes, don’t skip the Delphi Ez Pro 15-6 Kiln.
Remember: being mindful of your needs is truly a key factor you have to consider when buying an electric kiln – this will guarantee that you’re satisfied with your product and that you aren’t spending more on features that you don’t need.
Do You Want Firebrick or Ceramic Fiber Chambers?
Most kilns tend to use ceramic fiber (such as the Rio Large Kiln), and this is logical because ceramic fiber can be heated and cooled very quickly. This is especially useful for very short firing activities.
However, firebrick chambers usually outlast ceramic fiber chambers and they’re much more easily replaceable when necessary. They’re quite a bit more expensive, though, which is why we haven’t included any here.
We hope you enjoyed our article on the best electric metal kilns of 2020 and that you now have a clear idea of how to choose the best fit for you.
If you want to share your opinion on the subject, feel free to shoot us a message or simply leave a comment below. We’d be delighted to hear from you!
If you’re on the lookout for other jewelry-making appliances, you can always find out more of the best jewelry tools on our website.