A ceramic kiln is an important part of any studio. Hearing the kiln fire up and watching your work immortalize is a feeling like no other, isn’t it?
And thanks to home safe kilns, you don’t need to fork out studio fees or pay someone else to do it for you, a win!
But knowing where to start, much less find the best ceramic kiln for home use is a challenge!
There is such a wide range on the market, and with the price so varied it's difficult to know what the best option is!
Thankfully, all your work has been done for you! So relax, read on to find the best ceramic kiln, a handy buyers guide, and FAQ section to give you all the tools to get your home ceramic kiln.
In a hurry? Check out our top pick below for the best overall ceramic kiln for home use!
Top 5 Best Ceramic Kilns for Home Use
OUR TOP PICK
The Rapid Fire Pro is a great portable and lightweight ceramic kiln!
Weighing just 12lbs, this front-loading kiln is easy to move from room to room, or house to house! Thanks to its ergonomic handle as well, it is easy to use.
Inside, there is a small chamber great for little projects. It heats up to 2,200 degrees, a suitable higher temperature for most clays and glazes, although be sure to check it is suitable for your materials.
The kiln comes with digital temperature control so you can keep an eye on and accurately set it to suit your materials.
Customers praised how easy this kiln was to use. Some customers would have liked more detailed instructions provided though.
Those looking for burnout as well are in luck, as this one works as expected, although be mindful of the smell afterward!
- A high temperature of 2,200 degrees
- Easy to use
- Digital temperature control
- Instructions could be more detailed
Fuseworks kiln is great for those with smaller spaces, thanks to its handy table-top design.
Due to its table-top design, it's better suited for those looking to fire smaller projects.
The chamber is 8-½ x 3-½ inches made with a fiber body and stainless steel bonds to reinforce the clam-shell style lid.
The handle is also heat resistant, providing that additional layer of safety for you.
The kiln is great as a beginner to intermediate level, and is very diverse, being able to fuse glass, enamels, or ceramics.
Customers praised its fast run time, being ready to go in 15 minutes!
It's affordable too, so great for those on a smaller budget, or wanting to try out ceramics without the hefty price tag.
The kiln does not come with a pyrometer, making it difficult to gauge the level of the fuse.
Fuseworks’ kiln operates on standard voltage, so there's one less thing to worry about! Just plug it in and go.
The kiln features a user-friendly timer and a self-regulated coil heating system.
- Heat resistant handle
- Great for smaller items
- Operates on standard voltage
- No pyrometer to gauge the level of fuse
An expensive kiln, but great for small studios, as it's designed to fit most small spaces!
Skutt’s kiln allows you to write your firing programs with Ramp and Hold. you can store up to 12 of your programs on here, or use the factory set programs.
Skutt offers a kiln with built-in safety features to help prevent accidental starts or over fires, giving you peace of mind when you leave your studio in the evenings (or 3 am, if like me 9-5 is meaningless!).
Fitted with a current sensor you can read the amperage of each section of the kiln as well as the voltage. Handy to always keep you in the loop with the inner workings of your ceramic kiln. It works on 240 volts and has a 2.6 cubic feet capacity.
It's a very diverse kiln, having the power to fire ceramics, fuse glass, and even grow crystals!
With a depth and width of 18 inches each, you’ve got the space to create some lovely pieces!
Customers were particularly happy with this kiln's consistent firing temperatures, making it a reliable kiln for firing your projects.
- Write your programs
- Suitable for ceramics, glass, and crystal growing
- Operates at 240 volts
- Great for small spaces
- Consistent firing temperatures
An expensive option for those with a bigger budget is the Delphi kiln, which comes with 16 pre-set programs and the ability to store 22 custom programs as well.
This kiln is a larger unit, so make sure you have ample space for this model.
The kiln works best with metal, clay, or glass so you will have plenty of options for your creations. Delphi’s kiln is very versatile, allowing you to slow fire clay, create jewelry, fire fast metal clay, low fire art clay, and so much more.
A great option for beginners not sure what clay they will be specializing in, or professionals after versatility!
The kiln is adjustable and comes with a 3 button controller that customers praised for being easy to use.
Thanks to its size, the kiln can handle multiple projects at once, making it a popular choice with artists and teachers. It provides you with the ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously without worrying about space to fire them!
You can easily adjust the time and temperature in all of the programmed modes as well, adding to its diverse nature.
- Offers pre-set programs
- Great for beginners or professionals
- Suitable for glass, metal, or clay
- Great for small to medium-sized projects
- 3 button controller
The Olympic kiln features a V6-CF programmable controller, a good option for those with a larger budget!
The kiln comes assembled, so great for those wanting to get started straight away!
It fires up to cone 10 (2,350 degrees) making it one hot kiln! Customers were particularly pleased with its quick heat-up time and even burn.
Another praise was the excellent customer service, replying quickly to queries, leaving you in safe hands should you ever need any assistance!
The kiln runs on 240 volts and needs a 40 amp-breaker, so be sure to seek professional help if you are not a trained electrician to do this.
It's 17.5 x 22.5 inches, great for larger projects.
The kiln is made with 3 inches of brick to provide extra insulation and energy efficiency, great for helping with that pesky electricity bill!
Olympic’s kiln comes with a furniture kit, including a pilot light, metal stand, stainless steel jacket, and Bartlett electronic controller, but no vent.
- Programmable controller
- Fires to cone 10 (2,350 degrees)
- 1-year warranty
- Heats up quickly
- Excellent customer service
Best Ceramic Kiln For Home Use Buying Guide
Not sure where to start?
Read our buyer’s guide below to see what factors to consider when choosing your ceramic kiln.
Clay and Glaze
Clays and glazes all mature at different temperatures so knowing what you will be using before purchasing your kiln is a good starting point.
If you have not yet decided what you’ll be working with, try and go for a kiln that can achieve those higher temperatures, as it will be able to fire a wide range of materials then. This also provides you with flexibility should you change your mind or find a new material you wish to explore.
The temperature varies depending on the materials being used so you need to match the kiln’s capabilities with this.
Clay fired too high can deform and even melt in some cases, and if it's too low you can end up with a rough and dry finish, not good!
Glazes too need to be considered, some need low-fire ranges, whereas others need much higher temperatures. It’s worth doing your homework first to avoid your work suffering a kiln-related catastrophe!
You don’t need me to tell you that size DOES matter! Specifically the size of your desired piece.
Consider how big the pieces are you want to make, and how many, to make sure you get a kiln large enough to accommodate! No-one wants too many tea-cups squeezed in their kiln!
The space you’ve got for the kiln is an important factor to consider. It's recommended that kilns have a minimum of 2 feet of open space around them to give the needed breathing space.
Be sure to keep that in mind when measuring your dimensions and make sure your studio has space, after all, size does matter!
As we are selecting our kiln based on the size of our creations and the space available in our studio, we need to also consider the efficiency of the kiln.
Firing a large kiln up just for 3 small items is going to be a waste of electricity, think of the bill payer please! We’ve done some size calculations for you to follow:
Smallest kilns: up to 9 x 11 inches are ideal for small items such as beads, small toys such as dolls.
Medium kilns: 18 x 18 inches are great for bigger items such as pots, plates, and bowls. Although due to the size, this is a better fit for those looking to make singular items.
Larger kilns: 23 x 27 inches are the most common size, better for the bulk firing of larger items. These kilns can be used in large production, handy for those looking to make and sell their ceramics.
While we are on the subject of that electricity bill, the voltage and power requirements also need to be considered. Be sure to check first that your home studio can support the extra power.
Generally, the average voltage of a normal household is 120V which your smaller kilns can run off perfectly. However, those larger kilns run off 240 volts, so you’ll need to power up your home electricity output to accommodate this.
A breaker as well will be needed that meets the amperage of your kiln. Many large kilns need 60 amps, with the typical home fitted with 15-20 amp breakers. It’s worth seeking the help of an electrician to do this work.
To make sure the kiln will be suitable for you, go for one that exceeds the maximum temperature you’ll need.
It’s worth remembering that a kilns firing capability will reduce over time, meaning its ability to hold higher temperatures will reduce.
A good rule of thumb is to overestimate the temperature by 200-300 degrees.
Depending on what you want to fire, use this as a rough guide:
- Low-firing kilns for earthenware and glass
- Mid-firing or high-firing kilns for stoneware
- High firing kilns for porcelain
You’ve probably already seen cones talked about a lot when looking at temperature. A cone represents a measurement of energy as well as a measurement of temperature over time.
Low cone temperatures will appear with a 0 in front of the number (018, 019, and 020 for example), while higher cone temperatures will feature two-digit numbers (12,13, and 14).
The highest cone temperature is 15 and the lowest is 022. Make sure to check the suggested cone temperatures for the materials and glazes you want to use when purchasing your kiln.
Kilns can be weighty. If the kiln is going to be left in one place permanently then this shouldn’t be an issue.
If you are however interested in a portable kiln, or a tabletop style kiln, look out for kilns listed as lightweight to make the transporting process smoother for yourself.
Gimme That Safety
Kilns work at extremely high temperatures which means we have to sit down and have the safety talk.
Those with children or animals that like to roam or any clumsy people like me should consider a few rules to keep your home safe.
Get some protective gear and always wear it! Gloves are essential here as the kiln will stay hot for a while after it’s been used. Do not touch it with bare hands until it is fully cooled.
Make sure to wear glasses, sunglasses will do, when operating the kiln to protect your eyes from the heat.
Beware of any toxins that may be released from the chemical changes in the clay. Keep the kiln in a well-ventilated space to help with this.
Frequently Asked Questions
Check our FAQ section out to get the A’s for your Q’s.
What is a ceramic kiln?
A ceramic kiln is a heat-insulated chamber, similar to an oven, that will produce temperatures hot enough to change the make-up of your project. This usually involves hardening or drying, such as turning your clay pieces into pottery.
They are used in industries, for example, turning limestone to lime for cement, and are popular with artists across the world.
A ceramic kiln needs to be hot enough so that chemical and physical reactions occur to permanently change the materials make up. This is how your clay pieces change and become the finished pottery pieces.
As you will have read earlier you will need to glaze the clay before it enters the kiln as well, and these all require different temperatures for the best results.
For budding artists or seasoned professionals, a ceramic kiln is a handy tool to have in their studios.
Is a ceramic kiln safe for my home?
Ceramic kilns can get very hot as we have seen. Providing you follow some simple steps the kiln can be safe for your house.
Making sure children and animals are kept away is an excellent start, as well as explaining the danger to any young ones about the heat and their tiny hands.
For yourself, or those operating the kiln, having the right protective equipment (gloves and glasses) will keep you safe. Just remember no bare hands go near the kiln until it has completely cooled!
Making sure the kiln is kept in a well-ventilated area will also help with the toxins being released as well.
Do I need a kiln at home?
This is a personal choice, and ultimately one you have to make yourself. Ceramic kilns can be quite pricey, although as you have seen from our recommendations you can get quite affordable options.
Beginners or those enjoying ceramics as a hobby are better off going for a more affordable option, in case you find it isn’t for you.
Those looking to enhance their home studios will find having their kiln advantageous. It provides you with the freedom to work when it suits and fire your creations without worrying about them getting damaged in transit.
If you have space and the budget it is worth investing in if ceramics are your thing!