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The 5 Best Glass Kilns for Beginners

As a novice, selection of a glass kiln will be a taxing task for you. Glass kilns are available in a huge variety. Some of them offer premium controllers and accessories, they maybe electric or manual with different sizes and firing temperatures. But as a beginner, you don’t need something that demands a hefty investment.

If fusing and crafting glasses, making jewelry or DIYs is just a leisure pursuit for you, then you should consider sticking to the most basic models of glass kilns. Even if you’re a beginner who aims at getting professional in future, you should not consider buying very high end equipment at first. You can always upgrade when the time comes. There’s no need to pay for the special features that you aren’t going to use anyways.

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Our Best Picks for Glass Kilns

You’ll find over here a few glass kilns that are perfect for beginners. If you ever feel the need to upgrade to a high end machine, you’ll be able to do that without regretting the few bucks you spent on these very basic machines. However, we have included an option for anyone who doesn’t consider a low end kiln adequate for them.

1.Large Microwave Glass Kiln

This large microwave glass kiln is a small, portable, safe and convenient option. Thereby, it the best option from Hensom for a beginner. It is a wonderful glass fusing tool that is around 19.5x11cm on the inner side. It renders plenty of space for firing different pieces of small crafts or projects in one go.

It serves the purpose of glass melting and softening and allows you to create a beautiful piece of jewelry as an end result. The kiln is made from ceramic fiber which is heat and temperature resistant. Thus, making it a very safe option for a beginner’s use. The heat resistant fiber doesn’t let the surface temperature go beyond 70° Celsius which makes this kiln risk free.

The temperature of the firing chamber goes up to 1650 degree Fahrenheit (900°C) which is adequate for glassware. The whole softening and reprocessing of the glass takes place in around 12-14 minutes. The time may vary depending on the wattage of your microwave. An 1100W microwave would be good enough.

As a beginner, you can get hang of the process and timings with 3-4 tries so it really isn’t going to be a big deal.

2. Glass Fusing Microwave Kiln

This glass kiln is the perfect introduction to fused glass work for you. This package is everything that you need as a beginner. Besides the glass kiln itself, it comes with 10 sheets of ceramic fiber kiln paper, a glass cutter, and a pair of gloves. Not only that it also includes opal glass, millefiori glass, confetti glass, and dichroic glass, 1 bag each.

This glass kiln is the ideal tool for fusing glass while allowing you to achieve different effects on the glass. It is a relatively smaller kiln capable of housing a 1.5 inch square piece. It allows you to create pendants, earrings, and fuse jewelry pieces and embellishments at an ideal temperature.

It has a firing temperature of up to 900°C and it weighs around 0.5kg. Therefore, it is very convenient to work with. You can carry it around and fit in a basic 1000W microwave.

3. Professional Glass Furnace

This glass kiln is a suitable option for a beginner who needs a pro machine for work in the long run. It is easy to operate. You will be needing a few trials before you get complete hold of the machine.

It is a professional grade glass kiln and therefore, requires a fairly good amount of investment. It provides very advanced functions and controls. It has an ample amount of space for large projects. It measures around 6x5x6 inches in dimension and that provides a decent amount of space for firing.

It is an ideal tool for professional jewelry making and glass fusing. It comes with a digital control panel. The efficient heat distribution system renders perfect end products. It has a firing temperature of 1205° Celsius (2200F)

This glass furnace weighs around 12 pounds so it is quite portable. If you’re aiming for a one time purchase that will work well for you in the long run, then this gotta be the one.

4. Glass Fuseworks Kiln

This professional microwave glass kiln from BHD is a well built option for glass fusing. It is very safe and convenient to use. Therefore, ideal for beginners. The thermal processing of glass in this kiln is a breeze. It requires around 8-10 minutes for a single processing of glass. Not only is it cost effective, but also saves up a lot of time.

This glass kiln is lined with a high tech composite material that has been formulated for fusing glass in a microwave with maximum safety. The fire chamber will not provide a large amount of space but it is enough to process small pieces of glass.

The temperature of this glass kiln goes up to 1650° F. It is lightweight and easily portable. It requires a microwave with at least 1000W support. All in all, this glass kiln works really well and is a great option for beginners.

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Which Glass Kiln Should You Use A Beginner?

Here are the thing you need to look at before buying a glass kiln.

Firing Temperature

Glass does not require high firing temperatures which is why glass kilns seldom have a temperature over 950° C. On the other hand, ceramic kilns typically fire over 1200° Celsius. So working with a ceramic kiln for your glass is not a preferable idea. Glass kilns offer optimal heat radiation in accordance to the sensitivity of glass. The most basic models of glass kilns offer up to 1650-1700° F firing temperatures which is appropriate for you as a beginner.

Kiln Size

Glass kilns come in a few different sizes. But as a rookie, you don’t need large kilns. You’ll be wasting your money and space on large kilns. You’ll typically be working with small glass pieces or objects so a large kiln will not be required. However, if you do plan on working with larger objects, then the kiln size is your call to make.

So before purchasing a glass kiln, give a good thought to the things you’ll be firing in that kiln and then, make a careful decision.

Accessories & Controllers

As far as accessories and controllers are concerned, you don’t need something top notch in that case as well. A very basic accessory set will be ample for you. Also, an electric kiln will be way too expensive and useless for a beginner. You can easily suffice with a manually controlled kiln. A manual kiln does require more effort and vigilance but it gives you the liberty to modify its settings throughout the process.

Some Glass Fusing Tips

  • Do not overheat the glass or you’ll end up ruining the final product. The colors of the glass will be lost and you’ll be left with some burned pieces.
  • Once the process is over, wait for at least 30 minutes before removing the glass form the kiln. This will help prevent cracked or broken pieces of glass.
  • You will not get perfect end results in the beginning. But if you keep on trying you’ll get to understand the whole process and timing of glass firing. Once you get hang of how everything works, glass fusing will be a piece of cake for you.

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