Which microwave kilns are best?
If you’re an artist with an interest in making your own jewelry, a microwave kiln can be an extremely useful tool. Although these simple containers don’t get as hot as traditional kilns, they still reach temperatures capable of melting small bits of glass that can then be repurposed into fun and creative art pieces.
Microwave kilns can range from simple insulated containers to comprehensive kits with everything you need to get started. For a large, durable kiln that’s suitable for most projects, check out the Hensom Large Microwave Kiln.
What to know before you buy a microwave kiln
What is a microwave kiln?
Microwave kilns are simple, compact devices that can be placed in a conventional microwave oven to act as a miniature kiln. Simply arrange the glass pieces that you want to fuse on a sheet of firing paper, place the lid on the kiln and microwave it for 5 to 10 minutes. The kiln’s interior will reach max temperatures of over 1,600 degrees, fusing the glass pieces and creating an interesting blend of colors and patterns that can be cut or molded into any shape you’d like. Always follow the instructions included with your kiln and use all of the suggested safety equipment.
The outer casing of a microwave kiln is usually constructed from some kind of porous ceramic or insulating fiber, while the interior lining is usually composed of a compound like graphite or magnetite. The exterior is typically a white or off-white color, while the inside of the kiln is almost always black.
Microwave kiln tips
- Always remove the glass spinning tray from the microwave before firing with your kiln. The high temperatures can easily break the tray.
- The power of your microwave needs to be around 800-1200 watts to handle a microwave kiln.
- Always wear safety glasses when cutting fired glass.
- Make sure you have all of the recommended safety accessories, like heat-resistant gloves and a cooling rack, before attempting to use a microwave kiln.
- Always thoroughly clean your glass pieces before firing them in a microwave kiln.
- Keep a step-by-step journal that details all of your firing methods so you can recreate successful creations in the future.
- Only use a microwave kiln in a well-ventilated area, as melted glass can give off potentially dangerous fumes.
- Follow all of the included instructions and explore the internet for helpful tips and fun design ideas.
What to look for in a quality microwave kiln
Most microwave kilns are relatively small so they can fit inside a standard microwave oven. This makes them much more portable than traditional kilns but also limits the amount of glass you can fuse at any time. Check out the dimensions before settling on a product and compare those with the size of your dedicated microwave.
All microwave kilns have a fairly similar construction, so it can be difficult to know which devices are going to be the most durable. Look for products that advertise heat resistance and a tight seal between the lid and the base.
Microwave kilns require a few other items that you must have before you can start firing glass. Some products come with all of the essentials, offering great bang for your buck by eliminating the need for additional purchases. These microwave kiln kits can include accessories like heat-resistant gloves, safety goggles, kiln firing paper and various design tools.
How much you can expect to spend on a microwave kiln
The cost of a microwave kiln can vary slightly depending on the size and any included accessories. Most consumers can expect to spend around $20-$50 for a reliable kiln.
Microwave kiln FAQ
How long does a microwave kiln take to cool after firing?
A. After firing glass in your microwave kiln, let the device cool for at least 20 to 30 minutes before taking a look. Opening the kiln prematurely could crack your glass creation.
Can I put my microwave kiln in the oven?
A. Microwave kilns are not built for use in a traditional oven. Placing your kiln in the oven could result in dangerously high temperatures that might damage the kiln, your oven or both.
What’s the best microwave kiln to buy?
Top microwave kiln
What you need to know: This microwave kiln is larger than other devices, making it great for aspiring artists that want to fuse lots of jewelry.
What you’ll love: This large microwave kiln works fast and is capable of fusing small pieces of glass in only five minutes. Many users note the ease of use and durable construction of this kiln.
What you should consider: This microwave kiln doesn’t come with any instructions, making it difficult for beginners to use.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top microwave kiln for the money
What you need to know: This microwave kiln kit comes with everything you need to get started, offering great bang for your buck.
What you’ll love: This comprehensive kiln kit comes with all of the essential accessories, including heat-resistant gloves, multiple kinds of colorful fuse-compatible glass, a cooling rack and even a tool for glass cutting.
What you should consider: The kiln is constructed from asbestos brick, which can be hazardous if broken apart, so users should always wear a mask when firing with it.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Microwave kiln worth checking out
What you need to know: This budget-friendly and compact microwave kiln is a solid choice for beginners.
What you’ll love: Safe and simple, this microwave kiln is popular among glass artists because it fits in nearly any microwave and heats up fast. The compact size also means that it’s easy to store and travel with.
What you should consider: A few users questioned the overall durability of the kiln, and others reported that it heated their glass unevenly.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Patrick Farmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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