Rapidfire Pro Kiln Review: The Best Kiln for Your Dollar?
Choosing and buying your first kiln can be a daunting task. Purchasing one online can be even more difficult because you can’t actually inspect the kiln until it arrives on your doorstep. But the Rapidfire Pro kiln is a model that’s creating some serious buzz in the pottery industry. This is a model that’s designed with portability in mind, featuring a lightweight compact design that allows you to enjoy the benefits of firing up a kiln right in your home studio. But it has a lot more to offer, especially when it comes to raw power and near-perfect results.
Finding a compact kiln that offers enough space to fire up smaller pieces can be difficult because many of them are simply inefficient or too expensive. Tabletop Furnace Company has come up with a solution designed to meet the needs of the home sculptor who enjoys creating and firing pieces of a smaller scale. Whether or not this kiln is right for you will ultimately depend on the type and size of pieces you create. Jewelry, bead making, and certain clay pieces will fit easily in this compact kiln that’s backed by quite a bit of power.
Rapidfire Overview and Features
Weighing in at just twelve pounds this compact kiln can fit almost anywhere. For its size, it’s surprisingly powerful and can heat up to an impressive 2200 Fahrenheit in less than ten minutes.
The firing chamber is also pretty large for a kiln of this size, measuring in at 6x6x5 and comes equipped with a front loading door for easier access. This model is perfect for clay, ceramic firing, and jewelry. It features a PID temperature controller with thirty steps soak and ramp and fifteen hundred watts of power. Users will also benefit from the machine’s Rapid Heat system. This system utilizes high temp thermocouples which work to evenly distribute heat. This, in turn, results in a significantly faster fire up time. As we mentioned, this model can reach ideal temperatures in less than ten minutes, which is virtually unheard of with most models of home kilns.
The dual display process controller and PID temperature controller allows the user to program up to thirty steps. The controller is pretty easy to program and the temperature profiles are designed to ensure good firing.
This electric kiln is much easier to fire compared to bisque firings and it will provide bright colors compared to what you can expect from a standard gas kiln, due to the Rapidfire’s oxidation environment. This model is so efficient and convenient that you won’t want to go back to using a gas-powered model, which are also more expensive to run.
Before you first use your kiln to fire up your favorite pieces, you’ll need to do a burn off procedure. You’ll find detailed instructions for this in the user’s manual. To do, you’ll need to open the kiln until it reaches a temperature of seventeen hundred degrees and allow the smoke to escape, so you may want to do thisprocedure outdoors, otherwise, your studio or workshop will smell smoky for several days. After this procedure is completed, the kiln will not smoke. If it does, we recommend contacting the customer service team for a replacement. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that it won’t get very hot around the kiln during use, however, the manufacturer recommends a total of six feet of clearance around the entire machine. The surface of the kiln will get hot enough to burn skin if touched while it’s firing.
Kiln Pros & Cons
Pros: Because this is a smaller kiln, it does a fine job of maintaining a more uniform temperature. This model is recommended for users who enjoy doing small projects. The kiln operates at a hundred and ten volts, so no special power needs are required. Most kilns can take twenty to thirty minutes to heat up, but this beast can easily power up and reach ideal temperatures in under ten minutes.
Cons: Some buyers complained that the workspace was not as large as described in the specs. This has to do with the location of the thermocouple, which takes up about half an inch of width in the workspace. You’ll also have to take into consideration the heat coils. If the manufacturer had designed the kiln’s shelf slightly narrower towards the back in order to avoid the thermocouple, then allowed the shelf to grow wider once the thermocouple was cleared, the user would have a little more space to work with. In terms of height, you’ll get around six inches, with a depth of six inches. Just use common sense and avoid loading to the top of the kiln. We recommend not going any higher than four and a half inches. If you’re looking for a kiln that offers the type of workspace that allows you to fire up large vases and jars, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
Auberins is the company that designed and created the programmable device that comes with this model. The included instructions are difficult and too techy for most people to follow. If you need help operating the controller and choosing the appropriate setting, contact customer support. The customer support team is very quick to respond and can help you troubleshoot any issues with setup, programming and kiln performance.
Rapidfire Pro Kiln Review: Conclusion and Rating
This model received some mixed feedback from consumers. Ultimately, this lightweight compact kiln is perfect for firing up cups, plates, beads, and other smaller pieces, but it’s simply not large enough to handle bigger jobs. Pay special attention to the dimensions and take into consideration the smaller workspace size that’s designed to also accommodate the space of the thermocouples. If you purchased this kiln with the intent to work on smaller projects, then this will be a model you can rely on for several years to come. It’s efficient, highly programmable, compact, and a total workhorse. Consumers who purchased the Rapidfire Pro kiln gave it a rating of four out of five stars for programming options, faster heat up time, size, and efficiency.Check Amazon Price