Skutt Firebox 14 Kiln Review

Skutt Firebox 14 KilnYes, I have another kiln to write about.

It seems like just yesterday I was buying my first baby kiln an Evenheat Studio Pro. Then I got the papa kiln a Paragon Pearl 22. The first is sometimes too small, while the second is sometimes too big.  So I now have the mama kiln a Skutt Firebox 14. This means I pretty much have one kiln from each of the major manufacturers. And I promise, hon, it’s my last kiln. Really, I do!

The Firebox 14 kiln gives me the ability to do tests and experiments on smaller pieces without heating up my bigger kiln. It’s really a great size. This kiln will hold a square foot of 4×4 tiles. The shelf kit that comes with the kiln is 12″ x 13″. I am not sure why they didn’t make it square. I have to remember to grab the shelf on the shorter 12 inch side so that I can get my fingers out after placing the shelf in the kiln.

The first thing I noticed about the Skutt was the awkward placement of the electrical cord. It comes out from the front of the kiln (the controller box). So if you place the kiln facing out into the room the cord goes from the front, under the kiln to the back. This means you basically have to place the kiln right in front of the outlet. My outlet is raised up on the wall.  As you can see in the picture, I ended up placing the kiln sideways to give me a few more inches to position the kiln where I wanted it. I’m sure there is some engineering requirement that resulted in this configuration. Just wish  they had made the cord a bit longer.

The other thing I had to get used to was the controller. Now I will readily admit that I have been spoiled with the 12 key controller on the Paragon Pearl. The Skutt has just 3 buttons that are used to access all functions and input firing schedules. Using the arrow up key to advance the temperature to 9999 is not the most convenient. I can see that a 3 button controller can be more confusing for some than a 12 button controller. All in all though, after using it a few times, it started to make sense. It does come programmed with several basic firing schedules, but these are just a place to start. One other thing I miss is an alarm. On the Paragon I can set an alarm to go off based on the temperature. This is nice to have when you want to check on things during the process time of the schedule.

The Firebox 14 runs on standard household current. This makes it a great kiln for anyone that doesn’t want to add a  240 electrical line.  It is big enough to do some decent size plates and bowels.  However, at 6.5″ deep it will be limited on the size of any drape molds. All in all I am very impressed with this kiln. But I am glad I have my other two kilns as well. Each one serves a purpose. I really do need three kilns!

22 thoughts on “Skutt Firebox 14 Kiln Review

  1. Margot says:

    I think it was a price issue. The Skutt was less expensive. Knowing what I know now, I think I would have gone with the Paragon. I would get the optional ceramic fiber top. I have this on my Pearl 22 and never had any problems with “stuff” falling on my piece. The first time I fired the Skutt, I had several spots on my pieces. The Paragon also has an alarm, which I didn’t think I would miss but I do.

    If you are looking at the Fusion 14, I’d also look at the CS-14S which is a clam shell style. The clam shell is really convenient. Darn! They didn’t have this model when I researched 14 inch kilns and ordered mine. I definitely would have gone with this one.

    Also, I can’t tell on the Fusion, but on the CS the top looks like it is a metal, on the Skutt it is some kind of cement like coating that looks like it was brushed on over the firebrick. It is starting to crack and flake, which I’m told is normal.

    Hindsight!

  2. stacey says:

    i just purchased the skutt firebox 14. guess i was too quick with the purchase because i thought i’d be able to fire it in a back room in my apt (i live in a 2-family house).

    the floor in that room is carpeted, which i now know is a big hazard. and it needs proper ventilation.

    i am sort of at a loss for where i can put it. just curious if you have any recommendations and/or if you know if i can place it outdoors and fire it there?

    thanks
    stacey

    • Margot says:

      Stacey – I’m pretty sure you can keep it out side as long as it is covered. Is there a covered driveway or patio? Or somewhere in the garage? According to the Paragon website, they say you can keep a kiln outside as long as it’s covered. I’d check with Skutt though and make sure it won’t affect the warranty. So what’s under the carpet? Here in Houston it’s concrete.

    • Margot says:

      Vanessa – What size are you buying? My Evenheat is a small 8″ kiln. It is a good little kiln. I like the dual access and have had no problems with it. My Paragon Pearl is a 22″ and I love, love, love it. My 14″ is a Skutt. It’s fine and customer support is great, but I would like to replace it with the Paragon clam shell model. I’ve been spoiled. I’m just waiting to find a buyer for my Skutt. They would probably both be fine, but take a look at the controllers and how you set them. My Paragon has a temperature alarm which I really like so I can check on things when they hit process temp. Built in firing schedules are nice, but I hardly use them. More important is the ability to store as many of your own firing schedules as possible. Let me know if you have any other questions and what you end up with.

  3. Meryl Musgrave says:

    Considering buying a used kiln. I’m fairly new to fusing, 70 yrs. old, only do basic stuff like bowls, plates, handkerchief vases, etc. want one that will accommodate a 6″ hig mold and is easy to set and use. Ant suggestion?

    • Margot says:

      My favorite brand is Paragon, but I also like Skutt a lot. Skutt has excellent customer service. What ever you get, make sure it has a digital controller. For convenience of loading and setup, I like a clam shell style. But the smaller clam shell styles usually are only 6.5″ inches deep which doesn’t give you enough clearance for a 6″ high mold. To get the depth you want you would have to get a an 18″ which is 8.5″ inches deep. It is a good size. Check with a local glass studio. They might know of people who are ready to move up to a bigger kiln and willing to sell their smaller kiln. Hope that helps… good luck!

  4. Rusty says:

    Hi Margot, I bought a Skuytt 14 and shipped it to South Africa as I cant find any fusion kilns here. Can you advis me what settings to use for an inital flat firing of something like coater with 2 layers of glass? I need the most basic programme to start…not wanting to slump it yet just getting the feel of the machine.
    Kind Regards
    Rusty

    • Margot says:

      When I had my Skutt 14 I used the programmed schedules that came with it for small items. The manual will have information on that. Depending on which glass you use, look at the Bullseye and Spectrum glass websites for their recommended firing schedules. Their schedules are a good place to start. I use Spectrum glass. Their basic schedule can be found here: http://www.system96.com/pages/firingguidef.html

  5. Laura says:

    Just came upon this post as I am researching buying a kiln. Intermediate level and ready to buy my first but very confused about which ones. I would like to do small batch production of small pieces so it doesn’t need to be huge – medium sized. Wondering if you still like the Skutt and you mentioned having stuff fall on your pieces although their website says this does not happen.
    What are your thoughts now that you’ve has this kiln awhile? Are you still partial to the Paragons?

    • Margot says:

      Laura, I sold my Skutt and bought a Paragon CS16. (http://www.paragonweb.com/CS-16S.cfm) which was slightly bigger. I got the optional ceramic fiber top which solves the problem of “stuff” falling on the piece. In general the Skutt kiln was good. I really liked their customer service. But the things that swayed me to the Paragon was the option of a ceramic fiber lid, the extra 2″, and the clam shell design which they have in both the 14″ and 16″ model. Hope that helps.

  6. jackie simmonds says:

    I am going round in circles and getting dizzy! I have a small Paragon kiln which I use for enamelling, but it is too small for anything but wee bowls and glass pendants, in glass-making. I yearn to make the bigger pieces that I make at my glass class and fuse in a big Kilncare clamshell kiln…but cannot justify £3000+ for what is really a hobby! – I do sell my jewellery and small bowls, but just felt that without a proper market (and I am not able to do fairs) I am silly to spend quite that much. I have looked at the Skutt kilns…but love the idea of clamshell. However the cheaper ones are only 6″ deep – I want to make drop vases too and need something deeper than this. I guess that means I go for a Skutt, which is both deep, and in some cases, like the 1014, quite wide at 23″…but I worry about the ease of lifting things out, I have a somewhat dodgy back. Any feedback you could give me would be helpful. Spinning head here……!!!

    • Margot says:

      Jackie, I totally understand your dilemma. Unfortunately 1 kiln doesn’t do it all. I have 3 now! I can tell you that I love my clam shells, and wouldn’t buy any other kind. Except maybe one that has a front door. I don’t do drop vases, but I probably could in my Paragon Pearl 22 – it is 13″ deep. But it is not a cheap kiln. Have you looked at the Paragon J141? It’s 9″ deep. If that is too expensive, I’d go with a 16″ or 14″ clam shell. You might not be able to do vases, but you can do some nice size bowls. Hope that helps.

      Margot

  7. Virginia Rose Corley says:

    I am 80 yrs young, and now retired from teaching Ceramics after 35 yrs, I decided after losing my eldest son to Cancer, to be creative in another direction and bought my self a Skutt 14 Firebox, I watched every tutorial on glass fusing on my computer and bought supplies to enable me to create dropped ring and slumping bowls and fusing..I am having a BALL, it’s a wonderful kiln, and fits my needs exactly, Warm Glass UK are a magical company to buy from, their follow up and patience in dealing with me has been excellent. Yes I have sold several pieces, you are never too old to learn a new craft. Enjoy. xx

  8. Shalanda Thomas says:

    Hello, I was just wondering does the does the Paragon CS16 come with a digital controller already or is that something you have to get separate? Thanks

Leave a Reply to jennette watson Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *