Over the past decade, digital kiln controllers have evolved massively. While a lot of the kiln control industry is still a little bit behind the times, the best digital kiln controllers include the quality-of-life features and connectivity that today’s customers expect from their appliances.
Some might argue that “best” is subjective. Different kiln users have different applications and different preferences. However, we’ll provide our own definition: The best digital kiln controllers are easy-to-use and include intuitive controls, broad functionality, and allow users to easily manage and monitor their kiln firing experiences.
With that definition in mind, let’s take a look at the best digital kiln controller of 2023 for different types of applications.
Important Features for Digital Kiln Controllers in 2023
Digital kiln controllers, or automatic controllers, streamline kiln firing by ensuring the kiln reaches (and maintains) the right temperature on the right schedule. At their best, digital kiln controllers allow artists and hobbyists to easily (and remotely!) integrate their kiln firing into the rest of their lives.
In 2023, important features include: responsive touchscreen controls, an intuitive UX, full control and extensive diagnostics, real-time monitoring and data, Wi-Fi connectivity, and mobile integration.
In short, the best digital kiln controllers allow users to focus on their craft, without having to pour over user manuals or stress what’s going on behind-the-scenes!
Best Digital Kiln Controller for Multi-Zone Kilns
For multi-zone kilns, the TAP Controller from SDS Industries provides a full set of features to enable quick and easy operation of high temperature kilns, ovens, and furnaces. With control for up to 3 different zones, the TAP Controller is perfect for multi-zone applications. The TAP Controller includes intuitive, easy-to-use touchscreen controls and Wi-Fi support.
The TAP Controller features:
- Compatibility with nearly any electric kiln, oven, or furnace regardless of manufacturer.
- 4.3” color display with resistive, responsive touchscreen controls.
- Control for up to 3 independent zones.
- Nearly unlimited storage to save different firing schedules and configurations.
- Wi-Fi support (via WiFi dongle) to allow remote control through the TAP Kiln Control Mobile app.
- Push notifications to alert you of diagnostics or critical changes.
- Over-temp safety shutdown.
Best Digital Kiln Controller for Single-Zone Kilns
For single-zone ovens, the TAP II Controller by SDS Industries provides simple, precise controls. The TAP II Controller includes integrated Wi-Fi, making it ideal for managing your firings from your computer, tablet, or mobile device.
The TAP II Controller features:
- Compatibility with nearly any relay-controlled electric kiln.
- 4.3” Resistive Touch Color Graphical User Interface for simple data entry and controls.
- Integrated Wi-Fi and mobile app integration – for almost complete remote control.
- Alarms and alerts to keep you informed throughout the kiln firing process.
- Automatic safety shutoff.
The Most Cost Effective Digital Kiln Controller [Coming Soon!]
Later in 2023, SDS Industries will be releasing the TAP Micro Controller, which offers many of the same features as the TAP II Controller, except its control is fully integrated into the TAP Kiln Control Mobile app. By ditching the display, the TAP Micro will be almost 60% less expensive than the TAP II Controller while providing all the digital features that users expect from modern kiln controllers.
Standalone Controllers and Conversion Kits
If you already have a kiln, it’s never too late to upgrade to one of the best kiln controllers of 2023. Whether your kiln is manual or you’re currently using another automatic controller that just isn’t cutting it, SDS Industries has got you covered.
Standalone kiln controllers, available in tabletop or wall-mount configurations, can be used too easily upgrade a manual kiln that uses a Type K thermocouple to TAP controls. Conversion kits, on the other hand, allow you to seamlessly replace your current automatic controller with the TAP Controller of your choice!
The Increasing Importance of Mobile App Integration for Digital Kiln Controllers
Let’s face it, in 2023 kiln operators should expect their digital controller to provide the same level of connectivity and convenience as the other appliances they use in their daily lives. The TAP Kiln Control Mobile app , which pairs with all of the controllers listed above, allows operators to:
- Monitor their kiln remotely with real-time updates.
- Remote start, skip firing steps, or abort firings.
- Receive real-time firing updates.
- Create and modify schedules.
- Update kiln settings.
- And more!
Which Digital Kiln Controller is Right for You?
If you are in the market for a digital kiln controller in 2023, we invite you to tap into the future of kiln controls. By clicking below, you’ll be able to explore SDS Industries’ collection of digital kiln controllers, standalones, conversion kits, and more!