TAP IN Blog

Everything You Need to Know About Controlling Your Kiln

Guide for shopping for kilns, with advice on how to pick the right kiln based on your needs as an artist.
Picture of Brittany Gabel

Brittany Gabel

Shopping for Kilns That Have TAP Controllers

If you’re in the market for a new kiln, why not purchase a kiln with the most advanced, easy-to-use kiln controller on the market? When shopping for kilns, the type of kiln controller your kiln comes with will have the single biggest impact on the experience of using your kiln.

Why settle for complicated 3-key and 12-key controllers, small screens, and limited space for saved schedules when you could enjoy intuitive touchscreen controls, large easy-to-read full text displays, and the ability to save an unlimited number of firing schedules with an unlimited number of steps? And that’s not even to mention the convenience and peace of mind of being able to monitor and adjust your kiln firings in real-time with the TAP Kiln Control Mobile app!

Shopping for Kilns: Kiln Manufacturers and Retail Sites That Offer TAP Pre-Installed

If you’re shopping for a new kiln, the easiest solution would be to purchase a kiln that has a TAP Controller as a pre-installed option. So, we’ll start by giving you the inside scoop on these kilns. However, some kiln manufacturers don’t offer TAP as a default pre-installed option – so we’ll also be giving you tips on how to get TAP on the kiln of your choice from any kiln manufacturer!

Hot Shot Oven & Kiln

Hot Shot Oven & Kiln, based in Wisconsin, builds high-end kiln and heat treat ovens, including options for:

All of their kilns are made in America! Hot Shot Oven & Kiln offers the TAP Controller as a pre-installed option for all of their kilns and ovens, pairing the world’s most advanced programmable controller with awesome features like standard solid state relays and patented Cool to Touch Technology to enhance kiln safety.

A glass kiln from Hot Shot Oven & Kiln with a TAP Controller
The Creativity Pro Glass Kiln 24 G by Hot Shot Kiln & Oven integrates intuitive TAP Kiln Controls with Cool to Touch Technology and accessible clamshell design for the ultimate glass art experience.

You can shop for Hot Shot kilns and heat treat ovens that fit your artistic needs on Amazon, on their website, or through our partners at Kiln Frog.

Evenheat

Evenheat prides themselves on building kilns and ovens that offer unparalleled precision, exceptional performance, and enduring reliability. With a reputation spanning over seven decades, Evenheat is another amazing option if you’re shopping for kilns and want the most advanced, easy-to-use digital kiln controller!

All of Evenheat’s heat treat ovens and kilns are American-made, backed by exceptional customer service, and include quiet solid state relays for maximum reliability. They provide a variety of sizes (including stackable configurations!) to fit the needs of ceramicists, glass artists, bladesmiths and heat treat artists.

Evenheat manufactures advanced kilns and knife ovens that include TAP Kiln Controllers
The Evenheat LB 27 is a revolutionary long-blade knifemaking kiln that seamlessly integrates the TAP II Kiln Controller with side-only heating for the ultimate in precision and uniformity.

Interested in shopping for kilns from Evenheat? Check out Kiln Frog!

Jen-Ken Kilns

Family owned and operated since 1951, Jen-Ken Kilns is another great option when it comes to shopping for kilns that come with a TAP Controller. With options for pottery kilns, ceramic kilns, glass kilns, and knife kilns, Jen-Kens Kilns will pair you with an advisor who will help you find the kiln that’s just right for you!

You can shop for Jen-Ken Kilns right from their online shop. After buying your kiln, Jen-Ken will build your kiln, ship it directly to you, and then walk you through the setup process right over the phone!

Mobile Glassblowing Studios, LLC

Mobile Glassblowing Studios, LLC manufactures affordable, high quality, rugged, and versatile glassblowing equipment. While their glassblowing furnaces and dragon kilns are gas-powered, all of their front loading stackable annealer kilns and large front loading glass annealers have built-in TAP Controllers.

While glassblowing is a very different process than kilnformed glass art, the precision of TAP and the convenience of mobile kiln control make it the ideal solution for annealers from both disciplines.

Reputable Kiln Retail Sites

While some of the manufacturers we’ve mentioned sell directly through their website or on Amazon, you can also purchase kilns with TAP Kiln Controllers through the following distributors and retail sites:

  • Kiln Frog: Kiln Frog is an awesome one-stop-shop for everything you kiln-related – including kilns and heat treat ovens by Hot Shot, Evenheat, and Jen-Ken that include TAP!
  • Sheffield Pottery: Pottery clay, glazes, and kilns that include TAP! Sheffield Pottery has been one of the best retailers when it comes to ceramics for over 70 years.
  • Delphi Glass: Delphi Glass sells super high quality supplies for kilnformed glass and heat treating jewelry – including the kilns you need to fire them!

Shopping for Kilns: What Should I Do If the Kiln I Want Doesn’t Offer TAP?

Unfortunately, there are some extremely reputable, high quality kiln manufacturers that don’t offer the advanced convenience of TAP as a pre-installed option yet. We’re working on changing that!

However, TAP Kiln Controllers are compatible with just about any relay-controlled kilns, and we’re happy to do everything we can to work with the kiln manufacturer of your choice to make sure you get the kiln you want, while still being able to enjoy easy-to-use touchscreen controls, the ability to create and save an unlimited number of firing schedules, and the convenience and flexibility of remote kiln control!

If you’re shopping for a new kiln from a brand that doesn’t offer TAP Kiln Controllers as a pre-installed option, we encourage you to reach out to them and ask them about TAP! Then, feel free to email us at info@kilncontrol.com and we’re happy to try to facilitate a 1:1 install for the kiln of your choice.

What Should I Do If I Already Own a Kiln That Doesn’t Have a TAP Controller?

If you already own a kiln that doesn’t have a TAP Controller, then it doesn’t mean you have to purchase a whole new kiln. There are multiple options for integrating TAP into your kiln or oven build – whether you’re building from scratch or looking to upgrade your existing controller!

  • Digital Kiln Controllers: You can purchase TAP Kiln Controllers to integrate in DIY kiln or oven builds.
  • TAP Conversion Kits: We also offer conversion kits for easily upgrading existing automatic controllers to the convenience and precision of TAP – with no or minimal modification to your kilns.
  • TAP Standalone Kiln Controllers: TAP Standalone Kiln Controllers, available in wall mount or tabletop configurations, allow you to seamlessly upgrade manual kilns to TAP.

Explore TAP Kiln Controllers by SDS Industries

The TAP and TAP II Controllers by SDS Industries provide users the most advanced, precise, and easy-to-use kiln controllers on the market today. With responsive touchscreen controls, an intuitive graphical UI, and integration with the TAP Kiln Control Mobile app, TAP Kiln Controllers can pair with any relay-controlled kiln or oven.

We invite you to explore our selection of programmable kiln controllers, standalones, and conversion kits on our online store. You can also purchase TAP Digital Controllers or TAP Controlled Kilns and Heat Treat Ovens through one of the following distributors:

Shop the most advanced programmable digital kiln controllers for sale.

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