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L&l Vs Skutt

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My personal view on the Skutt vs. L&L element holders - I manage an active community rec center pottery program with 2 large Skutts and 2 medium L&Ls, I'm the studio monkey in a community college ceramics studio with all L&L equipment, am the go-to person for kiln maintenance in a 50-potter cooperative with all L&L equipment, and personally fire in an L&L in my home studio. I hate the annual changing of the elements in the 2 Skutts at the rec center. It's messy, tedious, and takes 3-4 hours per kiln. With all of the L&Ls (11 in total), I can be in and out in 45 minutes. You might might have to change the elements in your kiln only once or twice in a lifetime, but I'm doing it all the time. Give me L&L or give me death... ;-)

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My beef is cheap materials like rusty stainless and steel screws that turn to powder and clamps that the spot wields break away.

I would pay more just for better quality materials on the outer jackets-but as time has gone by the newer skutts are even cheaper made or thats my experience with skutts.

my 2 cents. I hope L&L uses better screws and jackets??

Edited by Mark C.

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mark, when i changed the elements in my L&L, i had to use bigger screws.  the next time i expect the same thing to happen.  eventually it will be all screws and no metal.

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My beef is cheap materials like rusty stainless and steel screws that turn to powder and clamps that the spot wields break away.

I would pay more just for better quality materials on the outer jackets-but as time has gone buy the newer skutts are even cheaper made.

my 2 cents. I hope L&L uses better screws and jackets??

On my older L&L from 2003, I had to replace the screws that attach the control panel to the jacket. The original screws became very rusty. A dollar's worth of screws fixed the problem. I haven't had any problem with the rest of the jacket. And I have no signs of rusty screws on my newer L&L from 2013, though it's only a few years old.

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I am looking into buying a new kiln and have narrowed it down to two models that can work for my purposes, The Easy-Fire 23s by L&L or the Skutt KM1018.  Both are the same price with the accompanying furniture kits. Both would be supplied with their standard model controllers. Dyna-trol vs Kilnmaster. I have a 60amp breaker and my electrician brother is wiring a new outlet for me (the old kiln was hardwired).

 

At first I thought the L&L was a shoe-in because of the element holders but now I see that Skutt has their own rebuttal to this claiming that the heat distribution in their kilns is better because it isn't limited by the kiln element holders https://skutt.com/features/pdf/L%20_L%20response.pdf. I really am not sure what to think. I realize that some of it is simply subjective but not being able to actually experience these models first-hand I am at the mercy of the oh-so-fickle internet. Are there more linear feet of coils in a Skutt? Are the element holders of an L&L a help or a hinderance? are there other glaring differences I should know about? I would appreciate any insights potters here may have regarding these two models, especially those who have experienced both manufacturers' (pref recent) products. 

 

Thank you.

The Skutt has tuned elements which help to make them fire evenly. This means the top and bottom elements fire hotter than the middle elements, also each row of bricks has two elements in it which give it plenty of capacity  to reach temperature. David

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One of the key features I would suggest is multiple zone control. Some kilns have just one thermocouple which can result in a kiln heating unevenly. With one zone, they often tune elements to help compensate for the difference -- as David explains. A three-zone kiln uses three thermocouples, which allows for more even heat from top to bottom. Another key feature is a digital control. Finally, go for 3" bricks (or its equivalent) for better energy use and rate of cooling control.

 

My kiln is an L&L. I learned to fire using L&Ls at a community studio. Some studio members had personal kilns, several being Skutt. When it was time to buy, I looked at classified ads to see what was out there and found the used market dominated by Skutt, Olympia and other brands . . . but very few L&Ls. That told me folks who bought an L&L, kept them.

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I have worked with Skutts at a local community studio, and I recently purchased an L&L Easy Fire model; my vote is for the L&L. In the first year (first months!) of firing the new Skutts, the kiln brick was chipping terribly--they soon looked not much better than the old Skutts we had.

 

As others have said, the L&L manual is easily readable and comprehensive. There are several pre-set programs you can use, but you can also program your own firing schedule. We can do the same at the studio with the Skutts, but the L&L seems to explain a bit more about what's going on with the programs.

 

In fairness, the Skutts have been dependable, but if you can by an L&L for the same money, I say do it!

 

Best of luck,

 

Richarde

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