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Paragon Vs Skutt Kiln Purchase


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#1 Isculpt

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 09:04 AM

I'm using an old 18" kiln, and I'm ready for a larger one (27x28 at least). It looks like L&L is out of my price range, so I'm looking at Skutt and Paragon. The Paragons seems considerably cheaper than the Skutts, which makes me wonder if I'm comparing apples to oranges in terms of quality. I would only fire it a couple of times a month, since I would use it for larger sculptures, so I don't need a heavy duty production model. I'd like something that can be added to with additional rings, but I'm also considering an oval kiln. I haven't yet seen an oval that can be added to with additional rings. I'd like to go for the Paragon's price, but don't want to ignore my mother's frequent admonition that "you get what you pay for"! Any advice is appreciated....

#2 Arnold Howard

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 09:43 AM

It looks like L&L is out of my price range, so I'm looking at Skutt and Paragon. The Paragons seems considerably cheaper than the Skutts, which makes me wonder if I'm comparing apples to oranges in terms of quality.


The price for a particular size kiln also varies depending on the kiln series rather than only the brand. Paragon offers several 10.57 cubic foot (28" x 29" interior) kilns: among them the Viking-28 and TnF-28-3. The Viking is more expensive than the TnF-28-3 because the Viking has mercury relays, built-in 30 amp CC fuses, and is a 60 amp kiln while the TnF-28-3 is a 48 amp kiln.

You are right about the price difference. Currently the TnF-28-3 is $21 lower than the equivalent Skutt and $28 lower than the L&L. Skutt has usually been the price leader.

Sincerely,

Arnold Howard
Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA
ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com

#3 Isculpt

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 11:28 AM

It looks like L&L is out of my price range, so I'm looking at Skutt and Paragon. The Paragons seems considerably cheaper than the Skutts, which makes me wonder if I'm comparing apples to oranges in terms of quality.


The price for a particular size kiln also varies depending on the kiln series rather than only the brand. Paragon offers several 10.57 cubic foot (28" x 29" interior) kilns: among them the Viking-28 and TnF-28-3. The Viking is more expensive than the TnF-28-3 because the Viking has mercury relays, built-in 30 amp CC fuses, and is a 60 amp kiln while the TnF-28-3 is a 48 amp kiln.

You are right about the price difference. Currently the TnF-28-3 is $21 lower than the equivalent Skutt and $28 lower than the L&L. Skutt has usually been the price leader.

Sincerely,

Arnold Howard
Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA
ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com


Thanks for the insight into the different features that need to be considered. I was seeing larger price differences because I was actually comparing an Olympic (which does seem to be much cheaper) to the Paragon and the Skutt. Can you suggest a source or sources for information about the different features and their function in electric kilns? It's clear that I need to consider a lot more than the interior measurements of a kiln in making a purchase. Thanks, Jayne

#4 Arnold Howard

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 08:03 AM

Can you suggest a source or sources for information about the different features and their function in electric kilns? It's clear that I need to consider a lot more than the interior measurements of a kiln in making a purchase. Thanks, Jayne


Here is an article on how to choose an electric kiln:

http://www.paragonwe...oose_a_Kiln.cfm

Sincerely,

Arnold Howard
Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA
ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com

#5 KrisK

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 02:43 PM

What exactly is the difference and why would one choose a 1 phase or a 3 phase kiln? I am not sure what this is all about.
Kris

Can you suggest a source or sources for information about the different features and their function in electric kilns? It's clear that I need to consider a lot more than the interior measurements of a kiln in making a purchase. Thanks, Jayne


Here is an article on how to choose an electric kiln:

http://www.paragonwe...oose_a_Kiln.cfm

Sincerely,

Arnold Howard
Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA
ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com



#6 Arnold Howard

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 02:59 PM

What exactly is the difference and why would one choose a 1 phase or a 3 phase kiln? I am not sure what this is all about.


A 3 phase circuit is more efficient to wire than single phase. It takes smaller breakers and thinner circuit wires. For this reason, industrial buildings are often wired in 3 phase. And some electric companies charge less for 3 phase power than single phase, because of reduced distribution costs.

The main consideration is whether your kiln room is wired for 3 phase power or single phase.

Sincerely,

Arnold Howard
Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA
ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com

#7 Isculpt

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 11:15 PM


What exactly is the difference and why would one choose a 1 phase or a 3 phase kiln? I am not sure what this is all about.


A 3 phase circuit is more efficient to wire than single phase. It takes smaller breakers and thinner circuit wires. For this reason, industrial buildings are often wired in 3 phase. And some electric companies charge less for 3 phase power than single phase, because of reduced distribution costs.

The main consideration is whether your kiln room is wired for 3 phase power or single phase.

Sincerely,

Arnold Howard
Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA
ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com



Thanks for the link and the general information.

#8 Firemountaion Studios

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 04:53 PM

My Skutt is still going after 30+ years of use, I've had to change out the elements and wiring a few times though. Its not fancy, I bought it in 1979. I still like it.

But my question is why not go for a gas kiln, it costs about the same to fire my 9 cubic foot skutt as my 25 cubic foot gas kiln.

#9 David James

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 03:29 PM

My Skutt is still going after 30+ years of use, I've had to change out the elements and wiring a few times though. Its not fancy, I bought it in 1979. I still like it.

But my question is why not go for a gas kiln, it costs about the same to fire my 9 cubic foot skutt as my 25 cubic foot gas kiln.


I looked at a variety of kilns and opted for a paragon and have had absolutely no issues with it and just about everyone I know who does pottery has a Paragon.

#10 Chris Campbell

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 09:05 PM

Just to muddy the waters more ....
I don't think I have ever heard anyone say anything bad about either of the brands.

What I would really love is a front loader ... But still way out of my price range!

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#11 Brrwobig

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 11:36 AM

I have both a Skutt and a Paragon. The Skutt has been firing since 1974, have never changed elements in it. I only go up to cone 5 in it. I've had the Paragon about 25 years now, I suppose. I do need to change out some elements in it as they are sagging pretty bad in places. I used to fire to cone 9 in it, now I am firing at cone 6.


They both have manual kiln sitters. The Paragon's doesn't drop anymore. In fact it started "sticking" not long after I purchased it. I replaced it a couple years ago and it worked for a couple firings and then it began to stick again. So I just use large witness cones viewable via the peep hole to fire.

#12 earthfan

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 07:54 PM

To Chris Campbell,

I am using a front loader and my heart yearns for a top loader. I had a gas kiln that top loaded and it was much easier to position the shelves because I didn't have to hold the shelf out in front of me. It did have brick walls on which I could rest my weight. Another disadvantage of the front loader is that you can only see the setting from one direction. On a top loader you can see it 300°.



#13 neilestrick

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 08:16 PM

I just checked some pricing on various web sites. Most of the L&L, Paragon and Skutt kilns are priced within about $100 of each other. So if you want an L&L, it's possible. Feel free to PM or call me if you have specific questions about  repair costs on the various brands, or have L&L questions. There are sectional models made for loading sculpture, too.


Neil Estrick
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Owner, Neil Estrick Gallery, LLC
www.neilestrickgallery.com

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