Jump to content

Skutt vs L&L Kilns


Recommended Posts

Hi all,

Im in the process of setting up a home studio and am trying to decide on an electric kiln to purchase but am stuck between L&Ls and Skutts. I have some experience firing electric kilns from when I was an undergrad student and I believe the kilns the studio had were L&Ls-which I liked just fine. From what i've gathered it seems like some potters really like L&L kilns, however I see A LOT of Skutt kilns being used. Im at a bit of a lose and am curious what others would say in regards to pros and cons of both. Whichever one i go with I do plan on getting the 3'' brick option. 

To me the pros of the L&L kiln are the covered thermocouples, the hard element holders, and the toggle switch. The pros of the Skutts are the touchscreen with app ( for monitoring a firing- aka peace of mind), the lid lifter, and from what i can tell it seems like the sections of the kiln snap together so potentially less heat would be let out. The kiln will be going in a 12x12 space and while i plan to open windows while the kiln is firing and will definitely be getting a vent for it, Im still slightly concerned about really heating up the room. 

 Thanks in advance for any insight!

Edited by Erunning
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find both to be decent and have produced kilns for many years. So IMO it’s a matter of comparing features and pricing. There are loyal followers of each brand but to me they are all constructed very similarly. From price and features I move on to look at watts per internal square inch and a manufacture gets extra attention for additional insulation, and maybe a good stabile lid design.

Edited by Bill Kielb
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've fitted my (rather ancient) seven cubic foot capacity kiln with a kiln vent, which helped quite a bit with the fumes (and firing results as well), however, there were still fumes, and a lot of heat.

From there, we put together an overhead system, using repurposed hood from a propane patio heater, six inch ducting (no longer in use) from under the house, and a 400 CFM fan. 

Said kiln is set up in a one car garage. With the rollup door up, window open, person door open, I still wouldn't want to hang out in there whilst firing without having the overhead system running - mainly due to fumes; I don't mind the heat as much...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have had 3-4 skutt kilns in the last 48 years-I would buy a L$L next time. The element holders (easier to replace elements and less brick damage) and better stainless jacket (no rust)and the control box is held off wall (cooler). They tend to cost a bit more but should be worth it.Thats my 2 cents

Edited by Mark C.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Erunning said:

The pros of the Skutts are the touchscreen with app ( for monitoring a firing- aka peace of mind), the lid lifter, and from what i can tell it seems like the sections of the kiln snap together so potentially less heat would be let out.

L&L has the Genesis touchscreen and app. Skutt's screen is bigger and has a simplified interface, but neither is difficult to use and both controllers are made by Bartlett. Both kilns have a spring loaded hinge. They are virtually identical in the spring mechanism. Both kilns have sections that simply stack on top of each other. On both kilns the control box holds together the sections, but Skutt uses latches between the sections for added stability whereas L&L uses a longer hinge plate that connects all the sections in the back. Neither brand is any leakier or more efficient than the other.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hello, neighbor.   if you have not yet met The Kiln Doctor, Mike Swauger, in front royal, va, you will if you stay in the area and ever need any kiln repairs.   you might contact him to ask which kind he services more often.   

another point is the shipping cost.  L&L is close, Skutt is on the west coast.   check out bailey pottery supply for costs including shipping or ask Mike for a price.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have used both kilns over the years as a HS teacher, and department chair for a few years. I know how well the Skutt runs in the early years, and over time the abuse of novice teachers and others using it caused major amounts of element stretching from broken channels. Both of these kilns had sitters and timers, not electronic controllers, so newer are different. However, when it comes down to long term use and stability of the elements and bricks due to the element holders/liners in the L&L's they were my pick for my new kiln that replaced a 36 year old full manual L&L, eventually all the wiring other than the elements was fried and would need major work. 

 

best,

Pres

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for all the responses! This was really helpful and I'm going to go with an L&L- probably the e23T. Cant decide if I should go touchscreen or not, I keep flip flopping on that. The app and what not seems really handy but at the same time maybe its overkill and maybe the regular control panel will hold up better over the years. At this point i'm probably overthinking it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, oldlady said:

hello, neighbor.   if you have not yet met The Kiln Doctor, Mike Swauger, in front royal, va, you will if you stay in the area and ever need any kiln repairs.   you might contact him to ask which kind he services more often.   

another point is the shipping cost.  L&L is close, Skutt is on the west coast.   check out bailey pottery supply for costs including shipping or ask Mike for a price.

Thats a great idea! I haven't actually been up there before but I was looking around their website to see what they sold. With that said, I think i'm going to be purchasing from Clayworks up in Baltimore- they deliver and they also have a sale going at the moment. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Get the touchscreen controller. It's worth the money, and it's an inexpensive upgrade. Even if you don't use the app much, the added features are really nice. Durability/longevity is not an issue- it's basically the same circuit board, just a different interface. They've been on the market for a few years now and have not been problematic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have the e23T.  It is now 10 years old.  I had very limited experience with Skutt before purchasing mine.  So I cannot give much in the way of comparison, but....I have stated this numerous times, L &L has great customer service.  I live in a galaxy far far away, so my husband and I do all the repairs and maintenance on the kiln.  L&L assigned me a service tech right away and he has been a life saver over the years.  He helps me with problems both over the phone and via email.  So, for that alone, I am an L&L fan.  

Roberta

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/9/2021 at 11:09 PM, neilestrick said:

Get the touchscreen controller. It's worth the money, and it's an inexpensive upgrade. Even if you don't use the app much, the added features are really nice. Durability/longevity is not an issue- it's basically the same circuit board, just a different interface. They've been on the market for a few years now and have not been problematic.

Thanks, I'm definitely going to be doing that. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/10/2021 at 4:13 PM, Roberta12 said:

I have the e23T.  It is now 10 years old.  I had very limited experience with Skutt before purchasing mine.  So I cannot give much in the way of comparison, but....I have stated this numerous times, L &L has great customer service.  I live in a galaxy far far away, so my husband and I do all the repairs and maintenance on the kiln.  L&L assigned me a service tech right away and he has been a life saver over the years.  He helps me with problems both over the phone and via email.  So, for that alone, I am an L&L fan.  

Roberta

Thats reassuring- thanks for the input!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/10/2021 at 9:52 AM, GEP said:

Although you’re already leaning towards L&L, here’s another pro that hasn’t been mentioned yet. The L&L has three zones each with its own thermocouple. Which means much more even firings top to bottom, compared to a Skutt with only one thermocouple. 

I saw that- I also like that the thermocouples are covered, seems like a smart design element. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.