When I jumped into glass no one gave any advise as to what kiln to buy. I have regretted my first kiln purchase to this day! I bought a kiln that couldn’t fuse anything larger than a 12″ mold, In less than 6 months I was purchasing molds that did not fit my kiln. All the new molds coming out that I really liked were just too big for my kiln. Had to purchase a larger kiln. My first kiln was octagon-okay, but probably would not recommend, current is oval-and love it! I wouldn’t purchase a kiln without a viewing window! I have a shut off switch. I always caution on height of kiln, go for 13″ if you can. I would also recommend Clay-King…great prices and I found very easy to work with. If you want to purchase from someone local and the kilns are not on sale, I would ask when the next sale is. You can make your decision as to wait, purchase from some where else or pay the current price. I have bought both kilns I have online.
Have fun fusing!