Okay for testing and beginner projects
I own both a microwave kiln, a couple of smaller jewelry kilns, and a larger kiln. My response is based on that.
I got the microwave kiln thinking it would be cool for making jewelry, but the lack of control is an issue. I’ve tried to fire dichroic glass in it, but one of the problems is that if dichro gets too hot, it disintegrates into a grayish haze in your glass. But with no control, it’s hit or miss.
It’s GREAT FUN for having relatives’ kids over during the holiday season…you can give the munchkins a few pieces of glass, fire them in the microwave, and they have something to take home.
I currently use mine for firing small “nuggets” from frit…it does it quickly.
However, if you want to do fused glass jewelry, or even have ambitions of selling jewelry, invest in a small kiln. There are small kilns that are great for fusing that start under $400. It seems like a lot when you’re starting out, but you can do a lot with it. I bought my first small 9″ kiln for annealing beads, but later realized with the computer controller that I could fused glass. I’ve also used it for Precious Metal Clay and enameling. The 9″ kiln was perfect…I could fuse four nightlights in it, an 8″ square dish, or a batch of jewelry. I think I paid around $650 for that one.
If you use the microwave kiln as a stepping stone, it’s fine. But a microwave kiln kit is around $100…and that’s $100 you could put towards the real thing.
Also, the smaller kilns can be plugged into most regular outlets…