Jump to content
Chris Christenberry

Another "Which" HT oven question

Recommended Posts

I'm convalescing from a retina surgery and am unable to accomplish pretty much anything but sitting at the computer and "surfing".  I've finally got my anvil and anvil stand.  Working on my gas powered forced air ribbon burner forge.  The next two things I need to address for my shop are a 2x72 grinder and a HT oven.  I'll start a separate thread for the 2x72 grinder so as to not get one thread too convoluted. :lol:

 

I have a NEYCRAFT burnout and enameling furnace that does a pretty good job of heat treating when connected to my PID.  But it's still not what I'd call a precision oven........and I'm not able to insert any programs dedicated to heat treating knives.  It's a manually operated oven.  I've a smaller one that is more precision, heat wise, but I could only use it for my wood carving blades because of it's size.  But I really want an oven designed for knife making.  I know there are several out there that all do a pretty good job.  Evenheat, Paragon and a couple of others I know about are available on the market.  I also know ovens can be made from plans.  I like to make things, but when it comes to electronics, I've got 6 thumbs and prefer not to "go there" unless I've got step by step, infallible instructions.  I know the Evenheat seems to be a good mid-range oven that many have, but I like the Paragons.  I understand they are programmable for more cycles than the Evenheat.  Any comments or advice, based on experience, would be much appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Evenheat and Paragon are equally good.  With both of them you are limited only by the controller you choose.  They both offer a three-step pushbutton with up to three segments, a full keypad with up to twelve segments, a touchscreen  with unlimited segments, and a wifi dongle that lets you control it from your phone or laptop, again unlimited segments.  I ended up with an Evenheat KO-18 with rampmaster controller (the keypad with up to 12 segments and enough memory for something like 20 programs).  Like you, I can build things, but for something like this I don't trust my electrical abilities. :rolleyes:

 

It's pretty much a Ford versus Chevy sort of thing.  They both do the same job well.  The only real differences are in the way the doors open and whether or not you want elements in the top.  Paragon only offers a drop-down door, Evenheat only offers a side-swing door, they both offer models with elements on the sides only or on the sides and top.  Paragons are a little heavier for a given size because of slightly thicker steel and the counterweight on the door, which has no latch.  The latch on the Evenheat is now a little thing you push in and give a quarter-turn to open or to latch. Evenheat's bases are now a lot more sturdy than they used to be, being a steel box frame instead of four legs.  Both offer models that will run on 110v, but the larger ones are 220v only.  

 

At the moment, that's the limit of my knowledge on these things.  Oh, and there's a few other companies that offer vertical-only kilns to reduce warping risks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Alan.  Lots of info there............much of which I wasn't aware.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, and the shell of the Paragon is painted, and the Evenheat is stainless. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I'd heard that one of the Paragon models allows  something like 12 different programs to be programed into the unit for separate steels.  If that's correct, it would be nice if you were constantly switching steels for different purposes.   It would be nice to not have to reprogram the unit every time.   I know a lot of knife makers use just one steel and that's it......(even talked with one MS who said all he ever uses is 52100 because it's the "ultimate" steel for knives):rolleyes:.......but others use many different kinds of steel for different knives.

Edited by Chris Christenberry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been using the Jen-Ken Kilns Vertical Airbath kiln. It's different from Paragon and Evenheat standard kilns as it loads from the top and you suspend your pieces. I have seen a significant reduction in warpage with this kiln. I have a 24" Paragon and a 30" Jen Ken and I've tested same blades in different ovens and have found that the Jen Ken does a better job of reducing warps in the quench. If you want more info on them I have a link: shorturl.at/dfqF7 to some of their products. They are very competitively priced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's the vertical one I was thinking about, thanks, Josh (and good to see you back!).  

 

The number of programs you can store depends on the controller, not the furnace itself.  The Rampmaster (Evenheat's name) holds 12, the Paragon's Sentry does too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Alan.  I knew it was the controller that made it possible, but didn't realize Evenheat had one that did that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, Josh, I've been doing a bunch of reading of reviews on-line about the Jen-Ken Kilns since you gave me their link.  Pretty interesting concept.  Every one of the written or YouTube reviews seemed very positive.  I noted in one of the reviews they've got an AutoFire 4000 controller..........but they don't show it on their site yet.  And you are correct, their pricing is competitive.  Still pretty darned expensive for my income level, but if I want to make heat treating repeatably consistent, a good HT oven is a necessity, not an extravagance, I'd think.

 

I'm a total rank newbie to all of this, so I can only "guesstimate" what my needs will be.  I figure the largest knife I'll ever want to make would be something like a Kukri, so think the 16" model might be a little too short and the 21" a little too long...............but I'd rather be over prepared than under.  Do you mind me asking what model are you using?

Edited by Chris Christenberry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...