Whether you’re a jewelry maker or a hobbyist looking to make the most out of scraps, a metal melting furnace is a powerful tool to have in your arsenal. These devices let you superheat the metal for easy collection and reforming.
Melting metal (gold, silver, copper) can be tricky and dangerous. It’s more important than ever to choose a high-quality furnace that can help you work safely and efficiently.
Here are the best metal melting furnaces we’ve reviewed…
Top 5 Metal Melting Furnaces – For Gold, Silver, Copper
1. USA Cast Master GG 5000 SS – Best All-Around Choice
The thing we like most about this metal melting furnace is that it’s pretty much ready to go straight out of the box. The only additional thing you need to buy is a tank of propane. It comes with a burner intake pipe, a gas regulator, a sizable crucible, and some tongs. The furnace even comes with an additional firebrick.
All in all, this propane melting furnace is a good universal choice for hobbyists and DIYers. It’s not the most feature-rich unit. But, the complete metal smelting kit covers all of the basics.
2. TOAUTO 3KG Gold Melting Furnace – Best Electric-Powered Furnace
This is an electric furnace that operates at about 1,400 watts. It uses a standard 110-volt outlet, so you don’t need any special setups to start melting silver, copper, gold or other metals.
Heat precision is one of the best things about this furnace. It’s sporting a digital control panel that lets you fine-tune temperature settings as you need. Simply use the arrow buttons to set your desired melting temperature. The digital thermometer will let you know when the unit is ready for action!
It comes with several accessories, like high temperature gloves. This furnace does take some time to heat up. But once you get to that point, you can trust the digital system to keep temperatures stable as you work.
3. FASTTOBUY 6 KG Propane Melting Furnace Kit – Best for Beginners
At face value, this furnace looks just like any unit. But when you open it up, you’ll notice that it features upgraded components for more safety. The furnace has a thick layer of ceramic wool. On top of that, there’s a fine layer of fireproof mud. The two materials combine to create an efficient insulation barrier.
The furnace is pretty simple in design with added safety features, that make it the best melting furnace for beginners.
4. Cast Masters GG 10K Propane Furnace – Best Large-Capacity Furnace
This set comes with a sizable 10 KG crucible. To accommodate the vessel, Castmaster had to increase the size of the entire unit. While this may limit where you can use it, the larger size is beneficial for continuous metalwork. The lid features a wide hole, which you can easily use to feed the furnace as it heats up.
Best for those with a bit more experience melting gold, this furnace can tackle big jobs without missing a beat.
5. CANALHOUT Propane Melting Furnace Kit – Best Cost-Effective Option
Like other furnaces, this unit is clad is steel. It features rotating handles for easy transport and comes with a detachable lid. You’re also getting all of the accessories you need to get started.
The temperature range is decent, as well. It gets up to about 2,552 degrees. As a result, you can easily melt gold and other soft precious metals.
If you’re looking for a no-frills furnace that gets the job done, this model is a good choice. Thanks to the affordable price tag, you can get into the metal recycling hobby without breaking the bank.
Why Use a Metal Melting Furnace?
Melting gold and other precious metals is nothing new. Humans have been crafting tools, jewelry, and other products for thousands of years.
But since the industrial revolution, DIY metalwork has become a lost art! These days, most people don’t have the means to reuse gold, resulting in a staggering amount ending up in landfills!
Gold isn’t just a material that we use for jewelry. It’s also prevalent in the tech world. In fact, more than a third of the gold used in the United States is for electronics! You can see it in circuit boards, connection strips, switch and relay contacts, and more. The material is a highly efficient conductor that also resists corrosion.
Also chances are, you have a good amount of gold just sitting around your home. Every time you throw away an old computer, phone, or tablet, you’re throwing out some potentially valuable metals!
Gold holds its value in the long term, so collecting it is a worthy endeavor.
A gold melting furnace can help you do just that. These tools can turn a heap of scraps into useful ingots or nuggets. Plus, you can use them with relatively little experience or know-how.
Benefits of a Gold Melting Furnace
Furnaces offer a safe and efficient way to melt gold. The tools work with the unique characteristics of gold, too.
Compared to other metals, gold has a lower melting point. But, it still takes upwards of 1,948 degrees Fahrenheit! Reaching that temperature in a consumer oven is possible. But in a furnace built for gold, it’s a cinch.
Sure, you could attempt to melt the gold with a handheld torch.
However, that only creates a potential safety hazard. All it takes is an unsteady hand and over-powered torch to send bits of molten metal flying through the air
Furnaces keep everything contained. The contained melting environment is more stable, easier to manage, and safer to use. What more could you want?
Choosing the Right Gold Melting Furnace
There’s no shortage of furnaces available to DIY enthusiasts and craftsmen. Unfortunately, not all of them are going to be up to snuff.
When you’re completing tasks as delicate as metal-burning, you have to choose a tool that covers all of your bases. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing the best gold melting furnace for your needs.
1. Fuel Type
You’re going to encounter two different kinds of metal foundries: Those powered by electricity and those that use gas as fuel.
Deciding which one is right for you is the first important decision to make.
Electric furnaces are great if you want to work in small batches. Perfect for jewelry makers, these units are compact and easy to use. Most will also come with digital features and some added failsafe protocols.
But, they are pretty limited in terms of temperature ranges. Plus, they use up a lot of electricity!
Gas-powered units are more prevalent. They’re cheaper to operate and can usually reach higher temperatures. Propane, the most commonly used gas, reaches maximum temperatures of 3,623 degrees Fahrenheit.
Thus, you can use these furnaces to burn far more than just gold. For example you can turn old aluminum cans into money!
The right furnace capacity for you will depend entirely on your personal needs.
Capacity specifications are directly correlated to the overall size of the furnace and the crucible inside.
A larger-capacity unit is great if you’re looking to make large ingots. However, it may be overkill if you only have small jewelry pieces of electronic scraps.
3. Insulation and Heat Protection
Next, you need to take a good look at the heat and fire protection a furnace has. Typically, furnaces will use layers of fire clay or mineral wool to prevent the heat from escaping. It’s not going to make the furnace safe to touch. But, it will impact temperature ranges and temperature stability.
The fire clay can only withstand so much. A thicker layer will allow you to work at higher temperatures, which is great if you want a multi-purpose furnace.
1. How much gold do you lose when you melt it down?
In most cases, some volume of metal is lost during the melting process. However, most of the loss comes from impurities or other metals used to create the object.
When you melt the metal down, you’re essentially refining it. You can expect to lose, on average, upwards of 5 percent of your gold. However, it all depends on the composition of the jewelry or scrap you’re working with.
2. Is gold worth more melted down?
Generally, you can expect to get more money after you melt the gold compared to selling unmelted scraps.
You see, buyers typically offer scrap value. This is very different than gold’s true market value. Buyers will have to pay a smelter to refine the gold and achieve a high purity rating. So, scrap values often reflect that added cost.
When you melt the metal down yourself, you’re improving purity and separating the gold from other contaminants. This eliminates a step for the buyer, and they can determine true value based on the ingot’s purity. Thus, you may get a higher offer.
3. What flux do you use to melt gold?
Flux is an important additive that will help to remove impurities. There are many types of flux available. However, the best is usually a mixture of borax and sodium bicarbonate.
Gold scraps with a lower purity rating will require more flux to hold the gold particles together and separate impurities.
4. Will a propane torch melt gold?
Propane is one of the best fuel sources for melting gold. It reaches temperatures around 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s more than enough to melt pure gold and any alloys or impurities.
It is possible to use a simple propane torch, but we don’t recommend it. It’s much safer to utilize propane gas with a melting furnace. The contained environment of a furnace makes it easier to generate the right temperature range. Plus, it prevents the molten metal from splashing around.
5. What is the difference between melting and smelting?
People often use the terms “melting” and “smelting” interchangeably.
Melting is the process of turning solid metals into liquid form for molding. Smelting is when you convert metal ore into its purest form.
The easiest way to look at is by considering the mining process. Miners collect gold ore and smelt it to collect the metal for use in jewelry and electronics. Melting is recycling and reforming metal that has already been refined from ore.
Smelting requires higher temperatures as well. This is because you must extract the pure gold from the ore.
What is the best metal melting furnace?
Below are our top picks based on hours of research and testing a bunch of melting furnaces.
A reliable melting furnace is all you need to recycle and reuse gold. Operating a furnace is easier than you think. These tools are much safer than the alternatives and let anyone reclaim old jewelry and scraps efficiently.
As you can see from our list, there’s no shortage of good furnaces on the market. That said, we recommend going with our top pick, the USA Cast Master GG 5000 SS. This unit has all the features you need to start melting gold. It has a durable stainless steel housing, a sizable 5 KG crucible, and a slew of accessories to get you started.
It’s a good universal choice that works well with other metals, too. Give it a shot and see what you think!