The 7 Best Crucible for Melting Aluminum, Steel, Metal in 2021

You need a crucible for melting metal and you are absolutely stressed out about how to select the correct melting pot? We have researched extensively what is available on the market today to help you save time and we have discussed some of the top questions you may have when trying to choose.

Have a look at our top 7 selection of the best crucible for melting aluminum, steel, metal & more… 

In a Hurry? Check Our Top 5 Picks Of Best Crucible For Melting Aluminum

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What Makes a Good Crucible?

In order to melt metals, you will need a crucible that will give you the maximum performance for your task. A modern-day crucible is usually a graphite-based material. They come in all sizes depending on your needs from small cup size to vats that can hold several tons of the metal you wish to work with.

They may also be designed to stay permanently in place within a furnace or to be removed after the melt. And crucibles are used in all types of furnaces such as induction furnaces, electric resistance furnaces, or simply furnaces that are fuel-fired.

Crucibles also come in various shapes and some will have pouring spouts.  Others will have specific features because each melting application will require specific temperatures, chemical conditions, and physical characteristics. So how does one choose the correct crucible, considering all the choices available?

Best Crucible for Melting Aluminum, Steel, Metal

What You Need to Consider about your Melting Operation

Your primary focus should be on what your particular operation requires. What will you be using your crucible to melt? Are you looking for the best crucible for melting steel or the best crucible for melting copper? Or for another alloy?

Things you should consider are:

  • Type of furnace: How is your furnace fueled? Furnaces that use fuels like coke, oil, gas, or propane will expose your crucible directly to the source of heat, so the crucible must be made to withstand the effects of the heat source. Can your crucible support a direct flame? Is it tapered in shape so that the heat reaches the entire crucible, bottom to top? Will it withstand flame oxidation?

An electric furnace, on the other hand, provides even all-around heating but will be slower. Crucibles may be shaped like a basin. Induction furnaces may use cylindrical crucibles so that the heating distances between furnace coils and crucibles are uniform in size. You will also want to consider any costs for power for furnaces when selecting.

  • Furnace capacity: What metal capacity was your furnace designed to hold?
  • Furnace size: The size of the furnace will dictate both the size and shape of your crucible and if you need or can use a crucible with a spout.
  • Which metals do you want to melt?: Defining the type of metal you want to melt is of primary importance. This will tell you the type of crucible you need. What is the maximum temperature that you need your crucible to withstand? How will the metal interact chemically with the crucible?

For example, if you are looking for the best crucible for melting steel, a zirconia crucible might be a wise choice in consideration of temperature necessities and avoiding contamination of the steel.

  • Melting temperatures: What temperature do you need to reach in order to melt your metal.
  • How will the crucible be charged?: What type of power will you be using to heat your furnace? Is it propane fueled, electric, or uses other fuel sources?
  • How the crucible will be emptied: Do you require a crucible with a spout for easy pouring after melting?

Also, a final consideration might be if you need to avoid any metal contamination. You may need several crucibles with each being dedicated to a different metal. Not every crucible type will offer every feature, so you may have to choose among the features you desire the most to meet the priorities involved with your melting operation.

Best Crucible for Melting Aluminum, Steel, Metal & More – Top 7 Reviews of 2021

1. USA Cast Master Deluxe Kit Furnace and Crucible

This melting furnace manufactured by Cast Master is a heavy-duty American designed propane furnace with a melting capacity of 5 kg. It features a melting temperature of 2700° Fahrenheit. The furnace comes with a burner of 80,000 BTU meant to be used with propane fuel.

Various metals such as gold, silver, copper, zinc, and aluminum among others can be melted. Cast Master offers a portable kiln that weighs in at 18 lbs.

The melting kit is very complete and comes with a 5kg stainless steel propane furnace, one graphite crucible, an air burner intake pipe, furnace safety tongs, a firebrick, and a CSA certified regulator for gas. Also,there is a detachable no-hinge lid making your melting experience so much easier.

Manufacturer Cast Master includes easy-to-follow instructions in English and a video link to get you started. Product assembly is simple and quick allowing you to begin your melting experience almost immediately. One great feature is the burner attachment which permits you to regulate the temperature easily.

The only limit may be that the crucible does not come with a pouring spout, so you will have to file a notch into the graphite which is easily accomplished. Unfortunately, a casting mold is not included and must be purchased separately.

[i2pc show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]The kit comes complete with everything needed to begin melting.
Lightweight at 18 lbs. and portable, you can melt anywhere.
This kiln heats quickly to save you time and you can regulate the temperature with the burner attachment.[/i2pros][i2cons]Some problems reported with lid fit after use.
No casting mold included.[/i2cons][/i2pc]

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2. Rosenthal Collection Graphite Foundry Crucible #10 12kg. Foundry Clay Graphite Crucible

This Premium Black Foundry crucible is manufactured by the Rosenthal Collection. It is a generously sized crucible that can hold twelve kilograms of aluminum and other types of metals. Perfect for melting, casting, or refining brass, copper, gold, or silver among other metals.

These crucibles are made from a combination of clay and graphite and are particularly recommended for the melting of precious metals. They are also terrific for non-precious metals.

The walls of the crucible are quite thick and will easily tolerate direct heat as well as open flame foundries. An ideal solution for melting furnaces fueled by propane, they can be used with a standard torch method, or high heat induction kilns and furnaces.

The shape is that of a rounded cone and are not cylindrical, and the crucible has a pouring spot built directly into it for easy pouring of melted metals. This crucible should be tempered before use to remove any moisture. You can accomplish this by heating it to 400 ° for about an hour.

Rosenthal Collection crucibles are certified to withstand temperatures as high as 1600°C. The outside dimension of the pot is seven inches in diameter and eight and one-half inches in height.

Inside measurements offer eight inches in depth and 5.62 inches for the inside diameter. These Produced with an extra outside coating, this crucible has an extended the life for melting. At just over ten-and-one-half pounds, it is easily managed.

[i2pc show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]Thick walls in a graphite-clay mix make this crucible perfect for withstanding high melting temperatures.
A 12 kg. capacity allows you to melt large quantities of material.
The built-in pouring spout makes transferring your metal to any mold quick and easy.[/i2pros][i2cons]Smells when tempering.
Some considerations about durability.[/i2cons][/i2pc]

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3. Eforlife Silicon Carbide Graphite Crucible #6

This crucible manufactured by Eforlife is made with silicon carbide graphite which is considered much more durable than clay graphite. It is a smaller crucible that is ideal for melting approximately six kilogram as of copper or 2.2 kilograms of aluminum. The liquid metal capacity is 750 ml.

Height measures 140 mm while the inner diameter is 110 mm. While this may seem smallish, it is still larger than an aluminum can. One of the advantages to using this type of crucible is that it can withstand temperatures up to 1800°C which is higher than what a normal clay graphite crucible can tolerate.

Useful for melting aluminum, brass, copper, gold and or silver and more, this crucible weighs in at 1200 grams. With a life span that exceeds those of clay crucibles by as much as eight times, it is perfect for high temperature smelting of metals.

Compatible for use with fuel burner furnaces such as propane, it works well in coke ovens or electric furnaces, too. A small inconvenience is however that it does not come with a pre-formed pouring spout.

[i2pc show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]Made in silicon carbide graphite, the crucible has a longer life than those made in clay graphite.
It can be used in multiple furnace types including electric, coke ovens or fuel burning kilns.
Silicon carbide graphite withstands higher temperatures than clay graphite making it ideal for melting metals that require temperatures over 1600° C.[/i2pros][i2cons]Some considerations concerning extremely high temperature melting.
No spout for pouring.[/i2cons][/i2pc]

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4. Megacast Foundry Clay Graphite Crucible 4kg. #3

This Megacast crucible is smaller and manufactured in a blend of clay and graphite. Ideal for melting either precious or non-precious metals, this crucible is the perfect size for melting soda pop cans.

The inner walls are thick and can tolerate direct heat and foundries that are open flame. They can also be used in melting furnaces that are fueled with propane or by the standard torch method. A Megacast crucible is able to withstand temperatures up to 1600° Celsius although it is not ideal for use in a coal foundry. If you want to use it in a coal foundry, it may take longer to heat up.

Also, it would need the coal to be piled up around the entire crucible for the heat to be retained. This will lengthen your entire melting application.

In this case, the crucible should absolutely be tempered before using it to remove moisture and avoiding breaking. It comes with a small pouring opening. Should you need a larger spout, the graphite does file away rather easily.

The outside measurements are 5.25 inches in diameter and five-and-one-half inches in height. Inside proportions measure in at 3.75 inches in diameter and a depth of 4.75 inches. Weighing in at two pounds, it is perfect if you require a smaller crucible.

[i2pc show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]The smaller size allows you to melt smaller amounts of metals but is large enough to still hold a soda sized can.
Thick inner walls make it ideal for multiple furnace types including electric, coke ovens or fuel burning kilns.[/i2pros][i2cons]Tends to splinter with flying shrapnel if it breaks during heating.[/i2cons][/i2pc]

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5. PMC Supplies LLC. 4 kg. Clay Graphite Foundry Crucible #3

PMC Supplies LLC is committed to pleasing their customers and offering the right product can make or break your casting experience.  Ideal for melting both precious and non-precious metals, this crucible is designed to hold three kilograms of aluminum, however it doesn’t only hold aluminum!

The PMC crucible boasts other features as well. It is extremely versatile and can melt numerous metals other than aluminum, including brass, gold, silver and even more. Manufactured in a combination of clay and graphite it has the ability to withstand heating temperatures from 850° up to 1600° Celsius. This is an ideal crucible for melting, casting or even refining.

Inner walls are quite thick and as such are able to handle exposure to open flames or direct heat without breaking.  It can be used in a propane fueled kiln or with a standard torch method for heating.

This clay graphite crucible comes with a sturdy pair of 26-inch tongs that are heavy-duty and can hold crucibles with a diameter up to seven inches. Measuring approximately five and a half inches in height, the width at the mouth measures five inches. The internal volume of the crucible is about 17 U.S. fluid ounces.

[i2pc show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]Clay graphite material, with thick inner walls will allow you to melt metals with temperatures ranging from 850° to 1600°.
Heavy-duty tongs come with this crucible to make moving your crucible from the kiln an easy task.
The PMC °3 crucible has a 4kg. melting capacity and comes complete with a notch for easy pouring.[/i2pros][i2cons]Some sticking reported when metal solidifies.[/i2cons][/i2pc]

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6. Nisorpa Durable Foundry Silicon Carbide Graphite 6 kg. Crucible

This is a nice sized crucible manufactured in silicon carbide graphite by Nisorpa. As it is made from silicon carbide graphite, it is built to be more durable over time with a melting life that is three to eight times longer than your standard clay graphite crucible. These types of crucibles tend to be tougher and much less sensitive to temperature changes.

It is particularly adapted to high temperature melting of metals such as aluminum, brass, copper, gold, silver and more. Produced to function in all furnaces, it can be used in fuel burning kilns, coke ovens or electric furnaces.

Able to withstand temperatures up to 1800° Celsius, it offers higher temperatures resistance than clay graphite crucibles are able to tolerate.Should you need to work with higher temperatures, the silicon carbide graphite crucible is a better choice.

The Nisorpa crucible can melt a maximum of six kilograms of copper or 2.2 kilograms of aluminum,with liquid volume at 750 ml. Wall thickness measures 13mm. Inside capacity measures approximately four inches in diameter and almost five inches (4.92) in depth, while outside diameter is 5.04 inches with a height of 5.70 inches.

A silicon carbide graphite is quite durable and should last for numerous firings. Weighing 2.85 pounds,it cleans easily after usage.

[i2pc show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]The durable compact sized Nisorpa crucible is manufactured in silicon carbide graphite for high temperature melting.
Appropriate for multiple furnace types, you can use it in fuel burning kilns, coke ovens or electric furnaces giving you numerous options.
Thanks to the silicon carbide graphite material, cleaning is fast and easy.[/i2pros][i2cons]No spout for pouring melted metals.[/i2cons][/i2pc]

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7. Cast Masters USA Foundry Clay Graphite 5kg. Crucible

This is a five-kilogram crucible manufactured by American brand Cast Masters made in a blend of clay and graphite. The crucible is appropriate for melting both non-precious and precious metals.

Inner walls are relatively thick in order to withstand foundries using open flame as well as direct heat ovens. Great for use in melting furnaces fueled by propane, they are an appropriate choice for melting processes using the standard torch method.

A clay graphite pot will withstand temperatures from 800° up to 1600° Celsius. Outside dimensions measure a diameter of five inches and a height of five-and-one-half inches. Inside measurements guarantee a four-inch diameter and a depth of five inches. The shape is a rounded cone form.

Designed for melting metals such as brass, aluminum, gold, silver, copper, and more, it unfortunately does not have a pouring spout. Graphite material can be filed in order to create the spout if you are so inclined. This crucible should absolutely be tempered before using it to remove moisture and avoiding breaking during use.  Weighing in at 2.98 pounds, it offers durability and good value for the cost.

[i2pc show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]Thick-walled crucible is appropriate for melting both non-precious and precious metals in multiple furnace types.
Made in a graphite-clay mix it features a 5 kg. capacity for melting good amounts of materials.
It is a good choice for both direct heat ovens and open flame foundries.[/i2pros][i2cons]No spout for easy pouring.[/i2cons][/i2pc]

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Things to Consider Before Buying the Good Quality Crucible for Melting

When purchasing your crucible, there are various things to keep in mind before making your final selection.  You will need to have established what the necessary characteristics are for using the crucible in your furnace. These include:

  • Furnace capacity and size: This will determine most of the characteristics of your crucible. Knowing the metal capacity your oven was designed for will tell you the metal capacity your crucible should have.  If the furnace has a melting capacity of 5kg, your crucible cannot exceed this.
  • Fuel type and process used in heating your furnace. Furnaces that are powered by fuels such as gas, propane, coke or oil will directly expose a crucible to a heating source that will be measured in BTUs. The crucible you select must be able to withstand the maximum BTUs produced in your oven and should be able to withstand a direct burner flame at the base. The material used to make the crucible should be able to resist flame oxidation and manage thermal change that will occur during melting and after.

Electric furnaces, on the other hand, provide even heating to your crucible but are slower in melting. If you use an electric furnace, you may prefer a crucible that offers higher thermal conductivity to speed up melting.

In an induction furnace, induction furnaces using lower frequency will use a crucible with higher silicon carbide content, whereas induction furnaces with higher frequencies may require higher clay content in a crucible.

Consequentially, it is fundamental that you know the type of furnace you will be using and the melting characteristics including temperatures and eventual maximum BTU output.

  • The type of metal you want to melt: Knowing which metals you wish to melt will tell you a lot about the type of crucible you want to select. What temperature you need to achieve to melt the material, and what the maximum temperature that a crucible can withstand for both melting and holding the material will define the choice. An example are crucibles that are dense with thick walls. These are preferable to thinner, porous crucibles that may erode during use.

Once you have determined the size and characteristics of the crucible you need, you will want to consider.

  • Brand and the manufacturer’s reputation for quality: Consider if this a well-known brand specifically for crucible production and if this manufacturer has a good reputation for product quality and standing behind their products.
  • Desired features. When choosing, you will want to decide if you want a crucible with a pouring spout or a particular shape, and you may prefer a crucible that comes with its own pair of tongs. Consider if the crucible is produced in materials such as silicon carbide graphite or clay graphite and which material would be better for your melting application.
  • Product quality and product durability: In this case the manufacturer’s reputation as well as customer feedback can provide an idea as to the quality of the crucible you are considering.
  • Customer feedback. The opinions of customers that have actually used the crucible can help you increase or eliminate any doubts you may be having regarding a particular crucible. Your budget will be a contributing factor in your final choice.

How to Make a Graphite Crucible

If you would like to attempt to make your own very rudimentary crucible with things you can find at home, you will need the following materials:

  • 300 grams Silica sand
  • 200 grams High fire clay

The use of a pottery wheel may facilitate your project if you happen to have access to one.

  1. Mix the clay and the silica sand together while they are dry.
  2. Slowly add in just enough water so that it will hold a shape.
  3. Form the clay mix into a crucible that can be cylindrical or a rounded cone shape. A pottery wheel will make this much easier. However, you can use a mold.
  4. Now let your crucible dry.
  5. Take some charcoal together with a chimney starter, dryer duct and a good old-fashioned hairdryer to “cook” your crucible.
  6. Place your charcoal into the bottom of a chimney starter. Now place your crucible in the middle of the starter. Fill the entire chimney starter with charcoal. Now place the chimney starter onto a grill, bricks or something that allows you to put a dryer duct underneath.
  7. Light your coals. Once the coals are bright red, place the dryer duct underneath and turn the hairdryer on low.
  8. When the coals have burned down halfway, add some more on top. Keep your hairdryer on for about an hour. Then let the chimney starter with the crucible inside cool down during the night.

Your crucible should be ready. If it shows any cracks, do not use it as it will fail when used for melting.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What is the use of a crucible?

The crucible has been used from ancient times. It is a type of container specifically used for melting metals or for heating chemical compounds.

How do I temper a graphite crucible?

Heat your graphite crucible while empty very slowly at approximately 200°C for about twenty minutes. This is necessary to eliminate any moisture. Continue heating on low power at 600°C. Then proceed to heat at full power until the crucible becomes a bright red.

If your crucible is for melting, you should continue heating it at full power until you reach the desired application temperature. Turn off the heat and leave your crucible to cool down slowly.

Can you use the same crucible for different metals?

It is advisable to use different crucibles for different metals in order to avoid any contamination. You should also completely empty out your crucible after every time you use it. Metal that remains inside to solidify can expand when reheated and destroy your crucible.

What size crucible do I need?

Much will depend on what you are melting and the size of your furnace. A general rule that you can follow is to leave a space of about two and a half to three inches between the wall of your furnace and the crucible as well as three inches of space both below and above your crucible if you want to melt iron.

For example, With aluminum the space can be less. Crucible sizes usually refer to aluminum so if you are considering a #3 crucible it will hold three lbs. of aluminum. The capacity for bronze or brass is three times more than aluminum. Therefore, in a #3 pot the capacity is for nine lbs. of bronze or brass.

Can you make your own crucible?

Yes. it is possible to make your own crucible. Crucibles can be made from firebricks, clay, graphite, steel, an empty propane tank or even an old fire extinguisher. You should however be very careful as your personal safety will depend on it.

How do you clean a clay graphite crucible?

After using your crucible, you should be able to clean it with hydrochloric acid. If you have carbon components that cannot be dissolved with hydrochloric acid, nitric acid can be used. For materials that are still difficult to remove, boil diluted hydrochloric or nitric acid in the crucible for better results.

Final Verdict

All of the seven products we have reviewed here are worthy of your consideration if you are looking for the best crucible for melting metal. If you need a complete kit with the kiln, crucible, and accessories, the USA Cast Master Deluxe Kit Furnace and Crucible is a great option because you find everything you need to start with in one package.

For a larger capacity crucible, we recommend the Rosenthal Collection Graphite Foundry Crucible #10 12kg., whereas for a small but extremely durable crucible you might try the Eforlife Silicon Carbide Graphite Crucible #6 in carbide graphite as opposed to clay graphite. We have provided you with various sizes and both clay graphite, and silicon carbide graphite choices.  We hope this article will help you find the best crucible for your melting needs.

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