Controls on H/T ovens

Gliden07

Well-Known Member
How much more of an advantage are the fancy controls on the H/T ovens? I'm thinking of ordering a 24" Paragon but am stumped on which controller to get. I know the higher end ones are easier to program. Thanks for the help!
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
The TAP touchscreen is as easy as it gets. It is excellent. But the real question is whether that makes it worth the money to you.

Do you plan to store a bunch of recipes? Do you plan to edit them often? That’s what you’re paying for. To me, I love my TAP controller. I would buy it again. But let’s say I had to choose between the TAP controller or getting the size oven I really wanted- then I’d choose the oven capacity over the controller.

I don’t want to read into your question so i’ll leave it at that.
 

jaxxas

Well-Known Member
How much more of an advantage are the fancy controls on the H/T ovens? I'm thinking of ordering a 24" Paragon but am stumped on which controller to get. I know the higher end ones are easier to program. Thanks for the help!

When I bought my oven the TAP controller was the same price as the original.... So more functionality for the same price I'm all in....

ymmv
 

believerjoe

Well-Known Member
The new Paragon Pro series ovens are amazing. Better controller, but maybe not as easy as the tap. However, I don’t think you need to be all that talented to run it. Videos online. Multiple zones and I hear it heats in a hurry. I live close to Paragon, so easy call for me. I was also planning to order this week or next.
 

MTBob

Well-Known Member
The new Paragon Pro series ovens are amazing. Better controller, but maybe not as easy as the tap. However, I don’t think you need to be all that talented to run it. Videos online. Multiple zones and I hear it heats in a hurry. I live close to Paragon, so easy call for me. I was also planning to order this week or next.
Which Paragon model are you purchasing?
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
If "best" in a heat treat oven means holding the tightest temp tolerances, then among the commonly known brands, Paragon is first in line, followed closely by Evenheat.

Evenheat has really hit a "home run" in regards to controllers. The TAP is simply the best thing out there right now in terms of ease and convenience.

Some of you have read this before, and it's worth saying again.

I did some extensive research into "knifemaking" kilns/heat treat ovens. ALL of them are built with a percentage of variance that is consider acceptable to the specific manufacturer. And wouldn't you know it..... the tighter the percentage of variance, the more expensive the oven..... Hmmmmm, image that. :) The top brands like Paragon and Evenheat have 1-2% and 3-4% variance numbers respectively. That means that if you set the controller to a given temp, whatever percentage that particular brand has, is considered normal operation.

You won't find those percentages in the manuals, or advertised..... I stumbled upon them by accident when talking to one of the tech support folks, after we became friends, and even then he hesitated to say it. So.... with a 2% variance, say you set a paragon to 1500F..... if it fluctuates up or down 30 degrees (2% of 1500) then it considered normal tolerances). Most of the time either of these brands will hold much tighter than that.... usually less then 10 degrees variance, but I was told that unless an oven is outside those numbers, the companies consider it normal, and will not take it back or replace it under warranty.

I say all that because I've seen time and again where folks get all wrapped around the axle when their new heat treat oven varies even 1-2 degrees..... that's actually really good. I have two older paragon ovens in my shop, and one holds within 3-5 degrees of set-point, and the other 8-10 degrees.

I also learned that if a person wants a "dead on" heat treat oven with on 1-2 degrees variance, be prepared to "step up" to a laboratory grade oven..... and get ready to take a second mortgage out on your house! o_O
 

MTBob

Well-Known Member
If "best" in a heat treat oven means holding the tightest temp tolerances, then among the commonly known brands, Paragon is first in line, followed closely by Evenheat.

Evenheat has really hit a "home run" in regards to controllers. The TAP is simply the best thing out there right now in terms of ease and convenience.

Some of you have read this before, and it's worth saying again.

I did some extensive research into "knifemaking" kilns/heat treat ovens. ALL of them are built with a percentage of variance that is consider acceptable to the specific manufacturer. And wouldn't you know it..... the tighter the percentage of variance, the more expensive the oven..... Hmmmmm, image that. :) The top brands like Paragon and Evenheat have 1-2% and 3-4% variance numbers respectively. That means that if you set the controller to a given temp, whatever percentage that particular brand has, is considered normal operation.

You won't find those percentages in the manuals, or advertised..... I stumbled upon them by accident when talking to one of the tech support folks, after we became friends, and even then he hesitated to say it. So.... with a 2% variance, say you set a paragon to 1500F..... if it fluctuates up or down 30 degrees (2% of 1500) then it considered normal tolerances). Most of the time either of these brands will hold much tighter than that.... usually less then 10 degrees variance, but I was told that unless an oven is outside those numbers, the companies consider it normal, and will not take it back or replace it under warranty.

I say all that because I've seen time and again where folks get all wrapped around the axle when their new heat treat oven varies even 1-2 degrees..... that's actually really good. I have two older paragon ovens in my shop, and one holds within 3-5 degrees of set-point, and the other 8-10 degrees.

I also learned that if a person wants a "dead on" heat treat oven with on 1-2 degrees variance, be prepared to "step up" to a laboratory grade oven..... and get ready to take a second mortgage out on your house! o_O
Ed: I need your (or others) advice. I'm serious hobbyist / machinist / metalworker and do not (currently) plan on having knife making as a business. I've built my own 2 burner propane forge and, using a Type K probe with ceramic sheath in a baffel, with an Aubers digital readout , can get pretty darn close to a target temperature, easily within 2-3% meter readout (not taking into consideration Aubers accuracy). Of course my ramp rates are all over the place, but I hit and maintain the target pretty close using dual valving with a needle valve bypass So far all my knife work has been with high carbon steels. I "think" I'd like to progress into SS's and that seems to take a more controlled HT and most folks use an electric oven for that, it seems.
As a retired hobbyist do I need the added sophistication of an electric oven? Is an electric oven required to HT stainless alloys?
My Gov'ment stimulus check is still burning a hole in my pocket and I'd like to spend on a "Made in USA" product for the shop. One thing is for darn sure, my knife making skills in general have a long way to go - and I'm absolutely sure a fancy/dancy oven is not going to improve my free hand grinding skills.
... hum...maybe I just answered my question, eh?
 

Gliden07

Well-Known Member
I believe I'm gonna get the 24" Paragon just not sure on controller. More research is needed! LOL!!
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
Is an electric oven required to HT stainless alloys?
IMO.....Yes. The required hold times and ramp requirements for heat treating most Stainless steels make a digitally controlled oven a necessity if you intend to heat treat stainless steels. Most of the stainless steels will also require some type of "shielding" during heat treating.... unless of course you have an oven with an inert atmosphere.
 

Owl

Gold Membership
Two years ago I bought an Evenheat with a TAP controller.
I have used it to do various type of stainless as well as carbon steels.
The TAP controller is very easy and intuitive to use and it's simple to modify any protocol on the fly.
For me it was a case of "buy once, cry once" and well worth it.
 

Gliden07

Well-Known Member
Eitjer the 18 or 24 KM Pro.
The 24" the pricing really isn't that much more. I've even considered the 36" but I really don't have the room for it! Plus heat up time etc... I really have no need for that big. I figure the 24 can even do short swords if I decided I needed to. LOL!!
 

Gliden07

Well-Known Member
IMO.....Yes. The required hold times and ramp requirements for heat treating most Stainless steels make a digitally controlled oven a necessity if you intend to heat treat stainless steels. Most of the stainless steels will also require some type of "shielding" during heat treating.... unless of course you have an oven with an inert atmosphere.
That was another question is the solenoid kit and Nitrogen purge worth the extra or just do the foil? I've read that the elements will degrade faster with the purge (I read this and have no experiance with it). I don't know of anyone that uses it.
 

believerjoe

Well-Known Member
The 24" the pricing really isn't that much more. I've even considered the 36" but I really don't have the room for it! Plus heat up time etc... I really have no need for that big. I figure the 24 can even do short swords if I decided I needed to. LOL!!
. I like big knives, but can’t see making anything over 18 so 24 would be if I thought it was possible. I think I would rather have the double 18. I don’t know, and that is why I haven’t placed the order yet! Lol
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
Because what I heat treat contains such a tiny percentage of stainless steel, I just use foil wrap.... I've been on the same roll for nearly a decade now. I never heat treat carbon/alloy steels in the oven..... I prefer/use my salt tank.... I do a lot of differential heat treating too. ;)

That being said, if a person did higher production of stainless heat treating, I suspect that a purge kit on the oven would pay for itself in short order.

Both of my ovens are 18" models, and there have only been a couple of times in 2+ decades that I ever wished for/needed a longer oven. But again....that's just me.
 

MTBob

Well-Known Member
IMO.....Yes. The required hold times and ramp requirements for heat treating most Stainless steels make a digitally controlled oven a necessity if you intend to heat treat stainless steels. Most of the stainless steels will also require some type of "shielding" during heat treating.... unless of course you have an oven with an inert atmosphere.
Thanks Ed, that's helpful.
Bob
 

bladegrinder

Well-Known Member
Unless your doing a LOT of knives I'd stick with foil, it's fool proof...mostly... using Nitrogen or Argon isn't really plug and play, it takes some experimenting on the volume of gas to get it right unless you go way overboard with it than it's going to run into money.
if anything goes wrong, your blade is more than likely be trashed.
I've had pin holes in the foil happen years ago and it pretty much ruined the blade...if you pre grind them. now I double check those pouches befor they go in the oven.

I don't personally know anyone that uses inert gas but I've thought about it many times and just couldn't justify the cost of setting it up.
also, it's a bad idea if the shop is small or enclosed by displacing oxygen in the room with inert gas. you wouldn't feel it, you would just fall out, for good.
 

BossDog

KnifeDogs.com & USAknifemaker.com Owner
Staff member
That was another question is the solenoid kit and Nitrogen purge worth the extra or just do the foil? I've read that the elements will degrade faster with the purge (I read this and have no experiance with it). I don't know of anyone that uses it.
probably best to avoid the neutral atmosphere. It is way more expensive than foil. There are applications it used for but not knife making generally.
 
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