Here are our top picks for the best toaster ovens for polymer clay
While traditionally, Toaster ovens are used for baking polymer clay, convection ovens have their own benefits that are not insignificant. Most people prefer toaster ovens since they have been used for this process for a longer time and are cheaper. Better the devil you know. But if you have a bit of more money to spend and are not averse to trying out new things, we think the convection ovens might surprise you. The main selling point is that the heat is distributed more evenly throughout the oven. And anyone who has baked clay before will tell you how important it is that all the clay is exposed to the same temperature. This prevents over-curing which ends up with cracks in your beads. The thing to watch out for when using Toaster ovens is hot spots in the craft oven, meaning temperature in a single oven differs from point to point so you often have to limit yourself to a lot lower quantity of clay that can be baked in one go. This is simply not the case with a convection oven and one of the main reasons you might give convection ovens a try.
At a Glance:
Before we mention any ovens there are some things regarding the process of baking polymer clay that we feel we need to mention. This is true for all ovens.
Use a dedicated thermometer. Never trust the reading the oven gives you. Place the thermometer as close to the clay as possible to get the most accurate reading. Getting the temperature right is the most important step and you need to be as accurate as possible for the best effect. The temperature in the oven can differ from place to place. Some places can get hotter than others and if your thermometer is in one place and the clay is in another, the reading obviously won’t be accurate.
Our recommendations for best toaster ovens for polymer clay
Please note that we make changes in our suggested products according to feedback received from our blog readers. We have made this list of ovens after physically evaluating each of them and lot of feature comparison studies.
1) Hamilton Beach Countertop Rotisserie Convection Toaster Oven, Extra-Large, Stainless Steel (31103DA)Best Pick
When it comes to baking Polymer Clay, no brand of toaster oven is as synonymous with the process as Hamilton Beach. The mini baking ovens from Hamilton Beach are even sometimes called Craft ovens or even Sculpey ovens as an affectionate nickname. For some, this is an old hobby and you might have specific preferences when looking for the best hot clay oven, but for those who are unsure in the face of multiple choices, craft ovens from Hamilton beach are a safe choice that won’t do you wrong. They are some of the best polymer clay & craft ovens around and don’t let anyone tell you any different.
As for this particular Hamilton beach countertop oven with convection and rotisserie review, we’re looking at the 31103DA. A convection oven that is a little bit on the pricier side as far as ovens go. But that is the price you pay for getting a better heating solution. Another key feature is the large interior. It is one of the biggest on this list and since its a convection oven we don’t have to worry about uniformity of heating that much and can bake more polymer clay at once. Great for getting more done quicker.
2) AMACO Countertop Craft/Clay Oven, Black (Most Specialized for Sculpey Figures)Staff Pick
The AMACO polymer clay and craft oven is one of the most famous ovens in the crafting space simply because the company itself specializes in making craft products and works with polymer clay items itself. So one would have to assume that it uses its own oven to make what it does. In a way, every product is an advertisement for this craft oven. And it is one of the only ovens that you can find that is not meant for baking food but specifically for making polymer clay products.
The downside, however, is that the mini baking oven has a small interior, at least when compared to other ovens. This is a non-issue if you’re just making beads that don’t take up much space, it’s better to give attention to individual pieces anyway. This particular model has also long been used to make Sculpey figures as there is a firm belief in the community that some Scupley figures release toxins in the oven that are harmful if you want to bake food in the same oven. This is one of the more polarizing topics in the community as some don’t believe that is the case at all but in the end, there is no arguing with peace of mind.
3) Oster Toaster Oven | Digital Convection Oven, Large 6-Slice Capacity, Black/Polished StainlessBudget Pick
When looking for the best toaster oven for polymer clay it would a crime not to mention this particular toaster oven. It is one of the best-reviewed products on this list without anyone else coming close. When looking for a craft oven, it’s easy to think the cheaper the better. Since it’s not going to be used for baking anyway why spend more money on it? That is simply not the case. While it is true that you could find the right oven for you at a lower price, ruling out the upper price range entirely often ends up with you ending up losing out on a great deal. And Oster oven is one of the best deals around.
This is not meant to be a dedicated hot clay oven. I mean you could use it that way but it would be a real shame to not make use of its amazing cooking capabilities. Experts in the field have been saying again and again that baking polymer clay figures do not contaminate the oven and it’s perfectly fine to use it for making food. So if you’re looking for a hot clay oven that you can use for both baking polymer clay and food, then the Oster Toaster Oven is an amazing deal that we can’t recommend enough.
4) Hamilton Beach 6-Slice Countertop Toaster Oven with Easy Reach Roll-Top Door, Bake Pan, Silver (31127D) (Best Traditional Oven)
The Hamilton Beach 6-Slice Countertop Toaster Oven is a bit of a weird one. While moderately priced, it doesn’t stand out in any way. Its a good oven and that’s it. And sometimes, that’s enough. The highlight feature of this particular model is the sliding door handle that slides upwards. This has no use for polymer clay baking and that’s not why we are recommending it. While it’s true that it offers slightly better viewing angles than a traditional craft oven that is easily counteracted by the lack of adequate lighting on the inside. You have to shine a flashlight at the glass to see what’s going on and even then there are better options if you’re looking for better angles.
What the 31127D shines at however is reliability. It’s an unassuming offering that offers what it says on the tin without any surprises, good or bad. Its a rare breed of not wanting to appear more than it is, just a decent oven.
5) Oyama 12 Liter Turbo Convection Roaster Oven (BLACK), 13L (Best Viewing Angles)
The Oyama Roaster Oven is one of our more surprising finds. When we went looking for the best toaster oven for polymer clay, what we had in mind was a traditional Hamilton Beach oven with flat angles all around. Tangents while researching resulted in us stumbling upon this particular piece. We didn’t even know they made ovens like this, at first glance,it looks like a glass pitcher but it can handle a surprising amount of heat and pressure and is tailor-made for thriving at high temperatures.
What we found was that people have been using this model for baking polymer clay figures for some time now and with stunning success. It manages to not only bake clay at decent temperatures but spreads the heat throughout the oven uniformly. It’s still imperative that you use a dedicated thermometer as with every other oven.
And of course, the highlight feature of these types of ovens is readily apparent. The viewing angles. You can look at how ready your clay is at any time without having to worry about releasing the heat if you open the lid too soon. As is the case in other ovens. Baking clay is often done with an uition that comes with long experience. And for amateurs, there is no other choice than to follow guides and preset conditions. But with this model,you can have a more experimental mindset. Nothing beats seeing your hard work come to fruition right in front of your eyes.
6) Hamilton Beach 4-Slice Countertop Toaster Oven with Bake Pan, Stainless Steel (31143) (Best Compact Oven)
If you’re looking for a small clay oven and have your heart set on Hamilton Beach, then the 31143 model is a relatively cheaper model that retains all the best features of previously mentioned products while sacrificing interior space. It is by no means as small as the AMACO but still on the smaller side. You cannot bake larger beads and figures made of polymer clay in this craft oven. Don’t be greedy and be mindful of the topside of the oven and make sure that your clay doesn’t get very close to it and touch it during the baking process as that is very dangerous.
As many like to protect both sides of the clay figure with paper or something similar you might not have the space to do so in this model. But other than that it a sliding tray that can hold the clay figures and can gently slide them out when you’re almost done to check and slide them back in to continue the process.
7) Mueller Austria Toaster Oven 4 Slice, Multi-function Stainless Steel (Best Value for Money)
The Mueller Austria Toaster Oven is one of the best toaster ovens for polymer clay owing to the even toasting technology. While meant to for toasting evenly on all sides, what it essentially does is spread the heat evenly throughout the oven without any hot spots to mess up the baking process. It is an amazing feature that works surprisingly well and is not available in most toaster ovens. While you still want to use a dedicated thermometer, its a nice feature to have.
Another headliner is the 1100W Power that allows the oven to get really hot really fast. This is particularly great for baking as you have to preheat the oven before baking and you want to get to the desired temperature as quickly as possible. This small clay oven can get that done in a fraction of the time it would take other toaster ovens.
8) Comfee’ Toaster Oven Countertop, 1000W, Black (CFO-BB101) (Best Budget Oven)
When looking for the best toaster ovens for polymer clay one thing experts often say is that nobody ever agrees on the best oven for baking clay because everyone has a different experience to draw on from. This process is not standardized and it’s hard to pinpoint what you, in particular, do differently to others. Another interesting thing to note is that price is almost never the deciding factor when it comes to baking polymer clay. Even the cheapest option might work out better for you than something worth tens of times more.
This is the cheapest toaster oven that we could find that had all the features you might be looking for at a low price. It does absolutely nothing fancy. Everything is as traditional as can be and you won’t find a more stereotypical toaster oven even if you looked. But it does what it’s supposed to and who knows, it might end up surprising you.
In the end, what matters most is that you are satisfied with your toaster oven. Making polymer clay products is a passion for many people and baking is an important step that can make or break the entire thing. Don’t be afraid to experiment to find the right toaster oven for your own personal needs. It’s different for everybody.