When deciding on a propane forge for your blacksmithing hobby, it’s important to have a clear idea of what your preferences and long-term goals are.
If not, you may wind up with a forge that underperforms, is poor quality, doesn’t reach optimal temperatures, or is too small for your projects.
As you review below the best choices available, carefully consider the following:
- How small or large most of your projects will be.
- What shape you prefer – cylinder, square, or rectangular.
- The maximum temperature you’ll need for your work.
- Safety features, such as doors and quality valves.
- Overall dimensions that will fit your workspace.
Best Choice Overall
After looking at all the features and specs for the propane forges that made my top 7 list, I’d say your best bet is the Simond Store Blacksmith Single Burner.
It’s not too large, but it still is more than adequate for most forging projects, and when running, the sound isn’t too loud or obnoxious.
This forge is energy efficient, heats up quickly, and maintains a steady temperature, and with the added bonus of a handy tong rest, this choice is a winner all around.
- Single Burner Propane Forges for Blacksmithing
- Double Burner Propane Forges for Blacksmithing
- Propane Forges Explained
- Related Questions:
Single Burner Propane Forges for Blacksmithing
Single-burner forges are smaller and more affordable than the double-burner options.
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A rectangle-shaped forge, this small single burner is an ideal tool for the making of knives, small tools, and decorative items.
The high-quality nozzle and air valve work together to increase forge efficiency for less fuel consumption.
Refractory ceramic fiber insulates the interior to resist temperatures of up to 2,600 degrees Fahrenheit.
This propane forge comes with 1-inch fire brick and a metal stand to allow forge tongs to rest while not in use.
For some, the metal stand may be too short, but the inclusion was a thoughtful gesture all the same.
If the unit is in good working shape, it serves well and is a great tool for knife-making, jewelry forming, and creating various small objects.
- 2,600 degree capability.
- Comes with stand.
- Lined with a high-density fiber blanket.
- Faulty valves and leaks are possible.
- Tong stand may be too short.
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The regulator and hose are provided for connection to your propane tank. This forge heats quickly and can reach temperatures of 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit.
This forge has an oval shape for maximized heating and a vertical firing system to quickly heat the interior.
A light-weight item at only 23 pounds, this single burner propane forge is portable and easy to use.
It is lined with Kaowool ceramic fiber to trap heat and maintain high temperatures for projects.
The CMF 1000 can heat most metals for working, including gold, brass, bronze, magnesium, aluminum, tin, and stainless steel.
The interior is approximately 4 inches tall and 5 inches wide, making it the perfect forge for beginners or small projects.
- Portable at 23 pounds.
- Kaowool ceramic fiber maintains temperatures.
- Works on most metals.
- Vague instructions.
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The TOAUTO is a slightly larger model designed for greater efficiency. The interior dimensions are 5.9 inches tall and 5.9 inches wide, making it a perfect square.
This forge is also rectangular shaped instead of an oval for further heat exposure to inserted objects.
The inside is coated with a thicker ceramic fiber blanket of 1.57 inches to resist up to 2,600 degrees Fahrenheit.
The forge has two doors on either side, which are durable enough to hold in desired heat for hours at a time.
Once the TOAUTO gets up to temperature, which can take a few minutes, it performs like a larger forge.
The interior heats evenly for superior welding and desired metal malleability.
- Large size for maximum workspace.
- Burning rate up to 90%.
- Lid on both sides to keep out air.
- Not for beginners.
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This cylindrical propane burner resists temperatures up to 2,600 degrees Fahrenheit. The shape and small size make this an ideal forge for small metalworking.
Exterior material is made from 16 gauge (1.5 millimeter) polished stainless steel and is lined with a 1-inch, high-density ceramic blanket.
One of the smaller forges at only 16 pounds, this sturdy contraption has an interior dimension of 5.4 inches for a perfect circular shape.
For the most part, this model is revered across the board as the best beginner propane forge.
However, occasionally this model is prone to leaks which make the forge unusable and dangerous.
- Great for beginners.
- Lightweight for portability.
- Maintains heat.
- Prone to leaking.
- Small size is only good for smaller projects.
Double Burner Propane Forges for Blacksmithing
Intermediate blacksmiths use double burners.
Hell’s Forge Propane Forge Double Burner (Top Rated)
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This double burner forge is the top-rated forge for this list.
This unit can stand up to 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit and takes roughly 10 minutes to heat to the appropriate temperature.
This propane forge has a unique oval shape to maximize heat distribution to the unit’s center.
The wide mouth allows for maneuverability and increased efficiency for conserving fuel consumption.
It comes with two fire bricks and Hellcoat 3000 refractory coating to better protect the interior insulation.
Due to the forge’s shape, it is an ideal unit for blade work. You can choose to use either both or one of the burners for more direct heat application.
The design is longer than most double burner models at 19 inches, which allows for more creativity in your metalworking.
The Hell’s Forge doesn’t limit options and can support intermediate to advanced projects.
- Size is great for most projects.
- Heats up quickly.
- Includes fire breaks.
- Doesn’t come properly sealed.
- Regulator may leak.
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The CMF 2000 can function as a double burner or a single. For smaller projects or maximum efficiency, one burner can be turned off to preserve fuel.
This forge reaches maximum temperatures of over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Purchase includes two fire bricks, burner air-intake pipes, and a gas regulator.
Lined with Kaowool ceramic fiber, the CMF 2000 heats quickly and keeps the perfect temperature for any blacksmithing project.
It’s easier to use if you fashion an end piece for one of the openings to regulate airflow.
This particular forge does not come with an interior rigidizer or satanite, meaning that the ceramic fiber could be subject to damage from heat.
Separately buying a rigidizer and applying it yourself will prevent material fatigue.
- Includes firebricks, burner air-intake pipes, and gas regulator.
- Easy instructions for use.
- US-based customer support team.
- Must purchase a separate rigidizer.
- Hard to get temperatures high enough.
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A rectangular-shaped double burner propane forge, the Hell’s Forge MAX has a large opening of 6 inches tall and 4.75 inches wide.
The stainless steel exterior is five times as thick as the leading competitors to prevent material fatigue.
The interior is filled with a 1-inch ceramic fiber blanket and includes Hellcoate 3000 Refractory Coating to be applied by the customer after purchase.
The refractory coating is shipped as a powder and protects against 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit and tool insertion but also provides further reflection for increased temperatures.
Purchase includes two fire bricks and an upgraded 0-30 psi regulator. This forge is American-made.
By shipping the refractory coating in powder, the supplier protects the entire ensemble from potential damage so it can arrive safely at your door.
- Carefully shipped.
- American-made product.
- Five times thicker steel.
- Hard to maintain high temperatures.
Propane Forges Explained
Propane forges are gas-powered forges that hook up to propane tanks similar to a barbecue.
Usually small enough to fit on a table or desk, propane forges are rectangular, oval, or round in shape and often don’t have doors.
For many, you can extend a working piece of metal straight through to the other side.
These open ends allow for airflow through the forge, which keeps the flames from going out.
Propane forges are made of thin metal exteriors and contain insulation all along the interior to create incredibly hot environments.
Most forges can reach interior temperatures of 2,000-2,600 degrees Fahrenheit.
Purchases frequently contain fire bricks that reflect heat onto the working metal for greater temperatures.
As fire bricks are made from materials with low thermal conductivity, such as ceramics, their use increases efficiency inside the chamber.
Safety is a huge issue with any kind of forge, but anyone using a propane forge needs to be particularly alert and careful.
Propane forges need good ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Gas leaks are also a risk if the valves or tubing happen to malfunction.
Similarly, the flame that burns is widespread and can take beginner blacksmiths by surprise.
Being aware of how the forge lights and how to avoid the flame is crucial to avoiding singes or burns.
Propane Versus Coal/Charcoal Forges
Propane forges are more commonly preferred over coal or charcoal forges, particularly if you are a beginner.
While propane forges are louder and have risks of gas leaks, coal forges are more difficult to control and contain dirtier elements.
Coal will burn hotter than propane but requires regular cleaning of the forge, which can be tedious.
Furthermore, there is more equipment required for propane forges, although propane is easier to obtain these days than coal or charcoal.
All in all, there are many advantages and disadvantages to both, but if you’re looking for a simple forge solution, propane forges require less skill to maintain.
Single Burner or Double Burner Forges
Propane forges have the option of one or two burners. A single burner forge contains a single propane hookup where the heat will enter the forge from a single entrance point.
This allows for a smaller forge and easier metalworking.
Beginners benefit from single burners because this concentrates the heat at a specific point, which is easier to manage.
Single burners are also ideal for small work that is also typically done by someone learning to forge.
A double burner forge is larger, more expensive, and usually not necessary for beginners or small metalwork.
With a double burner, heat is applied through two entrance ways into the forge.
A single propane tank is used to supply fuel, which flows to two separate burners to be lighted inside the forge.
Double burner forges accommodate larger metalwork pieces. They keep the entire forge hot so that longer pieces won’t cool in the air beyond a single burner.
How Much Propane Does a Forge Use?
If your forge is functioning with 8 psi, a full 20-pound propane tank will last about seven to eight hours. Generally, forges work between 3 to 10 psi.
How Hot Do Propane Forges Get?
The interior heat depends on the forge, but the average maximum temperature for a propane forge is 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Does a Propane Forge Need a Blower?
Propane forges do not need blowers to function. They are atmospheric, so they do not require additional air.
Really, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with any of the forges presented here.
Overall though, I think the Simond Store Blacksmith Single Burner is tough to beat.
It’s got it all: affordable price, quality parts, ideal size, steady temps, and easy setup. The convenient tong stand is the icing on the cake.
If you have your heart set on a double burner, I’d go for the Hell’s Forge Double Burner.
With a length of 19 inches, there’s plenty of room to heat long stock even with the firebricks in place.
The option of only using one burner at a time means that you’re almost getting two forges in one, which adds to the value tremendously.
Quality construction. Excellent heating. Versatile. Packaged carefully (even includes brush for applying cement!). You’ll love this beast!