Paragon KM-36T Pro 3 Zone Knife Maker’s Heat Treating Furnace
Test exotic heat treating formulas
As the owner of a Paragon KM-36T Pro furnace, you can live the knife making adventure to the fullest with one of the most extraordinary furnaces we have ever developed.
Knives have always accompanied explorers on great journeys. Yet knife making, itself, is an adventure all its own. It begins when the future owner shares the dream of a special knife with the maker. They talk excitedly over the first rough sketches. Then the maker retires to his shop and loses himself in the creation of the knife. Time disappears; the hours tick by as he grinds, heat treats, and polishes, sometimes well into the night.
Try out the newest tool steels. Are they really as good as the tried and true D2 and A2? (Knives created from D2 or A2 will live on long after the owners have passed them on to loved ones.) The Paragon KM-36T Pro is rated to 2350° F, so you can heat treat as hot as you need to experiment with the new steels.
Long lasting solid state relays
The KM-36T Pro has three solid state relays, which last far longer than standard mechanical relays and offer better temperature control during holds. Solid state relays have no moving parts to wear out. They are silent. You will hear just the reassuring hum of the kiln’s heating elements. The relays are mounted to aluminum heat sinks for heat dissipation.
Included with solid state relays is a safety relay for your peace of mind.
3 zone temperature control for superior heat distribution
The KM-36T Pro offers precise heat distribution throughout the length of the firing chamber. This is because it is divided into three zones. Each zone has its own thermocouple, or temperature sensor. The Sentinel controller electronically adjusts the temperature of each zone. See for yourself. Test for temperature uniformity by taking measurements along the length of a blade with a Rockwell Hardness Tester.
Three fast-response “special limit” thermocouples
The thermocouples measure the temperature. Your new KM-36T Pro uses three of them, and they are made of expensive “special limit” wire for a higher level of accuracy. These thermocouples are made in America with American-made parts. They are 14-gauge exposed-tip for fast response to temperature changes.
Ceramic fiber firing chamber for fast heating and cooling
The KM-36T Pro is unusually fast, because it is made with space-age ceramic fiber. It can reach 500°F in minutes. Long lasting, “wavy” elements in the walls are surface-mounted to stay cool and therefore prolong element life.
Digital Sentinel Smart Touch controller
The KM-36T Pro comes with a deluxe touch-screen Sentinel temperature controller. Store 12 custom knife steel programs with up to 32 segments per program. (Adjust the rate, temperature, and hold time for each segment for the most complex schedules imagineable.) The Sentinel includes Novice Mode, which adds questions to guide you during programming. The controller software can be updated through WiFi.
View the progress of a firing in graph mode. The firing schedule can be edited during firing with Skip Step, Add Segments, Add Temperature, and Add Time. The Sentinel can turn a vent or gas injection flow meter on or off for each segment of a program.
The Sentinel gives a continuous amperage and circuit voltage readout during firings.
If necessary, you can reset the controller by merely turning off the toggle switch on the front panel. We love simplicity wherever we can offer it.
Choose a guillotine door, drop door, or side-swing door
You can order a Paragon KM-36T Pro with a drop door, a side-swing door, or a guillotine door. (The photos above show the guillotine door.) The price of the KM-36T Pro is the same for all door styles, and they all have a stainless steel front.
The guillotine door lifts out of the way with one-handed operation. It lifts effortlessly with the assistance of a spring on each side of the furnace.
Because of the rigid case and heavy duty opening assembly, any door that you order is sturdy enough for years of faithful service. When you see one of these kilns in operation, you will understand why they cost extra.
Door safety switch
The door micro safety switch shuts off the power to the elements when the door is opened, yet the controller continues to give a temperature readout. The safety switch is standard on Paragon KM furnaces.
Choose from the optional paint colors
As shown in the photos, the standard knifemaking furnaces are painted a deep black, which would look perfect in your shop. You can choose a different paint color at no extra charge. (Choose from the paint colors listed below the furnace specifications. Scroll down.)
No more waiting for commercial heat treating
A Paragon KM-series furnace sets the knife maker free. No more wrapping blades and shipping them to your heat treater. No more waiting until you have a dozen blades to get the best price on heat treating. No more turning away orders for last-minute gifts.
While your furnace is hardening and tempering blades, you can busy yourself grinding more knives or fitting handles. After you’ve used your Paragon furnace awhile, you will wonder how you ever got along without it.
When asked to make a knife on short notice—whether for a Marine Corps awards presentation, a celebration or retirement party, or an archaeologist on his way to Africa—you will be ready. When a custom knife is needed as a going away gift, and the recipient is leaving in three days, you will be ready. Your KM-series furnace might even pay for itself on rush orders you would otherwise have missed.
Own a furnace and you alone decide when you will complete a knife. If you stay up one Friday grinding a knife, you can heat treat it that evening and deliver it Saturday morning. Just in time for a grateful wife to present to her husband on his birthday.
Finishing a knife whenever you want will excite you. You will find yourself working into the night to complete a new design. When you send the blade out for heat treating, the excitement of making and designing it will have been forgotten. By the time the blade returns, you will hardly remember it.
Solid furnace construction
The furnace is insulated with 2 1/2” space-age ceramic fiber. A built-in solid stand lifts the firing chamber safely off your worktable. The thermocouple wire is kept safely inside the case for protection from the harsh environment of the typical bladesmith shop.
Made in America
All Paragon furnaces are made in Mesquite, Texas USA. The factory is 20 minutes east of Dallas.
Optional Gas Injection Flow Meter
During heat treating, scale develops on the surface of the steel. One way to eliminate most scaling is to wrap the blades in stainless steel foil. Another way is to install the gas injection flow meter on your furnace. It is available as either an add-on kit, or you can order the furnace with the meter installed.
The meter regulates the flow of an inert gas, such as argon, inside the furnace. The gas displaces the oxygen to prevent some of the scaling. For more details, click on the link in the Options section below.
What Ben Abbott Likes About his 3-Zone Knife Maker’s Kiln
“Nothing compares with the control that I’ve gotten with my 3-zone,” said Ben Abbott, a “Forged in Fire” judge. “I know the temperatures of all three zones at the same time. I know that the back of the kiln is the same temperature as the front of the kiln.
“I can download the program and see what happened in a firing and just make sure everything was consistent. And I know that my next knife is going to be as good as my last knife. That is really important.
“Great people at Paragon. My amazing kiln made by hand in Texas! I got a card with the initials of all the people involved with the creation of my kiln. Who does that anymore?”
David Baker’s Paragon Furnace
“On the show, ‘Forged in Fire,’ we make weapons in a very compressed time frame. The Paragon furnace has been a game changer. It’s saved me an amazing amount of time,” said David Baker, a judge on the show.
“Not only is the kiln wonderful and reliable, but Paragon’s service is fantastic. You can get someone on the phone and they will walk you through the problem. While moving my kiln around, it got bumped into some camera equipment, and parts on the kiln got dinged up. Within a couple of days they shipped new parts to me, and I was back to work.
“If you’re making knives professionally, time is money,” said David. “If your hands aren’t working, you’re not making money. So having the ability to program a kiln, let it do its thing, and literally walk away and do other work is a game changer.”
“Bottom line,” said David Baker, “the Paragon kiln is a good, solid product that winds up saving me a lot of time.”