I would like to know what others recommend for their choice in a pyrometer and why. I don't have one yet and there seems to be a lot of options with little information.

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I use a Radio Shack digital Multimeter that displays 1/10ths of millivolts attached to a type K thermocouple extended about 4" into the kiln. Using a Type K millivolt to temperature chart (available free on the internet), I convert the displayed millivolts to a temperature reading. I spent $25 for the multimeter, and about $3 for the thermocouple on ebay. Why? Because it works, and I'm a cheapskate.
I will check this out. I will try to put one together this week and I will let you know how it goes. Have you ever used one made to do this?
I used an analog needle type pyrometer in the old days. It worked but wasn't very helpful for less than about 30 degrees due to spreading 2500 degrees over a 3" scale
I would need more information on the 3.00 thermocouple on ebay, everything I saw there was very expensive. I have a better multimeter, do I need to take it apart or does the thermcouple plug into it?
I put alligator clips on my meter probes & clip them to the two sides of the thermocouple. The thermocouples I got may have been surplus. Try googling them

Terry Fallon sells a portable, heavy duty pyrometer for $80 on his fascinating fallonator website. See the discussions here on electric reduction kilns. If you use a manual kiln you really need a pyrometer to monitor and control your firings. If you have a programmable kiln, you will need a replacement thermocouple probe at some point. He sells type K and type S probes.

http://fallonator.com/products/high_temperature_pyrometer

Lower cost (replace more frequently) thermocouple probes are available on ebay such as this listing for $13.99

For the real cheapskates, you can buy a electronic multimeter for about $20 and connect it to a type K thermocouple probe that extends through peepholes into your kiln. As the kiln heats the thermocouple generates millivolt current that you read on your meter. Consulting a conversion chart, you can get a  temperature reading for that voltage and know the temperature inside the kiln. I did this for 3 years before I bit the bullet and bought my add-on programmable kiln controller.

Thanks for the follow up, I appreciate it! I found a really nice deal on Ebay. I picked up a reconditioned digital pyrometer for $85. It has worked great for a year now. I wish I had bought a couple more. I do keep looking at the fallonator website. Lots of interesting stuff there.

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