The 8 Best Distillation Kits
This wiki has been updated 12 times since it was first published in November of 2018. Whether you want to create your own essential oils or just learn a little bit about chemistry or physics, one of the distillation kits on our list can get the job done. There are apparatuses for just about any application, which we've ranked by build quality, ease of use, and the capacity of their primary flask or boiler. Bear in mind, however, that distilling alcohol is against USA federal law. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
March 12, 2021:
For the most part, there are two types of distillation hardware: the kind used in a laboratory, and the kind used to produce alcohol. To be perfectly clear, it is illegal for unlicensed consumers to distill alcohol in the entire USA - and literally every single private consumer is unlicensed. So, you can distill any number of things, especially including essential oils, but you aren't allowed to distill alcohol. No matter what manufacturers claim, that is against the law, and we strongly recommend obeying the law.
With that clarified, we did remove a couple low-level lab-grade options that were extremely similar to others, but used slightly lower quality components. The Laboy HMK22 is the most comprehensive lab choice, while the Dinglab Glassware Apparatus is simpler, but nearly as good.
For large batches, the Vevor Still is still the king, but for highly concentrated results, the thumper keg included on the Olizee Boiler makes it second to none. If you're willing to do the work of putting it together, the Clawhammer CHS-5 is an especially rustic choice that is very tall, but has a relatively small footprint, which makes it great for use in a small garage or utility shed.
January 11, 2019:
Quality had to be a primary determining factor here, as there are essentially three types of distillation kits on the market intended for three very specific demographics. The highly ranked Vevor model happens to represent the highest quality in materials and construction, even if it isn't the kind of device you'd apply to essential oil distillation. Options like the Laboy HMK22 seem to be the most common, made of glass and intended for a wide variety of uses.
Olympic Distillers Whether you're extracting large amounts of essential oils or setting up a large-scale craft brewery, these practiced and trustworthy folks are absolutely worth a look. They have everything from massive, commercial-grade equipment that can fill a pole barn, to ultra-premium 10-gallon units ideal for full-time use at home. You'll have to shell out quite a bit of cash, but you can be certain that you're getting something that will last a long time. olympicdistillers.com
Copper Brothers If you want your distillation outfit to look as good as it functions, Copper Brothers is a good place to start. They provide an excellent balance of effectiveness and appearance with their top-of-the-line alembic stills, all of which are built with lead-free materials and designed to last for years. premium-coppers.com