As of early 2022 I’ve added a hot plate to my equipment lineup. The model I have is a Corning PC-35; I purchased it used for $50CAD. My decision making process was basically “I’ve been looking for a hot plate; this one is available on Kijiji for a reasonable price and the online reviews aren’t awful”. If you’re wondering why I didn’t buy a different one, it’s because it wasn’t available locally for $50 🤷🏻♀️
It can heat from 0–510°C (🔥), which is far hotter than I can imagine needing. If I set it to just a few notches about “low” it heats to about 60–70°C, which is perfect for making emulsions without needing a water bath. I use my hot plate all the time, for all kinds of formulations. I do wish it was a bit bigger, but at the same time I’m glad it doesn’t take up too much space while I’m working, or while it’s in storage. I definitely recommend keeping an eye out on second-hand listings to see you if you can pick up something similar.