There are many factors to consider when deciding on a type of soap-making machine. Different kinds are used for different jobs. Depending on what you intend to use the machine for, your selection will be different. A good example is hand soap.
Some people make their own soap, using a handmade mold of soap balls in a pot of hot water. The soap balls stick to the mold while boiling and as they cool they fall off and give the soap that soft lather. These soap molds can be purchased at craft or kitchen stores.
Another option is to make a mold from an old thermos or container. This is done by melting a bit of soap and placing it into the container and then pouring the hot soap into the mold. The mold can be left to cool. Then the mold is removed and the hot melted soap poured into the clean container. This makes clean-up easier since the soap does not have to be removed from the mold.
Some soap molds have the basket end attached to a long rod and the lip is at the bottom. This gives a slightly different effect. It creates a hard gel like bead with a more pronounced center.
Some people make their own containers. Others use colored plastic ones that are cleaned and reused.
Some people choose to make soap in small tubs that are put in the freezer. The mold is heated and poured into the tub that is put in the freezer. The cooled soap is removed from the mold and it is ready to use.
Wooden soap molds are available and can be made using regular wood or pressed metal. Wooden molds are popular but they tend to wear out. If they are being used for a long time, the wood may warp or develop cracks. In addition, they do not last very long if they are left open all the time.
The best method for those who are starting out is to buy a really small soap making machine. It will be cheaper and easier to work with. It is also less expensive than a sink-mounted machine. This is because you can place the same mold on the counter top instead of on the floor and you can place your soap pot in a cabinet.