Temperature Control Vaping Guide
Every so often a new trend pops up in the vaping industry and then takes off. The latest to do so is what's referred to as “temperature control vaping.”
Temperature control solves many of the annoying problems that vapers have to deal with, including dry hits, burnt wicks and decreased battery life as a result of high powered sub-ohm mods.
Is this technology right for you? Let's discuss how it works and the benefits of temperature control.
What Is Temperature Control?
The concept behind temperature control (TC) is pretty simple. Its name is a little bit misleading though, since the temperature is not directly measured, rather the changes in resistance are used to estimate the actual coil temperature. Once the coil reaches a certain change of resistance, the power is varied to maintain a constant temperature which results in a more consistent vaping experience.
It may sound odd, since we're used to coils maintaining a specific resistance for much of their usable life, but the reason it changes in a temperature control coil is because a different type of wire is used. Kanthal is the most commonly used material, but in order to vary the resistance, special temperature control coils made from nickel (Ni200), titanium (Ti) or stainless steel (SS) are used instead.
With these types of coils, the resistance of the coil changes as it is heated, and does so in a linear fashion that can be represented by a mathematical formula to surprising accuracy. It is believed that in most cases the temperature displayed by a TC device is within 10°F of the actual temperature of the coil.
Benefits of Temp Control Devices
So why is maintaining a consistent temperature in the coil so important? Here are some of the benefits of temperature control vaping and using a TC device:
- Prevent dry hits: If you been vaping any length of time, you've undoubtedly experienced the nasty burnt taste produced by a dry wick. How does temperature control prevent this? Simply put, resistance through a coil containing a dry wick changes faster than the resistance of a coil with a moist wick. Thus, a TC mod will cut power to the coil as soon as it senses this change in resistance. In most cases, you'll notice an immediate decrease in vapor production, but you'll get no burnt taste.
- Extended battery life: Standard mods deliver power at a consistent level, but since a TC device is continuously varying the amount of power sent to the coil (and much less as it heats up), your battery will last longer as a result. It's estimated that a temperature control mod uses approximately 1.5 times less battery power than an equivalent variable voltage mod. By that logic, you should expect about a 50% increase in battery life as a result of using TC.
- Longer lasting coils and wicks: There's a good chance that you'll also be able to extend the life of your coils and wick, too. The swings between hot and cold eventually cause the wires in your coil to fail. Since the power delivered is varied, your coils should last longer, and without the real risk of burning wicks you shouldn't need to change your wicks as often either.
- Potentially safer: Vaping is undoubtedly safer than smoking, and even though most of the research has found significantly less toxic chemicals in e-cig vapor than tobacco smoke, some toxic constituents (such as formaldehyde) can still be found under certain (high-power) conditions. We're pretty sure that e-liquid is safe, but we can't say the same about coils and wicks when vaped at high temperatures. Temperature control could mitigate the potential risks.
Choosing The Appropriate Mod
Within the past year temperature control devices have become much more prevalent. In the early days TC mods cost as much as $200, but now we're seeing them priced between $40 and $100. That's about the same price as most mid-range, non-TC mods. Almost every manufacturer offers them, but if you're planning to use your old (traditional) tank system, you may need to upgrade.
Popular TC Devices to Consider:
- Eleaf iStick 40W TC Mod
- Joyetech eVic VTC Mini 60W Mod
- Kanger Kbox 70W TC Mod
- Pioneer4You IPV D3 80W Mod
- Sigelei 75W TC Box Mod
The Right Type of Wire / Coil
As mentioned earlier, special coils must be used to take advantage of temperature control, although most TC devices will run standard kanthal coils in variable wattage mode as well. All TC mods will support nickel wire (Ni200) coils and most now support titanium (Ti); with stainless steel (SS) being the latest alternative. Generally speaking, Ti and SS are preferable because they're more accurate, will consume less power and are considered by some to be safer materials.
If you build your own coils, simply purchase the wire of your choice and build away; otherwise, most sub-ohm tanks have replaceable temp control heads.
Popular TC Tanks to Consider:
Expect a Short Learning Curve
A temperature control setup doesn't work much differently than a regular one, but expect a short learning curve once you get started. It will take a bit of time to experiment with the different temperature control settings, and if you're building your own coils you may have to get used to working with Ni and Ti wire. Just like a VV/VW device, certain juices will perform and taste better at different temperatures, so a general rule of thumb, start around 450°F and go up from there.
There's no doubt that temperature control vaping has many benefits; most notable is the possibility to make vaping even safer. My guess is that every device will eventually have some sort of temperature control technology included, but for now it's a special luxury that you should certainly consider.