What you need to know about temperature controlled vaping!
Temperature control, temperature sensing, temperature limiting, or simply TC vaping is all the rage these days. Almost every box mod manufacturer has introduced its own TC (temperature control vaping) model in the past year, with the earlier ones getting multiple upgrades already. Coil builders are responding to the trend too, with more and more retailers offering replacement nickel and titanium coils for existing tanks.
Why Do You Need Temperature Control?
Experienced vapers know that overheating is a constant challenge when trying to push your vape device to the limit. Vapes that are too hot can burn the wick. Burning the wick produces dry hits. And dry hits result in really awful flavors.
Polish scientists conducted a study back in May 2014 where different e-liquids were tested using a pen-type eGo battery and a top coil 2.4Ω clearomizer. The battery was set to 3.2 volts, 4.0 volts, and 4.8 volts. While the levels of carbonyls found in the vapor were very low at 3.2 and 4.0 volts, they were significantly higher at 4.8 volts. It was discovered that the main culprit was dry, burned wicks.
Temperature control technology is a fool-proof way to limit the temperature of the coils so they don't reach burning point.
What Exactly is Temperature Control Vaping?
Although the technology is called temperature control, there are no actual heat sensors or thermostats built into the device. What TC mods do is monitor coil resistance as it is heated. Every time a slight change in resistance is detected, the temperature control function automatically adjusts – reduce, restrict or totally cut off – power to prevent coil damage.
Nickel and Titanium Wires
Temperature control only works with nickel (Ni-200) and pure titanium (TI) coils because they have a more linear relationship between resistance and temperature compared to standard Kanthal and Ni-Chrome wires. As the coils heat up, the resistance also rises. The increase in resistance is a relatively constant value based on temperature. A temperature controlled device uses the change in resistance to regulate temperature within 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
Temperature controlled coils are also wrapped differently. Nickel coil builds usually have double or even triple the amount of wraps as a standard Kanthal or Ni-chrome coil. This is because nickel wires heat up much quicker and additional wraps are needed to slow down conductivity.
Spacing is also important in Ni-200 coils because if the wires make contact, the temperature control function of your mod will fail to accurately detect resistance change.
Many coil builders prefer to use pure titanium instead of nickel because TI has a higher resistance – which means less wraps. Titanium is also more durable.
On a mechanical mod, there is no safe way to regulate power output of nickel and titanium coils which could lead to serious injuries and property damage. Make sure that you only use Ni-200 and TI coils on temperature controlled devices.
Temperature Controlled Devices
To start enjoying the benefits of temperature controlled vaping, you will need two things: a temperature controlled mod paired with a nickel/titanium coil build. You cannot use a TC mod without a Ni/Ti coil and you cannot use a Ni/Ti coil without a TC vaporizer. They are always used together.
Temperature Control Mods
When temperature control technology was first introduced, it was very difficult to find an affordable device. Early units cost more than $200 without the tank. Today you can find TC mods for half the price as more vapor companies compete for prominent share of the booming market.
There are three main types of temperature controlled mods available.
DNA40 and rDNA40 devices are designed to cut off power when the desired temperature is reached.
SMOK and Joyetech's eVic-VT mod gradually reduce the output power to enable the device to continue firing at a maximum temperature setting.
High-end temperature controlled mods such as the SX Mini and Pioneer4You IPV4 can do both.
Temperature control not only allows you to precisely control the temperature of your coils but also to fine-tune your vape. Some TC mods even have a memory function that remembers the resistance settings of your last coil so you can vape your same exact sweet spot even if you change atomizers.
Here are some of the most popular temperature control mods today:
- Pioneer4You iPV4S 120W
- Joyetech eVic-VT
- Joyetech X Cube II (coming soon)
- Aspire Pegasus Mini
- Sigelei 150 TC
- Asmodus SnowWolf 200W
- YiHi SX Mini M Class
- Vapecige VTBox 200
- Hcigar VT40 DNA Mod
- VaporShark rDNA 40
- VaporShark DNA 200
- Volcano Lavabox DNA 200
- SMOK Xcube II
- Cloupor GT
Temperature Control Tanks
You don't need a special tank for temperature control vaping. All rebuildable tanks (RTA) and drippers (RDA) can be used as part of a TC vape setup as long as you change the coil head to a Ni-200 or pure titanium build.
If you're already into sub-ohm vaping, transitioning to temperature control will be easy as many manufacturers of sub-ohm tanks are now offering nickel replacement coils.
Ni-200 and Ti coils are usually marked with a colored gasket to differentiate them from standard Kanthal and Ni-chrome coils. Check the product description of your existing tank if the coil head is replaceable and if the manufacturer is selling nickel and titanium options.
Here are some of the most popular temperature control tanks today:
- SMOK TCT
- SMOK GCT Gimlet
- SMOK VCT Pro + TCT coils
- Kanger Subtank Mini (Included in Subox Mini Starter Kit) + Kanger Ni-200 coils
- Aspire Atlantis + VaporShark Ni-200 coils
- Aspire Triton 2
- Joyetech eGo One Mega VT
- Sigelei Elite Tank V2
- Tesla Vortek
- EHPRO Epoch S1
If you prefer to use an RDA or RBA tank setup, you can easily build your own coil out of nickel wire.
Benefits/Drawbacks of Temperature Control Vaping
When your vaping device fires at very high temperatures, coils can get too hot and burn out. Temperature control can help extend the life of your coils.
There is nothing worse than painstakingly building a fresh new coil only to accidentally dry fire your mod and render your tank unusable. Even if you are still able to use your tank, the flavor won't be the same and the coils won't last as long as they should. Adding fresh e-liquid after burning the coils will almost always result in a burnt taste and wasted ejuice. Mods with temperature control capability can prevent these mistakes as the device won't fire when it detects insufficient juice on your coils.
While temperature control vaping has many benefits, there are a few downsides to it as well.
First, the 18650 mod battery life is shorter as temperature controlled coils use a very low resistance until they are heated. They need more power on initial fire compared to a standard resistance coil.
Second, nickel and pure titanium replacement coils are more expensive than Kanthal, Ni-chrome, or build-your-own coils.
Third, for those who prefer making their own coils, it should be noted that Ni-200 and Ti coils are harder to build because of the complicated wrapping and spacing requirements mentioned above.
Conclusion on TC Vaping
Dry hits and burnt coils can be frustrating. They ruin your tanks, they ruin your e-liquid, and they can be very expensive mistakes. Temperature control offers a safer, more convenient, and definitely more pleasurable vaping experience.
When properly fine-tuned, a temperature controlled device allows you vape at your exact sweet spot without worrying about coils getting to hot and flavors going bad.
Temperature control is the future of vaping technology. More and more temperature controlled mods and atomizers are introduced every week, driving prices down and making the technology readily available to more vapers.
Temperature controlled devices usually cost more so the initial investment is slightly higher. However, many of the newer variable wattage vaporizers now come with built-in temperature control so if you're planning to upgrade to a new mod, there may or may not be a price difference at all.