Temperature Control – A Vaping Revolution

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Temperature Control Vaping

Intro

In recent months Temperature Control has swept across the vaping world, and for good reason. This new technology has taken vaping to a new level of convenience and safety. Not to mention new heights of technical sophistication – we’re a long way from just batteries and switches now!

And what started out as a premium, high-end technology is rapidly becoming mainstream. Temperature Control (TC) vaporisers are today available for as little as $30. So there’s never been a better time to start using TC, and now no obstacles to doing so.

But what is TC, and how does it work? Well, thousands of words could be written on the finer points – and in further articles we will expand on the subject greatly. For now, let’s take a whirlwind tour around the world of TC and look at the minimum you need to know.

How does Temperature Control work?

In a nutshell, TC works because certain metals increase their resistance predictably as they heat up.

As a vaper, you’re probably already familiar with resistance. You know there’s a coil inside your tank or dripper and that it has a resistance, which – if you use any regulated mod – is shown on the screen.

Temperature Control Vaping
Temperature Control Vaping

When you vape Kanthal, that resistance value doesn’t change. That’s a particular property of Kanthal: its resistance is static regardless of its temperature.

For TC vaping we use different coil materials, ones specifically chosen because their resistance will rise a significant, known amount as the coil heats.

Once such a material is used it becomes straightforward for the mod to calculate the temperature of your vape: it checks the resistance of the coil before you’ve vaped, then it continues to monitor it as you vape. The resistance rises and the mod converts that into a temperature increase. It knows that if the coil started out as 0.20Ω and is now 0.40Ω, the temperature must have risen by, let’s say, 200°C or 392°F.

Every TC mod provides a temperature setting: rather than only setting the power (watts) of the vape, you also set a target temperature. The mod then automatically adjusts the power as you vape. Keeping your coil – and therefore your vape – at or very near your chosen temperature. The wattage you set is therefore only a maximum wattage, and some new TC mods don’t even have a power setting; the mod will always use as much of its full range of power as is needed to reach and maintain temperature.

Common vaping temperatures are in the range 200°C- 250°C / 392°F – 480°F, with the temperature usually set in increments of 5°C or 10°F.

What are the advantages of Temperature Controlled vaping?

1. Avoiding dry hits / burnt hits

Temperature Control Vaping
Temperature Control Vaping
  1. It’s happened to all of us: we’ve not noticed our tank has run dry; we’ve failed to add enough juice to our dripper; we didn’t do our wicking quite right.​
  2. The resulting dry, burnt, scratchy hit can be extremely unpleasant, not to mention potentially hazardous to health.​
  3. A key advantage of TC is that these bad hits simply won’t happen: if the wick runs dry the temperature will start to rise, and therefore the temperature protection will immediately cut power to compensate.​
  4. The result: instead of a nasty dry hit, you simply get less vapour, making you think “ah, I need more juice!” Not “ugh! My throat!”

2. Vaping safety

  1. Vaping is still a relatively new science. We know for sure it is vastly safer than smoking. But not enough studies have yet been done to understand all the risks of vaping from heated coils.
  2. The more we can limit our exposure, the (even more) safer we will be.​
  3. Key to doing that is only heating our coils to the temperature we need to vaporise our juice, and not more.
Temperature Control Vaping Safety
Temperature Control Vaping Safety

3. Coil and wick life

  1. Avoiding dry hits means not over-heating the coil and not singeing your cotton; it’s the singeing that tastes so bad.
  2. Coils last longer, and wicks last a lot longer, because they’re being heated by the precise amount necessary for a good vape.
  3. Think about it: what would happen to your car if you always drove it at redline?
Sense Cyclone Ni200 Coil, 0.6 Ohm, 316L Coil next to a 0.6 Herakles Coil
Sense Cyclone Ni200 Coil, 0.6 Ohm, 316L Coil next to a 0.6 Herakles Coil

4. Battery life

Because TC vapes use only the power needed to keep your coil at the right temperature, it is estimated that a TC vape uses 1.5 times less power than the equivalent Variable Wattage vape.

What do we need for Temperature Controlled vaping?

The mod/vaporizer

First and foremost, a mod (vaporizer) that supports TC. There’s a huge range to choose from, at prices ranging from $30 to $300. There can be a number of differences between devices, and some have special features. But all of them work on the basic principle outlined above.

Coils / wire

Different Wire Types

Secondly, we must vape with the right coil material. Kanthal, unfortunately, is out for now – we’ll discuss this further in a future article.​
TC vaping today generally uses one of two wire types:​

  • Nickel 200, commonly known as Ni200
  • Titanium Grade 1

All TC mods support Ni200, as this was the first TC coil material used. Titanium is newer, with support starting around June 2015. Pretty much all new mods coming to market now support both Titanium and Ni200.

TC coil availability

SMOK TFV4 Coil Family
SMOK TFV4 Coil Family

If you currently buy pre-made coils, for a sub-ohm tank such as those made by Aspire, Kanger, Smok, and many others, you will almost certainly find that your tank manufacturer has TC coils available. Every major tank manufacturer has already released Ni200 coils, and most are now producing Titanium coils as well.

Alternatively, if you’re a vaper who likes to build his or her own coils on a rebuildable deck, you can simply buy spools of the above wire – now available at most vaping vendors – and make your own as usual. There are a few special considerations you’ll need to be aware of compared to standard Kanthal which we’ll cover in the next article. But the basic principle is identical: make a coil and vape on it, just now with TC!

Which coil wire to choose?

Temperature Control Vaping Ni200 Wire
Temperature Control Vaping Ni200 Wire

Generally speaking, Titanium is a better TC wire than Ni200.

Titanium will be a little more accurate in its temperature controlling, it will consume less battery power, and it’s considered by some to be the safer material. It also has a higher resistance, making building your own coils easier. And it’s the best choice for those who have sensitivities to nickel.

Generally speaking, Titanium is a better TC wire than Ni200.

If you’re buying a new TC mod today, get one that has a Titanium mode so that you can try either or both wire types.

Already have an Ni200-only TC mod? No problem! Ni200 is still a great TC vape. And in fact you can even TC vape Titanium on that Ni200 mod by using a different temperature range, a more advanced aspect we’ll look at in a future article.

Your first Temperature Controlled vape

Temperature Control Vaping

You’ve bought your TC mod. You’ve bought some TC coils or wire. What’s next?

We won’t cover rebuildable coils just yet – that’s slightly more complex, and we’ll address it in the next article. For now, let’s assume you’ve bought some pre-made Ni200 or Titanium coils for your sub-ohm tank.

How to vape in temperature control mode

1. Put your mod into TC mode, and the right TC mode for the coils you have

a. Mods that support both Ni200 and Titanium will either have two separate TC modes, or one mode with a selector for Ni200 vs Titanium.

b. If your mod only has one TC mode then it only supports Ni200, so make sure you have Ni200 coils.

2. Install your coil in the tank as normal, but take care to ensure the coil is screwed down tightly, as far as it can be.

3. Put the tank on the mod, and again make sure the tank is tightened down as far as possible.

4. Set your wattage, if available in TC mode, to 30W

a. Many new TC mods don’t have a wattage setting in TC mode, so don’t worry if yours doesn’t let you change the wattage.

5. Set your target temperature

a. For your first TC vape, it’s recommended to start at 420 °F / 215 °C.

b. This may be a little low, but you can easily adjust upwards if you find the vape anaemic.

6. Vape as usual

a. Hopefully you’ll get a good vape, just like normal – except when you run out of juice you’ll notice the vapour dropping off significantly. No more dry hits!

7. Don’t be afraid to experiment

a. Adjust the temperature up or down if necessary. Especially adjust it down if you do notice any dryness when you’re low on juice.

b. If your mod has a wattage control, you can adjust that too – higher is usually fine, but don’t go too low: remember that TC coils are often very low resistance, and reasonable power is needed to heat them effectively.

Temperature Control Vaping – Next Steps

That was a brief primer on TC. For many vapers, it could be all you need to know. TC doesn’t have to be complicated!

But for those who want to build their own coils, and/or get more into the technology of TC and understand its parameters and permutations, look out for our next article which will go into a lot more detail. In that article we’ll also help you choose the best TC mod for you, and discuss potential problems and how to fix them.

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I'm Tom, or as I'm best known on forums, TheBloke. I've been vaping since March 2015, and my first day of vaping was my last of smoking. I couldn't ever imagine going back - what's not to love about vaping? Superior in every way. Since then I have become a rabid fan, experimenter and tester. Temperature Control has become my particular area of interest, especially discovering and analysing new and better wires for the perfect TC vape. I also use temperature testing equipment and an oscilloscope to assess the performance and peculiarities of every TC mod I can get my hands on.
  • Clay

    So if the ignition temperature of cotton is 250°f wouldn’t that mean that any temperature above that would result in a dry hit once the juice has dissipated?

    • Dick

      That’s precisely what I was thinking.

      • Dmember

        I think the TC perceives there’s no juice on the coil and so just shuts down.

  • Andrew M. Sheppard

    So, when is part 2 going to be published (& why is there no datestamp/publication date on this article?)? Looking forward to the next installment. Cheers.

    • Hi Andrew. Articles will all have datestamps, once we overhaul the site completely this month. I can’t say when the next article will be out unfortunately, as the author who did part 1 is currently away for the foreseeable future. We are trying to a suitable replacement asap.

  • Mohamad Ashman

    Would you give the step for coil setting in TC.

  • Jon Rayson

    I have a Aspire Pegasus TC 70watt Mod, Do I need to Preset the watts to 30 before changing to Ni200 coils?? or does this mod alter it on its own in the backround..??

  • GeeTAC

    Soooo, I have an Eleaf 40w. I’m so new it hurts. I’ve been putting around 14w with 420F. It tastes like pure shit. Nothing but burnt taste. And I taste no flavour

    • What tank are you using?

    • D Grady

      What tank are you using and what coils are you using with said tank — particularly what resistance? Even though the Istick 40W is a temp control device, temp control will not work unless you are using temp sensing coils.

  • Xanthais

    Just got an Eleaf iStick TC60W yesterday. Loving it so far, but currently using the wattage mode with the standard coil it came with on these settings.

    0.28 ohms
    3.13v.
    35.0 watts

    It did come with both a Nickel and Titanium coil that I’m going to try next in the Ni and Ti temp. control modes. What temps should I start vaping at? Like GeeTAC, I’m a complete n00b to the TC world.

    Edit: It came with the ELeaf MELO-2 tank, by the way.

  • Jason Rummel

    Is there a part 2 to this article yet? There is still no date stamp on this article.

  • E-cigarette

    Nice one Waiting for article part 2.

  • Thc727

    Can u vape in tc mode with kanthal coils..I got a kbox200 with the arctic V8 octuplet coils

  • Rob

    TC does work with kanthal on the Asolo 200W which has a different method for TC. Contrary to popular belief, kanthal does increase in resistance when heated, it`s a very small difference, but the Asolo anywire can detect it and TC does work. There are other modes for Nickel etc, but you really dont need them. Just use the basic method.

  • Radiokimbo

    Great guide, Tom! I’m anxiously awaiting your next guide which will include building my own coils. I have all the materials and am just looking for the information I need to use them correctly. Thank you for being willing to share your experience and expertise!!

  • Abdallah Ammar

    So i just built a coil its Nic made 8 rounds and its giving me 0.05 res my mod is ipv d3 and it works only with jouls when i set it to wattage it says lw res so i dont know whats the right amount of Temp or jouls to set… if u can tell me that would be great

    • Blackg

      The ipv series tc devices are unique in how it allows you to adjust the joules too the coil to change the power you use to heat up the coil instead of watts. I found that on my ipv device a .2 ohm ni200 coil worked great at 15j and 480°f and a .1 ohm ni200 25-30j and 450-500°f was good for me. Try those specs and alter them to your liking with temp control it all comes down to how you like your vape and you’ll find it a lot easier to control than before hand.

      Ps. The reason it reads low red in wattage mode is because the minimum resistance limit for tc mode is .15ohms lower than in wattage mode due to tc coils being made of much lower resistance wire

      • Mike Wright

        With the .2 specs does that provide a good flavor hit? I just tried the 15j 480f and I didn’t get anything what am I doing wrong?

        • Blackg

          Nothing honestly I’ve never gotten great flavor from tc coils unless they were clapton titanium or ss wire, I’ve never got the greatest flavor from normal tc coils, just due to it being a single wire coil. For example the smok tfv4 tank has clapton tc coils you can buy and those are the best results I’ve ever gotten from tc as far as flavor

  • Wonderlick1

    I have the Target 75w with the nickel coil and can’t taste anything. I have it on tc but I did have it on wattage for about 2 weeks wonder if I’m gonna die from it. Now that I did my research I found out you can’t vape with a nickel coil on wattage.

  • [email protected]

    I have a playboy vixen tank running off a rx200 mod and just installed my ni200 coil. I make my own juice and had a cotton candy lemon lime in my tank the lemon lime was overpowering so I adjusted it and added more juice and a lil cream and coconut now it seems really weak flavor since the coil broke in it lost lotta flavor. My mod reads 0.12 on the coil and it’s set at abt 560 F and my Watts are set at 46,it seems high for all I’m reading on temp recommendations I’m reading,am I doing something wrong or does my temp and Watts sound right?

  • BlakeyB52

    I hate how hard it is to just find super straight forward answers when it comes to vaping. I have read this and other articles on TC. But they only tell you the minimum safe temps and wattage. The only thing mentioned about maximum safe temp/wattage is “…higher is usually fine…”
    So!
    Can anyone give me the max safe ranges for ti and ni TC coils? Please!

  • Chris Stone

    Forgot to lock resistance