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A Beginner's Guide to Vaping with Temperature Control

Spyros Papamichail
March 2, 2021

What is “temperature control” vaping?

Temperature control (TC) in vape mods is a technological solution for dry and burnt hits. It also creates a consistent vape while taking longer drags because the temp stays the same—instead of getting hotter. The user chooses the temperature limit, typically from a range of 300°F to 600°F (100°C to 315°C). The power sent to the coil then automatically adjusts to keep the coil—and your vape—at the chosen temperature.

It all began with the creation of the DNA chip by a company called Evolv in 2014. Even now, many still consider mods with DNA chips to be the best temperature control mods on the market. When Evolv first introduced temperature control for vaping, it was revolutionary! The word “innovative” gets thrown a lot, but it’s surely warranted here. Prior to TC, most top vape mods could only adjust watts (another innovation from Evolv a few years prior.) Now in 2020, like wattage control, temperature control is a feature found in most vape mods.

How does temperature control work?

You can use TC without ever knowing why or how it works. But if you’re curious, TC works because the metal of certain coils predictably increases its resistance as it heats up. As a vaper, you’re probably already familiar with resistance. You know there’s a coil inside your tank or atomizer that has a resistance, which—if you use any regulated mod—is shown on the screen generally with a “Ω” sign.

When you vape with Kanthal (the most popular vape wire), that resistance value doesn’t change. That’s a particular property of Kanthal: its resistance is static regardless of its temperature.

For TC vaping, you’ll use wires that have a known resistance-increase as their temperature rises. The mod checks the resistance of the coil at room temperature, then it continues to monitor it as you vape. The resistance change is converted into a temperature increase and the mod adjusts its power to maintain the selected temperature. Think of it as a car traveling in cruise control. To maintain a speed, more power is needed to go up a hill than down a hill… but the speed would stay the same.

What you need to have to vape in TC

First and foremost, a vape mod that supports TC. Most mods on the market come with a TC mode, although it is often left out from otherwise fully capable pod mods. If unsure, check the specs before buying a mod—or use the search function on this website. If a vape mod does TC, we will test it!

But having a TC mode is not always enough, and some mods do a much better job in temp control than others. Remember, not all mods are created equally. Some companies have a solid reputation for this technology. Evolv DNA and Yihi’s chipsets have been the holy grail of temp control for quite some time, but they tend to be on the more expensive side. The good news is that several budget mod companies have done excellent in their own right at a fraction of the price. Mods from companies like Aspire, Vaporesso, Innokin, and Smoant have proven to be reliable in temperature control, although this varies between chipsets.

Temperature control wire types-Infographic

Next, you must vape with the right wire type.

TC vaping generally uses one of these four types of vape wires:

  • Stainless steel: this wire is very popular and readily available. It comes in various grades such as 304, 316, 316L, 317, and 430 but the most common is SS316L. SS can be used in wattage or temperature control mode.
  • Nickel 200: commonly known as ni200, it was the first temperature control coil but it’s less common now due to some vapers having sensitivities to nickel.
  • Titanium Grade 1: otherwise known as Ti. It works well in TC but the user has to make sure it does not get overheated.
  • Nickel ferrous: also known as NiFe, comes in various grades such as 48, 30, 52, 70 and can be used in either mode, but is not widely available.
Temperature Coefficient Of Resistance For Vaping Wire Types-Infographic

Each of these wires has its own temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR). “A temperature coefficient describes the relative change of a physical property that is associated with a given change in temperature.” Your mod needs to know the specific TCR of your wire to send the correct power to the coil to limit its temperature. And the resistance for TC coils can be very low. TCR is not something to ballpark! Different wires will have different TCRs, and even within one metal type. Luckily, most TC mods have preset TCR values for Ni200, Ti, and SS (316L), which are the most popular TC wires.

Having said that, due to the different grades of metals having different TCR values, and preset TCRs sometimes being questionable, a very useful feature for a TC mod is customizable TCR. That allows any TC-capable coil to be used most accurately. Check the specs of your mod and see that it has customizable TCR. If it does, you can dial in the TCR value for your chosen metal type and grade.

How to vape in TC

Put your mod into TC mode and select the corresponding wire type for the coils you have. If the mod has a TCR you can enter the exact TCR value. After that, ensure that your mod and tank are both at room temperature so the temperature readings will be more accurate. The easiest way to achieve this is to not use the tank or the mod for at least five minutes before starting.

Install the coil as normal but take care to ensure it is screwed down tightly, as far as it can be. In the case of rebuildables, make sure the leads are trapped firmly. Then put the atomizer or tank on the mod, and again make sure that it’s tightened down as far as possible (but don’t go crazy with over-tightening). Check that the resistance is reading accurately and lock the resistance if applicable (typically by pressing the +/- buttons).

If you are using a rebuildable atomizer, stainless steel is the only TC coil material that can be dry-burned if needed—but start at a very low wattage. Skipping the dry burning process is recommended though. If you slightly space your coils, you will generally not have hot spots. Plus, the resistance will be more consistent and easier for the mod to identify.

Some TC mods will allow you to change the wattage as well as the temp, but some automatically set your watts. If you can adjust the watts and you’re using stock coils for a tank, set your wattage and temp to the lowest recommendation printed on the coil head. You can change up from there to suit your own preferences. A mod that works well in TC should automatically limit the wattage when the set temp limit is reached; in this case, by changing the wattage you are mainly affecting ramp-up time.

Best temperature to vape e-juice

Common vaping temperatures are in the range 390°F to 480°F (200°C to 250°C ), with the temperature usually adjusted quickly in increments of 10°F (5°C).

Set your target temperature. Hopefully, you’ll get a good vape and, because it’s TC, you should be able to take really long hits without fear of overheating the coil and wick. It should be just like normal—except when you run out of juice you’ll notice the vapor dropping off significantly.

Adjust the temperature up or down if necessary. Like most things in vaping, your sweet spot will be subjective. How you want to vape your e-juice is a matter of personal preference. Do you like it hot or cool? It’s up to you!

When vaping in TC, if you do notice any dryness when you’re low on juice, adjust the temperature down. If your mod has wattage control in TC, you can adjust that too. Higher is usually fine, but don’t go too low; as mentioned earlier, your mod should limit your wattage when the set temp is reached, but it won’t compensate when the wattage is set too low.

The pros of temperature control

  • Avoiding dry hits / burnt hits: There’s a number of ways to prevent dry and burnt hits, but a key advantage to TC is that it does it for you. In TC mode, if the wick runs dry the temperature will start to rise, and therefore the temperature protection will immediately cut power to compensate. The result: instead of a nasty dry hit, you simply get less vapor, making you think “ah, I need more juice!” Not “ugh! I just got a nasty hit!”
  • Coil and wick life: Avoiding bad hits means not over-heating the coil and not singeing your cotton; it’s the singeing that tastes so bad. TC coils can last longer than normal power-mode coils, and wicks last a lot longer too because they’re not exceeding the designated temperature necessary for a good vape.
  • 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.
  • Vape consistency: By having control over the temperature your coils can rise to, the vape will be consistent from puff to puff, and even within one puff. In regular wattage mode, the hits are more inconsistent because the heat of the coil changes based on the length of the hit. That’s fine for short and fast hits, but the longer you draw on a non-TC coil the hotter it will get—and heat changes everything!

The cons of temperature control

  • May get complicated: Generally speaking, power (watts) mode is usually more straightforward and intuitive to work with. Just set your wattage and vape. Temperature control might require some trial and error and a bit of tweaking here and there.
  • Mod limitations: Not all mods are good TC mods. In fact, many of the cheaper massively produced mods are not designed with TC in mind and will come with various limitations and shortcomings. You have to shop around if you are after value in the TC department.
  • Limited to certain materials: Kanthal is still the most common coil metal in vaping and Ni80 is making a push lately. While stainless steel is still popular, the majority of tanks don’t come with TC-ready coils. If you want to vape in TC, and you are not interested in building your own coils, truth is that your choices are limited.

Final word on TC

Temperature control vaping can be an amazing experience. It provides the security of consistency that wattage vaping often lacks. No one likes dry or burnt hits, or vapes that get too hot with long hits. TC vaping solves that.

Although it’s still not as popular as regular wattage mode, there are vapes for beginners that are making TC much more user-friendly. In fact, there are even pod vapes that make TC vaping automatic. Keep an eye out for vapes that come with “automatic dry hit protection” or similar features. If you are tired of frequent dry hits and don’t feel like tinkering with settings and temps, auto-TC might be just what you’re looking for.

My first attempt at vaping came back in 2009 on some of the first cigalikes to ever reach Europe. A couple of attempts -- and vaping tech generations later -- I managed to quit smoking in 2016, and have since then developed somewhat of an obsession with all things vaping. When I am not consuming vape reviews I am either tinkering my NBA fantasy teams or playing board games with friends.
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Tyndaldi
Tyndaldi
2 years ago

I don’t post on much, but this article deserves credit. Very simply described TC. Blowing smooth, huge plumes off my Species now with the Baby V2 K4. (it was popping bad in wattage mode when using 70/30 VG/PG, but now is beautiful.)

Tyndaldi
Tyndaldi
2 years ago

Hah! I had read that Kanthal part after I had tried the K4 in TC mode. Didn’t notice any negative hit. I’m thinking the problem is my liquid is too thin and flooding my K4 before being heated by the coil. May be a faulty coil, but the TC mode stopped the issues I was getting in Wattage mode which was massive popping and hot vapor. Ordered some max VG and 80/20 to fix that so I can do wattage mode like I’m supposed too. The 80/20 liquid I tried worked well, and when I went back to 70/30, I… Read more »

Ray
Ray
1 year ago
Reply to  Tyndaldi

Can you please state the TC parameters, I mean the settings, you used for vaping on a K4 coil?
Thanks

Ucf
Ucf
2 years ago

Honestly it’s amazing article ..thanks a lot.. TC mode is more comfortable to me on my target mini vape .. no more hits .. 190 c’ is my point ..satisfied vapor and tasty flavour.. tnx

Richard
Richard
2 years ago

Thanks for the info. I used TC for a short time a couple years ago. I had no idea what any of the settings meant but somehow picked the perfect setup for me on the 1St try so I didn’t change anything. With my new mod and tank I wasn’t so lucky but thanks to your info I think I’m finally getting it dialed in. I just wish I could find an app that I could choose my setup and get a list of general settings to get started.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard

Very informative Article, I was on and off vaping but recently I tried a squonk and I am hooked up to vaping exclusively, squonk and good TC/TCR is the best combination on the vaping world.

Many thanks for the article

jemi
jemi
2 years ago

Hello, I’ve never used a vape before and I want to use it now.
What’s the best vape mod with TC atm? Cost range between $300

em
em
2 years ago
Reply to  jemi

the vape i use is called vola and its by kangertech. it has multiple settings including temp control. its a good vape for beginners and it’s nice and pocket sized and it’s around 60$ or so.

Scott
Scott
2 years ago

A couple of edits and adds: Your forward successfully describes temperature limiting devices like the earliest devices should be described. The application of power at variable rates dictate the speed at which temperature is achieved, this is the true “control” in tempature control. Leading me to my second add in the benefits. E-Liquid flavors have become increasingly complex over the years. Controlling the rate of speed and ultimate temperature limit allows the user to fully experience the complexity of their liquid, thus tayloring the their experience. The board by itself has no idea what the ambient room tempature is if… Read more »

Saor Alba gu brath
Saor Alba gu brath
2 years ago
Reply to  Scott

Great informative post. Thanks Scott.

Christian
Christian
2 years ago
Reply to  Scott

In regards to locking the resistance, you name the only reason to do so: “… or the device has gotten it’s reading when very warm or cool…”

Some devices read the resistance after powering them on (remember the question “Is this a new coil or the same?”).

Mike
Mike
1 year ago
Reply to  Christian

I have geekvape Ageeus 100 I finally got my temperature correct how do I get it back into wattage mode

Scott
Scott
2 years ago
Reply to  Christian

“In regards to Evolv Boards only” is the response to the restistance locking. “New coil / Old coil” is reference to setting resistance not locking, there is a difference. In setting the resistance you are allowing the board to offset the temperature between ambient and the boards temperature. Even a slight pulse will cause the temperature to rapidly rise 5+ degrees, this would cause your “set” resistance to be off, locking it would only prevent the evolv chip set from refining its reading to ambient temperature. Now on the “C” series of Evolv boards there is a whole other approach… Read more »

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