What’s This Temperature Control All About? Lets Take A Closer Look
The e-cigarette market seems overwhelmed with temperature controlled devices these days but to the initiated temperature control just seems like yet another confusing aspect to vaping.
In this guide I will do my best to explain to you just what temperature control is, what benefits and drawbacks it has and hopefully it will help you determine whether it’s really for you.
What Does Temp Control Actually Do?
Have you ever had a dry hit? Ever used an RDA (Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer) and had your vape suddenly taste really nasty due to your cotton drying out? Have you ever had your cotton dry out so much that it went up in flames?
The answer is of course “yes” since this kind of thing has happened to most of us at one time or another.
One of the purposes of temperature control was to prevent this happening since it has been reported that burnt cotton isn’t good for you since it can give off formaldehyde and other harmful substances.
One feature of temperature control is that the chipset in your mod can detect when your coil is getting too hot due to the absence of liquid and it will cut off the power to prevent you from torching your cotton.
In terms of benefits it’s pretty obvious since nobody likes the test of burnt wick and for someone who uses RDA’s a lot it makes for a good reminder as to when you should refill your atomizer due to a low juice level.
However from the perspective of people like myself who have used RDA’s for a very long time you tend to automatically get used to how much you need to drip and whether your cotton is starting to dry out so it’s not really needed.
Still on the positive side of things it is useful to people who are new to RDA’s and can serve as a good safety feature.
Another benefit is that cotton burn prevention also works in Sub Ohm tanks that use replaceable Nickel coils (Ni200) such as the Freemax Starre Pro, the Sense Herakles, Innokin iSub S and many others.
I am sure we’ve all been at that stage with a tank or clearomizer when the coil starts to get really grungy and we have all at some point noticed the burnt taste that accompanies it since it’s not pleasant and it makes for a bad experience.
When using a coil with temperature control it minimizes the chance of that situation occurring and providing you don’t push the mod to silly temperatures it will potentially make your coil last longer.
Please note and this is extremely important. Don’t use anything other than a Nickel or Titanium coil when using the temperature control mode on your device. Some mods are also compatible with stainless steel but please check compatibility.
It is also very important that you never dry burn Ni200 coils.
The correct way to use a Ni200 coil is to prime it first with some e-juice so the cotton becomes saturated then fit it and fill up your tank. Allow the cotton to absorb the juice very much like you would do with a standard tank. Once you have given it sufficient time you can start to vape.
How Does TC Benefit Flavour?
Have you ever found that you hit the sweet spot with your vape? What I mean by that is that some coils work better at a specific wattage and sometimes the juice just tastes that little bit better at a certain temperature, noticeably when the coil has been heated several times in a row.
One of the most useful features of temperature control is that it allows for flavor adjustment.
Typically temp control allows you to set a specific temperature that you like and then by adjusting the Watts/Joules you can tailor your vape for each of your juices. By also allowing the adjustment of temperature you can get a lot more refinement and flexibility to your vape than you would with Kanthal coils and regular wattage adjustment.
At the end of the day the simplest way to put it is like this:
Sometimes juices just don’t taste right and adjusting the wattage up or down is not doing the job but by tweaking the actual temperature you can get far better results.
So What’s All This Joules Nonsense?
When you are someone who is used to seeing Watts on a device it can be quite confusing to suddenly see the Wattage displayed as Joules. To cut a long story Evolv who originally made the DNA chips ensured by legal means that any other manufacturer who made a temperature control mode for their device couldn’t display Watts but instead has to use Joules.
I know this is completely nuts but that’s how it is. Essentially 40W and 40J are the same thing so don’t worry about it because you will get used to it.
In many ways I find it a useful reminder because if the display shows Joules then I know I am in temperature control mode.
The Cotton Burn Test
When people get a new temperature control device they typically set up a RDA with a Nickel coil, wick it with cotton and then without putting any juice on the cotton they fire the mod.
It might seem a bit extreme but the idea is to gauge whether or not temperature control is functioning properly.
The Fire Point (the temperature at which it will continue to burn for at least 5 seconds after ignition by an open flame) is: 210°C (410°F).
If your device is functioning correctly the cotton won’t go up in flames. Of course if you increase the temperature too far beyond the Fire Point it will burn.
It is something of an extreme test and it isn’t really something the average user needs to mess around with but if you suspect your e cig mod is not working correctly with temperature control it is well worth trying.
A Word About Coils
A device running temperature control has to be used with an atomizer that uses a Nickel (Ni200) or a Titanium (Ti) coil. Bear in mind Titanium functionality is not supported on all temperature control mods.
Ni200 coils are straightforward to use providing you remember never to dry burn them.
There are drawbacks to Titanium coils since there is the potential to give off Titanium Dioxide at extreme temperatures. Titanium is not as widely used as Nickel for the time being and rather than writing a massive amount about it here you would be better served by reading the following articles:
If you do intend to work with Titanium then please do make sure to buy only Medical Grade Titanium which can be found at Stealthvape.
Nickel (Ni200) for RDA’s and RTA’s
Working with Nickel wire to make your own coils for RDA’s and RTA’s can be slightly more challenging especially when you are used to working with Kanthal. Nickel is very brittle and loses its shape easily.
It does take some getting used to and one of the most important things is that you need to space your coil wraps evenly. Since you can’t dry burn Nickel like you would Kanthal in order to pinch your coils it is trickier.
If you are interested in working with Nickel wire then do go to Stealthvape and purchase their Tempered Ni200 Wire because it is stronger and easier to work with.
When fitting Nickel wire you do need to make absolutely sure that the wire is firmly secured. If the wire isn’t secured properly the device will show inaccurate results and you do require accuracy for temperature control to function correctly.
The problem is that being very soft Nickel tends to break quite easily when screwing down Philips screws so it is advisable that you only build Nickel coils on RTA’s and RDA’s that have grub screws because they don’t tend to snap the wire.
Spacing your coils can either be done on a coil tool by hand or for better results it is advisable to use a typical bolt that has evenly spaced threading. Make sure the bolt is the correct diameter according to the coil you wish to make and then wrap you nickel in the tracks of the bolt’s threading. Believe me it makes things much easier.
Wicking a Ni200 coil is a little different.
The key thing I will say here is that “less is more”. You ideally want to use far less cotton than you would typically would for a Kanthal build.
It will take a little experimenting for you to get the right results but one thing to note is that if your device is having hissy fits stating “Temperature Protect” with a new Ni200 coil that has been wicked and juiced then too much cotton is the typical culprit.
You Can’t Use Kanthal
Kanthal doesn’t work with temperature control and won’t give you accurate results if you use it with that mode enabled. While it is true that the IJoy Asolo 200W device does feature cotton burn prevention for Kanthal it isn’t truly proper temperature control.
So stick to Nickel or Titanium please.
Resistance Lock On Supported Devices
A very useful feature of many new devices that feature temperature control is the ability to lock the resistance. How this works is typically by screwing on a new atomizer and then with say the Sigelei 150W TC or the IPV4 you hold down the plus and minus buttons.
It then displays the resistance and will lock it. This ensures that the temperature control will always work accurately.
Put cold atomizers on your mod before enabling temperature control
This one is pretty much common sense but some people still fall foul of it. If you want your device to give you an accurate result when you screw on your atomizer please make sure it is completely cool.
An atomizer that has been used on another temperature control device which has been heated up will mean you get the wrong base temperature for it on a new device and this can cause you lots of issues.
Not All Temperature Control Devices Are Created Equally
Temperature control is new (as of writing) and in many ways is still in its infancy. Bear in mind that some devices that claim to feature temp control don’t necessarily work as well as others.
An example is Joyetech’s Evic VT device which works without fault in Titanium mode but is what you would call quite broken in Nickel mode.
Other vape mods might let you set the temperature but won’t let you adjust the Wattage/Joules. These devices are far less flexible and you would do well to purchase something with more functionality.
For devices that have worked for me without issue in temperature control I would suggest the following:
All three of these devices can be purchased for under £100. The SX Mini M Class of course has fully functioning temperature control but considering its £170 price tag it is something of a luxury purchase.
It is important that whatever you choose to buy you read as much as you can about them so you can make the right purchase.
A good rule of thumb is that any temperature control device that has a YIHI chipset in it will tend to work without issues.
We also have a list of some of the best temp control mods that you can take a look at.
This guide has really been intended as a primer for vapers looking to get more information on TC. There is so much information out there regarding temperature control we really can’t do in one guide so the best advice I can offer is that if you are interested in temperature control then read a lot and watch plenty of YouTube tutorials.
In addition ask lots of questions on E-Cig forums.