The Features & Benefits of Temperature Control
Temperature control vaping offers a number of benefits over more basic vaping devices. Not only does it give the user more control over both the flavor and nicotine hit, it also helps prolong the life of your device and consumable components.
Many people who get started with simple vaporizers graduate to temperature control devices once they discover that they can use a TC device to gain more control of their vape experience and tailor it to their liking.
Temperature control devices use the resistance of different coil types to change the temperature of the vape. Certain coil materials have a lower resistance than others, and by switching out coils and then adjusting the temperature settings on your device, you can manage how much heat is put out.
The goal is to find a balance where you are getting an adequate nicotine hit, the flavor of your e-juice is unfolding nicely and you are not burning up your wicks.
Each flavor of e-juice reacts differently at different temperatures. This is because the chemicals involved in those flavors are activated in different ranges.
Changing the temperature can bring out more or less of a single element within your flavor, ultimately changing the way the entire liquid tastes together. This is also true of liquid nicotine, which offers a stronger hit up to a point and then begins to decrease in effectiveness if it is overheated. Similarly, TC dry herb vapes change how the chemicals are released from the herbs, and how strong the effects are.
It is also worth noting that temperature control also allows you to manage the temperature of the vapor as it hits your lips. Some pen style vapes did not have a long enough vapor path to adequately cool the vapor before it reached the user’s mouth. This is less of a problem with modern TC vapes because you aren’t vaping at full temperature all the time.
What is Temperature Control Vaping?
To be precise, temperature control vaping means using the resistance of your vaporizer coils to monitor the temperature of your vapor. As current is applied to the coil it begins to heat up. Then the resistance of the coil increases to match the change in heat. The device uses specialized software to interrupt power flow and prevent the heat from reaching the cut-off threshold.
Each type of metal used in temperature control coils has a different rate of heating and resistance rise, so you can experiment with different styles of TC coils to find one that feels comfortable to you.
Other factors that affect temperature control include changing the number of wraps in the coil and the spacing of the wraps. Wraps placed too close together could short circuit and overheat, while those placed too far apart could reduce conductivity. Again, the appropriate balance needs to be found.
While this may sound complex, most Temperature Control devices are actually quite easy to use. You can purchase different styles of coils and atomizers designed specifically for TC vaping. All you have to do is install them just like you would on a regular vape pen or personal vaporizer.
The majority of your work is done with the on-screen menus of the device which allow you to actually set the threshold for the temperature you want. Then the device measures the changes in resistance and adjusts the power output to maintain the desired temperature.
Once you’ve learned how it works, you can start making coils on your own by buying different kinds of wire, but you need to make sure you can do the math and measure the resistance of your homemade coils properly.
How is a TC MOD Different from Other MODs?
If you are moving from an e-cigarette or a simple vape pen, you will notice a number of changes when you go to a temperature control device. Instead of having a single firing button to control your device, nearly all temperature control devices use a screen of some sort and multiple buttons that allow you to scroll through your options.
The screen will give you useful information about your current temperature settings, and may allow you to jump between saved pre-sets for convenience.
In early TC devices you had to select the type of coils you were using before your device could accurately use temperature control mode, but many of today’s models use a modern sensor system to automatically detect your coil’s resistance and gauge the temperature control metrics it will use.
While there are some smaller temperature control devices that are meant to be portable like a vape pen, most TC devices are also larger capacity than simple vape pens. They tend to have larger tanks, and significantly larger batteries. This gives them a longer lifespan between refills and recharges. Most TC devices also support software upgrades from the manufacturer, which often make them more efficient and more powerful with time.
Once you’ve found a temperature setting that you like on your TC mod, you will find that it is a much more personalized experience than a pre-packaged e-cigarette or vape pen that doesn’t give you the TC option. This is why so many people have found TC vaping to be a more enjoyable experience than using a generic vape pen. Today when you buy a TC vaporizer, you are investing in a device that will last you for years.
Am I Ready For a Temperature Control MOD?
The decision to move to a temperature control mod is really up to each individual. With the more advanced technology you also have to learn a number of skills and performance metrics for your device.
If you are uncomfortable working with technology and don’t want to figure out how to upgrade your device via your computer, or how to set up a device the first time, it may not be for you.
For everybody else, the switch to a TC device usually comes after you have learned the proper technique for drawing vapor from a device, and you’ve adjusted to the differences between vapor and cigarette smoke, for those using vaping as an alternative to tobacco.
If you made the switch to an e-cigarette or vape pen, but you still find the experience lacking on the delivery, it is time to upgrade to something with more power. Even if you are unsure about learning the new technology for temperature control, there are a number of entry-level TC devices that make a good stepping stone as you transition to more advanced vaporizers.
Another common concern when it comes to upgrading is the cost of a TC device. Over the last couple years, TC devices have taken over the market and theirs prices have been steadily declining. This has made TC tech widely available, where before it was quite costly.
Still, it is an investment you are making, so you should be ready to spend the money for a quality device and maintain it well throughout its life. Plan on buying accessories and your own batteries for most TC devices, in contrast to the built-in batteries of simpler devices.
Choosing the Best Temperature Control MOD for You
Choosing the right temperature control vaporizer for you will depend on your personal tastes and what you want out of your device. If you are new to temperature control vaping, you will probably want a device with a simple, streamlined menu and a handful of pre-sets that will guide you in the early stages of your TC journey.
For those more confident in their technical abilities, you might want a more advanced device that lets you experience TC with no such limitations.
You should also be considering the price of the devices on the market. There are some high-end luxury devices that feature leather side panels and real wood inlays, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a solid quality device.
You also don’t have to buy the device with the highest wattage rating just to get started. 300W might impress your friends, but you probably won’t be using all of that power, so most people can stick to something less powerful for their daily vape.
Finally, you may want to head to a local vapor shop and pick up a few different devices to see how they fit in your hands. Depending on how you naturally hold the device and the size of the body, some devices may feel large and unwieldy.
On the other hand, some devices may feel too small or flimsy. The location of the firing button may affect your comfort level as well. Check out the location of the screen and other buttons to decide whether or not they will work with your natural and comfortable holding positions.
Can You Explain How Temperature Coefficients Work?
A new trend in the land of temperature control vaping is temperature coefficients of resistance or TCR.
TCR is actually an advanced version of the standard temperature control settings. A basic temperature control device is designed to work with a specific range of coils and materials. It basically allows you to use temperature control mode with a selection of recommended coils that you can choose from a list.
Some devices give you three or four options to choose, from while others only offer two coil options. Temperature coefficient of resistance removes all of these limitations. The reason is that early TC devices were pre-programmed with specific heat and resistance exchange rates that were known to manufacturers because they were also producing the TC coils for you to use. When you moved to homemade coils or accessories built by other manufacturers, the math didn’t carry over as well.
With temperature coefficient of resistance, you have the power to tell the device what you’re using and what kind of equation it should be using to monitor temperature. Again, most TCR devices actually use sensors to measure the resistance of the coils you install and automatically adjust the math accordingly.
However, if you do have to manually enter the information into your device, there are a number of online calculators and charts you can use to figure out the math.
Basically, temperature coefficients are just a way to make the vaping experience even better by opening the technology up for use with the best accessories anywhere on the market.
Should I Use Watts or Joules?
The debate between watts and joules is a difficult one. When vaporizer manufacturers wanted to offer vapers a better experience they introduced variable voltage devices.
These devices literally controlled the amount of power coming off the batteries, which had some limitations. It was imprecise and could be dangerous if the user didn’t measure resistance properly.
The solution was to move to variable wattage devices. It is significantly easier to adjust the wattage of the device and allow the computer to set a safe and appropriate voltage for any given resistance setting. Variable wattage is now one of the most common features of vaporizers above the cig-a-like level, and it offers the ability to adjust in smaller increments to fit your tastes. However, it is still ultimately a measure of the power being produced by your device at any given time.
Joules, on the other hand, are a measure of the temperature of your device. After a series of explosions caused by overheating batteries, some manufacturers offered Joules as a way of managing your device instead of wattage. With Joules you can set a maximum internal temperature for your device, and it will cut off if it reaches that temperature. It will also modulate cooling as you vape to maintain a steady temperature. This has the same effect as temperature control vaping but offers a different way of actually controlling the heat curve.
The choice is largely left to the user. It is worth experimenting with both controls to see how they work, but variable wattage still remains the easiest and most common way to adjust your vape.
Should I Use Nickel or Titanium Wire?
Like much of vaping, the choice of coils will depend on your device and personal preferences. Most TC devices are set up to accept both Nickel and Titanium wires. This is generally denoted by the chemical symbols Ni-200 and Ti. There are people on both sides of the issue who have strong feelings about the best material to use, so be sure to do your research before making a decision.
For a long time, nickel was the most popular wire used for building coils. It is relatively inexpensive, and has a low resistance. Many people start building their own coils using nickel because it is cheap and easy to learn with while you practice wrapping, measuring and cutting wires on your own.
Unfortunately it has several downsides. First of all, it is a very soft metal, which means that it does not hold its shape very well if it is bumped around. Secondly, nickel is known to give off some chemical byproducts when heated. While there have been no reports of serious illness or injury caused by this, some vapers say that they have a mild allergic reaction to the metal when vaping with it, and others simply say that the nickel changes the taste of their e-liquids by adding a harsh flavor somewhere in the mix.
Titanium is a newer addition to the vape scene. It is slightly more expensive, but performs well when compared to Nickel. It is a slightly stronger metal that retains its shape better once it’s been wrapped. It also has a lower resistance rating, and is widely free of flavors and chemicals that would alter the taste of your vape.
Do I Need a Special Tank for TC Vaping?
For the most part, any rebuildable tank atomizer or rebuildable drip atomizer can be used in conjunction with a temperature control device. Any tank marked as a sub-ohm tank can also be used as a TC device.
The element that changes a device from variable wattage vaping to temperature control is the type of coil you have installed. Once you install a Titanium or Ni-200 coil, you are in temperature control range and ready to go.
The biggest thing to look out for is whether or not a tank fits your device properly. As the shape of TC mods has changed over time, tanks have ranged in size from 20 mm diameters to 25 mm diameters. This affects the way it sits on top of your device, as well as how much room you have for installing coils and how much liquid the tank can hold.
Many starter kits come with a tank that is recommended by the manufacturer for use with the device, but you can always shop around for features like airflow controls and other items that improve the performance of the tank.