The Pros and Cons of Temperature Control Vaping
A few years ago, temperature control was a new technology that seemed poised to take over the vaping hobby. Today, though, things look a little different. Although temperature control is available on virtually every regulated mod that exists, temperature control coils are becoming harder to find. Many vaping product manufacturers aren’t even offering temperature control coils for their latest sub-ohm tanks. Does that mean that temperature control vaping has run its course and that you shouldn’t bother with it? Not necessarily. Although temperature control does have a few drawbacks, it also has several benefits. In this guide, we’ll explain the pros and cons of temperature control vaping.
The Benefits of Temperature Control Vaping
Elimination of Dry Hits
If you’ve ever had a dry hit because you were chain vaping or forgot to refill your tank, you know how unpleasant dry hits can be. They taste awful and create a terrible burning sensation in the throat and lungs. They’re also probably very unhealthy. A dry hit happens when e-liquid stops reaching the atomizer coil in your e-cigarette. The coil might be dry because your tank is empty or because your atomizer coil’s wick isn’t drawing e-liquid in as quickly as the coil is vaporizing it. When you enable the temperature control function on your device, you set a maximum temperature that the atomizer coil cannot exceed. During a dry hit, an atomizer coil becomes extremely hot. If you’re vaping in temperature control mode, your device detects the high temperature and reduces its power before the dry hit occurs. Dry hits rarely happen in temperature control mode. If your atomizer coil is dry, your e-cigarette simply stops producing vapor.
If you currently use a sub-ohm tank and operate your e-cigarette in wattage mode, it might surprise you to learn that your device’s atomizer coil reaches temperatures much higher than are possible in temperature control mode. If you like your vapor on the warmer side, you might think of that as a drawback. If you enjoy a cooler vaping experience that focuses more on flavor than on huge clouds, though, you’ll probably find temperature control vaping a refreshing change.
Increased Coil Life
If you vape at high wattage settings, chain vape or consistently take long puffs, it’s likely that you’re vaping much of the time with a wick that isn’t completely saturated with e-liquid. If you’re vaping with a wick that isn’t wet, you’re damaging the wick and reducing the life of your coil. You can tell whether that’s happening by looking at the wicks of your used coils when you remove them from your tank. Are your coils coming out with wicks so discolored that the external wick openings are black? Temperature control vaping can benefit you by dialing down the power to protect the cotton before it burns.
The Drawbacks of Temperature Control Vaping
You can’t use a standard kanthal coil for temperature control vaping because the resistance of a kanthal wire doesn’t change significantly when the wire is heated. Temperature control mode requires a coil material with a high thermal coefficient of resistance. The device monitors the resistance of your coil while you vape and uses the change in resistance to estimate the coil’s temperature. The higher the coil’s TCR, the more accurate the temperature estimate will be.
These are the TCR values for some common vaping coil materials.
- Kanthal: .00002
- 316 Stainless Steel: .00092
- Titanium: .00350
- Nickel: .00620
Not all devices that support temperature control will work with stainless steel coils, and those that do support stainless steel aren’t always very accurate. You’ll get the best results with nickel and titanium coils. The problem, though, is that every coil type has its own unique taste. If you decide to experiment with temperature control vaping, you should try both nickel and titanium coils. Try each coil type for several days to see whether you can get used to the different flavor. Some people find that the flavor experience with a temperature control is too unfamiliar to be enjoyable. If that’s the case for you, you’ll either have to use a stainless steel coil – and cope with less accurate temperature measurements – or forgo temperature control vaping and use a traditional kanthal coil instead.
Reduced Coil Selection
If you use a sub-ohm tank with pre-made coils, you might find your first visit to a local vape shop disappointing when you decide to give temperature control vaping a try. Since they’re slow sellers, many vape shops don’t carry nickel or titanium coils. It’s also getting harder to find new sub-ohm tanks with nickel and titanium coils available. Temperature control vaping has been available for a while, but the vaping community overwhelmingly prefers using kanthal coils in wattage mode. Many manufacturers haven’t even bothered to make nickel or titanium coils for their latest tanks. Stainless steel is a bit more common since it works in both wattage and temperature control modes. Because stainless steel has a relatively low TCR, though, many devices can’t estimate its temperature accurately. If you want to use a sub-ohm tank with pre-made coils for temperature control vaping – and you want accurate temperature measurements – you’ll essentially be stuck with last-generation sub-ohm tanks.
Different Coil Building Process
You don’t need to worry about selection if you build your own atomizer coils – you can simply buy a spool of nickel or titanium wire and start building. You’ll find, though, that the process of building a nickel or titanium coil differs significantly from the kanthal coil building process. You can’t dry fire a nickel or titanium coil, for example, to check for hot spots. Titanium can form titanium dioxide – which isn’t safe to inhale – and nickel can produce fumes. You’ll likely need to build spaced coils to avoid hot spots. Many people also find that nickel and titanium do not form coils as easily as kanthal. Titanium coils tend to unravel easily, and nickel softens when it’s heated. With time, you’ll get used to the characteristics of nickel and titanium – but your first few coils may turn out to be duds.
- Blazed Vapes Staff