When you shop for advanced vape mods, temperature control – often shortened to “TC” – is one of the most common terms you’ll see. If you’ve ever dealt with dry hits when vaping – or you have trouble getting satisfying clouds out of your vaping device without experiencing harshness – temperature control is an idea that might capture your imagination.
Is it really possible to control the temperature when you vape instead of only controlling the wattage? The answer is yes – sort of. The experience of vaping in temperature control mode may not be exactly what you’re envisioning. Although virtually every regulated box mod made today has temperature control mode available, few people ever use it. Temperature control vaping does work, but it also has a few shortcomings that many people find impossible to overcome. You’re about to find out what those shortcomings are. When you’re done reading, you should have a good idea of whether temperature control vaping is something you want to pursue.
The Principle Behind Temperature Control Vaping
The property of metal that makes temperature control vaping work is called the Temperature Coefficient of Resistance (TCR). The electrical resistance of a metal changes as the temperature of the metal changes. TCR expresses the relationship between temperature and resistance. If you know the starting resistance and current resistance of a metal, you can estimate the metal’s temperature by measuring the change in resistance as long as you know the metal’s TCR. A device that supports temperature control vaping can measure a coil’s resistance in real time and make those calculations.
The Requirements for Temperature Control Vaping
Trying temperature control vaping for yourself isn’t quite as simple as enabling that mode on your mod. To use temperature control mode, you need an atomizer coil with a metal that has a high TCR. Common coil materials such as kanthal and nichrome, for example, change very little in resistance as they heat up. Those materials aren’t suitable for temperature control vaping. In order from the highest TCR to the lowest, the three best coil materials for temperature control mode are nickel, titanium and stainless steel. The higher the TCR, the more accurately your vaping device can estimate its temperature.
To experience temperature control vaping, you need two things:
- A vaping coil made from nickel, titanium, stainless steel or another high-TCR material
- A vaping device that supports temperature control operation with your chosen coil material or allows you to enter a custom TCR
What’s It Like to Vape in Temperature Control Mode?
Settings for Temperature Control Vaping
When you enable temperature control mode on your vaping device, you’re going to see some options that you don’t normally see. Most devices allow you to change two things in temperature control mode.
- The device’s preheating wattage. This determines how much power the device sends to the coil, which affects its initial vapor production when you press the fire button. The wattage also determines how quickly the coil reaches the maximum temperature.
- The desired maximum coil temperature. When the coil reaches that temperature, the device cuts the power to the coil to prevent a dry hit.
It’s more accurate to think of temperature control mode as temperature limiting mode. Your vaping device won’t operate at a constant temperature. Rather, it simply won’t exceed the temperature you set.
The Experience of Temperature Control Vaping
The first thing you’ll notice about temperature control vaping is that it isn’t for cloud chasing. The maximum temperature that your device will allow you to set – usually 600 degrees Fahrenheit – is probably lower than the temperature at which you currently vape if you use a cloud chasing tank or build your own vape coils. You will have to vape at a relatively low wattage if you don’t want your coil to reach the maximum temperature immediately. If you’re a cloud chaser, you may not like that. If you hate any amount of harshness when vaping, though, you might love it.
The second thing you’ll notice – this is the biggest point in favor of temperature control vaping – is that temperature control makes dry hits almost impossible. A dry hit happens most often because you’ve forgotten to fill your tank. When that happens, the coil glows and emits noxious fumes. If you’re using temperature control, though, the coil will never get to that point because the device will detect the temperature increase and cut power. If you’re using temperature control mode and forget to refill your tank, your device will simply stop producing vapor.
The Biggest Problem With Temperature Control Vaping
The biggest problem with temperature control vaping is that it has never attained mainstream popularity. You can get the most accurate readings with nickel and titanium coils, but most vaping product manufacturers have already phased those coils out of their lineups due to lack of demand.
Stainless steel coils are available for many tanks, but the temperature readings with stainless steel coils are less accurate. The change in resistance when you heat stainless steel is actually so small that stainless coils work fine in wattage mode. If you want to use a titanium or nickel coil, you won’t find one for any recent tank – and building coils from those materials isn’t easy.
Is Temperature Control Vaping Right for You?
Is temperature control vaping right for you? It’s worth trying if any of these statements apply to you.
- You experience dry hits frequently because you forget to keep your tank full.
- You burn your wicks frequently from taking very long puffs or vaping at high wattage settings.
- You prefer cool vapor that’s never harsh.
Temperature control vaping may not be for you, on the other hand, if you are a cloud chaser and either use nothing but the very latest tanks or build complex coils from thick, high-mass wires. You won’t find a nickel or titanium coil for any tank made within the last couple of years, and most people find that it’s impossible to build anything but the simplest of coils with those materials. You can use a stainless steel coil in temperature control mode if your device supports it, but again, the experience isn’t likely to be better than using the same coil in wattage mode.
Jason Artman is the owner and author of eCig One. A professional freelance writer and SEO consultant with more than a decade of experience, Jason works with vaping companies around the world to increase their targeted web traffic and improve their revenue
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