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Before we actually get to the mod itself a little bit of explanation is in order regarding the name…. as ‘Innokin CoolFire IV TC 100W’ is mouthful to say the least! The CoolFire series by Innokin is best described as their smart box series in that it is a small box mod that has been packed full of advanced, ‘smart’ features. Now in its fourth iteration the CoolFire series now offer Temperature Control abilities and can actually push 100watts to any attached tanks.

So you may be asking what is temperature controller and why would anyone want 100 watts of power? Well the second is ah… ummm… complicated. Most actually will never ‘need’ 100 watts of power. Hell most average single coils builds are fine at 25-35watts and most duals are perfect at 70 or less… but then there are those beast tanks out there that need ultra-high power to push massive clouds. Yeah. Basically, more is better as it gives you more options… even if you may never take advantage of it.

As for temperature control that actually is important. Though it is more accurate to say resistance control rather than temperature control. Basically, with certain types of wire the resistance at room temperature vs resistance at given ‘temperatures’ changes in a very consistent and measurable manner. Basically, TC allows the mod to read this resistance in real time and then lower the wattage (aka power) to keep the coil from getting hotter and hotter. The end result is you can set a ‘temperature’ and your vaping experience will always be the same. Plus, no more dry hits as the resistance of a dry coil quickly skyrockets and yet the mod will never let it really burn itself into cinders like it would in wattage only mode.

So with these two key pieces of information the name does become a lot more clear and a lot less pretentious sounding… as it literally is telling you exactly what you can expect from this mod – an intelligent controller that can not only push 100watts but can also do temperature based regulation and not just wattage. That is rather impressive when you think about it as this is still a more entry level orientated kit that is meant to retail for only fifty dollars.

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Moving on the CoolFire IV (as we are going to call it for brevities sake) is a fairly compact and portable ‘box mod’ that comes with an integrated, non-removable, battery. To be precise this model’s dimensions are 23.8mm by 44.5mm (at its widest) by 8.57cm, and comes with a built in 3300mAh battery. While this does make the CoolFire IV bigger than truly entry level Innokin Endura T22 the difference is not that great – and so worth it. However, whether you need them or not the extra features and the increase dimensions do have a very nice fringe benefit in the form of making the CoolFire IV a lot easier to handle. It just feels more comfortable in your hands than the smaller T22 and sculpted sides really do fit the average hand a lot better. This may not sound like much of a benefit – as it is heavier – but if you have to hold on to your device for extended periods your hand will not be as fatigued. Or at least our hands were not as you simply have more surface area to grip it. This in turn means you don’t have to put it in a death grip for fear of it dropping. Once again this is not a knock against the Endura T22 but the CoolFire IV is more comfortable to handle.

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Before we move on, while it is bigger than the Endura T22 please understand that this is not a large mod. In fact, it is still on the slim slide for a box mode. Compared to say a Sigeli 213 (one of the slimmest dual 18650 battery mods available) this is a very svelte mod. Honestly, consider it ‘right sized’ and not ‘larger than a Endura 22’ for a more accurate picture of its dimensions.

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Some of this additional ease of holding is due to the increased dimensions but some of it is the ‘racing’ stripes that run the length of the mod on both sides. These ‘go faster’ stripes are actually rubber inserts that give the all metal chassis a much more grippier feel. We only wish they went horizontally and not vertically as that would have made them even more useful, and an even better anti-slip setup. But they are vertical so as to make the unit look better. Also on the positive side, if you want it to be even more anti-slip and easier to hold Innokin includes a free silicon skin. This will dull the look a bit and make reading the LCD harder but makes darn near as sure a thing as death and taxes when it comes to it not slipping!

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Beyond making it easier to hold this increased size is due to a couple of reasons. First and foremost, Innokin did have to make room for a bigger battery. However, the increase size is mainly due to the fact that it comes with an integrated LCD screen and multiple control buttons. The topmost button (nearest the tank) is the fire control button and just as with any mod when pressed it tells the integrated controller to ‘fire’ the circuit at whatever settings you have selected. In testing this button is tactile and does have a moderately level of resistance. So much so that unless you really try and make it misfire it really shouldn’t… and if it does you will probably hear the small click noise it makes.

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Before we move on we should also mention the fact that this series comes in numerous color options. So many that as long as you are not looking for dayglow orange, or royal purple, one of these should tickle your fancy. However, the color is the only thing that is different. All have the same abilities – even the ‘limited edition’ model we are reviewing today.

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If you look closely the bottom two buttons are marked with either a plus or minus symbol. The plus side increases the temperature or wattage (depending on mode the CoolFire IV is in) and the minus – you guessed it, reduces it. The LCD screen itself will instantly display what the temperature/wattage is set to and it really is intuitive to adjust to your personal preference.
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The mode the device is in by default does vary and basically all comes down to what coil you have installed inside the include iSub Vortex tank. This is because the Aethon controller housed inside the CoolFire IV has an autosensing ability and will guess which mode you ‘should’ be using. How it does this is actually very interesting in that when a new tank is installed it sends a very short burst of voltage through it and reads the resistance. Stainless Steel, Kanthal, Titanium, and Nickel all have different resistances so it knows if the resistance is for Kanthal that Temperature Control will not work. However, every time you install a tank on to the CoolFire IV the LCD screen will change and ask you to select the coil type.

Before you ask, no it will not actually work if you choose wrong. For instance, if you choose SS mode but are using a Kanthal coil it will fire only for a very short period of time and tell you there is an atomizer error… as the resistance it is expecting vs what it is getting is completely different. The only annoying part is that it only supports Stainless Steel 316, Nickel, and Titanium in TC mode. If you try and use SS304 it will yell at you… and force you to use wattage mode. In wattage mode it really does not care all that much about the resistance as it is not measuring it against its internal resistance curve to judge the temperature. It will only ping it, and then make its calculations on how much voltage it needs to pulse to hit the wattage setting you have entered.

Also on the plus side just because you install a Temperature Control capable coil does not mean you are stuck with TC mode. Just be careful as of the three supported TC metals only SS316 can really be safely used in wattage mode. Nickel (Ni200) for example can release a lot of nasties into your lungs if it gets too hot… and since wattage mode has no way of keeping the coil ‘temperature’ in the safe zone… you will eventually get a lung full of nasty vapors. This is one of the reasons we strongly recommend sticking with either Kanthal (for wattage only) or SS316 as both are safe choices that do not have a massive health ‘penalty’ for learning the ins and outs of vaping.

So why even bother with offering other metal types than these two? Heck why not just make SS316 coils and call it a day? Well that all comes down to personal preference. Some people feel that Nickel creates a nicer more flavorful vapor than stainless steel as its resistance change is a lot larger than with SS316 (which only has about 16% change across vaping temperatures compared to Ni200). Others feel Titanium is the ‘one true’ metal. Whereas Kanthal acolytes point out that it is more robust and can support higher wattage levels than its SS316 counterpart. Thus options can be a good thing… as long as you are aware of the metal types and choose the ‘proper’ coil type carefully!

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The reason we are harping on this potential issue is that Innokin actually makes a wide variety of replacement coil types for their iSub Vortex tank system. At this time they actually offer seven coil types to choose from and each and every one does change the performance characteristics of this rather flexible vaping system. Thankfully Innokin does clearly label the metal type used in a box of replacement coils, uses different colored wrappers for the coils, and even uses a different color o-ring on the coil… so it is rather hard to mess things up.

We personally would recommend picking up a box of the BVC SS316 and the Kanthal BVC Clapton replacement coils. These two Bottom Vertical Coil (BVC) types are the most popular for this system and we personally think .5ohm is a sweet spot for most vapers in that they produce good clouds, good flavor but does not drain a battery like a .2 can. Since they only cost about ten to fifteen dollars for five coils it is relatively inexpensive way of figuring out what you like: flavor(SS316) or clouds(Kanthal). Then you can play with the other types to see if Stainless Steel / Kanthal is optimal or one of other types is more up your alley…. But we will say kanthal Clapton coils are very popular and so too is SS316 so you may find that one of the two types you started with is where you end up!

Much like the CoolFire IV TC 100 nomenclature requires a bit of explain so too does the name scheme of the iSub Vortex tank. The Vortex references to the method in which the air is sucked in, through the coil, and then up the ‘chimney’. Basically vortex is a fancy marketing term. It is however a fairly accurate description. We will go over this in more detail in a moment. The ‘iSub’ refers to the fact that this tank is as sub-ohm tank! Yes unlike the Endura series of tanks this bad boy uses coils that can be found as low as .2 ohms. However, it also offers numerous coils that are 1.0 ohm and above. This means with just a simple coil change you the owner can play with bigger cloud, less battery life sub ohm’ing; or smaller cloud, longer life, above ohming. That is a lot of flexibility and adaptability baked into a starter kit. Brilliant stuff.

Much like most modern tanks the iSub Vortex is a top fill design, however as we will go over later in the review this tank has a built in system to ensure that the tank does not leak while filling. This certainly is a nice little bonus that we wish more tanks came with… and the fact that a inexpensive starter kit can do it just underscores Innokin’s commitment to customer satisfaction.

As for the specifics, this is a 22mm diameter, 3mll tank that comes in a wide variety of colors. Of course, as our sample can part of a kit the color will match the CoolFire V’s color choice. Also like most aftermarket kits, Innokin includes a few different drips tips. Though unfortunately they don’t include the nice, extremely tight draw, ‘cigarillo’ style that the Endura series comes with. This is not that big a deal as it uses as standard ‘510’ connector so any 510 drip tip will fit. There are literally too many styles and different material based 510 drip tips available on the market to count – all at very reasonable price (derlin can be found for a few dollars and more exotic will cost more). So if you do not like the included tips you can fine tune your experience relatively cheaply.

To swap out one tip for another simply hold the mod in your hand and gently – but firmly – pull up on the tip. The tips are held in place with friction via rubber gaskets (which also keep it from leaking). Then when off, take your other tip and push gently into place until it is fully seated. Do not worry, as long as you pull directly up or push directly down you will not break a tip.

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Also on the positive side the air flow is much more adjustable. Unlike the Endura seers there is a bottom adjustment knob that opens or closes the two moderately large air slots.

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This adjustment allows the CoolFire V starter kit to be both a Mouth To Lung (MTL) and Direct Lung (DL) system. Albeit one that is not optimal for either as it is a jack of all trades ‘tradeoff’. What we mean is that more experienced vapers will find this tank a touch too restrictive even when wide open, and some people looking for a direct analog replacement will find it not restrictive enough. Most though will find a sweet spot for themselves after playing with it for a little bit.