Eleaf iStick 60W TC Box Mod Starter Kit (2017 Review)

iStick 60w Review

 

And, I’m back with another (overdue) review for the Eleaf iStick 60w mod. Things have been hectic of late but the hardware waits for no man. The subject of this review bears a familiar name, temperature control, and a removable battery – the iStick TC60W, of course. Eleaf has been cranking out iStick models for over a year now and, while I don’t have any sales data, I’d wager the iStick, in all its various iterations, is one of the best selling vaping devices of all time. The iStick is available in configurations ranging from the tiny iStick Mini 20W to the not-so-tiny dual 18650 iStick 100W. Eleaf is now dabbling in temperature control and the iStick 60W is their second device to feature the technology.

Also sent along as part of the iStick 60W kit is the Eleaf Melo 2 sub-ohm clearomizer. Do the iStick 60W and Melo 2 hold their own among the mind-numbingly vast array of TC devices of sub-ohm tanks on the market? That’s what I hope to answer for you in this iStick 60w review.

The iStick 60W kit used for this review was provided by Vapor Beast.

Where to buy the iStick TC60W Kit:

The Packaging and Included Stuff

The iStick 60W Kit, like all Eleaf products, is nicely packaged and includes user manuals which are actually well written and useful, albeit a little small. The kit includes the iStick 60 device, the Melo 2 atomizer, 1x Kanthal coil head, 1x titanium (Ti) coil head, 1x nickel (Ni200) coil head, colored tank o-rings, USB charging cable, and the aforementioned manuals.

istick_packaging

The box has a scratch-off authentication code to verify you received a genuine Eleaf product.

Q6V6Kj8

Eleaf iStick TC60W Specifications:

Size: 90.0mm*38mm*28mm
Frame Color: Black, Silver
Cell type: 18650 cells (Sony US 18650 VTC4 is recommended)
Thread Type: 510 Thread
Rated Output Wattage: 1-60W
Temperature Range: 100-315℃/200-600℉ (TC-Ni/Ti mode)

Eleaf iStick 60W Features

  • Removable 18650 battery
  • Built-in microUSB charge port
  • Lanyard connector
  • Interchangeable side panels
  • Stainless steel 510 connector
  • OLED display

Eleaf Melo 2 Specifications

Diameter: 22mm
Length: 65mm
Capacity: 4.5ml
Color: Silver
Thread Type: 510 Thread
Material: 304 Stainless Steel

Coil heads:

EC Head (0.3ohm)
EC TC-Ni Head (0.15ohm)
EC TC-Ti Head (0.5ohm)

Eleaf Melo 2 Features

  • Side fill port on top cap
  • Cyclops style airflow control
  • Pyrex tank
  • Stainless steel drip tip

Build Quality and Ergonomics

We’ll start with the iStick 60W mod, I suppose. The device appears to be very well constructed. The battery door fits securely and sits flush with the body of the device. The spring loaded 510 pin allows your atomizers to sit flush with the top of the iStick 60W. The buttons are clicky and responsive but do have some slight rattle when the device is lightly shaken. The OLED screen is clear and easy to read. The finish of the device is very nice and the minimal branding is tastefully done. The inside of the device is cleanly constructed and features a battery removal ribbon and spring loaded negative battery contact. Even though the iStick 60W is inexpensive, it certainly does not feel cheap. It is very comfortable to hold and the finish feels good in the hand.

 

istick_collage

 

Like the iStick 60W, the Melo 2 atomizer is very well constructed. All threading is very smooth and clean and the airflow control and fill port operate smoothly. The beveled ring at the base of the Melo 2 makes it very easy to mount on or remove from your device. The stainless steel drip tip features double o-rings and fits securely. The coil heads screw into and out of the atomizer base with no drama. The brushed stainless finish is nicely done and no defects were observed. The Melo 2 and Eleaf logos are etched into the airflow control ring. Again, inexpensive but very good quality.

istick_melo2

 

In summary, the iStick 60W and Melo 2 are very well built devices which belie their price point. I’ve owned several Eleaf products which have all been very nicely made and these two are no exception.

Check Out the Eleaf iStick 60w Here!

Click Here to Check Out the Eleaf iStick 60w!

Usage and Performance

The iStick 60W features a fairly simple control system consisting of the fire button, wattage/temperature adjustment rocker, and menu button. Here’s how to use them:

  • Five clicks of the fire button will turn the device on or off.
  • Pressing and holding the menu button will cycle between VW, Ti, and Ni200 modes
  • While in VW mode, the adjustment rocker will increase or decrease the wattage (in 0.1W increments)
  • While in Ti or Ni200 mode the adjustment rocker will increase or decrease the temperature (in 1 degree increments)
  • While in Ti or Ni200 mode the wattage is adjusted by pressing the menu button and either up or down on the adjustment rocker
  • To lock atomizer resistance in Ti or Ni200 mode, press and hold the fire button and up on the adjustment rocker simultaneously
  • Stealth mode is activated by pressing and holding the fire button and down on the adjustment rocker simultaneously
  • To lock the device against any adjustment changes, hold up and down on the adjustment rocker simultaneously while the device is on
  • To rotate the display orientation, hold up and down on the adjustment rocker simultaneously while the device is off

Device protections and the associated screen messages:

Atomizer Protection: When vaping time exceeds ten seconds, the output shuts off automatically with
“Over 10s” display on the screen.

Atomizer Short-circuit & No Atomizer Protection: When atomizer short-circuit occurs, the OLED
screen will display “Atomizer Short”. The screen will display “No Atomizer” when there is no atomizer
connected.

Low-voltage Protection: When the voltage of battery is below 3.3V, the OLED screen will display “Lock”.
Charge the battery to unlock the device.

Temperature Protection: In TC-Ni/TC-Ti mode, if the actual temperature of coil is higher than the set
temperature, the screen shows “Temp Protection”.

Temperature Alert: If the temperature of device is over alert temperature, the output will shut off
automatically and the screen will display “Device Too Hot”. You can continue to vape after it cools down.

Here are some screen shots depicting the different modes and the data displayed. Note that in Ti mode the screen shows the resistance is locked via the padlock icon.  Variable wattage (power) mode on top, Ni200 mode in the middle, Ti mode on the bottom.

istick_screens

So, operation is pretty straight forward.  How does it perform? Overall, very well save for a buggy Ti mode. A brief rundown of my experiences with each mode:

Power mode: The iStick 60W performs very well in traditional variable wattage power mode. If you’ve read any of my previous reviews of regulated devices, you know I typically try to measure a device’s accuracy to the best of my rudimentary ability, often identifying the weak points of the chipset being reviewed. Alas, my inline volt meter died and I wasn’t able to measure the output accuracy of the iStick 60W. However, I’ve been doing this for a minute now and my impressions from vaping the iStick are that it is pretty accurate. And, it also appears to actually step down voltage unlike a lot of other devices on the market. The iStick 60W, with its step down ability, is suitable for low power tank vaping. And, with 60W on tap, it will run a dripper with ease. A competent VW device, to be sure.

Ni200 mode: It was my intention to only test with the components of the kit, i.e. the Melo 2 and its included coil heads. However, the included Ni200 head had a short in it somewhere and simply didn’t work. To its credit, the iStick 60W was on the ball and threw an “atomizer short” message every time I tried to fire the Ni200 coil. So, in the trash went the Eleaf Ni200 coil. I had a Kanger Subtank Mini handy which had a 0.17Ω Ni200 build in it using the RBA head. The iStick found nothing to complain about with this arrangement and off we went. During my time with the iStick, I vaped it mostly with the Subtank in Ni200 mode and it performed very well. I’ve owned and tested quite a few temperature control devices and the iStick’s performance in Ni200 temperature control is very good. Not DNA200 good, but pretty darn good. I couldn’t discern any performance difference between the iStick and my IPV D2 which I consider a very good temperature control device. The iStick 60W accurately read cold temperature and properly throttled back the power when the set temperature was achieved, providing a very consistent vape.

Ti mode: Well, you can’t win them all. Ti mode seems very buggy and inconsistent, often producing a very weak vape. I did test with the supplied Eleaf Ti coil head and it at least didn’t throw a short. I also suspect the coil head was not the culprit in the substandard performance in Ti mode. I quickly noticed that the iStick 60W did not accurately read cold temperature. Rather, as soon as I fired the device the temperature would register about 100 degrees higher than room temperature and instantly smack into temperature control upon which it would throttle power back to nearly nothing. It was a frustrating experience. To somewhat mitigate the issue, I had to crank the temperature all the way to the maximum 600F in order to achieve any kind of decent vapor production. Even then, the problems still occurred although not as frequently. I’m guessing Eleaf’s programming team doesn’t have a good handle on the temperature coefficient of resistance as it relates to titanium wire. There is no hope for a fix as the firmware of the iStick 60W is not upgradeable.

Check Out the Eleaf iStick 60w Here!

Click Here to Check Out the Eleaf iStick 60w!

How about the Melo 2?

For the most part, I like the Melo 2 which doesn’t really surprise me as I’ve been a fan of Eleaf’s atomizers for some time. It’s not a great atomizer but a pretty good one. It has all the airflow you could want from a sub-ohm clearomizer and, as previously noted, is very nicely made. An extra glass tank would have been nice though. One drop and this thing would be out of commission.

Filling the Melo 2 is a breeze. Simply close off the airflow control, spin open the fill port on the top/side, and fill ‘er up… well, almost “fill” ‘er up. You’ll reach the level of the bottom of the chimney long before the full capacity of the Melo 2 is achieved. And, you’ll probably want to use a needle tip bottle if filling from the top port. Of course, you can always fill it from the bottom as well.

Vapor production is very good, especially in power mode with the Kanthal coil head. Flavor is “okay”. It’s not terrible but it’s not a flavor machine either. The coil heads have decent size e-liquid holes but they could probably be a little bigger. The Kanthal coil head claims to be good up to 80W but I detected some toastiness north of 55W. This is likely due to the size of the liquid holes and the viscosity of juice I was using. Also worth noting, I did not experience even a hint of any leaks from the Melo 2.

Another observation – Eleaf needs to get on the ball and supply a rebuildable base for the Melo 2 much like many of the other sub-ohm tank manufacturers have done. I think I’d love the Melo 2 if I could build on an RBA base ala the Kanger Subtank and not have to rely on factory coil heads.

istick_coilhead

Conclusion

The iStick 60W Kit is a perfectly usable combination of gear. It’s not without it’s faults but not many devices are. Honestly, this kit is very, very close to being downright excellent and would likely serve the needs of the majority of vapers. I can be kind of critical because, well, I’m supposed to be. I’ve never reviewed a piece of gear that didn’t have at least one drawback. I try to be as objective as I can be and give you the good with the bad. If Eleaf fixes the Ti mode and brings an RBA head to the table for the Melo 2, this kit would knock it out of the park, especially considering its price point.

For the money, I think you would be hard pressed to find a better temperature control/atomizer combination. The fit and finish of the devices is remarkably good considering the price and the performance, while not without issues, is darn good. I’d have no trouble recommending this kit to someone looking to take the next step in their vaping journey.

istick_final

Pros:Cons:

  • Very nice fit and finish for both devices

  • Good performance in power and Ni200 modes

  • Replaceable 18650 battery

  • Simple operation

  • Great value


  • Rattly buttons

  • Buggy/inconsistent performance in Ti mode

  • Ni200 coil head was DOA

Where to buy the iStick TC60W Kit

N. Shlanta is a reformed smoker of 20+ years and is now a vaping enthusiast and advocate.

13 COMMENTS
  • Miss Maggie 12/19/2015

    There is a 10 watt istick, by the way. I have had them all, (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 100) at least one of each. I have sold many of them to customers. Time and time again, they break because they are simply not made well. They are not worth the cheap price anymore. With all the different devices to choose from (and I have seen some really nice devices for way below istick 50watt prices) we don’t have to buy them anymore. The 510 connection can’t take any normal wear, the wiring is crap, it’s a cheap product that’s not worth the super low sale price. I won’t buy another.

  • T Peters 02/27/2016

    Between my group of “vapers”, about 6 of of us, we use 30, 40 and 50 watt units. 40w was the fav and then just recently we bought 2 of the 60w units. one is used with the new ceramic coils in TC mode, the other is Power. I did try the Ti coils but wasn’t impressed either…but overall I agree with your review. This combo for the money is a good solid unit and Im sure we will be buying a few more.

  • john b 03/04/2016

    This mod is crap! i purchased one new, used it about 4 mos. with a Aspire Triton V2 and it totally shut down on me. I contacted ISmoka and after asking me several questions, we determined it had a factory defect. They then told me it was out of warranty and to basically go blow and thank you for buying this piece of garbage. It’s crap, spend a little more money and get a better model mod. I will never purchase any ILeaf product again!

  • Scott 03/08/2016
  • geo 03/08/2016

    I like the mod and use it with a nautilus.
    Haven’t caught on to sub ohm vaping.
    4th istick product but I keep going back to nautilus and mini for above ohm vaping.
    Worried that the industry might lose us in their quest for fog.

  • Bill Miller 04/05/2016

    I’m new to vaping and this is my first go at a TC device. I’m not all that concerned with big clouds but I am concerned with getting the best taste from my juice. How does the 60w TC do here? Also, if anyone can offer info on the taste improvement I will appreciate it very much. Thanks for any help, Bill

    • John B. 04/05/2016

      I assume since you are new to vaping you are using a tank and not an RDA (rebuildable dripping atomizer). Taste depends on first the quality of juice you are vaping, steep time, etc. If you have a good tank and quality steeped juice, try adjusting the wattage and temp until it tastes to your liking. I would’ve cautioned you against purchasing the Eleaf 60w mod however, turned out to be a piece of junk to me IMO. I would encourage you to keep researching on getting good taste out of your juice. There are many, many methods and opinions available but consensus is: buy quality juice and equipment. Vape on brother!

  • Joe healey 07/05/2016

    I’ve has the istick 60w tc for a few months now and am very pleased with it. I use a few different tanks to change flavors and the mod hasnt failed yet. . I’ve dropped it more than a few times and it keeps ticking. . The only issue I would have with it is in temptcontrol mode. It sometimes reads no atomizer and gives a not so great vape. Not sure if it’s the box or just temp control as a whole. Feels like a throttled back vape. But overall I’d rate it a 8 out of 10

  • Heather 08/12/2016

    The 60w iStick was my everyday vape these last four to five months. Every single box mod I own is an Eleaf iSticks, I’m a loyal customer. Out of the six I have used in the last eighteen months I like my 60w the least. It’s not made as well in my opinion. The color of the adjustment buttons wore off within three weeks of buying it and it doesn’t go in my pocket or purse so it wore off by my changing the temperature a few times. I also think the adjustment buttons are poorly placed as I was constantly changing the mode when I wanted to adjust my temp a wee bit. They’re too close together and I have little girl hands. It’s also just not as comfortable to hold as all over my others are. I don’t hate it and some people, hell probably most people, will love it. It’s definitely worth the money and it’s a quality vape mod. It just isn’t the best product that Eleaf has put out. I’d still recommend it to my friends.

  • daniel 09/14/2016

    i have been using the elaef tanks for on year now changed my tank and it used to say low battery when i put on a high voltage but now i changed my battery it gone better and its going good for me have no problems with it

    • daniel 09/14/2016

      why is there so much hate on that mod it ok for me have no problems

  • Nate 10/06/2016

    Great!! I love this mod. I can’t see myself buying any other. I can go on for ever all the positives but just to sum it up its FANTASTIC!!

  • Ally 03/18/2017

    Thanks I love mine! It is so simple. I am going from American Spirits to vaping and the TC60W is making the transition so smooth!!

POST A COMMENT

Get Fast access to the latest deals

x
x