I'm new to magic and extremely new to thread work. I recently just purchased an ITR because I wanted to do more advanced stuff with thread (I had done the classic IT with no ITR for other effects, but nothing astounding). After breaking about 3/5 -3/4 of my thread, I've learned some things on how NOT to break it in the future, and just wanted to share with others who may be new to thread work like I am.
First, if you ever need to pull the thread with either hand (for example, while doing a particular set up), make sure not to just pull on the thread, but give it a little tug and let the thread slip through your fingers. This way, you're not simply pulling the thread straight off of the reel.
Second, find the right tension on the rubber bands, and reset the tension after you perform + or - 6 levitations. The best tension I found is when the wax barely hangs from the reel, so the wax may actually be dangling just a tad bit - not too much - but just a tad...maybe; or, when it barely comes all the way back and rests on the reel. This way, it seems to me that you have maximum extension and line possibilities.
Third, relax the string every 6 or so levitations. Hold the string and let the string dangle and the wax spin for a bit. This will prevent the line from tangling inside the reel.
Fourth, after you let it relax (or before), your thread will begin to split, splinter, knot up...whatever you want to call it. These things are a pain to get rid of, and I don't know if it's just me, or if this happens with everybody. Either way, when you get these, pull on the strand that is coming out from the main strand, and just tug on it a little in either direction. Then, gently pull on it between two fingers. Then, pull on the loose strand some more. Repeat this process. I have found that pulling on the loose strand helps get the knot out, but you have to be careful not to pull to hard as to break the thread entirely.
I hope these things help and I hope that I didn't break any rules, that wasn't my intention. My intention was only to help people who may be struggling with their ITR's as I have been. $40.00 is a lot of cash, and so we have to learn about our ITR's to experience the maximum fun factor. I play with mine everyday. I love doing it just for myself!