Dabbing is a method of consuming cannabis concentrate, allowing more potent effects for cannabis consumers. One of the most essential, if not the most essential, part of dabbing is the dab nail or banger. A dab nail is where consumers place their concentrate to vaporize their dab.
Additionally, dab nails come in a variety of shapes, materials, and styles. So, there is a nail for everyone. With all the variety out there it can be a bit confusing to figure out what is right for you as a consumer. This article will provide you with the knowledge to make an informed decision based on your own needs.
What is a Dab Nail?
A dab nail takes the place of a bowl that you would use to smoke weed from. It goes in the joint of your dab rig or bong.
To use a dab nail properly you must heat it up with a hand torch to reach a temperature hot enough to vaporize cannabis concentrate. Once heated the dab is placed in the nail, vaporizing the concentrate and allowing for inhalation of the dab.
What is a Banger?
A banger is a type of dab nail that hangs from the joint of a dab rig. The purpose of a banger is to separate the part that you heat up from your rig’s joint to avoid excessive temperatures around the joint.
Bangers usually extend the ‘dish’, where you put your dab, about an inch or half inch away from your rigs joint. This is the most common shape for a nail, and is widely used by cannabis concentrate consumers.
Similar styles of bangers are as follows:
- Flat top banger: has a flat top instead of an angled edge around the top of the banger.
- Grail: Similar to a flat top banger, but it has a thicker bottom
- Thermal Banger: A thermal banger has two layers of quarts on the inside, think of an insulated travel coffee cup
- Trough Banger: A banger with a trough shape, allowing for larger dabs
- Borometer Banger: A banger that has a piece of colored glass that changes colors with the temperature
- e-Banger: Is an electronic banger that heats itself up by way of electricity.
Common Types of Dab Nails
Dab nails come in a variety of shapes, material, and sizes. Different types of nails offer a different experience from person to person. It really comes down to personal preference as well as budget.
If you’re just getting into dabbing, try starting off with a nail that doesn’t break the bank, to avoid being overly invested in something you’re just trying out. Don’t let all these options confuse you, here you can find a break down of each common material including the pros and cons of each.
Glass nails are the lowest end material you can get for your nail. However, glass nails are great for first time dabbers that aren’t sure if they’re going to like the experience or not.
They come extremely cheap and are most often domed. This means there is a glass dome that slides over the top of the nail. You can find glass nails for under 10 dollars. They do tend to break after they have been used for a period of time. The nice thing is they are cheap to replace
- Easy Replaceable
- Easy to find
- Easily broken
- Not the best at preserving concentrate flavor
- Worst Option
Enail or Electric Dab Nail
Enails are great for those people who are looking to take the guess work out of getting the right temperature for the perfect dab. They can be found in both quartz and titanium variants. They come with a box that plugs into the wall, and uses electricity to conduct heat for the nail.
Enails are nice because you don’t have to use a torch to heat up the nail for your dabs. This is a huge convenience for many.
- Fool Proof
- Flavor preservation
- Perfect dab temperature every time
- Harder to clean
- Wires and connections
Quartz bangers are the most popular and arguably the best option for dab nail material. They can be found from $10 to over $300.
They do the best job of holding heat, and vaporizing dabs at a good temperature. Quartz nails are great for getting the best flavor out of your cannabis concentrates. Quartz is the cleanest material to dab from. But make sure you keep it clean!
- Easiest to find
- Good price range
- Best Flavor
- Ease of use
- Can be expensive
- Requires Qtips to clean
Titanium nails have been around since the beginning of dabbing culture. They are great at holding their heat and offer unparalleled durability. Titanium nails are also great for people who are taking their rig on the go without having to worry about breaking their nail.
- Holds heat well
- Travels well
- Can be too hot
- Doesn’t preserve flavor as good as quartz
- Can be pricey
Ceramic nails might be the least common material here on this list. Also, they fall in between titanium and quartz when it come to flavor preservation.
These nails are offered in different shapes. The most common would be a bucket and swing set or a banger.
- Flavor preservation
- More durable than quartz
- Heat retention
- Can be pricey
- Not widely used
- Hard to find
Common Joint Sizes
The sizes represent the diameter of the joint size. Smaller joint sizes are popular for dab rigs. Some joints do come in a larger 19mm size, but that’s more commonly found in flower bongs.
10mm vs 14mm vs 19mm
Common joint sizes for dab rigs are 10mm and 14mm. These sizes are the best for dabbing as it doesn’t allow too much airflow through the joint. If you have too much airflow you’ll most likely just suck the concentrate into the rig like a straw, instead of it fully vaporizing.
There are really only two great options for joint sizes when it comes to your dab nail and rig. A 10mm and 14mm joint size is the perfect size for consuming cannabis concentrates. The smaller size allows for a more restricted airflow, increasing percolation.
Male vs Female Joints
Most dab rigs have a female joint, which means you would need a male jointed dab nail. However some dab rigs have a male joint, and in that case you would need a female jointed dab nail. The easiest rule to follow is what ever the joint is on your rig, get the opposite joint for your nail.
How to Dab Without a Nail
There are a few ways to consume cannabis concentrates without a nail. One way is to put the concentrate in a joint mixed with flower. This is a sure-fire way to amp your joints up to a new level.
Another method that works well is melting the concentrate over a bowl of weed and smoking it that way. Both of these methods work for consuming concentrates, but the best method is with dab rig and nail.
Which Nail is Best for You?
If you’re looking for something cheap and easily replaceable go for a glass nail. Another nail that is also relatively cheap is quartz. Quartz nails offer the best all around experience.
Sometimes torches can be intimidating to new dabbers. If that’s the case, try an enail to eliminate the torch from the equation. Titanium nails offer great durability, but tend to suffer in the flavor preservation department. At the end of the day the choice is yours on how you enjoy your next dab session.