Dabbing is rapidly growing in popularity, and with popularity comes choice in the market. A plethora of types of dab nails are available to weed lovers, but which is the one for you? Everyone’s favorite high is unique to them, and the same is true of dabbing nail and banger types.
For some, it’s all about taste. For others, it’s essential to have durability. Some of us will go crazy for the pretty things in life (and Snoop knows it). All are valid.
The primary considerations when making your choice are as follows:
- Impact on flavor
- Heat sensitivity
- Ease of use
Think about which of these matters most to you. Your selection will ultimately come down to the material and style with the different types of dab nails.
Style and Material of different dabbing nail types
A dab nail is one of the most important tools for a dabber besides a water pipe or rig.
You can find most dabbing nail types in almost any material. However, there are good reasons that some styles favor certain materials.
An adjustable nail made of glass would be almost unworkable, for example. Titanium bangers exist, but a major advantage of quartz is that it’s easier to spot residue and clean the banger thoroughly.
The material has a significant impact on the type on nail or banger. Everyone’s needs are different, so make sure your choice suits your needs. Get a dab nail that suits you and your dab rig.
Anything medical grade for quartz and titanium is is your best bet to be safe and free of chemicals. Nothing is worse than a metallic taste when you hit your dab rig.
Below, you’ll find all the major types of dab nails, along with details about the best materials.
Quartz Bangers (quartz nail)
Quartz nails or quartz bangers are making a name for themselves these days. The popularity is mostly due to their ability to maintain an even heat. It’s the holy grail for dabbers.
Of all the types of dab nails, they’re probably the most in vogue right now. And for a good reason, a quartz banger is the best dab nail available in 2021.
Quartz bangers come in a variety of sizes including 10, 12, 14 and 18 mm joints and both in male or female varieties.
A drawback is that because of their bowl structure, bangers tend to accumulate an acrid residue. That is if you don’t clean them.
But really, if you are going to pick one type of nail to start dabbing with, quartz nails are your best choice.
Bangers typically consist of quartz, which makes it easier to spot build-up. Quartz also provides that clean, flavorful hit, and is far more heat-resistant than glass. The heat resistance doesn’t only mean it can endure more heat stress, it also means it can retain heat better.
Bangers don’t have the dome shape, so they benefit from the use of a carb cap. The cap helps with maintaining an even heat.
Quartz bangers are also optimal for using terp pearls.
If you’re up to the task of keeping your equipment in good shape, quartz bangers are excellent for dabbing. They’re also pleasing to the eye.
Thermal bangers include an internal chamber that holds the concentrate. This chamber helps with heat retention and keeps the concentrate in one place, which reduces build-up. It does mean that you have to aim more carefully when you apply the concentrate, though!
When you use a thermal banger, the smoke is forced through an inclined plane of glass that’s wrapped in heating coils. This means your hit will be as smooth and cool as possible!
Thermal nails for better heat distribution make it easy to get quality vapor from even lower-quality concentrates.
A dab nail must be prepared for all of the oil and dabbing that you intend to use it for, a thermal banger is one of the sturdiest choices.
A honey bucket uses a banger attached to a vapor dome by a moveable arm. Trust us—it sounds more complicated than it is.
These devices are actually one of the more user-friendly dabbing nail type. You can heat the bucket away from the rest of the dab rig, keeping the rig safe from excessive heat. Then, drop the bucket into the dome and enjoy.
Domed vs Domeless Nails
The ‘dome’ is a separate piece of the apparatus. The nail sits in the stem of the rig and the dome, which prevents the smoke from escaping. This set-up intensifies the hit.
It also makes the ‘domed’ variety one of the best types of dab nails for the less experienced user. If your dabbing technique isn’t a matter of reflex yet, this is a safe bet.
Domeless nails are a straight piece into the joint, so that the smoke is directly inhaled instead of being pulled through a channel into your rig. If you have a domeless nail, it is likely that you are using it with a device like a nectar collector instead of a traditional rig that would use a banger nail.
The top of the nail has a larger surface areaa and is directly exposed to the concentrate.
Most come in a male joint or female joint variety.
Domeless nails aren’t optimal for larger dabs or if you are using a bigger water pipe. A traditional glass nail will create an easier air flow channel to filter the smoke.
The glass nail is the ‘basic’ type that is one of the more prevalent types of dab nails. It’s cheap and practical—until it breaks.
So we had to invent something better. A material like glass for dab nails is just a bit outdated nowadays.
Glass nails tend to break for two reasons:
- They’re not as resilient to extreme heat or rapid heat changes as other materials.
- You get high, drop them, and they smash.
Glass is easy to clean and use, on the plus side. These pieces are good starters, especially as many dab rigs come with a glass nail. Typically, these nails come in female joint sizes and male sizes as well.
Ceramic nails used to be the only contender with titanium nails (before quartz banger dab nails came along).
Ceramic nails are a great alternative to other heating elements because they’re chemical inert and offer longer heat retention. They can get you several dabs from just one hit, making them the perfect choice for concentrate lovers!
This style pretty much does what it says on the tin. Adjustable nails usually consist of titanium and involve a screw that allows them to fit different sizes of dab rigs.
Like the glass nail, they require a dome. The nail goes inside the stem of the rig rather than fitting around it.
The major drawback of titanium is that it affects the taste, but more on that in a moment. Titanium adjustable nails are a great utility choice if you’re still experimenting with your set-up, and they’re almost unbreakable.
Titanium has two advantages over other types and one major disadvantage.
The first advantage is that it heats up quickly and stays hot. The flipside of this is that it’s easy to get titanium too hot. Overheating can lead to a scorched flavor and an unpleasant inhale.
The other advantage is that unlike quartz, ceramic, and glass, titanium won’t break when you drop it. As dabbing is fiddly, this is an important point. If you often find yourself reaching for the dustpan when you dab, a titanium nail might be a good investment.
The disadvantage is that titanium has an impact on flavor. For those who value the taste of a clean hit, this can be a deal-breaker. If you’ve forked out for some high-quality concentrate, you want to experience every part of it.
If you want titanium for its durability, a sound compromise is to get high-grade titanium. This material will impart less flavor and is far less likely to contain potentially toxic compounds.
The universal nail looks like you could use it to solve an insane math problem with all those rings. It’s a good choice because you can use it with or without a dome, and it fits multiple rig sizes.
Sidearm nails are another decent choice for those just starting with dabs. They keep the heat away from the rig and also the user’s face.
Other Dab Nail Options
Here are a few alternatives, if you’ve not found yours yet:
Electronic nails, also known as e nails are devices that you plug into the wall. It has heating coils that keep the nail at a constant temperature.
The electronic device is perfect for anyone who struggles to find the optimal heat. If conventional nails or bangers end up either too hot or too cold, this plug-in version allows you control of the temperature.
The electronic nail is the perfect accessory for dabbers who want to get the most out of their concentrates. Not only does it remove torches from equation, but also allows you hit perfect temp dabs with little effort! Out of all the types of nails, e nails provide the best temperature control.
Most e nail sets some with all of the accessories that you need to get dabbing. An e nail is a solid choice for new and experienced dabbers alike.
No need to worry about trying to guess the perfect temperature for your nail because you don’t even need a butane torch!
Both female joints and male joints (or universal options) are available for most e nails depending on your dab rig.
Many of us cherish the aesthetic of our dab rig set-ups, and the daisy design is pretty as a picture. The ‘petals’ of the daisy nail allow for increased air intake.
Concentrates melt and navigate across this intricate design as they are heated.
This unconventional design is for those who like unique styles. It looks like a spaceman whose mask has fallen off or one of the creepy broadcast poles from Teletubbies.
With the various nail and banger types, the best one for you comes down to picking the one that suits your high the best.
However, we strongly recommend to invest in a quartz nail. Compared to everything on the list, a quartz banger is the most functional choice when it comes to dab nails for most dabbers.
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