The dabbing world is full of awesome accessories, sleek designs, and new vocabulary words (who would have thought?)! Although the terms dab nail vs. banger are often used interchangeably, they do have some primary differences. Below, we explore what a dab nail is, explain what a banger is, and compare the similarities and differences between the two. The more you know, the easier it is to shop for exactly what you need.
What Is a Dab Nail?
A dab nail is one of the critical components of a dab rig. When you are working with a dab rig, you have a chamber, a mouthpiece, and a dab nail. This is the component placed in the joint of your dab rig and it’s what you use to heat with a torch. Once it’s hot enough, it’s the spot you use to vaporize your concentrates. In simple terms, think of a dab nail functioning much like the bowl of the bong.
The bowl of a bong holds your dry herb and it’s where you heat it to inhale the smoke. A dab nail has to be made from much stronger material to be able to handle the immense amount of heat that comes from a torch. But picturing it like a bowl piece that is part of your bong setup can help you visualize and better understand what a dab nail is and what its purpose is.
You’ve probably heard the term domeless nail and dab nail used synonymously. However, there is a difference between these two different types of dab nails. A domeless nail doesn’t have any sides to it, which makes for really easy heating and allows you to dab larger globs of concentrate. Domed nails, on the other hand, operate more like a tiny cup. It helps to encapsulate the slow heating and keep the vapor more secure.
Those are two dab nail types, but you should also know that dab nails come in different materials. Remember, these components must be able to withstand extreme temperatures so they can only be made with certain types of materials. We explore those materials below:
Ceramic is known for its durability. It can last longer than glass or even quartz, but it may not last as long as metal options. Nevertheless, ceramic is a popular choice for many dabbers because it’s awesome at trapping heat. These are also pretty inexpensive, which makes them a great option for even novice dabbers.
Titanium is another popular material for dab nails. When it comes to the most long-lasting type of material, this is it. Titanium nail offers a non-toxic method to get your dabs and it’s super resistant to corrosion. These can’t break easily either, which is a nice plus. Titanium nails heat up quickly and trap heat for an extended period of time. If you get an interchangeable one, you can use it with multiple dab rigs.
Quartz dab nails are similar to glass dab nails but they’re a lot more durable. The main appeal of this type of dab nail is the flavor experience you get from your concentrates. They heat up very quickly and you can find tons of different styles to customize your dab rig.
What is a Banger?
A dab banger offers the same functionality as a dab nail. It has a different design that extends away from your dab rig. It has a flat bottom and a long neck that curves out. You’re provided with a larger dabbing surface and because it extends away from your dab rig, you’re also able to enjoy greater space between your face and the extreme heat transferred by your torch. Bangers are super versatile, and you can use them with or without a carb cap. If you do choose to use a carb cap, you can dab at lower temperatures. Like dab nails, bangers come in different materials including ceramic, titanium, and quartz.
Banger vs. Nail
Although a dab nail and a banger nail offer the same functionality, they do have their differences. When it comes to dabbing, there are three primary factors that determine your overall dabbing experience. The first is flavor, which is obviously an essential component. If you’re all about maximizing terpene flavors, then you’ll be better off with a dab rig banger than a dab nail. Be sure to invest in either quartz or ceramic ones so that you can get the cleanest, richest flavor. If you go with titanium and you’re highly focused on the flavor experience, you’re likely to be disappointed. It can compromise the terpene flavors and deliver more of a metallic taste.
Another factor is heat. When it comes to heating up your dab nail or banger, there are two important considerations: 1) heat up time and 2) heat retention. Now, both a dab nail and a banger can both withstand heat and retain heat, so it ultimately comes down to the type of material you’re using. If you’re using quartz nails, then you can expect a 10-second heat up but you’ll lose that heat quickly. With ceramic, it takes a little longer to heat up at around 30 seconds but it’s much better at retaining that heat. With titanium, you get a good middle-of-the-road option. These heat up faster than ceramic but a little bit slower than quartz. Titanium also holds heat a lot better than quartz (but not quite as well as ceramic).
When it comes to durability, it’s titanium nails all the way. Remember, this will impact your flavor experience but when it comes to having a long-term option, whether it’s a banger or a dab nail, titanium will be with you for the rest of your life. Quartz is a favorite for many dabbers because it offers a nice design and creates a smooth and flavorful vaping experience. Ceramic is also an awesome option, but it is prone to more heat stress than the other types of materials.
Knowing the difference between a dab nail and a banger is important but the most important thing to consider is the type of material you choose. That’s ultimately what will impact your dab journey. We love some good dab bangers that extend away from your rig just because they feel a little bit safer and because they give you more space to work in. They also offer a little more of a design experience, which can help to elevate the appearance of your dab rig.