How Long Do You Heat Up a Banger Nail?
There are all sorts of different types of dab nails around, but the steadfast frontrunner has always been the bucket-shaped banger nail. Using a banger can seem confusing at first, but getting it right just takes a little practice and some patience. The first step is, of course, to figure out just how long the banger nail needs to be heated for. Check out our comprehensive guide to dabbing if you are completely new to the process.
Factors to Consider
Two different schools of thought exist when it comes to using this sort of piece: some people prefer to dab at high temperatures while others like to take advantage of banger nails’ low-temperature abilities. Both avenues produce different experiences and what’s best seems to depend on personal preference.
Though bangers are a common choice for beginner dabbers and people who prefer low-temperature dabs, experienced, high-temp dabbers still commonly choose this sort of nail for a stronger-hitting, higher heat experience. People often wonder how long you have to heat up a banger nail. Of course, this differs based on the material of the banger (most commonly quartz, ceramic, glass, or titanium), its thickness (including whether it’s double-walled, like with a thermal banger) and the amount of wear it has. It’s also important to remember that the time it takes to cool the banger down is just as important as the point to which it’s heated.
The amount of time needed to heat up a banger nail is a rough science. Some people do it until the banger turns bright molten red—up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit—and then hit it immediately. Naturally, this method can cause combustion and make concentrates burn—something that results in a bad taste and can cause a fire.
Don't Heat Your Nail Too Much
Since combustion isn’t the goal, even higher temp dabbers need to let their banger cool in between hitting it with their torch and hitting it with their mouth. A laser thermometer temperature gun can help you determine when the banger is at the ideal temperature to dab, which for high-temp dabbers can be up to 600 degrees. Some people prefer to eyeball the banger temperature, lighting the banger nail for up to 90 seconds until it’s pink or red and then waiting a few seconds for the color to fade completely. The standard time to heat up a banger nail is about a minute, making sure that you use the torch on different parts of the piece during the process: 20 seconds on each side and then 20 seconds on the top.
As a rule of thumb, if the concentrate gets burnt off you’re starting at too high a temperature and should let the banger cool down more before dabbing, by about five seconds or so until you get to the right point.
Some people prefer high-temperature dabs for the intensity of the result, but when it comes to flavor and preserving the subtleties of concentrates, low-temperature dabs can offer excellent results. Low-temperature dabs are best done with the use of a carb cap, which keeps the vapor inside of the banger like a lid on a boiling pot. Bangers are popular for this sort of dabbing because of their ability to heat up quickly—especially when they’re made of quartz—and maintain a steady heat for longer than most typical nails.
Low-temperature dabs start off the same as high-temperature ones, heating up the “bucket” of the banger until it nears a red state, burning off concentrate from previous hits.
How Long Should You Wait?
Getting the temperature right on your banger nail takes practice and a little bit of scientific exploration, including trying out different wait times to get the exact temperature for a good hit. Many low-temperature dab enthusiasts say to leave the banger for roughly 35 seconds following the red-hot point in order to get the temperature down to the ideal 300-400 degrees F. But since everyone’s preferences are different, it might be helpful to take a stopwatch (or laser temperature gun) and wait it out for yourself.
If you’re doing the stopwatch method and notice that the concentrate is pooling without resulting in vapor, shave a couple of seconds off of your wait time. The standard is that you should be able to place your hand flat over the nail and feel the heat without burning yourself. That’s when it’s ready to go.
Naturally the heat needed to dab with a banger nail differs based on the concentrate used too, so it’s important to be flexible about heating times based on what you’re interacting with.
And, of course, if you want to avoid the hassle of heating up a banger nail yourself you can also just integrate an e-nail into your rig, which offers a more consistent temperature and leaves butane and propane out of the equation.