What is the Perfect Dab Temperature?
Getting a dab nail to reach just the right temperature is crucial for a solid, flavorful vapor. Too cold and the dab won’t pull; too hot and the concentrate will burn up and leave you with a charred-tasting mouth. The right temperature for doing a dab all depends on whether you’re looking for a high-temperature dab or a low-temperature one and there are a number of reasons why you’d choose either.
High Temperature Dabbing
High-temperature dabs are common among beginner users who might not necessarily have the knowhow to put together a more technically nuanced, low-temperature one. But even advanced dabbers sometimes prefer high-temp hits because of the intensity of the result, even when pulled without the use of a carb cap.
When it comes to hitting a high-temperature dab, the sort of nail being used doesn’t really matter: whether it’s a banger nail or a straight nail, single-layered or thermal glass, the trick is the same. A lighter—either a butane torch or a propane torch—is used on the nail to heat it to roughly 800°F. Many materials—quartz, titanium, glass—will glow red at this point, an indicator to stop heating the piece and let it cool down. Ceramic does not change color once it’s heated and can even crack if it’s held against a flame in the same spot for too long, so many ceramic nail users like to turn to a laser temperature gun to find out exactly when they should stop heating their pieces. When taking high-temperature dabs and pushing the limits of the material’s stability, it’s important to make sure that an even hand is used to heat the nail to its high point.
Some high-temp dabbers swear by a short cooldown period of only a few seconds, but the drawback of this is that a piece that’s above 600 degrees Fahrenheit (a red-hot one is 800°F) has the chance of causing the concentrate to combust, changing the product of the process from vapor to smoke. This can affect both the underlying chemical content and flavor of the dab, so even most high-temperature dabbers tend to like to give the piece time to cool below this point. Burning concentrate means that your nail is definitely still too hot to hit.
Low Temperature Dabbing
Low-temperature dabs tend to preserve the flavor profile of concentrate consistantly, and timing them correctly isn’t too difficult with a little practice and the helpful aid of a temperature sensor. Generally, even low-temperature dabbers heat their nails up to a pink or red state to clean off the previous dab’s residue. The main difference is that as opposed to high-temperature dabbers, low-temp aficionados tend to wait around 35 seconds or so for the nail to cool down to the 300-400 degree F mark before hitting the rig.
The perfect temperature for hitting a low-temperature dab is within the range of 300-400 degrees Fahrenheit but varies within that range based on the type of concentrate used and the compounds that the user is looking to maximize. But once you enter this general temperature range you can hone in on exactly the right spot for your personal preference. Compare the different kind of temperature options to find out which one fits your needs best.
To make matters more precise and prevent messing with too much cooldown or heat stress, you can use a laser temperature gun pointed at the piece as a means of determining when the time is right to dab. Alternatively, you can turn to more conventional methods to get a rougher but still safe estimate to get the job done. Generally speaking, if you can put your hand over the nail without feeling discomfort from the heat, you’re ready to go.
Trial and error is the best way to land on the perfect dab temperature. If you notice that your concentrate is burning up instead of bubbling and forming vapor, add about five or so seconds to your cooldown time. If you’re having issues where the concentrate is puddling and little to no vapor is being formed your piece has gotten too cold; try taking two seconds off of your cooldown time. It’s all a matter of experimentation and dialing in the exact right temperature for your setup and concentrate.
The right temperature also depends on whether or not you’re planning on using a carb cap with your dab rig. It’s possible to use lower temperatures when using a carb cap, which restricts airflow to the nail and creates a fuller cloud of vapor. A higher temperature might offer a solution for people who want to dab without a cap. We have a wide variety of carb caps, some of which have a dabber attached.
Practice Makes Perfect
Though the perfect dab temperature is relative, once you know that you should be below 600 degrees F for a high-temperature dab and between 300-400 degrees F for a low-temperature dab it shouldn’t be too hard to zero in on the exact temperature that works for you and what you are looking to get out of your dabbing experience. Think this whole process sounds dangerous? Check out this article and determine for yourself