Banger vs Nail: The Ultimate Guide
Dabbing (smoking concentrates) is all the rage these days. But, if you’re new to it, there can be quite a bit of a learning curve. We’ve seen questions ranging from what are concentrates and how to take a dab to which type of nail is best and what is a banger. We’re here to help!
In this article, we’re answering one question we’ve seen over and over: what’s the difference between a dab banger and dab nails?
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- What a dab nail is
- What a banger is
- Dab nail types
- Dab rig banger types
- How to buy banger nails
- How to buy dab nails
What’s the difference between a banger nail and a nail?
The simplest answer to this question is that a banger nail is a type of dab nail. In the same way that not all rectangles are squares but all squares are rectangles, not all dab nails are bangers, but all bangers are dab nails.
Dab rig nails are connected to your rig, typically by glass joint, and are heated with either an electronic coil or a torch. They can be made of glass, titanium, ceramic, or quartz. There are pros and cons to each material, which we’ll cover in this article, for example: a ceramic dab nail might be easy to clean, but it’s a whole lot easier to break than a quartz dab nail.
Nails are the general term for the piece that functions the same as the bowl on your bong: it’s where you put your concentrates for them to vaporize. Those that are just called “nails” are typically long and slim, like a nail you’d buy at the hardware shop. You can have a dabbing quartz nail, a titanium nail, a ceramic nail, or a glass nail for dabs.
A banger is a flat-bottomed, square-necked dab rig nail. You can have quartz bangers, titanium bangers, glass bangers, or ceramic banger nails. I, honestly, prefer bangers to the straight nails, because I find them easier to use and think that they hold on to the product a little better. As we said before, a banger is a type of nail, so the major differences come down to personal preference. The banger can allow for increased air flow, but that really depends on which type of dab nail you’re comparing it to. Next we’re going to get into the specifics on each type of banger and nail, which is less a personal preference choice than banger or nail, as there are distinct differences between the two.
Types of bangers
Dabs banger nails are typically made out of four different materials: titanium, quartz, ceramic, or glass. Each of these different materials contributes to a different smoking experience and there are both positives and negatives to all of them. Let’s get started.
Glass bangers are one of the most common types of dabbing banger nail available because they offer a more balanced combination of price, functionality, and quality. A glass nail dab tastes better than a titanium one, for example, due to the surface material lacking flavor. Titanium has a flavor to it that messes with the true taste of the dab, whereas glass does not. Due to its affordability and functionality, glass is our preferred banger of choice.
- Great taste
- Good airflow
- Hits smooth
- Easy to clean
- Requires slow heating (risk of cracking with dramatic temperature changes)
Quartz nail banger
Quartz nails are very similar to glass and a bit more popular. The key differences between these two are that a quartz banger is much more durable than a glass one and it can be heated up quickly without risk. The quartz banger is a little more expensive than the glass one, though, but not dramatically.
- Affordable (though not as cheap as glass)
- Great taste
- Good airflow
- Hits smooth
- Won’t crack from dramatic temperature changes
- More durable
- Still could break easily if dropped
Titanium nail banger
The titanium banger nail is a good budget option, as it’s cheaper than the others and more durable, but it has some pretty big downsides too. While you can’t break the titanium dabbing nail anywhere near as easily as you can the glass, quartz, or ceramic ones, the metal, unlike flavorless glass or quartz, comes with a flavor that affects the taste of the dabs you take.
- Very affordable
- Very durable
- Does great with constant heating and cooling
- Makes for huge rips
- Bad taste
- Can transfer heat to the glass joint
Ceramic banger nails are very similar to their glass and quartz counterparts. Like these other bangers, they take a bit of time to heat up because you have to do it slowly so as not to crack it. They are a little sturdier than glass bangers but not as sturdy as a quartz banger.
- Good taste
- More durable than glass
- Easy to clean
Easy to break
Types of nails
All of the above applies for the materials nails are made of as well, but there are different types of nails. There are dome nails, domeless nails, and e-nails. Dome nails and domeless nails you heat up with a torch and e-nails heat up with an electronic coil. E-nails are mostly found in vaporizers, rather than on standalone rigs. Glass nails for dabs are not typically used on vaporizers either.
Buying nails and banger nails
Before you go to purchase your first banger or nail, you have to do a little research first. We’ve put a list together of all the things you should consider when purchasing a nail or banger nail so you don’t have to find out the hard way.
What’s important to you
The biggest deciding factor in the type of nail you get is the factors that are most important to you. For instance, if the most important two things for you are price and taste, you don’t want to opt for the cheapest option (titanium) because it will affect the taste, even though that is the cheapest. Similarly, if the nail being unbreakable is a top priority, you’re not going to want to go with anything but titanium.
What’s your budget
The budget should never be your number one deciding factor with anything this important. You’ll end up dissatisfied with your dabbing and smoking experience if you do let price guide you exclusively. However, you should still stick within your budget. Rather than setting yourself a hard price before researching, list what’s important to you first so you can then set an appropriate range for your budget so you get the piece that’s best for you that doesn’t break the bank.
What’s the quality of the nail you’re looking at
Not always, but unfortunately sometimes the price of the piece correlates directly with the quality of it. Cheap pieces are often cheap for a reason. Sure, you can find a good deal or a sale, but oftentimes, if you’re looking at a company whose entire inventory is blow-your-mind cheap, it’s probably low quality and too good to be true. Make sure you research the company that makes the nail you’re looking into and everything is above board.
Where are you buying it
You want to make sure that you fully investigate the source of your product. You want to make sure they’re trustworthy and reliable so you don’t get scammed. You’ll want to make sure you know the following:
- The Return Policy
- The Shipping Policy
- The company checks out
Buying a dab rig can be a confusing endeavour your first time around, but we’re here to help. The first thing you need to know is the difference between a banger nail and a dab nail, which we’ve explained in this article.
For further research, check out these related topics:
- Best quartz banger available
- Why do you use a banger for dabs
- Is an electric quartz nail better than the standard
- Do you have to be 21 years old to buy a rig
- How do you heat a nail to dab
- What is a carb cap
- Do I need a thermal banger
We hope we’ve helped in explaining the difference between a banger dab nail and a dab nail as well as provide you with helpful tips on how to find the right banger or nail for your rig. Have any questions? Think we missed something? Comment below and let us know!
Written by Megan Medeiros (BA)
Megan Medeiros has a bachelor’s degree in English and is currently working on a master’s in English at James Madison University. She's the owner and operator of Medeiros Writing, and has been working as a cannabis writer for the past three years, mostly following the legal climate of marijuana, especially in areas like California, Colorado, Oregon, Canada, and other legal areas.
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