When it comes to heating up your dab nail or quartz banger, there is a right and a wrong way to do it. Heating your dab rig accessories to too high of temperatures can cause permanent damage, affecting things like heat retention, flavor, durability, heat distribution and heating time itself.
On top of that, taking high temp dabs can be very damaging to your lungs, esophagus, mouth, and more, exposing you to potential burns from higher temperatures and extra toxins released for your extracts.
So how long should you heat your dab nail to get the best dabbing experience? How long should you heat your quartz banger? What about heating up different types of dab nails like titanium, ceramic and quartz?
In this guide, Our Experts at HelpingPot break down everything you need to know about how to heat your quartz banger and dab nail to get the best smoking experience each time and find the perfect dab temperature.
How Do You Heat a Dab Nail? – 8 Steps
Before we get started with how long you should heat your dab nail for, it is important that we go over a few quick steps for how to heat your dab nail in order to keep you safe, and help you get the most out of your dabs:
- Use a butane torch – Butane burns at very high temperatures (upwards of 2700F). It is an odorless gas that burns clean, leaving little to no residue when compared to propane. Typically, most dab torches give you a lot of temperature control, safety, and ease of use.
- Choose your dab nail or quartz banger – Depending on which type of dab attachment you choose, there are a few different steps you should take to get the best dab temperature that we will talk about later in this guide.
- Heat your nail or banger for 15-30 seconds (up to 60 seconds) – When you have a torch blowing out hot gas at 800F+, a few seconds is really all you need to achieve high temperatures on your nail or banger. Be sure to start your torch on lower temperatures and ease your way up, especially with quartz and ceramic nails, as exposure to rapid temperature changes can cause permanent damage to your piece. Starting out around 300F, then gradually adjusting your torch every 5 seconds or so should be fine.
- Give your nail or banger a few seconds to cool – Be sure to give your dab rig a few seconds to cool before smoking. This ensures you are in the right temperature range (450-650F), as most people tend to use their torch on high-temperature settings.
- Select a reasonably-sized dab – Look, no one cares if you are that Instagram hero dabbing your brains out. Sure, it’s cool, but it will put some serious strain on your rig over time, causing it to clog, have tons of resin build up, and even cause some rigs to be unusable. Taking smaller dabs will allow you to reduce resin buildup dramatically, improving the lifespan of your dab nails and quartz bangers.
- Smoke it – Time to smoke. Hold on to your seatbelts, dabbing can be an intense experience! When dabbing, you want to have a dabber tool on hand, as they make the process very smooth. Simply take some of your extract and place it in your nail or quartz banger with the dabber. From here, you will want to swirl it around in order to reduce resin buildup and to ensure it is heated evenly.
- Use your carb cap – Carb caps are probably one of the most convenient dabbing tools that everyone should have. They allow you to keep a lot of heat in your quartz banger or domed nail, by blocking off the airway up top and funneling the smoke into the mouthpiece. They also help to cool smoke, by creating a vortex effect when you swirl them. Some directional carb caps are ideal for this.
- Try to smoke the entire dab – Remember when we told you take smaller dabs? This is why. To keep your rig nice longer and make much less of a hassle when cleaning your dab rig, you will really want to smoke as much of the dab as you can while your rig is still the right temperature. Otherwise, resin quickly builds up and hardens in it, ruining the taste of future smoke sessions, and making for a pain in the ass when it comes time to clean.
If you do make a mess in your quartz banger, don’t worry young dabber, we have been in your shoes before. That’s why we wrote this comprehensive Guide to Cleaning Quartz Bangers.
How Do You Heat a Quartz Banger?
Heating a quartz banger is relatively the same as heating a dab nail. You want to make sure that you are heating it to the right temperature (which we will explain later in this article), and gradually.
The main difference when heating a quartz banger vs. a nail is that it has a much larger surface area, meaning it is more difficult to heat evenly with some torches. This can create problems with the consistency of your smoke, as well as longevity issues with the bangers themselves.
One way to avoid this is to make sure that you purchase a dab torch that is made for quartz bangers. We wrote all about the Best Torches for Dabbing already, if you are looking for a new torch, you should definitely check it out. Our recommendation for heating quartz bangers is the Cinderwitch Triple Jet Dab Torch. It has 3 jets that have a wide diameter of coverage, plenty wide to cover your entire dab rig.
Another easy step you can use to heat your quartz banger better is heating it from the bottom if possible. Some rigs do not allow this because of their design, however, some 90 Degree Joint Dab Rigs allow for easy heating from the bottom. This helps you to avoid problems with heat distribution, and also keeps other parts of your quartz banger (such as the neck and joint) from being heated too much, which can cause them to be less durable over time.
Okay, so now that we know about how to heat a quartz banger and dab nail, let’s get to the real question:
How Long Should I Heat My Dab Nail?
Generally speaking, you should never have to heat your dab nail for more than 15-30 seconds, with a maximum heating time of 45-60 seconds. This is more than enough to get it to the right temp for dabbing. If you are having problems keeping your rig hot when heating for this duration or longer, you may want to consider purchasing a new dab nail – as it may have permanent damage and be towards the end of its life.
Overall, how long you heat your dab nail is really dependent on your preferences as well. Ultimately, the answer to this question depends on:
- Type of nail
- Quality of nail
- Smoking preferences
- Type of concentrate
- Age of nail
- Size of the nail
Let’s take a more in-depth look at how long you should heat each type of dab nail:
How Long to Heat Ceramic Nails
Ceramic nails are the most sensitive to rapid temperature changes. This means that over time, they can become weakened, or even fracture if you do not heat it right. Generally speaking, you should heat ceramic nails for 45-60 seconds for the perfect temp.
A lot of Stoners swear by ceramic nails over titanium and glass nails because they do not need to be seasoned, and they also have very smooth taste, and hold heat for a very long time.
Once you do this, you should be sure to let it cool for about 15 seconds, just to make sure it has sufficient time to cool down and get to the right temp. A good way to test is by carefully moving your hand about 3-5” above your ceramic nail. If it feels extremely hot, you should let it cool more. If the heat is bearable, you should be good to take a hit.
For thicker ceramic nails, you may have to heat them a bit longer. The opposite can be said about thinner, smaller ceramic nails.
Overall, you want to heat your ceramic nails to around 450-800F for the best dabbing experience. Keep in mind that they hold heat longer than all other types of nails. This means that if you heat it to 800F, and let it sit for about 20 seconds, you can take a few dabs before having to heat your nail it again. This is extremely convenient.
A great way to find exactly how long to heat your ceramic nail is to take notes based on your past smoke sessions. Get a torch with a digital display, and tons of temperature control, then slowly begin to run experiments on heating time, heating temp, and cooldown time. Soon enough, you will find the right combo for perfect dabs every time.
How Long to Heat Titanium Nails
Titanium nails are known for heating faster than any other type of nail, and hold heat almost as long as glass nails, but not nearly as long as ceramic nails. Generally, you should heat titanium nails for about 25-30 seconds.
Note that the time range is a lot closer together for titanium nails. This is because they are very temperature sensitive, and can easily be damaged when heated above 650F.
Seasoning a dab nail is one way to prevent against damage. This is the process of slowly heating your titanium nail more and more in order to break it in. Taking this simple but crucial step can make a huge difference in the longevity of your nail.
Keep in mind that even when your titanium nail is seasoned, this does not mean it is bulletproof. Over time, just like any other nail, titanium Nails will begin to hold less heat, take longer to heat up, and even lose some of their durability.
A lot of experience dabbers tend to dislike titanium nails for a few key reasons:
- They definitely have an effect on flavor
- They can burn out very easily
- They do not hold heat very long
- Ceramic nails and quartz bangers are not much more expensive and can actually be cheaper
Overall, I personally prefer a quartz banger or a ceramic nail over a titanium nail, however comparing the different types of dab nails is a subject and its own. I wrote more about it in this comprehensive guide.
How Long Should I Heat My Quartz Banger
You should heat your quartz banger for about 30-60 seconds, depending on the size of the banger and the heat of the torch. We recommend waiting 10-20 seconds before smoking it after heating, to let it cool down a bit. You want to heat quartz bangers at 500-650F for the best results.
Heating your quartz banger over this temperature will cause long term damage, compromise the taste of your dab, and cause tons of resin build up, or even burning of your dab. For the best results, we recommend heating to about 650F and letting it cool for about 10-20 seconds.
We don’t suggest heating them over 800F. Despite what some people think, heating your quartz dabber until it is red is a very BAD idea that can lead to damaging your banger long term, or even causing it to shatter or fracture.
Unlike most dab nails, you do not need to season quartz bangers, which is what makes them one of the best ways to dab.
What is the Perfect Temperature for Dabs?
This all depends on preference and the way you smoke. However, there is a range of temperatures for dabbing that generally produce the best results across the board. Dabbing at between 450-650F produces the best results. This is where you will get the best flavor, with less intensity than high temp dabs, and a smoother hit as well.
A low temp dab is considered to be between 300-450F. Typically, below 350F is not enough to completely vaporize the terpenes in extracts, which allow for the flavor and feeling from smoking dabs.
Medium temp dabs are between 450-650F and deliver the smoothest hits. We strongly recommend you stay in this temp range. Higher will cause you to risk injury and exposure to more toxins, and lower temps will not allow you to get as much of the intensity, and sometimes flavors, or effects.
A high temp dab is considered to be anything higher than 650F. Numerous studies have found that dabbing at temperatures above 650F releases a wide variety of chemicals and toxins, which can be harmful to humans. On top of that, at high temperatures you get:
- Bad flavor
- Lots of wasted dabs
- Damage to your nail or banger
- Health risks from burns
Overall, there are no advantages to high temp dabbing. It is risky, and we do not condone it or recommend it for anyone. If you are going to do it, make sure you have good percolation and cooling to at least avoid the potential burns.
Some portable dab rigs like e-nails are able to get to temperatures in excess of 800F within seconds. However, they have water filters that ensure the dabs are not heated too high, and that the hit is delivered at a safe temperature every time – something that traditional dab rigs can lack.
Our Recommendation for the Perfect Dab Temp
Honestly, between 450-650F, even the lower side of 600F is very good for dabbing. It is safer than high temp dabbing, and gives you the best combination of intensity, flavor, safety, manageable wear on your rig, and minimizing resin buildup.
We recommend that you find your own temperature range that you prefer, while keeping your mind on safety and overall wear on your rig from heating. As long as you follow the steps we gave you above and make sure that you season your nail and heat it progressively, you will experience longevity with all of your pieces.
Now keep in mind, this is the temperature you should be TAKING your dabs at. You will likely keep your torch at 700-800F for the appropriate amount of time while heating, and then give it the appropriate amount of time to cool.
What is the Safest Temperature to Dab At?
To be clear: Dabbing is still a form of smoking, in which you inhale carcinogens and can do long term damage to your lungs like any other form of smoking. There is also not sufficient research to prove what health problems and conditions it may cause later in life, especially from prolonged use.
However, in terms of which temperatures are the “safest” for dabbing, we generally advise you keep it below 650F to reduce exposure to toxins and burns. Even lower in temp, from the 450-550F range is ideal for smoothness as well.
3 Tips for Getting the Perfect Dab Temperature
Who doesn’t want to get the perfect dab temp every time? Follow these steps and you will be on your way:
1. Keep a Log
I know it sounds nerdy, but if you are seriously trying to find the best dab temp for your rig, why not collect a little data? It’s not like you Stoners will remember it ;). Simply write down:
- How long you heated it
- What temperature you heated it to
- How long you let it cool
- What size dab you took
- Notes on performance, results
- What you think caused it
After doing this a few times and messing around with your dabbing temperature, you will quickly begin to see which temp you prefer, and how to heat your quartz banger or nail just right.
2. Make Sure You Replace Nails as Needed
Look, being good to your dab nails by not heating them too fast, seasoning them, and keeping them at reasonable temperatures can lengthen your lives, but sadly, all things must die eventually. Titanium nails tend to go the fastest, followed by ceramic, then quartz bangers.
Each one can only take so much heat before they begin to show signs of wear such as:
- Not holding heat as long as they used to
- Taking longer to heat up
- Cracking or fracturing
- Gathering more and more resin build up each time
Once you start to feel like your nail or banger is not working as well as it once did, it is only a matter of time before it begins to get worse. Luckily, new dab rig accessories are fairly affordable and usually come in universal sizes.
3. Heat Your Pieces Gradually
Everyone wants to just whip out their rig, heat it up in 5 seconds and rip a fat dab. If this is what you are looking for, and you know you will be inpatient when heating your dab rig, you might want to make a larger investment up front and purchase a portable dab rig. E-nails as they are often called, heat up in as little as 7 seconds to 700F+.
While investing in these might be expensive, the cost of constantly replacing burnt out nails and bangers will quickly cost you more in the long run if you don’t heat your piece gradually.
Think of it as dipping your toes in the water, or cooking a lobster. Slowly ramping up the temperature prevents against damage to your dab rig.
3 Common Mistakes When Heating Dab Rigs
Please take the time to avoid these very common dabbing mistakes in order to make your rig last longer:
1. Not Seasoning Your Nail
Look, seasoning your nail is not the most glamorous thing, especially when all you want to do is try out your new smoking device. However, if you want your piece to last, and have consistency, you need to take the time to season it. If you do not, you risk:
- Shorter life of attachment
- Worse tasting dabs
- Less temperature control
- Immediate damage to your nail
2. Using Your Torch at Very High Temperatures
A lot of torches have a limit of around 800-1000F for safety purposes. However, some of you hardcore Stoners out there use torches capable of reaching excess of 1500F. This is WAY too hot and will burn out your nail or banger in seconds, even if they are brand new.
There is no reason to heat your dab nail beyond 700-800F, or for more than 30-60 seconds. Anything beyond that risks harm to yourself and to your rig setup.
3. Heating Your Rig too Long
It’s easy to get caught up in a conversation while heating a dab rig, or just be a semi-pyro staring into the light as you watch it turn your nail glowing red. But, if you do that enough, you will seriously put a dent in your rig’s performance and in your wallet. Use the instructions in this guide to heat your dab nail or quartz banger to the right temperature and for the right duration:
- Ceramic nails – 45-60 seconds, 550-750F for best results
- Quartz bangers – 30-45 seconds, 450-700F for best results
- Titanium nails – 25-30 seconds, 450-650F for best results
Dab Rig Heating FAQ
At Best Gifts For Stoners, we get a lot of questions about how to heat your dab rig, such as:
How do you know when a quartz banger is hot enough?
Heat at between 450-650F for about 30-45 seconds. Hold your hand about 3-5” above the banger. If it feels too hot to bare, it is too hot, if it feels very hot, let it cool a bit more. After cooling for 10-20 seconds, it should feel warm above. This means your quartz banger is hot enough.
How do you know when a titanium nail is hot enough?
Heat between 450-650F for 20-30 seconds. If your nail begins smoking, it has not been seasoned properly, has resin on it, or is too hot. If it gets red at all, your rig is too hot. After heating, let it cool for 10-20 seconds and put your hand above 3-5” above it. When it feels warm but not too hot, your titanium nail is hot enough.
How do you know when a ceramic nail is hot enough?
Heat between 450-800F for 45-60 seconds. If it begins to get red, it is too hot. After letting cool for 20-30 seconds, then place your hand 3-5” above your nail. If the temperature feels warm, but not too hot, your ceramic nail is hot enough.
What is the best dab torch for temperature control?
If you are looking for the best torch for heating a quartz banger, we strongly recommend the Cinderwitch Triple Jet Dab Torch. This is ranked in our list of Top Butane Dab Torches 2019, and is known for its even heat distribution and amazing temperature control.
Learn More About Dabbing
Want to learn even more about dabbing? The experts here at Best Gifts For Stoners have some excellent resources that can help you!
Best Dabbing Gear
Dabbing Guides for Beginners
- How to Dab for Beginners
- What is a Percolator?
- What is a Recycler Rig?
- What is the Best Dabbing Temperature?
- How to Season a Quartz Nail
Browse Dabbing Products
Wrapping it Up – How Long Should You Heat Your Dab Rig?
Hopefully, you now understand how to heat your dab rig, and how long you should heat your dab nail or quartz banger in order to get the best results.
As long as you apply these tips and tricks throughout your smoking process, you will always keep your dabbing gear nice for a long time, expose yourself to less toxins, and overall have a more enjoyable smoking experience.
We hope that you enjoyed this article and it helped you to learn more about the world of dabbing. At HelpingPot, we work really hard to produce some of the best content in our industry for our fellow Stoners, so we would really appreciate if you leave us a comment below with your feedback.
- Did you try these techniques?
- How did they work?
- What have you found that works best for you?
- Did we miss anything?
Let us know. We love to hear from and interact with the community! Lastly, for more dank deals, follow us on Instagram, and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for weekly updates on all the latest news, deals, and products!