When purchasing a new nail for dabbing, or any piece for that matter, you want to get the most out of it in terms of results and longevity.
Seasoning a dab nail is a way to ensure that it lasts longer and has better taste and performance over time. This includes:
- Heating faster
- Holding heat longer
- Lasting longer
- Tasting better
In this guide, we will break down why seasoning your dab nail is important, and exactly how to do it in order to get the best results.
What is Seasoning a Dab Nail?
Seasoning a dab nail is the process of heating a quartz or titanium nail in order to open the pores of the material. This allows for impurities to escape. Once heated, to season the nail, you must take small amounts of extract and use it to fill these pores in order to enhance flavor, and improve the longevity of your nail.
Why Do I Need to Season My Dab Nail?
Seasoning your dab nail is like breaking in a baseball mitt, or a new pair of hockey skates. It is something that improves the overall performance and longevity of your dab nail, and for titanium and quartz nails it is a necessity.
If you do not season your dab nail before using it, a few things can happen:
- The outer coating on Titanium nails will burn, giving off a terrible smell and taste
- Ceramic nails will crack easily when changing temperature rapidly
- Nails will also lose longevity, and hold heat for far less time
On top of that, seasoning a titanium nail helps to make it last a lot longer, improve taste, and allow for a less slippery surface to rest your dabs on – new titanium nails can cause extracts to slip right off if not seasoned.
What Type of Dab Nails Need to Be Seasoned?
Ceramic and glass nails do not require seasoning, while most quartz and titanium nails and bangers do.
How Do I Season a Dab Nail?
Before we get into the steps of seasoning a dab nail, you should know that the process is a bit different for each type of nail, and for quartz bangers.
2 Ways to Season Titanium Nails
There are three ways (I know of) to season titanium nails. I am sure some crazy Stoners have found all sorts of ways to do this process, but in general, these ones work best.
- Torch – Take your torch and head your titanium nail to about 500F gradually. Start around 300F, and heat your nail up to 500F in the span of 10-30 seconds. Once you have reached 500F, hold it at that temperature for about 10 more seconds. Let it cool for about 15-20 seconds and then place a small amount of dab extract or resin on the open pores of the nail. Let it cool, and then repeat this process about 3-5 times as needed to make a sufficient layer on your nail.
- Oven – Preheat your oven to 400F. While it is heating up, take some oil extract and cover the top of your nail in it. Place your titanium nail in the oven on a tray, in the upright position. Leave it in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye out for smoke, as this means it is too hot, and the oil is vaporizing and not adhering (filling the pores of the nail).
There are also seasoning techniques which involve using water. We recommend staying away from these, as they can provide inconsistent results, can take much longer, and are generally not effective.
Seasoning Quartz Bangers
For the most part, seasoning your quartz banger is the same as seasoning your titanium nail, except you should not use the oven method.
Another difference is that when heating, you should try to get your quartz banger to 450-600F. This can usually take up to 30 seconds. You should be sure to give 10 seconds or so to cool off, and then use small dabs for seasoning. Spread evenly throughout, and let it cool completely. Repeat 3-5 times as needed.
Do you need to season a quartz banger?
Technically you do not have to season your quartz banger. However, it is known to improve the flavor of your dabbing experience. A lot of Stoners prefer to clean their quartz banger after every smoke sesh, meaning that the layering of seasoning is never truly added to their surface. It really all depends on your preferences. Not seasoning your banger does not have a negative effect on performance or taste like it does with titanium nails.
Seasoning a Dab Nail in 7 Steps
There are 7 main steps to seasoning a dab nail or quartz banger:
- Get all of your supplies ready – To season your dab nail, you will need a torch, your rig, your nail or quartz banger of choice, a dabber tool, and a bit of concentrate.
- Place your nail or banger on your rig – Be sure to place your accessory on snugly, and place your rig on a flat surface to keep it from tipping or rocking.
- Heat your dab nail or quartz banger – Heat your dab nail up to the right temperature with your torch for the right amount of time. For titanium, heat up to 500F for about 20-30 seconds. For quartz, heat up to 450-600F for about 45-60 seconds.
- Let your nail cool – Before adding a dab of extract, let your nail or banger cool for a bit, usually 10-20 seconds works just fine. To test if the temperature is right, place your hand 3-5” above it. If it feels hot, let cool for a bit longer. If it feels warm, you are good to go.
- Add a small dab of extract – Now it is time to take your extract and use it to fill the pores of your nail or banger. Gently take a small amount on your dabber tool, and use it to coat the nail or banger surface evenly. If you smell burning instead of sweet flavors, your rig is still too hot. This means the pores are not being sealed. Let it cool off more and try again.
- Let it cool completely – Once you have applied this thin layer of resin to the outside of your nail, it is time to let it cool completely to harden. Give it a few minutes, until it is no longer hot to the touch, but a bit warm. Let the resin harden so it is not gooey, but firm.
- Repeat as needed – Repeat the first 6 steps as needed, 3-5 times until a sufficient layer of resin has built up on the outside of your nail or banger.
3 Tips for Seasoning Your Dab Nail
During the process of seasoning a titanium dab nail or quartz banger, there are a few easy things you can do to save yourself time, and make the process more effective:
- Don’t use water to season your titanium nail – Look, there are a few pages out there on the internet that will assure you that seasoning your titanium nail with water is a great idea and that it works fine. It doesn’t. At all. Stay away from it, as it is wildly inconsistent, takes a lot longer, can be dangerous, and pretty much never works.
- Once you’ve seasoned it, treat it right – So many first time dabbers think that once they have seasoned their dab nail, it is bulletproof. This isn’t the case. It can still be damaged from overheating, rapid temperature changes, and prolonged heat. Put simply, take care of your rig and it will take care of you. Understand how long you should heat your dab rig, and you will experience much better results.
- Take your time while seasoning – A lot of people try to skip the whole repeat 3-5 times step by applying one massive glob to their newly seasoned dab nail. The only problem is, this doesn’t allow all of the pores to truly seal and suck up the vapors. Instead, it just infused this new glob of resin with the bad flavors you were trying to avoid, and makes for a difficult to clean mess.
Overall, if you use these tips and follow the steps above, this should be an extremely smooth and successful process for you.
3 Mistakes to Avoid When Seasoning Your Dab Nail
There are also some things you want to look out for when it comes to seasoning your dab rig. They are:
- Buying cheap nails to save on replacement costs – If you are someone who has purchased nail after nail, and gone through each of them quickly, this tells me one of two things; 1) you are heating your rig way too hot, 2) you are purchasing bad dab nails. Sure, cheap nails can cut down replacement costs, but only in terms of dollars per purchase. If you buy a nail that is half the price but lasts a quarter as long, you are actually getting ripped off, and making more hassle for yourself. Investing in a good titanium dab nail makes a world of difference.
- Heating your nail too hot – What a lot of first time dabbers don’t realize in the seasoning process is that you can actually ruin your nail the very first time you use it if you get it too hot. Especially with titanium nails, if you heat them above 550F or so, they begin to lose their longevity over time. If you heat your titanium nail over 650F, you can release dangerous chemicals that can be harmful to your body. If you heat your nail over 800F, it can crack, break, or even be permanently damaged, affecting conduction time, holding heat, and taste.
- Not heating your nail evenly – Even heating is the most important thing when dabbing and when seasoning your dab nail. Without making sure your nail is heated evenly, you may not be able to ensure all of the pores are open when you season your nail. This can make for uneven curing and lead to performance issues down the line. A simple way to avoid this is to heat your nail directly from the top or your quartz banger directly from the bottom (if your rig design allows for that).
Avoiding these common mistakes will help you save your rig and nail from those rookie mistakes we made when seasoning our first dab nail.
Learn More About Dabbing
Looking to learn even more about dabbing? At HelpingPot, our experts cover just about anything to do with Stoner gear that you can imagine. Check out some of these related resources:
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Wrapping it Up – How to Season a Dab Nail or Quartz Banger
Hopefully, this guide gave you some insight into why it is important to season a dab nail and the process of how to do it correctly.
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