When dabbing concentrate from a water pipe, you’re either going to need a nail or a banger plus, a dab toolmat, and container will come in handy too. A nail, in a general sense, is made from either titanium or glass and considered to be the “go to” option for most as it’s the simplest to use and easiest to find a proper fit. A banger is typically used to describe a quartz or ceramic piece with a female fitting for a male joint.

The difference between the two is mostly semantics, though each either has a particular “look” you’ll notice when browsing through our inventory. In a similar fashion to other equipment, it attaches to a rig, where either accomplishes the same objective.

Selecting a Nail

The common consensus in the industry is a nail designs are meant to directly fit into most bongs or water pipes, so long as the fitting gender and size is correct. A nail is typically male, though you’ll find female variations, and some that are universal.

Materials and sizing aside, the biggest difference among different nails is between domedand dome-less nails. A domed nail requires a dome (usually glass) or in some cases, a simple carb cap, to “trap” the smoke such that it funnels through the pipe. A dome-less nail is designed to circumvent the doming process by utilizing a ventilation network to guide the smoke in a proper direction.

Selecting a Banger

A banger is an attachment that typically looks like a standard bowl, except the bowl portion protrudes from the attaching stem and doesn’t have a hole in the bottom. Bangers are generally female, although some male variations are circulating around the market.

Most bangers come in two different materials: glass or ceramic. These kinds fittings require a bit more precision as they’re optimized for “low-temp dabbing,” meaning the bit cools to anywhere between 315 and 450° F, prior to dropping in a concentrate. Afterward, the banger is capped off, maximizing the burning process.

Picking a Material

You’ll find a few different materials, each with their own unique advantages. The primary differences between the three primary materials are as follows:

Titanium –This material is typically used for nail designs. It offers better heat retention than thinner quartz attachments and heats up quickly. It is also the most durable. The only drawback is that it doesn’t pass along the flavor as well plus, left over concentrates can oxidize, further diminishing taste.

Quartz –Also called glass, this is the most common material for both bangers and nails. Thinner-walled quartz attachments heat quickly while thicker bangers or nails hold heat for longer lengths of time. The taste quality is considered better than titanium. The biggest disadvantage is that they can crack in time from rapid temperature changes or from being dropped.

Ceramic –Most dab aficionados consider ceramic to be the best of the materials because of the flavor it passes along and its ability to retain heat. With that said, these devices take the longest to heat of all options. Too, these will wear down with extensive use.