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How Long Do You Need to Heat a Dab Nail For?

How Long Do You Need to Heat a Dab Nail For?

Posted by Puffr ,15th Jun 2022

Dabbing isn’t the easiest thing to master and some newcomers find the whole process a bit intimidating, mostly due to the presence and use of the torch. How long do you have to apply it (the torch)? How close do you have to be to the dab nail? Is there a chance you’re going to burn yourself? All good questions those and the customers of our online smoke shop often write to us asking about them. The truth is, all these concerns and more can be addressed by simply practicing good technique, and that will take practice.

How Long To Heat The Dab Nail?

Applying the right temperature to the dab nail is one of, if not the most, important aspect of dabbing. Apply too much heat and your vapor will take on a caustic quality. Not enough heat and you may wind up wasting your expensive concentrates. Making sure you get the right temperature and that you’re able to replicate it time and again is actually more important than determining exactly how long you should heat the unit. As far as time is concerned many say you should heat the nail until it glows, however long that takes. But what about other approaches?

Determining the Optimal Temperature, Approach 1: Trial And Error

The most common method for determining the right temp for a given rig is to experiment a bit. Of course, this means that some of your precious concentrate will wind up being sacrificed on the altar of research. But if you are methodical in your approach and keep notes as you go you should be able to find the sweet spot in fairly short order.

It's generally accepted that the optimal dabbing temp is between 540 - 575° Fahrenheit. But that might not be optimal for you, so don't start there. Start with low temps in the 450° F range and gradually work your way up to longer, more intense burns noting temp, burn time, taste, and effects. Most dabbers agree that lower burn temps produce better tastes, and that once you get into the 600° F range and above you risk ruining your concentrate, so keep that in mind.

Determining the Optimal Temperature, Approach 2: Spend More and Get a Better Nail

If the idea of wasting concentrates doesn’t appeal to you then you have the option of spending a few more bucks on an e-nail with digital temperature controls. (We have a nice selection in our online head shop so check them out.)

The e-nail will provide the most accurate temperature readouts available removing much of the guesswork associated with the trial and error method. It’s also the best way to maintain a consistent temperature burn after burn. All e-nails, regardless of brand are comprised of the same basic components, those being,

● The dabbing surface. These days most are fashioned from titanium or ceramic with titanium being the more popular of the 2 choices.

● A power cord for plugging the unit into a standard electrical outlet.

● The heating coil that keeps the dab nail hot.

● A screen with a temperature readout that enables precise control over the heat being applied.

Like everything else in life e-nails have their upside and their downside. The biggest downside is that they are not particularly portable because they need to be plugged in to work. Granted, most places these days have electrical outlets. But if you’re out on a hike and want to fire up your dab rig you’ll need to do it without the e-nail. The other downside is the cost. If you want an e-nail with a digital temperature readout they can get pricey. There are e-nails without the readout that are significantly less expensive, but what’s the point of an e-nail without a readout?

Some Notes on Excessive Heat

You could dab at whatever temperature will vaporize your concentrate. And there are certainly people out there who don’t put much emphasis on anything other than generating a cloud, proper temperature or not. But just as slamming the pedal to the metal in your car increases the odds something will go horribly wrong, so too imposing excessive heat on your dab rig will scald the concentrates, ruin the taste and possibly even damage the rig, or your own health.

Applying excessive heat bypasses the vaporization stage and jumps right to the burning stage. Sure, you'll get a cloud but it's not going to be a vapor, instead, it will be smoke. Not only that, but it's likely that smoke will contain a toxic blend of chemicals including benzene, which can have very serious effects on your health.

The Cold Start: A Popular Option

If the whole idea of testing and retesting until you find the right temperature and time leaves you uninspired, try Ye Olde cold start dabbing. With the cold start, you place a small amount of concentrate in the bucket and apply heat. A couple of seconds after the concentrate begins to boil cap the rig and begin to inhale. A bit of trial and error may be needed to master this technique as well, but it saves you the bother of having to buy an expensive e-nail or having to keep notes.

If you’re looking for the best wholesale smoke shop around check out our website. We have a full line of e-nails and portable dab rigs that will enhance your dabbing experience.