Part 9. Bangers and Mashed.
As dabbing becomes an increasingly popular pastime innovations in equipment and technology are constantly on the move and improve. This makes sense as the dab has only relatively recently become the preferred method of intake of herbal loveliness for many enthusiasts. Inevitably, what was popular yesterday will be surpassed by current trends and improvements ; it is a constantly fluid situation. We have dealt with the traditional nail in all its forms but over the past two years a new kid has turned up on the proverbial dabbing block that is rapidly replacing the good old fashioned nail as the tool of choice for dabbers, particularly in the USA…
Folks, get ready to meet the “banger”!
The first thing you will notice is that a banger looks entirely different to a nail. With just a perfunctory glance you will be able to see how it fits onto your rig with its basic male or female connections, but that is where the similarities begin and end. From the connection at its end the rest of the nail almost resembles an ornate spoon, with a long dipping tube that is tipped with a small bowl. For all intents and purposes, the banger performs the same function as a nail by providing a surface for your oil or concentrate to simmer and bubble away in, however the added length of tubing provides a slightly different conduit for the vapours to initially pass through. Once again this relies on the simple theory that the further the vapour has to travel the cooler it becomes, increasing its smoothness and palatability. The length and time the vapour has to travel is more often than not determined by the complexity of the internal structure of your rig, however as most dabbers will know, the more intricate the rig the more difficult it is to maintain and keep clean. By externalising the distance travelled by the vapour to a degree with a conduit fitted onto the rig as opposed to inside the actual rig the first blatantly obvious upside is that by using a banger you could potentially reduce cleaning fuss and bother by a noticeable degree. Even if you are a fan of the basic bong pipe, you will know that externalised bubblers and accessories are by far easier to keep clean and shipshape.
The other major advantage of the banger (and as with all things this comes down to personal preference) in my opinion is the taste you can elicit from your dab. Most of the bangers on the market are being manufactured from either glass or quartz (quartz is a stronger type of glass but looks very similar). As mentioned previously regarding nails, this means that you can go expensive or cheap, but you essentially pay for what you get. A glass banger by its very nature will not be as durable as a quartz one and are prone to being quite easily broken or chipped. The quartz banger is a win-win scenario. Perfect for not only taste, but great as far as durability and function is concerned. It comes down to the old cost vs taste argument…A debate that at the end of the day only you, my fine dabbing friend, can answer.
One of the other often cited features that some dabbers quote as being a real plus as far as bangers are concerned is the restricted airflow they provide. Using a banger is a tighter pull, and therefore work better when vaporizing at a lower temperature. If you have encountered a variety of rigs, one thing you will notice is the difference of resistance in your toke. Some rigs have a very loose airflow, and therefore are in no way suitable for a prolonged dab. They are designed to just heat and draw in as quick as possible. I prefer a slower draw. Not only does it allow you to savour the flavour of your dab, but also allows for a gentler smoother toke…With a lot less coughing and sputtering involved. I have always found, be it with a pipe, bong or oil rig a short sharp toke often leads to niggles at the throat and lungs. Most varieties on bangers on the market come with rather tiny airflow holes and this means that by design the toke is going to be extended. Having said this, I would say that coinciding your use of a banger with a carb cap is almost a necessity. The downside of a longer draw is that your concentrate has more room to release all that herbal yumminess impotently into the atmosphere…
Which ain't great. So take precautions. Put a cap on the end of it!
Should I Get a Banger?
So there are numerous reasons why bangers are beginning to take off, particularly the quartz variety. As with all dabbing equipment if kept clean and well maintained you will get a decent lifespan from it as well as that sweet clean flavour. Heating your dab for a carefully prolonged period to allow for a leisurely toke not only results in a smoother draw but also tends to preserve the subtle hints and notes of the terpenes (the naturally occurring components responsible for the aroma and taste of your dab) locked away in your concentrates. As far as bangers are concerned it is a case of many upsides without any real downsides to report of. So when compiling your gear and putting together your equipment and kit to facilitate your dabbing hobby take a moment, have a little think and take a moment to consider if experimenting with a banger could be the desired course of dank dabbing action for you. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!