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Best Way to Keep an E-Nail Heating Coil On a Banger Nail

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Most e-banger setups I have seen involve just pressing a tight heating coil onto the sides of the banger nail– which just seems like an accident waiting to happen. The heat coil has a chance of slipping off, unless of course it’s got a tight fit on the banger. Yet if it’s a tight fit you run the risk of eventually cracking the quartz during the cool-down cycle, when the quartz expands at a different rate than the metal on the coil. Over time the stress from the expansion of the quartz can cause weaknesses which will eventually crack and break the glass.

I much prefer the SiC dish over quartz for my “daily-driver”; but I recognize and respect that the majority of e-nail/torch users still mostly use quartz bangers for their dab rigs. I haven’t seen a wholesale switch to SiC like I (somewhat) expected, which is why I decided to come up with some solutions to help keep our heating coils secured to our bangers with a little more “peace of mind”. The first is a simple wire-tie which can be twisted around the shaft leading to the heat coil and the banger shaft leading to the bucket– securing them together. This is a great simple solution since wire can be easily found in the “spine” of any grocery twist-tie (if the outer paper or plastic is removed which normally scrapes off easily). The only two drawbacks are remove-ability & aesthetics; and it really doesn’t look too shabby. If you have a wire-snipper you can cut the excess or just bend it around. TIP: make sure your “twisting-tabs” are bent horizontally when you are twisting to maximize the torque/tightness when twisting.

The twist-tie solution to get a banger attached to a heat coil securely worked well– but I also wanted another solution that was more removable and with a more finished look. This is where the banger holding clips come in. I wondered why no one had done this before. Thingiverse had a nice starting file for me to work with and I took it from there to develop the most sturdy clip I can think of given the material (and physical constraints of heat threatening the plastic of the clip). What I came up with are several clip versions for the 20mm and 30mm bangers that never see over 50C at the hottest point. The PLA plastic which the clips are printed from are a thermoplastic, which means they are designed to be melted and re-formed (recycled) into new products. The melting temperature at which this plastic can be heated and formed is at 190C min. This does not mean that the plastic does not gradually weaken below those temperatures, so more extensive heat testing (referred to as the “creep test”) should be done before full long-term resiliency and safety can be concluded. That being said, so far a test of over 8 hours was performed where the e-nail was set at 900F and the banger clip was hardly phased. I feel pretty good about that as well as allowing you to use them with the caveat that they should not be left unattended for quite a while; until further long-term testing has been completed.

20mm standard banger with holding clip
25mm banger kit with heat coil and fastening wire-wrap tie

BEST E-NAIL: GUIDE TO PURCHASING THE BEST E-NAIL FOR YOUR MONEY

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BEST E-NAIL: GUIDE TO PURCHASING THE BEST E-NAIL FOR YOUR $

best e-nail guide

  • SAFETY FIRST!

Fuse protection is a critical feature. Without a fuse there is no safeguard to prevent dangerous and life-threatening events involving high-amp “mains” power from potentially damaging your electronic dab nail (or your health). The best e-nail models come equipped with fast-blow fuse that could potentially save your life if any of these events were to occur. Fuses are actually dirt-cheap, take up very little space inside the controller casing, and are relatively easy to install. Surprisingly, some online retailers are still selling e-nails that are not fuse-protected. It’s a good idea to check before purchasing for the sake of your safety (and of others). The best e-nail models have a small accessible fuse-port that even allows for easy replacements.

One way to check is to look at the power receptacle itself, which is normally located on the back side of the unit. Some sellers include pictures of this with their product pages. If the receptacle has some space next to the power cord port and there is a fuse symbol where that space is, it’s almost certain there is a fuse installed. If this type of receptacle did not include the fuse, the unit would fail to power-up. This is not to say that the fuse could not be located somewhere else in the case, but if you see the fuse symbol it’s probably there (see picture below). Check the pics and read the specs. If still in doubt, ask the seller to be sure. Also it would be good to make sure that the USB port is properly regulated so it does not end up damaging your phone/device from over or under-current draw.

e-nail with fuse

fused e-nail

  • INTERCHANGEABLE HEATING COIL?

Aside from some exclusive proprietary heat coils, there are two major wiring configurations for e-nail heat coils. Both of these typically use XLR 5-pin connectors; or less commonly mini-XLR. It is important to consider future replacements if you intend on using your electric nail for years to come. When purchasing a replacement heater coil for your digital dab rig controller, you will want to contact both the seller of the e-nail and the heat coil to find out if the 5 wires will match on the male and female ends. If not, you will probably damage your gear (at the very least). It is important to make sure your e-nail controller will be compatible with a heating coil that is standard 5-pin XLR (not mini), and therefore easily obtained in the future.

 

  • MECHANICAL OR SOLID STATE RELAY?

Some PID controllers (such as the MyPin TA4 RNR) use a mechanical relay to send energy/heat in pulses to the heating coil. These are fairly reliable, but the best e-nail models use a solid-state relay (SSR)– which is less prone to mechanical failure in the long run. Instead of an electromagnet making a switch click on and off, the SSR uses a small LED light and a photo-sensitive resistor to make the switch. They also have the advantage of being totally silent while functioning, compared to the constant clicking of the mechanical relay (which could be a plus if you need a reminder to switch it off every now and then). An easy way to tell if your electronic nail uses an SSR is to look for the shorter PID controllers with one display line use a SSR to pulse energy to the heating coil.

 

  • WILL YOUR OIL RIG FIT & FUNCTION WELL WITH THE NAIL & COIL?

I’ve found that the well-known “universal fit” Ti nail does not fit very well on the 10mm dab rigs that have a male connection. It works on 10mm female rig joint just fine; but with a male connection on the rig and female on the nail, it wobbles a bit– leaving slight air gaps. The connection isn’t too bad if you have reclaim built up; but I would highly recommend picking up a glass adapter that will widen the dab rig’s joint from 10mm to 14mm, since the female end on the Ti nail just sits better there. I had an adapter shipped in about 2-3 days from eBay for less than $10. Caution: be careful when removing the adapter later on, they tend to stick themselves on tight inside the bottom of the Ti nail

*TIP FOR SMALL RIGS- try angling the heat coil’s arm toward the center of the rig, which will give more balance to the setup and prevent your glass from tipping over.

 

  • DISTANCE FROM SELLER TO YOU

Chinese manufacturers deserve some credit. They have been able to coordinate massive labor and marketing efforts to position themselves as the electronics manufacturing center of today. They can produce the cheapest goods, and have the ability to produce the standard of quality that Americans demand. This is evidently so. However, unless you’re planning on purchasing bulk electronic components to DIY, going with a e-nail seller that is located closer to you can avoid some hassle & frustration.

  1. The first reason is that shipping times can be up to 4x as fast compared to from Alibaba etc., especially when some holidays are taking place, which of course you aren’t aware of unless you do a lot of business overseas and keep it on your schedule.
  2. Second, there is a higher chance that domestic customer service will be able to meet your needs much more quickly and efficiently.
  3. Third, in the event that you need to return a unit that was damaged in shipping or not properly inspected, it can be difficult to impossible to ensure that your return package is tracked & accounted-for after it crosses the border. This can lead to high costs trying to track the package, and can leave room for dishonest sellers to disappear after your money is received. Filling out a customs form for an electric dab nail is also a sensitive maneuver, in addition to spending extra time at the post office.

 

IS THERE A WARRANTY? WHICH PARTS ARE COVERED AND HOW LONG FOR EACH ONE?

A warranty is good for peace-of-mind– covering your e-nail controller from being sent off without proper inspection. The average time on an e-nail warranty is 1-year, and covers the controller only (or has a separate warranty time on the other parts/accessories). The electronics in an electric dab nail are not relatively complex and not especially difficult to manufacture, but mistakes are possible in the mass manufacturing process. This is why RCCtools covers the controller electronics so you don’t have to worry about your purchase. I strive to provide the best e-nail product possible! This is why I created this e-nail guide, to inform you how RCCtools covers all vital areas you would look for in an e-nail and then some. Of course I am baised towards the product, but the information in this e-nail guide is objectively true and plain– not deceptive or overly market-y…just an e-nail guide to highlight key considerations in purchasing.

 

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Fuse protection is a critical feature. Without a fuse there is no safeguard to prevent dangerous and life-threatening events involving high-amp “mains” power from potentially damaging your electronic dab nail (or your health). The best e-nail models come equipped with fast-blow fuse that could potentially save your life if any of these events were to occur. Fuses are actually dirt-cheap, take up very little space inside the controller casing, and are relatively easy to install. Surprisingly, some online retailers are still selling e-nails that are not fuse-protected. It’s a good idea to check before purchasing for the sake of your safety (and of others). The best e-nail models have a small accessible fuse-port that even allows for easy replacements.

E-Nail Vs. Butane Torch – Reasons To Go For The Electric Nail

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  • E-NAILS ARE MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT

With a butane torch, only a fraction of the total energy in the flame goes directly toward heating the nail. A large amount of the heat just blows right past it and heats the air around the nail. Sure, an e-nail may do this to some small degree; but compared to a torch the heat is more direct & efficient. To heat a dab nail using a butane torch you need to ignite gas (usually butane or propane) to create large amounts of heat-energy. This heat is then blown towards the nail via the pressurized gases and the directional nozzle on the top of the can. The gases are directed through the valve and nozzle TOWARDS your dab nail, but this is obviously not anywhere near lazer-focused, and a lot of the energy goes towards heating up your room unintentionally to a very small degree, while leaving behind byproducts of this combustion to hang out at the bottom foot of your living space. These gases do not float upwards and more often will “sit and soak” around the bottom 1″ of your sesh-room. These gases are not deadly– of course, but many people make some effort to at least minimize the amount of toxic “gick” in their living spaces.

After a year of regular propane torch use our house had literally dozens of empty cans sitting around. None could be recycled or re-used economically. These massive chunks of metal & machine oil sat as a reminder to our mildly shameful consumption– our “dab-print” on the beautiful Mother-of-Mothers that allows us to walk upon her crusty bosom… in other words it was time to ditch the cans and look into this newfangled electronic dab gear. So now we’re off and on to a new era of hydrocarbon-less, temperature-perfect, dab-sesh-Heaven!!

Though e-nails admittedly aren’t 100% perfect in energy efficiency, the improvement from a butane torch is significant– even when leaving the e-nail on while the session is idle. There are also ways to further reduce the load by use of different heating coils, nails, and cappers. The flat style heat coil has been popular recently because of it’s efficiency in heat distribution and use in the popular hybrid nail. A flat coil will sit directly underneath the dish, instead of covering the side walls of the nail. With the flat coil (used in a standard domeless Ti/quartz hybrid nail and some universal Ti nails), most of the heat travels directly upwards to the bottom of the dish, which is where most of the concentrate glob will end up as it melts downward. Another improvement worth noting is in the new Liger nail, which encases the heating coil fully inside of the titanium nail. Some heat will of course still radiate from the outer side walls, but the side wall/shield does slow down heat loss to retain it in the dab nail itself. The heat shield also serves to direct a lot of that heat back towards the center of the piece. It is definitely a significant improvement over a torch flame that will heat a nail way past temps but then also way past the nail itself as well.

  • STEADY HEAT CONTROL AND SUSTAINED TEMPERATURE FOR LARGER “GLOBS” AND LONGER SESSIONS

An electronically-controlled dab nail is easily the best way to provide precise temperatures that stay steady. This allows you to find the perfect dab temp. for different nails, type of concentrates, uses of a carb-cap (or not), environments, and desired “vape” experience over time. Some of the wax that is less terpene-rich and more dry may require a higher temperature for complete combustion compared to a product like live resin, distillate, or of course terp-added products. This is because terpenes are much more volatile substances and are also much more liquid than some of the other substances in the concentrate. They don’t always stick around long- which any med. grower knows all too well!  A lower temperature will help deliver a smoother pull that is less irritating and more “vaporized” compared to a higher temperature. A high temp. dab feels and tastes more “burn-y”, but also has it’s own unique “heavy” type of feel. These are all different preferences that are nice to be able to work with for different times, preferences, medical needs, etc., and are much easier to do with an e-nail– set it and just let it sit (please don’t set it-and-forget-it though!!).

If you also happen to be pressing your own solvent-less rosin at home you will be amazed at the flavor difference when using a carb-cap and dropping the temps. down to around the mid-600’s. The difference in flavor alone is night-and-day, let alone the crazy amount of buzz-mist coming off of a much smaller dab than you would normally expect from dabbing without a carb cap. Also, a “carb cap” is a handy “hack” as it allows you to effectively lower the temperature that the concentrate will become gas at. This happens when pressure is created inside the nail chamber. If pressure builds then the liquid will become gas at a lower temperature. Less heat is then applied overall and more material is preserved. Not only does a carb cap allow you to fine-tune the taste experience, but also without using as much material or energy.Using lower temps opens up more ability to get a dab of the very best parts while leaving some of the lipids (waxes) & less-desirable plant matter behind in the nail. On the other hand, some like to raise the temperature up higher to minimize pooling, crudsting, & (perceived) waste. Flavor aside, for those of you who pride yourselves on taking massive gram-sized globs, the e-nail is the clear choice for all of you “glob-a-sauruses”– since the heat remains constant. Even as you are dabing and removing heat the enail will will only drop a little before popping right back up for the next one in-line… No more need to torch the nail ’til it gets red-hot then wait 15-45 seconds for it to plunge down. Just set it and let it sit for 2 minutes or so and you have the temperature you need until the power switch is flipped again. The PID algorithm inside the electronic controller watches to even out temperatures according to the size of the dab and how much energy it took during the last seconds to bring it back to the “set temperature”.

  • OPERATES IN COMPLETE SILENCE 

Ever been trying to heat up your nail and realize it interrupted the conversation completely? It’s loud. It says DABS! It says FIRE!!! Fire is indeed a captivating thing, and it can be overly distracting when someone decides to go for that torch in a room with more than a few people. Plus, it’s kinda cool but it also looks a little cracked-out (especially if you have kids). Dabs should not be associated/confused with dangerous hard drugs, and having to light with a butane torch may visually strengthen this negative association– especially if you have kids in the house that will be curious as to what those loud rumbling sounds are in your room. They may associate it in the wrong way upon discovering the source of the sound. This is all surface image-politics stuff but it is worth considering for many people. My main point here is that the convenience of not having to deal with the rumble of the torch is a must-have in my opinion. I can’t imagine dabbing daily with a torch anymore by any means.

  • CLEANER – THE LESS TOXIC “GICK”, THE BETTER

No one like toxic “gick”, but we all tolerate a base-line amount that pervades our modern environment. Now that electric nails are abundant and cheap, there is no need to spray combustion gases all over your home, unless your room or area outside doesn’t have access to an electric outlet. Make your home a place of sanctuary.

When camping, if you have a vehicle you can usually use a cheap inverter to power an e-nail using the cigarette lighter socket. There are also “portable e-nail” products available, but they just don’t deliver heat as well as a “real” nail, and aren’t nearly as reliable in the long-run (probably because of the battery load slowly becoming uneven or just plain slow over-heating.​ I have yet to read a review from someone who is satisfied with these “portable e-nails” after more than a year’s use. There are e-pens, and there are e-nails. Let’s just say there are e-nails and there is everything else. There is a big difference in heating power and taste with dabs dropped straight onto a small coil and dabs dropped onto a proper nail with an e-nail coil heating around it.

e-nail propane butane torch toxicity

The e-nail propane butane torch toxicity

I do still keep a propane torch nozzle around for other purposes– but I will say that there is one thing that I still depend on my torch for and that is to remove certain nails that are completely stuck with month-long reclaim accumulations. A lot of the time hot water will work (and sometimes this plus a lighter).. But to be fair after this “anti-torch manifesto” I will say that my torch is still the easiest and best way to remove a stuck nail. That being said, this is only necessary with my setup maybe every few months at the very earliest. Also, having a more constant heat source could be a bad thing for the accident prone or people living with animals or nacient or humans. Check out Leafly’s handy explaination on why e-nails aren’t right for everyone (toward the bottom of the article).

A FEW OF THE MAIN REASONS ONE MIGHT CHOOSE 

AN ELECTRIC NAIL (E-NAIL) CONTROLLER OVER A PROPANE / BUTANE TORCH & NAIL SETUP:

  • E-NAILS ARE MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT
  • STEADY HEAT CONTROL AND SUSTAINED TEMPERATURE FOR LARGER “GLOBS” AND LONGER SESSIONS
  • OPERATES IN COMPLETE SILENCE 
  • CLEANER – THE LESS TOXIC “GICK”, THE BETTER

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WHAT SETS RCC TOOLS APART?

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WHAT SETS RCC TOOLS E-NAILS APART FROM OTHERS?

PLASTIC ABS ENCLOSURES OVER ALUMINUM: RCC TOOLS e-nails are enclosed in an ABS plastic case because it is extremely durable for one (think LEGOS: have you ever come close to breaking one?). It is also a rust-proof material that is non-conductive– protecting the electronic parts against static charge and condensation. It could potentially protect you yourself in case of a spill or  other extreme moisture being present.

INDUSTRY STANDARD PID CONTROLS: The PID controls used in these e-nails are the industry “gold standard” for many good reasons. They are accurate and precise. Overshoot rarely gets to be over 30 degrees F over the set temp. when powering up– compared to one controller I saw discussed today that overshoots more than 100 degrees F. Once powered up the overshoot is much less (around 10 degrees F). On top of this, I have read reports of one brand taking up to 5 minutes to get up to the set temperature, compared to under 2 min. for RCC TOOLS.

INDIVIDUALLY PAINTED: Each marble-ized finish has unique character that individualizes each controller with it’s own natural “fingerprint” that can never be duplicated in exactly the same way. The final design paint finish can depend on many factors such as time of exposure to wind, air & light, moisture in the atmosphere, swirling/tilting, as well as the various properties of the different paints. Hydro dipping comes from a process that stems from the Asiatic tradition of suspending pigments on water and creating fantastic images (sometimes mutating these images into other images multiple times) before laying a prepared sheet of paper onto the surface to capture the design. Mastering intentional, well-crafted results takes patience, but it is also fairly easy to get an “average design” that still looks really amazing due to the natural swirling process. Of course this is mainly in the eye of the beholder; but enthusiasts of this art would agree that there certainly are better or worse designs and varying degrees of quality in the finished product depending on skill. Studies of color theory are implemented in bringing forth tasteful yet eye-catching, vibrant color schemes that are drawn from natural forces, outer space, the man-made environment, and other aesthetics.

OVER 2 YEARS EXPERIENCE: Since early 2015 RCC TOOLS has been designing, assembling, and painting e-nails for heady dabber heads all over the globe. Started from an annoyance for propane torches and empty cans, a goal was set to create an e-nail that didn’t cost $400+. There were only a small handful of American brands, and people still thought t-shirt presses were a good idea for pressing rosin. I was throwing together elementary electronic components trying to create a cheap e-nail and marble-izing every object that I possibly could in a deep fascination for the technique and the resulting designs.

Fast forward 2+ years and there are dozens of e-nails companies, many also selling their own rosin plate kits. RCC TOOLS fell behind in the marketing (being a novice in the internet marketing game) but despite the low visibility continued to create, inspired by the happy and excited customers that did end up finding the site one way or another.

NO SHADY SALES TACTICS OR SLICK MARKETING: only affordable, quality products and verifiable claims. Unlike other companies who have been known to make false claims such as manufacturing their e-nails in the USA, having a heat-up time that is 3x faster, exaggerating the time in marketplace, exaggerated “wins” in competitions, etc., Other companies use shady sales tactics such as following/un-following, publishing biased and/or payed reviews, copying content/plagiarism, false claims, and outright lies to gain sales, which is frustrating to the other honest sellers out there. The number of sellers that simply print their logo on another company’s product, and then pay someone else to write slick marketing content, and another to push it to the top of search results is insane. It is watering down the market. Do your due diligence on any claims made.

RCC TOOLS E-NAILS ARE HAND-WIRED BY A SINGLE DEDICATED INDIVIDUAL who is focused and dedicated fully to the quality of the electronics in each piece. Each unit is also thoroughly inspected before shipping to prevent time-consuming and costly returns. On top of this, a 1-year warranty is offered to ensure confidence and comfort in your purchase. Your electric nail is an investment, and you shouldn’t have to worry about attempting to make returns due to faulty hardware, bad connections, or poor inspection.

NO PROPRIETARY/EXCLUSIVE PARTS: All components are standard and can easily be replaced. If you need to replace your heating coil, you can refer to this pin configuration: pin1= ac, pin2=ac, pin3=tc+, pin4=tc-, pin5=ground for both the coils and the controllers. Some manufacturers attempt to keep their coils exclusive, and use non-standard XLR connectors to force you to buy your replacements from them.

COMPACT SIZE OPTIONS: RCC TOOLS e-nails come in a variety of size options from compact size to original (slightly larger than a standard Chinese model) to dual e-nails. In the compact and standard sizes the electronics are the same. The only differences are in appearance and how the e-nails sit in your space. The compact size is designed with the heat coil coming from the top to save additional surface space compared to the front-end design. The standard size simply allows for more painted area, and a richer design finish. Of course, the dual electronics are the same as the standard size, but doubled to allow for 2 heater coils to be controlled separately for use in rosin press plate applications as well as dual glass rig setups.

MOST AFFORDABLE AMERICAN E-NAILS: RCC TOOLS e-nails rely as little as possible on marketing, re-uses packaging materials, uses strategic sourcing, and limited outsourcing, so that the most reasonable prices can be offered. Bulk components are purchased to keep prices down, and minimal paint is wasted in the finish process. An established, streamlined production system keeps labor costs down and final prices low on the best e-nail for your money.

 

 

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