Exploring the Dangers of using a Propane Torch for Dabbing


Since the practice of “Dabbing” has become so mainstream, people have been buying up Grade 2 Titanium Nails and Butane Torches like crazy.

Many people have been wondering if they can use a cheaper Propane Torch, instead of a Butane Torch, when heating their Titanium Nail or Titanium Pad.

The short answer is NO, you should NEVER use a Propane Torch to heat up your Titanium Nail or Pad for Dabbing.

Here’s just a few reasons why;

1)  Propane has NOT been refined to remove impurities. Butane IS refined, sometimes up to 10 times, to remove impurities that may be harmful. This refining process to clean the Butane is done primarily because they anticipate that people might be inhaling the Butane by way of smoking. This is just one of the many reasons why lighter manufacturers (like BIC) opt to make Butane lighters rather than Propane lighters.

2)  Propane gas contains “Ethyl Mercaptan”, a colorless gas with a distinctive putrid smell. Most brands of canned Butane do NOT contain Ethyl Mercaptan. Since propane is colorless and odorless, Ethyl Mercaptan is added to Propane to make it easier to detect a gas leak. Putting this smelly gas onto your Titanium Nail just makes your Oil, Shatter, or Wax taste FUNKY.

3)  Propane’s MAX burning point is 3,623 F. Butane’s MAX burning point is 2,600 F. Titanium’s melting point is 3,034 F. Propane actually gets the Titanium hot too quickly, which ultimately causes the titanium to diminish after time. (Not to mention that LOW TEMP DABS taste so much better!)

4)  Since the temperature of Propane is hotter than Butane, this will cause a layer of Titanium Oxide to build up on your Titanium Nail faster. A thick oxidation layer on your Titanium Nail can affect its efficiency in addition to potentially being harmful. Over time, a Titanium Nail will become so oxidized that it will have lost much of its original heat retention capabilities, thus making it useless.

Most store-bought cans of Butane do contain both Butane and a small amount of Propane as a propellant. That’s only because Propane has a lower boiling point than Butane, and so it can be used to force the Butane out of the can. Most brands of canned Butane do NOT contain Ethyl Mercaptan.

For these reasons, we recommend that you use a BUTANE TORCH while Dabbing!

  • Jon

    Well, as a 5th generation stoner, myself smoking for over 20 years now, I can promise, without fail, that heating your nail with propane is no more or less dangerous than butane. Let’s use our brains for a moment. Profane burns at more than 3600° F. That’s hot enough to MELT YOUR TITANIUM NAIL? Well, I’ve had my Titanium nail for a couple years now. It’s been heated with both butane when I first got it, and later propane when I realized just how long it took to heat with butane, which burns at approximately 2600° F. My nail hasn’t even started melting, nor has it warped at all. Next is the “smell” of propane. Everything said here is correct about that, except that my dabs have NEVER tasted like the rotten egg smell associated with propane. That smell is primarily present in non-burning propane, specifically to make it easier to detect gas leaks. By the description given here, EVERY MEAL cooked on a propane stove would taste rancid. Which, in my experience, they don’t. People cook on open propane flames while camping all the time. Thirdly, the level of refinement doesn’t actually effect the burning of the butane, at all. Refinement of butane, primarily, is associated with the extraction process of dabs itself, as pushing unrefined butane through the plant matter would mix with the final product. When burning, at 3600° F, mind you, any impurities within the propane are instantly vaporized.

    That being said, it really all comes down to preference. I’ve never personally noticed a difference in flavor between high heat and low heat dabs, and I don’t like waiting forever for my nail to heat.