The Ultimate Guide To Dab Nails
Dabbing has gained incredible popularity recently, and with this newfound popularity comes a lot of options for dabbing.
There are many different kinds of dab nails available for new or experienced dabbers to use with their dab rigs.
Learn the major differences in dab nails, the pros and cons of these differences, and which one is best for you.
Domed vs.Domeless Dab Nails
One of the most noticeable differences, even if you are new to dabbing, is whether a dab nail is domeless or domed.
Domed Dab Nails
Some of the benefits of using a domed nail along with your oil rig include:
- Great for individual use because no vapor is wasted.
- Cheaper than their domeless counterparts.
- The domed sides trap vapors, so vapor is more potent.
- The attached dome creates a safer way to dab.
One of the major cons of the domed nails is the amount of time it takes for the dab nail to heat up. The longer the dab nail takes to heat up, the longer the dabbing process could be delayed.
Domeless Dab Nails
Meanwhile, domeless dab nails have no sides to them. With this design comes a specific set of benefits:
- Allows for bigger dabs.
- Faster heating compared to domed dab nails.
- Reduces the risk of burning the oil.
There are cons for this dabbing system too. The main one being that this dab nail design is more intended for experienced dabbers, due to the quick heating abilities. Plus, you lose more vapor unless you use a separate carb cap.
If you are new to dabbing, you may want to consider starting with a domed nail for your dab rig and then working your way up to a domeless design.
E-nails vs. Standard Dab Nails
The major difference between e-nails and standard dab nails is that e-nails don’t rely on a butane torch to heat up the nail.
Short for “electronic nails,” e-nails typically feature a controller box that delivers heat to the nail through a coil. The controller box lets you easily — you guessed it — control the temperature. So it eliminates guesswork.
E-nails require heating coils to connect to e-nail capable domeless nails, which can be made from quartz, titanium, and even silicon carbide.
E-nails are an excellent way for ensuring the concentrate reaches a consistent temperature. While these dabbing accessories are considerably more expensive than standard dab nails, if you plan on dabbing regularly, then this might be a good investment for you.
Because e-nails can remain at the ideal temperature for hours, they’re an excellent choice for enjoying multiple dabs in a row, and prevent you from burning oil on the nail.
When using an e-nail, you’ll need to make sure you monitor it closely because of the high-temperature used to operate.
If you are an experienced dabber who is looking for a way to do multiple dabs and know how to work an oil rig, an e-nail would be a significant step up for you and your dabbing routine.
Titanium vs. Glass vs. Quartz vs. Ceramic Dab Nails
Besides the differences in the design of the dab nail and how to heat the nail, these dabbing accessories are made from a lot of different materials.
Titanium Dab Nails
This option for dab nails has been around since the beginning of the dabbing craze. It’s easy to see why this material is a popular option for a dab rig because of its unmatched durability.
Besides being durable, titanium will also heat up quickly and consistently, which are two crucial components to dabbing.
The most significant negatives to using a titanium nail are that if you choose a lower-grade titanium, you run the risk of titanium oxide building up on the dab nail, which might be harmful for both you and your dab nail.
Plus, the titanium may interfere with the flavor.
If you are a person who doesn’t want anything interfering with the flavor, a titanium nail may not be for you.
Glass Dab Nails
Glass dab nails are another popular option among the dabbing community. These dab nails are great for not interfering with the flavor. Plus, they are one of the easiest types of dab nails to clean.
However, glass dab nails are not best for withstanding high levels of heat and may break easily. Unless you are extremely careful with your dab nail, you might have a short lifespan for your glass dab nail.
Quartz Dab Nails
If you liked the sound of the benefits of the glass dab nail but didn’t want to risk the easy breakage, a quartz nail might be the perfect one for you.
The quartz mineral offers the same benefits of the glass nails, but the mineral is heavy-duty and offers more durability.
Some of these quartz nails hang off the side of the nail, which is often referred to as a dab banger.
One significant negative of quartz nails is that they will cool off fast. If you are using this material for your dab nail, you’ll have to be quick so the dab nail won’t cool off too much.
Ceramic Dab Nails
Last but not least is the ceramic dab nail, this material is similar to the glass dab nail. Just like the glass one, ceramic dab nails are easy to clean. This option is also considerably fragile.
High-quality ceramic dab nails are not likely to break from high-heat, but be careful not to drop them.
The Best Dab Nail
There are many different types of dab nails available on the market today, each with their own set of pros and cons.
To recap, here are the factors you’ll want to consider:
- Whether a domed or domeless design better suits your dabbing preferences.
- If an e-nail is worth the initial investment.
- What dab nail material is best suited for your dabbing routine. Choose between standard materials like glass, quartz, ceramic, and titanium.
Shop our full selection of dab nails and find the right one for you!
There are many dab nails out there that you could choose for your oil rig. Learn the differences between titanium nails, quartz nails, ceramic nails and others. Plus, find out the pros and cons of these dabbing systems so you can make the choice on what dabbing system is right for you. Read our Ultimate Guide to Dab Nails.
What Type of Dab Nail Is Best?
Dabbing is nothing without a nail, and that’s not hyperbole. It’s where your concentrate transforms from nondigestible material to a vaporized wonder. It’s where cannabis goes from static to kinetic. It really is where the dabbing magic happens.
But with so many different types of dab nails to choose from, how do you know which ones are best? Here’s the lowdown on the various types of dab rig nails, and the pros and cons of every one.
What Is a Dab Nail?
A dab nail is the part of the rig that you heat up with a butane torch lighter. This is where the cannabis concentrate (whether wax or oil) goes to vaporize.
Nowadays, dab nails come in a variety of forms and are crafted from a number of materials. Typically you’ll find:
- titanium, glass, quartz or ceramic material
- domed or domeless nails
- e-nails or standard dab nails
The style of the nail can greatly alter the dabbing experience, so it’s important to be privy to the nuances (that is, if you’re down for a premium toking experience).
Titanium Dab Nails
Titanium-crafted dab nails are the OG. They were around at the dawn of dabbing, and show no signs of skipping town anytime soon.
Pros: They’re highly durable, quick at heating up and maintain optimum temperatures consistently. They run the mile.
Cons: If you skimp on quality, you may encounter a little something called titanium oxide, which can be dangerous to your health as well as the wellbeing of your dab rig. Otherwise, potential metallic flavor disturbance is the only other con.
Glass Dab Nails
Glass dab nails are a common occurrence and for good reason. Here are some pros and cons of this style.
Pros: The glass nail helps maintain flavor integrity, so if you’re working with intricate concentrates, you’ll be appreciative of this factor. Moreover, they’re supremely easy to clean.
Cons: On the downside, glass isn’t the best at holding high heat; if you’re not careful, you may find yourself with a broken nail that needs replaced long before the rest of the rig.
Quartz Dab Nails
Quartz is a lovely crystal, whatever the form. When used as a dab nail, it really shines (pun intended).
Pros: Quartz material acts similarly to glass, but without the high risk of breakage. This is a hearty crystal that can stand the heat. Like glass, it’s easy to clean, giving you one less bit of maintenance to fret over.
Cons: Unlike the titanium variant, quartz has trouble maintaining high temperatures, so you’ll have to work harder to achieve a stable heat.
Ceramic Dab Nails
If you like ceramic tiling and art, you’ll be happy to know that this material has yet another purpose to flaunt. As part of the dab rig package, ceramic really comes to life.
Pros: This material is also easy to clean, which can go a longer way than you may realize. So long as it’s of high quality, you don’t have to worry about heat fractures.
Cons: If you drop your ceramic nail by accident, you can say goodbye to it! It’s highly fragile on contact, and lower shelf variants may not stand the heat as well as other options.
Domed Dab Nails
You’ll know if a dab nail is domed at first glance. Should the rig be domed, there are a few things you can expect.
Pros: Domed nails tend to be a part of more affordable rigs. Moreover, they trap vapor super effectively, so you don’t have to worry about wasting any. Because of this, the vapor also ends up being more potent. All the while, you protect your hand from being burnt atop the high-heat nail.
Cons: You need a bit more patience with domed nails because they take a little longer to reach optimum temperature.
Domeless Dab Nails
A domeless nail is one without a surrounding (or sides). As opposed to the domed variants, this option has pros and cons of its own.
Pros: When using a nail without sides, you can take even bigger dabs, which may be perfect for some stoners. They also heat up quicker, and the concentrate has less of a chance of burning.
Cons: If you’re a beginner to dabbing, you may want to stick with the domed variants. Additionally, if you want to hold onto all that vapor, domed may be the way to go.
It’s official. We’ve made it to a time where even dab nails are electronic! Here’s what to expect with this style.
Pros: They heat up on their own, without the help of a torch. They’re temperature controlled, and allow you to take dab after dab without running the risk of burning the concentrate. They can literally maintain temperatures for hours.
Cons: To be frank, they’re expensive. But if you’re ready for the investment, go for it. Otherwise, be careful not to burn yourself; you need to be aware of the consistent heat since you’re not manually heating it up.
Standard Dab Nails
If you’re planning on sticking with the basics, a standard dab nail might be for you.
Pros: They’re much more affordable than an e-nail, and for many, that makes all the difference! You can also get really cool styles from a number of glass blowers or rig designers.
Cons: They’re just not as nifty as e-nails, but they sure as heck get the job done.
While your own circumstances will determine just what kind of nail is best for you, there are some options that are better than others. If you’re a beginner, go for domed and a standard nail. By the time you’re an expert, you may be ready for a domeless variant or even an e-nail!
As for the materials, titanium and glass are also great for beginners. As you go along, try out quartz and ceramic and see which ones suit your fancy.
Hitting the Dab Nail On the Head
The dabbing industry began more than a decade ago and has since taken off in ways we never imagined. It only makes sense that the nail itself would be such a lucrative aspect of the dab rig.
Once you define your priorities, you’ll know which type of dab nail suits you best. In the meantime, there’s no harm in trial and error, especially when it means dabbing away to determine what’s best.
Dabbing is nothing without a nail, and that's not hyperbole. It's where your concentrate transforms from nondigestible material to a vaporized wonder. It's where cannabis goes from static to kinetic. It really is where the dabbing magic happens. But with so many different types of dab nails to choose from, how do you k