After learning all about dabbing, you start to see that a specific type of equipment is required. You will need a good dab rig to get started, and the right dab nail situated on that rig can mean everything to your end experience with concentrates. Below is a look at the many dab nail types to help you choose your preference.
What is a dab nail?
So, what is the nail on a dab rig? This happens to be the most important part of the entire setup. Basically, a dab nail is a shallow pan that slips into the dab rig’s downstem. Some people refer to dab nails as bangers, even though there is some debate whether the two are actually the same thing.
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Regardless, the dab nail is the part that you heat up when dabbing, so the pan on the nail holds the concentrate for vaporization. The experience with using dabs can be impacted tremendously by the type of dab nail you are using. Therefore, it is a g
Most Common Dab Nail Types
Glass nails tend to be the least expensive, and a lot of older dab rigs actually used to come with a free glass nail. Glass is a logical material because it preserves the flavor of concentrates and heats relatively evenly. However, glass nails are notorious for breaking easily. These nails are largely obsolete by today’s standards, as most rigs are not made with male joints anymore. A domed nail setup is nearly impossible to take lowtemp dabs, and coldstarts are absolutely impossible.
Ceramic nails are a step up from glass and can offer some desirable qualities. For one, ceramic holds heat better than glass, and it preserves flavor just as well. The one downfall is that ceramic can be harder to heat than glass. They tend to be shock sensitive as well. Uneven heating can make these nails break. These nails are rarely found on the shelf today, but can be special ordered!
Titanium nails were once highly preferred because they are very resilient, heat up quickly, and retain heat well. Titanium nails have several downsides when compared to Quartz or ceramic. Almost every carb cap made today is made to work with a quartz banger rather than a titanium nail. They can also alter the flavor of concentrates, both due to their metallic construction and their tendency to stay very hot. The heat can offer a secondary issue: titanium expands and contracts thermally, which can risk the nail getting stuck or even breaking the joint of the piece it’s on. Titanium nails are generally the best for use with ENail/DNail setups, as their threaded construction allows them to be tightened around the coils with ease. Ceramic and Quartz tops that are compatible with titanium ENail setups are also available.
Aka “quartz bangers,” quartz nails are the most preferred type of nails. Quartz conducts heat amazingly well, so it heats up quickly, withstands a high temperature like it’s no big deal, and is incredibly resilient. Quartz also offers the best flavor when compared to other materials. The Quartz Banger design itself also offers the advantage of being ubiquitous across our industry. Almost every artist has a line of caps compatible with the design. This is becoming true with more specialized quartz designs such as Slurpers and Charmers. With all this being said, quartz bangers can also lose heat faster than some materials such as titanium and ceramic. They are also somewhat more difficult to use with ENails.
What’s the best type of dab nail?
Just as people have personal opinions on the different ways to take a dab, they also have spirited opinions on which dab nail is best. The fact is, people find different things to like about all dab nail types. However, a few nails do get bigger props than others. For example, a lot of people complain that cheaply made glass nails break too easily and often overheat. Quartz has mostly taken over the scene, with Titanium and Ceramic both having small but loyal groups dedicated to their use.
As far as top quality, quartz tends to be the preference. A number of high end companies have popped up in the wake of quartz taking over the market. We proudly retail Toro, Charlotte and Long Island Quartz. These high end nails can be more expensive, but in this case, you truly get what you pay for. We also have a wide variety of more affordable nails by Pulsar, YoDabba and more!Looking for a good dab rig setup, a dab nail, or a quartz banger? Be sure to take a look at our collection at Bern Gallery.