How to Choose the Best Dab Nail
We all remember that special day: you’re coming home from the smoke shop (or your DopeBoo package has just arrived!), dab rig in hand, excited to try it out at home and see how it performs. But, you might be a little saddened to discover that the most dab rig makers include a mediocre glass nail, expecting you to upgrade the nail to your preference.
Some rigs, like the extra-thick borosilicate Famous Brandz Snoop Dogg POUNDS Spaceship and Battleship, mark their top-shelf quality by including a quartz bucket nail alongside the standard dome design:
Snoop Dogg Pounds Spaceship Water Pipe
Height: 6 inches
• High-quality 5mm thick borosilicate glass
• Perfect for use with waxy concentrates
• Bent neck
• Narrow mouthpiece
• Fixed showerhead diffuser downstem with 14.5mm male joint
• Female 14.5mm vapor dome with roll stopper arm
• Glass concentrate nail
• Female 14.5mm quartz banger
• Thick circular foot
• Green glass accents throughout
• Green decal on body
• Comes in a decorative box
Ready to get out of this world? Snoop’s latest POUND design, “The Spaceship,” is sure to get the job done. At just 6 inches tall, this is one petite powerhouse that’s as badass to look at as it is to take a puff from! The hand-blown concentrate pipe is crafted from premium 5mm thick borosilicate glass for next-level durability. Your favorite waxy concentrates will reach peak performance in the 14.5mm vapor dome and quartz banger paired with an impressive inline ruffle perc. Comfortably inhale through the ergonomically arched neck for an all-around awesome experience. As with the rest of the remarkable POUND collection, the piece is mounted on an extra-thick base in Snoop’s signature style. “The Spaceship” comes in high-design packaging and boasts the POUND logo on its side for authenticity. It’s time to see what extract connoisseurs have been drooling over since this pipe dropped -- prepare for takeoff! PLEASE NOTE: Decal colors are chosen at random.
Not sure where to start when shopping for a new nail? We’ve created a useful guide to dab nails so you can be confident in your next nail. When shopping for dab nails, you can break down your search by a few simple categories.
What do you need to know about dab nails?
- High quality nails are most likely to be made of: Quartz, Ceramic, or Titanium.
- E-Nails electronically heat and replace the torch.
- The most popular kinds of dab nails are: domeless, bucket (a.k.a. banger), or dome and nail.
- Cutting-edge nail designs include: Boo Glass, ELEV8 and Skilletools.
For every type of nail, it's best to season it before your first use --
How To Season A Dab Nail:
1- Place the nail into your dab rig.
2- Heat the nail.
3- Using a dab tool (not your fingers!), cover the entire nail with a trace amount of concentrate and let it soak into the nail. The best thing to do here is use the claim from your reclaim catcher (i.e. the gunk that builds up in your bong that you probably don’t want to dab again). It’s easier to part ways with your claim than with fresh concentrate.
4- Let the oil heat up on your nail and cover the entire nail. Allow it to cool down for a few minutes.
5- Enjoy your new seasoned nail!
WHAT'S IT MADE OF: QUARTZ, CERAMIC, OR TITANIUM?
This section has the same considerations as choosing whether you want a quartz, ceramic, or titanium heating chamber on your dab pen vaporizer. Most rigs come with a standard glass nail a dome and nail design. It's surprisingly inexpensive to upgrade your experience by choosing a shape and material that complements your flavor and maneuverability preferences.
Quartz Dab Nails:
-More durable than glass.
- Heats faster than glass, titanium, or ceramic.
-Holds on to heat longer than glass.
-Clean, pure construction.
(Commercial or Food-Grade)
-No lingering aftertastes.
-Retains heat for less time than ceramic and titanium.
These looks just like glass nails, but they’re much more durable -- they even make kitchen countertops out of quartz! Quartz nails heat faster than glass, titanium, and ceramic nails. These top-shelf nails also hold onto heat longer than glass for nice even inhales. The quartz nail is also less likely to crack under the pressures of torch-hot heat than your average glass nail. The premium feature of a quartz nail is its pure, food-grade delivery. In some cases even commercial grade! This means no lingering aftertaste, just fresh robust flavor. Just like a chef seasoning their favorite wooden spoons or cast iron pans, seasoning your quartz nail will help the nail both last longer and give it great flavor. See how above.
Ceramic Dab Nails:
- Retains heat the longest of all nails.
- Clean, pure construction.
- (Commercial or Food Grade)
- Full, robust flavor delivery.
- Particularly ideal for low-temp dabbing.
- May crack with rigorous use.
- Modern, clean-lined aesthetic.
- Longest heat-up time.
These types of nails do take the longest to heat, but much like your mom’s favorite skillet, once they’re heated, they’re good to go. They retain heat the longest out of all nails (titanium, quartz, and glass), and they’re definitely a step up from glass nails. These do have a certain flavor they exude when dabbing--it’s neither bad nor good (much like the flavor effect of a mug on coffee), but you might want to try using a friend’s ceramic nail before getting your own to make sure you’re down with the extra flavor. Be careful with ceramic nails though: they’ll drop if you break them, and they can crack over time. The key to making sure they don’t break? Buy high quality ceramic nails made with food-grade ceramic. Remember too: you must season your ceramic just like you would a quartz nail!
Titanium Dab Nails:
- Brief heat-up time.
- Retains heat a long time.
- Oxides with age. Won't crack.
- Least breakable of all nails.
- May have metallic taste if not properly seasoned.
You might buy these simply for the cool factor. These titanium nails are super durable; in fact, they’re least likely to break out of all types of nail materials. While they don’t hold heat very well, they heat incredibly fast and won’t break even at the highest temperatures. Make sure to season titanium nails too, and be prepared for…an interesting taste with titanium nails when dabbing. One thing to note about seasoning these: while ceramic, glass, and quartz nails only need a trace of oil to season them, you can think of titanium nails like a fine iron skillet--they absorb oil quickly and will need more claim to start them off right.
THE BESTSELLING DAB NAIL SHAPES AND STYLES:
Do you dab every day? This is the style for you. Domeless nails are much easier to use, just place your wax and go! While they don’t retain vapor like a domed nail might, their myriad other features make up for this problem: the dish on domeless nails is typically bigger, allowing you to place more dab. Worried about how to make the vapor last longer with a domeless nail? Add on a carb cap and you’re good to go. A popular twist on the domeless nail design is an equally high-functioning angle cut nail.
This is the more standard style of nails. Your starter glass nail that originally came with your bong was probably domed. These nails take more effort to use, as you have to heat them, place dab, then cover with a dome. The dome that covers the nails will help keep vapor in more, but also, it’s already hard enough dealing with a hot nail and placing your treasured, expensive concentrate on it: having to add a dome on top of it increases the chances of you dropping something or mishandling it. Domes tend to break more and might be just another thing to clean up.
Banger or Bucket:
This is our favorite choice for the neat freaks out there (we support you!). A banger nail, often called a bucket because it looks like one, is typically made of quartz. It’s a type of nail that has a little bucket in which to place your concentrate. What’s great about quartz bangers is that they’re so much easier to use than a domed nail, and quartz buckets are super easy to clean up. The concentrate stays where it needs to and won’t leak out (yes, that can happen with a regular nail). You’ll want to get a carb cap with a banger since they’re domeless.
These electronic nails are taking the water pipe world by force. No more butane torches? We’ll rip to that. This tool offers precisely controlled temperatures, fast heat-up time, durable portability, and they never run out of butane! You can find wall-powered and battery-powered e-nails. An e-rig is also an excellent option for e-nail lovers.
What’s your favorite nail? Are there other unique shapes you’ve found that weren’t listed above?
Let us know! Browse this guide on ways to Upgrade Your Dab Rig.
Bangers & Nails
Upgrading your standard nail and oil-dome is usually the first step for any committed dabber. Customize your bong or rig to your heart's delight with our selection of quartz, ceramic and titanium dab tools.