Dab Nail Types Offer Different Dabbing Experiences


Dabbing is a fairly new trend in weed consumption that’s still new to even the most experienced pot smokers. The incredible high boasted has left many a novice chomping at the bit to experience this latest craze. But before you can get too carried away, it’s good to really understand what the difference is between each dab nail so that you can know what you’re getting into.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Dab Nail Material

This list explores the many varieties of dab nails and their pros and cons, from glass nails to an electric rig. The key factors to keep in mind when choosing a dab nail are taste and durability. You also want to get an idea of how fast a nail can be heated and how long it will stay hot. All of these things contribute to the ease and quality of your hit. Marijuana concentrates can be quite pricey and you don’t want your precious oil to go to waste so proper use of your dab rig is important and choosing a dab nail that you’re comfortable with is essential.

Glass Nails

The first dab nail we’ll examine today is the glass nail. Most rigs you buy will come with a glass nail. These nails produce a great flavor and they’re easy to clean. The main issue is that they don’t withstand heat well which also means they are a little tricky to heat. Heating your glass nail must be done slowly and with caution; otherwise they can break. This brings us to the general problem with all glass marijuana paraphernalia: they are incredibly easy to break. Generally speaking, however, you can always count on a glass nail to deliver a pleasant taste.

Ceramic Nails

ceramic dab nails are fragile but provide excellent flavor

A female ceramic nail.

Ceramic nails typically offer delicious tasting dabbing sessions though some frequent dabbers have complained about ceramic’s tendency to give off a somewhat overcooked taste.  One of the benefits of ceramic nails lies in their ability to stay hot longer so you can have multiple hits in a session without reigniting your torch. Ceramic is attractive and easy to clean but can also be very fragile. Like the glass dab nail, they may take longer to heat up and it may be more challenging to get them to heat evenly.


Quartz Nails

Now we get into a higher quality domain. The quartz dab nail is much more durable than the previous types described. The quartz nail has similar benefits to the glass dab nail only it is much more durable and can withstand higher amounts of heat. The flavor offered by quartz is as good and clean as the flavor gets. It’s only down side is it cools off very rapidly so you have to be quick when using a quartz nail. Generally speaking, quartz presents a reliable dab nail with delicious flavor.

Titanium Nails or “TI” Nails

domeless titanium dab nails are indestructible

Titanium nails are considered indestructible when compared to other materials. 

The titanium dab nail (also referred to simply as a TI nail) is another top of the range option. Titanium can withstand a lot of heat and also has great heat transfer. You must make sure that the dab nail you get is medical grade 2 titanium. Other types of titanium dab nails can be found on the market but they can be made with a lot of filler which leads to a bad taste. Because this dab nail can withstand a lot of heat, it doesn’t create the harsh or toxic fumes linked to other materials. They only take 15-20 seconds to heat up and then they stay warm longer once they’re heated. Best of all, they are indestructible. The only downside is that the taste can be a little metallic sometimes. Otherwise, titanium nails are a good choice for people that want something durable and easy to use.


Electronic Nails or E-nails

Electronic nails, often called e-nails, are the absolute top of the range dabbing apparatus to use but they come at quite a cost. These usually come equipped with a quartz or titanium dab nail and you don’t need to use a torch to heat them yourself as the heating mechanism comes built into it. For this reason, you can’t overheat or burn the oil and it allows you to choose your temperature so you can choose to do a low temperature dab which will allow you take in the full terpene expression. The downside to these is that they’re expensive, maybe running you up to a couple of hundred dollars. They’re also bulky which is not good for discretion or dab rigs that you use for their portable convenience.

Domed vs. Domeless Nails

domeless quartz dab nails heat up fastThe next thing to discuss when it comes to dab nails are the domed and domeless options. The first thing to understand is that the domeless nails already have ventilation holes built into them. They have good built in airflow and therefore don’t need any added pieces. On the other hand, the domed nails require an extra piece called a glass “dome” or a “hood” which collects the vapor so you can pull the vapor through easily.


Carb Caps

These are caps that are designed to allow you to control and retain vapor so that you don’t lose expensive concentrate unwillingly. Carb caps allow you to put a hit on hold so you can take a moment to regather yourself if necessary. If nail temperature is too low then the oil might just sit there evaporating. Carb caps trap the vapor so that you can consume it when you’re ready.

Now that you get the idea of how each dab nail type works, you can experiment with the different varieties that seem best for you. Dabbing is such a new experience for many that your knowledge might go toward helping others too. The most important things to keep in mind when dabbing are to never directly touch the end of a nail after it’s been heated, never touch the oil and of course be careful when heating your nail with the torch. Beyond that, safely enjoy the weird and wonderful world of dabbing armed with knowledge!