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What is a Dab Nail

Dab Nail

A dab nail is the key component to any dab rig system. During the dabbing process, the dab nail is the part that heats your chosen wax or distillates and is the number one deciding component on how your draw is going to taste. The distillate is placed on a dab nail, usually by using a dab tool, and as the dab nail heats the distillate, vapor is produced.

Dab nails come in a variety of different designs and are made from numerous materials.  Each of these designs and materials offer their own unique experience, vapor density, and flavor to your dabbing session. Part of the fun of dabbing is experimenting and finding out which dab nail is right for you!

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Dab Nail vs Domeless Nail

While browsing dabbing accessories, you may see certain products labeled as “dab nails” and certain products labeled as a “domeless nail.” To help clear up some confusion, it is good to know that these terms are interchangeable and usually refer to dab nails. Dab nails are sometimes called domeless nails because there are domed nails that exist. The part where distillate is applied is nearly completely covered by a “dome” of glass or other heat resistant material. The dome keeps vapors from escaping so you can make the most of your wax concentrates.

However, the vast majority of nails on the market are domeless nails, as they are less expensive and much easier to use. For the purpose of this article, we will be using the term dab nail most often, but do not be confused if they are referred to generally as dabbing nails or something else.

Dab Nail Types

When shopping for a dab nail whether domed or domeless, you will see nails made from all kind of different materials. There are four major kinds of dabbing nails that you will come across: ceramic nails, titanium nails, quartz nails, and e nails. Each of these materials heats at different speeds and hold temperature differently and will, therefore, impact both the amount of vapor produced as well as the flavor of the vapor. Take time to consider which nail may best fit what you want out of your dabbing experience.

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Ceramic Dab Nails

If a smooth and clean taste is your number one priority in dabbing, a ceramic nail your best choice. Out of the different dab nails we will discuss here, ceramic nails are the best material for a clean, pure hit of wax or distillate. However, it can be hard to tell how hot a ceramic nail gets as it will not glow red like a metal nail, but once heated, ceramic nails hold their heat extremely well. They are fantastic for flavor but may prove a bit too tricky for novice dabbers.

Across our site, you will find a number of different ceramic dab nails from which you can choose. They include male and female nails, ceramic nails with matching ceramic carb caps, as well as nearly universal ceramic nails that will fit most dab rig setups.

Titanium Dab Nails

Titanium dab nails are some of the most numerous and popular dab nails to use on dab rigs, and for good reason. They heat very quickly and hold their heat very well but are also extremely durable (they are made out of titanium composite after all). Titanium dab nails also produce a great flavor and are one of the easiest models of dab nails to use. All you have to do is heat it until it is red hot, and then you are good to go!

Just like with ceramic dab nails, you will find plenty of titanium dab models to choose from our site. This also includes male and female titanium dab nails, universal titanium dab nails that fit most dab rigs, and even matching titanium carb caps. If you are new to dabbing and unsure which kind of dab nail to get, titanium dab nails are always a fantastic go-to choice.

However, a word of caution when shopping titanium nail dabs. You need to make sure that the grade of titanium used is grade 1 or grade 2 titanium. Anything less and we don’t really recommend it.  If you buy from us, you will only find grade 1 and grade 2 options.

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Quartz Dab Nails

Another very popular option for dab nails is quartz dab nails. Compared to ceramic and titanium, they are far less expensive but still produce a similarly smooth and crips vapor taste like ceramic. It makes them great for first-time dabbers who may not want to spend a lot of money on ceramic nails or titanium nails.

As the dab nails before, quartz dab nails come in a variety of different designs. However, in addition to traditional dab nail models, many quartz nails have a bucket kind of design, where the cup to put distillate hangs to the side of the body of the nail. This includes birdhouse designs and bangers. You will also find a number of these dab nails available for purchase on our site as well!

E Nails

E nails are a bit of a different beast altogether than traditional dab nails. E nails are the modern-day solution to dabbing. Instead of needing to heat your dab nail with a torch, e nails are heated via a battery and electric coils. This means your nail heats up quickly, the entire rig is more safely used (you do not have to juggle a flame as well as hot dab nails), and the entire process is simply easier. With easily controllable heat, it is much simpler to consistently produce the flavor your want.

In our store, you will find the Portable E Nail Yocan Torch. This e nail is not a standalone rig like others are. Instead, it is meant to be easily portable and fits into most dab rigs. If you know you will be traveling to those with dab rigs, this e nail is a great choice to make sure the dabbing process stays as simple and easy as possible.

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Male vs Female Dab Nails

You have heard us mention male and female dab nails throughout this article, so what exactly is the difference? The male and female tags refer to how a dab nail is going to fit into your dab rig. Some dab nails will fit inside or on top of the connecting joint and this makes them male dab nails. Other nails will have the dab rig joint fit inside the dab nail itself, and this makes them female dab nails.

However, you will often find dab nails that are both male and female, simply meaning they are interchangeable and meant for universal use with dab rigs. Make sure you determine the connection of your dab rig before purchasing dab nails, as you may end up with a product you are unable to us

14mm vs 18mm Dab Nail

In addition to choosing your preferred kind of dab nail, and as well as making sure you get a male, female, or interchangeable dab nail, you also need to make sure that your dab nail is the right size. Regardless of the kind of material it is made from, be it ceramic, titanium, or quartz, dab nails come in all kinds of different sizes, though the 14mm and 18mm measurements are most common.

The size of the dab nail does not really affect the dabbing experience in terms of flavor or ease of use. It is more of just making sure that you find a dab nail that is a perfect fit for your dab rig. It is a pain to return a perfectly good dab nail that seems wonderful but does not fit your dab rig.

What is the Best Dab Nail?

This huge question can really only be answered by one person; you! The best dab nail is going to be the dab nail that not only fits into your dab rig, but also provides the kind of dabbing experience that you want, and one that also fits your budget.

A titanium dab nail might seem great, but if it's high cost constrains your budget so much that you can build a dab rig you really want, having a high-end nail is not going to do you any good. Likewise, if the cost is no concern and you want the best tasting vapor possible, a titanium or quartz nail might let you and your flavor expectations down.

Building a dab rig takes time. Use that time to inventory what you want, what you do not want, and what you think what might be of interest in the future. That dab nail that fits those qualifications will be the best dab nail for you!

How to Use a Dab Nail

Using a dab nail can be an intimidating experience, especially if you are a novice user, but once you get used to the process, it really is not that hard. Once your dab rig is set up, take a torch and begin directly heating your dab nail until it is red hot (Note: with ceramic nails, it can be difficult to see how hot it is getting. A big torch can heat a ceramic nail in around 45 seconds. Smaller butane torches may take several minutes.)

Then, once the dab nail is heating, you let it cool! Trying to dab immediately after the heat is removed is going to result in burning your wax or oil, resulting in a less than pleasant taste. With titanium dab nails, wait for 10-15 seconds. With quartz or ceramic nails, you may want to wait upwards of a minute as both materials hold heat extremely well.   

Then comes the actually dabbing process. Take your dab tool with your choice of concentrate and slowly apply it to the dab nail. The dab tool can be used to evenly spread you concentrate on the nail for even heating. As smoke is produced, simply inhale! After you practice a couple of times, dabbing will be a piece of cake.

However, with an e nail, this entire process is even easier. Instead of having to use a torch to heat your nail and then allow the nail to cool, you simply press a button on the e nail and choose your desired temperature. The e nail heats automatically to exactly where you set it, and then you are all set to apply your concentrate via dabbing tool.

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How to Clean a Dab Nail

Unlike handheld vaporizers or other devices, you do not actually have to clean dab nails. Most of the residue will naturally burn off through the course of repeated dabbing (you can naturally season dab nails doing this, which results in different flavors and dab nails that concentrates more readily stick to).

However, if you want to be sure things are nice and clean, dab nails are very easy to clean. First, make sure your dab nail has cooled completely. Dab nails get hot and ceramic nails do not necessarily show how hot they really are.

Once you are sure the dab nail is completely cooled off, remove it from your dab rig and, using a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol, gently rub any places that have excess residue on them. The rubbing alcohol will naturally dissolve any concentrate that has been left over from a dabbing session. A q-tip with a more pointed end will be ideal for cleaning bends and crevices of varying dab nails.

If you want to get the absolute most out of your concentrate as you can, you can also reclaim residue that gradually builds up on your dab rig over time. This will not be as high quality as the initial wax used, but it can still provide a satisfying dabbing experience. Simply collect the orange and brown residue from your dab rig and store it in an airtight container. The extra residue can be used in a variety of purposes, including being eaten, made into a capsule, or being used again in the dabbing process.

Where can I buy Dab Nails?

You can buy all kinds of different dab nails in a variety of different markets, including local vape retailers and online retailers. Of course, you can also find a variety of different dab nails right here at nyvapeshop.com. We offer all varieties, so we are sure we can help you find one that is right for your dab rig. Remember, any dab nail bought through us will have free U.S. shipping and will be backed with a satisfaction guarantee. Having trouble deciding? Reach out to us and we will help you find the best possible dab nail for your dab rig!