Dabbing is an art form that requires a certain set of tools built specifically for dabbing. The classic dab rig requires you to heat the nail, which is one of the most essential pieces of the rig. The nail plays the essential role of containing your wax and melting it evenly to be inhaled through the rig’s water filtration system. Therefore it holds true that the better the nail you have attached to your dab rig, the better your dabbing session will be.
So, how do you go about choosing the right nail for your dab rig? What should the nail look and feel like? And what materials are best for catering to the ideal dabbing experience? Read on to have all your questions answered so that you can pick the perfect nail for your dab rig.
Although there are many different types of nails available, thanks to the growing popularity of dabbing, not all of them will fit with your rig. And I am not referring to them not fitting your personal style though. I mean that they will not physically fit your dab rig. Every nail is made with a different joint size and gender. So how do you know which one will fit your rig?
The joint on a nail is the portion that fits with the downstem of a dab rig. And when it comes to nail joints, size does matter. There are three different sizes that nail joints typically come in, including 10-millimeter, 14-millimeter, and 19-millimeter. The size of the joint does not determine if one size nail is better than others. However, you must match the joint size of the nail and downstem on the rig in order to have a secure, sealed fit. Thankfully, you can use a ruler or measuring tape to figure out what size the joint is for your dab rig.
To create a snug fit, the gender of the nail joint must also be identified. But this is simple to determine and has just two options. A nail joint, like an electrical cord end, is either male or female. A male joint will slide into the female joint, like the pronged end of an electrical cord inside the flat end of another chord. So, if your dab rig has a male joint, then you will need a nail with a female joint. Or if your dab rig has a female joint, then you will need a nail with a male joint.
Once you’ve determined what size nail joint and gender will fit with your dab rig, you can consider what style nail you want to get. Nails are made with a few different heat-resistant materials that can withstand the flame of a blow torch. However, certain materials offer advantages over others.
Your first and most common option is a glass nail. These nails match a glass dab rig perfectly. They also offer some of the purest flavor when dabbing, and do not run the risk of leaking harmful toxins into your wax. However, glass nails do run the risk of being affected by heat stress over time, or with lots of use. They are also known to shatter easily if dropped. So be extra careful when handling a glass nail.
You could opt for a quartz nail instead, which is slightly more durable than a glass nail. Quartz can withstand heat stress for longer than glass, but quartz nails are still prone to shattering if dropped. They do take a bit longer to heat up than a glass nail and cool down faster too. But if you can hit the temperature rang just right on a quartz nail, you are rewarded with an extra smooth dab.
A ceramic nail will provide you with a tasty dab and great heat retention. However, they are just about as fragile as a glass nail and can break when exposed to prolonged heat stress. A ceramic nail takes an average of 30 seconds or more to heat, but it can retain that heat easily during a session. It might be a bit difficult to tell when a ceramic nail is heated since it does not change color like a quartz nail. But you eventually get the hang of it with practice. A ceramic nail is ideal for hosting sessions with multiple people since it will retain its heat and evenly melt every bit of wax loaded in.
One of the most expensive and durable nails available is the titanium nail. You will never have to worry about a titanium nail breaking, but there are a few other factors that you should be aware of. Most titanium nails need to be seasoned before they are used, to prevent a metallic taste from being transferred to your wax. They should also always be made of food-grade, heat-resistant titanium, such as grade 2 or grade 3 titanium. You should also be careful to not apply too much heat to a titanium nail since they can overheat and burn your wax. An average titanium nail will take anywhere from 15 to 25 seconds to heat with a blow torch. Once you know how to use a titanium nail though, it will last you a lifetime.
To avoid the potential issues caused by overheating a titanium, ceramic, glass, or quartz nail, you can opt to choose an e-nail instead. E-nails are attached to an electronic power box that heats the nail exactly to the temperature you set the device to. You ultimately have the most control over your dabbing experience with an e-nail. However, many are not transportable since they must plug into a wall. You win some control and lose some portability with an e-nail, but it could be worth the trade-off.
If the nail is the right size and gender to fit your dab rig, then it will be the perfect nail for you. You can always consider the finer details, including the material nails are made with, but if it fits then it will work just fine. Trust your gut, set your budget, and be sure to shop around to find the best fit.
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