Dab nails are used in dab rigs to heat and smoke with, and they come in a variety of materials such as titanium, quartz, electric, and ceramic. Ceramic dab nails, besides electric, are able to hold heat in much longer than other substances, making for longer smoking sessions.
Dab nails are primarily used to smoke concentrates or wax out of dab rigsand bongs. Ceramic dab nails are food grade and are ordinarily made safely, which cannot always be said towards nails in other materials. And like all things made from ceramic, these nails can be fragile and sensitive to sudden heat changes. Moreover, ceramic is also often used in dab pens because of its ability to retain heat for long periods of time.
Similarly to bong bowls, ceramic dab nails can come in various shapes, sizes, and sexes. The largest difference between most nails is if it is either domeless or open. Ceramic dab nails with domes are used to keep both heat and smoke trapped in the piece longer; while open nails allow for larger hits to be taken because they are usually larger. Another difference is a common straight oil pan dab nail versus an L-shaped sidecar nail. Using a dab nail with a sidecar does not affect the size of hits but does add another place for the wax to collect.
Ceramic dab nails can be made into any gauge size, male and female, and are designed to fit any dab rig. The most convenient type is a universal nail that can be used as any size or sex; in these, the small pyramid-shaped bottom is detachable and can flip over to fit any piece. Bongs can be used to smoke with but dab rigs are specifically intended for dab nail use. It is important not to use a ceramic dab nail on a small bong because they often have holes that are on the side and are not level; dab nails are meant to become extremely hot so it essential to heat it on a sturdy piece that will not be easily knocked over or touched accidentally.
A large contrast between titanium dab nails, also sometimes called Ti, and ceramic dab nails is the color change that occurs when heated. Titanium nails become red- to white-hot when heated with a torch, whereas ceramic nails do not change visibly from the heat. Titanium nails are extremely durable and can be ignited to intensely high temperatures, which then can hold its heat for a sustained period of time.
Compared to ceramic, titanium is often more expensive and longer-lasting because of its durability. In addition to this, titanium can sometimes carry over a metallic taste and ceramic regularly has little to no added taste, making ceramic preferential for those who want to gain as much flavor from their wax as they can.
Quartz looks similar to that of glass but is tougher, more resilient, and overall a longer-lasting material than glass. In comparison to ceramic, both are made of fragile materials but are still far more robust than glass nails. Quartz is highly favored for its capability to heat up remarkably quick, these nails do not need more than ten seconds with a hand torch before they are ready for use. On the other hand, quartz nails lose their heat just as quickly and will need to be heated for every hit. Both quartz and ceramic nails are known for their neutrality in flavor, offering users as much of a quality experience as possible.
Electric dab nails, also called E nails, are made to use in lieu of a hand butane torch and traditional nail. These electronic nails automatically control heat temperatures and can be more expedient for smokers who want multiple hits with controlled settings. Although, E dab comes at a much higher cost than those made with more simple materials.
More than often, electronic nails are made with either titanium, quartz, or a combination of the two. Out of all types, these are the longest-lasting in heat because of the way it is designed, all others depend on their material’s natural makeup and thermal conductivity. As mentioned above, quartz E nails would transfer flavor quality more accurately and would then be more analogous to ceramic dab nails.
One popular shape of ceramic nails is similar to that of an oil pan, which is domeless. This open sort of nail is highly appreciated because of many reasons: the ceramic can be heated and say heated for the longest amount of time, giving it a multiple hit use; the domeless feature allows for larger hits; ceramic offers more flavor than titanium nails. Conversely, it is less durable than titanium and may crack if it falls or is put under too much strain.
The best shape and size of ceramic dab nails depend on each user’s own personal preferences, in addition to which type of concentrate is being smoked. The consistency of the concentrates, the material of the nail, and the temperature each are met with all influence the effectiveness and quality of each hit. On a large scale, it comes down to each user’s individual taste.
Because ceramic has the highest thermal conductivity out of all material-based nails, which is excluding electric nails, they do take the longest to heat. In using a large industrial-style torch, ceramic nails take roughly 45 seconds; and small hand torches can take up to 2 minutes. Both of which depend on the thickness of the ceramic nail. There is no color change in heating up ceramic – so as to not burn any wax, one can either practice and gain experience or purchase a laser temperature sensor to read the surface temperature.
The ideal temperature to achieve depends on personal preferences. The two most common points are 400 and 800 degrees Fahrenheit. With low temperatures, 300-400 degrees, concentrates are melted more slowly and produce a smooth vapor. This method is used by those who are looking for the most flavor. High temperatures react to concentrates differently and create more smoke and less flavor; when the wax touches a high-heat nail, it can burst into smoke which can result in little to no flavor.
When heating ceramic nails, it is important to note its fragility to sudden thermal changes. Ceramic can crack when heated too high too quickly. A slow and steady time heating up these pieces will add to their longevity. As a guide, higher temperatures should be heated at a slower pace as to not crack the ceramic.
Ceramic dab nails with domes are used in two steps: heat up the nail, attach the dome, and then the concentrates are usually fed in before or after depending on the type of dome used. Another similar added feature that some users like to employ is something called a carb cap. Some dabbers, or dab tools, come with these on one end and a tool piece on the other. Smokers use these to close off the bowl piece part of the dab nail, which blocks smoke from escaping and creates an easier way to clear dab rigs.
One of the most convenient benefits to smoking concentrates is how there is far less clean-up than bongs or bowls due to the vast difference in the smoking material. In addition, there is a wax residue that collects in the bottoms and chambers of dab nails that is smokeable, it is called reclaim. Reclaim is a darker version of concentrates that is the excess wax that was not smoked. Once dab nails are completely cooled down, they can be taken out of the rig and scraped clean to re-smoke. Ceramic is delicate, so it is crucial to be as careful and delicate when scraping across its inner surface.
What is not reclaimable is the burnt wax inside the bowl of the dab nail, this can be dispensed by burning it off with a torch. But like in heating it up, this should be done mindfully as ceramic can crack to sudden changes. When in use, the torch burns off the remaining wax in the bowl. If a more intense clean is desired, the traditional alcohol and salt method work with both the nail and the dab rig itself.
There are nearly hundreds of styles of dab nails when one includes all materials, shapes, accessories, and personal preferences in concentrates and temperatures. Many options are available both in local head shops, smoke shops, as well as online shops such as vapevetstore.com. The VapeVetstore has all sorts of options for ceramic, titanium, quartz, along with carb caps and carb cap-tool duos. Not to mention, VapeVetstore also offers free shipping on any and all sized orders.
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