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Dab Nails – Top 10 Reviewed (Pros vs Cons For All Types)

Liam on September 18, 2017 0 Comments

Dab nails

Macro detail of dabbing tool with small piece of cannabis oil aka shatter suspended over a metal rig – medical marijuana concentrates concept.

As the cannabis industry has exploded with the availability of THC concentrates, it helps to know a thing or two about the implements you use to smoke dabs – that is, the dab nail.

From wax to budder to shatter, all the THC concentrates require a dab nail to smoke like a pro.

What is dabbing?

Before getting into the details, if you’re relatively new to the cannabis community, or you’re an old-school toker trying to keep up with the latest trends, you might be asking yourself: what is dabbing?

Marijuana way aka shatter in dab nail

Simply put, dabbing is smoking the most potent form of THC available in the form of THC concentrates.

There are different types of concentrates on the market – wax, budder, shatter—and they all fall in the same broad category of “dabs.”

You can smoke dabs by sprinkling some on top of flower, but by far the most popular method of dabbing goes straight for the potent stuff with the dab rig.

The benefits of using a dab nail is that a dab nail lets you enjoy the pure high of the THC concentrate alone.

For pure dabbing, you’ll need a dab rig, which involves a few components: a torch (for heating), a dab nail, and, a dabber.

Dab Nails

The dab nail is the component that you heat up to release the smoke from the THC concentrate.

Using torch for dabs, users can heat the dab nail to searing hot temperatures.

When the marijuana wax touches the dab nail, the wax will immediately start to release smoke.

If using a standard dab nail, this smoke can be captured by the dome for the user to inhale. If using a domeless dab nail, then a carb cap can be used to better trap the smoke from the dab.

Choosing the right dab nail for you is largely a matter of preference.

For beginners, it is probably best to go with the classic titanium dab nails with a dome, which captures smoke and protect users from burning themselves.

As users get to connoisseur levels, they sometimes prefer other types of dab nails made of quartz or ceramic.

The pro dabbers might even go domeless. To find out which is the right dab nail for you, keep reading, and happy dabbing.

Titanium Nails

The most common types of dab nails are made of titanium. Titanium can withstand high temperatures, which makes it an ideal metal to heat for dabbing.

When dabbing with a titanium dab nail, you’ll know the dab nail is heated to the right temperature because it will turn a fiery red.

Titanium is perfect for dabbing because it heats up quickly and retains heat.

If you opt for a titanium dab nail, make sure that the titanium is certified grade 1 or grade 2 because you don’t want an impure metal that could have adverse health effects.

Titanium Nail Pros Titanium Nail Cons
  • Heats quickly
  • Can stay hot long after dabbing
  • Safe for smoking
  • Some users don’t like metallic taste
  • Durable

Quartz Nails

Another type of material used for dab nails is quartz. Quartz dab nails are available as standard dab nails, which require a dome, or as domeless quartz nails, which are called “honeypots.”

Quartz is more affordable and delivers a cleaner tasting hit than titanium – no metallic aftertaste with a quartz nail.

On the downside, quartz is also easier to break and takes longer to heat. It also doesn’t retain heat as long.

Quartz Nail Pros Quartz Nail Cons
  • Clean-tasting hit
  • Easier to break
  • More affordable
  • Takes longer to heat
  • Great for glass-on-glass dab rigs
  • Cools down quickly

Ceramic Nails

The third type of material that dab nails can be made of is ceramic. Like quartz, ceramic gives a clean hit, and like titanium, ceramic can retain heat for a very long time.

Compared to the other nail types, ceramic tends to be more fragile.

If you use a ceramic dab nail, make sure to heat the nail evenly in a circular motion. Never let the ceramic heat to a glowing red because it could shatter.

Ceramic Nail Pros Ceramic Nail Cons
  • Pure, clean hits
  • Can be burning hot long after dabbing (don’t burn yourself!)
  • Hold heat for a long time
  • Fragile at higher temps

Carb Caps

Carb caps are a helpful accessory for those who like to go domeless. A carb cap fits over a domeless nail and restricts the airflow, which increases the amount of smoke you can inhale and makes the flavor more potent.

Without a carb cap, each inhalation will suck in cold air into the nail chamber, which in turn will cool down the nail and waste the potency of the dab.


Dabbers are the implement you use to apply the dab to the dab nail.

Dabbing tool - dabbers

Since the dab nail is heated to such searing temperatures, you won’t want to apply the dab directly with your hands.

A dabber lets you apply the wax and prevents the sticky, golden treasure from being wasted.

Electric Dab Nail

If you fall on the vaping side of the smoking vs vaping debate, you’ll be happy to know that there is such a thing as an electric dab nail.

The concept of the e-dab nail is the same as other vaporizers, which means it uses an internal electric coil to heat the dab oil.

Top 10 Nails for Dabbing

If the dab life sounds like it’s for you, then you’ll want to check out this excellent selection of various dab nails, with choices in each of the dab nail types.

Black Leaf Oil Pan Domeless Titanium

This domeless nail is discrete and classy. Made of grade 2 titanium, it has 7 vapor inlets for maximum ripping.

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Oil Pan Domeless Titanium

This grade two titanium domeless is a quality piece. It fits female joints of 14.5 mm or 18.8mm, boasts 6 vapor inlets, and heat sink ridges.

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Black Leaf’s Oil Titanium Concentrate Nail

Another favorite from Black Leaf, this nail has an adjustable threaded shaft to fit your rig and needs.

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Grace Glass Chess Piece Quartz Nail–Male Joint

A pristine piece that fits male joints, this nail is made of high-quality borosilicate glass.

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Grace Glass Ribbed Chess Piece Quartz—Female Joint

Designed for a female joint, this excellent nail is also made of high-quality borosilicate glass.

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Jerome Baker Domeless Glass Quartz

Designed to fit a male joint, this nail is made of high-quality borosilicate glass and does not require a vapor dome for use.

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Ceramic Oil Nail – 4.8 cm

Made of top-rated ceramic, this nail fits male joints and does not require a vapor dome.

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G-Spot Domeless Ceramic Nail

Fittingly named, this nail fits female joints and can withstand extreme temperatures up to 1600 degrees.

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Cheech and Chong’s The Ripper Ceramic Vaporizer Kit

This electronic dab nail endorsed by the lords of cannabis uses ceramic for the nail and comes with a handy, matching dabber.

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White Rhino Torrid E-Nail

This high-end e-nail attaches to both male and female connections and is portable and battery operated.

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Photos from: rbspace / depositphotos.com.

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