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Glossary of the Different Types of Nails

 6 min read

glossary of nails
There’s a host of dab nail options available, and though they might all seem the same to a novice they each have their own pros and cons. There are improvements made in the dab nail game all the time, but once you become familiar with the basics you’ll notice that every new design is building on these, the classics. As e-nails proliferate and manual, torch-fired nails develop, you’ll find yourself wanting to be familiar with the standard dab nails, which aren’t complicated but certainly are numerous. Getting a handle on the basics will be all you need to keep up with the dabbing aficionados.




domed nails

These types of nails should be used with a dome to get maximum efficiency. Due to their specific design and how these nails function, having a dome will stop vapor from escaping into the air before it can be inhaled into your concentrate pipe.

glass nail domed
Glass Nail

First up is the
glass nail, the standard model that comes with many dab rigs. It’s a starter piece for a reason: these little glass nails, though simple, are very prone to breaking and are therefore not a popular long-term dab nail solution. These nails sit right at the bottom of the globe-shaped domes that they are paired with, providing a small surface on which to vaporize the concentrate during the dab. This type is relatively easy to clean, but it’s by no means the frontrunner when it comes to a good dab nail. There’s also no option for using it domeless, meaning that if you prefer to not put a carb cap or dome on your nail you’re outta luck!





adjustable nail

Adjustable Nail

Next up is another dome-needing nail, the adjustable nail, called so because of its ability to adapt to a number of differently sized dab rigs. These are frequently made of titanium, a material which is under fire because of its tendency to leech a metallic taste into the dab. But if you aren’t concerned about that, you might prefer titanium over other materials like glass or ceramic because it’s one type of nail that will definitely not shatter if you drop it.





domeless nails

Domeless nails don’t necessarily require a dome or carb cap, though some (like bangers) are adaptable and can work with one for the better.


universal nail

Universal Nail

Universal nails are named so because they typically conform to a couple of different joint sizes and can be used with or without a dome.





daisy nail



Daisy Nail

Daisy nails
, which have flower petal-like air intake holes dotting the top of the nail, are a particularly popular design and are often made of quartz, a more resilient material than glass or ceramic that’s also easy to clean.




sidearm nail
Sidearm Nail

Often made of titanium, sidearm nails are designed to extend the heat out and away from the rig. As such, they’re useful for smaller setups and cases when you just want to keep the heat and the concentrate away from your face. They have the same drawbacks as any other titanium nail, flavor leeching included, but do allow for more space in cases when the setup demands it. After all, the last thing you want to do is end up with hot vapor in your eyes.





banger nails


Banger Nails

Similar but often made of quartz, banger nails are an ever-growing class of dab accessories. They’re renowned for their ability to maintain a flat, even heat and their effectiveness when paired with a carb cap. Notably, they’re also known for their tendency to cause a buildup of concentrate in the joint, something that is fixed by thorough cleanings or using a thermal banger. The thermal banger design adds a second chamber for concentrate to vaporize inside of the bucket, meaning there’s less reclaim flowing into the joint and that the vaporization space stays warmer for longer. If you’re not looking to fork out for a thermal banger, consider a thermal insert to do the same thing without having to buy an entirely new bucket.





honey bucket


Honey Bucket

Honey buckets are also growing in popularity. They’re a hybrid of the banger nail and a vapor dome, with the banger attached to the dome by a removable turning arm. They’re easy to use and don’t require a number of separate doo-hickeys to function, so they’re an understandable choice for folks who don’t want to have too many different accessories around to do the job.





other options
diamond knot birdhouse nail
Diamond Knot & Birdhouse Nail

Other domeless nails, like
diamond knot nails and birdhouse nails, have been emerging on the market to challenge the old guard of simple, dome-free nails. These are more complex in design but essentially function the same as the other domeless nails while also experimenting with the form and the limits of open-air dabbing.






enail


Electronic Nail

And lastly, though they could use their own exploration, e-nails are their own class of electronically powered dab nail, charged either by battery or via a wall plug. They’re certainly growing in popularity, largely due to their ability to quickly get to the right temperature and stay there.

 





“So...Which One Should I Get?”

There are many options in the dabbing world when it comes to nails. Plenty of it comes down to personal preference, but there are certain dab nails that stand out for certain qualities. It is also smart to find the dab nail that fits your dab rig the best. Materials should have a lot of say in your decision as well. Feel free to contact our customer support team for any needed assistance as they are extremely informed when it comes to all of our nails.


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