The Best Dab Nail: Your Guide to Mastering Dab Nails

Remember the days when you just put a little bit of weed in a pipe and lit it up?

Well, those are long gone.

Today, if you want to get the best high, you need to upgrade to concentrates.

There’s just one huge problem.

It’s not as easy as just lighting up.

No, you need a dab torch, rig, nails, bangers and domes.

The list goes on so long, in fact, that most people are too intimidated even to  get started.

Well, today in dab class we're going to take a deep dive into the dab nail.

What’s the best dab nail?

What style should you get?

These are some of the questions we’ll be answering, so keep reading if you want to find out.

Dab Nail Types

The first thing we need to look at is all the different dab nail types that there are.

At my last count, there were five different types of nails, and they can come in multiple styles too.

So, which one is the best? Let’s find out.

Glass Nails

If you bought a basic dab rig for your local headshop or even an online headshop, most likely it came with a standard glass nail.

Glass nails heat up very fast, but they get very hot too.

You’ll be heating the nail up until it’s glowing red, before letting it briefly cool back down before smoking.

This heat can quickly wear out a glass nail, causing them to break very easily.

I recommend that you move up from a glass nail as soon as you can—trust me, it’s well worth it.

If you want to pick up a new glass nail, you can get the best one there is right here.

Ceramic Nails

The next step up from a glass nail is the ceramic dab nail.

Ceramic nails take longer than most nails to heat up—over 30+ seconds, but it also retains the heat better than any other nail.

Ceramic nails are still prone to breaking from the heat.

If you want to upgrade over your starter dab nail, but aren’t looking to spend a bunch of money doing it, then a ceramic nail is what you need.

If you want to take your dabbing to the next level, however, you need one of the final three types of nail.

Click here if you want to browse from one of the biggest selections of ceramic nails.

Quartz Nails

People love quartz dab nails.

They are a ton stronger than glass, so you don’t have to worry about them breaking from the heat.

Plus, they’re plenty more durable too when it comes to being dropped.

Quartz also has a cleaner taste than the ceramic nail.

The only downside is that quartz nails cool down quickly.

So, make sure to have you dab ready!

The biggest reason people love quartz nails is how quickly they heat up.

It only takes about 5 seconds, so no more sitting there forever waiting for the nail to be ready.

It’s also a huge upgrade over glass, without the huge increase in price that accompanies the other types of nails.

It is breakable, but since it’s a mineral, it’s a lot more durable than glass.

Quartz bangers are arguably just as good as titanium nails, thanks to their clean taste and durability.

Check out quartz bangers here.

And if you do go with a quartz banger, you’ll want to get a carb cap to make the experience that much better.

Titanium Nails

Unless you plan on getting an electric nail (more on these later), titanium is going to be the best dab nail type you can find.

Virtually indestructible, these are an investment.

The upfront cost may be steep for a titanium dab nail, but if you look at how much longer they last compared to the other types, the price seems negligible.

How do they smoke, though?


They heat up quickly (15-25 seconds), and hold the heat well.

So, you can let the nail cool off a big and hit a cooler, smoother dab.

If you get a titanium nail, though, be sure to season it before you use it.

Titanium nails have some funky stuff you’ll want to burn off before inhaling anything from them.

Seasoning the nail is easy:

  • Heat the nail up with the torch until it’s red hot and hold it.
  • Now, rub some wax on the hot nail. You need to really try and coat the nail with the wax here.
  • Repeat the last two steps 3-5 times, and you’ll be good to go.

You also might experience a metallic taste with a titanium nail.

Unlike most metals, titanium has an almost non-existent outgas rate, so it’s not going to produce any harmful gasses when you heat it up.

If you want to enjoy the flavors of your wax, you’ll appreciate the clean taste of a quartz nail more.

If you want to shop the from a wide selection of ti dab nails, you can find them here.

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    Grade 2 titanium
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    Fits 14.5mm and 18.88mm joints
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    Easy to clean
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    Collects reclaim better than any other nail

This Black Leaf grade 2 titanium nail is one of the best titanium nails for dabbing.

It has heat sink ridges that help keep the vapor cool, and its oil pan removes for easy cleaning.

It’s domeless, so just heat it up and inhale through its seven vapor inlets.

The nail fits both a 14.5mm joint and an 18.8mm joint making it very versatile.

With the cone shape design, your reclaim wax collects nicely on the bottom making it easy to get to.


You’ve got to love when stoners get their hands on some technology.

Did you know that try as you might, you’ll almost never heat your dab nail up to the perfect temperature for a dab?

Too hot, or too cold.

Your hits too harsh, or your wax doesn’t even melt.

Warming your nail up to the best temperature for dabs is effortless with an electronic nail.

The actual nail on an e-nail is either going to be titanium or quartz.

There are a few downsides to electric nails, though.

The biggest of which is they can set you back a couple of hundred dollars.

If you are serious about your dabs, though, then you can’t get any better than electric.

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    Portable titanium e-nail
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    Universal - fits 10mm, 14mm and 18mm
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    30-40 hits per charge
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    Heating elements last for up to 1500 hits

Brought to you by one of the biggest names in functional glass art, the Fire Button is the gold standard of e-nails.

Unlike most that chain you to the wall with a power cord, the Fire Button charges, and then you can take it on the go with you!

It will work with any dab rig—10mm, 14mm and 18mm.

It’s made from a heat-resistant silicone that feels good in your hand and is easy to use.

The heating elements do go bad, but they will last for up to 1500 hits.

That’s a lot of dabs.

Once they do go bad, though, they’re easily replaced for around $10.

Domeless vs. Domed Nails

Now, once you’ve mastered the different types of dab nails, you then can start looking at the different styles of nails.

Domed, domeless, bangers and honeypots.

You’ll come across a bunch of different looking nails on your search for the best dab nail, and they all hit differently.

How fast they cool down, the rigs that they’ll fit and how they collect reclaim are all affected by their shape.

The most prominent difference in nails that you’ll find, though, is domeless vs. domed nails.

Domed nails are the basic nails that most starter rigs come with.

They require you to not only have the nail, but a separate piece of glass called a dome to collect the vapor as it burns off the nail.

I find that domed nails tend to waste more wax, plus, they are easier to break.

Since you’ll be dealing with two pieces of glass instead of just one, you’re chances of breaking it double.

Domeless nails are easier to use, and I think that they hit better too.

Instead of placing the dome over the nail after you heat it, you just apply the wax and hit it.

Less work is always better 🙂

How to Use a Dab Rig with a Glass Nail

I wanted to go over how to use a dab nail with you.

I’ll start with a domed nail, because, most beginners are going to start by using a domed nail since that is what comes with 99% of dab rigs that you’ll buy.

If you want a quick visual, you can watch the video below, or you can read the instructions immediately following it.

  • Start by placing the nail inside the male joint of your dab rig.
  • Using a torch, heat the nail up until it starts to turn red. Make sure to face the flame at just the top of the nail to help from breaking the nail.
  • Now, remove the flame and place the dome on the nail.
  • Let the nail cool down 10-30 seconds. It will vary from nail to nail, so make sure to figure your particular nail.
  • Get a small amount of wax on a dab tool and slowing put it on the nail as you slowly inhale.

Once you get the hang of it, it’s very easy.

You just need to be sure to find the right cool down period for your nail.

If you hit the wax while the nail is too hot, you will burn and waste a lot of your wax, and if it’s too cool, it won’t hit.

If you have already upgraded to a domeless nail, you’ll go through a slightly different process to smoke it.

You heat it up and cool it the same, but you don’t have to worry about a dome.

You can just heat up the nail and hit it.

Or, instead, you can use a carb cap with your domeless nail to get a better rip.


So, do you understand a bit more about the dab nail?

We learned that the four main types of nails are glass, ceramic, quartz, titanium and electric nails.

With the best dab nail being an electric nail, with the titanium nail coming in a close second.

Make sure no matter which dab nail type you go with that you heat it up to the right temperature.

If you don’t want to waste wax, then you want to heat your nails up right.

What’s your favorite type nail? Let’s smoke over it in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Tony Hand

Founder & Editor-in-Chief of If he's not smoking or watching anime, you can find him yelling at over play calling.

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