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The Beginner Dabber’s Nail Buying Guide

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Although dabbing with concentrates has proven to be incredibly popular, many people are still confused with the process of buying the necessary tools. After choosing your bong and grabbing an appropriate torch, the next biggest issue you’ll be facing is the purchase of a nail. Between domed or domeless, as well as the choice of quartz, titanium, or ceramic, there are a lot of options. Check out this guide to help you out in narrowing the choices!

Domed Vs. Domeless


A dome is an attachment for your water pipe that commonly goes over the nail and downstem connection and creates a dome around the heated nail with an open-ended top to allow users to reach their dab-tools inside to reach the nail. This firstly prevents the user to inadvertently touch the hot nail, and the dome also helps catch some of the escaping vapor to get as much out of the dab as you can. Domes are usually made of glass and accompany glass nails as well.


Domeless nails were made in order to reduce some of the effort that is required from a domed-nail, and also are more often made of other materials than glass. Typically ceramic, titanium and sometimes quartz nails will be domeless, and will generally feature a single connection to the downstem connected to a larger heating plate than you would normally find on a domed-nail.

Ceramic vs. Quartz vs. Titanium


Ceramic nails are pretty much all domeless. There are some claims that say that ceramic provides the best tasting hit, despite being the nail that takes the longest on average to reach the desired temperature. They are the cheapest type of nail on average, usually costing between $10 USD and $20 USD. Ceramics do have a tendency to crack over time, and require more care than other nails to avoid overheating, which could shatter it. If you end up heating your ceramic nails evenly and slowly, you should be able to get a long life out of them.


Quartz nails, although look like glass, are much more durable than glass, and it is generally said that quartz nails provide the purest taste for your dabs. They generally are modest in price, you can find them usually at $20 USD to around $40 USD average, but will eventually show their wear after a few months. I’ve made my quartz nail last as long as 6 months before it cracking due to heat fractures. Quartz nails can be used with domes or you can also buy domeless ones. Quartz nails heat up the fastest out of any of the nails, taking around 20 seconds or less to reach the desired temperature, but they also don’t retain that heat for very long. This can make them quite desirable as the quick temperature change preserves some of your butane, and also reduces the risk of burning yourself on the nail after sooner.


Titanium, like ceramic, is mostly domeless, and is for sure the most durable of all the nail types, so long as you’re sure to buy certified titanium. If you do, it is incredibly unlikely it would break due to dropping damage or heat over time. Some people claim that titanium gives off a metallic taste in the dab, however some people also claim there is no taste. The downside to the value is that titanium nails are usually the most expensive of the three, costing usually upwards of $40 USD and also take a bit longer to heat up when being torched; being approximately 30 seconds or so.

Whatever your choice might be, don’t worry because any nail will get the job done. Do you have any thoughts or preferences? Let us know in the comments!