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Alana Rossi
August 19, 2023

A nail refers to a small receptacle designed specifically for use in dab rigs to vaporize and inhale cannabis extracts and concentrates. Nails fit into the joint or downstream opening of a water pipe dab rig, replacing the typical slide or bowl used for smoking flower. In operation, the nail gets heated using a handheld torch flame or electric e-nail heater coil before concentrate extract is applied directly onto the hot surface, where it vaporizes for inhalation.

Titanium, quartz, ceramic, and borosilicate glass are common materials for dab nails. Titanium nails heat up the fastest and retain heat well, but can leave a metallic taste. Quartz and ceramic heat more slowly but impart pure flavor. Glass nails look elegant but are fragile. Ongoing use necessitates regular cleaning as reclaim buildup occurs in the nail. Isopropyl alcohol soaks help scrub nails clean of charred carbonized residue over time.

Proper heating and cooling (known as tempering) improves flavor and prevents burning material. Nails should be heated until glowing, then allowed to cool for at least 45 seconds for ideal low temperature dabbing. Carb caps help retain heat during draws.

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