Dab rig nails and domes are an easy way to take your new rig to the next level. Most standard oil rigs come with glass parts to dab from. These glass parts are typically made of pyrex and will function well for light use. Although pyrex glass nails and domes will serve their purpose of allowing you to dab your favorite concentrates, they do not function near as well as quartz nails, ceramic nails, or even titanium nails.
Replacement domes and nails come in three measured sizes, 10mm, 14mm, & 18mm. These fitting sizes are usually applied according to the size of the dab rig. Smaller rigs and pocket pieces will have a 10mm fitting. The largest majority of oil rigs made today will have a 14mm fitting on them. It will fit on smaller pieces all the way up to larger pieces. 18Mm is typically used on larger glass rigs and will take the heaviest of use.
Gender refers to male or female fittings. Female nails will have a fitting that goes in, and male nails will stick out. You use a male nail to go into a female fitting and a female nail to go over a male fitting. The sizes apply to each of these female and male fittings as well.
The following sizes are what you will typically see on most oil rigs in today's market
- 10mm Female
- 10mm Male
- 14mm Female
- 14mm Male
- 18mm Female
- 18mm Male
Which material is best for my new dab nail?
Titanium nails were the earl winners of the dab nail race. They are extremely durable and will literally last a lifetime. You can superheat them to clean between uses, and they retain heat exceptionally well. They have been the workhorse of the concentrate rig industry for many years.
You may notice a thin layer of titanium oxide on the dab nail after repeated use, which ultimately affects the productivity of the rig. If this happens, you can use a “water-dippin’” method to remove the white oxidation residue. Heat your nail as normal, then use tongs and place the nail into room-temperature water to clean the piece. Unseasoned titanium nails can also make the concentrates taste like metal, seasoning the nail before use is best.
Quartz Is the most popular material used for modern dab rig nails. Quartz is known for its even heat and its ability to hold a high temperature, perfect for smooth dabs. Quartz also does not affect your concentrates' flavor, so you get to taste all of the natural terpenes.
Quartz is a food- and medical-grade material, meaning that it is completely safe to use and does not release toxic gases when heated. Much like titanium nails, quartz nails are available in a number of styles and sizes, making them a convenient choice for many users. However, if you use different rigs, keep in mind that quartz nails are not always available in all-in-one and adjustable styles.
Ceramic nails are literally made of ceramic materials. Ceramic nails do not stay warm as long as other nail styles but are considered inert in nature. They will give you the true flavor profile of whatever concentrate you are dabbing.
Ceramic nails are food- and medical-grade, so they do not release harmful gases when heated, and since ceramic is a non-porous material, you do not need to season ceramic-like you would with other quartz or titanium parts.
Pyrex Glass Pipe Parts
Of all the materials, Pyrex is considered the least durable and is more known to crack and/or break after repeated use. Pyrex glass comes standard with most all dab rigs because it is the cheapest option. Although Pyrex is a fantastic material for someone who dabs on occasion, it is not meant for heavy use, and you risk destroying the components if you dab all day, every day.
However, if your Pyrex rig does break, it is relatively inexpensive to replace. Most people who are just starting out with dabbing ultimately upgrade from the standard Pyrex glass nails because they tend to be tiny, only allowing for small dabs at a time. In addition, Pyrex glass requires a lower heat, but it does not retain heat as long as other concentrate rig materials such as quartz.
Dome or Domeless
Whether or not you use a dome when dabbing depends on what style of nail you choose. Domes were commonplace a few years ago, and still today, many dab rigs come with nails & domes. When using a traditional nail and dome, you will remove the dome while heating the nail, then replace the concentrate pipe dome and insert your dab through the hole in the top of the dome.
With a domeless nail set up, you don't need a dome. You heat the nail and then take a dab. Most aftermarket nails are going to be domeless. Going domeless simplifies the process of taking a dab and also makes one less thing that has the ability to break.
Explain the Different Types of Nails
Those new to the world of dabbing will likely, at some point in their journey, come face-to-face with the question, “What is the difference between titanium, ceramic, quartz, and Pyrex glass?” Here at Mile High Glass Pipes, we break down these materials to help you choose the best nails and domes for your concentrates.
Hands down, the most popular dab rig replacement nail is a quartz banger. Quartz bangers are obviously made of quartz, and they usually have a 90-degree bent tube that attaches the bucket and the joint. They come in varying thicknesses from 2mm up to 6mm. The thicker the quartz banger bucket, the longer it will retain heat. To use a quartz banger, you will heat the bucket and then use a dabber to dab your concentrates into the bucket. Quartz bangers do not use a dome and can come in all major sizes and genders.
The most popular titanium nails are of a straight type of design. Some fit either female or male joints, while others will fit every gender type and joint size. Titanium usually is made of solid stock that is milled down with a CNC machine. The machining process gives it its shape and size. These nails will have a skillet-shaped lip around the top of the nail where you will dab your favorite waxes and shatters. Some options will include removable skillets and 6 in 1 designs.
Just like their titanium counterparts, ceramic nails are typically the same square design. They will come in either a male or female design that will fit both 14mm and 18mm. Some more elaborate ceramic nail designs have movable buckets called “honey buckets.” These tend to cost significantly more than the standard straight style design.
There are a number of types of nails to use with your dab rig, and each has a certain resistance to heat stress and thermal properties that allow them to absorb and hold heat. For instance, some people prefer the quick-heating quartz, others like the durability of titanium nails and some love ceramic’s heat retention properties, so it is important to weigh your smoking habits and needs before choosing one that is right for you.
Different Types of Dab Rig Domes
Since most basic model dab rigs come with a dome and glass nail, an easy upgrade is the dome itself. Most of the basic domes will be a blown-out bubble design. They function but are plain in looks and functionality. Firstly you can upgrade the look of your dome. It could be as simple as a full-color glass dome that is still the single bubble design or a fully worked glass dome full-color glass design. Secondly, the shape of the dome can be upgraded. We see a lot of customers upgrade their dab rigs domes to the straight style dome. It makes it, so you don't have to remove the dome when heating the nail, and it directs the airflow straight down. You can also get a slanted straight dome to make it easier to place your dabber on the nail.
With what seems like endless options to upgrade your dab rig nails and domes, we specifically curate the most popular design of dab rig parts to make it easier for you to choose that perfect oil rig nail or dome.
Since some dab rig nails have domes or can be domeless, there’s also a debate as to whether domed or domeless nails are better. Nails with domes are considered safer because it covers the nail nicely and helps reduce the risk of burning yourself. Domes are generally made using quartz or Pyrex glass. You won’t find them made of ceramic material, nor in titanium.