Dabbing 101 and Choosing a Nail

  10/10/2015 at 20:57 pm

October 10th, 2015 by Jay Fratt



Dabs are in again! This time around though their popularity will not waiver. Dabs are here to stay. While the mainstream catches up to the front of the learning curve, more and more people are buying attachments and rigs of all kinds, but which one is right for you??? This blog will answer some beginner questions, hopefully cure a few headaches and maybe even save some newbies oil waste or a burnt hand/forearm.

First Timer Quick Tips:
1. Don’t try to “carb” your nail… That nail is super hot, don’t grab the nail trying to carb your dab. There is a device called a “carb cap” that’ll do it for you.
2. If that nail is glowing orange, it’s still too hot to drop your dab onto… Unless you like coughing and sweating, get your nail just hot enough to glow then let it cool enough that the “glow” is gone. That’s the sweet spot!
3. Dabs severely effect the short term-memory. Don’t get done dabbing and leave your rig sitting in front of you. Put it somewhere with the hot nail pointed toward a safe corner or direction. I see a lot of burnt forearms and scars from the short-term memory loss.

Nails come in many styles, sizes and materials. So how do you know which is the right one for you? Well, for size and style, that’s completely up to you and whatever your preferences are. When it comes to the material however, there is a right one for the right job. If there were a perfect nail, there would probably be only one. But because there are so many situations we find ourselves dabbing in, there are real reasons to use or switch the type of nail you’re using to adapt to the situation at hand. There are more materials out there than the main 3 I will be covering but i suggest starting with one of these great mediums to dab on.

Quartz: (my personal fav) Quartz is for the lonely dabbers. If you dab alone or with only one other person on the regular, this is the nail I suggest using. A quarts attachment will heat up quick and cool down quick thus wasting less time and butane. Quartz nails return to a safe temp fast when you are done riggin’ so you are less likely to burn yourself or something else. Quartz is basically as structurally strong as glass. The major advantage over glass is that Quartz is NOT thermally fussy.  Quartz can heat up and cool down without thermal shock breakage. Most importantly, Quartz attachments are clean and don’t have a flavor so you will only taste your dab!  My favorite Quartz Nail is the Quartz Castle made in Washington State.  The most popular Quartz Nails these days are the Quartz Bangers.

Ceramic: Ceramic heats very even and retains the most heat without the metal taste that other types of heat retaining nails will have. Ceramic is for the dab partiers. If you dab in a group (or you hate your torch) then Ceramic nails maybe your favorite. Ceramic dabs taste awesome like Quartz dabs. The major difference from Quartz is the heat retention for multiple dabs between heatings. Ceramic has a little more back bone if you drop stuff a lot but depending on the nail’s “curves”, it may brake easier than Quartz. Ceramic is thermally sensitive, meaning if you heat a Ceramic nail and touch something too cold to it, odds are you will fracture your nail. I suggest Ceramic nail buyers “season” your nail (pre heat without a dabbing on to burn off impurities). If you have the time, you can slow cool your Ceramic attachment by waving your torch across the attachment every so often just so it cools slow and even (preventative fracture maintenance). Also, when you heat your ceramic nail be sure to evenly distribute the heat over the entire nail head.  Heating just one focal point on the nail can cause a fracture. You can find Ceramic Domeless Nails in male and female versions.

Titanium: Great metal for dabbing (doesn’t brake)! For a metal it is clean (still season ALL Titanium nails), durable and retains heat well. If you dab with friends and like to get the party going fast and with little hassle then Titanium is calling your name! Titanium will have some taste to it… how much will depend on the purity of the nail you buy. Type 1 Titanium is a lower quality Titanium. Type 2 Titanium is the better quality. Type 2 is worth the price… Taste, durability, oxidation resistance and heat retention are all much better using the higher quality Titanium. Once again this is a nail that stays hot for a while so use these guys for partying with the clumsy friends. ;{) hey now!!!  I like the function of the new Side-Arm Domeless Titanium Nail.

DabbaDabbaDoYahh.  This article was written my Mike “TmO” Teeling.

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