If you’re poised on the edge of the cannabis concentrate clif, unsure whether to dive or retreat, I feel you. It’s difficult to wade through the vernacular online or sift through it while your friends go on and on. That’s what this guide’s for.
This is a very simple, easy to understand explanation of e-nails, dab rigs, and what the heck the difference is.
Spoiler alert: they’re two sides of the same basic coin.
I want to start with an explanation of dab rigs, because I think it’s simpler from a big picture view. A traditional dab rig is kind of the analog version of an e-nail, as you’ll see shortly.
First, let’s break down the different parts of a dab rig.
The nail, made of titanium, glass, quartz, or ceramic, is heated by torch and the extract is placed on it. Vapor ensues. It replaces the bowl of your standard water pipe, for those of you used to using cannabis flowers.
Glass nails will work, but don’t last long. They also don’t conduct heat as well as some other materials, making this ok on a budget but not the best pick.
Ceramic nails hold heat slightly better than glass, but also break frequently.
Quartz nails are durable and difficult to overheat. They don’t hold heat very long, however, so it can be tricky to get a good draw.
Titanium nails are preferred by most users. It retains heat extremely well and will last for almost ever. Until you get the hang of using a titanium nail, it can be easy to overheat it and that will burn your concentrate. Pairing this nail with a water diffuser can help your results.
The Glass Piece
Essentially, your glass piece is like a water pipe, but it’s fitted for use with nails rather than combustible plant material.
They vary in size and style to suit your preference and comfort.
The dabber is a small rod used to transfer oil or wax onto the heated nail. It looks slightly like a dental tool and functions like a go-go gadget arm to keep you from burning your hands on the super hot nail.
These items are sometimes found in kits, but you may have to purchase them separately.
Now that you know for sure what a nail is in terms of a dab rig, it will be easier to grasp the function of an e-nail.
E-nails are electronically powered vape systems that use heating elements to turn wax or oil concentrate into vapor. They fit on glass rigs and water pipes, so in this way they’re kind of like a mod piece.
The major benefits of e-nails are even heating, temperature control, and since they’re electric, you don’t have to use a torch to light up.
The major drawback of an e-nail is that many require plugs to work. Those that run on battery power require charging, and do you really need another device to charge in your life?
What’s Right For You?
For many, their choice comes down to their comfort level with using torches to light the standard nail. If that’s no problem for you, a good solid dab rig should be in your life if you love concentrates.
For ultimate beginners, those who smoke medically, or anyone with a fire phobia, the e-nail is a more foolproof solution.
Honestly, one of each is great if you can spring for it. Do whatever research you can by stopping by to visit some dabbing friends to test out their setups.