Comparison of Different Nail Materials
When it comes to using a rig, the right nail is a key element in producing a quality session. Nails are thin tubular attachments to bongs or rigs that have a cupped end for holding your materials. The nail is heated before the material is placed on it, and the vapor is what the user breathes in. Nails come in various shapes, sizes, and compositions, so thorough research is recommended before any purchase. Some nails require separate domes to redirect vapors toward the mouthpiece, while others may be constructed to automatically direct vapors downward. Most nails attach to bongs or rigs that have the same joint diameter, but there are some that universally fit any piece. The type of nail you acquire will be based on whether or not you need one to attach to pieces you already have, your budget, and the material you would like it to be made from. Below is a comparison of the four most common nail types.
- Glass. Glass nails are fairly common and may best complement the glass pieces you already have. However, glass nails are the most fragile and shatter or crack easily under too much heat. While heat fractures are inevitable with glass nails, a careful user may extend the life of a glass nail to several months before needing a replacement.
- Ceramic. Ceramic nails are slightly more durable than glass, but are also prone to fractures and cracks. Some designs only fit one joint size while others pair with multiple sized joints. Ceramic may add flavor to your vapor, which you may or may not prefer. Comparatively, ceramic nails take longer to heat than other types, but they will also retain heat longer. Because of this, you will get the most out of your materials before the nail has time to cool down. Users will need to practice extra caution around ceramic nails as it is often difficult to observe when the nail has cooled down enough to remove and clean.
- Quartz. These types of nails are even more durable than ceramic and are harder to overheat. However, they also cool down quickly, so they are best used for low temperature smoking. Quartz won’t add flavor to the vapor or release any harmful toxins to be ingested, but they don’t come in adjustable or universal designs. You will have to find the exact size for your rig joint. Although quartz is a durable material, it’s no stranger to heat fractures. You will still need to replace your quartz nail every so often.
- Titanium. Obviously not much can harm this material in terms of overheating, cracking, or dropping, but the unmatched durability of these nails comes at a higher cost. Be wary of cheap titanium nails though, as not all titanium is safe for use in this way. Since this material has not passed food and medical grade standards, users should be aware that poorly manufactured titanium can release carcinogens when heated. Besides having to be more cautious with safety standards, titanium nails have a lot of advantages. Titanium nails take a moderate amount of time to heat thoroughly and retain heat long enough for a decent smoking session. Users should be careful not to overheat their titanium nails as it may burn and waste the concentrate. If you’re looking for adjustable or universal nails, titanium may be your best bet as most of these designs are of the titanium variety. Some titanium nails are also electric, so the user can adjust the temperature levels more accurately. Users who would rather avoid butane torches may prefer electric nails.
- Abbigail Montgomery