Electronic nails (e-nails) are electronic vaporizers which essentially allow for much easier dabbing. Available in both desktop and portable forms, e-nails can operate on their own or as part of a modified vape. They heat up to optimum vaping temperatures, so that users can dab their wax, shatter or other concentrate at the sweet spot, to produce and inhale the purest, smoothest vapor possible.
Traditional oil rig vaporizers that require manual heating are sold, but in this post we’re going to focus on e-nails and why they are superior.
Why you should buy an e-nail
Concentrate fans have been exploring ways to best utilize their products and dabbing, specifically electronic dabbing, has become the preferred choice of many. Unlike with old-school dabbing, where users would have to hold a blowtorch up to a nail and hope to heat it to the right temperature, nowadays dabbers can switch on their e-nail and wait. Not only are e-nails much less hassle, they’re a lot safer too.
Indeed, if a nail is too hot then it will just end up combusting your wax, shatter or crystal, denying you of many of the cannabinoids in the product. However, don’t have your nail hot enough and not all the product will be vaporized, meaning you lose out that way. Having an electric nail ensures efficient vaporizing, and it could be less harmful on the lungs as well.
With a standard desktop e-nail, users are instructed to input their preferred temperature – the e-nail will then heat up and remain constant throughout the session. Whenever you’re ready to take a hit, you can go right ahead and enjoy a cool, thick and perhaps flavorsome dabbing experience. Dabbing is an easy skill to learn – you’ll be perfecting it in no time!
Why e-nails are better than traditional nails
The danger with using a standard dab rig and heating it yourself is that there’s the risk of accidentally combusting your concentrates, losing them through the “flash vaporization” process. With dabs being relatively expensive, marijuana enthusiasts were keen to find a more reliable alternative – hence, the e-nail was born.
Using a traditional dabbing rig well takes a lot of practice, and even then, you can still misjudge the temperature and ruin your product. However, when dabbing with an e-nail, you can finely tune the temperature in order to extract more cannabinoids and terpenes, while fully sampling the flavors. And anyone, whether they’re a novice or an expert, can use and enjoy e-nails.
Types of e-nails: desktop
The most common type, desktop e-nails are quite sizeable, and a kit comes with plenty of accessories. But it’s the nail itself and the water pipe that dabbers are really interested in.
Various coils can be used with a desktop e-nail (typically 20mm, 16mm and 10mm flat). These are different to vape pen coils, but they do serve the same purpose. The coil sits at the bottom of the e-nail.
A PID controller is used to ensure the coil remains at a steady temperature throughout a dabbing session. PID controllers are a common industrial tool for determining temperature changes, and it’s this which enables you to tailor your e-nail to your dabbing preferences.
The best e-nails will include an LED screen so you always have a precise temperatue reading. Desktop e-nails run on A/C power, and that plug-in-the-wall functionality makes them best for home use.
Types of e-nail: portable
As expected, portable e-nails are pretty much the same as desktop e-nails, except you can take them around with you, or put them in your suitcase for your travels. They are obviously a lot simpler and less refined, but the glass mouthpiece, power source and heating element means there’s still plenty in common. Certain e-nails can be attached to a modified vape (using the 510-threaded system), whereas others operate on rechargeable batteries.
Using an e-nail
E-nails may look intimidating pieces of kit, but there’s really nothing to be overawed by. The LED screen is a reassuring guide that you’re using the equipment correctly.
After turning on your e-nail and inputting your desired temperature, apply your concentrate to a transferable stick and get ready to put it on the hot e-nail. When ready, touch the concentrate onto the e-nail and take a hit. The taste should be very cool thanks to the water pipe.
Carb caps are a great accessory that dabbers use to enhance the thickness and flavor of their vapor. These cover the nail during session so that no vapor is able to escape. If you have a domeless nail, then caps are the way forward in improving your dabbing experience.
In the past, old-style nails would often be domed, reducing the need for carb caps. However, with e-nails now dominating the market, carb caps are now synonymous with dabbing.
Best portable e-nail kits
Cloud V Electro Mini
The Cloud V Electro Mini really is a tiny e-rig, and if easy portability is your priority, then it’s perfect. What’s more, despite its size, this e-rig still has space for an LED screen with temperature control. So there’s no immediate sacrifice on quality to make this super-small product.
With a 3300 mAh built-in rechargeable battery, you are limited on power, although the hefty full charge compensates for this somewhat. Unfortunately there is no micro USB charging functionality. Two nails (quartz and titanium) are included along with a carb tool. Reliability is a big selling point for the Cloud V Electro Mini, and the one-year warranty is a nice additional buyer’s safety net.
The full temperature control of this e-rig is a delight, and the ability to fine tune lets you try for those huge vapor clouds to impress your friends. For its price, the Cloud V Electro Mini is a real gem. It is diminutive, yet packs a real punch too.
If you dab everyday then you’re after a sturdy portable device that doesn’t compromise on quality. The Kandypens Icon is a neat e-nail that works with most 510-threaded vape mods and comes with quartz, titanium and a ceramic nail included. Also included is a carb cap. This is an awesome bundle with all you need and more – and the handy LED lighting system lets you achieve precision on the move.
The 510-threaded Kandypens Icon comes with three batteries, ideal as vaporizers do run them down pretty fast. Take time to experiment with the various nails as they have subtle impacts on the vapor produced.
Dr Dabber Boost
A pioneering e-rig in many ways, the Dr Dabber Boost was one of the first to offer the portable vaporizing of wax in an all-in-one device. It’s been slightly overpowered by more modern devices, but the 2500 mAh rechargeable battery ensures the Boost remains a competitive portable model.
The carrying case included with your Dr Dabber purchase is a nice touch and an ideal way of keeping all your accessories together. Three domeless nails made of ceramic, quartz and titanium come with the product, and the only other thing you’ll need to start toking are your concentrates!
Dr Dabber products are renowned – you don’t become a leading name in the industry without a string of reliable products. One-year warranties come with each purchase and an exemplary customer support system makes Dr Dabber one of the best vape companies to deal with.
You can also buy a special 510-threaded Dr Dabber e-nail that can be fitted to your vape mod, to make up for the standard 510 incompatibility. The lack of an LED screen sees the Dr Dabber lose out to its competitors.
MigVapor La Queef
The bizarrely-named MigVapor La Queef is a different e-nail to others on sale, which is par for the course from this eccentric company which also brought us the Brain Fogger and the Sub Herb. The La Queef (pronounced “La Keef”) e-nail is 510-threaded and is compatible with both dry herb and wax.
The La Queef is fast-acting, creating vapor from scratch in just three seconds, suitable for quick, discreet hits on the move. There are separate coils for wax dabbing and dry herb dabbing, but whichever your method, MigVapor’s La Queef kit has you covered.
Best cheap desktop e-nails on the market
The desktop e-nail market is highly competitive, with a number of manufacturers vying to cash in on this ever-popular vaping technique. Such industry conditions have seen chancers try succeeding with low-quality equipment, but there are some great brands too. Above all of them in our eyes is High Five Vapes.
E-nails from High Five Vapes are very affordable, with products available for less than $200. Couple this with the manufacturer’s superb customer service and the company excels not only for its quality, but friendly approach too. Looking to buy your first e-rig? An inexpensive product from High Five Vapes would be an excellent starter choice.
“Slow-boat” from China?
Premium e-rigs cost a hell of a lot more than $200, but brands like Shatterbox have thrived on the promise of first-class dabbing. If you can’t afford the true brand, then you may be tempted to buy an imitation from China, at just a fraction of the cost.
While this is appealing, the often poor or even non-existent customer service should make you wary. There may be no way of knowing exactly what you’re getting until it arrives, and it may take weeks to do so – and if there’s a fault when it arrives, sending it back (not to mention receiving a replacement) could take months. You’re better off either buying the real thing or a cheaper e-rig made much closer to home.
High Five Basic E-Nail bundle
Keen to get started with e-nails and dabbing but are a little hesitant as to how? The High Five Basic E-Nail bundle is designed for you – it’s relatively cheap and contains all the equipment and accessories required to have a worthwhile time dabbing.
From quartz to titanium domeless nails to a temperature control box, the High Five Basic kit really does have everything.
Customization is another highlight of High Five e-nails, and you can choose from a variety of funky prints to really personalize it. With a 7-day return policy, you have a window to establish whether dabbing is for you, and to iron out any teething issues with the customer service team.
What material makes the best e-nail?
E-nails are made out of titanium, quartz or ceramic. Let’s quickly assess the benefits and disadvantages of all three materials.
By far the most common e-nail material, titanium is used because it is both durable and cheap. Providing a titanium e-nail is well maintained, it can last for months or years, depending on how much it is used. Titanium e-nails are safe to inhale from, but they can sometimes give off an unpleasant metallic flavor, which is why dabbing enthusiasts often look elsewhere.
Ceramic e-nails are more expensive than their titanium counterparts, but are recognized for delivering a much purer and tastier vapor. Ceramic is not as durable as titanium though, so not only do ceramic e-nails cost more, but they require more regular replacement. It’s hard to fully clean ceramic too, leaving it hard to recapture the initial taste once it’s gone.
Quartz is the happy medium between titanium and ceramic. Not as expensive as ceramic, but with durability more in line with the titanium. The taste from quartz e-nails is also comparable to that of the ceramic, with some users arguing that it’s better. Out of the three, quartz is certainly the best dabbing material and this is reflected with dabbers making the switch en masse.
Bangers and honey buckets
Bangers and honey buckets are just like and function just as any other nail does despite their intimidating name. In reality, it’s just their size and shape which differs, and their design is to help maximize safety for the user. The heating process occurs further from the face than normal. Meanwhile, bangers and honey buckets help create a bigger surface area, so you can dab more.