As far as Ti Nails go, right now Silika has some really nice domeless. I just went to the Kush Expo 2013 at Anaheim, California and they had a booth there. Their newest model is a 4-in-1 interchangeable model. It fits on 14mm, 18mm, male/female joints. They were selling it for $100 at the Expo, $120 on their site. It's called The "Rook"
I've got a buddy that wholesales glass, so I get a lot of this cool stuff for cheap
I'll try to post pictures of what I've got and I'll tell you my personal opinion on each and hopefully you and a couple other people can learn a little bit.
Before I tell you about the nails, let me give you a bit of good knowledge.
:: !!!ALWAYS SEASON YOUR TITANIUM PRODUCTS BEFORE YOU USE THEM!!! ::
Seasoning your Titanium Nails basically burns off all of the shiny crap and residue that most manufacturers put on their product to protect it from scratches and to make it look nicer in general. This shit tastes nasty if you smoke it and it's pretty unhealthy for you too.
An easy way to season your nails is:
- Torch the Ti nail until it is RED HOT all around the head where you're dabbing. If it does not get red hot, get a bigger torch. (Scortch is an even bigger torch flame than Vector if anyone is wondering)
- Using a pair of pliers, grab the nail by the base and drop it into a cup of ice with water in it. The ice just makes the process easier because the nail won't fall to the bottom of the cup.
- Take the cool nail out and do it again about 5 times in total.
This will take off all of the nasties and if you repeat this process every so often it will keep your Titanium strong and you won't have to worry about corrosion like I've been hearing people say.
::: Ti Nail and Glass Dome Setup :::
If you're getting a Ti Nail with a dome, make sure that the nail says GR2 on it somewhere. This means that it is Grade 2 Titanium. It is stronger and more resistant to corrosion than other metals or Grade 1 Titanium.
Trust me, it's worth it. You can either buy one good one or you will keep buying multiple bad ones.
Ti Nails can go anywhere from $10 and up if you don't know a wholesaler.
If you're looking at GR2 start looking around $20
Maybe you'd like it to be adjustable?
:: There are pros and cons to solid vs. adjustable. I've got several different types, but my favorite is a four-piece nail. A head, threaded rod, center nut, and a weight on the bottom. I've seen nails that have an 18mm head on top and a 14mm head on the bottom to act as a weight.
- The head of the nail should have a medium downward spiral and slightly raised walls on the edge to catch your oil.
- Take into account whether you're looking for an 18mm or a 14mm nail.
- Do you have a direct inject oil rig? Or will you need a male to male adapter?
Domes/Hoods come in all kinds of varieties. The most common hoods are dome shaped and have a hole in the top. It's a good idea to get the thickest hood that you can, because it will be surrounding a red hot Titanium Nail for however long you choose and it's in your best interest to take it off quickly.
I've heard of two-finger (thumb and index) gloves that are sold specifically for this purpose.
Check out @DailyDabbers on Instagram. I think they have those gloves for cheap.
Something to think about:
Although the dome in the picture is worked (colored), I prefer a clear dome so that I can see my dabs make contact with the nail. It's such a pain in the ass when you miss!
::: Glass Nail and Dome Setup :::
Glass nails are awesome because they're cheap, but they're cheap because they don't last. After several to many uses, these will warp and become bulbous if used incorrectly, and no matter what they will break, which will send you into an un-stoned rage if you don't have a backup.
- The head should be pushed in a little bit like a bowl to catch your oil
- Make sure that the nail will sit properly in your rig and with your dome. Glass nails are not adjustable so if the one you buy isn't right, you're still stuck with it.
I get my glass nails for less than a dollar each and I still wouldn't pay that for them if there is an option to buy quartz.
Glass and quartz are a little tricky to hit if you're used to Titanium. These wont turn red like titanium and if they do, you're melding and melting them.
In my personal opinion, the hit off of a glass/ quartz nail can taste better than a Ti nail if you do it right. A LOT of people will disagree, but a lot of those people have never hit a glass nail properly. I'm sure I've got just as many people that agree with me.
The key is to play around with it for yourself. Since every glass/ quartz/ ti nail has a different size/ mass/ weight and heat retention, it only makes sense that they should heat up differently also.
You WILL waste some wax trying to figure out the proper heat, but once you get the hang of it you never have to do it with that nail again and the knowledge will be 100% worth your time.
::: Quartz Nail and Dome Setup :::
Quartz nails hit pretty much the same as glass, but they are a LOT more durable. They won't melt after repeated usage and they seem to stay very clean looking for longer.
Like glass, quartz doesn't need to be seasoned, but this shouldn't be a large factor as to whether or not you buy one though.
Quartz nails come in several different looks and styles. I like the ones that look like actual quartz bowls.
::: Titanium Domeless Nail :::
The Titanium Domeless nail seems to hit the best for me so far. I take really massive dabs sometimes and I really like that I'm not worried about missing the nail or losing any. Also, for the same size dabs, it seems like I get more smoke out of the domeless as well. There is so much more metal, and it retains so much more heat, so it vaporizes a LOT more of the dab than a normal nail would, making a lot less cleanup on the inside of your piece.
I get them for $35 and it is my daily dabber.
When all of your buddies are over, group dabbing goes like this;
Simply get all of your hits lined up before hand, torch a little longer than normal, dab, pass, dab, pass, dab, pass, dab, pass, dab, pass, dab, pass
No reheating, no touching the hood, which means no 500 degree domes burning your fingers after the first five hits, thus... nobody breaks your nice dome.
My girlfriend and I use it to double dab one right after another. So even though it takes a little more butane to heat up, in the long run we are more efficient with our butane.
You've gotta get a decent size torch though. I suggest torching the nail all the way through until it's red hot, then let it sit for a couple seconds at normal color before going in.
Titanium Domeless come in SOOO many different types. Male, female, 18mm, 14mm, 10mm, thin walls, thick walls, short stem, long stem etc...
With a lot of specific Female Domeless nails, it is common for the glass underneath the nail to stain dark brown or black if the rig is not kept clean. This is due to constant wax being poured in, melted, and not cleaned out.
i.e. My roommate's $60 domeless nail is now fused to his glass 18mm male to male adapter to the point where I'm sure that the fusion is stronger than the glass now. It started as a female domeless, and now it is our male domeless due to an accidental and unwanted sex change haha :-/
To avoid this, there are porcelain adapters that you can invest in, or you can simply clean and care for your piece on the regular.
::: Quartz Domelss Nail :::
This one I have had for the least amount of time, but I am definitely the most impressed with it. Got it for $8, seen them on eBay for $14 shipped. Overall, the quartz Domeless is the cheapest and in my opinion DEFINITELY the way to go if you don't mind paying a little more in the long run.
BUT THEY'RE CHEAPER!!!
... Because they're quartz.
Alas, eventually they will break, even quartz. Whether it's during cleaning or after you just hit it and you're all fucked up so you try to "pull the bowl" and end up with 2nd degree burns and a dropped/ broken piece. It sounds stupid, but I know more than 10 people that have done this and they are not unfortunate-minded, it just happens.
... and when it happens, you're gonna want another, so it's a good idea to buy these in two's at least.
The quartz domeless should fit in most bongs/water pipes because it fits in 14mm and 18mm joints.
At almost $10 a pop, these are well worth your investment. You don't need a dome, and any rig hits significantly better with domeless nails. Right now they have quite a 'WOW' factor too because they look sick. You don't have to worry about glass staining ** because the base sits inside the rig and as I mentioned, I think that if you are getting good quality wax for the taste, the glass/quartz nail will work really well.
** The quartz domeless nail will eventually build up residue and stain, but it is better than a permanent stain on your nicest piece.
In conclusion I'd have to say that Domeless is definitely the way to go. Less mess, less process, less clean-up and more smoke in both instances. If all that you're looking for is art, a clean dome and nail is the way to go, but for smoking go Domeless.
I think I'm going to get that Silika Rook and see how awesome it really is...
Vapenwiser looks fantastic, but I'm probably gonna wait until the price drops a little. I'll bet that in a couple years I'll be able to get a $120 Domeless Ti Nail for $30 or less.
(This is my first post on a forum ever, so I WILL come back in a couple years and edit whether or not I can do it