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Four Differences Between Domes With Nails & Domeless Nails

Four Differences Between Domes With Nails & Domeless Nails

Posted by GLASSICS on Oct 4th 2020

When it comes to Dab Rigs, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the number of different accessories and trendy new attachments that tend to populate most online and physical headshops. At Glassics, we've narrowed down our concentrate options to a much more manageable selection of simple and proven items including both Domes with Nails and Domeless Nails. If you're not totally sure which style is right for you, this post should hopefully clear up some of their differences for you.

#1 Price

Ultimately, choosing between Domes & Nails or Domeless Nails is a matter of personal preference. Neither style is outright superior and they each have their own pros and cons. Although, when it comes to price, Domeless Nails are typically more expensive than Dome & Nail setups. This is usually due to the materials used in each style and because Dome & Nail setups are not as specialized or complex.

Dome & Nail setups are traditionally made of 100% glass making them cheaper to manufacture, but they can be more fragile when reheating them regularly. Of course you can always replace/upgrade nails in a Dome & Nail setup to a more durable material like ceramic or titanium. Traditionally though, Dab Rigs, like the ones in our store, come standard with glass Domes & Nails as a matter of practicality. You can find replacement Domes & Nails in our store for only $8 which is a more affordable, but somewhat temporary option compared to our Domeless Nails.

Domeless Nails often have more elaborate designs and are traditionally made of more durable materials such as ceramic, quartz and titanium. Each of these materials have their own benefits, but we've currently chosen to only carry ceramic and quartz in our store as these tend to be more affordable and cleaner in terms of taste.

Domeless Nails also come in a variety of different designs as well. Right now you'll find traditional Domeless Nails and Bangers in our store. Both are priced between $15-$20 which is about twice as expensive as the glass Dome & Nail setups we offer but can easily last twice as long if cared for correctly.

#2 Size of Oil Applications

This is probably the biggest reason (next to material durability) that people choose Domeless Nails over Dome & Nail setups. Both traditional Domeless Nails and Bangers are designed with significantly larger dishes that allow users to administer much larger dabs in each hit.

  • Dome & Nail setups are limited to the small (sometimes flat or curved) area on the top/head of the nail for dabs. Due to the small size, this nail is also cooled much more rapidly, further limiting it's use.

  • Traditional Domeless Nails come with a bigger, donut-shaped dish on top of the nail where oil is applied and a hole in the center which draws in the smoke.

  • Bangers are equipped with a bucket-shaped dish and a hole on the side which funnels smoke into the concentrate Rig offering the biggest possible oil applications between all three.

#3 Convenience vs. Nail Exposure

The most obvious design difference between these two styles is the number of pieces involved and how they function. Domes & Nails include two separate parts: the nail, which fits inside the male fitting of a Dab Rig, and the dome, which is placed over this fitting to encapsulate the heated nail. The dome both protects users from accidentally touching the heated nail and creates a channel to force smoke downwards into the water pipe.

Domeless Nails on the other hand come in a single, exposed piece which fits over the male fitting of a Dab Rig and does not require an additional piece to draw in smoke. This setup eliminates one step from the process but also requires a little more attention and care as the nail has no protective barrier surrounding it. So if you're the type of person who wants the fewest items to clean and manage, Domeless Nails are probably for you. But if you don't mind the extra piece and value the protection that a dome provides, Domes & Nails might be a better fit.

#4 Accessories

The last major difference between these two concentrate nail styles is the types of accessories that can be used in combination with them. Dome & Nail setups are self-sufficient and tend to be limited in terms of additional accessories. Domeless Nails on the other hand are generally much more versatile and can be paired with popular items such as Carb Caps and E-nails.

Carb Caps

These are tools which can be found in our store and are used to cover the exposed top of Domeless Nails, restricting airflow and allowing for lower temperature dabs. When a Carb Cap is placed over the opening of a Domeless Nail, the concentrated oil inside is insulated and heated much like an oven, rather than a skillet. This limits how fast surrounding air can cool the nail and preserves more of the unique flavors and characteristics of concentrated essential oils instead of destroying them with excess heat. Dome & Nail setups are not entirely compatible with carb caps but you can still achieve a low temperature effect by placing a heat resistant object over the dome's hole to restrict airflow in a similar manner. More information on Carb Caps and low temperature dabs can be found in our other Blog Post, "How To Use Carb Caps For Low Temp Dabs".


An E-nail is an electronic device used to rapidly heat a Domeless Nail to a controlled temperature. E-nails typically require a power outlet and are designed with a long cable leading from the device box to the heating element which is coiled around a Domeless Nail.

Many dabbers opt to heat their nail with gas torches, but E-nails provide some helpful benefits in contrast. Although E-nails can initially be more cost prohibitive than torches and require power outlets to generate energy, the long term investment of an E-nail can actually save you money over time. Rather than constantly running to the store to buy gas canister refills, you can simply use the energy in your home for a fraction of the price.

Most E-nails usually include an LED display where you can input finely-tuned temperatures to get the absolute most flavor out of your concentrated oils. Heating a nail with a torch can be quite a guessing game with a long learning curve and lots of wasted oil before you figure out the best technique. This is especially true when just starting out with concentrates or when switching between Domeless Nail styles and materials. With e-nails, all the guesswork is taken out of the equation since you can simply set it to a desired heat and it will self-regulate.

The last major benefit of using E-nails over torches and other heating methods is the convenience of use. A lot of this convenience has to do with being able to finely-tune temperatures and eliminate guesswork as previously mentioned. But E-nails tend to be even more useful in a group setting.

When distributing dabs to a large group of people using one Dab Rig, it makes much more sense to use an E-nail. With this type of heating method temperates fluctuate very mildly between each hit and quickly return to the value entered on the LED screen. With a torch, you have to constantly reheat the nail between each dab taken. Not only does this require a lot of guesswork for each person, but it causes more dramatic heat spikes and dips which wears on nails and makes them more likely to fracture.

Overall, if you have the money to invest now and you have a stationary Dab Rig setup, E-nails are the way to go. Unfortunately we do not currently offer E-nails in our store but hope to sometime in the near future.

Hopefully this has been an informative post regarding the main differences between these two distinct styles of concentrate nail setups. If you have any further questions or would like to see something included that you think is missing, please don't hesitate to contact us at