E-NAIL PURCHASING GUIDE
Fuse protection is a critical feature for your e-nail. Without a fuse there is no safeguard to prevent dangerous and life-threatening events involving high-amp “mains” power from potentially damaging your electronic dab nail (or your health). The best e-nail models come equipped with fast-blow fuse that could potentially save your life if any of these events were to occur. Fuses are actually dirt-cheap, take up very little space inside the controller casing, and are relatively easy to install. Surprisingly, some online retailers are still selling e-nails that are not fuse-protected. This is a good indicator of how much care went into the design of the e-nail controller. so it’s a good idea to check before purchasing. You definitely want a fused unit for the sake of your safety (and that of others). The best e-nail models also have a small accessible fuse-port that allows for easy replacements.
HOW TO CHECK
One way to check is to look at the power receptacle itself, which is normally located on the back side of the unit. Some sellers include pictures of this with their product pages. If the receptacle has some space next to the power cord port and there is a fuse symbol there, then it’s almost certain it’s there. If this type of receptacle did not include the fuse, the unit would fail to power-up. This is not to say that the fuse could not be located somewhere else in the case, but if you see the fuse symbol it’s probably there. See the picture below for an example of where to look. If still in doubt, ask the seller to be sure.
INTERCHANGEABLE HEATING COIL?
Mainly, there are two major wiring configurations for e-nail heat coils. Both of these typically use XLR 5-pin connectors, but others may be different so keep that in mind. It is important to consider future replacements if you intend on using your electric nail for years to come. When purchasing a replacement heater coil or e-nail, make sure to ask the seller what the wiring is. That way you have it ready when time comes. It is critical to find out if the 5 wires will match on the male and female ends. If not, you will probably damage your gear (at the very least). It is important to make sure your e-nail controller will be compatible with a heating coil that is standard 5-pin XLR (not mini), and therefore easily obtained in the future.
MECHANICAL OR SOLID STATE RELAY?
Some PID controllers use a mechanical relay to send energy (heat) to the heating coil in successive heating cycles. They use switches that click on and off via electromagnetic control. These are fairly reliable, but the best e-nail models use a solid-state relay (SSR). This version is less prone to mechanical failure in the long run. Instead of a mechanical switch, the SSR uses a small LED light and a photo-sensitive resistor to deliver heat in very short pulses. The mere presence of light closes the circuit using this unique electronic component. SSR’s also have the advantage of being totally silent while functioning, compared to the constant clicking of the mechanical relay. That being said, the clicking could be a plus if you need a reminder to switch it off every now and then. An easy way to tell if your electronic nail uses an SSR is to look for the shorter PID controllers with one display line. These normally use a SSR to pulse energy to the heater.
What nail works best with my dab rig?
I’ve found that the well-known “universal fit” Ti nail does not fit very well on the 10mm dab rigs that have a male connection. It works on 10mm female rig joint just fine; but not so much with a male connection. It tends to wobble a little on the rig and female on the nail– leaving slight air gaps. If you have reclaim built up it will steady it but I’d use an adapter in this case for sturdyness. The adapter will widen the dab rig’s joint from 10mm to 14mm. I prefer it this way, since the female end on the Ti nail sits on a male end better than vice versa. I had an adapter shipped in about 2-3 days from eBay for less than $10.
For small rigs, try angling the heat coil’s arm toward the center of the rig. This will prevent your glass from tipping over. It’s about orienting the setup for significantly improved balance. For more info., check out this article.
Imported products from competitors
In my opinion, Chinese manufacturers deserve their credit. They have been able to coordinate massive labor and marketing efforts to position themselves as the electronics manufacturing center of today. They can produce the cheapest goods, and have the ability to produce the standard of quality that Americans demand. This is evidently so. However, unless you’re planning on purchasing bulk electronic components to DIY, going with a e-nail seller that is located closer to you can avoid some hassle & frustration.Top Three Reasons To Buy Close To You
- The first reason is that shipping times can be up to 4x as fast compared to from Alibaba etc., especially when some holidays are taking place, which of course you aren’t aware of unless you do a lot of business overseas and keep it on your schedule.
- Second, there is a higher chance that domestic customer service will be able to meet your needs much more quickly and efficiently.
- Third, in the event that you need to return a unit that was damaged in shipping or not properly inspected, it can be difficult to impossible to ensure that your return package is tracked & accounted-for after it crosses the border. This can lead to high costs trying to track the package, and can leave room for dishonest sellers to disappear after your money is received. Filling out a customs form for an electric dab nail is also a sensitive maneuver, in addition to spending extra time at the post office.
Does the e-nail controller come with a decent warranty? For how long?
A warranty is good for peace-of-mind– covering your e-nail controller from being sent off without proper inspection. The average time on an e-nail warranty is 1-year, and covers the controller only (or has a separate warranty time on the other parts/accessories). The electronics in an electric dab nail are not relatively complex and not especially difficult to manufacture, but mistakes are possible in the mass manufacturing process.
PEACE OF MIND
This is why RCCtools covers the controller electronics so you don’t have to worry about your purchase. I strive to provide the best e-nail products available. I also want you to be informed. This is why I created this e-nail guide: to inform you what to look for and what to avoid.