Nails or Ladles? July 22, 2013

Domeless nails, traditional nails, or titanium ladles?

I had to make a decision on which we were going to promote in conjunction with our new Headdies Micro Bubbler line. Each product had their pros and cons so I figured I would run a comparison test and see which comes out on top.

I called my guy at the machine shop where we get our titanium tooled. I had him make us a domeless nail, traditional nail, and ladle. My only request was that we use grade two titanium and keep the design efficient so the end price and quality would meet the customer’s needs.

First up was the domeless titanium nail. This style has gotten a lot of attention lately and seems to be a popular choice among enthusiasts.

Step one: heat the top of your nail till it gets that sweet spot glow.

Since there is more titanium to heat up, the domeless nail reaches optimal temperature after 40 seconds of continuous heating.

Step two: Dab and done.

Pretty simple. I can understand their sudden popularity. Then I figured out the cost. With more titanium being used and the extra tooling time it ended up being almost four times more expensive than the other options.

With the domeless nail the process was efficient, but the price wasn’t. One other negative I heard but didn’t actually test myself was people complaining about glass breakage if they ever tried and remove the domeless.

Next up was the traditional nail and dome.

Step one: heat the dome to remove it. They get sticky after a few hours use.

Step two: heat the nail.

Step three: place dome back on top.

Step four: Dab.

After using the domeless I started seeing why people would shell out more money for ease-of-use. The cost is cheaper, but drawbacks include having to heat the dome to remove it or accidentally touching hot glass where the torch got through heating the fixed nail.

Cheaper but not necessarily easier or better.

Finally we come to the titanium ladle.

Step one: hold the titanium nail by the handle.

Step two: heat the titanium nail.

Step three: place it down and dab.

This was just as easy as the dome. Also, since the design is simple the cost factor is in line with the traditional dome and nail. This one was a win-win and we decided to make a video of it.

Some of the drawbacks we found were just a general lack of knowledge about the product. To be honest, I think if people try ladles they would really like them. Ladles are easier to heat than both domeless and traditional nails with the cost factor being right in line with what the customer wants to pay.

To sum it up the traditional nail is cheaper but a pain to use, which I think is why the domeless came out. Easier to use, but way more money. The ladle was inexpensive and easy to use – the best of both worlds.

So I made my decision for the Headdies micros. They will come with a ladle. I’ll have the domeless and traditional titanium nails for the nonbelievers, but once they try the ladle they won’t look back.