Dab Pens

Anthony Pellegrino

The information is provided for informational purposes only and does not relieve readers of their obligation to obtain qualified medical, legal or other professional advice.

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A dab pen is a hand-held vaporizer designed to vaporize concentrates instead of oil cartridges.

Dabs are marijuana concentrates that come in many forms, whether oils, waxes, or crumbles. They're popular among cannabis connoisseurs because dabs are the most potent form of THC. If you're interested in using dabs, chances are you already know that dabbing can seem like a complicated process at first, especially for a beginner. However, there are plenty of dab pens available that make dabbing more effortless than ever. 

What is a dab pen?

So what is a dab pen? Well, a dab pen is simply a vaporizer pen built for using dabs instead of oil cartridges. A dab pen is a convenient, discreet alternative to using a dab rig. You may also see them referred to as wax pens, weed pens, dab vapes, or more. 

Basic models of dab pens have a similar design. They consist of attachable dab cartridges and a typical vape pen battery. You can find some dab pen models that allow you to change the battery's voltage, which, in turn, lets you control the temperature of your hit. There are also higher-end models of dab pens that are much more effective at heating the concentrate. This way, you can avoid burning it, which would destroy many of the terpenes. 

Are dab dens the same as vapes?

You may be wondering to yourself: are dab pens just vapes? Could I put dab oil in an e-liquid vaporizer? The short answer is no. Dab vaporizers, whether they be pens or something more complex, are built differently than e-liquid vapes. Dabs are much denser than e-liquids. If you put dabs in an e-liquid vape, best-case scenario, nothing happens; worst case, you inadvertently break your device. 

If you’re looking for more versatility from a similar device, some dry herb vaporizers can also double as a dab pen. They’re designed to heat dried flower up to just below the combustion point, giving you those cannabinoids without the harmful tar.

What is a dab pen high like?

Depending on the strength of the concentrate, a dab pen high is much the same as an oil vaporizer high. Most vape pens have higher THC potency than concentrates. But lower THC concentrate products are usually higher in other cannabinoids, which may enhance the entourage effect. A dab pen allows you a broader range of concentrates and thus a more varied experience with your cannabis consumption.

How much does a dab pen cost?

Typically, you’ll find dab pens for anywhere between $20 - $100. The price rises significantly with the quality and duration of the battery life. 

Best dab pens of 2021

When it comes to choosing your dab pen, there is no shortage of options. To help you decide, here are some of our favorite dab pens of 2021:

Best Cheap Dab Pen: Evod Twist

At $24.99, the Evod Twist is one of the most affordable dab pens available. You can choose between four different dab pen battery sizes. The pen itself is simple, which makes it easy to use and very durable. To adjust the battery voltage, you only need to twist the battery. If you're looking to try dab pens for the first time without breaking the bank, the Evod Twist is a great choice. 

Most Discreet Dab Pen: Mig Vapor Keymaker

If you want your dab pen to be discreet, our favorite is the Mig Vapor Keymaker. This dab pen is perfect for thick cannabis oils and concentrates. The device consists of a ceramic and quartz coil chamber, which means it's versatile. The Keymaker design is tasteful and straightforward, making it a preferred choice for the discreet dabber.  They're available in silver or black, both for just $39.95. The 360mAh battery takes only 60 minutes for a full charge.

Best Long Battery Life Dab Pen: Candy Pens Crystal 2

KandyPens Crystal 2 has a whopping 1200mAh Sub-Ohm battery, so it wins the long-life mention. The adjustable airflow allows the perfect hit with the quartz crystal glass atomizer. It's a bit bulkier than other vaporizers, but well worth the extra weight. Best of all, KandyPens backs up their product with a lifetime warranty. 

Best Premium Dab Pen: Dr. Dabber Stella Vaporizer

If the highest quality dab pen is what you want, look no further than the Dr. Dabber Stella Vaporizer. Borrowing many of its award-winning features from the earlier Dr. Dabber Aurora, the Stella Vaporizer includes significant improvements. With its signature black stainless steel, the Dr. Dabber Stella sets the rhythm when it comes to premium dab pens. The device has four preset temperature options, from 460-775° F. Being a premium dab pen, the Stella vape is one of the most expensive on our list, with a $99.95 retail price. 

Best Small Dab Pen: Yocan Dive Mini Dab Pen Vaporizer

Sometimes, you just want something simple and small. While many dab pens are reasonably portable, the Yocan Dive Mini is even more so. Even though it's tiny, it doesn't sacrifice any power for size. This dab pen includes a dual-function variable voltage control and a small water bubbler for smooth hits. It consists of a sizable 400mAh battery and includes three different preset temperature levels. You can pick up your own Yocan Dive Mini for $44.99.

Main Parts of a dab den

Every dab pen model varies slightly, but each shares the same main pieces. These are:

  • Dab pen battery
  • Tank/Cartridge
  • Dab pen charger
  • Atomizer (the component that houses the coils used to heat the concentrates)
  • Mouthpiece

Sometimes a dab pen will include buttons, either to turn it on and off or to adjust the temperature. Other simpler models may have none and activate upon inhalation.

How to use a dab pen

If your dab pen includes a chamber, rather than simply consisting of an attachable cartridge and a battery, here are the easy steps to use it properly:

  1. Turn it On: If your particular dab pen includes an on/off button, you'll first need to turn it on. Often, you'll need to click the on button several times in a row to turn the device on. Usually, a light will blink or flash when it is ready for use. 
  2. Packing the Chamber: If your dab pen involves a chamber instead of cartridges, you'll need to load it before use. First, remove the mouthpiece to reveal the inside of the chamber. Then, using a dab tool, scoop a piece of your desired concentrate. Using the tool, place your concentrate directly on the vape coil inside the chamber. Remember not to overpack your dab pen or you won't get a good draw. 
  3. Vape and Inhale Your Dab: Before you inhale, you must prime the wick. This means you heat the concentrate inside for a few seconds without inhaling. Doing so will allow some of the extract to melt and soak into the vape coil. If you skip this step, you run the risk of inhaling dry hits (all coil, no concentrate) while burning the coil. As soon as the wick is primed, you're good to go. From there, press the button and inhale gently for an easy, gentle dab. 

How to use a dab pen with different kinds of concentrates

The specific way you use your dab pen may differ depending on the kind of concentrate you're using. If you're vaping crumble, you'll want to use your spoon dab tool to gently scoop your concentrate before dropping it directly on the coil in the atomizer. 

If you are using shatter, break off the piece you want to vape. Again, you will want to place it directly on the vape coil. 

Vaping with oil is a little trickier. However, many vape pens for oils use pre-filled cartridges you can simply attach to your battery. 

No matter the kind of THC extract you're vaping in your dab pen, be sure not to put too much material in the chamber. Only pack as much as you will use for a few drags. If you overload the chamber, you run the risk of putting too much stress on the vape coils, which could break your device.

How to clean a dab pen

Cleaning your dab pen is not only essential to maintain the longevity of your device, but simple to do. 

  • First, disassemble your device. 
  • Be sure to first clean around the battery using a Q-tip and isopropyl alcohol.
  • Many dab pens come with cleaning kits that include scraper tools to scrape out any leftover concentrate in your dab chamber. Be gentle as you do so, however, as you can easily break your coil by accident. If the concentrate is difficult to scrape out, you can heat the inside for a few seconds to soften the material. 
  • To clean the mouthpiece, remove it from the device. Then, you can simply place it in a container of hot water. Allow it to soak for some time. You can also use isopropyl alcohol to remove any excess extract material from inside the mouthpiece. Just be sure to clean all the iso off before you use your dab pen again. 


What is a dab pen?

Dab pens are a convenient and easy-to-use form of a cannabis concentrate vaporizer. Dab pens are a more accessible and portable way to consume dabs than a dab rig. As the name suggests, they look like pens and consist of a dab cartridge attached to a battery.

How much is a dab pen?

Dab pens are usually between $20 - $100, depending on their quality and brand name. 

Do dab pens smell?

There is still a smell associated with dab pens. Granted, it is not nearly as smelly as smoking marijuana flower. But there's an odor produced by the dab vapor. While this smell does dissipate quickly, you should avoid using dab pens indoors in places you don't have permission to use marijuana. 

How should you hit a dab pen?

You'll hit it in the same way you hit a vape pen. How you hit the dab pen ultimately depends on what model you have, but their use is typically very similar. If the device is on, you merely need to pull lightly on the mouthpiece for the concentrate to vaporize.

How long do dab pens last?

A good starting point is that you can get about an hour of use out of each 100mAh for your battery. But this depends on how high you turn up the temperature and how hard you pull. A basic 300mAh battery lasts most people for a full day of use, while a 1,200 mAh battery can last for several days with regular use.

Why is a dab pen a felony?

In many states, concentrates carry a harsher penalty than flower. Most states have a very small limit on the amount of concentrates allowed and adopt standard penalties for any amount over this. it's essential to know your state's criminal laws and the limits for possession. Norml has an excellent roundup of state cannabis laws.

Can I Use Wax/Dab Pens for Dry Herbs Also?

No, you cannot. You'll understand why after looking at your device. The chamber is too small for flower and the coils aren't designed for dry materials. The coils inside a dab pen are wrapped around the wick, which heats up to vaporize the concentrate. 

If you're ready to purchase concentrate to try with your new dab pen, try Nugg Club! With a Nugg Club subscription, you'll receive more than $225 worth of premium cannabis products, including concentrates for dab pens, for just $99. You can add more concentrates to your order from Nugg Club's wholesale market at 40% to 60% off retail prices too!

Anthony Pellegrino

Anthony Pellegrino is a freelance journalist, writer, and content marketing strategist. He is currently studying to get his B.A. in philosophy at Fort Hays State University. He is a content creator for several marketing agencies, brands, and tech startups. His writing is focused on content marketing, technology, philosophy of mind, metaphysics, politics, career planning, and of course, cannabis. Academically, Anthony is focused on A.I., Consciousness, Social Sciences, and Philosophy.

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