There are plenty of devices to help you consume concentrates. For those who want to do so while in motion, there are plenty of vape pen and dab pen options on the market.

Dab pens are great for people who want to consume a variety of different concentrates and need a device that can handle many different textures and consistencies, and they also offer many advantages over the average vape pen.

Below, find out everything you need to know about dab pens.

What is a dab pen?

Dabs are concentrates that you typically consume with dab rigs. Dab rigs are tabletop devices that use torches, bangers, and water filtration to turn cannabis extracts into a potent, flavorful vapor that gets you super-duper high. Basically, dab rigs are bongs for concentrates.

Dab pens are electronic devices that do the aforementioned process via handheld experience. They can be filled with various concentrates like live resin and live rosin and consistencies like sauce, badder, budder, and jam. Whether you're consuming solvent-based or solventless concentrates, a dab pen is an excellent device to have in your stash. It's a great complement to standard rigs for every concentrate enthusiast.

Dab pens are also called wax pens, though the term may be a little outdated due to the various consistencies of extracts that have usurped wax in popularity and use.

What's the difference between a dab and a vape pen?

Honestly, they're pretty much the same thing, but vape pens usually refer to a pre-filled vape cartridge, while a dab pen is a handheld device that you put extracts into yourself.

Pros of a dab pen

There are plenty of advantages to using dab pens for vaporizing concentrates.

  • Portable and discreet: Dab pens are handheld, so you can throw them into your pocket and head out for the day knowing that you can get high, whenever, wherever. It's a great option for the concentrate enthusiast that wants an alternative to traditional vape pens/pods. Plus, you can hit them on the sneak, and no one will know the wiser.
  • Concentrate flexibility: Dabs come in a wide range of textures. You've got shatter, badder, budder, waxes, sauces, and jams, just to name a few. Each of them melts best at different temperatures, and with the temperature variability of most dab pens, you're able to accommodate each extract texture. Also, with loading your own dabs, you aren't stuck to one single type of oil like with 510-thread cartridges.
  • Temperature control: Terpene preservation is the name of the game when consuming concentrates. You want each hit from a dab rig/pen to explode with flavor. Most dab pens have 2 - 4 preset temperatures that allow you to tailor a variety of temperatures for the most flavorful experience.
  • Beginner-friendly: If you're just now getting into concentrates, dab pens are a great and easy option. Once you fall in love with dabs, though, you'll be buying a rig in no time.

Cons of a dab pen

Dab pens are pretty convenient, but there are still a couple of disadvantages to them.

  • Battery life: Your dab pen battery is going to die pretty quickly if you're using it regularly. A full session takes a lot of power to heat up the pen and maintain the temperature as you puff, puff. So if you leave the crib and rely on your pen for throughout-the-day consumption, it's best to keep a portable power bank on deck to charge it. Else you'll be very annoyed once that power button starts blinking red.
  • Reduced function over time: Over time, your pen's function will deplete. That's just the nature of electronics. Suddenly, that battery will hold its charge just a little bit less, and those big puffs of vapor will get smaller and smaller.

How to use a dab pen

Time needed: 15 minutes.

Using a dab pen is easy breezy once you get the hang of it.

  1. Load your dab pen.

    Loading a dab pen is simple. You glob up however much of a concentrate you want and dump it into the chamber/atomizer. Avoid wiping your extracts on the side of the atomizer, versus in the middle. Yes, it will melt down, but starting from the middle of the chamber will allow a more even temperature distribution and airflow.

  2. Heat your device.

    Typically, to turn on your dab pen, you'll have to click the power button five times. To change the temperature setting, you'll click the same button three times. To activate the pen, hit the button twice. Once on, allow your dab pen to reach the desired temperature, with the hash oil inside the chamber. It's important not to overheat your oil, thus burning off the terpenes that provide your flavorful hits and certain types of highs. Nobody wants to consume burnt cannabis oil. Nobody.

  3. Inhale the vapor.

    During the heating process, your dab pen's power button will blink or glow. It's ready for consumption once the blinking stabilizes. At that time, you'll inhale the vapor from the dab pen's mouthpiece. As that vapor settles into your mouth and the cannabis compounds enter your bloodstream, you'll begin to feel high.

  4. Sesh and enjoy.

    Hit that pen as many times as necessary to achieve your desired high. Be careful, though. Dab pens are similar to dabs in that the effects are potent and long-lasting. Too many hits too fast, and you'll be way higher than you ever intended to be.

  5. Clean with a cotton swab.

    Once you're done dabbing, immediately use a cotton swab to clean any leftover oil residue from your atomizer. It's important to always clean your dab pen out between sessions. Leaving leftover gunk to cake up will not only damage your atomizer but also distort the flavor and experience of your next sessions.

FAQs about dab pens

Here, find the answers to your burning dab pen questions.

What's the best dab pen?

Whichever you and your pockets decide. There are many well-known dab pens like the Puffco Plus, Dr. Dabber Stella, and the Utillian 5 V3, but the best is up to preference. As long as you've got a sturdy device and some temperature control, you're in the game.

How do you clean your dab pen?

You clean your dab pen with a cotton swab and a good cleaning solution. Most solutions are a mixture of salt and isopropyl alcohol. You can make them at home, but a good ready-made cleaner is always worth the purchase. Take the pen apart and swab all compartments until they are residue-free.

How do you fix a clogged dab pen?

Make sure to clean your mouthpiece if your dab pen isn't hitting. If it's an airflow issue, or your pen simply won't hit no matter what, chances are there is an issue with the hardware. Check the device's website for a solution.

How long does a dab pen battery last?

It depends on the dab pen. Some companies advertise a number of puffs per charge. Others advertise the number of days or weeks you can go without a charge. In general, it depends on how often you're hitting the device. Expect no more than a few hours of use out of a dab pen that you're continuously hitting throughout the day, like a 510 cartridge.

How long does it take to charge a dab pen?

It takes most dab pens 2 - 4 hours to fully charge.

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The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical or legal advice. This page was last updated on September 22, 2022.