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What is a Dab Pen, and How Do You Use It?

For those who love the awesome high of dabs but don’t want to set up a rig, get a torch, and deal with ultra-high temperatures, what should you do? Try a dab pen!

Posted by Carlyn Atkinson on

If you’re a weed connoisseur, you know all about dabbing. An experienced dabber knows what’s involved, but dabbing can be a complicated, labor-intensive process for the uninitiated. Things can also get pretty scary when the torch is brought out. And because you can’t take a torch with you everywhere, dabbing isn’t a very portable option. Most dab rigs even need their own spot in your house. Some can fit in a backpack, but like a bong, it’s still not a very practical smoking device when on the go.

So for those who love the awesome high dabs provide but don’t want to set up a rig, get a torch, and deal with ultra-high temperatures, what else is there to do?

For starters, they can try a dab pen. 


What Is A Dab Pen?

Dab pens can be found at your local dispensary or your favorite online retailer. They’re an electronic device that releases vaporized cannabis or CBD. Dab pens are similar to vape pens and e-cigarettes, but they have been modified so the user can take a hit of cannabis concentrate or cannabis oil.

Dab pens offer more convenience and portability than a traditional dab rig, which is perfect for users who prefer the vaping experience. High-quality dab pens are typically made of glass, plastic, copper, quartz, ceramic, titanium, and titanium alloy. The best dab pens are made of metal, and you should try to avoid any made with plastic. For a great quality budget option, check out this dab pen from Ooze!

Some dab pens are referred to by the type of concentrates used in them. So, if you hear someone mention a “wax pen,” they have a dab pen that uses wax concentrates, and so on.


What To Use In a Dab Pen

Dab pens hold cannabis concentrates like resin, shatter, wax, etc. Some pens are compatible with the types of e-liquid used in vape pens. However, always check your specific dab pen’s instructions to ensure your liquids won’t ruin your pen.

Most dab pens are not designed to handle dried cannabis flower. Dab pens with a heating chamber may support vaporizing dried flower, but again, always check your instruction manual.


How Do You Hit A Dab Pen?

Now that we’re clear on what a dab pen is, how do you use one? You hit most vaping devices the same way, but it’s essential to know exactly how to use each one.

The first thing you need to do is take the mouthpiece off of the pen to access the heating coil, or remove the heating chamber. Using a metal tool, prepare the amount of concentrate you’d like to hit. Now, place the concentrate on the heating coil or wick, close the chamber, or reattach the mouthpiece. Depending on the type of dab pen you have, you’ll often need to adjust your temperature settings or voltage.

Now you’re ready to press the button to heat the dab and inhale simultaneously.


What Are The Benefits Of Using A Dab Pen?

1) All-In-One

The biggest benefit of the dab pen is that it’s an all-in-one device that can do everything for you. All you have to do is inhale, and you need nothing more than your dab pen. You can leave all the paraphernalia necessary to make the dab rig work behind.

Your dab pen will sit peacefully in your pocket until you’re ready for a hit.

2) Compact And Portable

Piggy backing off of what we just talked about, dab pens are compact and portable. They are called dab PENS, after all.

Now all we need is a pocket protector for our dab pens and we’ll be all set.

3) Potent

Dab pens use concentrated extracts like wax, shatter, and budder, so the vapor they produce is exceptionally potent. Even seasoned smokers only need a hit, maybe two, to experience a pretty remarkable high. A quick hit from a dab pen is perfect for a night on the town or a relaxing day in the park.


Are There Any Cons Of Using A Dab Pen?

Limited Battery Life

Dab pens are battery-powered, so you’ll be dependent on the battery life of your pen. We still haven’t developed a battery that will last forever (come on, Elon), so you have to pay attention to the battery life of your pen before you head out for the day.

Fortunately, most pens have a rechargeable battery, so bringing your pen back to life is no big deal.


You Have To Put Them Together

One of the drawbacks to dab pens being so versatile is that some assembly is required. This could be a problem if you’re not the best at following instructions or you’re limited on patience (especially when you’re jonesin’ for a hit from your dab pen).

Some dab pens also allow for customization, like how hot the heating element burns. This makes for a good experience, but you have to get familiar with everything before you can perfect your high.


What Are The Differences Between A Dab Pen, Vape Pen, and A Wax Pen?

The only real difference between these three pens is the concentrate they use. Vape pens are limited to oil cartridges with refined cannabis. Wax pens can vape thicker concentrates like rosin and shatter.

Vape pens are extremely popular because they are the easiest to use with prefilled THC cartridges. Wax pens have more of a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, it’s just like riding a bike. With a wax pen, you load the concentrate into the heating chamber, set the proper heat settings, and keep the device clean so it works properly.

Vape pens preloaded with THC are better for beginners or people craving simplicity. Vape pens and prefilled THC cartridges are very simple and provide many of the benefits of vaping concentrates at an affordable price.


Dab Pen vs. Dab Rig

Numerous styles of dab pens exist, and the higher-end models remove the need to manually apply heat to the concentrate chamber. Traditional dab rigs require a manual heat source in the form of an electronic nail or a blowtorch.

And we have to admit, using a blowtorch to get high is pretty cool, but it isn’t always practical. Practicality and portability isn’t the first thing you’ll think of when you look at the mountain of accessories you need for a dab rig.

Pens make dabs extremely portable without needing to set up the rig, banger, and nail. All you have to do is load the dab pen’s chamber with concentrate, press the right button, and you’re all set.


What Should You Consider Before Buying A Dab Pen?


The first thing to consider before buying a dab pen is its functionality. Some dab pens are extremely simple. All you do is load the concentrate, put the pen cap back on, press the power button, and enjoy. But some dab pens come equipped with different features like temperature control, voltage control, and programmable pre-sets.

Consider how simple or complex you want your dab pen to be and base your decision on that.


Battery Capacity

Like we mentioned above, your dab pen needs a power source to operate. Dab pen batteries are typically lithium-ion and can be recharged with a USB or type-C charging cord. Whether you’re vaping at home, on a hike, or with friends on the weekends, you need a portable dab pen with a battery strong enough to meet your needs.

Fortunately, most dab pens today can last for days on a single charge. There are different charging methods available, so pick the one you prefer.



Look for a dab pen with a decent warranty. Some brands offer limited warranties, while others have lifetime warranties. Some warranties are repair only, while some are direct replacement, meaning you get a new pen if something goes wrong.

Read online reviews and research warranty coverage on the dab pen you have your eyes on before you commit to it.


Ready to start?

Grab yourself a fancy new dab pen from our massive online headshop at Smoke Cartel, and experience their potent highs for yourself!

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