Many of you might be asking what are dab pens? Fair question! Our beginners guide to dab pens and dabbing is for you. The vaping revolution has taken on many forms and taken smoking alternatives in many different directions. Those directions include more than just tobacco smoking. Medical marijuana patients are also avoiding combustion thanks to the technology of vapor products.
The popularity of dabbing is growing exponentially. Dry herb vaporizers are still the most popular choice for medical cannabis but dabbing is closing in. Even Pax Labs has gotten into the game. As we covered with our Pax 3 vaporizer review, the high-tech Pax now comes with an attachment that you can use for dabs.
Vaporizers, vape pens and dab pens are all types of devices designed to vaporize the active ingredients of herbal compounds. Let’s do a 10 second vaporizers 101. There are basically three types of vaporizers. Desktop vaporizers are large, home use units that will vaporize large amounts of herb. Portable vaporizers are handheld, rely on a rechargeable battery and vaporize smaller amounts of herb, perhaps 0.5 grams to 0.8 grams. Vape pens are the smallest type of portable vaporizer designed for portability and privacy. Dab pens are also small vaporizers designed to vaporize concentrated forms of medical marijuana called dabs.
What Are Dabs?
A Medical Marijuana Dab From A Dispensary
A natural question to ask! What are dabs? The dictionary defines a dab as a small amount of something. That definition does apply but only tells a small part of the story. When talking about vaping and dab pens, the word dabs means something else. Dabs are a concentrated form of medical marijuana with a very high THC content.
Dabs are not hash oil. Instead they are a brittle substance that look like bits of hardened honey. Dabs originally got their name because, yes they could be small, but because they were “dabbed” onto a hot surface so that the burned emissions could be inhaled. Because dabs are comprised almost entirely of the THC extracted from cannabis plants, the amount of THC that is delivered to the patient is much more than from smoking. For that reason the sensations that come from vaporizing dabs is very strong. In other words it hits you hard and fast!
Dabs are very popular on the West Coast and in Colorado. The popularity is growing nationwide. In many cases you may hear dabs referred to as “concentrates”. Thanks to vaporizer technology, you do not need to burn dabs with a flame or hot surface like a caveman, you can use a dab pen.
What Are Dab Pens?
What are dab pens? Small, portable vaporizers that allow you to vaporize dabs (concentrates) and vaporize the active ingredients. You inhale the vapor to to quickly access the medicinal properties. A dab pen has a specialized heating chamber designed for dabs / concentrates. These specialized heating chambers are different from dry herb heating chambers. So when looking for a dab pen make sure that it specifically states that it is designed for concentrates.
Many manufacturers also describe dab pens as vape pens that work with “waxes or concentrates”. Waxes and concentrates are typically the same thing. When you look at a dab, it does kind of look like a wax. So you might also hear dab pens being called wax pens.
These different names can get confusing very quickly. Vape pens, dab pens, and wax pens are all basically the same thing. Sometimes vape pens may be for dry herb only so always make sure to see the specs. Some vape pens will do dry herb and concentrates. The multi-functional vape pens often do not vaporize concentrates as well as the dab pens that are specifically designed for dabs only.
Why Use A Dab Pen?
So why use a dab pen when all you need is a hot surface, right? Why not just take a flame to a dab and inhale? Well number one, why burn when you can vaporize. Vaporization is much more efficient and controllable than burning. Number two when you simply burn a dab much of your expensive material will uselessly whip away into thin air. With a dab pen, all the vapor is controlled and contained within the enclosed heating chamber.
Some dabbers use an electronic nail in conjunction with a glass pipe. This can work and will vaporize and not burn. That’s good but there are still problems with an electric nail and pipe that you easily avoid with a pen. Electric nails are expensive and clumsy. They are not very portable or private. The glass pipes are fragile. A dab pen fits in your pocket and can be turned on or off at your whim.
Every dabber needs a dab pen. Take advantage of the technology. Dab pens are not expensive, they are very convenient and efficient. You will have total control of the vapor production. A good dab pen is very easy to use and maintain.
Dab Pen Guide
Our ECCR dab pen guide is designed to help you find the perfect vaporizer for dabs that fits your needs and your budget. There is some very good news here. The dab, wax or concentrates vaporizer pens, whatever you want to call them, is rich and diverse. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the market is also full of cheaply made, and usually overpriced, junk. We don’t want to see you get ripped off.
You can get an excellent dab pen for anywhere from $40 up to $400. You can buy vape tanks designed for dabs that you can attach to a regular sub ohm vape mod. Thee are vaporizers that have attachments that let you vape e-liquid, dry herb or dab concentrates. There is a wealth of choices.
When we were talking about how to organize the dab pens buying guide, it was decided to pick out the best and most reliable products and organize them by price. We realize that many medical cannabis patients are struggling and may be living on disability. We would still encourage you to consider a vape pen for concentrates because you will get more mileage out of your materials.
What To Look For In A Dab Pen
There are a number of things that you may want to look for. Value is the obvious one. Portability is another. A small, portable device can grant you convenience and privacy. We want to see products that use quality materials such as ceramic heating elements. We want to see quality, rechargeable batteries. And of course, we want to see evidence that a company stands behind its product with a warranty that protects your investment.
Other things to look for are the accessories that come with various dab pen. Ideally, they should come with extra mouthpieces and a dab tool. A dab tool makes it much easier to load the heating chamber with the concentrate material. These are the little touches that show that the company is not going to try and upset you by making you buy everything separately. You should get everything you need all in one it.
The quality of the vapor experience has to rank as one of the highest considerations. If the vapor has a burnt taste or metallic taste from a cheap heating coil, you are not going to enjoy it very much at all. To recap, we consider value, quality, quality of experience, accessories and warranty as factors in our recommendations.
Dab Pens Under $40
Can you find high quality dab pens for under $40. Yep. You can. We’ll start with the Mig Vapor Keymaker. The Keymaker is a ultra-compact wax pen vaporizer that comes with two coils, extra mouthpieces, battery charger and dab tool. This is actually a very innovative dab pen as it comes with both a ceramic coil and a quartz coil. With the ceramic coil, the heating element is actually encased within the ceramics so your dab never touches a metal heating element and that is a huge plus.
One thing you do have to keep in mind is that the Keymaker has a relatively small battery capacity. The 380 mAh battery will provide excellent vapor but will not have the battery life of larger vaporizers. The other side of the coin of having a smaller battery is a more compact design. The Keymaker is very small and portable. It gives you a lot of privacy because of its small size. An excellent quality device produced by an innovative Florida company and an indisputable terrific value.
Brain Fogger Wax And Concentrates Tank Attachment
That same Florida company, Mig Vapor, also makes another dab vaporizer for under $40. This one is actually brand new. The Brain Fogger is a dab tank! Basically it is a tank that attaches to a subohm ecig mod and lets you vaporize dabs with your e-cigarette device.
The Brain Fogger is brilliantly designed. Mig Vapor has done amazing things with ceramic heating elements and they have really done a masterful job with the Brain Fogger ceramic coils. The coil design involved two coils with each performing a separate function to maximize vapor output and quality. The first coil melts the concentrate and the second vaporizes.
One of the more popular dab pens on the market is Dr. Dabber. The Dr. Dabber Light Concentrate Wax Pen kit will also vaporize oils. The silica heating chamber is recessed to prevent leaks. The heat up time is very rapid so you can quickly start vaping once you pack it and turn it on. Like the Keymaker, Dr. Dabber is small and portable. You will also get a number of accessories.
If you are looking for a quality dab pen for under $50 but want something with long battery life, then you should take a look at the Honey Stick Stinger. The stinger vaporizer is much larger than the Dr. Dabber or KeyMaker but the flip side of that is the 1650 mAh battery has much more capacity. We are also happy to report to you that the Honey Stick has ceramic heating. In addition to ceramic heating it also offers variable wattage.
A couple of very good options for you here. First, the classic Dr. Dabber Ghost. The Ghost has been one of the most popular dab vape pens for years and many even regard it as the best. While the technology has changed, the Ghost remains at or near the top of the heap. The Ghost does not require intense heat to deliver a lot of dense, packed vapor. At 335 F you will receive an enjoyable vapor experience that is comfortable. You also get accessories such as a storage ball and dab tool.
When the Atmos Kiln RA came out, it was an instant hit. This particular dab pen hits the spot for a number of reasons. The ceramic disc technology vaporizes magnificently. The ability to customize the experience is appealing for many. You can also change ceramic coils easily. You will get the tools, including extra screws, along with additional accessories including dab tool.
For $160 you can buy the V2 Pro series 7 with the Wax Cartridge that will vaporize your dabs very efficiently. In actuality, the Pro Series 7 is an all in one vapor product. You can use the e-liquid cartridge to vape e-liquids. So with the e-liquid cartridge attached the Pro Series 7 is indeed an electronic cigarette. You can take off the e-liquid cartridge and attach the dry herb cartridge and just like that it becomes a dry herb vaporizer.
Last but not least for our purposes, you can attach the wax and concentrates cartridge and voila, your V2 Pro Series 7 becomes a dab pen. The 1800 mAh battery gives you a nice, long battery life. When you buy the Pro Series 7, it will come with the e-liquid and dry herb cartridges. You will have to buy the concentrates cartridge separately but all in you will still be under $160. Under $150 when you use our V2 coupon code STARTERKITS.
Probably the top vaporizer that you can buy for under $300 is the Pax 3. In fact, many feel that Pax vaporizers are the best period. The Pax 3 is a dry herb vaporizer but it comes with an attachment that you can use for dabs. Pax Labs is a Silicone Valley company that marries high tech and vaporization. This vaporizer features an array of smart , intuitive technology. To switch from dry herb vaping to dabbing, simply insert the concentrates attachment into the Pax 3 heating chamber.
One of the absolute best in the world of vaporizers is Storz & Bickel. The German company has built a stellar reputation of high end quality and performance. The Mighty Vaporizer by Storz & Bickel is regarded as the most powerful portable vaporizer on the market. The 2700 mAh battery is so efficiently managed by the Mighty’s internal processor that even as battery life drains the vapor performance does not trail off. The design is such that even when using the Mighty at high temperatures the exterior remains cool to the touch and comfortable to hold. Durability, immaculate design, high-end quality and vapor.
The Mighty will vaporize dry herb and oils as well as your dabs. You will be able to manage the heating and control the vapor output as well.
So you can see there are dab pens for any budget. All of the dab pens that we have listed are portable and very handy for people on the go. The sizes vary of course as do the functions. If you want a device that only vaporizes dabs, you do not need to spend a lot of money. If you want a device that has more functions, larger battery and can vaporize multiple types of material, then the costs go up. Pick the one that suits your specific needs.
Every dabber should have a dab pen! We hope our dab pen guide helps you find the right one. Take advantage of 21st century technology. Get more out of your materials and enhance your experience.