What is a Dab Pen?

Whether or not you are new to using cannabis or an OG, we are all familiar with the traditional way of consuming cannabis: by smoking it. Well, we have come a long way since just rolling it up. With today’s technology, it is no surprise that we have made some incredible advancements in the cannabis world! Dab pens have been gaining popularity across the country because they are easy to use and come in a discreet size that makes dabbing even more convenient throughout your day-to-day routine! If you are now thinking to yourself, “What is a dab pen?” keep on reading and let us fill you in on this awesome little device.      

What is a Dab Pen?   

Chances are, you’ve heard the term, “dabs.” Dab is a casual term for cannabis concentrate. Normally, you would need a fancy glass piece that is made specifically for dabbing, called a dab rig, that uses a specific temperature to vaporize your concentrate of choice. A dab pen is exactly that, but in a more compact and portable vaporizing device that makes it easy to grab and dab on-the-go. Think of it as a dab vape!      

Wax Pen vs Dab Pen   

So, you are ready to purchase an electric dab pen but noticed your local shop also has what they call a wax pen. You might think, “What are the differences between wax pen vs dab pen?” There is no need for any confusion as wax pens and dab pens are the same devices, just different terminology! There are several different types of dab pens on the market and by the end of this, you will know how to choose from the best dab pens!   

How Does a Dab Pen Work?   

A dab pen works by using a coil or atomizer heating element that vaporizes the concentrate, rather than burning it. Each dab pen has a battery that works to quickly heat up the coil or atomizer to a specific temperature, the hot coil or atomizer then vaporizes the concentrate, which creates the vapor you inhale from the dab pen.    

Pros and Cons of Dab Pens   

You may find that there are more pros than cons when it comes to dab pens, but just to name a few cons first: dab pens do have a battery that needs to be charged before use. It is always a letdown when you grab your favorite dab pen, only to realize that you forgot to plug it in to the charger the night before. They also require routine maintenance and cleaning to make sure it continues working properly! We will tell you more about how to care for your new dab pen later on.   


There are many reasons to choose a dab pen, which include the wide range of concentrates that can be used in it! A dab pen is also much easier to use than your normal stationary dab rig, which makes it much more convenient overall. Dab pens also have a temperature control function, which you can’t do with a traditional dab rig. In addition to their ease of use and modern functions, the compact size of a dab pen makes them portable and can be discreetly carried anywhere so that when the time is right, all you have to do is reach into your pocket or purse and take a dab. 

Charge Your Device   

A dab pen will come with its own USB charger depending on which device you get, usually a standard charging cable or an adapter that screws into the 510 threads. Just hook up your electric dab pen to its charger then plug it in to your AC outlet or USB port! As with any electronic device, the charge on your battery can last up to a week or longer, depending on how often you are using it. It is always best practice to place it on the charger after you are done using it for an extended period of time, that way when you are ready to dab again, it will be charged up and ready to go for any occasion!    

Which Concentrates Can You Use in a Dab Pen?   

Now that your electric dab pen is plugged in and charging, you need to know what types of concentrates that you can put into it! What makes a dab pen unlike anything on the market is that you can use them with a wide variety of different types of concentrates. All concentrate products are made from cannabis, but they are going to be more potent than your average bud. The flavor profile of the concentrate you choose will depend on the strain of cannabis it was made with. Keep in mind, some dab pens may claim it is for use with specific concentrates only, so make sure you check with your user manual first. The list below will tell you more about some of the different types of concentrates that are available so that you can better choose which one you would like to put in your dab pen. If you have a hard time deciding on which one to try, just remember you can always clean your coil and try another concentrate later. The possibilities are endless! 

  • Wax – Wax is concentrated cannabis oil that has an amber-like color. It is whipped for a period of time to create a sticky wax texture. Sometimes it is just called concentrate or extract. It is easy for a beginner to use in a dab pen.  

  • Budder Budder is similar to wax but it is whipped for a shorter period of time to create a more smooth and creamy texture. It will be sure to deliver a wonderful flavor.  

  • Badder – Badder is much like budder, except for the texture is looser and oilier. It will also have a bold and smoother flavor profile.  

  • Sauce – Sauce, the name says it all. It has a sauce-like consistency and it also gives a rich and potent flavor; perfect for flavor connoisseurs.  

  • Shatter – Shatter has become very popular because of its high purity content. It is flat and solid and is usually clear like glass, hence the name “shatter.” It not only has a pretty appearance but is also very flavorful and potent. Its consistency also makes it easy to use in a dab pen.  

  • Crumble – Crumble, sometimes called honeycomb, is a dry extract that is very similar to shatter. Due to its dryness, it crumbles very easily. Like other concentrates, it is potent and has a bold flavor.  

  • Rosin – Rosin is made when buds are put under heavy pressure using hot metal plates to extract the oil that then will turn into a sticky resin when it has had time to cool down.   

  • Live resin – Live resin is a different form of concentrate, solely because it is made by flash-freezing fresh cannabis buds. This extraction process will give the best flavor profile and an overall elevated dabbing experience.  

  • Diamonds – Diamonds are a pure form of THC that look like little crystals and shine like a diamond. Some people also like to mix diamonds in sauce. It is very potent and the effects can last for several hours.   

How to Use a Dab Pen   

Like many things in life, using an electric dab pen will come with a learning curve! You will become familiar with how much concentrate to put in your dab pen without things getting messy or causing it to clog up. You want just enough dab pen wax so that you can simply sit back and enjoy without any hassles. You will also learn how to clean your dab pen after each use, just in case things do end up getting a little messy. It may sound a bit tricky at first but don’t worry, after using your new dab vape a few times, you will get the hang of it pretty quickly! Now, let’s talk about how to use a dab pen.  

Charge Your Device   

There is nothing worse than getting ready to use your dab pen only to find that there isn’t enough battery life left for it to power on so you want to make sure the battery on your device is charged up! Just use the USB charger or adapter that came with your dab pen device and plug it into an AC outlet or USB port, then allow it to fully charge. Most dab pens will have a light indicating whether it is still charging or if charging is complete. Once it is charged and ready to go, it is time to load it up!    

Load the Concentrate in the Atomizer   

You can use a metal dabber tool, which is like a little scoop for dabs, to make this next part an easier process. After choosing which type of concentrate you want to put in your dab vape, remove the mouthpiece so that you can see the chamber that contains the coil or atomizer. Once you have located the coil or atomizer, carefully scoop out a small amount of the concentrate with the metal dabber tool and place it on top of the coil. Be careful not to put too much concentrate on your coil so that it does not clog up your dab pen or cause it to leak. The size of a grain of rice would be an appropriate amount.   

Turn On Your Device   

Different devices will have different methods of turning the power on. Some devices may require the coil to heat up beforehand by pressing a button, some may have a button that requires you to press it a certain number of times to turn on and off (usually 5 times), and others may have smart-draw technology that turns the device on automatically when you inhale. Read the user manual that came with your dab pen to determine which method you will be using to power up. Now just turn it on and prepare for lift off!   


If your device requires the coil to heat up prior to inhaling, press the button for a few seconds until it is finally hot enough. If your dab pen does not require the coil to heat up beforehand and has a button, just bring the mouthpiece up to your lips, press the button down, and slowly inhale. With smart-draw devices, simply put the mouthpiece to your lips and inhale. The indicator light will be lit up while you are inhaling. It is recommended to take short, slow hits that only last a few seconds each. Make sure to wait a minute or two between each puff until you know how the dab vape is going to affect you, that way you can just enjoy the experience without getting more vapor than you can handle. After you achieve the right level of high, you are ready to vibe out! If the effects begin to wear off sooner than you expected, you can always take another puff or two so that you can get back to your desired level.    

Caring For Your Dab Pen   

Your new dab pen can last for years, as long as you give it the proper care and clean it regularly. Your dab pen can get gunk built up from the previous use, which can mess with the concentrate flavor or even clog up your dab pen all together. Just clean it up after each use and you will have the perfect puff every time you dab! First, you can use a cotton swab to gently wipe off any residue from the coil or atomizer that was left over from the last time you used it. You can also clean your entire dab pen by disassembling the individual parts and soaking them in isopropyl alcohol. Don’t worry, isopropyl alcohol is commonly used to clean electronic devices, as it removes oils and other residues. Isopropyl alcohol also evaporates very quickly so you will be back to dabbing in no time. Just let your components dry thoroughly and then reassemble your dab pen! Voila! Now you know how to properly care for your dab pen and ensure it lasts for many years to come.   

Dab Pen FAQs   

You may have some more questions after purchasing your dab pen and picking out your concentrate. Here are some frequently asked questions about dab pens, just in case you didn’t find the answer you were looking for in the step-by-step guide.   

How much are dab pens?   

It really depends on the brand, but the average dab pen will cost between $20 to $50. There are also higher end models that will have more advanced features that could cost up to $100 or more. If you take proper care of your device, it can last for several years, which makes it a solid investment if you enjoy the convenience a dab pen can provide.   

Do dab pens smell?   

Compared to smoking cannabis the old-fashioned way, using a dab pen to vape your concentrates will create a much less noticeable smell. It may still produce a slight odor, but it will be much more discreet than smoking cannabis flower! Another plus side is that the vapor will quickly dissipate from the air, leaving behind no smell at all after a few minutes.  

What is a dab pen high like?   

Dab pens will give a more intense high than smoking cannabis flower and it will also hit you faster, usually after just one puff. It is recommended to hit the dab pen once and then wait to see how the vapor affects you before you take another puff. The potency will depend on which concentrate you have chosen to dab. For example: Each concentrate can be made from different strains of cannabis and each strain may contain different levels of THC.   

Vaping Essentials from Strio   

With the discreet and portable size of an electric dab pen, it is no wonder that they have become so popular in the world of smoke culture! A dab pen provides a very convenient way to consume cannabis for every type of lifestyle, whether you are a busy body or someone who prefers to just relax and chill at home. Here at Strio, we only make the highest quality of smoking and vaping essentials to choose from so you can be rest assured that you will be getting one of the best dab pens on the market any time you choose Strio! Make sure to browse our collection of dab pens to find the one that best suits your needs. After getting your dab pen and concentrate ready, all that’s left to do is inhale and enjoy the experience. Keep dabbing on!