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A buyer’s guide to dab tools

Published Aug 13, 2022 09:00 a.m. ET
iStock / Roman Budnyi

These super useful applicators are an essential part of every dabber’s setup. Whether you’re a fan of shatter, THC crystals, sauce, wax, crumble, or distillate, this tool plays a critical role in delivering the concentrate so that you can enjoy the effects. If you’re an avid dabber with a whole arsenal on tap and want to ensure you’ve got it all, or a beginner to the craft who needs some help picking out the right dab tool, then this article is for you.

What is a dab tool?

A dab tool aka dabber or wand is an important tool that is used to transfer cannabis concentrates from a container to your dab nail. Though it’s possible to get by without one, there is no safer option, and all of them perform what is essentially the same function. However, the applicators on the market today vary where size, design, and materials are concerned. For that reason, it’s imperative to consider all potential factors when choosing a dabber.

What to look for in a dab tool

All dab tools sold through reputable vendors are completely safe to use, but heat resistance is important in terms of the longevity of the tool, so it’s best to invest in options that can handle high temperatures without melting or warping. The best dabbers are made using stainless steel or titanium, as they are lightweight and durable. Some stainless versions even come equipped with fun colours, which is a great option for those who want something more unique.

Dab tool styles

There are thousands of different dab tool shapes and styles to choose from, but all of them fit into 3 primary categories, and understanding what they’re designed to do, can help you to pick the right one.

Scoop dabbers

This style of dabber is designed much like a spoon, to scoop up your dabs. With these, you can avoid the mess that often follows a good sesh, and some even come with a really helpful flat edge that works just like a knife to cut those harder concentrates into chunks with ease.

Tool and cap

Do you enjoy the benefits of a carb cap? If so, then you might want to grab a dabber and cap combination, which works the best on most nails including electric setups.

Flat or blade dabbers

Flat and blade wands are ideal for harder concentrates, as they come with an edge that can slice harder products like shatter with ease, and a flat spot that allows you to pick it up once you’ve got the right size glob, for an easy transfer.

Glass dabbers

Glass dab tools are pretty but they’re also incredibly fragile, so while they might match your dab rig, they won’t hold up to long-term wear and tear or accidental drops.

Compatibility

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Some dab tool shopping comes down to personal preference be it due to appearance or price, but if you’ve got a certain type of concentrate that you love to use more than anything, then it helps to know which styles would be most beneficial for you.

Distillate

This concentrate is popular because it’s affordable, and its texture is uniquely compatible with both flat and scoop-style dabbers.

Sugar or sauce

Though these cannabis products range from gritty to saucy, these terpene-rich concentrates both works well with a flat or shovel-like tip.

Crystals

Crystalline is dry granules that can be challenging to pick up with a sharp or flat edge, while scoop-style wands will transfer them to a nail with ease.

Shatter

Because of its glass-like consistency, shatter is always most compatible with wands that come with both a sharp edge and a scoop, which will make it easy to spoon the concentrate even when it isn’t sticky enough to hold onto a fine tip on its own.

Crumble or wax

Crumble and wax aren’t typically sticky, with a gritty, dry, crumbly texture that is hard to move around without help from a spoon-style dabber.

Dab tool kits

There is no better way to come to the dab rig 100% prepared than with a dab tool kit, which should come with many if not all of the various styles for you to try. It’s the only way to be sure you always have the right tool for the job, no matter what concentration comes your way.

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