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Choosing the Right Dab Tool

By Brad N March 01, 2020

Choosing the Right Dab Tool

Dabbing is among the many popular methods of consuming cannabis, no matter the type of concentrate you choose to use. Before you can dab, you will need a concentrate and a dabbing rig, including a dab tool. 

If you need guidance when choosing the right dab tool, then continue reading. This information will help you navigate the range of sizes, styles, and shapes. 

Understand What the Tool Does

Before you even start looking for a dab tool, you should ensure that you understand the purpose of this tool. You will use the dab tool to place your extract on the appropriate spot of your rig or device. As such, you should be comfortable with the tool you choose. 

A Closer Look at Styles of Dab Tools

As we go through the considerations when choosing your dab tool, we will be comparing various styles. As such, you should make sure you are familiar with all of them. 

Blades and Paddles

Blades and paddles have sharper edges or scoops, so you can cut up some of the more solid concentrates. Paddles can also be useful for viscous extracts. Think of paddles as a compromise between scoops and straight tools. 

Glass

Glass tools are visually appealing and have a smooth surface. They can also prevent you from scraping your rig by accident. Glass is particularly useful with sticky concentrates. 

Scoops

Scoops are aptly named due to the presence of a scoop that lets you spoon up bits of hash or extract that you could not handle due to stickiness. Scoops should work like small spoons. You can also choose scoops with small blades on the tip to help cut solid concentrates. 

Consider Your Rig

Take the time to think about your dabbing rig and other equipment. Specifically, consider the nail and whether it is ceramic, titanium, or quartz. You should make sure that the dab tool you select matches the equipment you have, especially if your rig includes individualized tools. 

Consider Your Rig

Nail Size 

For example, think about the carb cap on your dab tool that you place on a nail to help suppress and control the airflow. These components help the nail optimize its vaporization temperature during the sublimation of the concentrate. You can choose a dab tool with or without the carb cap, but if you choose one with it, you need to make sure that it fits the nail on your rig, as there are different sizes of nails and carb caps. 

Material Considerations

You will also need to think about the materials themselves, including the nail in the rig and your dabber. For example, it is much better to use a borosilicate dabber with a quartz nail than a titanium one. 

Rig Size

The size of your rig will also help you determine the size of dab tool you should get. After all, you do not want your dab tool to be larger than the vape pen that you use to dab. If you have a desktop rig that you are unlikely to move, then the size will not be as much as a limitation. In fact, in that case, you may even want to get a tool that lets you increase the dose of dab you use

Consider Your Concentrate

One of the first things to think about when looking for your dab tool is the type of concentrate that you plan on using. You have numerous options, including solventless sifts, hashes, shatters, sugars, and butters. Each of these will do best with a slightly different style of dab tool. 

For example, if you use shatter, consider a ballpoint dabber since its spear and ballpoint tip will help you break the shatter up into smaller pieces. At the same time, you would not want to use a ballpoint dabber with sappier extracts, as the small scooping area likely would lead to a mess or spill. 

General Guidelines Based on the Type of Concentrate 

Generally, you should stick to scoops or dab tools that are shaped like spoons if you plan to use a less stable or sappier concentrate. You also want to use a spoon or a dab tool that is paddle-shaped if you use a wax that can sugar up or crumble, a CO2 distillate, or a live resin oil. The wider surface area of spoons, scoops, and paddles helps you contain your extract. 

Ballpoint tools and needlepoint dab tools, on the other hand, do well with shatters due to their ability to easily break down your slab using a high level of precision. You are more likely to get a clean break with these tools, which is important since shatters tend to be tricky to break well. 

You can also use ballpoint dab tools with some waxes. They are also very good for solventless dabs that are partially melted. 

Consider Your Ideal Hit Size

Consider Your Ideal Hit Size

It should go without saying that you want to ensure that the dab tool you choose can easily hold the amount of concentrate you want to use at once. You will want a larger dab tool if you want to place more of the concentrate in the rig at a time, while this would be less important if you do not plan on using as much. 

Do You Need a Dabber Tool That Doses?

For those who are still getting the hang of dosing out their dabs or want to be sure that they use the amount they planned, some dab tools are designed to make measuring your extract easier. You are more likely to find these in the shape of paddles and spoons for dosing butters and waxes and in the form of pointy dab tools for pull-n-snap and shatters. 

Conclusion

There is no single dab tool that will be right for everyone in every use. Your chosen tool will depend on the size of your dab rig, the material of the nail, the type of concentrate you use, and your dosing preferences. You should have no problem finding the right dab tool based on your needs, as there are many options on the market. 


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