Dab pens, also called wax pens, are extremely popular, mainly because they’re so convenient. The traditional way of dabbing waxy concentrates required a blowtorch, bong, and a hot nail—cumbersome!
But a dab pen uses compact vape pen technology to allow you to carry your dab rig discreetly in your pocket and take it anywhere. They look like basic vapes too, which means you won’t get a lot of unwanted attention when you use them in public.
The best wax pens vaporize concentrates like a typical dab rig, but it’s not as harsh on your throat and lungs. Also, once you learn how to use a dab pen, you’ll appreciate how easy dabbing can be. Even if you own a full-sized dab rig, you’ll want a portable wax pen for on-the-go sessions.
Here’s a look at the best dab and wax pens, plus a quick start guide for beginners.
Kandypens Crystal 2
The Kandypens Crystal 2 features an all-quartz heating system that delivers smooth hits with ultra-crisp flavor. Constructed of medical-grade stainless steel, it features an upgraded 1200 mAh battery. Other features include sesh mode and four different voltage settings. The kit is covered under a lifetime warranty.
Linx Hypnos Zero
The Linx Hypnos Zero is one of the original premium wax pen vaporizers. It is a sleek and compact wax pen with a ceramic plate atomizer that features four temperature settings and is only 10 cm in length. The entire device is constructed of high quality materials and comes backed by a one year limited warranty.
The Linx Ares has an innovative honey straw and ceramic rod system, which makes for effortless loading. The Ares delivers instant vaporization and never lets your dabs go to waste. It has a 750 mAh battery and is easy to disassemble and clean. The device is constructed from high-quality medical grade components.
HumanSucks Stinger 2
The Stinger 2 provides the flavor of a dab rig with the portability of a dab pen. It features a mini bubbler, five-second heat-up time, four heat settings, and a 2000 mAh battery rated for up to 60 tasty dabs. The updated version comes with a redesigned larger airpath that prevents build-up and clogging and offers easier cleaning and thicker clouds.
The Regen improves upon the popular Magneto. Its coils are cross-compatible with the Yocan coil series including single, double and triple quartz coils.The battery life has been upped to 1100 mAh and the power is adjustable from 3.0 to 4.0 volts. It still features the classic silicone storage compartment.
What are dabs?
Dabs are semi-solid cannabis concentrates. They’re made by extracting cannabinoid-rich weed oil, and then processing the oil with heat, freeze drying, or a vacuum to produce a wax-like product that can be vaped or smoked.
There are various types of dabs (or wax), but all of them contain high levels of cannabinoids and are extremely potent. Most dabs contain delta 9 THC (or hemp-derived variants like delta 8 or HHC), but there are also many non-intoxicating legal CBD concentrates available.
Wax can vary greatly in texture, but some popular types are shatter, crumble, and budder. Shatter has a hard consistency, crumble is softer, and budder is goopy and usually very sticky. The best types of wax for dab pens are shatter and crumble because they’re easier to load. Budder still vapes well, but it can get messy if you don’t store it at a cool temperature.
What is a wax pen?
A dab pen or wax pen is a pen-style vaporizer for cannabis concentrates. Sometimes they’re called concentrate pens. Wax pens typically consist of a battery attached to an atomizer specially designed for waxy concentrates. The harder-hitting ones contain replaceable heating coils, while others use ceramic heating systems geared toward flavor. Dab pens are more efficient than dry herb atomizers. They also hit much harder and can be stored away between puffs.
How to use a dab pen
There is a learning curve for new dab pen users, but it’s not any harder than any other kind of vaping. Loading and cleaning it are the hardest things to get the hang of, but if you follow our tips, you’ll be just fine.
How to load a wax pen
Working with waxy concentrates can be messy. If you’re careful and use the right tools, it’s simple to load your dab pen.
- Unscrew the mouthpiece: This will reveal the coils or heating chamber. If you forgot to clean after your last session, give your atomizer a quick scrub with isopropyl alcohol. Dirty coils won’t produce good flavor or vapor.
- Grab a wand or dab tool: It’s easier to transfer wax when you use a tool designed for that purpose. Don’t use your fingers to handle waxy concentrates.
- Add your concentrate: Be careful not to overfill or pack the chamber; you only need a small dollop of wax, no bigger than a few grains of rice. Your heating chamber shouldn’t be more than two-thirds full. Place your concentrate against the chamber base or coils, not along the sides.
- Replace the top cap: Screw the mouthpiece back on and power up your device; don’t overtighten. For consistent hits and better vapor, prime your wax with a few hits of the fire button. Just like that, you’re ready to vape.
Don’t forget to clean the heating element or chamber once you’ve finished vaping. Otherwise, the residue buildup in your wax vaporizer can be hard to remove.
How to hit a wax pen
This is the easy part! Once your dab pen is loaded, just pulse the power button two or three times for a half-second to a second to warm up the concentrates, then hold the button while you take a smooth hit for a few seconds.
If you’ve never done dabs before, go slow. This stuff is powerful!
How to clean a wax pen
In terms of cleaning, wax pens are higher maintenance than other portable vaping devices.
An atomizer that’s caked with leftover waxy concentrates won’t perform well. Plus, you won’t need to replace your coils as frequently with regular cleanings.
For best results, clean your wax pen after every session. This could mean removing the mouthpiece and blowing debris from the airpath, then using the cotton swab and isopropyl alcohol method to ensure grime is eliminated. You should wipe down the heating chamber or element each time.
Complete the following steps to clean your wax pen:
- Disassemble your pen: Before getting started, turn off your wax pen. Separate your battery, atomizer, and mouthpiece. Some wax pens have additional parts, such as coils, filters, or screens. You’ll need to clean these pieces separately.
- Wipe the atomizer and mouthpiece: Dip a cotton swab in isopropyl alcohol (90% or higher) and begin wiping away residue. Hone in on the heating chamber or coils, as well as inside the mouthpiece. Too much pressure can damage the coils, so be cautious. Use a small cleaning brush or toothbrush if you run into any stubborn buildup.
- Go in with a paperclip: Pins or paperclips can be used to scrape away residue, including what’s built up inside your mouthpiece. This is also an effective way to clear out narrow air holes. (Don’t try to clean inside coil heads!)
- Use a rag on the battery: With a lightly alcohol-dampened rag, remove dirt from the battery’s exterior. This includes the threading; if there’s a poor connection between the atomizer and the battery, your pen won’t work properly. Be careful not to get any alcohol inside the connections or ports.
- Dry your components: Before putting your wax pen back together, all the components should be dry. You can do this by hand with a lint-free rag; air drying also works.
If it’s been a while since your last cleaning and the wax won’t budge, soak the atomizer in isopropyl alcohol for fifteen to thirty minutes. This is helpful if you need to get between the coils. After removing your component from the alcohol, rinse with warm water and dry thoroughly before using.
As always, check out the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions—every device is different.
How to charge a wax pen battery
Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations before giving your wax pen its first charge. Most devices use either micro-USB or eGo chargers.
Wax pens are designed to be convenient, portable vaping devices. They don’t need to stay plugged in as you use them.
Plug your charger into a computer or wall adapter. To avoid damaging your wax pen with a huge blast of power, computers are a safer route. Stay away from chargers or adapters with “rapid charging” capabilities.
As your wax pen charges, keep a close eye on the indicator light. You can lengthen a battery’s lifespan by unplugging it as soon as your pen is fully charged.
It takes most wax pens between one and two hours to charge fully. The exact amount of time depends on the model, though some advanced devices can charge in under one hour.
If your dab pen is blinking red, check the manual or the manufacturer’s directions.
This usually means that the battery is low and needs to be charged soon. It can also indicate an error, such as a faulty connection, atomizer issue, or overheating. In any case, power down your device and resolve the issue before vaping.
In rare instances, a blinking red light is the result of damage or a defective product.
How long does a dab pen high last?
Waxy concentrates are extremely potent, and the high can be intense.
Consuming THC via inhalation will get you high faster than other methods. Once a substance reaches your lungs, it doesn’t take long for it to enter the bloodstream and reach the brain. Compare this to edibles, which can take up to ninety minutes to hit, because digested THC must process through the liver before it gets into the bloodstream.
The effects of a dab pen will begin within ten or fifteen minutes. From there, you’ll need to consider variables like tolerance, individual biology, metabolism, and even factors like stress or tiredness. Experienced wax pen users may only stay high for two or three hours; on the opposite hand, someone who’s new to dab pens could remain high for longer.
To avoid a high that lasts too long, pace yourself. Start at a lower heat setting and take a couple of puffs, then wait for the high to set in. At that point, you can decide whether or not to take another hit.
How much does a wax pen cost?
The average wax pen is a bigger investment than most vape pens, especially stick batteries. However, these devices tend to run cheaper than portable vaporizers; they also deliver more power when you vaporize concentrates.
Typical wax pens fall into the $30 to $150 range, with many popular models sitting right around $100; usually between $70 and $120.
You can find a limited number of pens at a cheaper cost. Some are as low as $20. Pricier dab pens go for up to $200.
How long do dab pens last?
With proper care and storage, a dab pen battery can last between 400 and 500 charging cycles. Frequent users may notice their battery losing strength sooner.
The lifespan of a wax pen depends on:
- Handling: Dab pens feature several fragile components, so avoid dropping or jostling your device. Damage from poor handling will shorten its lifespan.
- Charging habits: Whenever you charge your battery, watch the indicator light. This will let you know when it’s done charging. Overcharging your wax pen, or using an adapter with too much power, can lead to damage.
- Storage: Keep your wax pen stored at room temperature, or in a slightly cool location. Avoid exposing it to moisture or extreme temperatures.
- Battery capacity: In general, high-capacity batteries don’t need to be charged as often and can last longer. Look for batteries with a high mAh rating (minimum 650-900 mAh).
- Use frequency: Using your wax pen on a regular basis will drain the battery more often, shortening its lifespan. A weekly charge is fine if you don’t vape often, but daily dab pen users can deplete their battery more quickly.
- Temperature or voltage: Higher temperature or voltage settings use more battery power, which means more frequent recharging. Stick to a lower heat setting for increased efficiency.
- Brand or manufacturer: Some brands just produce longer-lasting wax pen batteries. Try reading customer reviews before you purchase a wax pen.
Atomizers and coils need to be replaced more frequently. For the best quality hits, you’ll need to pick up a new one every four to six weeks. Less frequent users can hold off for a couple of months. You’ll notice a dropoff in performance when they need replacing. Keep your atomizer or coils clean to increase their lifespan.
How long do dabs stay in your system?
Like other forms of THC consumption, dabs stay in your system far beyond the end of your session. THC is stored in the body’s fat cells (as well as hair and nail cells), converted into metabolites like THC-COOH, and then released. From start to finish, this process can take several weeks.
Depending on your metabolic rate, age, usage frequency, health conditions, and other variables, THC can linger in your system for two or three months with chronic use. Even if you only vape wax once, you could have traces of THC in your system for up to a week.
Stop using your dab pen right away if you have an upcoming drug test. The only way to clear your system is to put a hold on consumption.