Are you 21 or older?
Vape Cannabis Health Law Consume Dictionary History News

What is a dabber? | Dictionary | Cilicon

Ethan Parker

Written by: Ethan Parker

Updated on June 28, 2024

What is a dabber

What is a dabber tool?

A “dabber” tool, also known as a “dab tool” or “wax tool,” is a specialized device designed for handling concentrates such as oils, resins, or waxy substances. These tools are typically made from metal, glass, or ceramic and come in various shapes and sizes to accommodate different types of concentrates and usage scenarios.

Historical Background

The origin of dabber tools can be traced back to the early 21st century, developing in tandem with the rising popularity of cannabis concentrates. Initially, consumers used various household tools to handle these sticky substances, but it soon became evident that a more specialized, safer tool was needed to handle these materials precisely and effectively.

Design and Materials

Dabber tools are designed with convenience and efficiency in mind. They often feature a pointed end for cutting and separating the concentrate, and a flat end for applying and transferring the substance to a heated surface. This design makes the dabber tool an indispensable assistant in the process of heating and inhaling concentrates.

Benefits of a dabber

Dabber tools offer significant enhancements to the experience of consuming cannabis concentrates. They not only improve the precision and safety of handling potent substances but also preserve the purity and flavor of the concentrates. Here are some of the key advantages:

Precision and Safety

Dabber tools are specifically designed to handle highly potent concentrates with precision. Their pointed and shaped tips allow for meticulous control over the amount and placement of the concentrate, reducing waste and increasing the efficiency of consumption. Additionally, using a dabber tool minimizes direct contact with the hot surfaces of vaporizers or rigs, significantly enhancing safety during use.

Enhanced Purity and Flavor

Using a dabber tool helps maintain the purity and flavor of concentrates. Since these tools are typically made from non-reactive materials like glass, ceramic, or medical-grade metal, they do not alter the taste or composition of the concentrate. This is particularly important for medical users and connoisseurs who prioritize the quality and authenticity of their experience.


Dabber tools come in various shapes and sizes, each suited for different types of concentrates and usage scenarios. Some are double-ended, featuring different tools on each end, which can be used for various tasks such as cutting, scooping, or spreading the concentrate. This versatility makes dabber tools indispensable for regular users of concentrates.


Most dabber tools are small and easy to carry, making them ideal for users on the go. Their compact size allows them to be easily included in a portable dabbing kit, ensuring that enthusiasts can enjoy their concentrates anywhere while maintaining a clean and controlled environment.

Economic Efficiency

Using a dabber tool can also be economically efficient. By allowing precise control over the amount of concentrate used, these tools help avoid overuse and reduce the amount consumed over time. For regular users, this can lead to significant cost savings.

How do you use a dabbing tool?

Mastering the use of a dabbing tool is essential for anyone looking to enjoy the full potential of cannabis concentrates. Whether you’re a seasoned enthusiast or a newcomer, understanding the correct technique can elevate your experience significantly.

Step 1: Select the Right Tool

The first step is to choose the appropriate dabber for your specific type of concentrate. Tools with a scoop or flat end are ideal for handling gooier textures like wax or resin, while a sharper, pointed end works best for more solid forms.

Step 2: Heat the Nail or Surface

Properly heating the nail or surface of your dab rig is crucial. Aim for a temperature that vaporizes the concentrate effectively without burning it, preserving its flavor and potency.

Step 3: Apply the Concentrate

Carefully scoop or scrape a small amount of concentrate with your dabber. Apply it gently to the heated nail. It’s crucial to approach this step with precision to prevent spills and ensure even vaporization.

Step 4: Inhale and Enjoy

Once the concentrate is applied, inhale the vapor slowly. If you’re new to dabbing, start with small, manageable puffs to evaluate the concentrate’s effects and strength. The resulting vapor should be rich in flavor and smooth, indicating a successful dab.

Step 5: Clean the Dabber

To maintain your tool’s effectiveness and hygiene, clean it after each use. A quick wipe with an alcohol swab or a brief soak in isopropyl alcohol will remove any lingering concentrate.

Tips for Better Usage

  • Temperature Control: Keep a close eye on your heating element’s temperature. Overheating can degrade the concentrate, while too low a temperature might not vaporize it fully.
  • Dosage Control: Especially for beginners, it’s wise to start with smaller amounts of concentrate to avoid overwhelming effects and minimize waste.
  • Safety Precautions: Handle both the dabbing tool and hot surfaces with care to prevent accidents, such as burns.

What can you use for a dabbing tool?

While specialized dabbing tools are designed for optimal performance, there are various alternatives that can serve in a pinch. Here’s a look at some options you might consider:

Specialized Dabbing Tools

Firstly, the ideal choice is a purpose-made dabbing tool, which comes in various materials like stainless steel, glass, or ceramic. These tools are specifically designed for safe and efficient handling of concentrates.

DIY Options

If you don’t have access to a dedicated dabber, you can improvise with household items that can mimic the functionality of a professional dabbing tool:

  • Dental picks: Often made from stainless steel, dental picks can be a great substitute due to their precision tips.
  • Metal paper clips: Unfolded, these can scoop or spread concentrates in an emergency, though they lack the durability and safety of a designed tool.
  • Small metal spoons or butter knives: These can work for less viscous concentrates and are commonly available.

Things to Avoid

While improvisation can be useful, certain materials should be avoided to maintain safety and purity:

  • Plastic tools: These can melt or release harmful chemicals when exposed to high temperatures.
  • Wooden tools: Wood can absorb concentrates and odors, and also poses a burn risk.

Purchasing Tips

When choosing a dabbing tool, consider the following:

  • Material: Opt for medical-grade materials that withstand high temperatures and resist corrosion.
  • Shape and size: Select a tool that matches the type of concentrate you use most often.
  • Ease of cleaning: Consider how easy it is to clean the tool, as residue can affect taste and hygiene.

Can you use a dabber as a bong?

No, you cannot use a dabber as a bong. A dabber is a tool specifically designed for handling and applying concentrates to a heated surface on a dab rig, whereas a bong is used for smoking dry herbs and features a water filtration system. Each tool is tailored for its specific use to ensure effectiveness and safety. Some dab rigs, however, can be adapted to function as bongs by swapping the nail for a bowl attachment, allowing the same equipment to be used for both purposes.

Ethan Parker
All-in-one Disposable