How to Use a Dab Pen: Simple Guide for Beginners


A dab pen is a portable vaping device that’s designed for use with waxy herbal concentrates. Dab pens are different from traditional 510-thread batteries, which are designed for vape cartridges with oil-based concentrates. People love dab pens because of their amazing potency and flavor quality, but a dab pen does have a bit of a learning curve compared to a standard vape pen.

If you’re interested in trying a dab pen but are feeling a bit intimidated by the complexity, this is the guide for you. We’re going to explain how to use a dab pen, and we’re also going to answer all of the beginner dab pen questions that you might have had for a while but were afraid to ask. Let’s jump in.

Dab Pen vs. Cart: What’s the Difference?

We have a full-length article explaining the differences between vape pens and dab pens elsewhere on this site. You might find the article helpful if you’re still trying to decide whether to buy a dab pen battery or a cart battery.

The short answer, though, is that vape cartridges tend to be a little less potent than dab pens, but they’re also more convenient and more portable. Dab pens are usually intended more for at-home use than for on-the-go vaping. However, you’ll never have a better experience – either in terms of potency or from a flavor standpoint – than the experience you can have with a dab pen.

How Much Is a Dab Pen?

You can usually expect to spend a minimum of about $40 on a good dab pen. That’s partially because a dab pen needs to include at least one wax coil, which adds to the expense. It’s also because a good dab pen may include extra accessories or have certain advanced features that a regular vape pen won’t have.

What’s the Best Dab Pen for Beginners?

We have a large selection of dab pens here at Hamilton Devices, and several of them are great picks for beginners. Here are a few of our favorites.


If you want to buy a dab pen that gives you everything you could possibly want in a single package, you’ve got to try the Nomad. This simple one-button device is as user friendly as a dab pen gets. The three selectable power levels allow you to customize your experience to your specifications by toggling between 3.4, 3.8 and 4.2 volts, making your experience smoother or more intense depending on your preferences. The Nomad also comes with a bubbler attachment and a bong attachment, so you’ll have everything you need and won’t need to worry about buying any add-ons or accessories for a long time.

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Tombstone V2

The Tombstone V2 has the ability to operate with any combination of up to two wax coils or vape cartridges, delivering an unbelievable level of potency for those who need a little extra. It’s also one of the most discreet vapes on the market because when you put the top cover on the device, the cartridges or coils are completely enclosed, making the Tombstone V2 look almost the same as a typical disposable vape. If you’re new to dabbing and don’t want to use two coils, it’s not a problem; the Tombstone V2 also works with a single coil or cartridge.

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If you’re looking for a dab pen that can provide a potent at-home vaping experience but won’t take up a lot of storage space when you aren’t using it, you’re going to love the PS1. Like the Tombstone V2, the PS1 can work with any combination of up to two wax coils or vape cartridges. However, this amazing tabletop dab pen has another feature that makes it completely unique: a built-in bubbler. Add water to the bubbler before your session, and you’ll enjoy the supreme smoothness of water filtration with every puff. If you’ve ever experienced throat irritation from the heat of dabbing, a bubbler is a must-have accessory.

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Having Trouble Deciding Between a Dab Pen and a 510-Thread Battery?

If you’re shopping for a new vape and are feeling stressed about deciding between a dab pen and a 510-thread battery, there’s no need to worry because all of the dab pens sold on this site are 510-thread batteries. They’ll work with both wax coils and traditional vape cartridges, so you’re free to switch back and forth whenever you like.

How to Hit a Dab Pen

Now that you have a better understanding of what dab pens are and how they work, it’s time to learn how to use a dab pen. We’ll walk you through your first experience.

  • Turn the dab pen on. A dab pen generally has a single control button for all functions, and you can usually turn the device on and off by pressing the button five times.
  • Load the coil. Your dab pen will have a removable cover or mouthpiece, and removing the cover will reveal the coil. Use a dab tool to retrieve a small piece of wax from your container and place it directly on the coil. Replace the cover.
  • Melt the wax. Push your dab pen’s activation button a few times briefly to melt the wax. You want the wax to soften completely and spread over the coil, which will help to prevent a harsh “dry hit.”
  • Take a puff. Hold the activation button while inhaling through your dab pen’s mouthpiece.
  • Use all of the wax. Continue puffing on the dab pen until you’ve vaporized all of the wax on the coil. A single dab will usually last about 2-3 puffs.
  • Reload the coil or wait for the device to cool. If you’re ready for more right away, put another dab on the coil and continue vaping. If not, wait for your dab pen to cool fully before putting it away.

How to Unclog a Dab Pen That Isn’t Hitting

A wax coil usually has large airflow openings to facilitate a smooth draw. It’s possible for the holes to become clogged, though, either because of residue from long-term use or because you didn’t use all of the wax on the coil before putting the device away. If this happens, you’ll have trouble hitting your dab pen because it’ll be difficult to pull air through the coil. There are two ways to unclog your dab pen and get it working again.

  • If the clog isn’t bad, you can use a dab tool to scrape the residue away from the wax coil’s airflow holes. There’s still active material in the residue, so feel free to put it on the coil and vape it.
  • If the clog is severe, remove the coil from your dab pen and soak it in rubbing alcohol for a few hours. Rinse away any remaining residue under running water and wait until the coil is completely dry before using your dab pen again.