The Avid Dabber: Choosing the Right Dab Tool

(Julia Sumpter/Leafly)

Hello dabbers! I hope everyone has been enjoying themselves. I know I have–I just got back from a trip to Los Angeles to check out how the rollout of legal adult-use cannabis is playing out, and while the logistics of licensing have been less than ideal, the quality of the products and people I met were top-notch. I’m looking forward to going back to enjoy the good vibes and SoCal sunshine again soon.

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After my last article, which expounded the value of using a carb cap when you dab, I thought I’d follow up with some insight into the tools I use to serve my dabs. So let’s get right to the scoop!

Cannabis resin is sticky. When that resin is separated, extracted, collected, or concentrated, it can be challenging to work with. That’s why proper dab tools, sometimes referred to as dabbers, are an essential accessory for any dab session. Tools allow you to work with, dose, and apply your dab safely and effectively.

(Julia Sumpter/Leafly)

Unless you’re working with concentrates that are extremely stable like isolates or shatter, you’ll need a tool. Dab tools offer more precision when applying your dab to your nail, as well as keep you from wasting any of your precious stash. They also keep things from getting too sticky and help you avoid burnt fingers as you take your dab.

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Dab tools come in all kinds of different styles and materials. I’ve seen people use everything from dental tools to paperclips, and just about everything in between. The most important factor for a dab tool is that they are heat-resistant, so they don’t melt or degrade when dabbing on a hot surface. They should also be inert materials that will not disrupt the flavor or composition of the dab. Instead of breaking down every single tool, I want to share a few that I keep in my arsenal and use almost every day.

Browse Dab Tools & Accessories

The Scoop

A scoop-style dab tool is crucial. It lets you spoon up chunks of hash that might otherwise be too sticky to handle. I usually use my scoop tool when I am dabbing budders, crumbles, and sometimes isolates like crystalline THCA and CBD. A good scoop will function like a small spoon, allowing you to shovel your dab up and drop it onto the nail. I like my scoop to have a bit of a “blade” on the tip so I can cut into the more solid forms of concentrates and break off just the right size dab.

Tool & Cap Combo

The tool and carb cap combo is my go-to anytime I’m dabbing on my electronic nail. It consolidates my accessories and makes sure my carb cap is never out of reach. The carb cap fits perfectly over the dish of my e-nail and the subtle scoop on the end allows me to collect hash whether it’s sticky or stable.

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Glass Tool

Glass tools are some of my favorites. They tend to be easy to clean, artistic, and look good sitting next to my other glassware. The smooth surface of rounded glass can make tooling certain forms of hash more difficult, unless they’ve been made with scoops or blades as part of their design. I like to use glass tools on my heady dab rigs and nice quartz to avoid any unnecessary scraping from metal tools. I find glass tools to be great for sticky forms like live resins and sugar crystal.

Explore Dabbing Tools & Accessories

Blades & Paddles

A blade or paddle is a tool that offers a bit of a scoop or a sharper edge that allows you to cut through some of the more stable forms of hash. I like to use my bladed tool to cut a slice off a rosin patty or to divide up some stable pull-n-snap. The paddle is good for viscous materials that can be a combination of gooey and solid. A happy medium between a straight tool and a scoop, paddle tools are extremely versatile.

Avid Dab of the Week

This week’s avid dab features two of my favorite brands in Washington, Aurum Farms and Refine. Aurum grows some amazing flower and has many of my favorite gassy terps in their quiver of genetics. Refine has a reputation as an industry leader in the extraction space and has always produced fantastic concentrates. Any of their Loud Resin products are fantastic, flavorful, and potent.

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The ooey-gooey terp jelly pictured is Caesar, a pungent hybrid of GG4 and Triple OG bred by Exotic Genetix. I swooped this hash from the good people at Herban Legends in Seattle. The flavors are a mix of sharp diesel fuel mixed with earthy, piney sweetness. At 75.76% total cannabinoids, this Loud Resin packs a potent punch without sacrificing any of the fresh terpenes I love. If you haven’t had a chance to try Refine or Aurum, I recommend you make it a priority on you next trip to the dispensary.

What’s your favorite tool to use when serving up your own dabs? Share your experiences in the comments section below, or post them to Instagram and tag me (@the.avid.dabber) using #aviddabber. Stay tuned to Leafly because next time I’ll be breaking down some of the newest dabbing technology that’s changing the way I dab every day! Until next time, ONLY DAB THE BEST!