Best dab pens: 6 wax pens and portable vapes in 2023
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Wax pens, aka dab pens, are the most potent way to get your cannabis blast off on the go. Dab pens are all about customizing your sessions and are designed to be portable while coming in a variety of shapes, sizes, and price points. When it comes to dabbing, you can curate your own experience with pens that offer multiple temperature adjustments.
Dabbing is innately a more potent experience than smoking or even vaping. Cannabis extracts like shatter and wax are heated directly at extremely high temperatures, with no need for a cartridge or torch. This makes the dab pen an elegant, sophisticated device that delivers potent hits when charged and maintained properly.
If you’re a beginner, never fear. The highest-quality dab pens are strikingly intuitive, and you can usually get the flow of the device in just a couple of uses.
Once a strictly connoisseur endeavor, dabbing has now gone mainstream among cannabis users. Consequently, we’ve seen the market for dab pens and dab rigs explode within the past 5 years or so.
With so many wax pens on the market out there, what’s a stoner to do?
We’ve tried many, many dab pens in our quest for the best. We also did a ton of market research to figure out which wax pens diehard dabbers swear by. You don’t have to worry—we found the best of the best.
Our quest has culminated in this list so that you can discover the fruits of our labor with the best dab pens available in 2023.
We factored in user experience, battery life, verified reviews, and more to make sure we covered a healthy spectrum of price points and user preferences. Check it out:
The Best Dab Pens for Blasting Off in 2023 and Beyond
- Best Overall Dab Pen: PAX Plus
- Runner-Up + Editor’s Choice: Evolv Cricket Portable Dab Rig
- Smoothest Rips: Lookah Seahorse Max Electric Dab Pen
- Biggest Hits: Cookies x G Pen Connect Vaporizer
- Best for Beginner Dabbers: ERRLYBIRD Nest2 Connoisseur Vaporizer Pen
- Most Affordable: Yocan Armor Concentrate Pen Vaporizer
Best Dab Pens in 2023
Best Overall Dab Pen: PAX Plus
The PAX Plus continues to dominate dab pen reviews for a reason. This is one of the best dab pens on the market that will last you a lifetime and keep you perpetually happy with its signature clean rips.
It’s by far the most versatile pen out there. You can vape dried herb, concentrates, and a combination of the two, so there’s really no reason to ever buy another pen again.
The PAX Plus features a sleek stainless steel design and fits in your pocket. But perhaps the best two features are the oven lids and experience modes.
The oven lids adjust to your bowl size so that the dab pen can deliver the perfect hit every time. The four experience modes are a newer feature that differentiates the PAX Plus from the original model. Stealth delivers a lighter hit with less of that billowing texture for discreet vaping.
Efficiency is your go-to for small bowls that you need to get the most out of. Flavor is a great option for concentrates that adjusts heat level to make your hemp terpenes pop. And finally, use a boost when you want deep, long rips to keep your spirits high.
The PAX Plus price point is on the expensive side, but in our opinion, totally worth it when you factor in the 10-year warranty and dual usage. You’ll never need another dab pen again.
- Vapes both dry herb & concentrates
- Unbeatable 10-year warranty
- Fast heating action
- FREE shipping
Material: Stainless steel
Color: Sage, onyx, periwinkle, elderberry
Why users dig it: Verified buyers love how the PAX Plus is extremely easy to use and heats up quickly. Most online users remark on how consistent the hits are and how burning herbs and oils is simply impossible with this dab pen in tow.
Runner-Up + Editor’s Choice: Evolv Cricket Portable Dab Rig
Coming in a close second is the Evolv Cricket, a slim, powerful dab rig you can take with you on your adventures. Like the PAX Plus, this is a forever piece that’s built to last.
The Cricket is known for delivering great taste with its precise temperature controls that ensure billowy clouds and a smooth sensation.
Another thing that makes the Cricket one of the best dab pens is its uncanny ability to help you conserve. It seems like your dabs last half as long with other pieces. This is partly why we recommend it for smaller doses, where you can get the same effect with less. This can take some getting used to in the beginning, but you’ll eventually realize you may not require as much wax to get the lift you want.
Most users get around 50 hits with just one charge of the Cricket. After the warranty expires, you can still get a battery replacement plan with the company, making the Cricket a true lifetime piece that will hold up for years to come.
- Delivers great taste
- 1 charge lasts all-day
- Conserves your concentrates
- Super discreet
Material: Stainless steel
Color: Gun metal
Why users dig it: This portable dab rig heats up in literally one second, which is frequently mentioned by verified users online. Most people recommend Cricket for smaller doses taken on the go.
Smoothest Rips: Lookah Seahorse Max Electric Dab Pen
The water percolator feature of this electric dab pen is what makes the experience more unique than the fray. It’s like that first time you ever tried putting ice in a bong, only better.
The Lookah Seahorse Max makes your rips smoother and your dab hits taste better. It’s also priced right in the middle of the range for quality electric dab pens. It’s about half the price of the PAX Plus, but it won’t vape dry herb.
This dab pen isn’t as small as #1 and #2 on our list, but it manages not to feel clunky. The Seahorse Max comes with a stand that’s ideal for your desktop or putting up high on a shelf, where it will just look like a lamp to the untrained eye. FYI– if you’re using the water bubbler, it’s important to keep your Seahorse Max in the stand, as this is what prevents water from spilling out.
Vape your favorite wax concentrates and 510 thread cartridges with the Lookah Seahorse Max, and definitely utilize the perc attachment. You can remove it, of course, but once you experience the hits with it, you probably won’t want to.
- Comes with glass bubbler
- For wax concentrates + 510 thread cartridges
Size: Approximately 8 inches long
Material: Stainless steel
Color: Blue, gray, orange, red
Why users dig it: The Seahorse Max delivers a fresh, cooling sensation when you use the bubbler, and it looks like most verified users exclusively use it this way. People also appreciate the price point that, while not super cheap, delivers a better value than the more-expensive competition.
Biggest Hits: Cookies x G Pen Connect Vaporizer
This dream cloud creator will attach to your water piece to deliver some of the biggest hits you’ll ever get with a dab pen. The Cookies x G Pen Connect is a one-of-a-kind model that includes a tank, battery, housing, and travel case.
Because of the unique artistry behind this piece, we almost awarded it best design. But at the end of the day, people care more about how a dab rig hits than what it looks like. And this one hits like a dream.
Design-wise, though, it is a special piece. The Cookies x G Pen Connect was designed by Bay Area rapper, Berner, in collaboration with innovators at the brand. You can expect all the awesomeness of the original model but with a cool twist, all in the flagship Cookies blue color.
The Cookies x G Pen Connect hails itself as the concentrate nail alternative, and we love how it completely erases the need for a torch or exposed nail. This makes the dabbing process a lot more seamless and enjoyable, especially in social situations.
- Easy to clean
- Versatile & portable
- Huge, dense hits
- Attaches to water pieces
Size: Fits in small pouch or wallet
Material: Stainless steel
Color: Bright blue
Why users dig it: Wax lovers can’t get enough of the Cookies x G Pen, and we noted dozens of verified users who say this is hands-down their favorite e-nail they’ve ever used. It’s a bit of a cult favorite, too, and a popular high-end gift for stoners.
Best for Beginner Dabbers: ERRLYBIRD Nest2 Connoisseur Vaporizer Pen
For those new to dab pens and perhaps dabbing in general, we recommend the ERRLYBIRD Nest2. It’s affordable, it’s easy to use, and it looks and feels like your standard vape pen.
But unlike a vape pen, the ERRLYBIRD Nest2 delivers more serious rips. Don’t let the size fool you– this little pen dishes out an intense experience that’s intuitive for beginners.
Everything about the ERRLYBIRD Nest2 is easy. You can remove the mouthpiece for fast cleaning with isopropyl alcohol. And color-coded temperature voltage settings make curating your sessions easier, with a low, medium, and high function that beginners can quickly get the knack of.
There’s a hit time of more than 15 seconds with the ERRLYBIRD Nest2, which is why dab veterans love it, too. In fact, most of the content we’ve seen for the Nest2 is geared toward more-seasoned dabbers.
We also ranked this dab pen for its staunch battery life that is known to last for days while taking just 1 hour to fully charge. This makes it great for weekend getaways and road trips.
- Simple, discreet design
- Mid-level price point
- Dual quartz atomizer
- Conserves wax
Why users dig it: Users love the affordability of this little easy-to-clean wax pen. We also saw dozens of verified reviews that say the ERRLYBIRD Nest2 consistently delivers smooth hits with easy temperature control.
Most Affordable: Yocan Armor Concentrate Pen Vaporizer
Dabbing on a budget? The Armor pen gives you a heady experience that rivals pieces who require the big bucks. It also happens to be one of the smallest top-quality wax pens we’ve come across. At just around 4 inches, the Armor is the ultimate in discreet dabbing, if that’s what you’re into.
Like all the dab pens on our list, you can control the temperature settings to set the tone of your sessions. The pen itself heats up in just a few minutes and has an impressive battery life that is fully charged at just around a half hour.
As far as feature details go, the Armor has dual quartz coils just like some of the other options on our list. Quartz is by and large considered to be the best material for the heating element in dab pens, FYI, and is known for delivering those clean, smooth hits.
The Yocan Armor is a small-but-mighty piece that packs a bigger punch than meets the eye. Look forward to dabbing small-to-medium-sized doses that are flavorful and smooth.
- Super small & discreet
- Fast charging
- Billowing clouds
- Glowing reviews
Size: 4 inches
Material: Stainless steel
Color: Blue, black, red
Why do users dig it: Overall consensus? Verified users dig that you can still get those billowing clouds with this tiny device that won’t set you back more than about $30.
How We Picked the Best Dab Pens
Before dab pens entered more into the stoner mainstream, you had to go to your local head shop to scope out your options.
Today, there are hundreds of options to buy online with just a couple clicks. But this can be a dicey game, especially if you’ve never personally used the pen or been referred by a friend.
Luckily, we developed a simple list of criteria to weed out the best dab pens. Keep the following in mind when you’re surfing the world wide web in search of one:
A good dab pen should hold a charge for most of the day or longer. We also required easy USB charging and — something a lot of people overlook — fast charging. To figure out what the battery life will look like for real, it’s a good idea to check verified user reviews. These will give you an insight into how the battery behaves over time.
Dab pens heat concentrates at higher temperatures than vaporizers, and different temperatures can deliver a different experience. We only selected portable dab pens with robust temperature controls that let you curate your session the way you want it. The power button on many of these dab pens doubles as the temperature control, making them super easy to use.
A dab pen should always be intuitive, even if it has more advanced features. Because even seasoned dabbers can get overwhelmed by a clunky piece. That’s why we purposefully chose sleeker, more user-friendly dab pens that aren’t complicated and don’t require a Youtube training session to get silky rips with stellar vapor quality.
Dab pens vary wildly in price. More expensive options tend to be more long-lasting and will usually offer some type of warranty. But cheaper dab pens, if they’re choice quality, will often do the trick for light-to-moderate users. Do you get what you pay for? Yes and no. Like many pieces, you can find value at most price points. That’s why we included a nice range of prices for every budget.
What Is a Dab Pen?
A dab pen is a vaporizer made especially for cannabis concentrates, aka dabs. Dab pens are also known as concentrate pens or wax pens, and they’re designed for portable use, meaning you can take them with you (like a pen).
What are the parts of a dab pen and how do you use one?
Most dab pens contain three key parts: the mouthpiece, chamber, battery, and atomizer. To use, first make sure your battery is charged. You will then load your concentrates in the chamber with a dab tool and secure the mouthpiece to the device.
Press the button on your device to begin heating the wax and take a small inhale. From there, adjust your inhales and temperature to suit your own dabbing experience.
What’s the difference between a dab pen and a vape pen?
The terms dab pen and vape pen are often used interchangeably. However, dab pens are typically fillable devices that heat cannabis concentrates. Vape pens usually refer to 510-thread vape cart devices.
Another key differentiator is the temperature and intensity. Vape pens tend to be more discreet in that their lower temperature produces a less-intense hit. Dab pens, on the other hand, heat concentrates to a much higher temperature, making for a more potent experience.
Also, while vape pens usually require cartridges, you can use a dab pen directly with pure concentrates.
Best Dab Pens FAQs:
How do you clean a dab pen?
It’s important to keep your dab pen clean, if you want to get the most use and the most value out of your purchase.
To effectively clean your dab pen, start with the mouthpiece. Soak the mouthpiece for 30 minutes in a special cleaning solution, hot water, or vinegar. Rinse with warm water and dry. Next, soak your atomizer in rubbing alcohol for 20 minutes or less. Remove and let dry. Finally, you’ll attach your dry atomizer to the battery and put it through one or two cycles to make sure all the alcohol evaporates before you use your dab pen.
How do you charge a dab pen?
Most dab pens provide USB charging. You’ll usually charge your dab pen by plugging it into a USB port. SOme have micro USB charging as well.
How long does a dab pen battery last?
A charged dab pen battery can last from a couple hours to a few days, depending on usage, the quality of the pen, and the battery life.
Can I travel with a dab pen?
Dab pens are designed to be portable, but some are more discreet than others. Remember that your waxes may not be legal in all states, so be sure to check local laws on the subject before traveling with concentrates.
For happy dabbing on-the-go, check out the best dab pens
Dab pens offer a cleaner experience than smoking with a bigger lift than your standard vape pen. That’s because dab pens heat wax to a higher temperature and give you the hit of your life.
We vetted dozens of top-rated dab pens on the scene to come up with what we think are the best of the best in 2023. No matter if your budget is big or small, a silky-smooth dab session is just around the corner with these top-of-the-line pieces.
Hearst Newspapers participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may earn a commission when you click links in this content. Our professional curators independently research and recommend products and services, with no newsroom involvement. Merchants can pay for a sponsored listing and may choose to rewrite their summary. When that happens, we label the listing as “Sponsored” and highlight it in grey to differentiate the merchant-provided content from our writing.