With all of the options that exist in the concentrate consumers sphere, sometimes, the little things make the biggest difference. This is especially true of the tool one uses to dab with. From repurposed dental picks, to purpose designed sap scoopers, the choices seem nauseating to a rather high degree. Without further ado, let’s jump right in and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of which dabber to choose.
For the artsy lover in all of us, first we will discuss the glass dabber. Often providing more of an esthetic impact for those sensitive to matching sets, glass dabbers are available in a multitude of styles and shapes, which are often partial to the glassblower. While some glass dabbers tend to be colorful, others remain rather plain. Some artists make their pieces with specific themes in mind, such as Chad Lacey, who is known for making functional glass art with a heavy focusing on ocean creatures. In Chad’s case, the dabber is often integrated into the overall piece somehow, either being held by or through the work itself. This is also the case with Phil Siegel, whose pieces are usually in the shapes of wizards, with an arm outstretched, holding the dabber as if it were a staff of mighty power. While both of these artist’s work begins in the thousands of dollars, many lesser-known glassblowers produce any number of dabbers. Glass dabbers, because of their fragility are usually terminated in a point, making them prime for waxes and shatters. Some glass dabbers even include a ball or half-dome on the back end to be used as a carb cap for your nail, so make sure to look out for those when buying a glass dabber.
Many of the folks who dab daily tend to use metal dabbers. Ranging in material from high-priced titanium or gold-plating to stainless steel, metal dabbers come in many shapes, often meant for different materials. The most common metal dabber has a flattened point on one end and shallow scoop on the other. The versatility of double ended dabbers cannot be understated, the flattened point is excellent for breaking off shards of shatter, while the shallow scoop on the other end is prime for saucey selections. One thing to look out for is that the scoop not be too deep, as sometimes the full dab will not be delivered due to the concentrate resting deepingly in the recession of the dabber. From here, the number of choices explode. Pronge-tipped dabbers meant for pulling and twisting the concentrate out of its container contrasts heavily with flattened-circle tipped dabbers that expertly move wax from the container to the nail. As with glass dabbers, some metal dabbers have a carb cap on one end that also acts as a stand, so as to keep the part of the dabber which touches your nail out of the schmutz of the dab station. For even larger dabs, some dabbers are equipped with a scimitar-like blade design on one end, useful for cleaving large sections of shatter, wax, or diamonds for the large-lunged connoisseurs. Lastly, hollowed out scoops are a somewhat less-seen dabber shape, but these are often the dabber of choice for people that prefer very terpy, fluid dabs to the more solid selections.
For those who do not enjoy the idea of metal being present during vaporization, there are always ceramic dabbers. Usually accompanied with a carb cap of some variety on the other end, the white color of most ceramic dabbers make it much easier to visualize exactly the size of the dab to be taken. Ceramic dabbers also span the gap between the delicacy of glass dabbers and the sturdiness of metal dabbers, Another benefit of ceramic dabbers is the ease of cleaning. Where most glass dabbers become brittle after being cleaned with flame, metal and ceramic dabbers usually hold up very well when briefly heated and wiped off with a rag or paper towel.
Next time you are out shopping for a new dabber, keep these questions in mind; “What kind of dabs do I normally get?” “How frequently will I be dabbing?” “Do I care more about aesthetics, or function?” and lastly, “How sturdy do I want my dab tool to be?”. All of these questions being answered satisfactorily should lead you to purchasing the dabber you will enjoy for quite some time. Happy dabbing!