Dabbing involves using a tool to “dab” the concentrate onto a hot nail – hence the term dabber. Dabbers can be very simple and inexpensive or luxurious and intricate, and are typically made of metal, silicone, or glass. They usually have a pointed end, a scoop, or a scraper tip. Carb caps are dabbers with a metal cover on one end that is placed over a domeless nail to minimize lost vapor. These ends are all useful in different ways and for different types of concentrates.
Dabbers are available in a few different mediums, and there are pros and cons to each. Metal dabbers are durable and will last a long time, typically made of titanium or surgical stainless steel. Glass dabbers, although they are far more fragile, are often very intricate and come in a lot of interesting designs.
Dabbers are roughly the size of a pen, with a variety of tip styles. Common tip styles are pointed, small scoops, or a wider, scraper-type end. Some tips are covered in silicone to prevent concentrates from sticking to them, and some dabbers have interchangeable ends and come as a set, allowing for ultimate customization.
Dabbers cover a large price range; simple dabbers can cost just a few dollars and high end tools can be more than $60. The more specialized a dabber is, the more expensive it will be; a pin dabber costs far less than an 8-tip tool kit.