If you’re going to be dabbing some nice cannabis extracts like Platinum Zkittlez live rosin badder or Grape Gelato cured live resin, you might be wondering if a dab pen or dab rig will provide the best high and experience. The beautiful truth is that there are advantages and disadvantages to both of them, so there really is no wrong answer.

Most cannabis connoisseurs choose to use a dab rig based on personal preference, but if your pockets can’t handle the cost of admission or you’re simply looking for an easier way of consumption, a dab pen could be your next best friend.

For my people new to dabbing cannabis extracts, here are some pros and cons of choosing an electronic dab pen over a traditional glass dab rig.

 A yellow dab rig rests on a glass jar with cannabis extracts and sunglasses.jpg

Photo by Dip Devices on Unsplash.

What is a dab pen?

Before we talk dab pen, you have to understand what a dab rig is. A dab rig is a tabletop weed vaporizer that turns potent concentrates into flavorful vapor. You inhale the vapor, taste a vast amount of weed terpenes, and exhale your way into a heavy high fit for experienced cannabis consumers.

Dab rigs are typically made of glass with three primary components: a base, a dab nail/banger, and a mouthpiece. The base is where the rig sits, the nail/banger is where you drop your live rosin or live resin extracts, and the mouthpiece is obviously where you inhale.

For an optimal experience that maximizes your concentrates, dab rigs require various accessories like carb caps, terp pearls, and a thermometer to dial in your banger’s temperature before dabbing. Too hot dabs burn terpenes and produce a very harsh smoke.

A dab pen, also called a wax pen or wax vaporizer, does the above procedure through a simple, handheld device. These electronic weed pens are composed of three key parts: the mouthpiece, the heating chamber, and the weed pen battery.

The pros of using a dab pen versus a dab rig

There are many advantages to choosing a dab pen over a dab rig. The pros of choosing a dab pen include:

  • Convenience
  • Portability
  • Discretion
  • Warranty
  • Lower cost of admission
A large glass dab rig with STIIIZY written in black letters is ready for dabbing cannabis concentrates.

Convenience/Ease of use 

The biggest win with a dab pen is that it’s easy to use. It’s a great entry-level product for the canna-curious consumer who wants to try extracts with a cannabis vape.

Extracts are cannabis concentrates that have a higher concentration of terpenes and cannabinoids than cannabis flower. They are known for high flavor and high potency.

To use a dab pen, all you have to do is load the device with your desired extract and hit the power button a couple of times. The weed pen heats up and you’re able to inhale the vapor. The process is much less intensive than torching a banger and approximating the temperature before you hit.


Dab pens are excellent for people that want portable weed pens so they can consume concentrates on the go. Sure, there are electronic dab rigs that come with carrying cases that are technically portable, but they are not at all as convenient as dab pens.

Cannabis vapes for dabbing are typically the size of a ballpoint pen (hence the nickname weed pen) and fit into any pocket or small bag.


With dab pens being pocket-sized cannabis vapes, it’s easy to hit them really quickly and stash them back in your pocket without people noticing. This makes them great for consumption in public, or private spaces like hotel rooms and restaurant bathrooms, without anyone noticing.


Most companies that sell electronic dab pens offer some sort of warranty for them. So if they malfunction, you can get another weed pen sent to you with quickness. At the least, you’ll be able to get replacement parts.

Lower cost of admission

Buy a dab pen and you’re done. Buy a dab rig, and you’ll still need to buy a bunch of different accessories to complete the experience. They include torches, carb caps, dab tools, and an electronic thermometer for your banger. With that, the price of buying a dab pen, some of which cost around $100, is still cheaper than buying a dab rig.

Someone in a red jacket dips a yellow dab pen into a case with an amber cannabis extract.

Photo by NisonCo PR and SEO on Unsplash.

The cons of using a dab pen versus a dab rig

Though there are plenty of positives to choosing a dab pen over a dab rig, there are still a few cons.

The cons of choosing a dab pen over a dab rig include:

  • Coil degradation
  • Limited temperature control
  • Battery life

Coil degradation 

The atomizers inside dab pens are usually made of either quartz or ceramic, and degrade over time. That is due to being exposed to high temperatures over a long period of time. Eventually, this may cause you to have to replace the coils or your entire pen. 

Limited temperature control

Dabbing is all about flavor. Flavor is all about getting the temperature right, or else you’ll burn your oil’s terpenes. Terpenes are aromatic compounds primarily responsible for an extract’s flavor.

With dab rigs, you get ultimate control over the temperature you dab down to the degree (if you’re using a thermometer, like the Dab Rite or Terpometer. With dab pens, you usually get two to four different voltages within a certain temperature range.

Each cannabis concentrate has a different optimal vaping temperature. Dab rigs win out over weed pens in the temp customization arena.  

A Puffco electric dab rig with a metal base sits on a gray table.
Photo by Patrick Slade on Unsplash.

Dab pen battery life

Dab pens die and dab rigs don’t. Like any weed vape pen, your dab pen battery will eventually require a wall charger and patience.

Dab pens hold steady for several sessions then blink red at the most inopportune time. Then they take a little while to be fully charged. In between that wait, you could’ve had several dab sessions with a rig.

In the end, there is no wrong answer. Both dab pens and dab rigs are excellent consumption devices. Truthfully, if you’re going to consume cannabis extracts consistently, you should purchase both of them. You should also only use high-quality concentrates with either a dab pen or dab rigs, to ensure the best possible experience. 

 A peson with yellow nails and brown jacket dips their yellow dab pen into a jar with a cannabis extract.

Photo by NisonCo PR and SEO on Unsplash.

At STIIIZY, for all of our cannabis extracts, we only use premium flower.