Just like the dryer eats your socks, sometimes dab tools get up and walk away. You don’t always know where they go or if you’ll ever see them again, but they usually find their way back to you after a little while. But what are you supposed to do in that middle period when you need one and can’t find one? We’ve got you covered. Below is a list of dab tool alternatives you can find around your house that you can use when your dab tool goes AWOL.

1. Bobby pin, paperclip, or safety pin 

homemade dab tool
Paperclips are something that every home has lying around, making them a perfect homemade dab tool.

Everyone usually has a safety pin, bobby pin, or paperclip lying around the house somewhere, hence why they’re the most popular homemade dab tool. Each one is thick enough to be sturdy, but thin enough to bend into shape. Keep in mind though that there’s usually a plastic coating on them, which you don’t want anywhere near your lungs. You’ll want to use a lighter to burn off the coating, but once that’s good and the metal is exposed, just open them up and bend them into shape. You’ll want a long, thin piece with a small scoolike shape on the end to collect your dab from the storage container and drop it into your banger.

2. Flat head screwdriver

homemade dabber
Screwdrivers are another great option for a homemade dabber

Tools can be expensive, so they’re not usually ideal for dabbing in the long term. However, a small stainless steel flat head screwdriver is basically already the same shape as your dab tool with a convenient little handle. You can use the flat tip to scrape concentrates onto it and drop it in like a paddle. You can also use other screwdrivers too though. Since you’re applying heat, the concentrates will work their way out as you dab them. But if you don’t want to waste a single drop, opt for the flat head.

3. Metal nail file or dental picks 

makeshift dabber
Dental picks are basically identical to dabbers, making them the perfect makeshift dabber.

You can find a great homemade dabber in your bathroom, too. Stainless steel dental picks are already basically the exact same thing as a dab tool, so those are ready to be used as normal if you have them handy. If you don’t, you can use a metal nail file instead. Just don’t use the rough scratchy part. Instead opt for the smooth tip used for cleaning under the fingernails. You can use that tip to scoop and cut concentrates and drop them straight into your banger.

4. Scissors or a knife 

Dabber alternative
Another option for a dabber alternative is a knife or scissors, which are found in every home.

As long as you use stainless steel knives or scissors and not plastic-coated ones, they’re great for a dabbing emergency. Since they’re sharp, they can scrape concentrates from containers with ease and can even be used to break up shatter. Since these are larger options, they can be a bit weird to use at first and things might get a little messy, but they’ll get you by when push comes to shove. Their versatility makes them both a great makeshift dabber.

5. Glass stirrer 

dab tool alternative
Although not as commonly found in an average household, glass stirrers make a great dab tool alternative.

If you enjoy cocktails, you probably have a glass stirrer sitting in a kitchen drawer somewhere. Glass stirrers are normally used for skewering fruits or olives and mixing around the ice in your mixed drink. But that said, they have a nice little handle on them and a pointy end that you can use to break and scoop concentrates. Best of all, since they’re made of either glass or food-safe metal, they’re ready to go for dabs without having to burn off any plasticky weirdness. 

There you have it: five tried and true dab tool alternatives for when the dabber goes missing and you gotta get your head right anyway. If all else fails, the best dabber alternative is your fingers. Don’t stick them in a hot banger, though— you don’t want to burn your fingers off. But if you put your concentrates in the fridge for a while you can usually break a piece off and flick it into your dab rig. It helps to cold start dabs this way, but it’ll do ya in a pinch. For sticker concentrates, cool them down and get your fingers a tiny bit wet with water to ball them up and keep them from sticking to your fingers. Happy dabbing! 

And if you’re looking to avoid running into this problem altogether, grab yourself a complete Yo Dabber Dab Tool Kit so you’ve backups if one goes missing.

dab tool kit
Yo Dabber Dab Tool Kit


  1. You should NOT use a bobby pin as they are plastic coated; a paper clip is not safe to use as it’s not heat safe; screwdrivers are generally oiled in the factory before going out for sale so again a bad idea; a glass stirrer could explode in your face if exposed to heat too long; surgical steel is the only safe ones on this list.


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