Saturday, February 6, 2021
STELLA Vape Review – The Flagship Concentrate Pen From Dr. Dabber
Improving upon the AURORA, its award-winning predecessor, the STELLA portable concentrate pen is the next generation vaporizer from Dr. Dabber.
LESS HEAT, MORE FLAVOR
Let’s face it. There are a lot of vape pens on the market today, but the STELLA pen is different. The handheld vaporizer utilizes cutting-edge technology and a stylish look and feel that sets it apart from the rest.
Retailing for under $100, the STELLA vape comes with a built-in alumina ceramic vaporization chamber with a fully sealed alumina ceramic heating element. The design allows air to move more freely due to the offset air inlets integrated in the vaporization chamber and reduces heat transfer to the body of the pen, keeping the pen cool to touch even after several draws.
The battery of the STELLA was designed with a Temperature Coefficient Resistance (TCR) heating element. Instead of the battery putting out a constant voltage, the TCR technology allows the device’s battery to adjust its voltage based on the desired temperature of the heating element. Thanks to TCR, we can say good-bye to those nasty, burnt-tasting draws some vape pens are known for… and hello to extended battery life and overall consistency.
One of the first things you notice when you start unboxing the Dr. Dabber STELLA vape pen is the packaging. The high level of design inspires confidence that the product inside will not disappoint. The device is encased in a sleek, sturdy black box that works great as a carrying case later on if you find it necessary to take it with you; it fits easily into a purse, backpack, etc.
The overall design of the STELLA device is simplistic. The pen breaks down into three parts: (1) the magnetic mouthpiece assembly which houses the silicone filter/airflow regulator, (2) the ceramic bowl atomizer, and (3) the battery.
It is worth noting that although the device has a standard 510-threaded atomizer to battery connection, Dr. Dabber cautions that the STELLA battery is NOT compatible with 510-threaded cartridges.
Most of the functions of the STELLA pen are accomplished by clicking / pressing the slightly raised Dr. Dabber logo located on the battery piece. It can easily be found – even in the dark – by running your finger over the device’s smooth, black, stainless steel surface.
We’ll call this the “go” button since it has multiple uses; it not only powers the vape on and off, but also cycles through the battery heat settings, monitors battery charge, and activates the draw.
There is also a Dr. Dabber logo on the bottom of the battery piece that lights up to indicate the device’s heat status; the lights are fun as well as functional.
Another cool feature is the haptic feedback that lets you feel a slight vibration when the STELLA unit is turned on/off or when the temperature settings are changed.
The Dr. Dabber STELLA vaporizer features a 600-milliamp battery. Like other pen vapes, it is recommended to fully charge the device before your initial use.
The charging port is found near the go button on the battery piece. After inserting one side of the fast-charging USB-C cable (included) into a USB port and the other end into the vaporizer pen, you should see lights on the unit blinking to indicate the device is successfully charging. A solid green light indicates charging is complete. On average, it takes about an hour to fully charge the STELLA vape pen.
It’s time to recharge the battery when the Dr. Dabber logo blinks 3 times and vibrates to warn you the battery level is getting low. There is no specific color for the warning; the lights blink the color of the current heat setting.
Although you can charge the STELLA battery with the other pieces attached, it is a good idea to get into the habit of removing the atomizer and mouthpiece when charging. This is especially important if there is any oil left in the chamber.
So you forgot to charge your STELLA – no problem. The device’s pass-through charging means you can use it even while plugged in and charging. The battery holds a good charge and can handle 40-60 hits before needing a recharge.
Once the STELLA dab pen is fully charged, it is easy as pie to get started. Simply (1) remove the magnetic mouthpiece (pull upwards to separate from the atomizer), (2) load your concentrate of choice directly on the bottom of the heating plate inside the ceramic bowl, and (3) replace the mouthpiece. A dabbing tool is provided in the kit (and don’t lose this tool, it has other uses – see section on cleaning below).
How much wax/oil to put into the chamber will depend greatly on the type of concentrate being used, how many hits are desired, and the experience level and tolerance of the user. When it comes to dosing cannabis concentrates, we always recommend starting with low doses, working your way up to bigger doses once you are more comfortable with the concentrate’s effect on your body.
In any case, NEVER fill the atomizer chamber more than half of the cup’s capacity. Overloading will restrict air flow, inhibit vapor production, and may possibly cause damage to the unit itself.
TURNING ON / OFF
The STELLA battery comes with a 5 click on / off feature to ensure the battery is only on when you want it to be on. When successfully clicked 5 times, the pen will light up and vibrate. This safety feature is especially important if you carry your device in your pocket or purse without encasing it in something protective like the box it came in.
When the unit is turned on, the pen glows either green, cyan, or orange depending on the last heat setting stored in its memory.
OPERATING THE STELLA
Preheating for at least 5-10 seconds is recommended, especially if you are working with more dense concentrates like shatters.
To preheat the Stella vape pen, click the go button 2 times. The lights on the unit will glow purple. The preheat cycle is complete when the STELLA wax pen heats to 460 degrees F – this takes about 15 seconds.
In addition to the preheat mode, you will find 3 more voltage levels. Simply click the button 3 more times to cycle through each of the heat levels:
- Heat Level 1 – green 550 degrees F
- Heat Level 2 – cyan 630 degrees F
- Heat Level 3 – orange 775 degrees F
From here, all you do is press and hold in the go button to initiate heat with the atomizer. The lights should remain on during this process and blink when the cutoff has been reached. A draw is limited to 15 seconds and the unit will safely cut off if held in any longer. Remember, you must hold in the button while drawing to activate the heating cycle.
We recommend keeping the pen upright while in use and until the unit has cooled down. This helps prevent any residual oil from spilling outside the heating chamber.
Regular cleaning of your vaporizer will keep it sanitary, extend its life, assure better tasting vapor, and minimize the risk of breaking parts (skip cleaning and you risk getting your mouthpiece stuck!).
Get into the habit of wiping down the inside of the ceramic bowl atomizer with a cotton swab often. A little isopropyl alcohol (ISO) 91% or higher on the tip of the swab is okay to use in and around the atomizer chamber. The charging cable and STELLA unit itself can be wiped down lightly with ISO, as well.
For deeper cleanings, you’ll need just a few supplies and a little more time:
- Dab tool – make sure it is clean
- Isopropyl alcohol (ISO) – 91% or higher
- A small glass container (a recycled 1/8 flower jar works great!)
- Cotton swabs like Q-tips brand and/or pointed tip applicators (like those for makeup & nail polish)
- Small clean cloth or paper towel
1. First, remove the mouthpiece assembly. Next, remove the silicone filter/airflow regulator (looks like a 3-blade fan) inside the mouthpiece. This is best accomplished with the dab tool that came with the STELLA. Insert the tool through the mouthpiece and push until the filter/regulator pops out – you may have to finish pulling it out gently with your fingers.
2. Put the mouthpiece and airflow regulator into the glass jar and cover with enough ISO to completely submerge them. Depending on the amount of residue on the pieces, leave in ISO for 5-10 minutes, but never more than 15 minutes. When finished, remove from ISO and place on a clean cloth or paper towel to air dry. DO NOT leave pieces in alcohol over the recommended time frame or risk damage to parts, particularly the finish. DO NOT rinse pieces in water. ALWAYS be certain pieces are completely dry of alcohol before use.
3. While you are waiting on the mouthpiece assembly to finish soaking, you can work on cleaning up the ceramic bowl atomizer. While still attached to the battery, heat up the atomizer slightly (no more than 4-5 seconds). This is accomplished by turning on the unit (click 5 times) and then click 2 more times to activate preheat, count off the seconds and shut off (click 5 times). Next use swabs to soak up any residue inside and around the chamber. DO NOT use too much force when cleaning the bottom heating plate. After absorbing as much as you can, use another cotton swab lightly dipped in ISO to remove any stubborn residue on the bottom and side walls of the atomizer. To finish, dry heat the atomizer another 4-5 seconds to evaporate any left over ISO.
4. It is important to allow all of the pieces to air dry before reassembling. At a minimum, allow 10-15 minutes.
5. After all of the pieces have dried, it is time to put the mouthpiece assembly back together again. Remember to re-insert the airflow regulator back into the mouthpiece so the side that looks like a fan is what you see. Next, place the assembly back onto the ceramic bowl atomizer. The final step is to dry heat the atomizer one more time (like 1-3 seconds) and you’re ready to go again.
REPLACING THE ATOMIZER
Never dry burn your atomizer. There should always be a small amount of oil in the bowl when in use. The only exception is when you are cleaning, and this is limited to only seconds for a particular purpose (see cleaning instructions above).
It is normal for the ceramic bowl atomizer to “season” over time. This is good because a seasoned atomizer tends to use less oil while producing more vapor.
Dr. Dabber recommends replacing the atomizer part every 4 to 12 weeks, depending on usage. Atomizers are not covered by Dr. Dabber’s warranty as they are considered disposable components that need to be replaced over time.
If the ceramic bowl atomizer begins to look dark and crusted, or you see visible signs of damage like a crack, or you are experiencing leakage issues, problems with air flow or unpleasant taste even after cleaning, then it is probably time to replace the atomizer.
A replacement atomizer retails for $29.95 from Dr. Dabber.
The Dr. Dabber company continues to live up to the hype surrounding its brand. The STELLA vaporizer is not only sleek and easy to use, it is also very affordably priced at just $99.95 from Dr. Dabber. The STELLA’s solid feel, use of top-of-the-line materials, and smart construction makes it a high-end vape pen well worth its price.