There are several features that make a stellar quartz banger stand apart from the rest. These characteristics include functionality, durability, craftsmanship, and most importantly—flavor. Connoisseurs transitioned from titanium to quartz because the latter allows you to enjoy the flavors of the concentrate and get high as hell. Though titanium nail dabs got us stoned, every dab tasted like hot oil and burned throats. With a proper quartz banger and quality concentrates, dabs should leave you medicated with your mouth watering.
Quartz Banger Quality Checklist
There are several parts to a quartz banger to inspect before dropping well over a hundred dollars. The absolute best bangers should have a completely flat top for a proper seal with carb caps, a beveled inner lip, a sturdy joint and clean welds.
Check for a Perfect Seal
A vital aspect to the quality of your banger is how level the top is for perfect seals with carb caps. You can ensure the top is completely level by holding it upside down on a marble tabletop or completely flat surface and blowing through the neck. If air is being blown back at you, it will have a perfect seal with a proper carb cap. You can test the seal of a carb cap by capping the banger, covering any holes in the cap, and blowing through the joint. If any air makes it out of the top, it means the seal is imperfect.
Check the Bevel
Another thing to keep an eye out for is bevels on the inner lip of the top, which creates the perfect seal with bubble caps. Some bevels are made unevenly which interferes with a perfect seal. Others have chips in them from the grinding that occurs when making a bevel.
Check the Welds
One of the most important aspects to watch for when paying top dollar is the welding on necks and bottoms. It all comes down to proper fixtures and the steady hands and skill of the glass blower. You won’t be able to feel or see any creases or imperfections where the neck and bucket connect if it was handmade and fully worked to perfection. The same goes for any attached bottoms like the opaques—perfect seals will have no ridges on the sidewalls.
Some quartz banger makers work their joints more than others. Some pre-drill a hole in the bucket and use the flame to fuse the joint to the bucket, leaving sharp edges and sometimes a hole that doesn’t line up with the neck. These bangers are more vulnerable to breaking at the weld when dropped. In fact, most imported quartz bangers have weak welds but most American producers have moved away from drilling.
A few companies use the flame to fully work the seal into a single solid piece of quartz with no visible lines, creases or flaws. Seals can be worked but still contain imperfections. For example, some quartz workers completely blow the hole out but don’t polish out imperfections in the neck. Many bangers have a visible line in the neck but the ones with the best seals are seamless.
A few standout quartz makers use the flame to fully work the seal into a single solid piece of quartz with no visible imperfections. In the cases of drilled joints, a banger can be made in a couple of minutes, while properly binding a bucket to a joint requires more time flameworking to stick and completely polish.
Can’t Forget about the Joint
Joints come in different shapes, sizes and qualities. Some are handmade, others are precision ground so one banger may have a better taper than the next. The bottom edges can be flame polished to avoid chipping on insert and removal. Another aspect of joints to look into is the source. Some quartz makers use imported or lower-quality joints. Thinner walled and sharp edged joints can chip or break easier than quartz from more reliable sources.
A number of quartz makers still use high-quality American or German quartz buckets for heat retention and flavor with lower quality joints to save money. As long as those savings are passed onto the consumer, it isn’t the end of the world.
As we mentioned above, not all welds are equal. A fully worked joint has no work left to be done. A few quartz makers fully blow and completely polish their joints for a flawless connection.
Opaque Bottom JP Core Reactor by Toro Glass
Toro has been consistently making some of the most quality-controlled glass and quartz on the market today. The company is based in New York and they have several quartz nails including opaque and clear versions of the Grail, the Core Reactor, or the Terp Slurper for globbers (big dabbers). Since they started making bangers, they’ve been your favorite quartz makers favorite quartz maker. There are no “seconds” at Toro. Anything short of perfection is tossed into a quartz banger graveyard, never to be seen again. Many of their throw-aways look like they would pass the quality control test of the competition. Toro consistently makes some of the most polished bangers in the game.
Pros: The Opaque Bottom Core Reactor combines elements from Toro’s original core reactor which we dubbed the best quartz banger in 2016 and the first opaque bottom which topped the list in 2017. The craftsmanship on this banger is unmatched in the current marketplace. The top is as flat as marble, the welds on the neck and opaque bottom are nearly perfect with no sign of creases when touching the weld. The cherry on top is the bevel on the inner lip of the top for better seals with bubble caps.
Opaque bottoms have nucleation sites that allow more vaporization to occur in a shorter period of time. It doesn’t retain heat for as long as clear quartz, however. Fortunately, this banger has a giant chunk of quartz at the center for all the additional heat retention you could need. For a while, the motto for low-temperature dabbers was “waste it to taste it.” But the Opaque Bottom Core Reactor allows you to taste your dab and finish it, too.
Cons: Visible line on the inside of the weld of some bangers but smooth to the touch. Still some of the cleanest welds on the market.
Fat Bottom Banger V4 by Eternal Quartz
The V4 Eternal Quartz Flat Top comes with a thicker bottom than their previous versions. There’s also an opaque bottom version of the V4 with a whopping 6mm of quartz at the bottom! They’re also responsible for the popularity of quartz inserts. Looking for a way to record epic melt shot videos, the Eternal team began pre-filling their inserts and dropping them into a pre-heated bucket while recording. What they discovered was how different of an experience dabbing was when cold starting or taking the oil from a low-temperature and rapidly increase the heat.
Pros: The neck on the V4 and all other Eternal bangers are fully worked with no seams on the neck. There is nothing on the market that currently matches the quality at their price point. Eternal is out to make the thickest bottom in the game with 5mm on this model and 6mm at the base of their opaque V4 fat bottom. The added heat retention from the thicker base increases the window to drop an insert or dab at low-temperatures. Eternal offers one of the most polished bangers on the market at an unparalleled price point.
Cons: You’ll have to wait a little bit longer for things to cool off before dropping a dab or it’ll burn.
Opaque Flat Bottom by Grass Lab
Grass Lab Quartz operates out of Humboldt County, California, where they share a studio with renowned glass artists like Banjo and Bluegrass Glass. They have a few unique quartz banger designs and some of the best craftsmanship available on the market today.
Pros: The weld on the neck is immaculate. It’s on par with or better than most of the biggest names in Quartz. Not to mention, a seamless opaque bottom and the beveled top. The opaque on the bottom is surrounded by the clear quartz from the walls for a seamless fusion.
Cons: The opaque bottom and walls seem to have a noticeable difference in heat retention.
The following quartz makers add a creative touch to their bangers to enhance the aesthetic of any custom or high-end dab rig.
Custom Long Island Quartz
Long Island Quartz uses German quartz and leaves no stone unturned. Their bangers are built to last and perform with the option to have a design etched onto it at about the same price as most other high-end quartz bangers. Their custom quartz comes with a stand and glass so you can display it when you’re not ripping dabs.
Price: $199.99 ($99.99 for unetched)
Pros: The top is beveled for better seals with bubble caps and the bottom is rounded to make Q-tipping even easier. The 4mm thick base and 3mm thick walls provide extra heat retention. Long Island Quartz also forges their quartz into one piece with no sign of cold sealing at a lower price than any other American quartz maker.
You can have them etch a custom design of your choosing and the cherry on top has to be the matching custom stand that comes with every banger.
Cons: The bucket is large and bulky but this is a pro for anyone looking to drop big globs.
Tesselated Flat Top Club Banger by Quave
Quave is one of the most renowned glass artists in the glassblowing industry today and the most influential in quartz. He was the first to introduce the quartz club banger and now he’s adding his artistic touch to them.
Price: $220.00 ($170.00 for unetched)
Pros: The new flat top gives users the flavor they’ve come to know and love from Quave Club Bangers with the option to use bubble caps. There is a bevel on top for perfect seals and etching on the bottom for you to get lost in after a few dabs.
Cons: Joints aren’t fully worked.
Evan Shore Long Jawn Etched
Evan Shore is a Philadelphia-based glass artist adding some of the most creative designs to his line of quartz. His original quartz banger design was the first to feature a billowed-out bottom design. Their original design was a slanted top but they now offer both options. They also added the taller “long jawn” banger to their roster in 2018. They give users several options when it comes to customization. From etching to their new “Truth Technique” that has yet to go on sale, Evan Shore brings a unique twist to the aesthetic of a quartz banger.
Pros: The new long jawn flat top design adds 5mm to the length of the bucket, making it possible to drop larger dabs with less risk of waste and a cleaner nail. Flat top and the beveled inner lip allow for perfect seals with bubble caps. The billow-bottom combined with the taller “long jawn” design allows you to spin your bubble cap like mad without getting any oil down the neck.
Cons: The hole at the neck is blown out but not fully worked.
The next banger on our list deserved a category of its own. The OG Quartz banger was the first designed with cold start dabbing in mind. Cold starts are like reverse dabs. Instead of scorching your banger for a minute and waiting for it to cool down, you pre-load the extract into the bucket and place the cap on before torching the bottom for a few seconds. The result? Innovation in the form of a totally new approach to low-temperature dabbing.
Price: $160.00 (Cap Included)
Pros: Unlike cold start dabbing with a regular banger, you shouldn’t experience any burning. It took a lot of trial and error but the rounded bottom of the banger and thickened walls are the makings of the perfect cold start dab. You’ll have to use his carb cap for optimal function but it comes with the banger so you won’t have to stress an additional purchase.
To do a cold start dab with the OG Quartz banger, just load it up at the bottom of the bucket, or on the OG Quartz cap which doubles as a tool. With a Blazer Bigshot GT8000 torch, about five to eight seconds of heat should be enough for the first few hits of a flavorful low-temperature dab. From there, three to five-second additional bursts allow you to vaporize anything that was left behind. When done right, the flavor of a cold start dab with an OG Quartz banger is only rivaled by cold start insert drops.
The amount of time you should torch depends on several variables like how much butane is in your torch and the consistency of the extract you’re smoking. Go hotter for THC-A and colder for solventless hash oil. If it burns, give it less heat next time. If you want more vapor, you can torch for a few more seconds when the clouds of vapor get lighter.
OG Quartz fully blows his joints and buckets into one piece. Additionally, the top of the bucket and the cap are tapered to improve seals.
With OG Quartz’s design, you’ll be dabbing in seconds instead of minutes. Not to mention, saving a ton on butane and extending the durability of your banger by not torching it red hot before every dab.
Cons: Not available in shops. You’ll have to place your order on Instagram until the OGQ website is up and running.
Best Bangers for your Buck
We get that not everyone wants to spend over $100 on a piece that you may need to eventually replace. Fortunately, a few quartz makers have created affordable options that’ll provide about the same function as most of our best quartz bangers of 2018 without any additional finesse.
Cheapo by Fadespace
Fadespace has made a name for itself with affordable quartz and silicon carbide products for flavor-chasing dabbers. Their cheapo banger is the most affordable banger we could find with decent quality control. It gets the job done without breaking the bank.
Pros: One of the most affordable bangers with enough heat retention for small to medium sized dabs.
Cons: To save consumers money, Fadespace imports their joints and doesn’t fully work them into the bucket.
Other Affordable Options
If you want something affordable but slightly higher in quality, we recommend an unetched Long Island Quartz banger or the Evanshore Titty Banger at $100 and Eternal 2nds at about $90.
Last Year’s Winner: The Highly Educated Gavel
The Highly Educated Gavel is the first to feature the opaque bottom design that inspired a number of other quartz maker’s designs last year (Fun fact: Highly Educated named it the Gavel because a gavel is the “Courts Banger”). Holding it to the light reveals tons of tiny pores or “nucleation sites.”
Pros: Nucleation sites assist with the physical separation of solid, liquid, and gas. The nucleation sites provide more surface area, allowing bubbles to form and rise faster. As a result, more vaporization can occur in a shorter amount of time without higher temperatures. With the Gavel, we were able to leave behind smaller puddles without sacrificing any of the flavors. For those looking for the best dab nail, this is something to consider.
Cons: The joint on last year’s best banger was drilled but their newer models are fully blown out for more durability.