Original Post: High Times: Knowledgeable Dabbing: A Guide To Our Favorite Quartz Bangers
[Editor’s Note: This guide will help you understand what makes a quality quartz banger. All the pros and cons are listed.]
The finalists for the best quartz bangers let you finish your dab and taste it too.
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, but every dab tasted like hot oil and burned throats. With a proper quartz banger and quality concentrates, dabs should leave your mouth watering.
One thing to look for in a quality 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.
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. But one of the most important aspects to watch for when paying top dollar is the welding on necks and bottoms. You won’t be able to feel or see any creases or imperfections where the neck and bucket connect if it was handmade to perfection. The same goes for any attached bottoms like the opaques—perfect seals will have no ridges on the sidewalls.
Some American quartz makers save money and time by “cold sticking” the joint onto the bucket and calling it a day. Cold sticking is when a glass artist basically uses the flame as glue. The properties of quartz allow it to be stuck together instead of fused without snapping off easily. However, higher quality quartz makers use the flame to create a sturdier complete solid piece of quartz. In the cases of cold stuck joints, the seal won’t be as strong as a fully blown joint. A cold seal can be done in a couple of minutes, while properly binding a bucket to a joint can require up to 40 minutes of flameworking.
Another shortcut quartz makers use is imported joints. They still use American or German quartz buckets for heat retention and flavor, but import 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, bangers with a fully worked seal are one piece of quartz making them less vulnerable to snapping and breaking when compared to simpler cold seals. Not all seals are equal, however. A few quartz makers fully work and completely polish their joints for a seamless 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. After comparing Toro original bangers to others on the market, Toro consistently makes 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 perfect with no sign of creases when looking at or touching the quartz. 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: One of the most expensive bangers on the market but you get what you pay for and Toro has more affordable banger options as well like their clear or opaque bottom grails.
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!
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.
Cons: The opaque bottom and walls seem to have a noticeable difference in heat retention. For cold starts with an insert, you’ll have to go in hotter because the opaque bottom seems to lose heat faster than the walls.
The following quartz makers add a creative touch to their bangers to enhance the aesthetic of any custom or high-end dab rig.
Flower of Life Long Island Quartz Banger
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.
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.
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 making some of the best quartz nails on the market today. 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: Not fully worked at the seal.
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 works 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 cold sticks them to 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 quartz banger is the first to feature the opaque bottom design that appears throughout this year’s list. Holding it to 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 wasn’t fully worked and attaching an e-nail coil leaves the opaque isn’t recommended as the bottom is vulnerable to popping off.