Quartz Bangers? Quartz vs. Glass? Let’s clear a few things up… What does it all mean?
When referring to glass, borosilicate or quartz, we are referring to substances known as silicates. These are substances that contain the primary constituent silica or Sodium Dioxide (SiO ). Depending on the varying purity of silica, there are different qualities to each product.
Glass can refer to many different products, but most commonly we are referring to Soda Lime Glass, that accounts for around 90% of all manufactured glass (your table glasses and bong may be made of this). Soda Lime Glass is usually around 73% silica, with other chemicals such as calcium carbonate making up the rest. It is not a particularly strong substance and is not heat resistant.
Borosilicate is a much stronger type of glass, used in brands such as Pyrex. It is usually over 80% silica and can resist much higher temperatures than Soda Lime glass.
Quartz, or fused silica, is (almost) pure silica. It is much stronger than borosilicate or soda lime, and can resist temperatures well over 1,000°C.
Quartz is used in the manufacturing of dab nails and bangers for the obvious reason that it can withstand very high temperatures. It is also less susceptible to weathering and staining due to the high purity of silica.
Differences in quartz
Within the market of quartz nails, there are differences to be aware of. Massmanufactured quartz bangers can be found online in the range of £10 to £30. At the same time, you may see handcrafted quartz bangers being sold for astronomical prices such as £150 a piece.
I have had enough experience with cheap bangers but I always shied away from the pricier specimens, sceptical of their worth.
Having had a chat with an up and coming professional glassblower specialising in quartz, I learned an interesting insight.
Although the chemical composition of cheap and expensive quartz may be very similar, the manufacturing process is very different.
Mass manufactured cheap quartz will often mean aesthetic and functional imperfections. For example, the manufacturer may not purge air bubbles out of the glass, reducing the piece’s capacity of heat resistance.
Handcrafted brands go for a higher price because of the love, care and attention gone into them. You are paying for aesthetic and functional perfection, as well as art and design.
Some anecdotes suggest that the higherbudget quartz will taste better, however until more research is done, this is purely subjective.
When you buy a new frying pan, you ought to ‘season’ it with heat before using it, to ensure that any contaminants from the manufacturing process are removed.
While a similar concept is applied to titanium dab nails, quartz nails do not require this step. It is always a good idea to give them a torch before first use, however, to ensure that it is clean for your first dab.
Quartz is generally seen as a more flavourful and safer substance to dab from, as I have personally seen titanium dab nails erode into titanium oxide.
Q-tip tech: caring for your quartz
As any savvy dabber is aware, a low temp dab is a much more flavourful and smoother experience on your lungs than a scorching hot dunk. It’s not just good for your lungs, it’s also good for your quartz!
When you complete a lowtemp dab, you will find that the resin can be easily wiped away with a cotton bud or Q-tip. I cannot recommend this practice enough, as it will keep your nail fresh and extends its lifespan.
A hot dab will ‘chaz’ your banger and result in a layer of char that affects the flavour of future dabs.
We are spending our hardearned money on extracts, so let’s enjoy them in the cleanest, most flavourful way possible!
Of course, there are some alternatives to Quartz, which we will cover next time including Titanium and Ceramic.
Do you use Quartz or titanium, and why? Let us know by tweeting us @ISMOKEMEDIA to join the conversation!