Diving into Quartz
When I look at bangers of different shapes and sizes, I often see these beautiful, clear, glass like pieces that often feel delicate yet sturdy. The word quartz has been somewhat of a mystery to me. What exactly is quartz? And why does this seem to be in so many weed accessories? Quartz as a whole seems like a mysterious material, I thought it might be useful to break down the who, what, where, when and why about Quartz. It’s important to know what you’re smoking with!
“Quartz is a chemical compound consisting of one part silicon and two parts oxygen.” This is how Geology.com define quartz, I don’t know about you, but this doesn’t mean too much to me. Breaking it down further, silicon is a crystal like solid that is nearly as abundant on earth as oxygen, technically it’s a superconductor and a metalliod which also is why you will see it in electronics. We find a lot of silicon in sand, so when sand and oxygen meet in extreme temps and pressure, quartz is created. It creates a glass like structure that can achieve heats past that of glass. This would make quartz the best material to make a banger out of just given the fact it can hit high temps without stressing the material and causing breaks or shatters.
The craziest part about quartz is that you can find it in a lot of different places around the world. The crystal is made through high temps and crazy amounts of pressure. The two places in the world where quartz is most mined for is Brazil and Arkansas, those are where some really cool crystal and rock formations can be found.
Now the ones that you see in crazy shapes and sizes are not what is being used to make your banger. The other side of quartz is making it in a lab. Those quartz crystals are known as cultured quartz and typically you’ll see those being pure with no flaws and used in electronics and jewelry. The cultured quartz is also what you would see a banger made out of as well. The biggest different between the two is that with quartz mined for and found in the earth, it comes out with crazy colors, striations and debris from other sedimentary rocks. Versus the cultured quartz looking like glass after it is made with no flaws or variations.
To make something like a banger you need to melt quartz. What makes quartz and glass different is pretty simple. Glass is an insulating compound vs quartz which is a conductor. Smoking something like a glass pipe is made to let you burn the material inside its bowl vs a quartz banger which is meant to be brought up to a certain temp in order to vaporize the material. So something like a banger needs to be made out of quartz in order to achieve the proper temp and hold that temp. The same thing goes for processing chips in electronics, most chips will have some form of silicon or quartz to act as a conductor.
When will you see quartz and why not glass? Like I said earlier, quartz is great for holding and keeping heat, so lighting or using an enail will vaporize material when it hits the quartz. But when lighting quartz there three different methods that I can recommend. If you are using a banger regardless of shape, the easiest and most common way to get it going is using a torch. Typically, the smoker will light the banger with a torch for about 15-30 seconds, then allowing it to cool for 10-20 seconds depending on preference.
Another way to do it, but not my favorite, is the stove top method. Take some tongs and hold the banger over the flame. You wanna hold it there for about 5 minutes. Take it off and set it up on your rig, by the time you get it set up, get your wax and take a rip. This honestly shouldn’t be how you do it unless you don’t have a torch, just because it’s time-consuming and you can possibly break the piece.
Lastly, and this one is my favorite, the enail. Quartz can conduct heat and vaporize material upon touch. An enail typically wraps around an enail banger. This gets the temp on the banger to whatever the smoker wants it to be and then holds it for as long as you need it as well. This lets you take massive hits with long strips of wax or shatter. You also don’t need any flame which if you’re someone who gets paranoid around fire then fear not, this is an easy one.
So now you know about quartz, you know where it’s found, you know why it’s used and when, but now who sells the best? Having or finding the best of any product can be super subjective, but listed below I have 5 different brands that I think put out the best products when it comes to quartz bangers. I base my judgment on two key factors, how the material is vaporized and smoked, and the sturdiness of the banger itself. With that in mind here is my list of 5 brands worth checking out when buying your next quartz banger.
- Long Island Quartz – offering handmade bangers that come in small batches. Almost every standard non-customized piece offers a beveled edge inner lip, which gives a great seal with most all carb caps. They also come with a beautiful case made from wood and glass to display your banger. A great piece for someone who wants to invest money into a great product.
- Piranha – A great company that makes quality quartz pieces that also are a great price for beginner smokers or people who are trying to start a collection. One of my favorite features in the bangers section on there website is they post the angles of the pieces. Which is an added bonus, if you prefer certain angles they have 45 and 90 degree banger pieces.
- Kromedome – Something can be said for a quality banger and cap at a fair price. Kromedome gives the customer a quality banger, carb cap and pearls with almost all there bangers. Something else I think important to note is the connection from the head to the neck of the banger, seamless and sturdy.
- Eternal Quartz – Eternal Quartz makes bangers that are meant to last you a lifetime. All the bangers have options as to joint size and preferred angle as well. They also come with opaque bottoms, this is because a banger with both opaque quartz and crystal clear quartz burns at lower temps for longer.
- Puffing Bird – This is another great site when you are looking for variety and tons of variations. Puffing bird offers great glass at a good cost. But unlike other companies and brands, they offer so many different products with different colors, shapes and sizes. A great place for someone who is looking for a specific color or size.
Quartz is your friend
What you smoke and what you smoke out of is important. All smokers should be aware of what they are smoking, how they are smoking, and in what capacity they are doing so. Quartz is something that is found in the earth, it conducts heat and keeps it hot while you get ready to drop in your dab. Now next time you’re at your local head shop and you see the cabinet full of bangers, you’ll always know what quartz is and why it matters!