Quartz, as a fancy as it sounds, is very abundant in the Earth’s crust. This mineral is very strong, heavy-duty and durable. That is why dab nails that are made from quartz can easily withstand extreme temperatures without breaking. Quartz nails have definitely become the preferred dab nail over time. Not just because it looks good, it also aces when it comes to functionality and performance. So, if you liked the sound of the benefits of the glass dab nail but didn’t want to risk the easy breakage, a quartz nail might be the perfect one for you. So, if you are new to using a quartz nail or want to buy your first one, you have come to the right place. In this post, we include not only details about quartz nails, but also information on how to buy the best and how to clean them.
Quartz nails — Everything you need to know
Quartz nails, when properly maintained, are typically long-lasting. You can properly maintain and clean them using cotton swabs and glass cleaning solutions. Here is a pro tip, after taking a quick and low-temperature dab, wipe up the residual oil and lipids with a cotton swab. This will easily clean the nail without much of an effort and avoid hard-to-clean residue. When trying to deal with a scorched banger, glass cleaning solutions and eventual reheating of the quartz will completely remove the residue. It’s best to use the torch as the last resort though because burning the oil away will eventually create oxidation and get the nail dirty.
Easy to clean
Quartz nails are very easy to clean especially when used properly. The best way to get the most out of a quartz banger is to consistently take dabs at a low temperature. Once the concentrates are fully vaporized, clean up whatever is left with a cotton swab or paper towel. If the dab was taken low enough, the nail should return to looking like it did before. If the surface was too hot, the remaining wax would oxidize the quartz, leaving a trace behind of dark buildup. More about cleaning your quartz nail below.
Quality of flavor
One of the major pros to concentrating cannabis is the immense amount of flavor that comes from inhaling its resin. Using a quartz nail at a low temperature along with a carb cap opens up a new world of tasting terpenes, which is one of the major selling points when comparing it to a titanium one. Maintaining the dish is a crucial component to obtaining the fresh taste that comes with taking a dab. (Source: merryjane.com)
When it comes to retaining heat, quartz nails also do a pretty good work. We know that one of the things that people look for in a dab nail is the amount of oil that can be handled at once. Depending on the design, quartz banger is a choice for taking a huge hit. Some types have large chunks of quartz on the bottom. Others have a thermal bucket design so that the heat gets retained and more of the hash is vaporized off in the end. Since the goal is to find the lowest temperature without wasting a bunch of oil, having a bunch of heat retention is convenient for dabbing at low temperatures. The heat retention on quartz varies depending on the thickness that is being used. This is useful for people who like to taste their concentrates and make their nails last.
Compatibility with a carb cap
Having an enjoyable and satisfying experience with concentrates is best, and a great quartz nail is only one part of that experience. Using a piece of glass or a carb cap to cover your quartz nail is essential. It will create the perfect conditions to vaporize the weed that has been dropped into the dish. Bubble caps, for example, are spherically shaped pieces of glass with little tubes to direct air on the top and bottom. They are intended to toss and move the oil around a flat banger. Directional airflow caps are intended for the same thing, but with a flat design that fits inside and locks in with the bucket.
Joints and heat-handling properties
One of the most appreciated features of quartz nails is that even after being exposed to high heat, the heat won’t spread across the entire piece. It will only stay hot where the concentrates are vaporized. There’s no need to have a dropdown or glass converter to act as a buffer when using quartz nails.
Some pipes for concentrates have too much airflow to take a dab over a long period of time. Quartz nails are a great way to restrict the airflow to increase the overall function since most designs feature a small air hole.
Design and style
Depending on your usage and on what purpose you seek, there will be an appropriate quartz nail for you. If you are someone that wants to take a low-temperature dab with an electric nail would be happy with a standard 20mm bucket. The option to have a flat top or angled bucket depends on whether you want to use a bubble or directional airflow carb cap. Also, it has something to do with visual aesthetics as well. Whatever it is, the choice is truly yours.
Insider Tip: if you want to trim your bud (or weed) professionally, then these trimmers will be perfect
Buying guide: How to buy the best quartz nail
We all know that quartz is a good conductor of heat, energy, and electricity. That is why quartz deserves to be a popular and well-loved material for dab nails. Quartz heats up quickly and can withstand much higher temperatures than glass. This is a very positive quality if you like smoking certain kinds of oils and concentrates that require higher temperatures. Quartz is a neutral material when it comes to smoking, so it won’t alter flavor one way or the other. Since quartz nails are very economical and perform very well, quartz nails are truly recommended.
Nail Buying Guide: How to Choose the best Quartz Dab Nail for You
Angled top quartz banger
The Angled Top Quartz Banger was popularized by Quave and their iconic QCB that is credited with helping to kick off the quartz era in dabbing. There is no doubt that the angled top is aesthetically pleasing, but in most scenarios, the flat top is more functional.
PROS: Easy to clean. Smaller volume leads to easier heat retention. Visually appealing. Great for small to medium sized dabs.
CONS: Not fully compatible with all Carb Cap styles, such as Bubble Caps. Directional flow Carb Caps could chase vaping oil up to the neck/joint due to the angle they are pointing.
Flat top quartz banger
The Flat Top Quartz Banger is probably the most popular profile seen in quartz nails today. There are many different variations, which we will cover below. But for most dabbers, the flat top is the preferred style for form and function due to the higher quartz wall across from the neck/joint.
PROS: Compatible with the widest range of Carb Cap styles. Great for virtually any sized dab.
CONS: No inherent flaws in this style
Round bottom quartz banger
The always innovative Joel Halen has popularized this style and has once again changed the quartz game by cutting the corners, literally! The deep dish design is ideal for those who like to load up large dabs and the sheer flat top provides a strong seal with almost any style of Carb Cap.
PROS: No corners means your oil moves freely and evaporates more efficiently. Easy to clean. Deep dish prevents oil from escaping down the neck/joint on larger dabs. Amazing flavor.
CONS: Not the most efficient heating when using a standard heater coil attached to an e-nail. Will not accept typical quartz dish inserts.
Evan Shore style quartz banger
Evan Shore is a former glass artist with Quave so he definitely knows how to properly craft a killer quartz banger. His signature bell-shaped flare at the bottom of his dishes is not only a pleasure to look at, but provides extra efficiency as well, and has been adopted by other prominent quartz artists.
PROS: Flared base of dish helps contain swirling oil. Properly placed airflow neck/joint hole prevents splashing oil from entering. Available in flat top or angled top, in a variety of dish diameters.
CONS: 2mm base could be thicker for more heat retention, but it does heat up quickly! Neck/joint not as thick as a Mayoral Quartz Banger, for example.
Thick bottom quartz banger
A common complaint from those just starting to use a new quartz banger is how hard it is to get the dish of the nail to the right temperature. Of course, that temp is different for everyone depending on their tastes. Many people prefer lower temperature dabs, but by letting your dish cool down so low, you run the risk of not having enough heat to properly vaporize your oils. A Thick Bottom Quartz Banger is a great solution. With a double layer thickness of quartz in the bottom of the dish, you can hit and sit at your target temperature longer.
PROS: Superior heat retention. Ideal for low temp dabs.
CONS: Will take longer to initially heat up.
Opaque bottom quartz banger
The newest hype to hit the quartz banger game is the Opaque Bottom Quartz Banger. As the name suggests, the bottom of the dish is crafted from machined opaque quartz, giving it a foggy or even sandblasted look in the dish. The opaque nature of the design improves thermal conductivity.
PROS: Heats up faster & stays hotter longer than standard “clear” quartz of the same dimensions. Leaves less “puddle” residue
CONS: No inherent flaws in this design
Thermal P quartz banger
The Thermal P Quartz Banger has become an immensely popular design due to its vaporizing efficiency, cleanliness, and awesome heat retention. The dual-wall design offers a lot of benefits to those seeking the tastiest terps.
PROS: No more oil spills! The dual wall design keeps the oil in the dish, not in the neck/joint.
CONS: Some Thermal P styles are slightly more difficult to keep sparkling clean compared to a simpler quartz banger design.
Thermal core quartz banger
Taking everything that works so well with the Thermal P design, the Thermal Core Quartz Banger adds another element to the mix with the core itself, an additional “puck” of quartz at the bottom of the dish that provides superior heat retention.
PROS: MAX heat retention allows for multiple dabs per heat up or for the ultimate low-temp dabs as the Core begins to slowly cool. The flat top is compatible with the widest variety of directional flow Carb Caps.
CONS: The Core in the base of the dish is an obstacle when using Glob Mops or Q-Tips to keep your quartz squeaky clean.
Source: The Dab Lab
How to clean quartz nails
Surely, nobody wants to dab out of a dirty and nasty quartz nail. That is why it is very important to keep your quartz nail immediately after each use. After using your quartz nail a couple of times, you may notice dirt or black ash starting to accumulate. This ash may distort the flavor of your dab and can make it difficult to get the most out of your nail. It’s good to clean your quartz frequently if you truly want to savor the flavor and keep using your quartz nail for a longer period of time.
Q-tip or cotton swab – Tip Tech cotton swabs quartz cleaner by Errlybird
Rubbing alcohol or cleaning solution – Dark Crystal glass cleaner
Scraping tool with a fine tip – Titanium carving tool
Butane torch or dab torch – Skunk Labs Hercules multi-purpose butane dab torch
Quartz nail cleaning techniques
- If you truly want to preserve your quartz nail, immediately take a Q-tip to the nail 10 to 15 seconds after you’ve done your dab. This will wipe away excess oil while it’s still mostly liquid and easy to clean up.
- When it’s time to really clean things up, scrape down as much black has residue as you can with your scraping tool or dabbing tool.
- Torching will also be very helpful. Flame directly onto remaining ash particles to heat it. It’s truly fine if the quartz becomes red hot. After a while, the ash will burn off and turn almost white.
- If you’re still not satisfied with the cleanliness of your quartz, it’s safe to soak the piece in isopropyl alcohol overnight. Aim for alcohol that’s over 70%. Do not worry about leftover alcohol since it will burn out or vaporize on your next dab.
Seasoning your quartz nail
If you are a newbie and a beginner when it comes to dabbing, you might be wondering what “seasoning a nail” means. Truly, seasoning is important and you should know that. Seasoning a nail is the process of heating your new dab nail and applying a small amount of wax or oil to the nail before using it again and again. The process of seasoning is done to form a thin layer of oil over the surface of the quartz nail to cover the pore of the heated quartz. This idea is similar to top chefs that season their cooking tools to get better flavor in their food. Properly seasoning your nail will also remove any potentially harmful dirt or toxic oils. These harmful substances may be on the nail from manufacturing. Once your nail is nicely seasoned you can enjoy your new dab nail for years to come.
How to season your quartz nail
- Carefully place your new dab nail into the joint of your dab rig or bong.
- Heat your nail using a butane flame torch or dab torch. Heat up to where the nail begins to glow red but not burning red.
- Using a dabber tool place a small amount of your wax or oil into the nail. Then try and cover all the surfaces of the dab nail.
- Do not inhale just let the oil burn away.
- After your quartz nail has been fully seasoned, you are all set to enjoy amazing flavor from your concentrates.
Heating quartz nail to the perfect temperature
When you notice spots of glowing red on your quartz nail, it shows that it has been heated to the ideal temperature. As soon as you see this you should already stop heating your nail. Since you do not want the whole nail to be red-hot. Once your nail is heated it is best to let it cool down for about 10-60 seconds. It also fully depends on how hot you like to dab. The lower the temperature the better for flavor. If you love dabbing at lower temperatures, it is greatly essential to use a carb cap. This is to ensure that all of your concentrates are vaporized and nothing is wasted. Carb caps restrict the airflow to your nail so your concentrates vaporize at lower temperatures.
The major drawback of quartz nails
Despite its guaranteed benefits and features to love, quartz nails still have a major drawback. Quartz nails heat up quickly, but it loses heat just about as quickly and rapidly. Because of this, you have to be quick on the draw, and enjoy your product there fast. When it comes to price, quartz nails are also more expensive than glass and ceramic. So you’ll have to be prepared to take out a little more from your pocket, between ten to twenty dollars.
Insider Tip: if you are looking for a more robust solution, then you can use hydroponic systems
Because they’re economical and perform relatively well, we recommend the quartz nail for the casual to regular dabber. Quartz nail is durable and flavorless, making it a fantastic choice for a dab nail. To reap the full advantage of your quartz, make sure the nail is properly seasoned before using it. It is also very important to regularly clean it. A clean nail makes all the difference in how satisfied you’ll be with the dab once you’re through. We are sure that quartz nails are indeed great, however, not all quartz is created equal. Low-priced quartz crystal often has imperfections and is thinner than high-quality quartz. The thinner quartz doesn’t hold as much heat. Quartz is said to be more durable than glass or ceramic dab nails. The material is also practically impossible to overheat, more resistant to breakage, and will more likely last for a longer period of time.