Quartz Bangers are the most important component of your dab rig, even more-so than the bubbler itself! This is the element you heat up and inhale off of when you take a dab, so it's important that it is maintained while being used, and replaced at the appropriate time!
Fused Quartz is forged in the same way that borosilicate glass is, but it has a much higher percentage of Silica or SIO2-- 99% vs's borosilicate's 80%. As a result, it has a much higher melting point than glass, almost 3000° Farenheit! This makes it both stronger than glass, as well as able to sustain multiple heatings by a butane torch! The higher melting point means it requires a more powerful torch to lampwork quartz, and it is physically harder to shape in the flame.
The purity and cost of fused quartz is dependent on where it is made, one of the factors to why American Quartz bangers are more expensive than Chinese ones. The quality of the torch used to make a banger can also effect the "seal", which is how the flame anneals the surface of the banger to make it last longer.
While quartz is much more resilient to thermal wear than glass, it will still occur over repeated use. Devitrification is the the forming of crystallization on the surface of the quartz, which leads to micro pits and cracks that make your banger hazy. Flavor and potency depreciate as some of your concentrates get trapped in this new micro geography in the bottom of your banger. There are a couple things that lead to devit in the world of dabbing, which we will breakdown:
THE RIGHT TORCH
If you've followed dabbing for a while, you've seen people use all kinds of torches. The best torch to use is a Butane Torch, not because it's the most powerful, but because it's actually the least powerful! You never need to get a quartz nail over 1000° F, and butane torches already push into the teens. Propane torches and MAPP gas torches produce much hotter flames! Over heating your nail will take it through the Devit range, causing it to crystalize and haze up.
LOW TEMPERATURE DABBING
Dabbing means you're vaporizing the concentrate. If there is a black stain on your nail after you dab, you're not vaporizing shit. There's a nickname for what happens when you take a dab too hot and burn it into the nail, it's called chazzing. If you chazz a dab on your buddies $200 quartz banger, you're probably not going to be invited to the next sesh!
Check out our Intro to Dabbing guide for why low temperature dabbing is important in terms of potency, flavor and health. Here we will talk about the other reason, which is material devitrification. This occurs when residue remains on quartz while it is heated up. This is actually the most common devitrification that occurs, and the main thing that makes quartz nails hazy.
When dabs are taken at the proper temperature, the residue will still be a liquid, and can be completely wiped out with cotton swabs! Cleaning your nail after each dab is the best way to make it last a long time.
Some people dip their cotton swab in alcohol to make cleaning the banger easier, but doing this while the banger is still very hot can stain it. We actually prefer to keep a small jar of distilled water by our setup, we find it works best with swabs between between dabs. Another popular option is Dark Crystal Cleaner, which is a combination of multiple non-toxic oils. it is good for both swabbing and soaking bangers in, cleaning the joint and neck. Some folks torch their bangers and dip them in ISO or Distilled Water to clean them, but we are uncertain of staining risks with that.
The better quality the quartz, the longer it lasts. Use a cooler butane torch instead of a propane/mapp torch as they are too hot. Take your dabs at low temperature, and clean them well with cotton swabs after you take your dab. You can use distilled water or ISO to making swabbing easier, but make sure the banger isn't too hot. Dark Crystal Cleaner is a great quartz cleaner made from natural oils.