Is the quality (not the condition) of a witch or wizard's wand a strong indicator of its owners magical abilities, or is the quality of their wand strictly cosmetic once a magic user has mastered thier skillset?

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    How would you define 'quality' for the purposes of this question? – Au101 Jan 23 '16 at 19:27
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    @Au101 I would define it as "Top of the line", "High end", "Above average", or "Bargain basement", "Low end", or "Fair to middlin". – Major Stackings Jan 23 '16 at 19:44
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    That's how to describe it, maybe, but what exactly do the terms correspond to? Something about the physical makeup of the wands? If so, what? What puts a wand in one category or another? – Matt Gutting Jan 23 '16 at 20:05
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    Pottermore does make suggestions about rarer cores and woods, and describes some woods as "sought after" or particularly popular in a certain country. I can imagine cherry or something might have status above pine or other common trees. Whether these perceptions would be accurate would be another matter I think. – ThruGog Jan 23 '16 at 20:47


As far as I can find, a wand's length has nothing to do with magical ability. The only correlation between the wand and the wizard here is possibly height or personality:

All wands have their individual lengths and may also be some correlation between a person's size and the lengths of their wands. Rubeus Hagrid, who is half-giant, owned one of the longest known wand; it was sixteen inches long and made of oak.

According to Garrick Ollivander, matching a wand to a wizard solely by height is a crude measure. Long wands tend to suit those with big personalities, of a more spacious and dramatic style of magic.
Wandlore, Harry Potter Wikia


I've found one reference to a correlation between wand 'neatness' (whatever that is, in a wand) and how refined one's magic is:

Neater wands favour elegant and refined spell-casting.
Wandlore, Harry Potter Wikia


There is some more indication that the type of wood a wand is made from has some correlation with the wizard's calibre:

[Acacia] "A very unusual wand wood, which I have found creates tricky wands that often refuse to produce magic for any but their owner, and also withhold their best effects from all but those most gifted."
From Ollivander's notes on wand woodsWand Woods, Pottermore Wikia

The proper owner of the aspen wand is often an accomplished duellist, or destined to be so, for the aspen wand is one of those particularly suited to martial magic.

Acacia would seem to have more of a correlation; aspen wands are simply suited to good duellists, but it seems to me that if you've got an acacia wand, you're likely to be magically gifted.


I've also found one reference on an obscure blog out there (so I'm not entirely sure how reputable it is) that the more rigid a wand is, the more difficult it is to master (and therefore requires a wizard of greater calibre to use it):

whippy < easiest to learn and cast, least powerful
rigid < hardest to learn and cast, most powerful

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    Good answer, but not entirely reliable sources :-) Pottermore is considered canon, but Pottermore Wikia and HP Wikia aren't unless they're explicitly sourced to something canonical such as books, films, JKR interviews, or Pottermore. Do those quotes you've included give any sources for their claims? – Rand al'Thor Jan 24 '16 at 2:57

Assuming you take the Pottermore wand quiz as canon, than according to this analysis, each aspect of a wand is determined by the following:


Determined by one's height and by which artefact one would choose from a trunk.


Determined by one's greatest fear and by which artefact one would choose from a trunk.


Determined by the trait one is most proud of and the date of his/her birthday.


Determined by one's eye colour, the trait he/she is most proud of, and the path he/she would choose.

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