In any sports, you cannot get much fun out of it if the equipment is not up to the standards of that particular sport. Same way when you are playing pool, you would want all of the things to be perfect — the lighting around the pool table, the table felt, the cue sticks, etc.
Cues are the essential part of the pool games. It is that long stick that players used to hit the cue ball with. If the cue stick has any technical fault in it, it can easily ruin your game.
Mcdermott is the clear winner with 11 wins. While Predator and Meucci comes at second and third place with 8 and 6 wins respectively.
Table of Contents
General Cue Properties:
There are some general standards when it comes to the cue stick. Every cue stick must have these properties or else it won’t be fit to get selected.
- It is usually, 57-59 inches (1.5 m) long.
- Its weight is usually between 16 and 21 ounces (450-600g).
- Generally, they are made of wood. But it can be covered with other materials such as graphite, fiberglass, and carbon fiber.
- The cue length is primarily a factor of players arm length and height.
- It normally has three main parts; shaft, joint, and butt.
- It can be handmade, or machines sliced.
- Cue prices vary due to the choice of material used and the artistry involved in the making of a good cue stick.
One of the big names in the pool games is Mcdermount. They started producing cue in 1975 and have not looked back since then.
They take pride in producing one of the finest, high-quality cue sticks. In the last 40 years, they have increased the level of cue stick making by providing the best quality and innovative ways of craftsmanship.
They get their hardwood from North America and pass that wood through 150 different procedures to make an outstanding cue stick. All the wood is kiln-dried, hand selected hard rock maple and turned 11 times before converting it into a cue stick.
Predators are one of the leading names when it comes to the pool cue sticks. Not as old as others which are mentioned here, Predators cues are known for a vast range of cue stick series.
They used to be designed and engineered in Jacksonville, Florida, USA but since they moved their manufacturing to Asia, more cue series were released. Since 1994, they have introduced a variety of technology in the making of the cue sticks.
They also explain on their official website what techniques they are using in the making of the cue sticks.
Meucci started producing cue sticks in the 1960s. They are known for setting the standard for the significant cue manufacturer in using metal equipment instead of wood.
Meucci provides affordable cues with all the features you can need. They create much more flexible cue stick which helps with ball deflection. They usually use hard rock maple laminations.
Meucci develops a precision robot called the Myth Destroyer. That robot would test the cue ball speed and deflection a cue stick gives when striking the cue ball. It helped in the manufacturing of perfect cue sticks.
Comparison between Mcdermott, Predator and Meucci Cues:
Mcdermount, Predator, and Meucci are the top brands in respect of other cue brands. Their cues are demanded by the professional players. They vary in all aspect of the cue stick from weight to wood; from tip type to shafts.
Today we are here comparing these top three brands. One by one each of their cue’s properties will be compared, and a winner will be declared.
The smaller, narrowed end of the cue is called shaft. Shafts are made with various tapers. There are two common types of tapers. Pro taper and European tapers. Most professional players prefer the European taper, custom cue stick.
Mcdermount cue stick shaft features unique versions of the core structure to implement the 3-layered carbon fiber technology. Their designs provide accuracy and high-power performance. They have pro taper and short and jump shafts.
Predators cue stick shaft is made in the fashion of low deflection.
Meucci cue shafts are usually with low deflection technology too.
For me, it’s a win-win situation for Predators and Meucci.
Mcdermott cue stick has pro taper factor in which the cue ball can jump due to the positions of the shaft. While Predators and Meucci cue sticks make the cue ball to stay and move according to the hits.
Leather tips are commonly attached to the ferrule. They are with various curvatures and degree of hardness.
A leather tip usually compresses and hardens with shots. There are different types of tips. They vary from round tips to small tips. There is one-piece construction.
Now a day’s layered tips are also used. They are harder. Hard tips are better to sharp and they last longer.
McDermott uses synthetic leather tips, even made out of rubber. They have three layered tips in their latest editions, but their tips are usually round.
Predators now work with three-layered tips which are harder and round.
While Meucci used faux leathered, LEATHERED or rubber tips.
Predators are a winner in this category. Because there 3 layered tips are much better than other brands tips.
Hard tips are not easy to be destroyed with constant hitting on the cue ball. Small tips (round tips) spin the cue ball more. Round tips mean tips with a smaller radius. Other two brands are tied at second place.
The usual weight of the cue stick varies between 18 – 21 ounces in weight. When talking about the weight, we usually mean the total weight of the complete assembled cue stick. Mostly the weight lies in the butt end of the stick.
- Mcdermott cue sticks weight between 18 ounces to 19.5 ounces.
- Predators cue stick weighs between 19 ounces to 19.9 ounces.
- While Meucci cue weighs between 18 ounces to 21 ounces.
I think McDermott is a winner here because the lighter the cue, the more comfortable it is to grip and hit with the cue.
It’s a tie between the other two brands. They also provide variations in cue weight, but McDermott cues weights are considered to be ideal.
4. Wood Type:
There are many types of wood used in pool cues. Some of them are as under.
- Hard maple
- Black cherry wood
- Curly maple
- Tulipwood and other.
These wood types are used by their grains intra-structure and workability mode. It also depends upon the excess of that wood and its price. Whether the wood belongs to the endangered species or the tropical hardwood, it all comes down to customization.
McDermott, being one of the famous brands in pool games, they prefer maple wood and others depending upon the need. Usually, they work with Maplewood.
Predators and Meucci also go with maple wood as it are most easy to use and easy to mold.
McDermott is a winner in my eye as I can find much more variety of wood in their cues rather than Predators and Meucci.
Designing on cue can be done when there are no wraps on the butt region. With no wraps, a lot of space is left for designing.
McDermott prefers wood cue butt, so they have elaborated designing on them.
Predators usually work with linen wraps and sometimes with special customization, they do design.
Meucci works with leather and wood, so they also have elaborate designing as well.
It is a win-win situation for all in this category.
When we are purchasing the cue sticks, we always keep our budgets in our minds. Most beginners can go up to $100, and as the level increases, the price range also increases.
The price of the cue stick depends upon the customization and what technology is used in the manufacturing of it.
- McDermott cue stick usually ranges between $250 – $ 2000,
- Predator cue stick price ranges between $225 – $1850,
- Meucci price range is $100 -$2500.
I will always go with the Meucci Cue Sticks. As they are much lower in starting prices as compared with the other two brands.
They offer a variety of cue sticks with the price between $100 – $150.
Predators and Mcdermott starting prices are high as compared to Meucci, so they are tied on the second place for me.
There are always some special occasions when they are put on sale or auctions. Then the price range is bound to change or vary.
The color of the cue varies with the customization of it. Different brands go with dark tones because it gives you a sense of patience. Bright colors usually attract more eyes towards you, and you can become conscious over such attention.
McDermott uses dark tones in their cues while predator and muecci also go with dark, maple tones. The tones can be of black, dark blues, browns, maroons, etc.
In my opinion, it is an all winners situation. They are all going with the tones which everyone usually approves when playing pool games.
We hardly come across such people who are playing with bright yellow or orange cues. But again, it’s all about personal preferences.
8. Balance Point:
Usually the balance point is achieved from where the players grip the butt region of the cue. Most cue makers and custom cue makers try to put an additional metal disc of 1 or 2 ounce somewhere in between the stick to maintain the balance.
If the stick is unbalanced, the player will not be able to hit the cue ball properly, and the cue ball might jump off the pool table which is considered a foul, or the cue stick hits the table felt which needs to be repaired.
Mcdermott cues have a good balance point with nothing added in the center or anywhere in the cue stick, while Predators and Meucci work with rather a long cue stick. They sometimes add additional material to balance the cue.
Mcdermott is the winner. And it is a tie situation for the other two brands. Mcdermott is a winner because their cue sticks are naturally made with balancing point which means that over the period, the chances of the stick to losing it balancing is minimum.
Because of their internal structure, cue stick balancing point can be noticed when you hit a shot. Balancing of McDermott cue stick uses less power to hit, and the result is usually a clear shot in a favorable direction.
9. Cue Case:
Cases are those boxes in which the cue sticks are kept when they are not in use. It is for the best to keep them safe from dust or any other harm. Boxes are a compulsory accessory for the professional pool players. Here are some of the features that you should look for when buying a cue case.
Now, all the top brands of the pool have a variety of cue cases. They vary in color, the designing and the internal structure of the box.
They provide proper temperature to the stick that keeps it safe from any extra humidity and any damage. Damages could be little cracks which can develop over time if the stick hits the wall or falls on the floor.
McDermott cue boxes are easy in access to everyone. They can be simple cue stick sleeve covers with price ranging from mere $10 to highly finishes, the fully equipped rolling case with a price range of $350 and plus.
Predators cue boxes are most recognized among these three brands. Predators cue cases are luxury cases with proper placement and hardcovers price range from $150 and plus, while their sleeve covers cost $10.
While Meucci cue cases are not that famous. They do have sleeve covers, and not much is seen about them.
There is a tie between Predators and McDermott in this category. They offer a vast variety with a much easier approach.
Predators are a well-known brand when it comes to their cue cases. While McDermott offers a vast range as well.
10. Joint Structure:
Joint structure usually composes of shaft and butt. These two pieces are attached to each other at a joint. Normally a screw is rising from the butt end’s joint, and the receptacle in the shaft end.
The joints are usually made of plastic, brass, steel or wood. Customized cues have more expensive materials such as bone, antlers and other expensive materials.
McDermott usually opts with brass to the brass joint structure as that is very reliable while stainless steel is also common in use for McDermott.
Predators also go with stainless steel, plastic, and brass.
Meucci usually uses wood, brass and plastic joint structure. Now cues hare either full threaded joint structure or half threaded in which a player can easily assemble and disassemble the cues.
I will personally go with McDermott. Because McDermott joint structure has more brass work and they also provide with half threaded joint system. The other two brands also have almost the same options, but the cue is bought on personal choices.
The end of the shaft has a cuff which is called ferrule. The ferrule is used to hold the cue tip in place, and it is used against the brunt of the impact of the cue ball.
They were used to be made with ivory, but now they are usually made up of carbon fiber or plastic such as phenolic resin or melamine resin. They are very durable and protect the tip from cracking, chipping or breaking.
McDermott usually uses plastic ferrule, while predators cue performance highly depends upon the plastic ferrule design and composition. Performance enhancing materials are used in its making.
Meucci also uses a plastic ferrule. It is to be noted that it is no ordinary plastic but much more durable and specially made plastic such as melamine resin which can resist heat and hard impacts.
It is again an all winner situation. Now the usage of the plastic ferrule is common and easy to be made and handled.
The heavy, lower piece of the cue is called the butt. Mostly the bulk weight of the cue is distributed in the butt portion.
Butt has various construction methods such as three-piece to one piece and other custom versions are also available. Cue butt is made out of exotic wood like bocote, and they usually have different types of wraps on them.
Wraps can vary from leather to Irish Lenin. All are depending upon the grip they provide.
McDermott usually uses Irish linen while Predators use Leather varieties. Meucci wraps are usually leather wraps.
All work effectively for the player, and it majorly depends upon the customization and the personal choice of the customer. Use of simple wood which looks glossy is also used.
Its a tie for all the brands. All wraps are equal since they are upon personal choice and how comfortable a player can get with his or her cue butt wraps. When there are no wraps, the simple is more decorated and designed as there is more space for imagination.
Bumper is the final end part of the cue stick. It usually is made up of rubber or leather. It is to protect the end of the cue from getting cracked. Sometimes while playing, the rear end can hit the wall by mistake.
If such little mistakes keep happening over some time, it causes the cue to crack and the cue finished looks get destroyed.
McDermott usually opts for rubber as it is not only easy access but also cue response to rubber is very good.
Predators and Meucci also go with rubber, but they also use leather for the bumpers.
Its a tie between McDermott, predators, and Meucci. The bumper has to be either rubber or leather because these two items can resist sharp jerks and bounces back when hit upon something.
It is by no doubt that they are the top brands of the pool game. They vary from shaft to cue bumper. Each brand has its own top qualities, and neither one can be declared any less than the other.
But you should remember that these brands are customization specialist, and your preferences are their preferences.