A lot of Billiard guys fret about their pool cue tips, and they are right. Indeed, the importance of a decent cue tip is immense, it can significantly impact your game. That’s why alongside purchasing the right type of cue tip you should also focus on its maintenance, i.e. shaping of a cue tip. It’s easy and cheap, you can do it yourself. No need to go to any shop for this purpose.
So in this article, I’ll show you how you can shape the tip of your snooker or pool cue stick using different techniques.
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Luckily, none of the ways require you to buy an expensive tool kit to shape your cue stick. Let’s start with the Nickel.
Nickel or dime are often considered as great tools to shape your snooker or pool cue tip. Sit down and keep your cue stick on your both legs, and put the dime on the tip of the cue. Now roll your cue in such a way that the Nickel remains over the tip at one end and the cue stick keeps rolling.
Or, you can do it any other way that feels convenient to you. The bottom line is, you can use a Nickel to shape your cue tip.
If you don’t mind buying a tool for this purpose, a long-term investment, then you can shape your cue tip with a Tip Shaper. The process is simple, just put the shaper with a bowl-shaped depression on the floor and flip your cue stick upside down and put the tip into the depression.
Hold your cue stick from the other end, near the butt and roll the cue back and forth between your palms as if you are rolling a meatball. After a couple of minutes, you’ll get a well-shaped cue.
Though it may sound a tedious job to some, given the result of this type of shaping, the effort is worth it.
Also, you can use sandpaper to shape your cue tip. The process is pretty simple, just rub a swatch of sandpaper briskly across it moving down from top of the tip. And rub the cue at an angle of around 50 degrees. Do it for a couple of minutes and your cue tip will be back in ideal shape.
Now that you know some of the best ways to shape your cue tip, let me guide you a bit about the shapes. What shape is best to play with?
Experts believe rounded tip is better than the flat tip because you want to avoid miscues and want to have precise control on the spin. And for this purpose, a rounded tip does the job better than the flat tip.
Actually, there are multiple cue tip shapes you’ll come across. But the most popular ones are flat rounded. Chances are you might not even have heard of other shapes that you’ll learn here.
Rounded cue tip shape is the most common one. The cue is neatly round so it can make a better contact and offer greater spin. It is also known as domed shape sometimes.
Flat cue tip is flat, not even a hint of any curve or roundness is visible.
Such tip is shaped in such a way that it is always a size up from the ferrule diameter.
It is also an oversized tip (cone like shape) with slides slicing diagonally to meet the ferrule diameter.
Though most of the people are aware of the fact that round tips are better, they often go with flat tips. Why?
Because they don’t have time to shape their tip regularly (which rounded tip requires). After taking questions from Billiard players from different regions on a platform, I have reached a conclusion on the Flat vs Rounded tip shape topic.
Curved tips are the best way to go. They give you more control, they are hailed spin friendly (the greater the spin on the ball the better your game will get), and they also offer more contact with the ball.
On the other hand, though easy to maintain, flat tips offer none of the above mentioned things. Beginner or expert, amateur or pro, on most of the occasions you’ll see them preferring round tips.
So, you probably have made up your mind to keep your cue tip in rounded shape. Now the next question is , how often should you shape your cue tip?
Well, there is no specific time duration, like after how much time you need to shape them. The thing is, it varies for everyone how much they use their cue sticks.
Some might play with them on a daily basis while some would only take it out on weekends/holidays.
For the sake of your cue tip’s performance, you can shape the cue tip the moment you see it losing its shape. And more often than not, you’ll get an idea with the change in the game.
A common indication for this is your shots not going in the right direction, less spin on the ball, and lack of precision. When you feel these things, and you see the tip losing its shape, the time has arrived to shape it!
Normally, you have to give some time to the new tip to get in shape. And for yourself, too, to learn about the dynamics of the new tip.
However, in some cases, Billiard players suggest that new tips might need some shaping too. Especially if its current shape is way different than the shape you prefer.
So in such instances, even a new tip might require shaping.
What shape should cue tip be?
Players have different preferences. However, the majority of them play with a curved/rounded tip.
Does cue shape has any impact?
Yes, there are traits associated with different shapes. Based on your preferences, you might not enjoy playing with any shape other than the one you are accustomed to.
What’s the cheapest way to shape a cue?
All three methods to shape your cue, that are mentioned above, are cheap. You don’t have to buy anything, except for the cue tip shaper (if you opt for this way). However, it’s not expensive.
Like every other billiard accessory, your cue tip requires regular maintenance. Or else, you pay the price in the form of less control and spin on the ball. Now that you know how to shape a cue tip, it shouldn’t be a problem for you to shape it in your preferred shape and maintain it to ensure its durability.