Whenever we go to buy a pool cue, we get confuse between what to buy and what not to buy. There are just so many options available in the market.
We love some of the color options while some have those brands tags which we love to the fullest. What to do?
Don’t worry pool game lovers!
So, without wasting another minute, let’s dig in.
Table of Contents
- Major Pointers:
- Major Mistakes When Buying a Pool Cue:
Here we will be discussing all of those major things you should keep in mind while you are going for a cue purchase. Some points may hold more value than others, but they all are of equal importance.
The most important factor related to any purchase is your budget. You will never face any problem when you know your money availability.
It will save you from that future embarrassment and heart break which can occur when you finally select any pool cue for yourself after the struggle of going through almost every brand and discussions and research, and only then you realize that you cannot actually afford it.
This is one of the worst scenarios that can happen to you. So, do the first thing first and make a budget list for yourself. It will clarify you many things like how much can you afford and what kind of brands and materials you can include in this budget list.
2. Skill Level:
By skill level I mean your level of playing which could be beginners or mid-range players or professionals. Whatever your level is, it will guide you what kind of cue you will need.
Different levels of players have different sets of skills. Some are in the learning process while others are busy polishing their skills.
Beginners: They can have almost all the primary type of pool cues. They are generally made of wood, and no extra fancy work or designing is on them. You can always go for that kind of cue which are made of wood and have long durability.
In the beginning period, you will be having long sessions and contact hitting and shot practices and learning all your basic techniques and skills. You will need that kind of cue which will guide you through all such hard work and stand by you. Also, they are strong enough to help you go through the little damages. These types of cues are between the price range of $50 – $100.
Midrange players: All those players who play almost every week and know a lot about the games and techniques because of their love and enthusiasm are the mid-range players.
They are those players who are almost near the pros level but far ahead of beginners. They usually prefer the pros level cues because they require such assists which will guide them to the next level. These types of cues are made out of fancy wood or other materials.
These cues also involve different types of tips and ferrules; butt and wraps; weight and balancing is also an important aspect involved in the purchase of such pool cues. The price of mid-range cues is somewhere between $100 – $250.
Pros: As the name itself shows, this skill level is about the professional players. They already have developed skills, and they plan to keep on rendering them. They already have their hands set on their pool cues, but they are always looking for new cues.
When they go for the purchase, they always intend towards the famous cue makers to make them extraordinary beautiful and amazing looking cues which will provide all the necessary functions and more for the game. Plus, these types of cues are usually costly. Starting from $250 – the sky is the limit.
Occasional players: These types of players are a totally different breed. They play once a while and carry some different level of skills. They have their pool cues, and they usually play only with their cues.
All those players who are such occasional players, they usually go to different pool bars or places like friends home or own home for the game. Their cues are generally $250 – $500 or above.
You should always look for those cues that are performance enhancing cues. They are specials made for certain shots and are available in the market easily.
Like break shot, jump shot, etc. these pool cues with particular purpose or shots, are made with a certain type of materials such as butt could be made out of any wood or the wraps would be made out of Irish Lenin.
Such details provide great strength to the pool cue, and the player will especially utilize these pointers to gain as much positive result as possible.
Some players are tall, and some are of small build. They develop their styles according to that. You should buy your cue according to your style.
How to play a shot, how you stand or how low you bend or how you hold your pool cue; these details a play a vital role in the outcome of the good purchase. If you don’t look into such matter with this kind of interest then dear, you are in for a bad purchase.
You don’t want to ruin your hard work over ignoring such an essential aspect for gameplay and your style. Remember players, your style matters a lot because if you realized after the purchase that the newly bought pool cue is not up to your style, then you will do the following two things:
- You will play your natural game, and the cue will not support you as you were expecting. This will, of course, have a bad impact on you and your game play.
- You will have to go and buy a new cue, and maybe the retailer won’t refund it or change it. Then you bear the expense of a new cue and also bear the loss of this cue and the budget.
- That is why it is of utmost importance to look into your styles and try to learn as much as possible about style and the pool cue because it will definitely have a huge impact on the buying of the cue.
5. Weight and Balance:
Weight is the core center of any cue stick. Without the proper weight distribution, the cue is of no use. Without the proper balancing, the cue cannot produce desirable results.
Any cue which is out of balance will never be sold. This is true. No matter how harsh it may seem, but the reality is that these cues have no function and they are treated as a mal-production.
All those types of cues which are out of balance or are not standard regarding the weight issue, they will not be able to guide you to perform as per your talent.
An average cue weighs anywhere between 18oz. to 21oz. Many players demand lightly weighted cues because they are much easier to handle and use to hit shots. While the heavy weighted cues are difficult to use but most players with huge build prefer this type of cues because they can easily relate to them.
Any players with heavy or big hands cannot perform with small or thin cues. Likewise, small build players cannot perform well with the extra-long cue. There is a standard set by the Pool regulatory authorities to have the standard weight and balance for any cue. Those cues which are not made according to these standards, they will not get promoted by the makers, and they are usually destroyed before they can hit the market or selling stands.
There are usually two types of materials used in the making of the pool cue. They are;
Wood: The most common material is the wood. Now a day professional player has rested their trust in the cues made out of wood. Because first of all, this is the oldest type of material used in the cue making.
Different types of woods are used in the making of the cue such a maple, Cherrywood, oak, and many other types. The unknown types of woods are also used in the custom-made cues.
Fiberglass/graphite: Modern cues now majorly have ivory, ebony, and pine in the cues along with more exotic wood such as cocobolo, Brazilian rosewood and many others of such types. Usually, the exotic types of woods are used in the custom-made pool cues.
When it comes to fiberglass, this relatively new technique was introduced to have a new variety in the cue making. When different sheets of fiberglass were united together in the form of a sphere, a cue is formed out of it.
It is now easily available, but it is not preferred by the pros. It is resistant to the wraps because of its slippery and shiny nature. The price of the cue made out of fiberglass is relatively less than those compared with wood made cue.
You should make sure that if you’re comfortable with the fiberglass made cue only then you should buy it otherwise it is wise to spend you budget on the wood made pool cues.
Usually a cue can be broken down into two main parts. Let me mention here that there are one-unit cues also present which are basically used in the pubs or pool bars for customers. Now, when the cue is divided into two parts, it is a shaft and the butt. Here we are talking about the shaft.
Now the shaft consists of two parts: ferrule and tip. Tips, as we all know, is the top end of the cue which has the smallest diameter in the whole cue. There are different types of tips available such as;
- 9mm diameter,
- 10mm diameter,
- 12mm diameter,
- 13mm diameter and other.
The size of the tip usually defines the shot. The bigger the diameter, the more in center hit it will give while the smaller tip can sometimes cause a miscuing. I will recommend you to have more than one tip of different sizes so a variety can be included in your game.
As far as ferrule is considered, it is the joint where the tip is attached to the body of the cue. Different materials are used in the making of the ferrule. Get full information regarding the ferrule because if the ferrule is not strong, any powerful hit will not let him survive and ferrule will get damage very soon.
Butt is the end region of the cue. It is used to hold the cue from behind the body and power is shifted through that region. The intensity of the shot can be determined by the grip you have on the cue butt. It is a long wood/fiberglass made part where different designing can be done. This is the region where wraps are used.
When we talk about the butt, make sure that you are fully aware of your grip and hand movement.
Wraps are those cloth type material used to cover at the butt region of the cue. They provide positive friction in the grip of the player on the cue. With proper wraps, players feel comfortable to hit powerful shots as the wraps usually prevent any kind of sweating, slippery movements or stiffness in hand.
There are mostly three main types of wraps used in the market by almost every top brand, and they are as under:
- Irish linen.
- Synthetic leather.
- Synthetic rubber.
When we purchase a new cue and take that in our grip, we are instantly attached to it. We develop special feeling with it. We will hate to leave the cue for the reason of slippery or stiffness.
That is why these wraps were introduced to get comfortable with the cue. The wraps mentioned above are most commonly used, but other options are also available regarding the wraps.
You must make sure that you are comfortable with these wraps. Now the interesting part is that many kinds of wood made cues did not use to have wraps. Though it can add according to the players choice or request. The wraps are now used on wood. Fiberglass made cues doesn’t have wraps as they can become slippery over them.
A significant factor regarding any pool cue is the length of it. Usually, there are different lengths involved in the cue, but major categories are two which are as under:
- Long length.
- Short length.
The common length of any cue is around 57″ in size. Many people used the different size cue according to the shot. But I will advise you to think well before the purchasing as you will get stuck with the wrong size length for a long time if you did not pay attention here.
You must take the most common length required by any standard cue to have positive results.
Accessories are an as important factor as any other element. The cleaning kit, extra tips, cue bag, traveling bag, etc. these all are the must-have accessories to have when you are looking of the buying of a cue. You must include them in your budget as they provide the proper maintenance of the pool cue.
Without the cleaning kit, a cue is bound to get dusty, and it will lose its sense of easiness around the wrap area. Other damages can occur such as broken or chipped tips. The joint can get dusty and develop dirt patches around the rings.
Traveling can get risky for such delicate structures. You will need proper cue bags which come with proper placement compartments for the easy placing of the cues. You can place more than two according to space.
Even the traveling forms the pool gym or place where you are supposed to play from your homes or other small travel can cause any kind of damage. That is why; you must keep the sleeve covers at your disposal.
With all these necessary accessories, I am sure you will definitely keep a healthy cue stick that will have a long durability.
12. Color Options:
Color option is something which entirely depends upon your own choice. Mostly dark color themed cues are used. I have never seen any bright colored cue anywhere.
Mostly dark red, dark brown, mahogany, blood red, brick red, crimson and other such colors are used. Sometimes the color of the wood is highlighted and that works just fine and wonderful. But again, it rests totally upon the self-choice.
Now this is an option which is totally linked with the budget of yours. If you have a vast budget or money is not the issue, then you can always go and purchase from the legends which are costly and sometimes insane costly but if the situation is totally reversed then you can go for detail research.
Have your priorities set out clearly and then look for your favorite cue, but hey! That is like a onetime such purchase.
Major Mistakes When Buying a Pool Cue:
The major elements you must keep in view when you are purchasing a brand-new pool cue are explained above. I must say that there are a few elements which we do not keep into account while the purchase is happening.
These are the major mistakes we make when buying a pool cue. When the cue has been bought, there is no turning back from there, and only then we realize what a mistake has been made. So, to avoid such uncomfortable situations, we must avoid the following mistake:
Having a cue just like your friend’s: no matter how cool your friend’s cue looks, you should not buy the same just because of that.
That cue which belonged to your friend was according to his style and comfort. You should buy yours according to your comfort and for your ease in playing pool. Copying a cue from someone else’s collection is never a good idea.
It is so bad that you will start disliking the brand and your friend’s choice, if the bought cue did not bring you any special feeling or connection. So, develop your style and purchase a cue according to that.
14. Not Trying it out First:
Imagine you bought a cue and when you came home, you realized that it has some problems while playing a shot. This usually happened when you don’t try it out first.
By trying out, I mean that you must play a few shots on an actual pool table. Try different positions and different kinds of shot. You will see how the cue behaves under different shots and how it does not behave.
I would suggest that you must try out a couple of different cues and try them on different types of pool tables and with different shots, only then you will be able to pick a cue which will provide benefits to you.
15. Choosing the Wrong Weight:
Always remember to buy any cue regardless of the brand name on the basis of its weight. You must be wondering why is it so important to value your cue on the basis of weight.
Weight has so much importance in playing a shot that only players will understand. Weight and balance hold what kind of importance, it has been explained above in details.
But choosing the appropriate kind of weight is the art. You should match your cue according to your size and build. If you are small, the weight must be accordingly, or else you will find it hard to balance it, and you will fire a miss-shot.
Also, if the build is strong and you are heightened, the big strong and long cue will not only look good, but they will hold a special effect for you.
16. Buying For Looks:
What a useless idea it is to purchase a cue by its looks. I know it’s very shiny and attractive and you want an awesome looking cue for your collection or even as your first cue, you would not like if it does not provide you the results which you are looking for.
Go with the working rather than looks; this is the theory behind buying a new cue.
17. Not Trying Different Wraps:
You never know how your cue behaves with a different kind of wrap around your hand. You must try different kind of wraps and see how you feel with them. See how your shots are when you are using different types of wraps.
If you are always using leather, you would never know the feeling with Irish Lenin or synthetic rubber. It might surprise you with all these changes, the results will come as a surprise.
You should avoid this mistake and try all kind of wraps before finalizing on anyone.
18. Just Because It’s Free:
Never ever go for that way where they are offering free cues. Imagine you buy a cue which is being offered as free or buy one get one free kind-of offers. Usually, that offers have cheap style of cues, and they don’t live long or have strong abilities.
I will warn you that when you are going for such cues which are being offered as free or with different sponsors, beware. Those cues might turn out worse than you can imagine.
19. No Additional Cue At All:
Buying a cue only when you are having the first purchase done and not buying after that is like a disaster in waiting. Your one and only cue can face any damage in any kind of circumstances.
You will be left with nothing, and then you will have to go through the process of buying a brand-new pool cue from the start. This is a very long and tough routine regarding the purchase.
There are many circumstances in which you will need another cue such as you to have friends invited over for the play or your cue tip just got chipped. There are other reasons as well for adding a new cue to your cue collection. But you must always keep looking for new cues always and always.
Whenever you want to buy a pool cue, you must keep the above-mentioned points in your mind. They will not only help in a good purchase but also with increasing an amazing collection to your pool cue.
There is no limit of satisfaction when things related to pool come because it is not just a game, but it is more of a passion and way of living with grace and style.
I hope by now you must have understood different points and factor related to buying and hope they will provide the right guidance whenever you go for the cue purchasing.
But always remember that any cue bought at any time can lead to many successes and also many defeats so be honest with yourself and treat the cue with respect. Who knows, the very first bought cue can win you many tournaments.