If you have been playing and watching billiards for a significant amount of time, you must have seen players using two types of cue sticks, one for normal play while one specifically for the break.
The one used for the break is called a “Break Cue”, while the one used during the normal strokes is called “Normal Cue”.
But then the question arises, what is the difference between Regular cue and Break cue, aren’t both the same in design?
In this short article, I’m going to point out a few differences between a regular cue and break cue so you can understand both types with utmost clarity.
|Area of Comparison||Normal Cue||Break cue|
|Usage||Normal cue is used for normal shots during the play||Break cue is specifically used for the break|
|Shaft||Normal cue’s shaft is not really thick||Break cues shaft is quite thick|
|Butt||Normal cue’s butt has less weight||Break cue’s butt is heavier than normal cue’s|
|Tip||The tip is normally soft or medium||Break cues have hard tips|
|Ferrule||The ferrule is of around 1”||The ferrule is quite shorter, almost half of the normal ferrule’s length|
|Weight||They are lighter in weight, around 19-21 oz||They are normally heavier than the normal stick, a Break cue can weigh up to 27 oz.|
As mentioned at the top, normal cue is used for normal shots while break cue only comes out when you are supposed to break.
There are two reasons why players have different cue sticks for both purposes. First is most of the players prefer to play with lighter sticks with soft-medium tips.
Thus, with such sticks breaking becomes slightly difficult, and there is also a chance you might end up breaking your cue tip because you have to exert considerable power behind every shot when you are breaking.
Secondly, players become so accustomed to their normal cue sticks while playing that they don’t want to inflict any damage to them. So when they are taking a break, they use a heavier and stronger cue stick for this purpose.
As said earlier, the butt, which is the last part of the cue stick, is heavier in Break cue as compared to normal cues.
The thing is, this butt is supposed to add force to the cue you put in taking shots. So the heavier it is, the better the impact on the ball gets.
Also, the heavier this weight is, the more difficult it gets to control the cue stick. That’s why these butts have wraps in the form of leather, Irish Linen, and rubber.
However, these grips have no such difference when it comes to normal or Break cues. You can choose any grip that you feel comfortable playing with.
Then comes the shaft, the part between the butt and ferrule. Pool cue shafts, or in other words, normal cue shafts are not really thick. Because of their light use, they don’t have to be made thick so they can withstand strong impact.
On the other hand, break cue shafts are quite thick, for they are supposed to bear heavy impact.
Generally, there is no benchmark regarding how thick they should be, but when you go out to shop next time, examine both the normal cue’s shaft and break cue shaft, you’ll get a better idea.
You may have heard of the advice for amateurs that don’t play with too hard tips, you’ll struggle with it. And that’s also true for normal cues, more or less, you’ll see even pros playing with soft and medium tips.
But in break cues, hard tips are used. Once again, the reason is the same, a hard tip can withstand the impact of being hit to any ball or multiple balls with a great force. But not soft or medium tips, they’ll wear down soon or can be damaged as well.
In normal cue sticks, the length of a ferrule is around 1” and they are made of linen material. While in break cues, this length of the ferrule can be as short as half of the normal ferrule.
The reason is, small ferrules can absorb the shock better when hit with great force. To make them durable, break cue ferrules are made with carbon fiber.
One of the notable differences between the two types of cue sticks is their weights. Break cues are normally heavier than the normal cues. A break cue’s weight can be as high as 27 oz.
While normal cues are lighter. Average weight of normal cues is between 18 oz to 21 oz. For kids, normal cues are even available at a little weight of 16 oz.
If you want to excel on the Pool table and turn yourself into a pro in the coming years, you must learn to play with a break cue. Because using a break cue not only improves your break but also helps you to protect your normal cue from the damage it can be vulnerable to, if you execute breaks with it. And learning the difference between the two is the first step in buying your break cue. With the above mentioned differences, hopefully you’d be able to buy the right weight of break cue stick for yourself.