If you have watched professionals playing billiards on television, you must have realized they use separate cues for playing, one for taking ordinary strokes while one for breaking. So the cue that is used for breaking is normally called a Break cue. Also, sometimes it’s called Jump Break cue because players often use this cue for Jump shots.
So that brings us to our first part of the discussion, what actually is a Break Cue? And if you really need a Break cue or not? If yes, then what should be the weight of your Break cue?
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Actually normal cues and break cues have the same design and same look, while the major difference is found in the constructions of the both. Break cues have thicker shafts accompanied by shot ferrules and hard phenolic tips. That’s why when you hold them, they feel heavier than the normal cues.
Let me show you in a brief how their shafts, ferrules and phenolic tips are different from the normal ones.
Break cue shafts are thicker because for the purpose they are supposed to be used for, a break requires a lot more force than playing a normal stroke. When breaking, you always try to put as much force as possible behind the ball so all of your intended balls can move.
In some billiard games, it’s mandatory to hit a particular ball to a particular area, that’s why it becomes necessary to generate significant force behind every shot.
This butt is responsible for the majority of the weight of your Break cue. And also because of this heavy butt, Break cues are quite heavy.
In break cues, the end of the butt is heavier than the normal one. It has a wrap on it, could be Irish Linen, Leather, or Rubber.
For a Break cue, a grip is necessary because it gives you control over your cue. Controlling a heavy cue is difficult, and excessive sweating due to extra weight can cause miscues. That’s why all Break cues have a durable grip to prevent issues during the break.
If you have heard the general advice regarding the Pool cue tips, you are likely to be using soft or medium tips. The thing is, these two types hold the chalk well and as it goes without saying, the better a stick holds the chalk the pleasant your playing experience will be with a stick.
But in Break cues, we opt for hard tips. Though they can be difficult to control, especially when you are an amateur, they bring power behind the Break – which is what you need when you are supposed to hit multiple balls at once in a single hit. They don’t mushroom or wear down quickly despite regular Breaking.
While the rest of the things got bigger, harder, and thicker, the ferrule in such cues is smaller than the normal cue sticks.
In Break cues, this ferrule is less than half in length of the normal cue’s ferrule. Short ferrules are great in absorbing strong impacts. These ferrules are made of hard and durable phenolic resin or carbon fiber.
If you are interested in learning the difference between a normal cue and a break cue, check out our detailed article.
Now that you know what are Break cues and what their purpose is, you must be thinking, do you really need a break cue? Two things to ask yourself before your decide:
If you are a professional or striving to become a professional billiards player one day, then you need the Break cue.
Rarely you’ll come across such a professional who plays with one cue. Also, the use of Break cues is common among professionals so they can prevent any damage to their normal cues, who might not be able to withstand breaks.
So, in order to live your dream, you need to buy a Break Cue now to start practicing with it.
If billiards is just a recreational activity for you, and you have no plans of competing anywhere against the pros, then you might not feel the need for a Break cue. A single cue stick would be suffice for you for both, breaks and normal play.
So, you have made up your mind of buying one. Alright, but hold on for a minute. Do you know what weight Break cue is best for you?
Now, I’ll talk about Break cue weights. As said earlier, Break cues are heavier than the normal cues, but how heavy they should be varies from person to person. So how do you determine what is the best weight for a break cue for you?
For instance, your normal cue stick has a weight between 18 oz – 20 oz. If you straightaway switch a cue stick that is significantly heavier than your normal stick you won’t be able to handle it. So you must consider your current stick’s weight before making any random guess.
A Break cue stick can weigh up to 27 oz, which I don’t recommend for you if you have never used a Break cue stick before.
What size is best for you, only you can tell. Because at the end of the day it’s you who’s supposed to take a break with it.
So I suggest you always take a Break cue stick in your hands and feel the weight yourself. Try executing some breaks with it, if possible. And only then decide what weight lies in your comfort zone.
If I sum this up, there are two types of Break cues, heavy (between 21 oz to 27 oz) and light (18 oz – 20 oz) (according to Break cue standards).
Now it’s up to you, either you can buy a light one to compensate for lightness with more force or use heavier cues to minimize your effort while breaking.
Before I sum up this article, let’s just quickly walk you through some of the compelling benefits of using a Break cue for breaking.
How long is a jump cue?
A Jump cue is normally around 40 inches. However, based on your height and comfort, you can reduce or increase a few inches.
What should I look for in a break cue?
Mass, or I should say weight. It should be solid enough to give you powerful breaks. But make sure you can hold it with ease.
What weight pool cue do pros use?
Since the average weight of normal cue sticks used by pros is 19-19.5 oz, the Break cues are normally over 20 oz, going up to 27 oz.
With that being said, you must have understood what is a Break cue and who needs it. Furthermore, just in case you have made up your mind for buying one, you might still feel confused regarding which size Break cue you should buy. With above mentioned recommendations, you can easily make a judgement based on your skill level and comfort zone in terms of weight.