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The pool cue you choose is going to have a major impact on your game. If you opt for the wrong ‘tool for the job’, then you will never be able to play at the top of your game. Of course, selecting the right pool is easier said than done. We hope our expert advice will steer you in the right direction.
So, how do you choose a pool cue? You will need to consider a variety of factors. Size and weight are likely to be a major consideration. You will also wish to consider the portability of the pool cue. The main consideration, however, will be the quality of the pool cue. High-quality cues will make it easier to take shots.
Of course, this only tells half the story. We have plenty more advice to share with you to ensure that you can find the right pool cue for the job.
How to Choose a Pool Cue
There are several factors that you will need to consider if you want to ensure that you purchase the right pool cue for your playing needs. We will run you through each of the factors in this section. This should give you a solid idea about which pool cue is right for you.
The first decision you need to make is determining how much you are willing to spend on a pool cue. After all, there is no sense in searching for a pool cue, only to find that the majority of the models that you seem to like are well out of your price range.
Pool cues come in a variety of different prices. They can start at $20-$30 and go all the way up to several hundred dollars.
It is important that you do not opt for a pool cue that is ‘too cheap’. Some of the cheaper products on the market will vibrate a little bit when you are taking your shot. This can hamper your game. So, if your budget for a brand new pool cue is a little bit more limited, then you should try to save up a bit more cash to get something ‘better’.
One-Piece or Two-Piece Pool Cue?
One-piece pool cues tend to be a bit cheaper than their two-piece counterparts. However, do bear in mind that they are not all that portable. So, the one-piece pool cue tends to be recommended for use in the comfort of your own home.
Two-piece pool cues will be formed of two pieces that screw together. This means that you can break them down and carry them in a cue bag. This is ideal if you are traveling to various events to play pool i.e. if you do not have a pool table at home.
The downside of a one-piece pool cue is that they are more prone to warping, which means that they may not last as long as a two-piece pool cue.
The downside to opting for a two-piece pool cue is that if you purchase one that is too cheap, the pieces may not screw together properly. This means that the cue can be a little bit off-balance. That being said, a lot of pros will play with a two-piece as it is easier to replace the components.
The Length of the Pool Cue
The length of the pool cue will impact how easy it is for you to hold. A pool cue that is too long or too short will be off-balance, and this can make it harder to take shots.
While the length of the pool cue is likely to be an individual decision, this quick list should give you an idea as to which length is likely the right one for your height:
- Most adults should purchase a pool cue that is 57″ or 58″
- Anybody over 6-foot, 5-inches should opt for a 61″ pool cue
- Children should opt for a pool cue that is either 48″ or 52″, depending on their height.
The Weight of the Pool Cue
Again, this is something that is very much going to be a ‘personal’ decision. In most cases, you should be opting for a 20-ounce pool cue.
It is important to consider your playstyle here. If, when you play, you have a tendency for your backhand to sit lower than your front hand, this could indicate that your pool cue is too heavy. As a result, you may want to pick something a bit lighter than 20-ounces.
If you can afford it, it may actually be worth purchasing two cues. One should be lightweight and the other a bit heavier. This will enable you a bit more control over the various shots you can take. For example; the heavier pool cue will be perfect for the shots that need a lot of power, while lightweight will allow intricate shots.
The bottom half of the pool cue, known as the butt, may have a wrap on it. This will be a small amount of material designed to assist you in gripping the pool cue. These wraps can be different between pool cues.
Now, some pool cues are not going to have a wrap on, but most will. Those that do not have a wrap on will just be bare wood. For some, this can be a bit difficult to hold. If you are new to the game of pool then you will almost certainly want to pick up a cue with a wrap. It will ensure a better grip when you are playing.
Wraps can come in a variety of different materials. The problem is that it can be tough to know which one is right for you. While rubber is often regarded as the best wrap for a pool cue as it will provide the most grip, some may prefer leather.
This is something that you will need to experiment with. If you can, try to sample a few pool cues ‘in person’. Ask your friends if you can test their pool cues. You will instantly know which one is going to be absolutely perfect for you.
The Tip of the Pool Cue
Nowadays, this is probably not going to be that much of an issue. On all but the cheapest of pool cues, you should be able to replace the tips with whatever one you want. However, it may still be worth considering what your pool cue will come equipped with ‘out of the box’.
Most players should be opting for a pool cue with a medium cue tip. If you opt for something too soft, you will be forever replacing it and there will be less ‘grip’ when you are taking a shot. If you are a fan of more intricate styles of play, then you will barely have any control over a ball when you use a hard cue tip.
As you start to play more and more pool, you will start to become familiar with your own playstyle. This means that you may want to try something that isn’t a medium cue tip. This is why it is so important that you choose a pool cue with replaceable tips on it. It means you do not have to replace the entire cue when you want to try something new.
When selecting a pool cue, you should probably be paying attention to the manufacturer. Try to avoid purchasing pool cues from ‘no-name’ brands, or those that tend to produce toys. You tend not to get anything that will perform well.
You should stick to brands that have a reputation to protect. This means companies like Lucasi, Valhalla, AB Earth, and PureX, to name but a few. Since these companies mostly only produce pool equipment, you know that anything you buy from them will be fairly decent.
This shouldn’t really be your main consideration, but you probably want your pool cue to look good, right? There are plenty of pool cue designs on the market, so once you have considered everything else, you will probably want to narrow down a design you really like.
If you are purchasing a pool cue, it is important that you read reviews. These will tell you how a particular pool cue is likely to perform, and whether there is anything that you should be wary of. You should never buy something like this ‘blind’. You need to know that you are spending your money on something of value.
How Do You Know You Are Using The Wrong Pool Cue?
There are a few ways to tell when your pool cue isn’t quite right for you. The following tips should help.
Firstly; you should be checking regularly to see if your pool cue has started to warp. There are two ways you can do this:
- Hold the pool cue up straight and look down the shaft of it from the back to the front. There should be no bend.
- Roll the pool cue on the table. It should roll smoothly.
When you are lining up your shot, if you constantly find that your backhand rests lower than your front hand, then this is an indicator that the pool cue is a little bit too heavy for you.
You will know that the pool cue is too short if you don’t really have to stretch to reach the butt of the pool cue when you are lining up a short. A pool cue that is too short will not allow you to get full power behind the shots that you are making.
If you cannot reach the wrap of the pool cue when you are lining up your shot (i.e. the end of the butt) then the pool cue is likely too long for you. You will probably need to purchase the next size down.
If you find that the hand that rests on the butt is slipping, then it means that the wrap is wrong for you. Rubber wraps, and bare wood, tend to be awful for those that grip onto the pool cue tightly, or those that sweat a lot. You may want to try a linen wrap instead. This will allow for a far tighter grip on the pool cue.
As we have said before, the more pool that you play with your cue, the more you will become familiar with what you like and do not like about it. When you choose to buy a new one, try and make sure you opt for one that fits your needs even better.
Do You Need a Pool Cue Case?
Yes. It should preferably be a hard case too.
Pool cues are thin pieces of wood. This means that they can warp easily. The slightest knock can stop the pool cue from being straight. This can make it difficult to play with. In fact, we would never recommend playing with a pool cue that isn’t completely straight.
In addition to this, a pool cue case will help to prevent some moisture from getting into the pool cue. This can warp it. It will not help completely in the most humid of environments, but it can slow down the warping process.
How Often Should Your Pool Cue Be Replaced?
If you purchase a quality pool cue, it is very rare that you will need to replace it. A lot of them can go decades being used fairly regularly. The only time that you will probably consider replacing the pool cue is if the cue is visibly warped.
That being said, you will likely need to change the pool cue tip regularly. If you are playing pool fairly heavily (more than a few hours per week), then it is likely that you will need to replace the pool cue tip at least once per year. This will ensure that the tip connects with the ball properly, allowing greater control over your shots.
What Are The Best Pool Cues On The Market?
There are some brilliant pool cues on the market. While we cannot possibly go through all of the best cues out there, we do want to draw your attention to ones that have generated rave reviews. These are the pool cues that are more likely to give you a fantastic playing experience.
While Lucasi pool cues (see Amazon) lay at the upper end of the spectrum ‘price-wise’, they are worth each and every dollar that you spend on them.
Part of the reason why Lucasi pool cues are much-coveted is that their products are built to last years and years, providing you choose the right cue for your needs. Their maple construction means that they are a lot less prone to warping.
The Lucasi Rengas comes in a multitude of different weights, far more than most other pool cues on the market. This really enables you to choose the weight that is absolutely perfect for you.
AB Earth pool cues (learn more) are considerably cheaper than Lucasi offerings, but they are still of high quality. In fact, these pool cues are recommended for those players that want something decent but do not have a huge budget to play about with.
The textured paint grip of the AB Earth Pool Cues are fantastic for those that find their hands slip quite a bit on bare wood and rubber but do not necessarily enjoy the feel of linen or leather. The painted grip helps to keep the price down without really hampering the game of the user.
PureX pool cues are known for their interesting grip system. While it may not be to everybody’s tastes, the rubber grip of these PureX pool cues has been designed in such a way that you position your hand in different ways. The idea is that you can move your hand up and down the grip, allowing for more control over different types of shots.
A lot of people regard the PureX pool cues as some of the best ‘break cues’ on the market. When used correctly, they allow you to put a huge amount of power behind your shots.
What happens if you play with a pool cue that is the wrong size?
If the pool cue is too short, the player will have difficulty ensuring they have a decent amount of reach taking their shot. If the pool cue is too long, the pool cue will be unbalanced, which can reduce the amount of power the player can put into their shit.
Are one-piece pool cues better than two-piece pool cues?
Unless a player is traveling, they should always be using one-piece pool cues. Two-piece pool cues connect up in the center. Over time, they may not ‘slot’ together straight, and this can hamper the play of the player.
Can you replace the tip of a pool cue?
This will be dependent on the pool cue that has been purchased. Generally speaking, better quality pool cues will have a replaceable tip. This is important because it helps to ensure the longevity of the pool cue.