Snooker Cue Vs Pool Cue (Here’s the Difference)

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snooker cues and balls
Snooker Cues

Do you know what’s that common thing between a snooker, pool, and carom billiard game? Yes, these are all cue games, named so because they use a cue stick used to strike a cue ball. These tapered sticks made from wood are about 57 to 61 inches in length, weighing between 16 and 21 ounces.

The similarities end here, because therein start the differences that make the cue sticks unique and built for the specific game. Snooker game uses 22 balls while the pool game has 15 balls. When the balls differ in number shape, size, and color, it’s obvious that the cue stick will also be different.

In this post we will discuss about Snooker Cue Vs Pool Cue because it’s really difficult to tell them apart when they are kept next to each other. Beginners often wonder what makes them different and have a hard time identifying; hence we have gathered all useful information to help you get a better insight.

While the well experienced snooker and pool players can certainly tell the difference between these cues, some of them do not know the reason behind the diversification. Before we breakdown the differences based on the various aspects of the cue sticks, let’s discuss about the snooker and pool cue in general.

CategorySnooker cuePool cue
Cue Tip 9mm – 10.5 mm12mm – 15 mm
MaterialNorth American straight grained AshNorth American straight grained Ash (English cue) Maple (American cue)
Size of the Cue 57-58 inches57-61 inches
Weight of the Cue16-18 oz16-21 oz

Snooker Cue

The snooker cue like this is specifically designed to strike the snooker balls that are 22 in total comprising of 15 red balls, 1 cue ball, and 6 colored balls. They have a standardized 52.5 mm diameter, with a tolerance of plus/minus 0.05 mm. Although no standard weight is determined, they must be within a tolerance of 3 g. The dimension and geometry of snooker balls matter a lot.

Pool Cue

Pool Cues

No points for guessing that a pool cue is used for striking the pool balls that are typically 2 and ¼ inch, hence slightly heavier than the snooker balls. Hence, the pool cues are built in a way to reflect this difference. The typical weight of a standard pool cue is about 16-21oz and you need to choose the best pool cues that can help you play the game as you like.

Difference Between Snooker Cue Vs Pool Cue

The biggest and major difference between the two lies in the size of the cue tips. Other differences include the type of material used in the making, weight, and size of the cue. Let’s break down the differences and look at each one in detail.

#1. Cue Tips

Cue tips are made of impregnated leather that grips and absorbs the impact of the ball to give you a certain degree of control. The point at which the ball is struck, the speed and angle of the strike all determine the movement of the ball, causing it to spin, screw, or go side.

As mentioned above, the most important difference is the dimension of the cue tip that varies depending on the need for precision and control while aiming balls of 2.07 Inches in diameter. The snooker tip is typically smaller and shorter, ranging from 9mm to 10.5 mm to get a good shot.

Pool cue tips are considerably larger than the snooker cues, and they are usually between 12mm and 15mm. The cue tips for the English pool differ slightly and they are about 8mm – 9.5 mm. They are designed in this way to control the bigger balls having a diameter of 2.25 inches (57.2mm).

There are two main types of cue tips used in the industry, and they are fixed tips and screw-in tips. While there are several different brands of each of these varieties, they fall into these two categories. The high-quality cues come with fixed leather tips while the cheaper ones will; make a rattling sound when used.

#2. Material Used

When discussing the difference in a snooker and pool cue, the material is an important aspect to consider. As they have different types of cues, the materials that they are made from also differ widely. Snooker cues are usually made from North American straight grained Ash material, strong and stable wood that allows enough flexibility required for the game.

Now, talking about the pool cues, there are two varieties of them – the American pool cue and the English pool cue. While the English cues are made from the same material used in the construction of Snooker cues, the American cues are made from maple wood.

Both the types of materials are robust to provide the required flexibility for an accurate and precise shot. However, it’s worth noting that the English cues and snooker cues are considerably lighter than the American pool cue, so if you have the habit of playing with heavy cues, you will not be satisfied with a lightweight cue.

#3. Butts and Design

The butts of both snooker cue and English pool cue are made of ebony, which is a dense, black wood with nearly no grain. Sometimes, they may be made from rosewood material that lends a reddish-brown hue with a much visible grain.

The butts may either be machine sliced or hand sliced. In the former case, the butts tend to have a finer point where the darker or black wood meets the lighter shaft wood. Hand sliced butts on the other hand require more skill, hence they are much more expensive.

The American pool players typically use a break cue that is heavily reinforced and designed in a way to provide a much higher impact. This stand-alone cue is specifically used to withstand the force. Butt decoration used on the American pool cues are usually more intricate than its counterpart English or Snooker cues.

See Also: Can You Use the Back of the Pool Stick

#4. Size of the Cue

Speaking about the difference in the size of both cues, there’s not to say much because they are almost of equal size. The standard size for pool and snooker cues are approximately 57 inches, which is equivalent to 145 cm. However, there is a slight difference between the English cues and American cues.

While the English pool cues measure about 57 inches, the American pool cues are nearly 58 inches that equal to 147 cm. Both the snooker and pool cues come in two pieces, hence you can easily screw on a much longer extension butt if required.

#5. Weight of the Cue

The weight differs a lot based on the size, tip, and material used in making it. Let’s not forget that the snooker cues require accuracy and so they are significantly less heavy than the pool cues. The typical weight of a snooker cue is about 18-20 oz.

The pool cues on the other hand need more power to strike the significantly heavier ball with accuracy. Hence they weigh slightly heavier than the snooker cues. The pool cues weigh approximately 19-21 oz.

American Pool Cues Vs British Pool Cues

Having discussed the major differences between snooker cues and pool cues, let’s also take a closer look at the two different types of pool cues. As mentioned above, straight-grained Ashwood is used for making a snooker cue for its remarkable strength and flexibility.

The English pool cues use the same quality of wood in the production process, while its American counterpart used maple wood. As a result, the American cues have a plainer look and softer feel, with a more ornate coating on the butt and lower shaft.

Furthermore, the English pool cues tend to be significantly lighter than the American pool cue. The cue tip of the former has a coarse tip to give users a better grip. It is often covered in a small brass ferrule to bring about a better force for a break shot.

There are a few American cues that come with coated carbon fiber that covers the stick to protect it from getting damaged due to accidental bumps and knocks. This also comes handy in retaining the texture and appearance of the hardwood.

Various Parts Of A Cue

If you are a beginner trying to understand the difference between the cues, we suggest that you get a better understanding of the stick. Let’s quickly take a look at the various parts that a standard cue is made of up to help you make a better choice.


The tip is the topmost part that comes in contact with the ball when you strike it. This is an important section as the type of force you apply through the tip translates into force that pushes the ball forward. It is made of leather.


This is a plastic or metal section that the tip is glued to, and comes before the tip joins the shaft. In the American pool, this is made of nylon to minimize the vibration that is caused by striking heavy and large balls. The English pool cues and Snooker cues have a brass ferrule as the balls are not hit with the same intensity, in this case, hence more good-looking material is used.


The Joint is the area where the cue joins, and it’s typically ½ or ¾ of the way downwards. The jointed cues are more popular because they are easier to store. Central joints are the most convenient types, however, the ¾ joints are useful as they enable separate extensions for longer shots.

Joints are typically made of brass on the snooker cues, and they are made of steel or plastic in the case of American and English pool cues.


The next part is the shaft, which is the light-colored part of the cue. In American pool cues, this part is coated with carbon fiber that gives it the feel and looks of hardwood. This also protects the cues from bumps and knocks.

Maple wood is used for making shafts in American pool cues to achieve that soft and plain look, while the butt section is heavily ornate. For English pool and Snooker cues, Ashwood is typically used as it has a darker grain on light wood, making it aesthetically pleasing.

The cues you see in clubs and pubs are often made with Ramin wood (both shaft and butt part), while the butt section is often painted in black color. As this wood is quite brittle, it is not suitable for serious use.

See Also:How to Maintain a Pool Cue Shaft


The last part of a cue stick is the butt, which is the dark end where you get to see the pattern and design. For the more expensive cue sticks, a better quality of wood is used in the construction process.

Customization In Snooker and Pool Cues

Controlling a large and heavy American cue ball with the small tip of an English pool cue is not easy, and vice versa. Hence, the manufacturers of cue sticks also provide a lot of customization options for special shots. There is a need for variation in cues with materials like phenolic resin or hard leather.

The use of various materials ensures optimum force when striking the ball. There are also quite a huge number of cue variations used for pool and snooker. The selection highly depends on the type of control you wish to have on the cue ball and your style.

Related Questions

Can you use snooker cue for playing billiards

If you attempt to play an English pool using a Snooker cue, you will experience marginal caveats such as a slight loss of accuracy overshooting where a specifically built English Pool Cue would come handy. On the downside, the English cues are less versatile in their functionality.

Is snooker harder to play than the pool

Yes, snooker is a slightly harder game to master than the pool because it is played on a slightly larger table. The rules if snooker game is stricter than the pool and the side pockets are relatively smaller.

See Also:
Can You Use the Back of the Pool Stick
Where Do You Look When Shooting Pool?

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