If you are serious about playing pool, then you are not going to improve until you have your own pool cue. If you have your own pool table, then you probably have your own cue, but you might be looking to upgrade if you really want to improve your game.
If you go out to a pub or a club to play pool, then playing with the cues they provide can only do so much for your skill level. At some point, you are going to want to get rid of the generic one and play with one which will match your ability. Only then will you become the player you are destined to be.
A custom pool stick need not be expensive, but you should expect to pay a little bit of money for something which will be an extension of your arm and your personality. By knowing what you want and need, you can get the right one and become a better player.
We have all the information for you to make an informed choice. Join us as we take you through everything you need to buy the perfect pool cue.
Buying Guide for Pool Cues
A soft tip will give you a better feel as you strike the ball and allow you to take control of the shot more. The only problem is, a soft tip will need replacing more often.
Most professional players use a harder tip, which will last longer and keep the rounded tip better. The width of the tip will also determine how easy it is to strike the cue ball with power and precision.
For American pool, the legal range for the width of the tip is 11-14 millimeters. As a beginner, 13mm is a good place to start. As your skill level progresses, you will want to move onto 12 1/2mm and 12mm.
A heavier stick will stay on a true path for longer. Beginners will do well to start with a heavier one, which will stay on path when they are drawn back and then thus forward to strike the cue ball.
Heavy options make it easier to get spin on the ball, due to the correct path being attained, and more power is able to be added to the shot.
A lighter options is more difficult to handle and should be used when your skill level improves. A lighter option means that it is harder to keep the cue in line with the shot when you are drawing back the stick and then striking through the cue ball.
However, a lighter one does allow you to control the speed of the cue ball more. When you master the line of your shot, you can move a heavier option (20oz or 21oz) to a lighter one (18oz or 19oz).
All cues have a grip on the thicker end of the cue. The majority of them use Irish linen or Nylon for the grip. This is your starting point for grips. When you are buying your first professional cue, you should try both in your hand to see which gives you a better feel.
Whichever one you prefer, that is the one to choose. As your game progresses, you can move to wood, leather, and more exotic grips (leather is great for moisture, and if your palms sweat a lot, then leather will give you a better grip).
Consider the Balance
The balance is also a personal preference, and will be the point at which the cue balances on two of your fingertips. The balance may be in the centre, more towards the front or more towards the back.
You will only be able to find out what feels more natural to you by playing with a few differently balanced cues. Try a variety and find which you like best.
If you find one which you like, but the balance is wrong for you, then you can change it. If you flip it so that the bottom is pointing up, and remover the rubber bumper, there will be a weight or weights inside.
This weight can be changed to shift the balance of the cue from the front to the back, or vice-versa.
Color and Design
The color of your pool cue and the design of it will not make you play any better, but a great looking one will make you feel better. If you are going to get a bright option with lots of embellishment, you are going to get a lot of attention in the pool hall.
Make sure that your skill level matched the attention you will draw with the stick. The color and design are a matter of preference, and you can get one in almost any color and design.
Once you have chosen one, you are going to want a case to store and transport it in. A soft case is light and less expensive, but it will not protect you cue as well. A hard case will protect the product a lot better, and ensure that the ends are never damaged, but will cost you more money, and they are heavier.
The more you are willing to pay, the better a cue you can get (generally). Do not just spend the money and expect the best cue ever, instead choose the best materials construction, but be willing to pay for it.
If you are playing pool a lot and want to improve your game then you should expect to pay some money to do so.
Start with a budget in mind, but always remember that you are paying to improve an aspect of yourself and if you want to improve your own qualities, you need to invest in quality equipment. Another way to improve your skill is to buy a new table, your game can change substantially.
Once you have your budget, shop around to find the best equipment for that price. If you take the information we have presented, then you will have no problem finding a high-quality pool cue, and your game is going to improve.