For experts who have been playing pool for years, if not their entire life, shopping for a billiard pool cue should be easy. For a novice, however, this can take time and can sometimes result in expensive mistakes.
How to Look for the Best Billiard Pool Cue
To avoid spending too much on poor quality pool cues, it is important to employ the help of an expert or someone who’s owned and played with good pool cues for some time. If, however, finding such a person is not possible and you need to go buy right away, here are the top four qualities to look for in a good billiard pool cue.
First, it has to have a well-shaped tip and seamless shaft. Experts say the first few inches of the cue from the tip to the ferrule down to the shaft are the most important part of the entire pool stick. The tip, most especially, is where energy from your cue gets transferred to the ball. The quality of the tip, therefore, dramatically affects your game. Whether it is a soft tip or a hard tip, you need to look at its shape and the manner in which it is attached to the ferrule. A good tip has a slightly domed shape and is flush to the ferrule with no visible glue around it. The ferrule, in turn, should be flush to the shaft with no visible glue or gaps around it. Soft cues are known to be better at absorbing impact and are good for spinning cue balls, but they easily get misshapen and therefore require more maintenance.
Second, it should have a snug fitting joint. The joint is that point where the shaft gets attached to the butt with a pin. Inspect the pin and make sure that it is perfectly centered in the butt and when the two parts come together, the joint should be nearly impossible to see.
Next, it has to have a seamless wrap. This is the part of the cue where you will have the most skin contact with. It’s where you hold the cue with your backhand, so it’s important that it feels comfortable to the touch and allows you to have a good grip at the cue. The wrap can be made of linen, leather or rubber. Regardless of the material used, the wrap must be seamlessly attached to the butt with no traces of adhesive or strings in the case of an Irish linen wrap.
Lastly, look for a perfectly straight cue. There are two ways to examine the straightness of a billiard pool stick, but the most viable way is to sight the stick. Hold one end at a reasonable distance from your eyes and look down its entire length as you gradually turn the stick around. You can also stroke the stick from end to another to feel it in your hand. Your hand should be able to glide on smoothly without feeling any dent, nick or protrusion.
Checking for Straightness in Pool Cues
Another way to check for straightness is to roll the cue on a flat surface such as a pool table. As you do, pay close attention to the tip and the joint, or the middle part of a two-piece cue where the butt and the shaft come together; these points should remain in contact with the surface as it rolls and never lifts. A slight wobble in the center would be tolerable, but should never be noticeable.
Now, what if you are unable to go to the store to personally check the cues and can only go shopping online? How do you check for the cue’s straightness and examine the most important parts? In times like these, look for a trusted manufacturer. To be safe, look for pool cue brands that have been around for some time and are trusted by pool players around the world, such as Katana Pool Cues. Look for products that have excellent customer review from websites that painstakingly take the effort of presenting their products in high-resolution images in order for online shoppers to see even the tiniest details from multiple angles.