BILLIARDS IN-DEPTH

UNDERSTANDING POOL CUE CONSTRUCTION

How your pool cue is made can help you improve your game.

It’s as simple as this — if you don’t have a well-constructed pool cue, you don’t have a good pool game. But buying a new pool cue can be a daunting task if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. How do you even begin?

Learn what kind of pool cue construction you need to take your game up the next level.

Different Kinds of Pool Cues

Just like you don’t run a marathon in sandals, you don’t want to play with the wrong cue. If you play a lot, you’ll get a return on your investment in no time at all. But why are there different cues?

Because the size of each game’s cue ball is a unique size. Depending on what game you play, the size of the cue ball can vary quite a bit.

American Pool Cues

The body of an American cue is principally made out of a lighter maple wood. Because the balls used are heavier, they require a more robust cue, which is why the American pool cue is around 58 inches in length with a larger tip at 13-14 mm suitable for the larger cue ball.

English Cues

These cues tend to be the thinnest-bodied cue at around 57 inches in size, with the smallest tip normally measuring about 8-9 mm wide. The wood used in the cue’s construction is typically ash, which is what gives English cues their noticeable grain.

Snooker Cues

Snooker is a different kind of billiards game, and so is the cue. They’re made of ash wood, which is strong, straight, and stable enough to deliver a great performance. The length of a snooker cue is about 57-58 inches, with a tip diameter of 9-10.5mm.

Types of Pool Cues for American Pool, English and Snooker - Emerald Leisure Source 49512

What Are Sneaky Pete Cues?

The name might catch your attention, but the cue itself was designed to do the exact opposite.

The original idea was to create a high-end cue that would look like a more traditional, poorer quality cue. Why? So that people would underestimate the player and assume they were a novice, making it easier to hustle the opponent in a game.

Most people don’t use them for that reason today, but they remain one of the most popular design styles on the market today because of their simple beauty and traditional design.

Pool Cue Materials

The different materials used to make those pool cues can affect your shot.

Wood Cues

The majority of pool cues are made from a quality, straight-grained hard rock maple wood, especially the shaft. Other woods used in modern cues include ivory, ebony, and pine, along with exotic woods like Brazilian rosewood, cocobolo, blackwood, olive wood, ziricote, and bocote.

It’s the preferred material of purists for the good “hit feel.” The wood is also more forgiving to continued use.

Fiberglass Cues

This is the most popular alternative to wood, in part because it’s cheaper. They’re typically fiberglass bonded in a spherical shape around a wood core inside the stick.

These cues are often the choice for beginning and intermediate players who are looking for a low-cost, durable cue.

Hybrid Cues

Thanks to new technology, you can have the best of both worlds! A hybrid cue typically has a wood core, wrapped in fiberglass.

Lucasi Cues Hybrid Construction available at Emerald Leisure Source in Grand Rapids MI 49512

Parts of a Pool Cue

Looking at a pool cue one might think there are only two parts, but in reality there’s a lot that goes into making the pool cues you use. While it may seem like a cue only has two parts, it actually has quite a few different ones.

Tip

This is the part of your pool cue that you use to strike the cue ball. Typically made of leather, they vary in hardness which affects how the cue ball is hit. You would want to use a harder tip to produce a more powerful hit, and a softer tip to gain more control over your hit.

Ferrule

This is found right underneath the tip is the ferrule, which is used to help reinforce your tip and limit the vibrations you’ll feel when you shoot.

Shaft

This is the top and longest half of a two-piece cue. The length of the taper and the smoothness of the wood — usually maple — are designed to provide a smooth stroke. Players also have the option of using a low-deflection shaft, which allows you to gain more control over the cue ball while reducing the amount you have to compensate when putting force on the ball. These are ideal for players who use sidespin in their game.

Parts of a Pool Cue include several pieces for optimum construction - Emerald Leisure Source 49512

Joint Collar

This connects the shaft of the cue to the butt of the cue and provides the strength and stability of the cue when you are shooting. Your shot can be completely thrown off by a weak joint.

Wrap

These help players get a grip on their cue and are typically in the middle of the bottom half of the cue, below the forearm.

Butt

This is where the bulk of the weight of the cue is usually distributed. They have varying constructions, which means that the distribution of weight produces different “feels” for the player. The butt cap provides added strength.

Bumper

The last part of the cue is the bumper, which helps absorb the impact of your shot and protects the cue when it rests on the ground. It also adds some weight on the end of the cue, which can affect the balance and feel of a cue.

Pool Cue Weight

How the weight of your cue will affect how you shoot pool.

The average pool cue weight is between 18 and 21 ounces for standard and professional brands. The 20-ounce is recommended for beginners, while the 19.5-ounce is recommended for intermediate level players.

Professionals may opt for lighter cues for speed and heavier ones for a better break.

If you use a lighter cue weight, 18 or 19 ounces, the cue ball will be very lively and the object ball will likely go into the pocket more slowly because more snap is created with a lighter cue stick.

If you use a heavier pool cue, the cue ball is more lethargic, and the object ball will likely go into the pocket faster because you have more weight to hit with.

Why Cue Wraps Matter

One of the most important factors in choosing the right pool cue is how it feels to hold it.

If you buy a cue that’s coated with a special type of glaze that provides extra friction, you can get away with not using a wrap.

But if you generally have sweaty hands, you want to make sure you choose a wrap to help absorb the moisture. The goal is to get a firm grip on the pool cue so you can hit the ball straight with the amount of power you use.

You might be suited for a rubber wrap or a leather wrap if you hit hard shots.

If you’re more of a finesse player, go with a less-grippy material for your pool cue wrap. You can place your shots more accurately with less grip, which after all, is the goal of the game.

Pool Cues for Sale in Grand Rapids MI Dozens in Stock - EmeraldLeisureSource.com

Top Pool Cue Brands

Pool cue brands today deliver a variety of options for players, and each has its own trademark construction and value.

Read our latest blog post to learn more about the differences between pool cue brands that we offer.

McDermott®

McDermott cues are known for their quality construction, exotic woods and materials, and technology that allows for limitless customization options. Their G-Core shaft has a carbon fiber core in the first few inches, which helps limit deflection while providing a hit that feels similar to the all-maple shaft that so many players like. Their Intimidator family of shafts has a full-length carbon fiber core to further limit deflection. See our line of McDermott cues.

Lucasi®

Lucasi Hybrid pool cues combine quality construction and innovative designs with cutting-edge technologies to create cues that reduce vibration for a true, solid feeling shot. They’ve also conducted extensive tests to bring each player more accuracy, greater ball control, a more solid hit, reduced deflection, and a smoother stroke with every shot. See our line of Lucasi cues.

Meucci®

Meucci Cues are built with one goal —”to give every player more power, but with less effort.” Constructed with 35 layers of maple, each cue features a proprietary shaft taper that delivers the least deflection. In addition, they extend the lifespan of the cue with their unique splice butt design that works to reduce warping and increase the amplification of each shot. See our line of Meucci cues.

J. Pechauer®

Cues by J. Pechauer don’t rely on modern technology to set them apart, but rather focus on quality craftsmanship. It starts when they select a piece of hard-rock maple to create the shaft and goes to the married butt sections of bird’s-eye/curly maple, ebony, cocobolo, and bacote. They meet demands of the modern player, all while paying attention to detail. See our line of J. Pechauer cues.

PureX®

If you’re looking for a comfortable, effective shot, PureX cues of all designs feature a low-deflection shaft with a lightweight polymer core that transfers power and minimizes vibration. They are also equipped with a Kamui black soft tip that uses a high-tech ferrule with a special lightweight polymer core to reduce cue ball deflection. All that allows for more controlled contact with the cue ball. See our line of PureX cues.

To consult with experts on choosing the best pool cue for your game, stop in to Emerald Leisure Source in Grand Rapids, MI today!