Selection of your Personal Pool Cue

Written by Poolplayer

Now you have come to the point in your pool career where you wish to purchase your own personal playing cue. In this section, we will provide some tips on how to select the right cue to suit your own tastes and style. Please bear in mind that this section isn't about what brand or type of cue is better than the other or what you should buy. That is a totally subjective matter that you, the cue purchaser, looks for.

The first thing you should consider is what the maximum amount of money that you wish to spend on your new cue. You can spend anywhere from several dollars to several thousand U.S. dollars and even beyond that. However, if you're a beginner and this is your very first cue, then then we suggest spending no more than about $200 U.S. dollars as a start. The choices offered up to that range provide a very good choice of styles and materials which you might like.

Once you have settled on a price range, pick out several cues that you like within that range. It doesn't have to be from the same maker. Most cues come within these following dimensions:

  • 58 - 60 inches in length
  • 17-21 Ounces in weight
  • 12-14 mm tip diameter with 13 mm being the common size

When you have done that, it is now time to inspect the cues visually for flaws. The following are things you should look for:

  1. Sight down the cue like a rifle and slowly turn it to check for straightness.
  2. Does the cue have any bubbles in or on the clear finish of the cue?
  3. Are there chips or dents anywhere on the cue?
  4. Are all areas where there are connections even and transistion smoothly without bumps ie where the ferrule meets the shaft.
  5. Is the wrap freyed, discolored, loose, or isn't level with the rest of the cue?
  6. If you decide on a cue with inlays, are the inlays seated properly? Are they all lined up evenly?
  7. Do you see glue lines anywhere on the cue especially where the inlays are?
  8. Is there anything that doesn't look right on the cue?

You should check under the bumper of the cue to see if it has a weight bolt/screw so you can adjust the weight of the cue until you find the one ideal for yourself. The typical weight range is anywhere between 17-21 ounces.

When you are satisfied with the visual inspection of the cues, it is now time check which cue you like via it's playability. You do this by hitting various types of shots with the cue(s) that you have selected and finding which one you like the most. First you take a few balls and hit soft to hard shots with the cues. Don't think about pocketing any balls during this time because cue evaluation doesn't involve ball pocketing. Here is what you should be looking for and asking yourself as you shoot with the cue:

  1. Do I like the feedback the cue is giving me when I'm shooting? Note: concentrate on this point especially on the harder shots.
  2. Does the cue feel comfortable in my hands when shooting with it?
  3. Is there any rattling, especially in the butt area during hard shots. This could indicate a loose weight bolt or flawed construction.

Here are some other things you should be aware of when you go buying your first/new cue. You might encounter people who will advise you to get certain types of tips, joints, ferrules, etc when you go buy a cue arguing one is better than the other, etc,etc. This is something you shouldn't worry over too much simply because it probably won't make you shoot any better and you might not like it. What you should do is play with the cue as is and as your game develops, you can make note of what you like, dislike, and what changes might make you feel more comfortable playing and use that criteria on your next cue purchase. You at least have to have a starting point and this first cue can be one of them.

About The Author: Poolplayer is a road player from the Bay Area in Northern California.

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