1. How to Select a Pool Cue
There are many options to consider when you are in the market for the perfect pool cue; it can become a confusing process with so many options. In this month’s newsletter, BarStoolStats would like to suggest a number of factors to consider in helping you make the right selections in the hope that this will assist you in finding the cue that is right for you!
2. Key Components to Consider
The ultimate goal is to choose the pool cue you are going to be the most comfortable playing with. To do so there are several specific parts of the cue to consider including the wrap, the shaft and shaft taper, the Joint, cue weight, length, and the tip.
3. The Wrap
The most important aspect of the wrap or butt of the cue is that it feels comfortable in your hands. Some things to consider are the size of your hand. If you have very large hands, you may not do so well with a small diameter butt. Smaller hands will feel more comfortable around a smaller diameter grip. If you have hands that sweat profusely, you most likely should choose a cue wrapped material that is best for absorption. Those that prefer the smooth feel of a wrap leather wraps would be your best option and their many options available. However, there lots of no wrap cues available as well.
4. The Shaft
The shaft of a pool cue’s are most commonly constructed with a high grade of North American maple. Key factors in your selection is your comfort level in both the diameter of the shaft and the type of shaft taper. Most cues have a shaft diameter between 12 mm and 13 mm. What is important to pay attention to in your selection is that a smaller shaft diameter does make it easier to perform English on a cue ball, but it also can impart too much spin on the cue ball making it harder to control. 13mm is the most common size selected however, many manufacturers offer sizes in 1/4 of mm increments such as 12.25 mm, 12.5mm etc. If you have small hands, you might select a diameter smaller than 13mm so you are comfortable with your bridge hand. Find the size that you feel best with and you will have more success.
The next factor to consider is the shaft taper. This refers to the shape of the shaft, starting from the tip on back. For example, if you have a 13mm tip and a 12-inch pro taper, that means measuring back down the shaft 12-inches; it stays at that 13mm diameter the full 12-inch length before it increases size towards the joint. What should be kept in mind is; the longer the pro taper the more flex the shaft will have. A shorter pro taper will give you a stiffer and firmer hit. These differences change the way a cue will feel to you. Most cues today have a pro taper between 10 and 15 inches.
5. The Joint
The next factor to consider in your selection of a cue will be the joint. The joint is the area of the cue that connects the butt and the shaft together utilizing a joint pin. Manufactures today use many different pins for this purpose but for your selection, the two different joint types to keep in mind are; those that make contact wood to wood or make contact with a metal joint collar. They have all proven to be durable, and they all have slightly different characteristics. What to consider is that primarily a wood-to-wood joint have more of a natural softer feel to them. Cues with steel collars feel stiffer and the feedback from the cue seems a little more direct, almost quicker.
6. The Weight
The next factor is determine what cue weight is right for you. Cue weights range from 17 to 21 Ounces. There is not one correct weight for every player. For pool players though it seems cues in a 19 to 20 ounce range fit best for the style of play and the size of the balls used in pool games
7. The Length
Pool cue length is a critical factor when buying a new pool cue. It should fit with the length of your arm to provide full control. Keep in mind Standard cue lengths are 57 inches for one-piece house cues. Standard two-piece cues are 58 inches long with the butt and shaft an equal 29 inches. There are options available for players who are extra tall. Remember, a perfectly straight pool cue with a right length is key to the success of your play.
8. The Tip
Finally, the last thing to consider in your new pool cue purchase is the type of tip you want to use. A well-shaped and scuffed tip is crucial to your success with cue ball control and consistency. Tips vary in their composition relative to how hard and soft they are. This affects how the cue ball reacts as well as how long they will last. Most cues come with a tip that is rated medium to hard such.
As a novice player, grabbing a cue off the rack does the job. However, if you really want to improve your game, you must choose the right pool cue that you own that most comfortable for you. We have tried to provide you with some of the basic things you should keep in mind in assisting you in making an informed selection on your pool cue. Good luck!