How to Choose a Pool Cue

Pool, also known as billiards, is a table game most commonly found in North America and Europe. It is played both recreational and competitive. While the pool games have various rules and equipment, all pool games involve a table, pool balls, a cue, a triangle (to put balls in the correct position) and pockets. The cue is the only 1 of the 4 items the player can directly touch with their hands, making it the most vital piece of pool equipment. Pool cues come in numerous varieties. It is important to choose the correct pool cue. Learning how to choose a pool cue may boost your confidence and your game.


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    Know the parts. Cues are traditionally narrow rods made of wood, fiber or graphite, approximately 58 inches (1.5m) long and 18 to 20 oz (510 to 660g). A cue contains 6 main components and that must be considered when choosing a pool cue. Examine all the parts before choosing a pool cue.
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    Check the bottom of the cue. The bottom of the cue is known as the butt of the cue. A player's backhand is wrapped around the butt area. Be sure the width and grip are comfortable in your hand.
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    Feel the wrap. The wrap covers the butt and the lower areas of the cue where the players backhand will be guiding. Covers come in leather and linen. You'll want to ensure your hand feels comfortable and steady on the wrap.
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    Measure the shaft. The shaft makes up the entire upper section of the pool cue. The diameter and tapering of the cue play a large role in how the cue will work. Those with smaller hands will want to choose cues with smaller diameters and vice versa. A typical cue's diameter is between 7/16 to 1/2 inches (12 and 13 mm). The shaft begins to slightly but steadily narrow or taper at 12 inches (30.5 mm) from the tip (the top) of the cue towards the butt. The length of the taper will affect the cue's flexibility.
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    Feel the weight of the cue. The weight of the pole stick can affect how the cue hits against the ball. Cue sticks typically weigh between 17 and 21 oz (485 to 595g) with 19 and 20 oz cues (539 and 566g) being the most common.
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    Check the entire length of the cue. The length of the pool cue should be proportionate to your height and ability to reach the shaft. Including junior sizes and special orders, cues range from 48 to 61 inches (122 to 155cm). Standard cues are 57 inches (145cm). When choosing a pool cue also consider the space available in the area you will be playing pool.
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    Feel the tip. The tip is the only part of the cue that will touch the ball. Tips are made of leather and come in varying tenderness, shapes and sizes. The tip affects how the cue will hit the ball and how the ball will react to the cue. You'll want your tips to be shaped to your game and slightly scuffed. Chalk is commonly rubbed on the tip of the cue for better control.


  • Good cues cost between $150 and $300.

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Categories: Cue Sports