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How to buy cue tips

General information

A cue tip is used as a connecting piece between cue and ball, so it is important to give it a particular importance.

History

François Mingaud

François Mingaud (1771 - 1848) is the official inventor of the leather cue tip. The idea came to him in prison, where he had access to a pool table, and he made it public for the first time in 1807 - after his release. He is also the first to perfectionise the technique of spin. Among other things, it was now possible to play a screw shot, follow shot or a stop shot, whereby the screw shot was the most surprising.

In the meantime, there are dozens of companies that produce cue tip leathers in all imaginable variations.

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran%C3%A7ois_Mingaud

Single-layer leather vs. multi-layer leather

Sketch of a single layer leather

Single-layered leather

As the name suggests, single-layer leathers are made of one piece of leather. These can also be treated with binders. Further pressing may give them a higher hardness.

As they are relatively easy to manufacture, they are less expensive than multi-layer leathers.

Sketch of a multi-layer leather

Multi-layer leather

In the case of multi-layer leathers, several, thinner layers are stacked and bonded with an glue. They are also compressed. With these leathers, more attention is paid to the condition of the individual layers. In addition, these are usually selected by hand (Kamui) in order to achieve the highest possible consistency in their characteristics. This higher amount of work results in the higher price compared to single-layer leather tips.

Multi-layered leather tips maintain the playing characteristics for a longer time and there are often more degrees of hardness for individual taste of the player. In addition, multi-layer leathers "mushroom" moderately. By this we mean that the leather flattens and compresses, whereby a part of the material then moves outwards. This then protrudes over the edge of the ferrule, which looks similar to the shape of a mushroom.

Hardness degrees

Leather tips are available in different degrees of hardness and are marked with the following symbol:

 

Description Verwendete Zeichen
Super Soft SS
Soft S
Medium M
Medium Hard MH
Hard H
Extreme Hard X

 

Depending on the manufacturer, there are sometimes more and sometimes less different hardnesses for a leather. Basically, the harder a leather is, the more control and precision it gains. The softer the leather, the more spin and grip increase. For more dimensional stability, harder leathers should be preferred, whereby the composition of the leather is also relevant and multi-layer leathers have an advantage.

Types of leather (material)

Essentially, cue tips are made of pig or water buffalo leather. Acrylic is also used as a connection between cue and leather. Pig leather is rather tough and "rubbery" in consistency and often softer than water buffalo leather, which is rather "fibrous" and "woody" in texture.

Examples: Water buffalo leather tips [see: O'Min], Schweineleder [see: Kamui Original Leder]

Sizes

Cue tips come in following sizes:

Diameter Type of game
11 mm to 14 mm Pool
11 mm to 13 mm Carom, Five Pin Billiard
8 mm to 11 mm Snooker

Tip replacement

Replacing the leather requires some skill, if you do it yourself. We do not want to go into details here, but we do want to mention the most important things to be aware of. The old leather should be removed without leaving any residue. The glued surfaces of the new leather and cue should be prepared so that they are flat and free of logos, seals and grease. There are various tools that help you both with the change, as well as with the post-processing. Sharpener trays, Willards, tip sealers, leather applicators and much more are used.

Treatment, form and maintenance

In order for tip to have optimum contact with the ball, they should have the so-called "dome" shape. These can be achieved with sander trays and Willards. It is also important that the leather is rough on its impact surface so that the chalk adheres better. Embossing irons, leather trimmers, Willards and also sander trays are used for this purpose. The roughening should be repeated at regular intervals.

Billiard chalk

Chalk consists mainly of silicon dioxide (fine sand) and can considerably increase the grip of the leather. Chalk of various consistencies is used to improve the bond between the ball and the leather tip. Their colors depend primarily on the cloth color of the billiard table, which makes contamination by chalk less noticeable. The consistency is primarily a matter of taste and can sometimes be more or sometimes less smooth, up to high-tech chalks. These are elaborately composed to ensure very long, very good adhesion. (e.g. Kamui).

How do I find the right cue tip?

The answer is relatively simple: try it out. If you don't know which leather you might like, we recommend the following: Choose a leather of medium hardness, play it and then try one that is harder or softer. With this you can set a direction, which leather suits your own playing behaviour and that of your cue. However, the trend should be towards "harder leathers", as these provide more feedback from the impact. The road to perfect individual leather can be very long. Even professionals are always trying out new ones.

Factors that may play a role:

  • Feeling
  • Precision
  • Sound on impact
  • Spin
  • Durability
  • Dimensional stability

Brand recommendations

Brunswick

Inexpensive one-layer leather tip of medium hardness. These leathers are available in all sizes and are therefore suitable for pool, snooker and carom.

Buffalo

Single-layer leather of medium hardness. They are suitable for pool, snooker and carom.

Camel Cue Tips

Soft single-layer leathers suitable for both snooker and carom. Good for spin.

ELK-Master (Tweeten)

Affordable and soft single-layer leather of all sizes, therefore suitable for pool, snooker and carom. Particularly suitable for spin play.

Pro Granit (Green Baize Ltd.)

Hard, precise single layer leather tips. Only suitable for snooker.

Kamui

High-quality multi-layer leather of all sizes, therefore suitable for pool, snooker and carom. It is characterized by constant quality. Remains dimensionally stable even at low hardness. It has very high play precision and good grip.

They are available in black (black) and brown (original). The blacks have a higher elasticity and are better suited for spin, while the brown leathers (also called original) tend to have a higher precision.

Le Professional (Tweeten)

Single-layer leather in many sizes, the hardness of which ranges from medium to hard. It is suitable for pool, snooker and carom. A mostly precise leather of constant quality.

Mike Wooldridge

Medium hard single layer leather tip suitable for snooker. It can be used to play spin and precise shots.

Moori

Multi-layer leather, available in various hardnesses. With good dimensional stability. Pool, carom.

Mui

Medium hard direct snooker multi-layer leather tip with good dimensional stability.

O'Min

Available as multi-layer leather as well as single-layer leather in various degrees of hardness. It is only used for snooker. There are two versions: Water buffalo and pig leather, where the water buffalo leather has a higher precision, while the pig leather is more suitable for spin.

Phoenix Cue

Multi-layer and single-layer leather, which is produced exclusively for snooker. Different degrees of hardness cover most of the player's requirements.

X Tip by PureX (Players)

Multi-layer leather in various hardnesses. It is used in the pool and carom.

Rattra

Low-priced multi-layer leather in various hardnesses. It is used in snooker and is made of water buffalo and pig leather.

Talisman

Multi-layer leather of all hardnesses and suitable for all varieties: Pool, snooker, carom. These are made of water buffalo leather as well as pig leather.

Tiger

Multi-layer leather of various hardnesses. Used in the pool and carom.

Triangle (Tweeten)

Low-priced medium-hard single-layer leather of all sizes for pool, snooker, carom.