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A Comprehensive Guide to Buying the Perfect Pool Cue

When it comes to playing pool, having the right cue can significantly improve your game. This guide will help you understand the different types of pool cues available, as well as their intended purpose, so that you can make an informed decision when purchasing a cue for yourself. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced player, choosing the right cue is essential to improving your performance at the pool table. In addition, we will discuss various factors that contribute to the feel of a cue, including external factors such as humidity, human factors, and material considerations. This comprehensive approach will ensure that you have a solid understanding of where a cue's feel comes from, enabling you to make the best choice for your individual needs and playing style.

Cue Types

Cue types
There are three main types of cues used in pool: playing cues, break cues, and jump cues. Sometimes you can find cues that combine the functionalities of break and jump cues. Let's take a closer look at each type:

Playing Cues

A playing cue is the most common type of cue and is used for regular shots during a game of pool. These cues are designed for all-around play, allowing you to execute a wide range of shots, including draw, follow, and English. When choosing a cue, consider factors such as cue weight, balance, length, and tip diameter to ensure that the cue feels comfortable and suits your playing style.

Break Cues

Break cues are designed specifically for the opening shot in a game of pool, known as the break. With a sturdier construction, heavier weight, and larger tip diameter compared to playing cues, they increase the power of the break shot and the likelihood of pocketing balls. In addition, break cues are equipped with a durable phenolic tip, as opposed to the standard leather tip. This robust material ensures that almost all of the kinetic energy during the break is effectively transferred to the cue ball, resulting in a powerful and efficient shot.

Jump Cues

Jump cues are designed for executing jump shots, where the cue ball is elevated over an obstructing ball to reach the desired target ball. These cues are typically shorter and lighter than playing cues, allowing for better control and precision during a jump shot. Jump cues also feature a hard tip, often made from phenolic material, which helps generate the necessary lift for a successful jump shot.

Break/Jump Cues

A break/jump cue combines the functionality of a break cue and a jump cue. These cues typically feature a three-piece design, allowing the player to easily switch between break and jump configurations. Break/jump cues are a convenient option for players who don't want to carry multiple cues but still need the versatility for different shot types.

Properties and Materials

Most pool cues are made from maple wood, which offers a balance of flexibility, durability and performance. However, some cues incorporate composite materials such as carbon fiber for the shaft or feature a carbon core for low deflection. These cues offer improved control and accuracy during the game.

Carbon-based cues tend to be lighter than their wooden counterparts, offering quicker maneuverability and reduced player fatigue. Additionally, the high stiffness of carbon fiber allows for better energy transfer during shots, contributing to more precise ball control.



Almost all pool cues come in a two-piece design, which makes them easy to transport and store. These cues are connected by a joint, which is usually threaded, allowing the shaft and butt to be securely screwed together. However, cheaper cues are often one-piece and lack a joint for easy separation.

There are numerous types of joints available, with the main difference being the speed at which you can swap shafts. Some joint designs prioritize quick and easy disassembly, such as quick-release and radial pin joints. These joints are ideal for players who frequently change shafts or use different shafts for various shot types, like break or jump shots. Most cues we offer come with a 3/8 x 10 thread, providing a strong and reliable connection between the shaft and butt, ensuring optimal performance and durability.



The weight of a pool cue plays a significant role in how it feels and performs during play. Most pool cues come with a standard weight of 19 oz (538 g), which suits the preferences of many players. However, the weight can be adjusted on most cues by adding or removing extra weights at the butt end of the cue.

These adjustable weight systems allow players to fine-tune their cue's balance and feel to match their playing style and preferences. By experimenting with different weights, you can discover the optimal cue weight that allows for better control, accuracy, and power in your shots.


The two main components of a pool cue, the shaft and the butt, serve different purposes. While the shaft focuses on performance and function, the butt offers more opportunities for personalization and individual taste. A unique style can be achieved by using various types of wood, paint, metal rings, and other materials in the cue's butt design.

In addition to aesthetics, the grip plays a crucial role in the overall feel and comfort of the pool cue. Some cues feature an Irish linen grip, which provides a comfortable and secure hold during play. Alternatively, rubber bands or wraps can be added for enhanced grip and control.

Many players, however, prefer the smooth feel of a lacquer finish on their cue's butt. This minimalist approach allows for a more natural connection between the player's hand and the cue, without any added materials or textures.



The cue tip is one of the most crucial components of a pool cue, as it directly impacts your shot's accuracy and control. It's also the part that offers the most room for customization and adjustment. The choice between a hard or soft tip can significantly influence the feel and performance of your cue.

Hard tips generally provide more control and consistency, as they maintain their shape better over time. They are suitable for players who prefer a firm hit and require less frequent maintenance. Soft tips, on the other hand, offer more spin and English on the cue ball but may wear out and require reshaping more often.

Screw tips, which are typically used for cheaper cues, offer a quick and easy replacement option. However, they may not provide the same level of performance and customization as traditional glued tips.

Explore our dedicated section on cue tips to learn more about their types, materials, and maintenance.


Chalk plays a significant role in pool cue performance, with some chalks being stickier than others. The stickiness of the chalk affects the friction between the cue tip and the cue ball, influencing shot control and accuracy. For more information on how different chalks can impact your game, visit our tip section to find the perfect chalk for your playing style.


1. Navigating External Factors: Enhancing Your Pool Experience

External conditions, such as sound, lighting, and humidity, can significantly impact your pool playing experience. The sound a cue makes when striking the ball, for instance, can influence your perception of the shot, while optimal lighting conditions are crucial for accurately aiming your shots.

Humidity can also affect your game, making the cue shaft feel sticky and decreasing precision. To combat this, consider using billiard gloves, which can help maintain a consistent grip regardless of moisture levels. Additionally, regularly cleaning your cue shaft can help prevent the buildup of residue that may affect your shots.

2. Embracing Personal Factors: Understanding the Human Element in Pool

As players, it is essential to remember that we are human and our performance can be affected by various personal factors. Having a bad day or a bad week doesn't necessarily indicate that your pool cue is inadequate. Instead, it may be a reflection of factors such as stress, fatigue, or distractions that can temporarily affect your game. Recognizing and accepting these personal fluctuations will help you maintain a positive mindset and ultimately improve your overall pool experience.

3. Material Quality and Price: Finding the Right Pool Cue for Your Budget

The quality of the materials used in a pool cue can significantly affect its performance and durability. In general, cheaper cues, those under 100 Euros, may use low-quality materials and have wider tolerances, which can affect their precision and longevity.

Higher-priced cues, often used by professional players, are made with superior materials and tighter tolerances, resulting in better overall performance. These cues can cost 1000 Euros or more, reflecting their exceptional craftsmanship and quality.

However, you don't need to spend a fortune to find a reliable pool cue. Cues in the 300 to 600 Euro range can offer a balance of quality materials and affordability, providing a satisfying playing experience for both casual and more serious players.

The Journey to Finding Your Perfect Pool Cue: Balancing External, Personal, and Material Factors

Diagram illustrating the various influences

In your quest to find the ideal pool cue, it's important to remember that a combination of external, personal, and material factors contribute to your overall playing experience. To find the right cue for you, consider adjusting various parameters over time.

Short-term factors to experiment with include trying different tips, using different chalks, or playing at different tables. Long-term adjustments may include changing the shaft, weight, or even the entire cue. Always keep in mind, however, that factors beyond material characteristics, such as personal condition, lighting, or humidity, can also affect your game.

Finally, don't be afraid to experiment and try new things as you search for the perfect pool cue. Embrace the process of discovery. Not only will it enhance your playing experience, but it will also contribute to your growth as a player. Remember, the journey to finding your ideal cue is just as important as the destination. So enjoy the ride and let your curiosity lead the way.