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How to Select a Cue

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How to Select a Cue

There is no doubt about the fact that the cue is one of the most important aspects of the game. If you’ve been overlooking this critical part of the game, you may have noticed that your game isn’t all that it should be. Rather than just picking up whatever cue happens to be available, if you’re going to play pool seriously, it’s time to give some thought to what you should look for in just the right cue.

First, recognize the value of weight in a cue. Most good cues will have a weight ranging between 18 and 21 ounces. Most lovers of the game will prefer a cue that is lighter rather than heaver; typically around 19 or 20 ounces. If you choose a cue that weighs anymore than that range you can almost bet it’s not going to be a good cue to play with. Now, with that said, heavy cues (generally known as clubs) do server their purpose and that is for breaking. Many lovers of the game have one cue that they use only for breaking while they utilize a completely different cue for playing. This is quite common for high end players.

Some people do tend to prefer a heavy cue for breaking due to the fact that the power in the breaking motion comes from the momentum of the cue through the ball and therefore through your arm delivering it. If you utilize a very light cue it is much easier to deliver the break but there won’t be any weight to it. On the alternant side, a cue that is quite heavy will prevent you from delivering any speed. Therefore, it’s often best to go with a cue that is somewhere in the middle range of the two and capable of delivering good momentum but still light enough that weight can be delivered as well.

When it comes to length, it is important to understand that standard cues run 57 inches in length. Some people prefer shorter length cues while still others insist on longer length cues. If you’re just starting out you may want to do a little experimentation with several different lengths to find out which one works better for you. As a general rule of thumb; however, if you are of average height a standard length cue should work just fine.

You also need to give some thought to the types of joints the cue possesses. Many people prefer a true wood to wood joint; however, these are not that common. Most pool cues use a type of joint that contains metal shafts, although plastic may also be used. Ideally, you want to look for a cue that has a solid feel to it regardless of what kind of joint it has.

It is also important to look for a cue that does not have a lot of vibration to it. You can check that by holding the cue in one hand halfway down the bottom section and hitting it with the bottom of your hand about halfway up the cue. If there is vibration, avoid it and get another cue.

Of course, you also need to look for a cue that is straight. You can roll it on a flat surface, such as a pool table to check this. Typically, it is best to avoid a warped cue as long as it has a good tip.

Finally, for many people price is a definite factor. If you’re looking for a quality cue you need to be prepared to pay for it. Generally, you cannot purchase a good quality cue for anywhere under $100. Expect to pay at least around $125 to get a cue that is even playable. Cues in this price range are a good choice for beginners. If you’re looking to step it up a notch, be prepared to pay around $200; perhaps slightly more. This will get you a high quality cue but still not top of the line. For a top of the line cue, expect to pay at least $400 and possibly up to $1000 or more.