Billiards is a game that makes people happy.
Nowadays, the wide variety of billiard cue brands makes it hard for players to choose.
The best pool cue is crucial if you want to play a good game and to improve your skills.
In fact, the quality of a player largely depends on the quality of the best pool cues, and the performance of the pool stick largely depends on the shaft.
We’ve discussed some differences between snooker cues and pool cues before.
Simply put, a snooker’s cue has a thinner taper and a smaller tip, which is suitable for snooker’s smaller cue ball and higher accuracy.
A pool cue has a thicker taper and a larger tip.
The cue is usually made of maple wood and weighs 19 ounces (the general weigh is from 17 to 22 ounces).
Many cues consist of butt and shaft, and they are connected by the joint.
It can be quite confusing to find the best pool cues in the world, as it depends on the player.
Basically, your best cue stick will be the most suitable for you.
Especially if you’re a beginner in billiards, picking the best pool cue might prove to be a difficult task, but don’t worry: here you can find a list of 10 very popular pool cue brands.
They may be the best pool cues out there, so you can basically find the best pool cues ever.
What are the best pool cues brands?
|Viking Valhalla 2 Piece Pool Cue Stick||Viking||See On Amazon|
|Viper Diamond 58" 2-Piece Billiard/Pool Cue, Black, 20 Ounce||Viper||See On Amazon|
|Set of 4 Pool Cues New 58" Billiard House Bar Pool Cue Sticks (SET15~18)||Billiard Depot||See On Amazon|
|Set of 4 Valley House Bar Pool Cue Sticks||Valley House||See On Amazon|
|AB Earth 2-Piece 58 Inches Maple Pool Cue||AB Earth||See On Amazon|
|CUESOUL SOOCOO Series 58" 19oz Maple Pool Cue||Cuesoul||See On Amazon|
|Players Technology Series HXT15 Two-Piece Pool Cue||Players||See On Amazon|
|Lucasi Custom LZ2004NB natural Birds-eye Maple billiard cue||Lucasi||See On Amazon|
|Pure X HXTE2 Billiards Pool Cue Stick w/HXT Low Deflection Shaft||Pure X||See On Amazon|
|Meucci M12 18oz - 21oz||Meucci||See On Amazon|
As ordinary players, the pool cue we use may not be the perfect fit.
A good example of an excellent pool cue in performance and quality is the well-known one used by Ron Dooley and Alex Pagulaya.
If you don’t know what pool cue to choose, referring to other players’ choices might be a good start.
The following table is an evaluation of the top-selling pool cues on Amazon in 2021 (Top Rated Pool Cues on Amazon 2021).
However, it is not my intent to leave the fittest impression on the readers, as they are all #CommissionsEarned.
I hope you find this list helpful:
|Viper Commercial/House 57" 1-Piece Canadian Maple Billiard/Pool Cue, 21 Ounce||See On Amazon|
|Mizerak Shorty Cue (1 Piece)||See On Amazon|
|Set of 4 Pool Cues New 58" Billiard House Bar Pool Cue Sticks||See On Amazon|
|HAN'S DELTA Set of 6 Pool Cues New 57" Real 4-Prong House Bar Billiard Pool Cue Stick||See On Amazon|
|Set of Aska L2 Billiard Pool Sticks, 5/16x18 Joint, 13mm Hard Tip, Mixed Weights||See On Amazon|
I’m sure you don’t want to spend unnecessary time and money by purchasing an inappropriate pool cue.
Therefore, you need to check several aspects before buying the best pool stick according to your budget.
Below I have listed the most important aspects to consider. This will help you buy the best pool cues.
Most of the billiard cue performance comes from the shaft, and the first six inches are the most important ones.
The diameter of the first six inches can range from 0.38 to 0.4inches.
The ferrule and tip –
Ferrule- the ferrule is a small white piece located below the tip.
The function of the ferrule is to protect the taper. This is also the thinnest part.
Its other function is to facilitate the installation of the tip.
The traditional American ferrule is milky white, while black is more popular in Canada.
Generally, the length of the ferrule ranges from 0.5 inches to 1.25 inches.
The material of ferrule –
The types of ferrule materials include antler, ivory, reinforced plastic, synthetic resin, synthetic fiber, melamine, among others.
Considering the cost, most low-cost ferrules such as synthetic fibers or resins are common in mass-produced cues.
High-priced custom cues, on the other hand, usually feature other high-cost materials such as ivory.
Ferrules made of ivory are the least likely to be stained with cue chalk, but they are also the most likely to crack and break.
Besides, due to the high-water content of ivory, there will be thermal expansion and contraction (the same goes for the ivory joint).
Some cue manufacturers will install a thin black fiber pad between the cue tip and the ivory ferrule to protect the ivory ferrule.
Many hand-made cue stick masters insist on using ivory ferrule as their standard equipment.
The style of ferrule –
Ferrules can be capped or capless.
Ferrules in which the shaft wood is visible are capped and those in which it isn’t are capless.
Most cue manufacturers believe that, by sticking the tip directly to the capless ferrule, the direct contact of the tip with the shaft will increase the shot strength and feel.
As for the capped ferrule, its advantages and disadvantages have been debated for a long time in the industry.
Some people think that the wood of the shaft (the wood inside the ferrule) will expand or shrink due to temperature changes and humidity, which may affect the power transmission between the wood shaft and the tip.
Also, those who like to use ivory ferrule believe that the capped ferrule can prevent the ivory ferrule from cracking and breaking.
The tip is a small part where the pool cue directly makes contact with your cue ball. The size of the cue tip can be from 0.43 to 0.55inches.
My suggestion would be for beginners to use sizes between 0.47 and 0.512 inches.
The type of tip you choose depends on how you feel when you hit the cue ball.
The tip is mostly made of leather.
According to the density of the leather, it is generally divided into three levels: S (Soft), M (Medium), H (Hard) and so on.
Some manufacturers classify the grades finely, such as MH (Medium Hard) with tip density between M and H or 2H, 3H, etc.
The soft tip is not long-lived, and needs to be replaced by a new one. Players should repair the swollen part of the soft tip and re-grind the flattened tip soon after playing.
However, soft tips also have their advantages. In comparison to the hard tip, the soft tip hits the cue ball for a longer time, which can enhance the rotation of the cue ball.
The greater rotation of the cue ball controls the range of movement.
When doing strong strikes, one important thing to note is that the soft tip will be more prone to dents.
This is not the case for hard tips, which you don’t need to replace often (it’s expected that a hard tip will last around half a year to a year), but hard tips are not easy to chalk.
After hitting the cue ball, the rotation speed of the cue ball is not as good as what you get when using a soft tip.
Basically, while a softer tip can increase the feeling of hitting the cue ball, harder tips can be used for a longer time and maintain the shape quite well.
Suggestion on cue tip of your best pool cues
We’ll now dive into some cue tips to make the most out of your pool cue.
It’s important to note that most professional billiard players use hard tips.
General players prefer to use MH ~ H pool tips.
The reason for this is that the tip is not easily deformed and can maintain the consistency of the contact angle with the cue ball.
The diameter of the tip is 0.433 inches to 0.551 inches.
Personally, I prefer a 0.511 inches tip.
Some players use small pool cue tips intentionally, as they believe that reducing the contact area will provide more accuracy when hitting the cue ball.
The tip on the cue is considered one of the most important factors when making a cue stick.
You should know that, from a batting point of view, a good tip is actually a better and smarter choice than expensive, custom-made cues carved with ivory, rare jewelry and complicated patterns.
I say this because many customers have no real need for custom-made cues, and this post focuses on helping beginners and advanced players find the best pool cues.
In order to find the best pool cues, two crucial aspects are ferrule and tip width; these are the most basic points you need to pay attention to when buying a nice cue.
How the shaft affects the best pool cues
In billiard games, we call the first 12 inches of the billiard cue the shaft.
The best pool cue stick consists of three parts – ferrule, shaft and tip. The shaft of the cue is in turn composed of a tip, ferrule and wood.
In general, the head of a maple stick is softer than that of an oak stick.
The denser the general decorative patterns, the harder the pool cue. Additionally, the quality of the cue shaft determines the hitting ability and quality of a cue stick.
So now the question is: which factors affect the performance of the shaft? Keep reading to find out.
Some examples of factors which influence the quality of the shaft are the hardness of the tip, the material of the ferrule, the origin of the wood itself, the density of the wood, the hardness of the cue, the toughness of the cue wood, the weight of the cue, the manufacturing process of the shaft, the thickness and width of the shaft (click here to understand the processing of the shaft), among others.
The pool cue tip needs to be fixed on the shaft, and the ferrule must be close to the tip.
The following figure is a schematic diagram of the cue stick. You can take a look to see where the cue shaft is.
All the accessories are glued to the stick.
No glue should be visible, so if you see the glue on any part of the cue, it means that the tip is not good.
In the best pool cues, no glue can be seen, which is what makes ordinary cues excellent. The tip also needs to be perfectly connected to the cue ferrule to ensure the smoothness of the cue.
You also need to check the shape of the tip.
A good rule of thumb is to look for a dome shape, which is the shape a tip of a perfect pool cue should have.
If you find a pool cue with all these features and in perfect condition, then you’ve found yourself the best pool cue.
Finally, I want to talk about how to determine if the ferrule is tightly connected to the shaft and the tip.
If you can see a gap in the joint part, or if there is glue overflow, and the ferrule is not tight enough with the shaft, etc, then it’s not a good pool cue.
Generally speaking, three things affect the performance of front interception: Spin, Deflection, and Squirt.
Spin (cue ball spin) –
The rotation strength of the cue ball has relation with the hardness of the shaft. When using skills like backspin, the cue ball will spin.
So now you ask: How much does the cue ball spin when it is hit?
That will depend on the bending degree of the shaft after hitting the cue ball. Sometimes, the greater the rotation, the more deflection when the cue ball moves.
A taper is also an important factor in determining the cue ball rotation value.
Generally speaking, a longer acceleration shaft will make the cue ball rotate less.
Again, the greater the rotation, the more deflection you’ll get when the cue ball moves.
The dense and heavy shaft will provide more rotation value and less deflection. Therefore, players can make full use of the shaft wood and taper to show their pool skills.
Deflection (bending deflection as the cue ball moves) –
When the shaft hits the cue ball, it must be bent (the cue is instantly arched).
Several players also believe this causes the cue ball to deviate from the original course when playing backspin.
Another vital factor that affects this phenomenon is the player’s stroke habits.
Other important factors which influence this include the stroke style, aiming, strike speed, strength, the distance between the cue ball and the target ball, the intensity of the cue ball rotation, among others.
Billiard Congress of America can help you get more guidance.
Squirt (the moment when the cue ball shifts when players put backspin on the ball) –
The phenomenon of instantaneous deviation when hitting backspin is called squirt.
Robert Byrne mentions the phenomenon of squirt in his two widely popular books on fancy billiards, Byrne’s Standard Book of Pool and Billiards and Byrne’s Advanced Technique in Pool and Billiards, two very popular books on fancy billiards.
The author says that, when using backspin, the cue ball moves away from the original aiming path.
When players strike the right, the cue ball will momentarily deviate to the left, and vice versa.
So my best advice would be to remember to correct the aiming point when playing billiards.
Now let’s move on to yet one other factor that influences squirt: the taper.
So, what is taper?
Taper refers to the magnitude of shaft change, that is, the diameter gradually widens from the cue tip to the butt.
Generally speaking, there are only two types of taper: Billiard Taper and Pro Taper.
Pro Taper now dominates the majority of the market. Its diameter will not gradually increase until down the cue shaft eight to fourteen inches (usually 8 inches).
Something that only a handful of people know is that Pro Taper can be divided into short acceleration type (the diameter will increase after about 6 to 8 inches) and long acceleration type (the diameter will increase after about 10 to 14 inches).
To maintain a uniform striking strength at the front end, most cues are designed with a smaller taper.
Butt of the best pool cues –
We’ve reached the most popular part of the pool cue: the butt.
The shaft determines the overall performance of the cue, but the butt determines the style of the pool stick.
Besides this, yes, you guessed it: much like all the other aspects mentioned, the butt also has an impact on the performance of the stick.
The butt contains forewrap (forearm), wrap (grip) and afterwrap.
The part from warp to bumper is called afterwrap (sleeve, butt cap and bumper).
The bottom bumper keeps the butt cap away from damage.
Although the pool tip and shaft determine the performance of your cue stick, the cue butt is still an important component that you should definitely consider.
This is for all you beginners at billiards or players who sweat easily: the wrap can be a great source of help.
The wrap is a butt accessory for the cue, which prevents the cue from slipping out of your hand. Of course, some sticks have no wraps.
Generally, the material of wrap is nylon, Irish linen, leather or similar cork. However, among these materials, Irish linen is considered the best wrap material.
Irish linen wrap provides a smooth feel without any interference.
Of course, if you sweat a lot, you can also go for the leather wrap. A pool cue with leather wrap will give you the ultimate smoothness.
Don’t forget to fix the wrap of the best pool cues smoothly and neatly on the pool cues’ butt.
The best thing about Irish linen wrap is that your wrap can be very firmly attached to the cue.
If you buy a pool stick with rubber wrap, then you need to check for greasiness.
Remember that greasy wraps will be slippery and this is probably the last thing you want as a billiard player.
The length of the wrap is generally fixed.
But like for every rule, this one has exceptions too.
For example, cue master Thomas Wayne once deliberately shortened the length of his cue grip (wrap) part to increase the space of the forearm.
This gives players the unusual performance of the cue stick.
Quality of the best pool cues –
Another factor to consider before you can buy the best pool cue is its quality.
The quality of the pool stick is related to the type and the birthplace of cue wood. Usually, pool cues are made of maple, and snooker cues are made of ash.
The quality of the maple is the key to the shaft.
Generally speaking, a softer shaft will be more flexible. Of course, sometimes pool cue is plastic or metallic.
However, it’s important to note that high-quality pool cues will not be painted.
Cue sticks are usually spliced by hand or machine, so you also need to check the joint. To check its smoothness, you can simply rub it.
When you buy a pool cue, be sure to check the quality. On high-quality pool cues, you will not see any glue or stains.
Again, you can check the smoothness by simply rubbing the cue stick.
This way, you can make sure it is a good cue.
If you don’t feel the cue stick is right, then the quality of the cue is not good.
Concerning the cue wood, some players think that maple, being elastic, provides a better performance than ash.
Ash has a nice enough toughness, stability and is not easily deformed.
However, maple is indeed more elastic than ash in some ways.
Weather is an important factor for a maple cue.
The performance of maple cues will fluctuate depending on the temperature and humidity.
This is obviously bad for the players’ billiard game. Therefore, you might need to buy a pool cue case.
Straightness is another major factor you need to consider before buying the best pool cue.
A curved pool cue will highly affect your level and can potentially make you lose every game, which I’m sure you want to avoid at all costs.
A straight billiard cue is what you want to go for. If you were to buy a new pool cue at this very moment, the cue would be straight. However, they bend with time due to use.
There are some measures you can take to prevent the pool cue from bending.
Firstly, keep your cue away from high temperatures and humidity. This is not to say that you should put it in the refrigerator; a normal temperature is the best choice.
Also, don’t keep it on the wall – putting it in the pool cue case may be a better choice.
It’s easy to check whether your stick is straight.
To do this, just hold the back end and look down. You will immediately see if the stick is bent.
When checking the straightness of the stick, you need to hold back end in hand.
After holding it like a shotgun, close one eye and you’ll be able to check the straightness of it.
The straightness of a new cue depends on the good finishing of the cue from the manufacture. Never buy such cues.
Size of your best pool cues –
The size of a standard pool cue is usually between 57 and 61 inches, and the height of most billiard cues is 59 inches.
Choose the right cue based on your height, arm length and cue weight preference.
For instance, I personally prefer a universal 57-inch cue because I can choose the holding position.
A short cue may be a good choice for children and women who are beginners at billiards, due to their body type and weight.
You can also choose a short cue, which is ideal for small rooms.
If you choose a short one, you may need a cue rack. For a long cue stick, sometimes the stability of the stroke cannot be improved, and it might even reduce it.
Ordinary brands don’t provide cues with special specifications, so you might need a custom cue.
However, personalized cues are expensive. I would say the aforementioned pool cues are the best pool cues for beginners and average players, and even for advanced players.
According to data from the International Billiards Association, the weight of a beginner pool cue should be 18 ounces.
However, if you’re purchasing a pool cue for the very first time, I recommend using a 19-ounce cue. This is common for most players.
However, it depends on personal preference. For example, women and children prefer lighter cue sticks.
The weight of the cue does increase the hitting feeling, while the strength of the rotation depends more on the aiming, the integrity of the force and the penetration force.
Overweight cues are sometimes difficult to control and can affect the stability of your stroke.
If you want to hit the cue ball slightly, an overweight cue might cause you unwanted trouble.
When the force is applied, an overweight cue will affect the stability of your hand.
Therefore, if the pool cue is too heavy, you may suffer miss cue. This is why I usually go for a lighter cue.