Let’s get this out of the way: buying a $300 pool cue isn’t going to make you a pro overnight. If you don’t understand how to hit the ball, use English, and play angles then no cue is going to help your game. However, if you do understand those things and are tired of using the cheap house cues that may or may not have a tip on them, then continue reading and learn how to select the perfect cue to suit you.
Here’s a secret: an expensive pool cue doesn’t mean “the best” pool cue. Expensive pool cues are expensive because of all the inlays and wraps. They look nice, but outside of a potential confidence boost, they aren’t going to shoot much different than an inexpensive cue that has the same tip. And that’s the key to having a good pool cue: having a good tip. A soft tip is going to give you a better feel for the shot but a medium/hard tip is going to last longer and give you a better shape. I recommend that you go with a medium LePro tip to start with. It’s what comes on every new cue we sell and is by far our most popular re-tipping option.
Weight and feel are very important when it comes to selecting a cue. A heavier (20-21 oz) cue gives you a harder shot and better spin, but can lead to more mishits if not struck properly. A lights (19-18 oz) cue requires you to be more fine with you shot, but allows you to control the speed better and is more forgiving if you have a mishit. When it comes to feel, it’s all a personal preference. Some people like to have a wrap or a grip, especially if they have sweaty hands like myself, while others don’t mind the feel of the wood.
All cues shafts are made from rock maple. Some have more of a taper and are better slicked (giving you a smoother glide between your fingers), but the biggest thing to look for is the flex of the shaft. If you notice that your cue is flexing to the side when you hit, then you might want to invest in a low-deflection shaft that will decrease the chances of squirting (the deviation of the cue ball from the hit line).
Make sure to look at the joint of a cue as well. The best joints are wood-to-wood joints with large, wide joint threads.
The best cue you can invest in is a simple Sneaky Pete. It looks like a house cue, but it’s in two pieces. It has a wood to wood joint and is used by many pool sharks and hustlers. They retail for around $60. If you want to invest in something a little more expensive and nicer looking, a good Players or Stealth cue can last your years and only set you back $100 or so. If you’re an advanced player who trusts the game then there’s nothing wrong with going with a high-end McDermott, Viking, or Lucasi cue. All come with a low deflection shaft that gives you a true hit.
We have almost 100 cues on display in our store. You can try out any cue before you buy, although we can’t chalk the cue. If you have any questions about pricing or availability you can call ahead at 919-783-7447.