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Best Pool Cues

You’ve been playing a lot of pool lately; your skill level is improving but you still want to up your game.  Whether you are a beginner or intermediate level player, the first thing to consider is what kind of pool cue are you using?   If you are still using a standard playing cue, you might want to consider purchasing a new light weight playing stick with a low deflection shaft.  This will help improve your performance by not only giving you better ball control, but better overall accuracy.  

What else contributes in the making of “best pool cues”?  Which are the best and/or popular brands of pool sticks?  What are some of the pros and cons of the best sticks? And finally, what are the best priced pool cues for a beginner to intermediate level player?  Let’s try to answer these questions and then maybe you can decide which playing stick is right for you!

What to Look for in the Best Pool Cues

It’s important to understand the various parts of a pool stick and how they contribute to the overall quality of the cue.

  • Tip – Is the apex of the stick and must be kept in good working condition and maintained regularly.  Tips vary in hardness from soft, medium and/or hard, with hard tips being used for break and jump cues.
  • Ferrule – Is the part between the tip and the shaft, usually attached to the shaft by threading, gluing, or slipping.  It strengthens the tip and reduces vibration.
  • Shaft – Is the bulk of the pool cue and affects the smoothness of your stroke.  It comes in different lengths and is made from different materials.  The most common is hard rock maple wood, but others include fiberglass and graphite.
  • Joint – Is the part between the shaft and the butt; it ensures alignment, firmness and steadiness of the parts and stick.  Materials used include stainless steel, bones, ivory, wood, etc. *Determines the energy flow during play.
  • Ring – Is the regular part of the cue on the collar of the shaft and butt which holds and reinforces the joint.
  • Collar – Is located at the rear of the shaft, lies on the forearm to reinforce the pin.  It is made of phenolic resin, ivory, or stainless steel.  *Offers consistent energy flow during play.
  • Bumper – Is located at the end of the stick and absorbs the pressure and impact when striking cue balls and protects the cue from damage.  It is made of leather or rubber.
  • Grip – Is the texture of the cue.  The grip should not be slippery as it may affect the accuracy of play.  Materials used for improving grip are rubber, leather, or linen.

Now that we reviewed the parts of a pool cue, let’s look at what brands are considered the best and/or most popular.

The Best and/or Popular Cue Brands

These ten brands have been named the best and/or most popular because of their cues amazing performance, excellent finishing, breathtaking designs, and quality features.  Several offer different or adjustable weights, combo selections and lifetime warranties. 

  • Players Sneaky Pete
  • Predator
  • Viper
  • Trademark
  • Cuesoul
  • Lucasi
  • Valley House
  • Scorpion
  • Viking
  • Meucci

The pros and cons listed below are a tabulation of these brands.  If you are looking for a new pool cue, it’s important to research each brand to see which stick meets your skill level and price range.  You may be comfortable with a brand that is not even listed above.  Remember, you need to find the fit that works for you at this point in time.  As you evolve as a player, your needs and wants may change, and these brands may have what you are looking for.

Pros and Cons of Best Pool Cues

After reviewing several of the top pool cues, these are the descriptors mentioned repeatedly throughout as the pros:

  • Affordable/Low cost
  • Amazing performance
  • Combo set (4 Pool Cues)
  • Different weights for comfortable use
  • Different weights for different shots
  • Excellent finishing
  • Eye catching design
  • Fiber ferrule
  • Great durability
  • Grip is slip-proof/Irish Linen wrap/Nylon wrap
  • Hard Rock Canadian Maple shaft/North American hard rock maple
  • Le Pro Tip used for low deflection
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Light weight cue
  • 100% Leather tip
  • Old School 2-piece design
  • Rubber bumper to protect cue
  • Stainless steel collar
  • Stainless steel joint
  • Warp resistant
  • Well-balanced cue

These are the descriptors used for what was considered a con for the model:

  • Cue size is a bit large
  • Cue length is not good
  • Expensive
  • Fair performance
  • Finishing is average
  • Stainless steel joint collar is average stainless steel
  • Straightness is not good
  • Tip is fair
  • Wrap is missing

What are the Best Priced Pool Cues for a Beginner to Intermediate Level Player?

Generally, pool cues that are under $100 are for beginners.  They are solid sticks that can help beginners learn the basics.  You will notice that the two listed here, have many of the pros that are listed above. 

  • Viper Sinister: Hard Canadian Maple, adjustable weight system, Le Pro leather tip, stainless steel joint, Irish linen wrap
  • Viking Valhalla: Hard Rock Maple Pro taper shaft, high impact resin ferrule, Leather tip, Ultra-Violet urethane finishing, lifetime warranty

If you are interested, you can also find brands that include a cue and case combo or a five-cue set for under $100.

For those of you who are transitioning from the beginner phase to the intermediate level, cues ranging in the $100 to $250 usually offer upgraded features and higher quality materials.  Again, you will notice the similar pros listed in these cues.

  • Players Classic C-960: Under $200, North American Grade A Hard Rock maple, shaft treated with Nelsonite, finished with special epoxy for more protection, high impact ferrule-durable, stainless steel collar and accent rings, Irish linen wrap, lifetime warranty
  • Viper Desperado: High quality Canadian Maple, Le Pro Leather tip, stainless steel collar and rings, 9 coats of varnish for protection, 100% Genuine leather wrap, adjustable weight bolt system

Player D-JS and Viking Valhalla 2 are two other high-quality cues that are under $200.

Now for the best overall pool cue for the money – the Players Technology Series HXT15 – it is over $200 but under $250!  Players cues are known for their quality, performance and style and here are the reasons Players HXT15 is the BEST OVERALL:

  • Priced between $200-$250
  • Equipped with a Low Deflection shaft
  • North American Hard Rock Maple shaft
  • Shaft treated with Nelsonite (protection from moisture/warping)
  • Finished with a special epoxy for more protection
  • HXT Low Deflection Ferrule – improve power/accuracy
  • Kamui 10 Layer Black Tip – durability and maximum performance
  • Stainless steel collar/outstanding graphics
  • Irish Linen wrap

Summary

There are a wide selection of pool cues out there, these were just the tip.  Whether you are a beginner or moving on to the next level, you can find the right cue at the right price.  Do your research, experiment with the various cues if you can, take your time.  You will know the right cue when you find it!

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