Shooting pool can be a lot of fun, but not when the pool sticks are missing their tips and they are slightly crooked. The most logical thing to do is to buy yourself a brand new pool stick right?
Well, that’s what I did after I joined a pool league. Here are 7 tips that anyone thinking about purchasing a new pool stick should consider:
- Pool Cue Length and Size: The most common pool cue length is 58 inches and will work for most people between 5’0 and 5’8. People taller can still use a 58-inch pool cue though, my friend Nixon is 6’2 and he uses a 58-inch pool cue too.
- Weight of the Pool Cue: The most common weights of pool cues weights are 19 ounces and 20 ounces. I recommend starting off with a 19 ounce and adjusting it if you need to later. The ranges go from 17 ounces to 21 ounces.
- Tip Preference (Soft, Medium, or Hard): The most common tips on pool cues are medium tips. They are a good tip for most players. The perfect balance for still being able to achieve spin or English if needed, but firm enough to still have control. Hard tips are meant for break sticks, stay away from these unless you’re getting a break stick.
- Cost: How much do you want to spend on a pool stick? What is your budget? A decent pool cue will range between $100 and $150. If you are a beginner or intermediate player, I suggest you stick to this range. Otherwise, if you are advanced or plan on learning Spin/English, plan on spending more money for a Low Deflection pool cue ($150 and up).
- Wrap Type: There are many wrap types like linen or nylon wrap. This is good for people who get sweaty palms/hands when shooting pool. This is also good so your hand stays gripped where you put it and doesn’t slide around. I don’t use a wrap because my hands don’t get sweaty and it works great for me.
- Joint Type: This is the joints that connect your 2 pool stick pieces together (the shaft and the butt). The most common joints are 5/16 x 14, 5/16 x 18, and Uni-Loc. Try to stick to one of these 3 joint types because if you want to upgrade your Shaft, you’ll want the bottom butt to have a common joint pin to connect with other shafts.
- Brand: Choosing a popular and established brand is important. We recommend choosing one of these to begin with before branching out. These pool brands have been around for a long time and are trusted manufacturers of quality pool equipment.
- Beginner – Action, Players
- Intermediate – Griffin, Viking, Poison, McDermott
- Advanced – Predator, OBI, Katana
What Pool Cue Length to Get?
The most common pool cue length is 58-inches. Most people between the height of 5’0 to 6’2 can use this length. Most pool sticks sold are at a 58-inches length. For most people, the length will already be 58-inches and will already fall in this category. No need to worry about it.
If you are outside the height of 5’0 and 6’2, consider getting a shorter cue or longer one. To summarize:
- Longer Pool Cue Length – 61 Inches (Tall people 6’2+)
- Standard Pool Cue Length – 58 Inches (Most people)
- Shorter Pool Cue Length – 52 Inches (Shorter people 5’0 and shorter)
All 1-piece pool cues you see and use at pool halls are 57-inches. If you’ve tried using that before, it’ll give you a good indicator. If it felt too long for you, I recommend getting a 58″ pool cue.
If the house cue at 57-inches is too short for you, I recommend getting a 58-inch pool cue.
What Weight of Pool Cue to Use?
The most common pool cue weight to use is 19 ounces and 20 ounces. This will work for most people. The range of weights go from 18 ounces to 21 ounces.
If you find that after using a pool cue, you don’t have a lot of control on the ball, we suggest increasing the weight slightly. This will give your pool cue more weight and give you more control.
If you find that it feels like your pool stick is too heavy, try decreasing the weight slightly. This will give your pool cue a looser free feeling and provide more ‘Snap’.
Almost all pool sticks weights can be adjusted. The bottom of your pool stick has a stopper that comes off. This is where the weights can be adjusted. If you are having trouble, stop by your local billiard store for assistance.
How Much Does a Decent Pool Cue Cost?
Decent pool sticks will range between $100 to $150. There are other pool cues out that are much cheaper than this range, but I wouldn’t buy anything below $80. At that point, that trade off for overall quality isn’t worth it.
An example is the tip on a cheap pool stick could be really bad and wear down quickly.
An exception is beginner pool cues for casual players. You can get by with a $50 pool cue.
If you are a beginner but plan on practicing a lot more and using more Side Spin or English, I suggest you investing in a more advanced pool cue. This way, you don’t need to upgrade again in the next 6 months.
Advanced pool cues have shafts that are “Low Deflection”.
What’s Low Deflection?
When you use English or Side Spin, you are pushing the cue ball (white ball) in another direction which causes “Squirt”. This veers the cue ball away from the natural line you are aiming at. Low deflection shafts help reduce that squirt.
Note: Low deflection shafts and cue may cost well over $500.
What Are The Best Pool Cue Brands?
There are too many pool cue brands out there to count. Here is the best pool brands ranked by skill level.
Beginner Pool Brands
Intermediate Pool Brands
Advanced Pool Brands
- Cuetec (Cynergy Cue)
There are a ton of more brands that are still reliable, but this was the list of brands that I’ve personally come across. I recognize my fellow pool players play with these brands, and I’ve visited plenty of billiard stores and see the same ones they recommend.
Best Pool Cue for a Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Player
Here are recommendations for different players skills.
If you are a beginner pool player who doesn’t take the game seriously, but you’re just tired
Beginner Pool Player: You don’t play that much, maybe once every week or two. You are tired of using the awful house cues on the walls that aren’t straight. You don’t use English/Side Spin/Backspin/Draw/etc. You just want something that shoots straight and is reliable. Check out this Action Val24.
Intermediate Pool Player: You shoot pool 1-2x a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less. You are in 1 or 2 pool leagues too but you aren’t the best player on the team. You use backspin and topspin in your game but you can’t really control it yet. You watch practice videos and do drills sometimes. A great pool cue would be the Griffin GR47.
Advanced Pool Player: You can run a rack out. You’ve been playing pool for years and are one of the top players on your pool teams/league. You have good cue ball control, excellent english/side spin, and an overall advanced player. In APA you are a Skill Level 6 or 7 and have been for a while. The perfect pool cue for you would be something like a Predator Roadline Purple Heart 4that has a 314-3 Low Deflection shaft to handle all that spin you use.
Invest in a Good Pool Case
You just spent a lot of money on a brand-spankin-new pool cue. You’re feeling pretty excited to try this new piece of equipment out. You’ll want to protect that and keep it in good condition as long as possible.
You need to invest in a good pool case. Here are some quick suggestions.
Good Budget Friendly Pool Case – The PoolDawgs single case is perfect for casual or beginner players. They only carry 1 pool cue and that’s all they need. This won’t break the bank either.
Medium Pool Case – The Elite 2×2 Vintage Pool Case is great for holding up to 2 full pool cues inside. It has a comfortable strap to hold your case as you travel.
Expert Pool Case – The Instroke Cowboy 3 is perfect for advanced players who have multiple pool cues/break cues/jump cues. They need a heavy duty case with some style.
What Pool Cue Length Size For a Child?
If you know a junior or child that loves to shoot pool or would love a new pool stick, you need to know what pool cue length to get them.
The most common pool cue length for juniors is a 52-inch pool cue. There are other sizes you can get, but most kids or shorter folks between 3’5 to 5’4 can use this pool cue length.
For a more in-depth review, check out my post here that includes it’s own pool cue size length chart specifically for children and juniors.