How to Maintain Your Pool Cue Tip (Everything You Need to Know)

The tip is arguably one of the most critical parts of a pool cue. If you don’t take care of it and keep it maintained, you’ll miscue a lot more often, and it will drastically impact your game.

But how do you maintain your pool cue tip?

  1. Chalk the tip carefully
  2. Use a scuffer or pricker to keep the tip rough
  3. Use a shaper to keep the tip rounded

That’s it! As long as you follow these three simple guidelines, your pool cue tip will not be the reason you miss a shot. In this article, we’ll give you all the details you need to perform these simple maintenance tasks.

How to Chalk a Pool Cue Tip

There is nothing quite as disturbing for an experienced pool player as watching someone new to the game jam a cube of chalk into the tip of a pool cue. Talk about cringy.

The tip of a pool cue is actually pretty delicate. It should be treated with care. So the next time you need to chalk your tip, take these tips into consideration.

  • Hold the pool cue at an angle so that you can see the tip.
  • Gently apply the chalk as if you were painting it with a paintbrush.
  • Get smooth, even coverage
  • More chalk isn’t necessarily better
  • If you over chalk, don’t try to remove it and don’t smack your pool cue against anything.

If you’re gentle with your tip, you won’t need to replace it as often! If you don’t like chalking up, check out our post about how often chalking up is necessary and the best chalk you can use.

If you’ve already damaged your tip, you will need to replace it. For casual play, Water Buffalo Cue Tips won’t cost you an arm and a leg. If you want something a little nicer, you could try the Tiger Onyx Pool Cue Tip.

How to Rough Up a Pool Cue Tip

You’ll know your pool cue tip needs to be roughed up when your tip seems like it isn’t holding chalk like it should be.

To do this, you’ll use a scuffer:

  1. Hold the pool cue at an angle so you can see what you’re doing.
  2. Place the tip inside the scuffer.
  3. Twist the pool cue around a couple of times.

That’s it! Really simple and fast for some spur of the moment scuffing, but if your tip needs something a little drastic, you can use a picker.

Here’s how you use a picker:

  1. Again, hold the pool cue at an angle so you can see what you’re doing.
  2. Gently, but firmly press the picker into the tip.
  3. Remove the picker, twist the pool cue, and press again. Do this until the tip is completely aerated.

Avoid smashing the picker into the tip. Some players recommend this method, but it can put more wear and tear on the pool tip than is necessary.

How to Round the Pool Cue Tip

A rounded tip is essential if you want to be able to put any kind of English on the ball without a miscue. Rounding a pool cue tip is just as easy as roughing it up. You’ll simply need a shaper.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Hold the pool cue at an angle so you can see the tip.
  2. Place the tip into the shaper.
  3. Gently twist the shaft of the pool cue so that it spins inside the shaper.
  4. Do this until you get the shape you want.

It couldn’t get any easier. When purchasing a shaper, you’ll need to decide if you want a nickel-sized or dime-sized shaper. The dime-sized shaper makes a more rounded edge than a nickel-sized. It is mostly a matter of preference.

A breaking cue should have a flat tip. So, skip this step on your breaking cue. Check out our post 11 Billiard Pool Tips Every Beginner Needs to Learn for more beginner tips!

The Best Tool for Maintaining Your Pool Cue Tip

Hands down, the most popular tool for maintaining your pool cue tip is the Cuetec 3 in 1 Bowtie Tip Tool. It is a simple tool that combines all three tools you need to maintain your tip in one. There is a scuffer at one end, a shaper at the other, and you can unscrew it to reveal a pricker in the center.

If you buy this tip tool, it will be the last one you buy. It doesn’t wear out, and its metal construction means that you’d have a real hard time breaking it through normal use. We consider this a must-have pol cue accessory.


Benny is the owner of Supreme Billiards and has been shooting pool and teaching people how to shoot pool for a few years now. He enjoys showing new players techniques and drills to improve their pool game.

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