What’s the Best Billiard Chalk?


A miscue is one of the worst things that can happen to you during an intense match.

This probably happened because you forgot to chalk before your shot or you tried to use too much english/spin on the ball.

Miscue – When you hit a ball with your pool cue and the tip slides off the ball because it could not grip the ball. This is followed by a loud sound and your cue ball (white ball) does not go where it was meant to, usually going sideways and missing your shot completely.

Everyone has used chalk before every shot because it’s what you are told to do. It makes sense that it is required in order to make sure the english or spin you apply to the cue ball does not result in a miscue. That loud bang sound after a terrible miscue is a sound no player ever wants to hear. Pool players around the world have a habit of chalking before every shot – it’s a routine, it’s a ritual, but what is Chalk and what is it exactly made out of?

What is Chalk?

Chalk used for cue tips was created by crushing silica and the abrasive substance corundum and aluminium oxide into a powder. This was invented by straight rail billiard professional William Spinks and chemist William Hoskins in 1897! Thanks to both the Wills, now we have our magic dust to prevent those nasty miscues.

(Clicking on the Image will redirect you to Amazon)

Why do you use chalk on a pool stick?

The main purpose why chalk is used on the tip of your pool cue is because it adds friction. Now, why is this important? Let’s define friction first:

Friction is when a surface/object has resistance occur when one object is moving over another object.

Boom, friction can be our enemy when shooting pool. The two objects that create that resistance is when the tip of your pool cue strikes the ball. Applying chalk helps to add something called “Motion-Resistance” between where you are hitting the cue ball and your cue stick. This helps the tip of your cue from not sliding off the ball and miscueing. If you think about it, the usual leather tip on pool cues slowly become smooth and worn out over continuous use. We need chalk to help so we can make that shot and avoid a miscue.

What are the top brands for billiard chalk?

There are a lot of chalk brands out there in crazy different colors but, what’s the best of the best? Over the years I have been playing pool, these are the few most notable brands of chalk that have stood out to me. Heads-up, this is probably going to vary from player to player so my list may be different from other peoples list.

All of the links above will redirect you to Amazon on that specific product page. This list is in no specific order.  These are all great brands and I have never had any issues with either of these chalk brands. Yes, their consistencies will tend to be slightly different but overall their quality is great.

Keep reading or scroll down to see my top 4 personal choices that I would choose for billiard chalk.

My Top 4 Choices

Blue Diamond Chalk

My first choice would be Blue Diamond Chalk (Click on Amazon link for pricing). This is a great product because the moisture retention helps so you don’t have to chalk as often. Blue Diamond gives your tip the ability to play for extended periods with less chalking.

Clicking on the image will take you to Amazon where they sell Blue Diamond Chalk

Highlights:

  • Inexpensive (Especially compared to Kamui)
  • Players say that this chalk stays on for up to 3 or 4 strokes (which means you don’t need to chalk before every shot)
  • Made in the USA
  • Comes with 2 to 4 pieces
Predator Chalk

Predator has been one of the top Billiard companies that produce really great all-around pool products (Including their 3rd generation Z shafts and the Revo). I personally use Predator chalk (Click on the Amazon link for current price) and have always been a fan of the sleek design and shape. It’s always been a solid material that predator chalk is made out of and you can tell a difference between this chalk and ordinary chalk.

Clicking on the image will redirect you to Amazon’s page for this chalk

Highlights

  • Octagon Chalk Shape
  • Remains on the tip longer
  • Does not stain the felt as heavily compared to other brands
  • Get more spin with control
  • A little more expensive
  • Made in the USA
  • Comes with 5 pieces
Kamui Chalk

Kamui 0.98 Beta (Click on the Amazon link for a price) is one of the top lines of chalk and people will certainly say this is the more luxurious and expensive brand of chalk. You only get 1 cube of Kamui chalk per packaging and it is kept in the ideal climate that helps retain quality throughout producing it and shipping it to customers.

Players say that they only need to chalk this once or twice during a whole match.

Clicking on the image will redirect you to Amazon’s page for this chalk

Highlights

  • Much more expensive than the rest of the competition
  • You will chalk much less
  • Very high-quality chalk
  • Made in JAPAN
  • 1 piece per package

This is a great choice if you have the money to spend and you hate chalking before every shot. This chalk will help you save time and have a consistent shot without worry of miscuing.

Master Chalk

Master chalk (Click the Amazon link for pricing) is the most common chalk you will see in a majority of pool halls. They are everywhere like the Apples and Samsungs of the cell phone world (without the price tag).

Purchasing Master Chalk is the ultimate money saver where you will get more for in value too (whopping 12 cubes per box). Master has a lot of color options so if you have a different color table at home (besides the usual green or blue), they can accommodate your preference.

Clicking on the image will redirect you to Amazon’s page for this chalk

  • Most popular used chalk
  • Well priced and inexpensive
  • Variety of color options available
  • Great value with 12 pieces

Does it really matter which chalk you use?

The million dollar question, does it really matter which brand of chalk you use?

Generally, No it doesn’t – but it depends on the individual. If you have the patience and routine to just chalk before every shot, you should not encounter any of the issues I am about to list below. However, if you can relate to the problems below then spending the extra money on higher-quality chalk may be the best choice.

  • I hate chalking so often
  • I dislike all the dust, residue and chalk marks that are left behind on the table
  • I don’t like the consistency of cheaper chalk
  • I miscue with cheaper chalk

Kamui and Blue Diamond do a really great job of meeting all those gripes above. It is ultimately up to personal preference.

The downside of High-Quality chalk

The only downside to Kamui and Blue Diamond is that their chalk marks remain on the Cue Ball longer which creates something called “Cling”.

Cling – A large amount of throw off line when there is too much friction between the Cue Ball and the Object Ball (the ball you’re hitting) at the point of contact.

Easy fix – wipe off the chalk mark off the Cue Ball (white ball) often.

Other frequently asked questions:
How often should I chalk?

This depends on the chalk you use. If you use a cheaper chalk like Master, you should chalk before every shot.

If you use Kamui or Blue Diamond, I would chalk every 2 to 3 shots to be on the safe side.

Are there any cons or disadvantages to chalking too much?

The only disadvantage is that it may annoy some players or it takes longer to take your shot. This can actually be an advantage though because it forces the player to take longer to shoot and gives players more time to think about the shot.

This may additionally make your stick and shaft dirtier a bit quicker, but if you clean your pool cue regularly you will be okay.

What’s the best way I should chalk my pool tip?

You should apply chalk gently but firm enough to your tip that you see it being applied evenly.

A common mistake is applying it too firmly. If you apply it too hard then it’ll grind your tip down quicker and shorten your tips life. This means replacing your tip much more often which no one ever wants to do.

Another common mistake is applying the chalk straight down so the tip fits perfectly in the circular spot in the chalk. This can lessen the life of your chalk because, by the end of it, you will have 4 corners of chalk that will eventually crumble. The best method is to use the corners at an even rate so your chalk lasts longer and the entire square or shape of your chalk decreases at a steady rate.

Summary

Chalk is a small piece of a larger picture. If you remember to chalk often, chalk again, and then check one more time to chalk – you should be good to go. I hope that this post has helped you in choosing the best chalk and have a great day. Be sure to check out the rest of our Recommended Billiard products here. Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment or question below.

Benny

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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