Why MDF Pool Tables May Not Be Worth It (Buyer Beware)

pool balls in a line

If you have seen MDF pool tables for sale at a much more affordable price point than their slate table counterparts, you probably want to know if they are a good option! However, a lot of research shows that MDF pool tables may not be worth it, so let’s find out why!

MDF (medium density fiberboard) pool tables are not nearly as impressive when it comes to performance as slate pool tables. While MDF tables are popular and well-made, they don’t offer the same consistency as a slate table. All professional players, tournaments, and most pool halls use slate tables.

Now, in this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of MDF tables, as well as why they are considered inferior to slate pool tables, and a whole lot more! Keep reading if you want to understand exactly what MDF tables have to offer and why they’re probably not worth saving some cash. 

What is an MDF Pool Table?

First things first, what is an MDF pool table? MDF stands for medium density fiberboard, which is what the table is actually made of. 

This material is made from wood chips that are then combined with wax or resin. The MDF bed is then molded into the size of the table. 

The reason why MDF tables work is because the molding process ensures the bed will be completely flat, and the density is quite impressive for such a light material. 

The other option for pool tables is slate. Slate tables are much heavier as the material is literally slate rock that has been mined as one large rectangle. 

Pros of MDF Pool Tables

Now that you know what an MDF table actually is, you should understand why MDF pool tables have become quite popular. While we will certainly get to the downsides in the next section, there are several advantages to be aware of. 

Here are some of the features that users enjoy about MDF tables:

  • They have a significantly lower price tag than slate tables
  • They are lightweight and much easier to move. 
  • The ability to build and take them apart whenever needed. 
  • The medium density fiberboard composite is dense and flat enough for a decent game of pool. 

If you think that an MDF table is looking pretty good, don’t go out and buy one just yet. There is a lot more to learn before you decide. 

Cons of MDF Pool Tables

While there are a few disadvantages of opting for an MDF pool table, there is one that is absolutely the most important. 

MDF tables are not as consistent as slate tables. Your shots on an MDF table are not as likely to roll perfectly every time. 

For novice players, this may not be a problem as they won’t even notice that the ball was supposed to go further or in a slightly different direction, but professionals and those who are focused on the game will definitely feel the difference. 

Another con is the fact that because they are sold as out-of-the-box units, you cannot change the felt or specifications and pocket preferences like you can on slate tables. 

But the bottom line is that they are simply not as good quality as slate tables and the balls will not move as consistently across MDF tables as they will on slate tables. 

Who Can Use MDF Pool Tables?

Obviously, MDF tables are quite popular, and you’ve probably seen them for sale and wondered whether they are the right choice for your pool table. 

Here’s the thing: Those who simply want a pool table for their home can certainly opt for a MDF table. If you like to play with family and friends and aren’t worried about improving your game, an MDF table can be a good choice. 

However, if you are in any way serious about the game of pool and want to get better or eventually play in local tournaments, MDF tables simply aren’t worth the savings. 

Slate tables are of a much better quality and consistency; good pool players can tell the difference between a slate and MDF table as the ball moves differently on each one. 

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you now understand why MDF tables are considered to be worth purchasing if you love the game of pool and want to become the best player you can be. 

But just to recap: MDF tables are a lower quality than slate tables and they do not offer the same consistency. 

If you’re just playing for fun and don’t mind the fact these cons, an MDF table will be fine for your home. 

The lightweight technology and low price point often pulls the consumer in, but if you really want to play a game of pool the right way, the MDF table is not the best choice. 


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.

Recent Posts