Pool (also known as billiard) is one of those sports that are often seen as lighthearted, competitive games that friends play in dingy, smoke-filled bars after a couple of drinks.
From there, your interest in a pool can either intensify or remain the same.
If you fall under the former category and you also want to both spice up your game and enrich your technique, you have to know that everything starts from the cue.
The cues that can be found in local bars and pubs are oftentimes not only of low-quality but also severely beaten and worn down, which is why you have probably never given them a second thought.
However, cues are crucial when it comes to taking your skills to the next level. This article will help you choose between carefully selected best pool cues that can be currently found on the market.
Table of Contents
- The Best Pool Cues in Each Category
- #1. The Best Pool Cue for Beginners - Iszy Billiards Pool Cue
- #2. The Best Pool Cue for Intermediate - Games & Sport Expert Pool Cue
- #3. The Best Pool Cue for Advanced - TaiBA Pool Cue
- #4. The Best Pool Cue Under $100 - Viking Valhalla Pool Cue
- #5. The Best Performance for the Money - Players Classic Cue
- #6. The Best Rated Pool Cue - AB Earth Pool Cue
- #7. The Best One-Piece Pool Cue - Viper Pool Cue
- #8. The Best Two-Piece Pool Cue - Players Pure X HXT15
- Factors to Consider When Choosing a Pool Cue?
- Conclusion - Our Pick(s)
The Best Pool Cues in Each Category
To satisfy the needs of every beginner, we chose the Iszy Billiards Cue.
This cue is ideal for every beginner precisely because of its sturdy build. The materials that comprise this cue were fused together to create both a reliable and durable tool that is ideal for playing in rooms that aren’t that spacious.
It belongs to the lightweight cues (16 & 17 oz.), which makes it perfect for beginners, as it is easy to control. However, the weight cannot be adjusted, so you might want to consider changing to another cue once you go past the beginner steps in the pool.
One of the highlight features of this cue is the efficient use of Irish linen for the wrap; this feature alone greatly improves the quality of the cue as it is ideal for handling and maneuvering.
The core material utilized to make this cue is Canadian Maple Hardwood – and this is truly a premium combination that results in longevity and durability.
Finally, we must mention one potential downside. Its tip is made from fiber ferrule ( the glue on leather), which can be both a good and a bad thing.
It is ideal for practicing just how much force should be exerted upon each shot, but it is known to be too hard for some, too.
All in all, this is a great cue to accompany all beginners on their long pool journey!
Do you feel like you’ve been using the same old cue for too long, and have been in the game for a while enough not to consider yourself a dabbler or a shy newcomer?
If that’s your feeling, then it’s high time for an upgrade!
What our weapon of choice offers to intermediate pool players is a design that comes in two pieces, made from a combination of Canadian and Australian Hardwood Maple, in order to bring you closer to perfection.
What this cue accentuates is its use of the amazing Irish linen, and extra protection to keep it from bending, warping, and overall damage.
It will not only serve you as your upgraded cue now that you’ve climbed the ladders and started to win more and more matches, but it will look great and provide all the necessary satisfaction and self-confidence while playing.
The cue comes in four attractive colors (blue, brown, green, and red), and sizes from 18 to 21 oz. Therefore, you can choose whether you want a heavyweight upgrade, or if you still want to stick to around 18-19 oz.
Finally, with this purchase, you’ll get free joint protectors and a nice black nylon soft bag.
Knowing that manufacturers chose to include several accessories, no matter how many, is always a plus. And the bag looks great, too!
TaiBA 58-inch pool cue is the top class cue for professional pool players.
It is made of high-quality Canadian maple, coated with nine layers of varnish for a shiny finish and extra protection.
The cue is also loaded with handy characteristics like the multilayered leather tip for hard and precise shots, and the rubber bumper. Both of these result in increased power and accuracy of your shots and prevent the slipping of the cue.
The design is very nice, and you can purchase the white or black cue with green, blue, red, and yellow highlights.
What comes in extremely handy is the fact that the weight of this cue is completely adjustable, but a little downside is that you need to purchase other weight-adjusting bolts separately.
When you do obtain another weight, you just need to open the rubber bumper, change it, and that is it.
Although there are some investments that you’ll need to make, with this purchase, you will get a hard case with an adjustable shoulder strap and a zippered pocket for accessories, which will serve both as a carrier and protector for your cue.
As this is a two-piece cue, you can easily separate the parts and store them here, dividing them with a cloth that you also get.
More importantly, it comes at a very reasonable price! You won’t find any other cue for professional players at this price range.
With a price tag less than $100, and plenty to give in return, 58-inch long Viking Valhalla pool cue will certainly bring your game to the next level, no matter whether it is a friendly or a competitive match.
This company, with more than 50 years of experience in producing cues, has made sure that you get the finest quality while being unique, as we can say that their billiard equipment is always remarkable and beautiful.
The 13 mm-tip is made from leather, which ensures that the contact with the ball will be crisp and precise, and the shaft is made of Canadian Maple (our favorite material for cues). The metal threading adds to the sturdiness and a nice feel to this cue.
With as many as seven colors (even pink) and four weights to choose from (18-21 oz.), you will find your preferred type among these.
If you want to change the weight of your cue, you can remove the cap and add it, but we recommend buying a ready-made option that suits you (as you will have to purchase other weight-bolts separately).
Overall, this the best pool cue under 100 bucks, as it is a well-balanced and sturdy pool cue with a hard glue-on tip for your most precise and impressive shots.
Lastly, you will get a lifetime warranty for this cue (can’t get longer than that!), which also testifies about its durability and quality.
You can find cheaper cues than Players Classic pool cue, but not many in this price range will deliver such a quality performance.
This two-piece cue, made of North American hard rock maple, is processed and coated with Nelsonite, which provides the ultimate moisture protection and a nice gloss touch to the cue.
What also accounts for the quality build of the shaft is French Cue Wax.
When you put the two pieces together, the cue is 58-inch long, which is a standard size for professional players. The grip is double pressed Irish Linen, which has an incredibly smooth feel.
It comes with a 13-mm French LePro tip, which falls under the category of medium to medium-hard tips. It’s great for front and backspin shots, as it’s not too soft nor too hard.
On top of that, Players Classic Cue delivers stability and precision and is made for those of you who like to feel some heftiness when playing, as it is a bit heavier than average (25 oz.).
If you’re wondering whether to buy this cue or not, we would say that the preference of the grip is the key. If you like a smooth grip with a lot of space to maneuver your shots, go for it.
On the other hand, if you want rigidness, search elsewhere.
We’ve scoured the internet and the market to find the best rated and reviewed pool cue, and AB Earth was the highest-rated pool cue with thousands of satisfied customers.
Naturally, we had to lay our hands on the cue and give it a once-over, so we can evaluate whether its performance lives up to these high expectations on paper.
In short, YES!
If you’re thinking to yourself now that this cue must be made only for professionals due to its high grade, we want to reassure you: it is great for both beginners and professionals, and that’s why it is so popular.
It is made of Canadian hard maple and hand-polished, thus offering a nice and not-too-slippery grip of this 57-inch long cue.
The weight bolt is fixed, and you cannot adjust the weight yourself, but it comes in three varieties (19, 20, and 21 oz.).
Lastly, we have to say that the design is pretty attractive: there are many colors to choose from, and some are decorated with insect patterns (such as a Scorpio that we got).
Next up is a pool cue that doesn’t impress you with its looks, and does not look expensive, but once you play with it, it amazes you with its performance and feel.
This is because Viper focuses on the quality of their products rather than on expensive design and add-ons.
Namely, the cue is made from Maple Hardwood, which we’ve learned by now to be the far most popular option.
There is no rubber or add ons on the wrap, but the wood itself, which, as we’ve noted, reduces vibration and enables a good grip without slipping.
Finally, the Le Pro leather tip reduces all the mistakes and ensures a comfortable grip on the ball.
As you can see, though it is not the most fashionable cue, it offers a pretty sold and quality build.
But what we mean when we say “unfashionable,” is not that it is ugly but that it does not have any other color varieties except the traditional brown-wrap, beige-cue variant (which looks classy and neat).
Lastly, there is an on-going debate on whether one-piece or two-piece pool cues are better. Some arguments are in favor of both, but we have to admit that our recommendation is two-piece. That’s why most of our choices belong to that type.
If you prefer a one-piece, though, go for Viper’s cue!
Last but not least, we wanted to include another pool cue made by Players company.
Their cues may cost a bit more upfront, but they are an excellent combination of speed, power, and value, which is why there are two on our list.
The length of this cue when you put the two pieces together is around 58 inches, and they come in 18 - 20.5 oz. sizes.
The base material is the North American hard rock maple, with a walnut-stained birds-eye finish, which adds to the premium and unique look of the cue. The wrap is also decorated with a black and white diamond pattern.
All these features together comprise not only quality but also a beautiful two-piece cue for all the players, from beginners, who want to distinguish themselves from the very beginning, to the seasoned professionals.
It features double-pressed Irish linen wrap, which, as we mentioned, ensures the perfect grip and gliding once you get used to it.
What distinguishes this Pure X series by Players is the HX-low deflection technology that reduces deflection and increases the precision of your straight shots.
Also, in addition to the precise straight shots, the Kamui soft tip will enable all the finesse shots and spins, so that you can show all of your skills in the game.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Pool Cue?
1. The Ferrule and the Tip
When you are shopping for pool cues, one of the first things that you want to check out is the material of the ferrule and the tip.
What you want to avoid at all circumstances is any mention of plastic.
Plastic ferrules come along with low-quality cues, and they have a tendency to fall apart, chip, and simply deteriorate, which is certainly an occurrence that can be both foreseen and avoided by staying away from such material.
Another essential aspect of the cue is the tip. Beginners should lean towards leather-tipped cues, as they hold on to chalk better.
On the other hand, there are phenolic tips, which are a relatively new invention, as opposed to traditional, leather tips.
While leather tips are medium-hard, phenolic ones are much harder than them. They are recommended for more seasoned pool players.
Another significant feature of a pool cue is the shaft. There are various types of shafts that you need to be well-versed in if you want to get the one that will be best suited for your needs.
If you are looking for a simple solution to advance your pool technique and strategy, what you should be looking at is the shaft.
The shaft is basically the crux of the pool cue, and a high-quality shaft can go a long way.
What you should be looking at when you are selecting a shaft is practically its size.
If you select a shaft that is smaller in diameter, this will result in you missing more often because you will have a smaller area for the tip.
On the other hand, if you choose a standard shaft (which is bigger in diameter), you will be able to shoot more precisely.
The most frequent materials that are used to create pool cue wraps are the following: leather, leatherette, rubber, and Irish Linen.
Each of the mentioned materials has its advantages, but there are some disadvantages that are not going to go unmentioned.
First of all, rubber wraps tend to be looked down upon because they are known to be slippery. In the game where each hit matters and is carefully calculated, slip-ups are not greatly appreciated.
Leather and leatherette, however, may be the best if you perspire excessively. Leather is known for its good moisture absorption, and it is also commonly used in the making of the shaft.
We have saved the best for last – Irish linen.
Not only does it not interfere with your performance (which is basically saying that it does its job really good), but it is also pleasant to the touch, and is known to be very attachable to the cue.
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To ensure maximum comfort during your pool game, you will need to pay attention to the weight of the cue of your choice.
Beginners and those who have only recently discovered the charms of pool playing should focus on using lighter cues, because lightweight cues are more comfortable to play with, to maneuver and to carry.
To put it simply, they do not tire your hands or arms.
Another factor that goes in favor of lightweight cues is that you can control how much tension and power you are exerting with each of your hits.
Heavyweight cues are especially challenging when it comes to balancing out the force that you want to exert because no matter how soft you try to hit, your hit goes out with a bang.
Price certainly isn’t the most domineering factor when it comes to quality; neither does it dictate how good the cue will be, nor does it vouch for its durability and longevity.
The truth is, a good pool cue does not have to cost a fortune, and this is especially true when you are purchasing your first ever cue.
You should be looking at something that will turn out to be a good investment while you work at sharpening your skills, not splurging on something that will more likely turn into a sour disappointment.
So, your leading motivation behind the purchase should certainly not be equating quality with a lot of money.
We assure you that many moderately-priced cues are well worth your money.
Now that you’re familiar with the anatomy of the pool cue, we can provide you with a list of the 8 best cues out there for every purpose and player.
Conclusion - Our Pick(s)
Now that you have decided to invest in a pool cue of better quality, it is important to take a step back before making the actual purchase and consider all the options out there.
Based on our extensive testing and research (and hours of playing), these are the best cues right now, as they deliver the highest-grade performance and, above all, have proven to be a valuable investment.
Congratulations, you’re ready to dominate your favorite cue sport!