Pool Cue Sticks

Written by Tadashi Moody
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A pool cue stick can be likened to a tennis player's racquet, or a baseball player's bat, or a ski racer's skis. It is the player's tool of the trade, his weapon of choice for competition. For the occasional player, the cue stick may not make much difference. For the intermediate player, a high performance cue can take his or her game up a notch. For the expert or professional player, the cue stick can be as important as the hands that hold it.

Let's take a closer look at pool cue sticks. If you are in the market for a pool cue, you will need to know several terms in order to make a proper choice. Pool cues come in all shapes and sizes, but the standard or regulation cue is about 57 inches long, and normally anywhere from 18 to 21 ounces. They will typically be about 30mm at the butt end and between 12 and 13mm at the tip (the part that strikes the cue ball). A pool cue stick will have a tip made of leather or a similar material, glued onto a nylon or similar ferrule. The tip can be roughened to hold chalk, which gives it grip when striking the cue ball. The tail end will typically have a rubber bumper for protection.

Pool Cue Sticks: How Many Pieces?

Most house cues (the cues provided for customers in pool halls) are one-piece cues. They are solid from tip to tail. For more advanced players, or those who travel with their cues, it is impractical to carry a 57 inch stick around, so personal or custom cues must break down into two or more pieces. Unless it is a break cue, jump cue, or something unusual, it is wise to stay away from any cue that disassembles into three or more pieces, as this seriously detracts from its quality and performance.

A two-piece cue will typically have a shaft (the front half) made of a hard wood, usually maple. It will be joined to the butt section (the back half) by a threaded metal pin. The specific type of joint has an affect on how the cue stick feels when it is played. Many butt sections are made of more exotic woods and adorned with beautiful inlays and designs. A wrap or grip, typically of linen fiber, makes for more comfortable play. A sleeve, end cap and rubber bumper complete the cue.

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