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Types of Pool Cues

Updated: Aug 21, 2023

Pool cues hung on a wall with blue overlay and white text that says, "Types Of Pool Cues."

Pool cues are an essential part of the game and come in more variety than you may think. Pool cue differences are based on material, construction, weight and type. These tools can become an integral part of how you play. In this guide, we dive into the different types of pool cues and how they're used to help you choose the right cue for your game.

What Materials Are Pool Cues Made From?

Pool cues are made from traditional wood or composite materials, including:

1. Wood

Wooden pool cues are ideal for beginners, intermediate players and professionals, making them the traditional go-to for pool cues. With their smooth shafts and glossy finishes, wooden pool cues offer the quintessential look, style and sound of a game of billiards.

Hard maple, ash, sycamore, rosewood or ebony are common materials for wooden pool cues. You can easily repair them if they warp or get scratched, and well-maintained wooden pool cues can last a lifetime.

2. Fiberglass

Fiberglass pool cues are an excellent choice for beginners and intermediate players who want a budget-friendly, durable pool cue. You can safely store fiberglass cues in places like the trunk of your car for easy access on the go without needing to worry about warping. Some players prefer fiberglass cues for breaking because they're a low-cost option for forceful opening hits that are more likely to test a cue's strength.

3. Carbon Fiber

Carbon fiber is a newer choice of material for pool cues. Their lightweight construction makes them easy to handle and more forgiving for inexperienced players. Carbon fiber is durable, so these pool cues can withstand heavy play and last for many years.

4. Graphite

Graphite is a durable, lightweight and resilient material for pool cues that's less expensive than most alternatives, making them perfect for new pool players. Graphite pool cues feature a wooden core surrounded by a composite graphite fiberglass layer. They're also scratch-resistant and easy to clean and maintain. However, you can't repair them if they become damaged, so you must be careful if you choose a graphite pool cue.

How Are Pool Cues Constructed?

Pool cues consist of a shaft of material that measures 59 inches on average. The cue tapers uniformly from the butt end to the tip. There are two main constructions:

  • Solid: A solid or one-piece pool cue is made from a single material, such as wood or fiberglass, with no joints. Solid pool cues are perfect for home game rooms and are also usually found in pool halls for shared use by players looking for a quick game.

  • Two-piece: Two-piece cues are common amongst professionals and pool enthusiasts. With a joint in the middle of the cue's shaft, the pieces separate, providing easy transport for players who travel with cue cases to protect their equipment.

What Are the Different Types of Pool Cues?

The pool cue stick type you choose should fit the style of game you typically play. Below are four types of pool cues:

  • Standard: Standard pool cues are usually solid or two-piece construction and are used to play eight-ball or nine-ball games.

  • Snooker: Snooker cues are specially made for playing snooker, which takes place on a larger table with smaller balls and pockets. Snooker cues are typically two-piece, made from ash wood with a smaller tip to accommodate smaller balls.

  • Carom: Carom cues are specially made for carom, a billiards game that uses three balls on a table with no pockets. Carom cues are shorter, lighter and have a smaller tip than standard pool cues. They have a conical shape and a more pronounced taper, providing more control when hitting heavier balls.

  • Specialty: Specialty cues are also known as breaker cues, used by most professionals when shooting the breaking shot. These cues have a harder leather and resin tip to provide maximum friction between the stick and the cue ball.

What's the Best Pool Cue Weight?

The best pool cue weight for you comes down to experimentation and personal preference. Regardless of the material, standard pool cues range in weight from 17-21 ounces or 25-27 ounces for league and tournament play. You can choose a lighter or heavier pool stick for breaker cues, depending on what works best for you.

A heavier cue can harness more momentum and deliver a crushing blow to the rack. These allow you to use your regular stroke and focus on accuracy while the weight of the pool stick adds force. Heavy break cues are ideal for players who can't accurately deliver a fast stroke yet.

Comparatively, lighter break cues are great for players who can maintain accuracy with a swift, athletic break stroke. The lighter the cue, the faster you can move it and the harder you can break the rack.

Try out a few different weights and decide which one feels most comfortable.

Choosing the Right Pool Cue for You

With many pool cue variations, choosing the right one may seem tricky. Fortunately, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to help narrow down your options:

  1. Are you a beginner or a more experienced player? If you're new to the world of billiards, a solid, wood cue of around 19 ounces is a great choice to learn with. If you're an advanced pool player, you may be looking to add to your collection with a breaking cue or a two-piece you can travel with.

  2. What's your playing style? If you play a particular type of billiards like snooker or carom, a pool cue specifically designed for these games can level up your play, while standard pool cues are great for traditional eight- and nine-ball games. If you play frequently, you'll want a durable, long-lasting pool cue.

  3. Where do you usually play pool? One-piece cues are great for home pool tables, while two-piece cues are convenient for taking to pool halls or competitions. If your cue will spend a lot of time in your car, you may want to choose a material that won't warp in extreme temperatures.

Choose HB Home for All of Your Billiards Needs

Now that you know the basics of pool cues, you can make an informed purchase that best suits your needs. Once you have your pool stick, remember to clean it after each use and store it properly in a case to ensure it stays in great shape for years to come.

In addition to pool cues, HB Home has everything you need for the perfect in-home pool game. We offer pool tables and pool accessories such as balls, triangles, chalk and more to outfit your game room and make memories with your family and friends.

Whether you're a casual player or an advanced pool shark, HB Home is your destination for all things pool. Shop our selection of pool gear and accessories today!

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