7 Things to Consider When Buying a Snooker Cue
This article was originally posted on our old blog here.
After years of selling snooker related items I have come across some very regular questions from potential customers. So, with that in mind I thought I would put together a short guide.
Read below for my 7 Things to Consider When Buying a Snooker Cue.
A good quality snooker cue will generally be made from two basic materials, ash for the shaft section and then Ebony (or in some cases Rosewood) for the butt section. But there are other options like a maple shaft and exotic woods in the butt section. Also be aware that many cheaper cues on the market will not have a spliced butt section but will have overlays or decals to create the look of proper ebony or rosewood.
2. Joint Position
There are three main types of snooker cue. 1 piece snooker cues are simply that, 1 solid piece of cue with no joint at all. The other two types are both in effect 2 piece cues as they have a joint positioned somewhere along the cue. 2 piece cues are centre-jointed and have the joint across the shaft section. 3/4 cues have the joint positioned across the butt section. The three main joint positions do tend to offer a different hit or feel so try before you buy if feel is important.
3. The Tip
Most snooker cues come supplied with a brass ferrule (the metal ring at the top) and stick-on leather cue tip at 9.5mm-10mm diametre. This is a standard size opted for by most players and cue makers. Smaller and larger sizes are available and again offer different performance but in most cases would carry an additional charge. Try to steer clear of screw-in tips because they do not offer the consistency or flexibility of a stick on tip. Stick-on tips are available in a wide variety of styles, hardness grades and price brackets which can make a big difference to your performance.
4. The Design
To many of our customers design is a very important factor to consider when buying a snooker cue. I always like to make it clear however that the design of the butt section will not affect the playing characteristics of the cue, it is simply decoration. The only other point I would make is that this is relevant to both solid wood cues and cues with a decal design. The design will affect the cost, the more intricate those inlays or exotic those woods are the more money you will pay.
5. The Splice
The splice is the way that the butt wood is fitted, or spliced, onto the shaft section. There are two distinct ways. By machine is the first and results in slightly cheaper cues, a machine spliced cue will have very sharp points at the top of the butt wood. the second way is by hand, hand spliced snooker cues are more expensive simply because of the workmanship and specialist skills required to do the job. Hand spliced snooker cues will have a more rounded point on the four sections of the splice.
Snooker cues are made from a natural product, wood, so can be damaged if not protected effectively. I think it is very important to consider buying a snooker cue case with any cue at the time of purchase if you do not already own one. One reason is because you can generally get a better deal on a case when purchased at the same time as a snooker cue, there are also often available many snooker cue and case sets that also bring the price down further. Secondly, when buying over the Internet or Telephone your cue has to be delivered, now whilst every attempt is made to protect a cue in transit the job is easier if it is inside a cue case.
7. Your Playing Level
You need to consider this when buying a snooker cue as a recreational player or beginner will have different requirements to a tournament player or professional. How much use are you as a beginner going to get out of a £200 snooker cue? Whatever you buy they will be built to last if treated in the right manner so go with something that is comfortable on the pocket as well as comfortable on the table.
I hope you have enjoyed this article if you have any points or comments or additions please let me know in the comments.