7 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Snooker Cue
A snooker cue, like most purchases, should be seen as a bit of an investment, not insomuch that the cue itself will gain value but more in the way in which you will get great rewards over a long period of time after having purchased it.
Those rewards will be the improvement you see in the game and the amount of life you can get out of that thin piece of wood.
But how can you prolong the life of your snooker cue even further? We take a look at seven different way to extend the life of your snooker cue below:
- Buy a Cue Case - I do go on about this quite a lot, and yes of course we get extra value out of selling a cue case, but the main reason is actually to give your cue some protection (read our Buyers Guide), whether you go for a basic soft case or whether you opt for an aluminium or even a leather case it is important that your cue is protected when not in use.
- Don't Leave it in the Car - Whether in a cue case or not, do not leave your snooker cue in the car for any long period of time. The main reason for this is actually temperature change. Your cue is made of a natural material and changes in temperature can cause the wood to expand and contract. This can weaken the wood over periods of time and is actually one of the main causes of warping.
- Watch Out for the Base Joint - If your cue has a base joint fitted, for example all of the Peradon Snooker Cues range, then you have to be extra careful to not bang the base of the cue on the ground or hard floor. When there is a base joint there is no longer an extra layer of protection like a butt pad to protect the base of the cue. Hard or regular banging of the butt against a hard surface can cause the splices of the cue to split and this would not be covered under warranty. The splices are at their most vulnerable at this point so do be careful.
- Chalk it Properly - This is something that really niggles me and is so easily avoided. The amount of ferrules and tops of cues I see damaged due to poor chalking technique really does annoy me. Chalk is an abrasive so you actually need to keep it away from the metal ferrule and most certainly the wood. The best way to chalk is actually gently from one side of the tip to the other, Never grind it over the top of the tip to cause a hole in the chalk as otherwise the chalk will start to wear the ferrule and the shaft at the top of your cue. This will thin the shaft and make it a lot weaker.
- Look after the Cue Tip - The cue tip is of course something that you will need to change over time but there are things you can do to prolong its life. Chalking it properly like above will help. Making sure the edges are trimmed to the ferrule will stop it mushrooming. Keeping a file in your cue case will help when it becomes glazed so you can loosen the fibres to help it hold chalk. Also, make sure it is properly shaped.
- When not in Use - Most of the time when you cue is not in use you will no doubt have it tucked away safely inside it's cue case. But I know what it's like down the local club when you need to take a quick comfort break or go to the bar to buy a round or a packet of crisps, or both, or a packet of crisps, a chocolate bar, a pint and some pork scratchings (that might just be me). Under these circumstances the best place for your cue is laying flat on the table, or in a cue rack perhaps. Just never leaving it lying propped up against a wall. So much can happen, it can bend, it could break, it could fall over and damage the splices or the tip could come off. Just don't do it!
- Keeping it clean - Generally the two things that are going to make your cue dirty are chalk residue and oils from your hands. One of the best ways to clean it is with a damp (never ever wet) cloth or towel. Run this in one motion down the the cue and it should remove most of the worst grime. Follow this up with a completely dry cloth and it should return to a decent level of cleanliness. Modern cues like Peradon and Cue Craft have special oil finishes that don't really need a wood treatment, Cue Craft recommend cleaning with normal plain paper. I have tried it, and it does work!
This guide is not meant to be exhaustive and actually most of it is common sense.
When you spend out on a new snooker cue, whatever the price you pay, if you take some of these points on board there is no reason why it won't last you a lifetime. A cue purchase should be looked at as an investment in your game and once you have found the cue of your dreams you should want to prolong the life of it as much as possible.
If you have any ideas or comments please leave them below.