Maybe you throw a lot of parties and want a sure guest-pleaser. Possibly your kids are getting older and you want to know where they are… and who their friends are. Maybe you used to make your business deals on the golf course, but more and more of your friends and business associates are playing pool instead. Or maybe you just want something both cerebral AND physical to do…. at home! Whatever your reasons, you have decided that you want a pool table for your family, but you think a new pool table is more than you want to spend right now. Ahah! you think…. buy a USED pool table! You know you’re “saving money”, but how do you know that you’re getting what you are paying for? Did you know that some new tables are actually less expensive than some used tables?
Used tables come in several categories… The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly…but serviceable.
- Slate playfield
- Solid wood rails
- Solid wood or combination of solid/ply/mdf body
- Carved or straight legs
- leather pockets
- non slate playfield
- particle board rails or structural members
- vinyl covered rails and frame instead of laminate
- broken corner caps or non standard rail rubber
- remember: Just because it has a recognized national brand name DOESN’T mean it’s good!
THE UGLY, BUT SERVICEABLE:
- Used coin-operated tables
- Slate tables with good structural parts that might have chipped laminate
- Furniture style slate tables needing refinishing
Look for tables originally purchased from a reputable specialty store rather than a general merchandise or sporting goods store. You are more likely to have access to replacement parts that way. The original purchase price of the table (and what the seller will remember) included tax, delivery and installation, new accessories, et cetera, and may not be a good indication of what the table is worth now. What you pay an individual for the table is only part of your total cost. Remember that it must be disassembled, moved and reinstalled, and may need new cloth and/or new rail rubber… resulting in additional costs of $350 – $850!
Before you buy:
Measure your room to make sure it will fit! You can find our room dimension chart by clicking here.
Pool tables, except for coin-operated tables, need to be disassembled to be moved. Keep in mind that most reputable (and insured) service companies will not carry coin-ops or other one piece slate tables upstairs. Stairs (at either end of the move) and mileage over regular service areas will cost extra. Do NOT attempt to move the table yourself by removing the legs. You can do more damage to the table than the cost of the move. Because we understand the need to save money; we’ve put the instructions for disassembly on our FAQ page (click “How do I move my table?”). You can YouTube how to reinstall, but be careful of who you follow. Six shirtless 20somethings is NOT how it’s done. We recommend videos by Legacy Billiards and Home Billiard Sales. I’ve been told more than once by people who did it themselves that they wish they hadn’t. If you hire someone to move it, make sure that they carry insurance and check the criminal records of their employees. Unfortunately, at least in Houston, there are many jobbers who you don’t want entering your home.
While you may be able to re-use the old cloth, there’s always the possibility that it will tear when it is re-stretched on the table. Recovering at the time of the move costs less than after it’s installed. You have only the cost of the cloth plus the labor to recover the rails. If the ball doesn’t bounce off the rail cleanly, you have a problem which must be corrected. Older tables often require re-gluing or replacing rail rubber. Rubber work requires the rails to be recovered since you cannot re-use rail cloth. Missing parts such as corner caps cannot always be obtained so make sure you check for those.
THE EASY WAY:
Buy your used pool table from a reputable dealer (we recommend us). Most dealers would have already disassembled it and moved it to the store for you to see. Most dealers would have already repaired or replaced the rail rubber if needed as well as made any structural repairs if any. You know that you are getting what you are paying for without guessing what additional repairs MIGHT be needed.
If you can’t find exactly what you want in a used table, good quality new slate tables are available starting at $1599 at the time of this post.
If you find a good table at good price and move it yourself, you’re still welcome to shop us for any and all of your accessories. We carry a wide range of table maintenance, player accessories and other game room furnishings and supplies.
Original publication by Alicia Morrison 1993
Updated by Kimberly Morrison Heacock 2014