Lots of people ask what the best cue stick is. Well that would be like me saying that vanilla was the best ice cream flavor and then expecting everyone to agree. This is what I tell everyone – Yes, this is my opinion… but it’s also the opinion of the majority of billiard professionals.
When looking for a cue, you should go to a reputable local billiard store and try some out. A dozen different players will tell you a dozen different brands but until you put it in your hand and hit with it, you won’t know if it feels good or not.
There are a couple of major differences in cue construction, feel and design that you should look at when selecting a cue. The shaft is the top portion of the cue stick and will have a large impact on the feel of the cue. Shafts come in a few varieties. You will have solid maple shafts, fiberglass or graphite coated shafts and low deflection shafts. Solid maple shafts are classic, coated shafts have either a smooth fiberglass or graphite finish and low deflection shafts are designed to reduce deflection in your shot. Which one is best for you will depend on your personal preference and skill level. The butt is the bottom part of the cue stick and the feel of this piece will have a lot to do with the wrap on the stick. You will most commonly find linen, leather or rubber wraps and some that are wrapless. Which is best for you will again be a matter of preference. The designs on cue sticks can vary in style and material. Cue sticks under $200 tend to use decals and more expensive ones will use exotic wood inlays.
Choose a cue like you would a shoe; try several out. Pull 6 or 7 from the store’s selection and hit 3 to 5 times with each. You will be able to feel the difference in the way they hit. Remember to hit straight on since the cue is new and the tip won’t be chalked or scuffed. Choose your cue by process of elimination.
Also remember that you could have two identical models and they will feel differently. So if you find one in a store or try out your friend’s cue but want to buy it online… it’s not likely to hit the same.
If the store you visit won’t let you hit with it, find another store. At International Billiards, we have no problem spending half an hour with someone to make sure they find the right cue. It’s important to find the right one the first time than to order something off the internet and be unhappy with it. Internet sales aren’t bad, but your cue is something that you need to personally select.
And don’t let anyone tell you theirs is better, because if it feels good to you, it’s a good cue!
Good luck on your search!