Choosing the best pool cue depends on the characteristics of the player. Everyone has their own style and preferential attributes in their equipment, so there's never really one cue that is perfect for all. But there are some basic guidelines you can follow to find the one that's right for you.
Heavier cues are usually better for beginners, as it stays on line longer and may be easier for a novice to get some extra spin. Lighter cues make it easier to control the speed of the ball, but requires more accuracy and skill. The tip size is usually a matter of preference, though beginners should get a cue with a larger tip. Using a soft tip allows for extra feel through the shot, but a hard tip is more durable and retains its shape longer.
Wraps are usually nylon or linen, though some come with leather or other exotic materials. If you are a beginner, it is best to test the different types since this is mostly a matter of personal preference. Pool cues can come in many different styles. Some players like cues that are more ornate and have many inlays or decorations; other players prefer a plain wood stick.
Pool cues can be made of many different materials: wood, graphite, and even materials such as acrylic, titanium, and aluminum. Though graphite cues have become popular, most players still prefer maple wood. When buying a pool cue, you should expect to pay between $150 and $300, though fancier sticks can cost up to $1,000. In selecting picks for this list, we considered our choices along the following criteria; weight, shaft size, type of tip and tip size, style, and of course, price.
Viking has been one of the oldest and most trusted American manufacturers of high-quality pool cues since 1965. They shut their doors temporarily in 2010, but picked up right where they left off about a year later and still producing some of the best sticks in the business. Their V123K is a perfect example; it hits stiff and affords greater control on the ball, not to mention each one is delicately crafted to be long-lasting for uniform consistency shot after shot. Read Full Review
The V123K has been designed for simplicity in both form and function. Using the company's Vikore Hard Rock maple shaft, it offers low deflection performance for greater control and reduced miscues while still affording a stiff hit on your ball. Both halves are joined by a stainless steel joint and rely on wood to wood contact to keep the cue perfectly straight, so there's no warping at the center point. This results in an assembled cue that feels like it's naturally one piece. The cue uses birdseye maple and is outfitted with a laminated Everest tip, which hits hard but offers the kind of ball control you'd expect from a soft tip, with a durable resin ferrule that is crack and stain resistant for longer life. Ultra-violet Urethane 3 protective finish and Viking's trademark blue acrylic pearl inlays give the cue its classic look, with a 12-14" conical taper for smooth playability.
McDermott's G411 uses carbon fiber in the shaft for greater stability and reduced vibration on your shot. The company has designed it to be the most predictable cue you'll ever use, offering duplicated performance game after game so you know exactly how it will behave and react with the ball. Rosewood, birdseye maple and ornate inlays complete the picture of a pool cue that is elegant and subdued in looks only. Read Full Review
The G411 brings power and consistency to your game with a triple-layer carbon fiber core located near the front of the shaft and extending up to the ferrule. This provides stability throughout the cue while adding additional strength to the ferrule assembly which cuts down on vibration while increasing the accuracy and impact of your shot. McDermott's carbon fiber enhanced core also keeps the cue predictable; ensuring that the product performs precisely in the same manner every time you play. The laminated Everest tip is the same as the one that Viking uses on their cue, which offers uniform hardness but maintains the control of a soft tip and consists of ten multiple layers with a red warning ring to let you know you need to replace it. The G411 is also a good-looking cue that uses light color rosewood with pewter and turquoise inlays for a handsome yet understated aesthetic.
This is a uniquely styled stick that plays as great as it looks. The Old West aesthetic is eye-catching, and it's a compact cue that hits the ball solid every time. But this one might not meet everyone's taste. Read Full Review
The name Outlaw conjures up visions of a bygone era, and this cue has been created with that profile in mind. Branded etchings along the brown maple forearm and sleeve are the first indicators this is not your typical cue. But it's not all style and no substance with the Outlaw, as this is a hard-hitting cue that might take a little getting used to for some players. It incorporates an Ivorene-3 fiber linen ferrule and a 13mm medium-hard Triangle tip with a stainless steel pin, collar, and plate which has been etched with the distinctive Outlaw logo. You can get this cue in four different weights: 19-22 oz. No matter which you choose, you'll find that, for the price, you're getting one heck of a cue for the money.
The OB-130 has two distinctions that make it stand out from a very crowded field of strong contenders looking for your hard-earned dollar. The first is OB's efforts to give their product uniformly even weight distribution for greater balance and improved playability. The second is its art-deco aesthetic design that gives it a retro look using light and dark contrasts and ebony diamond inlays. Read Full Review
OB has ensured the unfaltering stability and straightness of their cue with its Straight Line Core, building the two portions of their stick to make contact at the joint in a wood to wood configuration so it matches up with total equality and there's no irregularity in the profile of their product. That means your cue is perfectly aligned and collinear for peak performance and it will remain that way for years to come. The OB-130 also has a centralized balance system which uses strategically placed weights throughout the length of the cue to keep it well balanced, with succinct impulse reaction and sharp feedback without much vibration on your shot. The forearm and sleeve of the cue are both made of birdseye maple and contain black ebony diamond inlays to make it a true eight of diamonds. This cue also uses an Everest tip and comes in a number of weight options for every skill level of player.
The Blaze is a great starter cue for beginners who want to get serious about playing pool. It's made of cost-effective materials to keep the price down, and doesn't have a very flashy profile. But its subtle looks and balanced impact offer a good quality cue for those who don't need to spend a lot of money on their equipment right now. Read Full Review
This one's really best for the newbies. The feel of using this cue is pretty stiff, and while it makes you feel like you're crushing the ball, it's not the most finessed stick out there. The shaft is white hard rock maple with a 13mm linen fiber ferrule; the wrap is black pressed Irish linen, and it comes with a Le Professional tip. These are all pretty standard, stock materials incorporated in low-cost cue options. Good quality, but yes, there are better, more expensive products out there. The color scheme offers a low-profile stick with black forearm, sleeve, and plate. White accents with blue diamond highlights complete the picture.