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Billiards

Best Pool Balls

When you're buying a set of pool or billiard balls, you're going to want to commit to a price first. If you're looking to pick up a set of balls for around $30, then you're likely not going to get a ball that's been approved by regulatory houses like the Billiards Congress of America, or the World Pool-Billiard Association. Their standards dictate that balls are made of phenolic resin (instead of the common polyester or plastic often found in many balls) and meet specific weight and spheric requirements.

If you plan on purchasing a ball set that has met these standards, you will be dropping close to $200. But in the long run, you will likely be saving money as a result of this large initial investment. Balls that are not made of this special resin can damage the billiard cloth on your table with burn marks and pits. So consider how much you really want to invest in this purchase and then check out our five best picks. You will find ball sets in price ranges suitable for the most prestigious billiard halls in the world as well as the most comfortable living rooms in the neighborhood.

We've chosen these balls for our list by following a number of specific selection criteria. We considered the type of materials each set has been made from, most of which are carefully polished phenolic resins or plastics that are designed to be crack-resistant and won't break down over time. We also considered diameter tolerance for that perfect spherical shape, which will greatly affect the spin of the ball during the game. Other factors such as balance and weight control both ensure that you get an accurate response from each ball, without these factors the ball will respond erratically, curving or bending inappropriately and banking off side-rails and other balls without any consistency or precision.

These balls meet all of the required standards to ensure that they will play perfectly every time you break. Color precision and brilliance are also some of the factors by which we chose our balls, displaying easy to read numbers and bright, deep colors for eye-catching aesthetics worthy of your rec room. More importantly, these colors and graphics won't fade over time, keeping your balls looking their best for years to come.

Aramith Super Pro Pool Balls

The Saluc company has been manufacturing the Aramith brand of pool balls out of a small village in Belgium for almost 90 years. Their product has become an industry leader in high-quality balls that meet every billiard authority throughout the world. The secret is their exclusive chemical formula for phenolic resin, combined with their painstaking processes to ensure high-impact and scratch resistant surfaces on each ball. The resin is also formulated for an even rebound every time the ball comes in contact with other balls or any portion of the table.

Saluc carefully crafts their balls with consistent balance so that you're sure to have unmatched precision with every shot. Aramith balls have near-perfect sphericity and meet regulation weight standards of 6 ounces. The Super Pro set not only looks great, but also comes with Aramith's trademark dotted cue ball. But be warned, the Super Pro set is expensive; we recommend shopping around to find the best price to see if you can save a few bucks.

Mizerak Premium Pool Balls

This set from Mizerak features the same materials and specification requirements at a fraction of the cost of the best Aramith has to offer. Mizerak has made a name of itself selling a wide variety of billiard products such as tables, cues, and pool accessories for the more mainstream consumer. Their Premium ball set falls in line with that same mandate, intended for wider retail markets while delivering the same quality product one would expect from specialized vendors.

What makes their balls so special is the use of Aramith's Belgian phenolic resin. They make different versions of this resin so while it won't be the same standard as the Super Pro, it is still a solid grade of that phenolic resin (in many cases head and shoulders above the standard variety available on a whole array of lower priced balls). Each ball in the Mizerak set is tested to surpass eight different quality controls from density to roundness to color, and every ball is regulation weight. This is the closest you'll likely get to owning an Aramith set without paying Aramith prices.

Iszy Billiards Tech Marble Style Pool Table Billiard Ball Set

Maybe you're just looking for a good, dependable pool ball set to use at home or in the dorm. You bought your pool table gently used from a yard sale or maybe it was even handed down from your grandparents. Then the Iszy Billiards Tech set might just be what you're looking for at the moment. These are simple, no-nonsense pool balls made of polyester resin with a Grade A rating for quality. They also offer a little something different in the visuals department, with a marbling aesthetic that proves somewhat of a departure than your standard pool ball.

The Eight Ball suffers just slightly from the marbling effect with more negative white space along the finish than you might expect from a ball that is supposed to be all black. Playability is top notch as these balls rebound well and come in standard regulation size and weight. At a price tag of around $50, you're not going to pay a lot, but you'll get more than you expect with the Iszy Tech Style set.

EPCO Clear Rocco Style Pool Ball Set

EPCO certainly brings something unique and stylish to the table. But this Clear Rocco set doesn't eschew substance as each ball has been carefully calibrated for reliable, consistent playability every time you pull back that cue. Using a durable, high quality Partek resin, each ball achieves a precise roundness and is given a surface polish to resist chipping and cracking under heavy repeated play. Some consumers might find a few drawbacks in these balls, namely the lesser weight and the Partek resin which results in a slightly softer ball. The clear design also makes it a bit difficult to distinguish stripes from solids at first glance but the more you play with these balls, the easier that determination becomes. Though the balls are slightly lighter, they are regulation diameter and will provide accurate movement across the table.

Viper Billiard Master Pool Balls

This set from Viper features typical resin materials and each ball has been crafted under a series of specification requirements, but at a fraction of the cost of the best Aramith has to offer. Viper has made a name for itself selling a wide variety of gaming products for darts, casino games, and of course, pool tables, cues, and accessories for the more mainstream consumer. Their Master ball set is intended for wider retail markets while delivering a good quality product that one might expect from specialized vendors. Each ball in the Master set is tested to surpass exacting tolerances for density, roundness, and color and every ball is regulation weight. The price tag is definitely more inclusive for every budget at a retail price of around $30.

Marc Gottlieb
I'm a rabid sports-aholic who's been to Super Bowl XXI, the Indy 500 and witnessed Doug Flutie's hail mary pass to Gerard Phelan live in Miami. Sundays are sacred in my household and I'm a two-time back to back champion of my fantasy football league. I played a lot of sports in high school; football, soccer, tennis, lacrosse and I was on the school ski team. I even tried my hand at racquetball in college. I've jumped out of two perfectly good airplanes and bungee jumped off a construction crane. Since then I've worked for one of the top product placement companies in Hollywood, coordinating with most of the major sports apparel labels to get their products featured in films and TV. But it's a life-long obsession with music and film that has given me years of experience with the latest technologies and innovations in electronics. If they've built it, I've tried it and likely bought it. Laserdisc, DVD, Bluray players; I own multiple units that cater to all of these formats and more. A misspent youth immersing myself in pop culture meant I craved the hottest devices through which to enjoy it all, and at the highest possible quality. What I learned over time though, is that the most expensive items aren't always the best.
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