Joseph works as an editor in one of the magazines dedicated to video games. Here, at RecRoomPick, he’s given the opportunity to enjoy the reverse of the medal – the no less engaging world of offline games.
Ryan knows everything when it comes to gaming, both online and offline. Since his early years he’s been in love with arcades, air hockey, and foosball. Finally, he’s given the opportunity to share his knowledge and opinion on the hobby of his life (and even get paid for it!).
Last updated: May 12, 2021
Rec Room Pick is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
The pool is as interesting to play as it addictive, but it is impossible to play without a set of quality pool balls. Whether you play billiards to pass time with friends or you are more into competitive play, pool sports come with a range of benefits. The movements you make can help burn calories, though you won’t be out of breath for the most part. Trying to perfect your angles to hit the perfect shots requires so much focus in itself. The need to pay attention to small details help build your focus even when you are away from the table. Learning to slice your cue ball through the needle requires logical thinking and in the process you improve your critical thinking skills.
Now, the best pool balls will get the play to the ideal standards. We say this in reference to things such as ball size and weight, and the material used in the build. Some balls have better response and friction resistance than others and these are all factors that can affect pool games.
In this post, we review the best pool balls currently on the market and provide a comprehensive guide to choosing your best set of pool balls. We spent about 72 hours preparing this in order to make the short work for you when it comes to buying pool balls. For quick navigation, this post is broken down as follows; a product comparison table with ratings, in-depth reviews of each product, buying guide and verdict.
The Aramith Premium Ball Set is unparalleled in terms of design and quality. The set is made of top quality phenolic resin, which according to the manufacturer, it last 5 times longer compared with polymer beads. The balls are highly scratch resistant and meet the ideal specifications of the trade. They are of even weight and hardness, float gently, and are spherical dead. Additionally, they are characterized by bright colors as well as square measures for players of diverse skill levels.
The full set contains 16 balls – 7 stripped, 8 solid balls, and one cue ball, perfect for any player who wants to keep the game going for long. The balls move smoothly as expected and give that sweet sound during the break.
Made with Vitrotech technology, these balls benefit from high impact resistance, which leads to an extended play time. Vitrotech also gives them uniform hardness all around and a perfect balance. The balls also have a friction resistance roll on the table.
Anyone looking for the best pool balls will be happy with this Aramith set. They will rarely need to be replaced and that means great value for money in the long run. If you factor in playability and longevity of these balls, you’ll realize they are worth every penny of the initial cost. Lastly, Aramith is a trusted brand in the pool industry and so you can rest assured of your investment.
What makes it stand out?
Made from high-quality phenolic resin
Vitrotech technology guarantees uniform hardness and weight
This set of billiard balls sets the standards of excellence in the industry. The Brunswick Centennial Billiard Balls are crafted entirely from Aramith phenolic resin. This material guarantees exceptional impact and scratch resistance, so you can expect the balls to last long. The exterior is incredibly smooth as well, which further extends the lifespan of both the ball and the table cloth it rolls on.
All colored and white components of these balls have been vitrified to create a strong molecular bond that is very slow to wear. The numbers and colors will not rub off, fade or spot even with years of play. To achieve the recommended size and weight specifications, the balls were ground and polished to precise radial tolerances of 0.001 of an inch. They are very round for an absolutely true and perfect roll. The diameter of the balls is 2.25’’, so to speak.
This set of balls come in a beautiful box and they could be a nice gift to anyone who loves the pool. There are 16 balls including 7 solids, 7 strips, 1 black ball and 1 cue ball. This set is expensive, no doubt, but you are more than likely to spot one of these in professional events around you.
What makes it stand out?
Made from premium Aramith phenolic resin
Precision ground and polished for perfect roundness
The JAPER BEES Ball Set comprises of 16 balls that conform to the standard regulation regarding weight and size. The balls are made from high-quality phenolic resin, which offers the perfect balance, stable weight, and remarkable bounce. On top of that, the design focuses on color and finish, giving visual ease in prolonged games. This set is the right choice for training, leisure and competitions.
With dimensions of 2.25’’ in dimeter and weight of 5.9 oz, avid players will enjoy even hits and moves on the pool table. The manufacturer made these balls using vitrotech technology in a process that hardens the surface to provide extra impact resistance for longer playtime. Other benefits of the technology include uniformity and high friction resistance. The superb roundness and balance is also as a result of the intensive production process.
The standard weight from the phenolic resin offers perfect control and targeted hits. This allows the balls to roll and bounce with no scratching.
The striking colors of these balls will also make your pool table stand out. There are 7 stripes, 8 solids, and 1 cue ball. These are sure to last longer than ordinary pool balls, giving value for money.
These balls are stunningly beautiful, thanks to the custom engraving on the exterior featuring the H-D Bar and Shield logo and accent flames. They have a high-gloss finish that not only makes them shiny but also ensures that the graphics will never fade. The box comes with 16 balls including a full set of solids, stripes, and a cue ball.
Additionally, this professional quality set combines the standard size, weight, sphericity, and perfect balance. This guarantees consistent and accurate play. The balls are made from exclusive phenolic resin for maximum resistance against scratch and collision. These can even heat up on the table without their shape.
This set is great for professionals looking to exhibit their advanced skills in sports events or even for fun play in their homes. It is still available at a decent price point, making it a good choice for pool enthusiasts who love a stunning set of balls. Not to mention, the H-D logo on every ball brings a sense of identity and association for anyone who owns this set.
Yet another one from Aramith, the Aramith Standard Ball Set comes at budget price but without compromising on superb quality and durability that they are famous for. These balls are made from premium Phenolic resin, a material known to be highly resistant to strokes and exceptionally long-lasting. You can be sure that these balls will last for years to come.
The playability of these balls is fantastic according to the official tests. They have even weight and size, are perfectly calibrated and impeccably round with stunning sleek surface. Worth mentioning is that the size and weight of these balls conform to the official standards, measuring 2.25’’ in diameter and weighing 5.8 oz.
The number and color distribution of the balls in the box also follows the standard recommendations. 1 for the yellow ball, 2 for blue, 3 for red, 4 for violet, 5 for orange, 6 for green and 7 for dark-brown. Balls 9 to 15 follow the same sequence of colors along with a wide stripe in the center. This set also contains the black number 8 ball and the pure white cue ball. Every ball is clearly visible on the playing table for great user experience. Indeed, these balls are very affordable but you should get a special ball cleaner and polishing brush for maintenance purposes and ensuring they last long.
What makes it special?
Each ball conforms to standard regulations for size and weight
Made from impact and scratch resistant material
Balls are super round and have the right balance
Ideal for billiard players of all skill levels
Brilliant looking colours
What cons did we find?
Cue ball measures 2 3/8’’ instead of the stated 2 1/4’’
Things to Consider
Relying on good reviews alone will not help much when it comes to choosing the best pool balls. At least you need to understand the dynamics of pool balls and even how to maintain your pool balls. Let’s explore more in this buying guide.
Your own billiard balls set – why to buy one?
Whether you are billiard player or not, pool games are quite as fun and having your own set of balls means a lot.
Perhaps you pop into one of those pool halls that don’t take proper care of their sets. This is when you can place their balls under the table and rock the table with your own set of balls.
Maybe your friend with a home pool table has invited you over to play, but you find them having a cheap set of balls. Carry your own magnificent set such as the Aramith Premium Ball Set and let your friend know what they’re missing.
Many recreational places such as YMCAs, hotels, kids’ camps, condos, and more have either full-size or mini pool tables but some of the balls you’ll find there are wanting. Some other times you can even find a table without balls. In such cases, just throw your own balls on the table and enjoy yourself.
There’s also the pride that comes with owning a decent set of balls plus the compliments and appreciation that come from friends. Carrying your own set is also proof that you are an avid player.
Clean the equipment – tips on pool balls maintenance
While billiard balls are made out of extremely durable materials, the outer shell is still prone to staining, especially if the balls are subject to chalk or used on dirty surfaces. As such, you should take a few minutes to clean the balls on a routine basis. All you need is a polishing cloth, a bottle of bleach, a pair of gloves, a magic eraser, and a sink.
Put a stopper in your sink’s drain and fill the sink with a full cup of bleach and a reasonable amount of water. Drop your billiard balls into the solution, wear your gloves and start washing each ball at a time. If your balls are dirty, you should see the solution turning color.
Once you’ve rinsed the balls, wipe them down with a magic eraser. You can then expect them to be shinier in a matter of seconds.
When shopping for a set of pool balls, you are likely going to target the best of the range. Truth is, you can’t pick a set worth around $50 and expect to have bought balls that meet industry standards, particularly weight and size.
Features to consider while buying the perfect pool ball set
Below are some of the things that will determine whether you will score more points on the pool table or not:
The best pool balls are crafted from synthetic resin instead of the ordinary polyester or acrylic found in many cheap sets. If you want to benefit from high performance and durability, you have to consider balls made from synthetic resin. These balls are well-made, yet lightweight. Most importantly, they have a standard density that allows you to hit straight shots and have sufficient elasticity to perform a range of stop shots.
Top of the range balls such as the phenolic resin pool balls manufactured by Aramith will last even longer if well maintained and if you use a good cue.
Size and weight
The standard regulation size for billiard balls is 2.25’’. Even so, size is not as crucial as weight conformity. If the balls have a consistent weight, then it means both players can always start off on even grounds. The weight should be around 5 to 6 oz, but it should never vary between the balls of a single set.
Type of ball
There are two types of balls; standard balls and Aramith balls.
As the name suggests, standard pool balls come as standard for any pool table whether it is Hathaway, Mizerak or any other brand . They are good for those looking for something to start off with. They are usually made of a hardened plastic outer shell, which makes them cheap to buy. These are likely the balls you will find in commercial set-ups. The cheap plastic creates more friction on the table’s cloth and this leads to faster wear to the cloth.
Aramith balls boast professional quality and tend to be extra tough, yet have a better response than plastic balls. They are made of high-quality resin, which helps reduce friction on the pool table and gives the ball a spotless shine and vibrant color.
Ideally, billiard balls are designed super-round for them to move freely on the table, otherwise, it will be a different game. Cheap pool balls may compromise on roundness as they are usually made to appear round but not perfectly round.
Elasticity refers to how well a cue ball’s energy is transferred to the object ball. Inelastic balls will only transfer part of the cue ball’s speed to another ball, thus the cue ball will retain some of its initial speed and keep going a bit after a collision.
Generally, cue balls need to be elastic for better movement and trajectory on the pool table. Elastic collisions involve objects that stick together after impact, which is not what we want on the table. But in elastic collisions, the objects separate after they collide. If a cue ball is inelastic, for instance, it may follow well but will draw poorly after impact. Elastic balls are great especially when targeting to hit more than one object ball to get maximum points on the table.
Obviously, a smooth polish translates to superb strikes. It can also make the difference when the pool table has a low quality felt, allowing your balls to compensate for the loss of speed and precision. The Harley-Davidson Bar & Shield Flames Billiard Ball Set is a good choice for anyone interested in high-gloss finish.
Depends on how much abuse they take. If you use your balls on a daily basis, you shouldn’t be surprised by them wearing down within a year. They will tend to grow smaller beyond the minimum regulations of billiard balls and eventually you will need to replace them with a new set. The cue ball is particularly subject to the most wear since it’s the one that gets struck by the cue stick on every single shot and the collisions it has to make with every shot.
It has to do with the elevation of the cue. There’s usually a small force on the CB that causes the ball to hop, so the ball trajectory depends on how you strike the ball. If you position your cue in a very slanting angle such that the tip hits the bottom of the ball, you will force the ball to jump. A ball struck at the center is unlikely to hop.
Not necessarily, but no problem if you want to. The purpose of the dot is to show you where to place the lead ball when the balls are racked. Experienced players know where this spot is and normally prefer to leave marking it. Others tend to believe that the spot affects the ball when it runs over it, though it is very thin.
Wrapping It Up
The pool game is a popular activity around the world and continues to attract a huge number of supporters. That’s because the pool is a great recreational asset for spending time with friends and family. Hopefully, this guide has helped you find the best pool balls for your table.
From our select choices, the Aramith Premium Ball Set is the winner of “Our Best Pick”. These balls are fairly priced for anyone looking for balls made from premium quality phenolic resin. Each ball conforms to size and weight regulations and particularly the use of Vitrotech technology guarantees superior playability and longevity.
Coming in second is the Brunswick Centennial Billiard Balls. This set stands out due to solid cast and vitrified components, which are smooth on the surface and hardwearing too.
Last but not least, the Aramith Standard Ball Set are arguably the best balls at budget price. They still boast a high-quality phenolic resin construction. At 5.8 oz and with a diameter of 2.25’’, these balls perfectly conform to industry regulations.