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Last updated: March 17, 2021
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Looking to shoot a few balls around or are you trying to rock your community center’s pool league? You don’t have to go broke finding a great pool cue to play with. Some of the best pool cues under $200 can not only get the job done but help you nail those trick shots and shoot straight. You can have the best skills in the game, however, without the right tools, it will be hard for you to show them off.
You might have spent all your spare time working on your pool skills, however, having a pool cue that not only perfectly fits you but also your skill level (and is also under $200), can definitely be a benefit. Since you spent all that time perfecting your game (whether you’re a novice or a professional), you might as well save some money (if you can’t take back your time). We’ve also taken our time to highlight the features we considered in our review about pool cues and helped explain why they are important. For example, the various features, like the wood it’s made out of, the wrapping type, the tip’s diameter, the weights available, and the warranty information can make a huge difference how a pool cue works for you.
We’ve spent hours of research (almost as many as you have in your practice) and looked through various sources and reviews to find you the best pool cues under $200. In this article, you will find a comparison table, in-detail reviews of each product, and a buying guide to top it all off.
The Purex HXTE5 is our editor’s choice for the best pool cue under $200. It is designed with 100% North American Grade A hard rock maple wood.
With this wood, this high-quality grade is one of the best out there for pool cues, and you’ll feel this in your comfort level. The Purex HXTE5 actually has an HXT Low Deflection Ferrule which will reduce the deflection of your shot, making it highly easy to not only hold and move around with but also play in comfort. Its special polymer core makes it also extremely lightweight to hold and play with.
About the design—the soft tip, called the Kamui black, is made from not one, two or three—but TEN layers of the very best, hand-selected pig skin. This material is actually specially treated to give you superior grip while holding and using, spin on the ball while playing, and durability while traveling and banging it around the playing “field”.
The Purex HXTE5 has a 12.75 mm diameter and is actually backed by a PureX Lifetime Guarantee. It comes with a sleek wrap-less handle for a smooth feel in your hands. The beauty ring of the cue has a black color and a shaft length of 29 inches. The taper is a pro taper with an ivorine ferrule and an insert brass material.
All of these details make the Purex HXTE5 an extremely viable contender in the billiards game. The tip is also pretty adjustable—regardless if it is flat or rounded for your preference.
What we liked:
Made with 100% North American Grade A hard rock maple wood
The Cuetec CT296 is a great cue if breaking the game (the first shot) is something you need to work on. With all the best features for a strong hit, you’ll love the Cuetec CT296 for your best break.
This cue has the performance benefits of extremely high-tech and quality materials. It gives you not only a powerful shot—it also is extremely comfortable in the hand. The feel of the wood and the stiff hit makes it a great break cue for the beginning of the game.
The design is fully encased in a fiberglass shield, which makes it super strong. It is also protected through a power binding process that is unique to the Cuetec CT296. The cue has a wooden core that is solid and can help prevent the cue from receiving various defects like dings, dents or warping.
The stick of the sleeve has a black finish and is even sprinkled with silver specks and gold and silver rings. The Cuetec CT296 also comes with a quick release joint that is broken down mid-wrap, which makes it an extremely unique cue—one of the best break pool cues on the market.
With a 13 mm diameter of Tiger Everest wood, the ferrule is made of polycarbonate and the collar is made of stainless steel. The bumper is designed with black rubber and includes joint protectors on the butt end.
The Cuetec CT296 is backed by a 90-day manufacturer warranty and is even adjustable with the Cuetec Weight Bolt.
The Players Technology Series HXT15 is one of the best professional pool cues under $200. This cue will not only blow your mind with its quality and affordability, but it will also be unique with its appearance.
The Players Technology Series HXT15 has traditional styling black points and white accents, fully on a dark burgundy finished forearm.
The old school classic design of this cue is met with an offshoot—although its functionality is anything but traditional.
This cue is one of the best of the Pure X Technology Cues, which all incorporate the most upgraded low deflection technologies. The Players Technology Series HXT15 can give you the most accurate shot. It is featured with a classic design and powered by the next generation in pool technology.
Designed with North American maple wood, the quality of its base is what mark the quality foundation. The tip is measured at 12.75 mm and the entire stick weighs an average of 18-20.5 oz.
The wrap of the Players Technology Series HXT15 has an Irish linen wrap and features a majority of different details, like a Kamui black soft tip, 29’’ shaft length, and a stainless steel joint collar.
The Pure X Technology cue is backed with a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty which also covers warpage.
The Ferrule is measured at a 1″ HXT Low Deflection and the shaft is measured at 29″ HXT designed with hardrock maple. The stainless steel collar and walnut-stained birdseye maple forearm is also designed with black and white diamond graphic points.
The Viper Desperado Freedom is the best pool cue for a beginner. The Desperado 2-Piece Pool Cue will help any type of beginner be able to make the perfect shot (at least after some practice).
The Viper Desperado Freedom features a variety of different components that make it unique. The cue has leather wraps that make it stand out among other beginner cues on the market. The laser engraved original art and stainless steel joints also make the appearance of the stick different.
The Viper Desperado Freedom also has a removable scuffer, Le Pro tips, and a Canadian maple shaft and butt and for the cherry on top inlaid rings.
What makes it also unique is the adjustable weight system, which allows you to specify desired weight for how you feel. This is a great feature for the beginner since you are able to make it heavier as you move forward in your skill level.
Designed in leather, the tip, Le Pro, is measured at 13 mm. The Ferrule is made of fiber, the shaft is made of pro-tapered Canadian Maple wood, and the wrap is designed with laser. The butt and forearm of the Viper Desperado Freedom is also unique because of the burnt, laser engraving with original graphics.
Weighing in between 18 to 21 oz (because of its adjustable weight system), the wood and onyx inlays with stainless steel rings also make it unique. The stainless steel joint with laser etch and a removable scuffer bumper also makes it unique—and backed with a limited lifetime warranty to boot.
What we liked:
Feels extremely comfortable—especially for a beginner
Performs better than most beginner cues on the market
The CUESOUL SOOCOO Series is designed with high-quality Canadian maple wood—regardless of the inexpensive, affordable price. It is rated as one of our Best Inexpensive Pool Cues on the market.
The combination of the high-quality wood and the unique look, the CUESOUL SOOCOO Series is backed by a prestigious brand that makes quality features affordable. The diameter of the tip is 11.5 mm, which then gets widened out to 12.75 mm.
Weighing around 19 oz., it measures out to be the average size of cue sticks. Some features included in the pool cue is a stainless pocket pin, a stainless steel joint collar, and a leather cue tip.
The product is one of the best pool cues under $200—and it is one of the most affordable ones on our list. With a quality product deliverable on time—and even early in some cases— although the warranty isn’t backed by a lifetime limited warranty, it is still high-quality and deserves to be backed by a guarantee!
The comfort and size of the pool cue also make a difference. Although it doesn’t have a wrap, the CUESOUL SOOCOO Series is still a unique stick.
The size and weight of the pool cue makes it extremely comfort to hold. Although it does not have a weight bolt in them, it is still weighed as advertised.
The features of the CUESOUL SOOCOO Series cue stick includes the stainless pocket pin, stainless steel joint collar, and leather cue tip.
What we liked:
Quality product and on-time delivery
Great weight and comfort
What could be better:
Does not have a weight bolt in them
Things to Consider
Especially since you’re probably beside yourself in which pool stick to pick, we wanted to help you out by creating a buying guide to help you choose the best one for you as a player. Whether you are a beginner or have been playing for years and are tired of using the community sticks, there is a product made perfectly for you!
Be prepared – why to purchase your own pool stick?
Especially if you normally play in a community center or a bar that supplies pool sticks, the hose cues are normally pretty poorly maintained. If you have your own—you’ll be much more likely to take care of it and maintain it on a regular basis.
The public cues also will have a different warpage, weight, and tip than you’re used to. Having your own will help you be one with your game.
Understand the cue – types of cue sticks
To be able to pick out the right cue stick for your level and game, you should first get familiar with the different types of sticks available.
Take the time to familiarize yourself before you invest in one of these:
Combo jump-break cues
Game tips – get better at pool game
Practice, practice, practice. (You’ve probably heard that before).
However, without direction, practice won’t necessarily help you get better. Here are a few tips that you should work on to help you get better at your pool game:
Your positioning: The way your body is positioned when you’re lining up a shot is extremely important. Make sure you’re taking a step back and approaching the shot with your pool stick at hip level. This should mean that you should have a direct line from the cue ball to the ball that you’re trying to hit. That’s also where your line of vision should also be.
Your stroke: From hip level, your back hand should be gripping the butt of the stick near the end and your thumb and index should be lining up the other end. To swing the perfect stroke, do so slowly, keep your body and shoulders also straight on. Use your elbow like a hinge.
Your bridge: This is a fancy way of saying how you hold your hands. You can either do an open-handed bridge or a closed bridge.
The open-handed bridge is done by cupping your hand on the table and placing the cue between your thumb and pointer finger.
The closed bridge is done by putting the cue over your middle finger and thumb then wrapping your index finger.
Features that will help choose the perfect billiard stick under $200
Here are a few details to look out for when choosing the perfect billiard stick.
For the perfect tip, here are some tips:
Look for the material of the tip. The different types of texture—from soft to hard—can make a huge difference in the control of the cue ball. When it is softer, this usually means more spin for the shot. When it is harder, this usually means more power for the shot and less control. However, you can also rely on something called “medium material” which will allow it to have a good balance between control and speed.
Measure the diameter of the tip: The various sizes of the tip are normally going to be around 12.75 mm, 13 mm or even lower. The bigger the area, the less chance you have on hitting the right spot on the ball.
The grippier sticks are better for aim, which can be changed depending on the wrap. The most five most common wraps—from grippy to loose—are:
Specialized Sticks with no wrap
Weight and balance
To make you as comfortable as possible, the weight of the cue makes a difference. If you are a beginner player, you’ll definitely prefer using a heavier cue—a little over a pound—since you will be able to deliver your shots with more power.
If you are more experienced, you should try to keep the weight of the cue stick at less than a pound.
The way that the two pieces of the stick together can differ from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Normally, the most preferred type of joint is called the “Uni-Loc Joint” since it is extremely durable.
The joint collar is another part of the cue stick that is important and can be different from stick to stick. The collar can be made from stainless steel or simplex.
The shaft of the pool cue should be cured, which means that it should keep moisture out. It can be made from different types of wood. Most of the shafts are made of hard maple wood.
Where to use it
If you’re going to be just using it in your home, you won’t need to worry about the two-piece or one-piece debacle. You’ll also not have to worry about having a carrying case.
However, if you are going to be traveling with it, there are definitely features you need to consider.
The type of wood will also make a difference. It can have an effect on the durability of the tip and the body.
Maple cues are going to be affordable but high quality, as well. However, ash wood—which is much more expensive—is much higher quality for expert players who are willing to dish out some extra cash.
Once the cue is assembled, it shouldn’t roll or wobble when placed on the pool table or any other surface for that matter.
Look down at it in a straight way to see if it is warped at any point. This can make it quite uncomfortable to play with.
A few different accessories that come with pool cues can be cue racks, carrying cases, cue wraps, joint protectors, and extra tips.
With each cue, a warranty should come along. The smallest warranty that you can get is a 30-day money back guarantee. Some warranties, however, like the Purex HXTE5 and the Players Technology Series HXT15are lifetime limited.
When it comes to the actual game, there are a few different types of games. The pool table has six pockets and is played with stripes and solids. It is also known as pocket billiards. The billiards table comes with no pockets and only uses three balls in the game. The snooker table will usually have an extremely large playing surface and uses smaller pockets and balls.
Specifically designed pool sticks for women will have a thinner butt for a better grip and are normally shorter in length. Of course, you do not have to have a specific stick if you’re a woman. However, it can definitely help with comfort (especially if you have smaller hands).
Wrapping It Up
If you’ve decided to skip over the entire guide and check the summary for the best three products, here they are:
The Purex HXTE5 is our Editor’s Choice for the best pool cue. Made of maple in three different parts, this cue is backed by a lifetime limited warranty. It comes designed with a 29’’ shaft length, Kamui Black Soft tip, pro taper, and an ivorine ferrule.
The Cuetec CT296is our Best Break Pool Cue Under $200. Designed with maple and a 13 mm tip diameter, the weight is adjustable, with a Tiger Everest tip, polycarbonate ferrule, and stainless steel joint collar.
The CUESOUL SOOCOO Series is our budget pick for the best cue under $200. Made of Canadian maple with a tip of 11.5 mm. The cue weighs only 19 oz. with features including a stainless pocket pin, stainless steel joint collar, and a leather cue tip.
We hope that this guide has helped you pick out the best pool cues under $200 for your game.