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Last updated: February 14, 2021
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A pool cue can make or break your game. Having your own cue can take your game to the next level, even if you are a beginner, as you will be able to predict the accuracy and feel every shot you make. Unfortunately, buying pool cues can be challenging, so we’ve compiled our guide to help you the best pool cues on the market to help you make your purchase decision.
In our pool cue reviews, we’ve considered the essential features of different cues: grip, appearance, body material, and performance. These factors will influence your choice, and hopefully, you will choose the perfect one for you.
Our research team has compiled a list of the best pool cues in the marketplace. Our researchers not only looked at the features of the cues but also analyzed user feedback and manufacturer information. This has allowed us to compile in-depth reviews, product tables, and a buying guide to help you make your purchase decision.
The Players D-JS is a great cue for someone who wants a unique stick that suits their personality and offers superior performance at the same time. This cue features card suits and a colorful jester on the shaft, so you can spot your cue from across the room. This detailing complements the black embossed base design, so you can feel on-trend on even the most upscale bars or pool halls.
One of the best features of the D-JS is the rubberized grip. This provides an enhanced grip that allows you to generate more torque and bring more control and power to your shots. The shaft is solid wood to provide a solid follow-through, and you can enjoy uniform, consistent play with the 13-millimeter tip. This tip is a Le Professional Le Pro premium tip made from hard oak leather to retain its shape longer.
Whether you’re an amateur playing on a home table or a hardened tournament champ, the bold graphics and multi-zone traction pattern with stainless-steel butt cap and joint will allow you to feel that you have a world-class cue. The cue is constructed from Grade A North American Hard Rock Maple that is handpicked and dried seven times and turned during curing. This wood is also treated with the patented stabilizer Nelsonite to protect it from any atmospheric changes. This ensures that this cue has a pro feel that will literally glide through your fingers to make that crucial shot. This is why we consider the D-JS to be one of the best professional pool cues available today.
If you stroll into a pool hall with your Lucasi Sneaky Pete, you may just sneak out a winner. The Uni Loc Joint system allows you to stealthily assembly your cue, and the unassuming design allows you to sneak under the radar of the most experienced players. The cue is made using Birdseye Maple and is stained with two products to form points that outline the ebony inlays. There is just a touch of iridescent shine at the base of each point that features precisely cut inlays of mother of pearl. The complete cue is coated with high gloss UV to keep it looking great in the years to come. This makes the Lucasi one of the best pool cues for the money.
The quality of the Lucasi is immediately apparent, and whether you’re a novice or pro, you’re likely to find your game is an enhanced when you use this cue. Although the Lucasi is an investment, it is a high-quality cue that also offers customization. You can choose a cue from a variety of weights to find the ideal weight for your specific preferences and playing style. This ensures that your cue not only looks beautiful but offers superb performance. The maple wood has an antique stain which is not compromised by the joint, as the Uni Loc quick release system creates a seamless look when your cue is assembled.
This is an excellent cue to take your game to a new level. Novices will find this cue is easy to handle, while pros will love the cue feel, making this cue a great addition to any table.
The Aska set of five wrapless L3 cues provides multiple quality sticks at an affordable price. These cues under $200 are colorful, yet have a classic look that will look at home in any billiard room. The Aska set is an ideal choice if you plan to start a league or tournament. With one or two sets, everyone can have a cue of their own. This is the perfect pick if you have a pool table at home, so friends and family don’t need to share cues. There are five different colors and five weights in the set, so you can practice finding the perfect cue for your personal style and game.
Each of the cues has the same length, so there is consistency when you try the different weights. Each cue has the same feel, so you don’t need to compromise between weight and feel. Even if you change to a cue of different weight, everything else will remain the same.
The weights are color-coded, with the black being the heaviest at 21 ounces, going down in one-ounce increments through blue, brown, and green to the 18-ounce red cue. All the cues are a standard length and made of Canadian hard rock maple with a 13-millimeter long-lasting leather hard tip. While these cues do not have professional tapers and shafts, you can expect impressive performance with durability to withstand use. Even if you enjoy a regular tournament schedule, these cues can withstand knocks and bangs to remain attractive and straight to take your game up another notch.
The Players set of one-piece pool cues are made with a four-prong construction to provide a solid hit. These cues have a 58-inch length and are made from North American Hard Rock Maple with a high gloss finish to protect against warping and fading.
Each pack contains four or eight premium quality sticks to provide comfort for almost any type of player. These sticks are pro-quality and ideal for amateurs and serious players alike. The high-impact fiber ferrule has a lifetime guarantee against chipping and cracking, while the Premium Elk Master tip has a dime radius and is pre-shaped and scuffed. This makes them a durable option that is great for convenience, even if you play frequently. Additionally, if you conduct a shape test, you will find that the Players sticks are stiff and straight. The set features four weights ranging from 21 ounces to 18 ounces, but the eight-piece set features two of each weight.
These sticks feature hard tips that are designed to offer a high-power shot with accuracy and non-deflection. The pre rounded tips offer better cue contact, minimizing the risk of missing a shot. Additionally, the glossy finish minimizes the risk of warping and fading, making them ideal for home pool tables or commercial setups. This makes this set our choice for the best players pool cues on the market.
The Iszy Billards pool cues feature a classic design that offers precision and a reasonable price tag. This is an ideal starter cue that offers the simplicity of what you see is what you get. While this is not a cue designed for professionals, it will enhance your game if you are a less experienced player. This is particularly true for beginners who are not likely to want a cue that is too fancy as you learn the game. While the Iszy cues are simple, they do get the job done.
A stand out feature of the Iszy pool cues are the Irish linen wraps near the base. This provides you with improved accuracy and control. The correct grip is crucial to precisely control the power and add spin to the ball, so your cue ball is positioned perfectly for your next shot. This makes this cue an impressive choice that we consider the Iszy set to be the best pool cues under 100.
This cue is a great option for those who want a good set of cues for their home pool table. For this light use, you can expect the Iszy cues to last for years. What is attractive about this set is that the cue is available in the same length, but different weights. There are weight options from 18 to 21 ounces, so you can improve your game. Despite the affordable price tag, these cues offer smooth performance and great durability.
The AB Earth is a great stick. This cue performs well, particularly for beginners who don’t want to spend a fortune to break into the sport. There are some concerns about the shafts not being completely straight. This could be due to being bent in transit or not being completely true during manufacture. In either scenario, it is likely to be due to the cheaper wood, but it should still be considered as one of the best pool cues for beginners.
Even if your AB Earth isn’t perfectly straight, it will be far more reliable than a house stick that is likely to be dented, weathered, and bent. This stick is cheap enough so that you can use it as a beginner or for young people and afford to easily replace it while you’re teaching the child how to store and care for their cue properly.
The AB Earth features an ergonomic design with a polished butt that offers greater anti-slip functionality and improved service life. Compared with a linen butt, the wavy shape offers greater ergonomics for confident handling and less risk of skidding. The cue is made using Canadian maple, and it is manually painted with different colors to make your cue look special. All of these features make it easy to see why the AB Earth is one of the best-selling pool cues on the market.
What we liked:
What could be better:
Some users report issues with imperfectly straight length
The GSE Games & Sports Expert cue is made using a high-strength fiberglass, and titanium composite, finished with matte paints. The design is configured into two pieces for easier storage and transportation. This construction ensures superior warp resistance and the stainless-steel joint system ensures a true straight cue. It is this design and construction that has allowed this cue to earn an impressive reputation within the sport.
The GSE also provides a comfortable cue for players. The lightweight design and graphite shaft allow greater ease of use. You can also choose one of four different colors to reflect your personality and flair. Each color also offers specific weight configuration for the stick that ranges from 18 to 21 ounces. When assembled, the two pieces fit together tightly, so you can’t tell that the cue is not one-piece. The matte finish on the shaft makes it easier to glide through fingers for easier movement. The GSE also features a textured tip that is softer than many other cues, that provides greater responsiveness that many players will enjoy. Despite these design features, the GSE is one of the best affordable pool cues on the market.
The Billiards Depot set of pool cues features different color sticks with beautiful design accents. The front part of the cue can be unscrewed to make it easier to transport and make storage easier. All the cues are 58 inches long with 13-millimeter leather cue tips. The hardwood shaft has an overlay decal butt and a 5/16 × 18 joint.
If you want to get a serious pool tournament going, the more players, the merrier. This set allows for five players to get into a serious game. Each cue is made with a hardwood shaft that provides durability, while the overlaid decal ensures that your cues look more expensive and attractive than the price tag would suggest. This means that you will not compromise the look of your billiard room without worrying about inexperienced players damaging expensive cues. These cues look professional and can be used both as a break cue and for shooting with superb accuracy. The joint is strong and sufficient enough to keep both pieces of the cue steady during any impact. This will allow your new cues to withstand many games.
The Billiards Depot set has a number of compelling reasons to buy. The cues are great for shooting and breaking, the pack features five sticks, and there is some lovely decal detailing to create a great aesthetic. With a cue for each member of your quintuple team, this set is an affordable and quality product to provide reliable performance in your home tournaments.
What we liked:
Attractive overlay detail
2-piece for easy storage and transportation
What could be better:
More suited to home use
Things to Consider
A pool cue can make or break your game. Whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced player with aspirations of being a pro, you need the best pool cue for your playing style and preferences. There are a number of factors to consider to choose the best pool cues, which we will explore in more detail here, so you can make your purchase decision with confidence.
Features to consider while choosing pool cues
There are several factors that can indicate the quality of a pool cue when you make your purchase decision. These features include:
The Material: hard rock maple is an excellent choice for your new pool cue, as the shaft should be warp-resistant and straight.
Treatment: shafts should be treated with wood stabilizers to protect against atmospheric changes. The cue should also have a treatment to prevent chipping and fading, such as high gloss UV.
The Ferrule: plastic ferrules tend to be offered on low-quality cues, and they tend to crack or chip. It is better to look for a fiber ferrule that is more durable.
The Tip: A leather tip will generally hold chalk well and lead to fewer misses.
Most cues can be categorized as having a one-piece or two-piece body. As the name suggests, this means that the body is in one or two pieces. Generally, two-piece cues tend to be a step up from one-piece cues. However, there are some exceptions, as you can purchase two-piece plastic cues that fail to offer the performance of a wooden bar cue. A two-piece cue tends to offer better quality with an option of a wrap for additional grip. Two-piece cues also make it easier to carry in a case for portability and storage.
One-piece cues tends to be used in pool halls and home setups as they are too big to carry around comfortably. Generally, one-piece cues are not as high-quality as two-piece, and they tend to be more vulnerable to warping, so you may find that they are not completely straight over years of use.
Grip is crucial for a good game, and the wrap is an important factor for this. There are different types of wrap that provide you with a comfortable, textured place to hold your cue when you’re shooting. Leather offers a soft feeling, but it is not ideal if you tend to have sweaty hands. This also applies to leatherette, but leatherette can feel a little stiffer. Irish linen is the classic wrap material and is ideal if you tend to get sweaty hands, but this is more costly than nylon wraps, which can feel rougher on the hands.
While it may seem like just an aesthetic thing, the appearance of a cue can be an important factor when making your purchase decision. If you’re taking your cue to a tournament, you don’t want to feel like a complete beginner with a boring or unattractive cue. So, look for a cue in your favorite color or with a funky design, like the Players D-JS Cue Stick.
You should never buy a cue unless it is supplied with some sort of warranty. Most of the cues on our list are sold with a 30-day warranty, but there are some notable exceptions, including the Lucasi that has a lifetime warranty. This provides reassurance about durability and against warping. You can protect your warranty rights by checking your unchalked and unused cues to ensure that it is straight. This can be easily done using a table. Assemble the cue and roll it across your table. It should roll smoothly and look straight as you look down the shaft. If the cue wobbles or looks bent, you should return it immediately.
It is also important to check the warranty terms, as some issues such as warping are not considered to be a manufacturer’s defect. Each manufacturer has different terms, so do a little research before you make your purchase decision.
Some pool cues cost more because of where they are manufactured or the name. Manufacturers in the United States tend to cost more than cues that are produced in other countries around the world. This doesn’t necessarily mean better quality, but it does tend to provide an assurance of manufacturing standards. The other factors that impact the price of a cue include:
Wood: Cues made with exotic woods will cost more than a cue made of a more common wood. However, this doesn’t mean that a more common wood cannot provide durability and beauty. If you treat maple right, it can be an attractive stick, so you may not need to shell out for other materials that will raise the price of a cue.
Inlays: Handcrafted inlays can also increase the price of a cue. Inlays add beauty to your cue, but the craftsmanship involved will increase the costs. The cost of an inlay will depend on the material; natural materials will always be more costly than plastics, but decorative plastics can look very beautiful.
Wrap: The type of wrap can also drive up the cost of a cue. Leatherette tends to be less expensive than genuine leather. Irish linen wraps can be a more inexpensive option, but this is a more luxurious option than nylon.
Generally, pool cues have a weight of between 18 and 21 ounces. It is a good idea to start with a lighter cue and assess how it feels. If you struggle to control the cue ball, your cue is too light, but if you have trouble drawing your ball, your cue is too heavy.
As a beginner, you’re likely to make a few mistakes as you learn the game. So, it is a good idea to look for a durable cue with a good wrap material. Many beginners also opt for a cheaper cue that can be upgraded as you become more familiar with the game.
Pool cues can vary greatly in cost. If you’re just starting out a cue under $100 is a good option, but as you get more serious about the game, you may want to invest in a more costly cue, such as the Lucasi.
Wrapping It Up
If you’re a tournament player, the Aska set is a great option, offering durability and various weights to support the needs of different players. However, if you are a serious solo player, then the Lucasi is a better option, offering excellent grip and a beautiful finish. However, our top pick for the best pool cues has to be the Players D-JS. This cue has a lifetime guarantee with a comfortable grip for consistent play. The only downside for this cue is a lack of color options, which means that you can be assured of great performance.