Snooker Cues - A Buyers Guide

Published: 25th June 2010
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Picking a snooker cue can be a really tough decision and because a cue should last many years it should be taken very wisely. The main differences between various snooker cues are the types of split, the cue weight, the size of the cue and the material type it is made of.

One - piece Snooker cues are more of the traditionalist players choice - they look great and don't have a joint anywhere on the cue which means a smooth feathering action, still they can be awkward to transport because of their size. The next type of cue is the two - piece snooker cue and as the name implies this type of snooker cue splits equally into 2 parts. Two - piece cues are likely the most popular type of cues used today. There plus points are that they can be shortened very easily and carried around without taking up to much space, there disadvantages are mainly that there is a seam in the center of the cue which can disrupt the feathering action quite a lot. The 3/4 jointed snooker cue is probably the cue of choice for most of the advanced and pro snooker players. These snooker cues break up around 8 inches from the bottom of the cue which means there are no issues with feathering and there is also the possibility of adding a longer screw-in type extension to the snooker cue.
Some other things to consider when purchasing your new cue are the length of the cue, the weight of the cue and the type of wood the cue is made from.

Snooker cue weight varies from about 16 oz. to about 23 oz. depending on the manufacturer. With most snooker cue manufacturers you can request whether you want light, medium-weight or heavy-weight and to find out which one suits you best it is best to give all three a go.

Most cues are made to the standard length of 4feet 10inches however some cue makers still make slightly shorter and longer snooker cues depending on the type. In professional tournament play the legal minimum size is 3ft although you are very unlikely to find anyone playing with a snooker cue that is that size.
The vast majority of cues are manufactured from Ash which is most likely the best wood there is out there for making cues. You do occasionally see some maple cues - this wood is less expensive and stiffer than ash however it can still produce a good snooker cue.

Every snooker cue needs to have a cue tip as this is the principal point of contact between the cue and the white ball. Almost all cue tips are made out of leather and the toughness of the tip varies between tip makers. The tip should be formed using a file or with sandpaper into a dome like shape. By doing so the player is able to impart more spin onto the white ball hopefully making positional play easier. The tip is then attached to the snooker cue with glue or occasionally screwed in directly.

The end of the snooker cue shaft has a metallic cuff known as the Ferrule. The function of the Ferrule is to bind the cue tip to the cue and take the majority of the impact when a shot is played. Without the ferrule the cue could break when a harder than usual shot is played

Most of the factors i have mentioned such as material type, length and weight are down to individual taste so experimenting with lots of different snooker cues is important and will give a better understanding of which one you like.

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