How To Choose A Cue Stick
If you want to improve your billiard game, then you should buy your own Cue Stick.
It is not necessary to buy an expensive Cue for your first one. I actually recommend that, while you should buy a quality cue, that you do not spend a lot of money at first. Quality Cues can cost as much as several thousand dollars. For your first one, you should not spend more than two hundred dollars.
As your game develops, make note of what you like and don't like and use this knowledge when buying your next Cue Stick.
When buying a Cue Stick, the most important thing to remember is to make sure it feels comfortable. If it doesn't feel right in your hand, then you will have difficulty using it.
You should experiment with different Cue Sticks to decide which length and width is the most comfortable and which size Tip allows you to hit the ball with the most accuracy. They usually weigh between 18 and 21 ounces, and the tips range in diameter from 12mm to 14mm. While these may not sound like a big difference, the weight and tip diameter can make a huge difference in the way you play.
Once you have decided on the weight of the Cue Stick and the diameter of the Cue Tip that is best for you, it is time to pick out a Cue with those specs.
You should pick out a few different Cue Sticks from different manufacturers and check for any flaws. The first thing is to make sure the Cue is straight and not warped. You do this by holding the bumper end to your eye and looking down the Cue Stick toward the tip like you are looking down a rifle and rolling it a few times in your hand. You can also roll it across a flat surface and make sure that it doesnt wobble or bounce.
Then you should check the connections of the Cue Stick. Where the Ferrule meets the shaft and where the two pieces of the shaft come together should be smooth. When you run your fingers over these areas, you should not feel any difference.
The next thing you should check is the finish of the Cue Stick. The clear finish should not have any bubbles. The wrap should not be frayed, discolored, loose or unlevel with the rest of the shaft. If there are any inlays in the wood, they should be even and seated properly. You should not be able to see any glue around them.
You may also want to check under the bumper at the end of the Cue Stick for a bolt or screw. This allows you to change the weight of the Cue. This is helpful in case after playing for awhile, you decide you need to change the weight to improve your shot.
The most important thing to remember is if something does not look right to you, don't buy that Cue Stick.
After visually inspecting the Cue Stick, you should hit a few Billiard Balls with it. It is not as important to put the balls in a pocket as it is to hit various types of shots, from soft to hard. You should only be concentrating on how the Cue feels in your hand, the feedback the Cue Stick gives you and making sure you do not hear any rattling during your shot.
If you find a cue that you like the weight and feel of and passes the visual inspection and allows you to make smooth shots, but has a cheaper Ferrule and Tip that you do not think will last long, buy it anyway. You should play with it until the Tip or Ferrule break and then you can replace them with better quality.
You should not use your regular playing Cue Stick to break the rack with. It will warp your Cue, put unneccessary stress on the shaft and it's joint, mushroom and flatten your Cue Tip and cause breakage and loosening of the shaft joint screws.
It is best to buy a good quality, plain Cue Stick that is one piece and doesn't cost very much. You should also look for one that is lighter than your regular Cue which will allow you more speed and power with your break shot.
A larger Tip on your Break Cue will allow you to be more precise on the break and prevent miscues. This is important since you will be hitting the Cue Ball harder during the break than during a normal shot. The Tip should also be flatter on your break cue for the same reasons.
The best types of Ferrules for a Break Cue are Aegis, Melamine and Fiber. These types of materials are almost impossible to break. If the Cue Stick you pick out for your Break Cue does not come with a Ferrule of one of these types, make sure and replace it with one when it breaks.
When you are picking out your first Cue Stick, you will probably get a lot of advice from friends and sales people. No matter what they tell you, make sure you pick out a Cue that is comfortable for you and allows you to make accurate shots. Just because a Cue Stick is right for someone else, does not mean it will be right for you.