It’s time to take your game to the next level by investing in a pool cue that gives you the edge. If you are at the point where the game has become more than just a social pastime and is now at a more competitive phase, you need to research the wide range of pool cues on offer and find the perfect one for you.
Here we’ve picked five top-selling pool cues for you to consider:
Top Five Best Pool Cues 2020
|Top 5 Best Pool Cues||Editors Rating||Check Price|
|Predator Sport II Ice Wrap||4.7 Stars|
|Players C-960||4.6 Stars|
|Players HXT15 Two Piece||4.5 Stars|
|Cuetec R360 Edge||4.4 Stars|
|TIGER CUE ICEBREAKER II||4.5 Stars|
This “ball-pocketing machine” comes from Predator, an international leader in cue craftsmanship.
The “Ice” is the tool of choice by the greatest pool player of all time – “too pool for school” Pilipino Efren Reyes. The winner of more than 70 universal titles, Reyes, aka “The Magician”, was the first player to be world champion of both the eight ball and nine ball divisions in the pool. He is not alone – it is estimated that Predator cues are used by at least 60 percent of top-ranking players around the world.
Nearly 25 years ago Predator cottoned on that most shots are missed due to cue ball deflection. The company embarked on an extensive study of the basic pool cue. With the help of a robot, affectionately called “Iron Willie”, the engineers were able to determine a cue’s performance and at the same time keeping the variables constant. Predator’s research is hardly a shot in the dark – it has teamed up with the Engineering Department of the University of North Florida.
As a result, Sport II Ice has almost unrivaled accuracy, spin, and consistency. Its third-generation shaft is designed to deliver low deflection. It also has increased stiffness because there’s not much front-end mass, making it more hit-consistent.
It doesn’t stop there. Predator has joined forces with Uni-Loc to provide a quick release joint, pulling the shaft and the butt smartly together with 360 degrees of equal pressure.
And that’s just the tip of an iceberg – the eight-layer tips are made from Leather Luxe Wrap for optimum compression. It also sports a durable polyurethane grip with five traction spots for control, as well as comfort. The butt design is also very much part of the equation – made up of hard Maplewood in four parts to ensure the shaft has stability.
- Third-generation shaft: Predator 314³
- Shaft length: 29”
- Tip: Predator Victory tip
- Four-piece hard maple construction
- Joint: Uni-Loc® Quick Release™ Joint
- Weight: 19oz. (18.5-20.5 available) adjustable in 10 oz. increments via Uni-Loc®
The Players C-960 is styled with a crimson-stained birdseye maple forearm and butt sleeve along with solid black double-pressed linen Irish Wrap. It also comes with a stainless steel joint collar and triple silver ring sets.
In the process of the making the cue, it is turned seven times in order to stop it from warping. Nelsonite is also used as a stabilizer that is used to protect the wood from changes in the atmosphere. The proprietary epoxy is then applied which seals the pores in the wood so it won’t be damaged by warping or moisture.
This high-gloss finish works as an armor coating which works to protect the cue from chipping or fading over time. Another interesting feature is the Quality French Le Pro Tips which allow the cue to give maximum ball control to the player.
It also includes a special high-impact ferrule which makes it so durable against chipping or cracking that Player’s offers a lifetime warranty on this cue.
It is made from 100% North America Grade A Hard Rock Maple and seasoned craftsmen hand pick the wood for each cue in order to make sure they are providing maximum straightness and quality.
This pool cue is a reliable asset for players of all abilities but is mostly recommended for Intermediate players. It has a comfortable grip and a very good shot efficiency.
It is made of sturdy and durable maple wood which also gives the player’s shot an extra boost of power and means the cue is able to sustain itself for long. Another great feature is the fact that it has a low deflection rate which means the accuracy of your shots is much better.
This cue is also available in multiple sizes as well as designs, most with epoxy finish. This means you are likely to find the right size and design within this brand and model, so you can shot with accuracy and efficiency.
- 58” cue
- 13mm, 29”, 100% Grade “A” North American Hard Rock Maple Shaft with Pro Taper
- Red Stained Birdseye Maple Butt and Forearm
- Le Pro Tip
- Stainless Steel Joint with 5/16 x 18 Pin
- Black Irish Linen Wrap
- Lifetime Warranty including Warping.
This is another product from on the most popular brand in the making of pool cues. It comes in a two-piece design and you can choose the weight of the cue yourself. This an important fact as the weight of the cue depends on the accuracy of hitting the ball. A heavy one with overshoot, while a light one won’t gain enough power.
Due to the two-piece nature of the cue, you can carry it around with you with ease. The finishing of this cue will mean your shots will be more accurate than ever. The wood used for this cue is 100% North American Hard Rock Maple wood which also makes sure the cue is durable even after a long time.
The wood for each Players cue is hand-picked by an expert to ensure that you get the quality and straightness you need when playing.
The forearm of this cue is made from walnut-stained birdseye maple while the butt designed with black and white diamonds. This gives the cue a very classic and elegant look. Players designed all have genuinely handcrafted inlays as well as classic and modern designs.
This cue has the latest low deflection features so that it is forgiven and accurate on every shot. Along with this is the Quality French Le Pro Tips that comes with every Players cue which means the cue won’t chip or creaking and they are so certain of this they’re willing to give a lifetime guarantee on the product.
- Synthetic and Mesh material.
- Rubber soles.
- Flywire technology.
- Phylite midsole.
- Molded sockliner.
- Rounded anatomical heel.
This is the cue of choice for 8-ball champion US’s Shane Van Boening. He says that of most pool cues on the market, “the Cuetec R360 has a better feel, a better aiming system and, more importantly, better control”.
This two-piece beauty has a Tiger Everest 10-layer leather tip, which makes for easier ball control. The stainless steel joint helps with a strong delivery and it’s made from the Canadian Maple, renowned for its smooth finish.
The Cuetec R360 Shaft sets new standards in shaft craftsmanship. It is designed with a tubular composite core surrounded by four cuts of top-class Canadian maple giving it maximum radial consistency for accurate cue ball response and ball control.
The composite core inside the shaft is there to enhance control deflection, “squirt” and distortion. This addition also prevents warping.
The Air Cushion design (patent pending) is in the forefront of ferrule technology. It is made from Cuetec R360 shafts using the latest technology in ferrule construction, Air Cushion Ferrule (patent pending). It is made from ABS (a thermoplastic polymer), which has no melting point, providing a cushioning effect. This means there’s less vibration, less deflection, as well as maximizing cue ball control and accuracy. This shaft also includes an Everest Laminated Tip which is individually tested for consistency, hardness, and quality and has a special red layer mark that warns you when to replace the tip.
One reviewer, Ruelas-5, posted this on e-Bay in 2016: “This is an excellent cue, especially for the money. I would recommend this cue to anyone who is serious about playing but doesn’t want to spend too much. The shaft is easy to take care of. I have just bought my third R360.”
And Colin, posted on Ozonebilliards in 2013: “I don’t know if it’s the shaft or is it just me, but I shoot like a God with it. I never have to worry about missing those long shots anymore. I just aim, fire and finish”.
- 58” of Canadian Maple
- Standard Cuetec Joint
- Tiger Everest Tip
- 15.5" Pro Taper
- Polycarbonate Ferrule
Champion Filipino pool player Dennis “Robocop” Orcollo uses this “jump/break” cue, which boasts no warp.
It’s from the Tiger facility, where craftsmen with a least 25 years’ experience make all the cues. Each cue takes about two months to make. Quality control is paramount. Every cue is inspected to exacting standards and even if there is the slightest flaw, the cue is discarded.
The Icebreaker II has the traditional Tiger shaft made up of North Canadian Maple, spliced with genuine African Ebony. No paint or thick lacquer here.
It has a highly durable phenolic ferrule, an Icebreaker tip, and radial Tiger joint protectors and comes with a velvet-lined case.
The phenolic ferrule coupled with the patented Icebreaker tip was developed for optimum jump/break performances. This makes it easier for the player to execute aerial jump shots at close quarters and to create a shattering break shot. It took Tiger, with its headquarters in Warrington, England, three years of research and development to come up with this feature.
This hybrid cue tip utilizes an ultra hard laminated leather core, with a direct leather contact surface, allowing for greater chalk adhesion. The phenolic jacket prevents cue tip expansion on impact. This means all the effort you put into your stroke will transfer immediately and accurately to the ball.
The cue breaks into three pieces thereby giving the player total control on long or short jump shots. Tiger has a patented X5 lamination system on the butt, making the cue as solid as it can get.
You can use this cue for long or short jump shots. The weight adjustment system means you can easily take a break or jump shot.
Rondolpho posted on the Pooldawg website in August last year: “I have been using Icebreaker tips since I can remember breaking. With an Icebreaker tip, the balls zip to the pockets as if they are scared to remain on the table in the presence of this monster tip, whether it is an eight or nine ball break!”
- Weight: 17.5 to 20.5oz
- Default Tip: Icebreaker, laminated leather core
- Cue Type: Jump/Break
- Shaft Type: Tiger Ice Breaker
- Joint Type: Uni-Loc Radial
- Shaft Diameter: 13mm
- Shaft Length: 29”
- Shaft Taper: Pro Taper
- Cue Wrap: No Wrap
- Wood Type: Maple - Hard
- Warranty: Limited Lifetime
- Top Tips
Rule of thumb is that pool cue tips are between half an inch going up to just under an inch. Tip type is as important as the size. Some players prefer a soft tip because they feel it immediately when the cue strikes the ball, others go for harder tips because these are robust and tend to last longer. The tip should be dome-shaped. The tip should fit the ferrule (the “bracelet interface between the shaft and tip, which is there to stop the shaft from splitting) like a hand in a glove. Ferrules are made from anything from ivory to metal.
- Weighty Issue
For those with less experience, heavier cues are the best because they have more clout, which, in turn, makes the balls spin more.
Heavier cues weigh 20 ounces, but as you gain more experience you could opt for a cue, which is one ounce less. Pool professionals usually play with 18-ounce cues.
- Wood You?
Hard maple, otherwise known as rock maple is the wood of choice of pool cue craftsmen. It has a straight grain, which makes it easy to handle. There are also ones made from exotic woods such as black ash and ebony, but they are more difficult to handle.
This doesn’t mean to say you can’t go for inlays on the shaft’s butt to give your pool cue stand out. These, of course, cost more.
- One or two-piece?
If you are traveling to different pool venues, it is advisable to go for a two-piece cue, which comes apart, making it more compact and travel-friendly. If you are lucky enough to have a pool table at home there’s nothing wrong with choosing a cue that doesn’t come apart.
- On the Straight and Narrow
You might be forgiven thinking pool cues are round, but top cues are as straight as a dye. They have been crafted this way to ensure the cue doesn’t roll when it’s laid flat on a table. So, if you’re not convinced a cue is not dead straight, hold it at a horizontal angle at eye level and look down the shaft.
- Wrap it up
This is all about the grip and “wrap material” is common on cues. More experienced players will go for a leather wrap, but cues for intermediaries will be made from linen or nylon.
- Balancing Act
It goes without saying that you’ll need a perfectly balanced cue if you are taking this game seriously. Remember, the point of balance is usually at the center of the cue and not far from the end of the wrap. The best advice is to try out different cues to find the one has a balance to suit you.
- The Colour of Money
A pool cue is an extension of you. So, whether you playing at bars and pubs with your mates or you’re moving up a notch and entering competitions, you should own your cue. Cue craftsmen obviously enjoy creating the end product and there’s a plethora of colors and designs.
- Just in Case
It’s almost a dead cert that if you reading this, you “play away from home”. Now that you have your two-piece pool cue, your new “baby” should come with a case. These are lined to protect the cue from scratches. Must-haves if you are out-and-about. Some cases include compartments for cue accessories, which might be worth the extra investment.
FEATURES AND BENEFITS
Buying a cheap pool cue is a false economy – it won’t last long and it won’t go towards helping you improve your game.
The benefits of a quality pool cue are the materials used. Most are made up of superior wood, but cheaper cues will not have a spliced butt section and will more than likely have overlays to make it look like proper wood.
The tips will have had years’ of research and development behind them and will provide a far superior performance and will last longer.
The splice quality is key. The top sellers are hand-spliced, as opposed to cheaper cues, which will have been machine-spliced. Hand-spliced cues will have a rounder point on four section of the splice.
Some high-end cues will come with a case, which would be an additional extra with cheap sticks.
A pool is all about precision and having the eye to focus on the invisible lines, which lead to you successfully potting the ball.
As we’ve seen, the equipment, whether you are an amateur or a pro, is paramount.
So, once you’ve considered:
- Your personal requirements
- Spoken to other pool players (perhaps even playing a game or two with their pool cues)
- Checked your budget
- Done online research
Then the time has now arrived to get armed with an extension of you.
Once you’ve made your investment, you need to make sure you take care of it correctly, not only to make sure it performs at its best, but also that it retains its value.
Don’t store your cues in an area that is likely to be subject to temperature fluctuations such as in your car, garage or near a window. Wood warps, no matter how well it has been honed.
Be aware that over time the cue’s shaft will accumulate a sticky build-up. Regularly wipe it with a damp cloth, remembering to dry it off immediately because the wood will absorb even the smallest amount of water.
The tip might be the smallest, but it is the most important element of the cue. You will probably have to shape this without damaging the rest of the cue. Just don’t chalk it before you shape it. Go online see suggestions from pool players on how this is best achieved.