Top 6 Best Pool Cues (Buyer’s Guide)
As with all sports, equipment is key. And this is no different with pool. Opting for a poor cue will stunt your game and lead to frustration. Instead, invest in a quality cue and you’ll find pool much easier to play and ultimately, you will get more enjoyment out of the game.
Pool cues come in a range of different sizes, weights, tips, and so on. In this pool cues review, we will break down what to look out for when purchasing a stick, and recommend the best pool cues we could find.
Read more: Alternatively, if you are on the hunt for a pool table, we have a guide for that too.
|Players Exotics E-JC Birds-Eye Maple and Rengas Jump Pool Cue||Best Quality||Check current price|
|Viper Commercial/House 1-Piece Pool Cue||Best Value for Money||Check current price|
|Tai Ba Pool Cue – Blue S3+||Best Accessories||Check current price|
Choosing the Best Pool Cue
The very first thing to consider when selecting your pool cue is the length you will need. Fortunately, this is quite simple. Standard cues are 57 or 58 inches, depending on whether you choose one-piece or two-piece. This length will be suitable for the majority of adults.
For younger/shorter players, cues in the 36-52 inch range are available. Generally speaking, 36-42 inches are suitable for anyone 4 ft or below. While 48 and 52-inch cues are for players from 4 ft through to 5 ft 8 inches.
Exceptionally tall individuals, or those with long arms, may require a custom pool cue.
Weight is another key area you will want to consider. Cues are available in light, medium, and heavy, and which you choose should depend on your style.
Most cues fall within the 18 to 21-ounce range, but you can find cues that exceed these figures. If you are just starting out, a 19 to 20-ounce cue is best as they are a little more forgiving.
The majority of the weight of a cue is stored in a rear section known as the butt. This is because the tail end of the cue is thicker than the shaft. Manufacturers will also add weight to the butt end through heavy hardwood such as ebony.
As tips are the only component of the cue that strikes the ball they are highly important and customizable. What shouldn’t change is your tip diameter relative to your shaft – it should always be the same. Of course, different shaft diameters, therefore, mean varying tip diameters. Smaller tips require more skill and offer greater spin production. On the other hand, larger tips are safer and offer more power.
Tip hardness also has a similar effect on your shots. A harder tip is more effective at transferring power to the ball. This makes it useful for breaking. However, the drawback to hard tips is that you have less control over producing spin and you are more likely to miscue.
Conversely, soft tips give you more control over spin to play advanced shots, although you suffer a bit in the speed department. They also wear out quicker than hard tips. This is why medium tips are so popular. They offer the best of both worlds giving you access to adequate spin and speed.
Of course, if you want to take full advantage of tip potential, why not use all three? You can use differently tipped cues for specific match scenarios. In essence, there isn’t really a best cue stick tip, just choose one which best complements your style.
One-Piece vs Two-Piece vs Three-Piece
The number of pieces in your cue is more of an aesthetic choice than one which will affect gameplay. Some people assume that having more than one part to your cue will lead to a loss of power, however, this isn’t really true. Pool cues have a very precise fit once screwed tight so you need not worry about hindrances to power.
One-piece cues are best for home use and more casual scenes. Two-piece cues are more fitting for serious players who travel to play, such as those who participate in tournaments. Being able to break your cue down into more than one piece for transportation is convenient. It also makes it less obvious what you are transporting which will leave thieves oblivious. Most of the top-rated pool cues are two-piece, simply because two-piece cues are the most popular so more get made.
Three-piece cues are also available but these are far less common. The advantage of using this type of cue is that you can take out the middle section to create a smaller cue. This proves useful if you don’t have enough space to play your shot.
A more subjective choice for your cue is whether you opt to go for a wrap. Wraps are added to the handle of your cue. They provide additional grip and help you show off some flair. Having a wrap also helps to absorb moisture which prolongs the life of your cue.
Of course, they are far from essential. Some players prefer not to have one. Some of the top-rated pool cues have no wrap at all.
Common wrap materials include linen and leather.
Read more: Pool actually has an odd history and we wrote a post all about it, if you’re curious.
The Best Pool Cues for 2023
The Best Pool Cue Reviews
1. Players Exotics E-JC Birds-Eye Maple and Rengas Jump Pool Cue — Best Quality
- Available in 18-21 ounces
- Double-pressed Irish Linen wrap
- 18 pin stainless steel joint
- Grade A Hard Rock Maple
- Durable hard oak tip
- Treated wood to make it resistant to moisture
- Lifetime warranty
- Design may not be appealing to everyone
Our rating: 9.4
Players Exotics E-JC Birds-Eye Maple and Rengas Jump Pool Cue is an eye-catching two-piece cue available in 18-21 ounces. It measures the standard pool cue length of 58 inches and sports a black and white double-pressed linen wrap giving you plenty of grip. The design is slick and beautiful, it flows from the grip through to the rest of the butt.
The cue is composed of North American Maple which has been hand-selected and undergone a 7-stage curing process. It is then sealed with Nelsonite and epoxy to protect it from moisture. The tip is a 13mm premium pro tip by Le Professional, created using vegetable-tanned oak leather to ensure it lasts.
The Exotics is certainly a premium pool cue and its lifetime warranty ensures reliability. It is the best pool cue in terms of quality.
2. Tai Ba Pool Cue – Blue S3+ — Best Accessories
- Available in 18-22 ounces
- 100% Hard Canadian Maple Wood
- 13mm multilayer leather tip
- Multi-weight system
- 9 different colors are available
- Comes with accessories
- Use imitation leather, not real leather
Our rating: 9.5
The Tai Ba S3+ is a 58″ two-piece cue with varying weights from 18-22 ounces. Made from 100% Canadian Maple Wood it is of very high quality. It also has a nice subtle design on the butt that is coated in 9 layers of varnish, ensuring it never wears away. This also protects the cue from moisture and prevents warping. You have a total of 9 colors to choose from with varying styles so you have quite a lot of choice.
We really rate the multi-weight system used in this cue. By opening the bottom rubber bumper you can replace the weight bolt to adjust the cue to your preferences. To top it all off the cue comes with four accessories. An elastic lycra glove, joint protectors, tip picks, and most importantly a hard pool cue case. This case has a leather exterior, an adjustable shoulder strap, and a zipper pouch to store accessories. This is certainly one of the best pool cues for the money with all the accessories considered.
3. Viper Commercial/House 1-Piece Pool Cue — Best Value for Money
- Available in 19-21 ounces (57″)
- Available in 36″ – 57″
- Canadian Maple Wood
- 13mm Le Pro tip
- 30-day warranty
Our rating: 9.2
If value for money is your goal, the Viper Commercial is a cue that will interest you. It’s a little more basic than some of the other cues listed but this helps to cut on the cost. For starters, it’s a 1-piece cue, all of the others we look at today are 2-piece. The design is also fairly basic, which in fairness, may be a plus if you want a more professional-looking cue. Yet it gets what matters right. It’s made from Canadian Maple Wood and uses a 13mm Le Pro Tip. The same style of tip used by the far more expensive Players G-21T1 pool cue.
You also have some customization choices when it comes to weight and length which is certainly an advantage. To reiterate, the Viper Commercial is one of the best pool cues for the money.
- Lightweight stainless steel joint
- Fiberglass construction
- Aluminum joint
- 13mm Le Pro leather tip
- 3 color choices
- 1-year limited warranty
- Slick design
- Conflicting information in product listing
- Cannot choose weight
Our rating: 9.3
The Viper Graphstrike is a two-piece cue composed of fiberglass making it the only cue on this list that is not made from wood. This removes the risk of the cue warping and we really like the way it looks — the black version especially, you can also pick it up in blue or maroon. Like many of the other cues, it features the dependable 13mm Le Pro leather tip.
The Graphstrike comes with a 1-year warranty which is somewhat surprising considering it is not very pricey. However, we do have a few reservations. The first is the conflicting info in the product listing. It states that the cue is both 57″ and 58″, now the difference here isn’t all that much but as a buyer, you want to be certain what you are getting. The second is the weight variance which you have no control over. The manufacturer sends the seller cues of varying weight between 18-21 ounces and ships them out at random. This means you can’t choose which weight you want. This isn’t a big deal for a new player, but for someone who is more skilled, this is a major turnoff.
- Available in 18-21 ounces
- 9 colors
- Hardrock Solid Maple
- 13mm premium leather tip
- 18 pin stainless steel joint
- Tip prone to falling off
- Some buyers received the wrong cue
Our rating: 8.9
The Valhalla 100 Series Cue is a good pool cue with a great deal of customization. Buyers can choose from 4 different weights and 11 colors. The black and mahogany colors provide a smooth traditional look that we love, but others such as orange and red are great for anyone who wants a bolder design.
Composed of the ever-popular Hardrock Solid Maple the quality of the cue is a given. It also uses the regular 18 pins stainless steel joint for a tight high-quality fix. The tip is 13mm in diameter and made of premium leather.
- Available in 18-21 ounces
- 4 colors
- Matt textured grip
- Hardrock Solid Maple
- Dazzling artwork
- Tip does not last long
- Some reviewers complained their cues were not straight
Our rating: 8.7
This AB Earth cue is for all the arty pool players out there. Each cue is hand-painted using gloss oil paints by artists. Available in 4 colors, you can take your pick. It’s just a shame the grip doesn’t work cohesively with the design as with the other cues.
AB’s Earth cue measures the standard 58 inches and uses 100% solid Canadian Maple. It also has a high-gloss, UV-resistant seal for protection and to ensure its dazzling artwork doesn’t fade. The tip is 13mm in diameter and made of leather.
Quite a few reviewers complained of warping when their cues arrived. This is a considerable drawback as it virtually makes the stick unplayable. However, the vast majority of people had no issues. And sitting at 4.5 stars on Amazon at its affordable price point, it is a great buy, and one of the cheaper options available among the best pool sticks.
That summarizes the best pool cues you can buy for 2023. If you are a keen player who puts a lot of hours in, we think the Players G-21T1 pool cue is the one for you. It’s the highest quality of all the cues we looked at and comes with a lifetime warranty that is not even close to being matched by the other models.
Alternatively, if you want a well-built inexpensive cue you can’t go wrong with the Viper Commercial. If you can look past the fact it’s a 1-piece cue, you are getting a steal.