A pool cue is the stick that is used to strike the cue ball in the game of pool, and it is essential for a seasoned pool player to know all the parts of the cue stick and also to learn how to take care of the pool cue stick in the proper manner. Cue sticks are tapered in shape as they are broad at the bottom where the player grips them, and they become narrow at the top so that the stick strikes the ball at one single point only.
The top of the stick is fitted with a tip that reduces the friction between the stick and the ball when they touch each other, and this grants the player more accuracy in his shot. For this reason, it is very important to know more about the tip and it is also necessary to know the methods of maintaining it as well.
The shaft of these cue sticks are generally made of wood, and then they are coated with different materials like graphite, carbon fiber or fiberglass. The tips that are attached at the end of the stick are either glued on, or screwed on. The size and the shape of different tips will differ, but the basic rule is that the tip will be curved in shape and will have a diameter between 12-13 mm.
Common Cue Tips
People who are learning to make a pool cue stick for themselves should gather all the information that they can about the various parts of the stick, including the tip as well. But if you are a professional player, then you need to buy a custom-made cue stick, or a cue stick that is made by one of the best manufacturers around. When it comes to the tips for cue sticks though, here are the best brands that supply them.
- Elk Master
- Le Pro
The prices of these tips will range from as little as $5 to as much as $50, depending on what you are looking for specifically. Some people will even purchase these tips if their old tips have worn out, or have become too hard to strike the ball properly, which ultimately starts affecting the shots that they play.
The hardness of these tips is determined by the grade which you pick, and each of them have different attributes. Softer tips can be chalked better so they offer better shots, but they also degrade at a faster rate. The most common problem that soft tips face is that of the shape getting distorted and 'mushrooming', a situation where the sides of the tip bulge out due to a prolonged use. On the other hand, harder tips do not face such problems, but they hold lesser chalk so it is harder to play an accurate shot with them.
In most cases, they are made of leather, and in some special cases, they are laminated and layered as well. Layered tips are better performers, but their layers can come out easily, so the chances of these tips getting spoiled are greater. Over time, these tips naturally wear out, so it is necessary to replace them at the correct moment. While using them, it is also necessary to maintain them well and to chalk them on a regular basis so that their shape and friction is maintained properly.
You should also remember that smaller cue tips are better for achieving spin on the shot, so you must analyze your game well before you go ahead and purchase a certain kind of tip. Tips with smaller radii always perform spin shots better because they require less force from the player to get the same amount of power and spin behind the ball.
Some cue tips are also meant specifically for breaking the rack at the beginning of the game, and these are most commonly used with sticks of shorter shaft length. This enables the player to get more power behind his shot, even though the accuracy is not that great. Such tips are generally larger than normal ones, and they possess a greater radius and a more gentler curvature.
If you are buying cue tips from the market, then you will also get a kit to attach the tip along with the tips itself. People who are familiar with such things will have no problems attaching these tips, but other people should enlist the help of a professional, or a friend who knows what he is doing. Understanding the different types of tips and how they are used is something that should be learned by all players though, because this knowledge will prove vital.