The female end of the joint, where the screw threads into, is on the bottom of the shaft. It is often imbedded in the wood itself for a tighter fit. The male end is on top of the butt, although a few cues have this standard reversed.
- Look at the screw's threads on a cue you want to buy. Are they thick, and spaced far apart from one another? A thick, sturdy screw insures a solid connection.
- The joint should close without any visible gap between the two ends. If not, the stick will chip and crack near that space as it grinds together during play.
- Assemble and separate the cue at the joint a few times, feeling the point of closure and whether there is a tight connection between the cue's components.
- Cues assemble by screwing the male end of the joint into the female, never the other way around, prolonging the life of the joint. Insiders know to put both halves together vertically, giving the male end a few turns into the screw to start. Then, to finish tightening the joint, the stick goes parallel to the ground. This procedure avoids twisting or wrenching the screw unnecessarily.