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Pool Cue Tips - How To Choose Between Pool Cue Tips

When A Hot Tip Runs Cold, Take This Advice

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Pool Cue Tips

Pool cue tips that are square, are for squares. Here's why...

Illustration (c) Matt Sherman, licensed to About.com, Inc.
A shameless request for info on pool cue tips becomes a pool cue tips compendium.

"The Tips On Pool Cue Tips" Question And Answer Session

"Matt, this is just a shameless request for info on pool cue tips. The Pechauer cue I put an Everest tip on actually played OK, I just did not like the cue's balance and the grip was small for my hand.

I am currently using a Shadow made by Dufferin before they sold out. I really like the balance and the grip is better for my hand, but the weight is a little light.

I have a custom Arnot Q bacote cue coming and Arnot himself suggested a Moori medium pool cue tip as the way to go. Back in the day I shot with a Joss that probably had an old Le Pro tip on it.

Is the tip that much different, i.e., is the Moori really going to have a leg up on the Everest tip, or even the Le Pro tip?

It seems like I was able to use draw a little better with the Everest tip but I still pocket more balls with the Dufferin cue stick...

I think I am just rambling now, but basically, is the Moori tip a better deal than the Everest? And yes, I drank a lot back then and can't remember which Joss I owned!

My previous instructor seemed to think I had a decent stroke but I have not played at all for 20 years and am barely able to show up for practice before my weekly league starts each Thursday. I think a targeted plan for practice with you helping me on the basics would be great when we meet in person for a lesson.

The drill you mentioned for leaving the cue ball around an object ball being shot in the side pocket sounded great but I am so far only successful with stop, slight follow and replacing the object ball with the cue ball-arrgh, that one is a lot more difficult than it looked when another teacher demonstrated it.

I have a doubles tournament Saturday so that will hopefully be a win for me, and according to the APA I am ranked a "4" player but in my mind I am a weak 4, as in last week I was just 3!" -- John

Matt's Tips On Pool Cue Tips

Hey, there, John!

Not to overgeneralize but billiards tip compaction/degrees of hardness or softness make a far bigger difference on break and jump cue sticks. For those demanding specialty strokes, when you want to literally fly the cue ball off the table, which you ALSO want to do on what I call

>Fly Me To The Moon Break Shots (Thanks, Mr. Sinatra!) you'd like super hard pool cue tips to always impact the cue ball. Bam!

Jump Shots Shown In Super SlowMo Photography And Jump Technique

I'd say based on your skill level, which "by gum" we'll raise when we meet for your lessons next week, (!) Moori medium tips can be good. However, and this is a big cue tip however, the softer the tip, the more "feel" through the stroke, which some pool shooters like and some absolutely HATE.

And just as important, hard pool cue tips take a LOT longer to lose shape and wear down to helpless nubs that are no good for successful pool shots. You've got to have a shapely cue tip, a nicely rounded thing, to make those balls dance. How can you get any precision using english or really, any type of off center hit, without a rounded tip? You can't. Consider a square tip impacting a round ball as in the image on this page…

The simplified diagram shows a squared off cue stick with an utterly flat tip aimed at a cue ball. The upper line (gray colored) shows the intended aim point on the cue ball. The lower darker line shows where the tip will actually contact the cue ball!

A perfectly rounded tip (with the approximate arc circumference of a U.S. nickel coin) will give desired results at all safe angles of impact (not more than 2 to 3 tip widths distant from center ball) and for most types of strokes.

In sum, use a perfectly rounded pool cue tips on your regular sticks, and particularly slick and hardened tips on any specialty jump or break cues. And don't use soft pool cue tips unless you care to constantly round and whittle down all of your cue tips by hand or bring them frequently to a mechanic! I know of one pro who'd get a specialist to refine his tip's shape each week, but he also had cash on hand to pay for all those extra pool cue tips.

…Coming soon, does using a lighter cue stick require greater skill?

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