(This is just a general set of guidelines for beginning players getting ready to get their first personal shooter. It's a starting point of things to consider, not a solid buying guide.)
There are a lot of sticks available (custom and production). Most anything in the range of $150 to $400 will work. When you first start thinking about a personal playing stick, it's always a good idea to talk it over with several players and get some understanding on why they like their stick and how they decided on that as their primary pool tool..
Try out sticks owned by friends. After experimenting with a dozen different ones, you can start getting an idea on what feels good and what doesn't.
Here is the short list of considerations:
Cue butts - generally, in the mid-price range, the primary consideration is appearances:
- With/without points
- Wraps (linen, leather, none, etc.)
Joints – several options are available:
- Wood to wood
- Plastic to plastic
- Metal to metal (steel/brass)
- Connectors (different threads)
Shafts – there are lots of options. Many players will be a cue, and then swap out the shaft. Consider doing this at a later time. Consider the use – shooting or breaking. If for breaking, purchase from a known manufacture. If for shooting, shafts are made from many materials:
- Maple (straight grain, curly, birdseye)
- Exotic woods (custom cue maker)
- High tech (laminated, composite, etc.)
Other factors - additional considerations are:
- Weight (16-22 oz)
- Shaft thickness (9-14mm)
- Tip (soft, medium, hard)
You want to find a stick that feels good in your hands as you make your shots. Play a set of shots, both slow and fast speeds. Generally, within three or four strokes you will KNOW if this stick doesn't work.
With the remaining sticks that feel OK, shoot a few shots with each. This will narrow the choices down to a couple sticks. A few more testing shots (spot shots are very good for testing sticks), you'll instinctively know which is the best stick for you.
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