How Many Pool Cues Do You Really Need?

how many pool cues do you really need

Pool has grown in popularity over the years. It’s a fun game enjoyed by people of all ages. Although traditionally found in bars, it has been making its way into people’s homes too. If you’re an avid pool enthusiast, you may have heard that you need more than one cue. So, how many pool cues do you really need?

The answer to that question depends entirely on you. At the minimum, you should have at least two cues. Having both a break cue and a playing cue is what most pool enthusiasts go by. A break cue used only for breaking, and a playing cue used for after the break.

If you’re curious about pool, keep on reading. We’ll dive into all things pool and share what you need to know, including the different pool cue price tiers, components of a pool cue, and more!

Break Cue

What exactly is a break cue? A break cues purpose is used specifically for breaking. Many players prefer using a separate cue for breaking because of the characteristics. Break cues are usually much heavier, have a thicker butt, and a harder cue tip to accommodate a powerful break.

A break cue also makes a great backup cue if something were to happen with your playing cue.

Playing Cue

A playing cue is the primary cue that you are most comfortable playing pool with. Your playing cue should have a good weight, feel, and overall consistency from using the same cue over and over again. A playing cue usually isn’t the best in terms of construction to break with which is why a separate cue is usually used just for breaking.

Are Expensive Pool Cues Worth It?

Purchasing expensive pool cues is worth it to some players, while others simply do not see the point. It really comes down to the player’s skill, experience, preferences, and budget. 

Expensive pool cues ($1000+) are bought more for their appearance than their ability to enhance the player’s game. These pool cues will shoot just as well as a mid-range pool cue which costs between $250 and $500. 

However, a mid-range pool cue will shoot better than a cheap one. 

Pool Cues: The Essential Factors

There are a lot of different factors when deciding on what pool cue to purchase. These factors include pool cue appearance, weight, feel, shaft construction, tip construction, balance, and the design of the butt. 

The significant pieces of a pool cue are the ferrule, butt, tip, and shaft. You should also factor in both the weight and balance of the pool cue. The appearance of a pool cue can also help determine its price.


The ferrule sits in between the tip and the shaft. It’s essential for protecting the wood. Most ferrules are crafted from carbon fiber. Some are also crafted from high-impact resin. Many expensive pool cues last longer due to a higher quality ferrule. 


Many pool cue tips are created from leather. The leather used is different for each tip. The level of hardness varies. Most professionals agree that medium hardness is the best. 

Tip quality is sure to affect gameplay. Expensive pool cues will come with a tip that will last you a long time. A poorly constructed tip will eventually cause your pool cue to warp and crack. 


The butt of the cue is vital for both the feel and the aesthetics of the cue. Expensive cues will feature intricate designs in this section, while cheap and mid-tier cues are plain. In fact, many costly cues are considered collector items. This is especially true if they are made by a famous cue maker or are part of a  limited edition series. 


The shaft of a pool cue is generally made out of hard rock maple. This is due to the wood’s natural strength and durability. 

However, cue butts can be made with many different types of wood. Many tropical woods, such as snakewood, bocote, zebrawood, and ebony, are used in expensive pool cues. Mid-range pool cues are generally made from black maple, bloodwood, purpleheart, and black ash. 


A relatively recent development in the world of pool is the creation of low deflection shafts. So far, these are controversial, with some players swearing by them and others rejecting them outright.

These low deflection shafts are created to reduce “squirt.” Squirt is another word for deflection and is the angle change of the cue ball that occurs whenever a shot is taken. 

Playing with a standard pool shaft means that there is a lot of squirt that needs to be compensated for.  A low deflection shaft means that there is less compensation by the player required.

Many professionals play with low deflection shafts, which means a rise in popularity is happening. If you are used to playing on a regular pool shaft and wish to change to a low deflection shaft, you may have to adjust how you play the game. 

High-end models typically have low deflection shafts. This is due to the better performance that these shafts have. Casual pool players may not see the benefits of a low deflection cue. If you are invested in the sport of pool, then it is definitely a good idea to get a low deflection cue. It will help you up your game. 

Pool Cue Price Ranges

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Low Tier ($250-500): This price range a pool cue created with precision by a machine. It has a quality tip and a low deflection shaft. The higher end of the price range includes inlay materials, exotic wood, and more intricate designs. 

To check the current price and availability of PureX Pool Cues, click here to view it on Amazon.

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Mid Tier ($500-$1000): The price increase here is due to the appearance and exotic woods used. Inlays will be intricate and of higher quality. Materials such as pewter, turquoise, and brass are used. The pool cues at this price range still have quality construction and a low deflection shaft. 

To check the current price and availability of the Balabushka GB21 Pool Cue, click here to view it on Amazon.

High Tier ($1000+): This tier is for collectors and serious pool enthusiasts. The extreme price is due to the materials and unique designs used. Custom cue design and creations by famous cue makers also fit into this price range. These pool cues will not enhance your game any more than the mid-tier pool cues. They are primarily for style and looks. 

Final Thoughts

There’s a lot that goes into pool cues. The average player doesn’t realize this, but the quality of pool cues can range widely. Each pool cue has different sections. These sections are the ferrule, the tip, the shaft, the wood, and the butt. 

Low deflection shafts are a new development that have taken the pool world by storm. Professionals have begun to use these types of shafts due to the lowered compensation that comes with them. 

Overall, it’s up to you to determine what type of pool cue works for you and how many you actually need. Make sure you determine the quality of all the materials used. This includes the butt, ferrule, shaft, tip, and wood. You don’t want any cheap materials or designs, as this will affect your game. 

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