When you are taking a shot in snooker, you need to move the cue perfectly. Even the smallest hampering of movement can completely change the angle and speed that you hit the cue ball. If you watch a professional snooker match, you will see that professionals are almost always buffing their snooker cue, because they know that even the smallest amount of stickiness on the cue can impact their game.
You may not think that this would have much of an impact on an amateur game of snooker, but it does. Even a tiny scratch can stop that cue from flowing freely through your hands. Try it sometime. If you ever have the ability to try out an expensive cue, compare it to a cheaper one. You will see how different the action on both of them is going to be.
Your cue is vital when it comes to making shots in snooker. If your cue doesn’t seem to be playing ball with you, then your game will suffer. So, how can you make your snooker cue smooth and not sticky? Well, with a bit of light buffing, and a small amount of sanding.
How to Know When to Smooth Your Snooker Cue
When you are playing snooker, you will probably notice that at times it feels a little bit too sticky. You feel that there is a small amount of resistance when you are taking the shot at the cue ball. As this resistance becomes more and more intense, you will know that it means that you need to smooth out the snooker cue a little bit.
It is important that you do not use smoothing techniques all that often. This is because that it is going to be harsh on the cue. The more you do it, the more you will be shaving off the lifespan of the cue. In our opinion, it should be a ‘last resort’ sort of thing.
In order to minimize the number of times that you will need to smooth your snooker cue, you will need to get your hands on a microfiber cloth. After reach game, you can rub down the snooker cue. This will help to keep most of the sources of stickiness at bay. With a quality pool cue, you may only have to treat it once per year if you are playing at an amateur level!
Before we go into depth on how you can make your snooker cue smooth and not sticky, we do want to point out that you will not always be able to make your snooker cue perfect. If you have a cheaper pool cue, then it is going to be naturally rough.
No matter what you do with one of those cues, there will always be a small amount of stickiness to it. Pretty much all that you can hope for is to buff out as much of that sticking as possible. You could get it looking and feeling alright, but it still won’t ever be as good as a snooker cue that is many times the price.
How Do You Sand a Snooker Cue?
There are a couple of ways that you can sand a snooker cue. However, these methods are pretty similar. The whole idea of sanding the cue down is to remove the stickiness and the micro scratches. It isn’t to give the snooker cue a massive overhaul.
For light stickiness, you won’t need to do anything more than grab some paper, scrunch it up into a ball, and then rub it over the surface of the pool cue. This should be just enough to remove any of those scratches that are hampering your game.
If you have a cheaper cue, or the scratches are quite intense, then you should get some very light grained silicon carbide paper. Not glass paper. That is too rough. 1000 grit minimum should be fine. It is a little bit coarser than the paper.
We can’t stress enough that the sanding should be a last resort, though. If it is too intense, it ruins the finish.
What Oil Do You Use on a Snooker Cue?
While there are snooker cue oils out there, they are pretty much always going to be linseed oil. That is the only type of oil that you need to be applying to your snooker cue. Don’t worry. It isn’t all that expensive.
As a note, you should make sure that you only purchase raw linseed oil. Do not use any other type of oil on your snooker cue. It won’t help!
We recommend using raw linseed oil like this one which you can find on Amazon. Raw linseed oil helps enhance the woods natural color and texture.
How Do You Treat a Snooker Cue?
Keeping your snooker cue in pristine condition isn’t actually that difficult. We have already talked about some of the methods that you can use to treat your snooker cue here, but let’s go through the step-by-step approach. This will ensure that you know exactly what needs to be done.
Wipe the Snooker Cue Down
Start by wiping the snooker cue down. Use a microfiber cloth for this. As you play snooker, all sorts of dirt and grime (including a lot of chalk) will start to attach itself to the surface of the pool cue.
It is mostly the chalk that causes the scratches. If you can wipe down the cue after every snooker game, then it would probably be better for you.
It is important that you never, ever use a wet cloth on a cue. It will shorten the cue’s lifespan.
Buff the Scratches Out
You can now start to buff the scratches out. As we mentioned before, you should try to avoid doing this with sandpaper unless the scratches are intense. If you do use sandpaper, then make sure it is a cheap snooker cue. Don’t be doing it with something that cost you a ton of cash.
Go easy, and try to keep the buffing to the minimum. Only target the areas that seem to have the most scratches and where the stickiness seems to mostly occur.
Apply Linseed Oil
The final step is to apply some linseed oil to the snooker cue. You can apply it with some paper. You only need to apply a small amount, so don’t go crazy. You are treating the wood, not drowning it.
Once you have applied a light coating of linseed oil, let the cue dry overnight. If you have done everything properly, then your cue will be ready and raring to go the next day! Hopefully, there won’t be any stickiness left.
Ideally, if you have an expensive snooker cue, you would ignore the advice that we give here. Most snooker clubs will have a professional that will work on the pool cue for you. It would be better to go to one of those rather than ruin your snooker cue.
Stickiness of a snooker cue is a bad thing. It can really hamper your game. Even the slightest unintentional movement can completely change the angle and speed that you hit the cue ball.
This is why it is important to take proper care of your snooker cue to prevent it from becoming sticky.
Thankfully, in most cases, all you need to do to remove the stickiness is to use a bit of scrunched up paper. Only in extreme cases will you need to do anything more extreme.