If you are looking to play snooker to a decent standard, then you need to know how to use a snooker cue tip shaper. By shaping your tips, you will be able to have a lot more control over your shots which, of course, will result in you winning a lot more games.
For the most part, shaping your cue tip is a case of running the cue tip shaper over the end of your cue until you get the desired shape.
On this page, we are going to run you through this process in a little more depth. However, before we do that, we want to talk about why you should be shaping a cue tip in the first place.
Why Shape a Cue Tip?
Making shots in snooker is all about getting precise contact with the ball.
When a snooker cue is used (or a tip is ‘fresh out of the box’) then it will be flat. A flat cue tip is not good when it comes to precision. This is because the force of your shot will be spread over the entirety of the cue tip. It makes your shots a lot less predictable.
As you shape your cue tip, you will be making it rounder. This will concentrate the force of the shot into a very specific point on the cue tip.
You will know exactly where the tip is coming into contact with the ball, and this can make your shots that much easier.
Even a small amount of flatness to a cue tip can completely change the way in which the cue ball moves. This, of course, is going to end up having a negative impact on the rest of your shot.
How Do You Shape a Cue Tip?
You should have a rough idea about the shape of the tip that you want. Ideally, you would want to have a small dome to it. If you are unsure as to which shapes are ideal for playing snooker, then look at some photographs of pros taking shots. Analyse their cue tip. Try to replicate that.
We recommend using a cue tip multi-tool like this one by Gimiton. With this one tool alone you can shape, scuff, and burnish your cue tip all without having to switch tools.
Once you know what shape you want on your cue tip, everything else becomes easier.
You need to hold the cue between your legs. Hold the cue at a 45-degree angle.
Use your cue tip shaper to file downwards on the cue tip. You do not need to press too hard. In fact, it is highly recommended that you do not press too hard because it will take too much material off, completely ruining the shape.
As you file away at the cue tip, gradually rotate the cue. Check the cue tip every so often to see whether it is wearing down evenly. If it isn’t, then you are probably rotating it too quickly or too much. Remember, that shape needs to be completely even, otherwise there is no point in shaping the cue tip.
If you want to make your job a lot easier, then we suggest that you purchase a tool that will allow you to check the profile of the cue tip. These multitools should be available for a rather low price from any decent snooker accessory supplier.
Why Use a Snooker Cue Tip Shaper?
There are some people that will shape their cue tips using sandpaper. This is fine. However, you will need to have a bit of experience if you want to go down that route.
If you want to use sandpaper, then it takes a small amount of effort to ensure that you get an even shape on the cue tip. Although, you will have a bit more choice in the overall shape of the cue tip.
If you use a snooker cue tip shaper, the gadget will be shaped in such a way that you will always be given an even shape to the cue tip. This makes things a lot easier, and it means that shaping your cue tip is a lot quicker.
You should always keep a snooker cue tip in your cue bag. You never know when you are going to need one.
How Often Should You Shape Your Cue Tip?
This will be dependent on how often you are playing the game. Of course, the more that you play snooker, the more you will need to shape your cue tip.
The average player will need to shape their cue tip at least once per month. This is because no matter how much they have shaped it, the cue tip is still going to be a soft material.
This means that every single time that it comes into contact with a ball it is going to end up being compressed a little.
If you aren’t sure how often you should shape your pool cue tip, pay attention to your play.
If you find that your game has changed a little bit i.e. you are finding it more difficult to strike shots accurately, or you find that you can no longer add some spin to the ball, then there is a strong chance that you will need to shape your pool cue tip.
You can also look at the tip of the pool cue. If the tip has flattened out in certain areas, then it needs to be shaped.
Remember, shaping can only be done a few times. Eventually, your pool cue tip is no longer going to work properly. It will be too flat, and you will have taken off way too much material in previous shapings for you to be able to shape it properly again.
How Do You Burnish a Snooker Cue Tip?
You should be burnishing a snooker cue tip each time you play the game.
While there are several different ways to burnish your snooker cue tip, the best option is to purchase a snooker cue burnisher. They are not that expensive.
You will insert the snooker cue tip into the burnisher. You will then move it around inside the burnisher for a minute or two.
When you pull the snooker cue tip out, it will have a healthy glow to it. This way you know that you have burnished it properly.
There are other methods that people use. So, if you do not want to buy a burnisher, then you can also burnish the cue tip with a bank note or, in some cases, with a bit of leather.
If you burnish your snooker cue tip, then you will find that it lasts a lot longer. That being said, there are some people that will never burnish your tip. It is up to you. See how your game changes when you burnish your tip.
If you want to be effective when you play snooker, then it is vital that you learn how to shape your cue tip properly.
Always use a cue tip shaper as this will yield the best results compared to just using sandpaper. The cue tip shaper is molded like a cue tip to make give you the roundest tip possible.
If you are not sure of the best way to shape your tip, then we suggest that you look at the cue tips of some of the pros. There are photos all over the internet that you can reference. This should give you an idea as to the sort of shape that your cue tip should be.