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The only website I am aware of that offers free professional advice on choosing a snooker cue and finding which snooker cue to buy is ABC snooker. James and John are both true professionals and have over 35 years experience in the snooker industry. Both are very helpful and are always wiling to give potential customers advice on what cue would be best for them or any other snooker, pool or billiards related subject. The quickest way to find out what you need to know is to give them a ring now on 0147 4777 147 for a friendly helpful chat.
There is still no one to beat UK cue makers who are without doubt the best in the world. Peradon cues are of the highest quality and Peradon have more experience than anyone and Peradon are the oldest cue makers in the world, so if they don't know how to do it no one does. So if you're looking to buy a quality snooker cue then you can't go wrong choosing a Peradon Cue. I can also recommend Cue Craft cues which are made in Nottingham England are make excellent cues especially their hand spliced Triumph range although not everyone goes for the explosion of colours and splices they use in their multi-coloured butt sections.
I would avoid going for cheaper imported cues like Power Glide, BCE, Riley and Canon Cues unless you are working towards a budget or just wanting to buy casually or for a social type of play. HIgh quality british made cues by really high class, high precision dedicated cuemakers will always tend to be more expensive than the mass imported inferior versions on the market, which tend to be imported from the far east.
Over 95% of high quality cues on the market are made from ash. This is no secret. Ash is very rigid and has a very distinct grain. It is more porous than maple and so tends to have a drier feel making it good for those players who are prone to having very sticky hands.
Maple cues are more likely to needs wiping as the grain is much more dense and so any surface grease and dirt from your hands etc tends to form on the surface quicker as it is not as easily absorbed into the wood. Having said that, Stephen Maguire, Stephen Lee and The Great Stephen Hendry all use maple cues.
Neither of these will actually make you play any better. Having said that, cues are very personal to players and at the higher the level you play the more the psychology of the game and the players state of mind come into play. Having a cue you fell is inferior may actually hinder your performance. If this is the case then you need to remove either the offending cue, or the thought.
Much more time goes into making hand spliced cue which is why they are more expensive. It also goes without saying (or maybe not) that is you are going to charge a lot of money for a hand spliced cue then are naturally going to want to put the best grade ash shaft you can on it. So it naturally follows that you are very unlikely to see a top quality expensive hand spliced cue with a very poor quality ash shaft. Most manufacturers will keep their best shafts for the most expensive hand spliced decorative butt designs so the customer gets the very best of the shafts available at that time.
Spending a thousand pounds on a cues isn't going to guarantee you to become a great player who starts making hundreds breaks in just a few months. What you can do though is design a cue that is very personal to you made from the best materials available and one that should last a lifetime. You can also have it made to a unique one-off design of your own choosing and also have it engraved with a special customised plate which will probably make it less likely to fall into the wrong hands given it has you stamp on it.
These are mainly fro decoration but again cue makers will usually keep their very best ash shafts for those wanting to spend more on the butt section of the cue. Having too many splices can also cause problems in the future and you are dealing with more and more layers of wood and hence more and more glue so you may eventually end up with slightly raised edges on the butt as this can sometimes happen as the woods dries over the months and years or as changes in humidity or room temperature cause the glue to ever so lightly ease out. The raising in question my only be a hundred of a millimeter but it can be felt. So having may splices may cause more of this in the future.
Having said that it's not really a problems as the finest of glass papers will usually rub this out in just a few seconds. You should always do this in a length ways direction with the cue rather than in in a direction around the cue or against the grain so to speak as this may produces markings not usually seen in that direction.
Simple answer - no not really ! - It will always come down to hard work, practice, dedication a good temperament - oh and a little talent never goes amiss either. If you spend over (say) £130 + on a Peradon Cue or a Cue Craft cue then you will undoubtedly have in you hands a really fine quality cue - the rest is then up to you.
Most are just that gimmicks - apart from one ground breaking invention aired on the BBC's World Snooker Championships by Steve Davis a little while back -check out the 360 cue reviewed by Steve Davis - fascinating !
The Best tip size for snooker is generally considered to be between 9.75mm to 10.0 mm. Beginners and amateurs usually have a fascination for smaller diameter tips thinking this will produce bigger and better deep screw shots - They don't.
Whilst a smaller tips imparts a different type of spin it also loses actual forward momentum. So the faster a ball spins the slower it will actually travel across the cloth. So a broom handle wont impart much spin but its log like thick qualities will push it forward faster and also will less deviation in the line of actual travel. However there wont be much if any spin on the ball.
To play 'all' the shots in snooker you need a tip size that can pay all the shots and that is how professionals have, through trial and error arrives at the figure close to the 9.9mm mark +/- 0.1mm.
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