You’ve been using a beginner’s pool cue for a few months now. By this point, with how often you play, you feel a little less like a beginner. You figure it’s time for a new cue, but how much money should you be looking to spend on one?
A good beginner’s pool cue costs around $150 while an intermediate or advanced player should expect to shell out between $300 and $500 for a quality cue.
If you have more questions about the cost of a good pool cue, this is one article you’re not going to want to miss. Ahead, we’ll recommend some of the best cues for the money, provide tips for shopping for a pool cue, and talk about whether it’s always worth it to pay more money for a cue.
Let’s get started!
How Much Is a Good Pool Stick?
You know the old saying that “you get what you pay for,” right? That applies when you’re buying just about anything, pool sticks included.
However, we do want to further explain what we touched on in the intro. Your budget if you wanted a beginner’s pool cue versus one for intermediates should not be the same. Beginner cues are made to be inexpensive, priced anywhere from $50 to $150.
Why is that? Well, you just started playing pool not too long ago yourself. Think back to how you felt when you were beginning. You weren’t sure if you would like the game or if you would be any good at it. You probably rented pool cues or even borrowed a friend’s cue because you didn’t want to spend the money on your own.
By keeping the barrier to entry inexpensive with cheap beginner’s cues, more people are willing to give the game of pool a try. This is always a good thing!
Since they’re for beginners, these pool cues will be made with decent materials but nothing spectacular. The idea is to use this cue for a few months and then upgrade to something a little better.
At that point, you should expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $500 for a pool cue. If a stick cost any more than that, it must be custom or very high-end.
The Factors That Influence Pool Cue Cost
Besides whether the pool cue is made for beginners versus more advanced players, what other factors go into deciding what a pool cue will be priced at? We’re glad you asked!
Pool cues need a wrap towards the butt to keep your cue from slipping when you take a shot at the ball. Most cues include a wrap already but others are blank so you can choose a wrap of your own.
Irish linen is a standard wrap choice for pool cues that provides a good enough grip. Leather is costlier, more appealing, and fine in the grip department. Rubber wraps, although not very attractive, are cheap and have a pretty decent grip.
We’ll talk about this more in an upcoming post, but you have plenty of pool cue types to explore as you begin shopping. They include American, English, and custom cues. As we mentioned, a custom pool cue may start at $500. American pool cues are valued at $100 to $500 on average and English pool cues are about $250 at their most expensive.
Is your pool cue ornate with wooden etchings, a fancy wrap, and other design flourishes? Sure, your cue looks cool, but you’re going to pay for those looks. These pool sticks will always be costlier than ones that are designed more simply without all those bells and whistles.
Which company produced your pool cue? Is it a little-known brand or a household name among billiards enthusiasts? The more popular the brand, the higher the prices. These beloved brand names are usually favored among professional pool players, which only drives up the demand for the company’s cues, thus making them even more expensive.
Arguably the biggest deciding factor in how much your pool cue will cost is what it’s made of. Some types of wood are common and thus fairly cheap, such as pine, ebony, or ivory. Once you get into exotic wood territory, including Brazilian rosewood or cocobolo, now your pool cue comes at a premium.
Fiberglass cues cost even less money to produce than wood, so you’ll see fiberglass favored much more often for making beginner’s cues than those for advanced players. Hybrid pool cues combine wood and fiberglass and will be somewhat more expensive than fiberglass, but not as costly as an exotic wood cue.
What Is the Best Pool Cue for the Money?
If you’re going to drop a couple of hundred bucks on a pool cue, you want it to be a good one. What’s the best pool cue for your money? That depends on how much cash you’re willing to spend.
In this section, we’ve got three pool cues at different price points: for under $100, for up to $250, and for up to $500. These cues are what we believe are the best value for the money.
Best Pool Cue for $100 or Less – Viking Valhalla 2-Piece
For $89, the Viking Valhalla 2-Piece looks like it’s worth at least twice that. Its price is low in part because it comes without a wrap, so you’ll have to spend a bit of extra cash to get your hands on a wrap of a material of your choosing.
The Valhalla has a 13-millimeter tip that’s coated in leather. Its threaded joint is made of stainless steel and measures 5/16 inches by 18 inches. The entire length of this two-piece pool cue is 58 inches.
Viking promises a lifetime warranty on the Valhalla that protects the cue against warping. You can select from colors such as Autumn Orange, Tribal White, and Tribal Black as well as standard hues like pink, green, and red. You’ll definitely turn heads when you bring this bad boy to your next pool game!
Best Pool Cue for up to $250 – Players Classic Birdseye Maple
Players is one of the bigger brand names in pool, and their Classic cue in birdseye maple proves why. This appealing cue costs $130, making it an awesome mid-priced option. You can select the weight of your cue, choosing incrementally between 18 and 21 ounces and half-ounces as well.
The Le Professional Le Pro Tip is 13 millimeters of leather and hard oak. Classic says the tip will produce more uniform shots game after game and retains its straight shape longer. With a toughened stainless steel joint collar that measures 5/16 inches by 18 inches, your hits are supposed to be reliably sturdy.
This cue does include a wrap, an Irish linen one that’s double-pressed to keep your grip steady while you play. The Players Classic also features triple silver rings throughout that lend it great appeal.
You can buy this cue in colors like brown, blue, or red. No matter your color preference, you can’t really go wrong.
Best Pool Cue for up to $500 – Lucasi Custom Super Birdseye
If your budget for a new pool cue is a little higher than average, try the Lucasi Custom. This great-looking pool cue costs $465, so it’s by no means cheap, but you will appreciate the quality that resonates throughout.
The available weights for the cue are 18 to 21 ounces, half-ounce increments included. The Tiger Everest tip acts like a soft tip when you’re playing for optimal control of the ball. Yet your hits will feel like you’re using a hard tip and the shape of this cue tip remains the same as if it was a much harder material.
Lucasi Custom Solid Core Low Deflection Technology within the 12.75-millimeter shaft lends greater stability with every shot. The joint collar has its own Uni-loc pin, all made of solid stainless steel. The Irish linen wrap in black and white is double-pressed and has a great feel.
Blue luster inlays throughout will also certainly grab the attention of anyone you’re playing pool with. You’ll feel like a champion with a cue like this!
Are Expensive Pool Cues Worth It?
You have your eye on a particular pool cue, but it’s pretty expensive. You’re torn between treating yourself or lowering your budget. Is buying a pricy pool cue really the best idea? Will the cue enhance your performance or just look good?
That depends. A pool cue like the Lucasi Custom, although costly, is made with premium features such as its durable leather tip and Lucasi Custom Solid Core Low Deflection Technology. On top of that, it looks awesome. It’s the best of both worlds in a pool cue that’s on the higher end of the price spectrum but not too high.
If you’re thinking of paying $700 or even $1,000 for a custom pool cue, lots of players agree these cues don’t necessarily feel or play any better than a mid-priced cue. That’s mostly because the extra money you’re spending on a cue like this is for etching, expensive wraps, inlays, and other decorative features, not performance.
Only you can decide how much is too much for a pool cue, but do keep these points in mind as you make your decision!
A good pool cue costs anywhere from $100 to $500, sometimes more. Pool cues always look shiny and new, but above all, make sure your cue has more of the features you need than decorations. We’re talking about a good weight for your level of playing, a sturdy tip that retains its shape, and a quality wrap so your hands don’t slip. These are the things that influence your game, not pretty inlays!