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Selecting a Break Cue

Selecting a Break Cue

Selecting a break cue can be a difficult task. This article will outline some of the aspects and features of a dedicated break cue that you'll want to consider before making the selection. To begin, consider two important "must" features that can only be determined through experimentation and testing:

Selecting a Break Cue

  • [obvious] You need to be able to make a decent break with the break cue you select. Though this seems both obvious and vague, you should consider your best break shots from the past. The stick you choose should at least help you perform break shots at a level at least close to this.[/obvious]
  • The Break Cue that you select should enable you to control the cue ball on the break shot and not have it fly off the table in a manner that is inconsistent with your normal break shot.

If you are lucky enough to own a playing cue, it is strongly advised that you select a break cue for use on break shots and other shots that are hard on regular cues such as jump shots or masse shots. It will prolong the life of your regular cue. In addition to the above two factors, there are several other factors to consider when selecting a break cue. These include cue tip size, cue weight, cue design materials, the ferrule design, and cue tip shape. The general idea is to select a break cue that is less expensive than your regular playing cue, and one that is more durable. It has been suggested that a basic and plain looking cue stick, also known as a "sneaky pete" cue, is the preferable choice for a break cue because they are cheaper and are easier to replace in the case of damage.

Ferrule construction is very important in selecting a break cue. You'll want to look for a break cue that has a durable, and well constructed ferrule. You'll want to find a ferrule that can withstand the heavy pounding associated with breaking. The materials that have been highly recommended in the past are Aegis, fiber, and Melamine, because of their durability and resistance to destruction. Having said that, don't worry about the ferrule too much until it is actually time to replace it. This process can be costly, and thus, it is recommended that you use the production ferrule until there is a problem with it, or until it is destroyed.

When selecting a break cue, you'll need to consider it's weight. Note that this is a highly debated topic, and that you may see varying opinions on the matter. Considering a light-weight break cue will enable you to have a longer follow-through and thus, your break shot will have more speed. The other argument is for a heavier break cue, emphasizing increased power. This is, however, a matter of preference. You should go with whatever is more comfortable for you and you should experiment to find the right weight for your own preference.

The size of the tip is an important factor in selecting a break cue. You should look for a break cue that has a larger tip than regular playing cues. Having a larger tip surface increases your chances of making a successful contact with the cue ball. Since the goal is to drive the cue in to the cue ball with as much speed and power as possible, your backhand extension will extend farther than it would on a normal shot. When doing this, it becomes more difficult to make contact with the cue ball's exact center. Based on that assumption, it only makes sense to have a larger cue tip on a break cue in order to minimize the chance of a miscue.

The tip on a break cue should also be flatter and harder than that of a normal playing cue. A flatter, harder tip, along with a greater overall surface area will help ensure that no miscues or unnecessary English occur.

It is also advisable that you have a consultation with your local billiard retailer about which materials are the best and most durable in their overall selection. Consult more than one manufacturer or retailer to get a basis for comparison.

Selecting a break cue can be difficult, but when you consider all aspects of the cue's tip, the cue's construction and composition, and the cue's weight, you'll be sure to make a good selection.

Selecting a Break Cue

  • Title: Selecting a Break Cue
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 5/7/2008 9:56:00 PM

Selecting a Break Cue Comments

  1. StickmanStickman from Lake Zurich, IL on 4/16/2009 12:31:25 PM

    Along with the ferrule, and the biggest tip possible, you should try to use the largest pool cue shaft possible for your break cue so that you will get a hard stiff hit. I use at least a 14 mm cue shaft in my break cue. I've seen 16 mm broom sticks used as break cues by the old timers.

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