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Identifying Values in Pool Cues and Choosing a Custom Cue Maker

Identifying Values in Pool Cues and Choosing a Custom Cue Maker

I am a hack that puts in the hours and on good days I am pleased and on not so good days, I had a great time.

I look at what is being offered by cue makers and I am surprised at the prices. I think that the higher the price, the more ornate the cue, but not necessarily the best tool in the drawer. But then, I am a hack.

So—what could I read that would clearly explain the cue lineup for the top 20 cue makers? Something that has model numbers, what each cue represents, and the dollar range of those models. Something like that would at least help me to evaluate cues on an apples-to-apples and oranges-to-oranges basis.

With cars, the saying is: If it don't go, then chrome it.

Help me Choose a Custom Cue Maker

Well, I am interested in a pool cue with great craftsmanship but without the neon lights. I need a pool cue that delivers confidence.

At this writing I think that means a balance point at about 17.5" from the butt end, a 12.25 diameter shaft with a medium Kamui tip, a stainless joint with 15 x 18 threads, a leather grip, and a classic look.

Because I am in Wisconsin, I would like to find a cue maker that can provide reasonable logic to models and prices that make sense.

What do I need to learn and do?

Identifying Values in Pool Cues and Choosing a Custom Cue Maker

Replies & Comments

  1. Odoistommybilliardsforum on 5/4/2022 5:00:25 AM

    There is a lot to unpack in your question, but it's absolutely a valid and worthwhile question to ask.

    Clearly you are an analytical person and like to make decisions based on data and information. I am exactly the same way myself.

    I don't have a specific answer for you, but I have a few tidbits of information to share based on your questions above. Also it seems you are looking for a custom pool cue, which I take to mean a pool cue that you sit with a cue maker to design to your liking, versus a production pool cue chosen from a pre-existing line of cue designs.

    1. No literature exists currently that provides the comparison data that you are after. Most custom cue makers don't publish such details nor do they supply it to any central publisher. As recent as 2005, there was the 3rd edition of the Blue Book of Pool Cues, but it's information and pricing is very much outdated and is no longer relevant in today's custom pool cue market. There are so many new custom cue makers since then, it would be of little use for the purpose of choosing a custom cue maker to produce a playing cue. It typically only serves as a historical reference for cue collectors.
    2. You've clearly specified your requirements in a cue, from the balance point to wrap material, joint type, etc. but I don't think you are correct in saying that combination is the defacto best set of pool cue specs for everyone. It is very much a matter of personal preference.
    3. Certainly the main factors in the price of custom pool cues are:
      • Complexity - Complexity of design determines how many hours the cue maker puts into producing the cue. Labor is usually the largest portion of the overall cue cost, and of course, the more complex the design, the more hours required, and thus, the higher the labor cost.
      • Material - Materials used in the cue, including inlay materials can vary greatly, and would be the second-greatest cost factor. For example, stainless steel rings cost more than those made of less desirable materials like resin, plastic, zinc, etc. So you can have the simple understated design that you are looking for but if your choice of materials leans toward the more expensive end, then the overall cost will be high also.
    4. In terms of Wisconsin custom cue makers, though it's not an exhaustive list, here are a few:
      • Jackson Custom Cue - Slinger, WI
      • Jacoby Custom Cues - Nekoosa, WI (Production and Custom Cues)
      • Micheal's Custom Cues - Racine, WI
      • Schon Custom Cues - Milwaukee, WI (Production and Custom Cues)
      • Stenback Custom Cues - Sparta, WI
      • Viking Cue - Middleton, WI (Not really a "custom cue maker" but a big producer of high quality production cues)
      • Schmelke Cues - Rice Lake, WI (Production and Custom Cues)
      • Pechauer Custom Cues - Green Bay, WI (Production and Custom Cues)
      • McDermott Cue - Menomonee Falls, WI (Production Cues)

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Identifying Values in Pool Cues and Choosing a Custom Cue Maker

  • Title: Identifying Values in Pool Cues and Choosing a Custom Cue Maker
  • Author: (Chuck Vierthaler)
  • Published: 4/11/2022 8:31:59 PM
  • Last Updated: 5/4/2022 4:06:26 AM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)