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Which Pool Table to Buy

With so many pool table brands to choose from, which one should I buy? Selecting a new pool table can be difficult. You must look at cushions, cloth, pockets, and overall construction of the pool table before choosing. The guide below will help you in deciding which pool table to buy.

Which Pool Table to Buy

Buying a pool table can be a tough task. If you are a buying your first pool table, you might be tentative and may know very little about the product. Indeed, most purchasers buy only one table in their lifetime.

Use this guide to learn what to look at when buying a new pool table.

Pool Table Cushions

What kind of rubber cushions does the new pool table come with?

The performance of the cushions on a table is crucial, particularly the speed and angle of response. As a means of minimizing costs, many new tables are available with cushions that perform poorly. This is due to these tables being manufactured with a cushion that has been constructed in a way which we regard as inadequate. The issue of cushions is important since replacement of cushions costs several hundred dollars.

Cloth on the Pool Table

What kind of cloth comes with the pool table?

The most highly regarded billiard cloths are manufactured in England, and the best of these, in the west of England. A true English billiard cloth is made from wool and has a directional nap on the surface. If you rub it lightly in one direction, it gives a smooth feeling to the hand. Rubbed in the opposite direction it has a rough resistant feel. The better qualities of billiard cloth are very fine so that when the ball is in motion it rolls on – there is relatively little friction to slow its travel. Lower-grade cloth and pool table "felt" will have high friction, which is an undesirable trait.

The quality of cloth is important, as, once again, replacement of inferior cloth with the high quality article costs several hundred dollars.

The Pockets

What style and type of pockets does the pool table come with?

The brackets holding the pocket nets should be of metal. Some are made of plastic which tends to break, some of these have a "metalized" surface on the plastic so that they appear to be more durable than they actually are. We recommend that the pocket nets should be fastened to the table using a strong wire. Use of staples tends to be inadequate – if the nets are stapled to the underside of the table, the staples tend to come away under the pressure of heavily struck balls. In this event while the nets may remain perfectly good, the balls when potted will drop to the floor damaging them or the floor surface, or both. The metal brackets should be covered in strong leather which protects the balls as they strike the bracket before dropping into the net. We recommend that you check the fitting of the leathers to ensure that there is no position where the balls will actually strike the metal direct, allowing such damage to occur.

Timbers and Frame of the Pool Table

What type of wood is the frame of the pool table made from?

Billiard tables should be made from quality furniture timbers. Use of custom wood or particleboard is not adequate. The table framework must be strong enough to carry the heavy weight of the slate bed. Over time materials such as custom wood or particle board are unlikely to continue to take the strain.

The Slate (or lack of Slate)

Does the pool table come with a slate bed playing surface, or are other cheaper materials used in it's place?

A quality pool table will have a slate bed (also known as a slate play-field). Slate provides more consistency in keeping the pool table level than other known substitutes. Such a level surface is essential for the balls to run true across the surface of the pool table.

When deciding what new pool table to buy, you have to look underneath it. The slate should be lying flat, and resting directly on the frame underneath it. If this is not so, over time the slate is likely to sink under its own weight until it does lie on the surface of the frame. That is, the pool table's playing surface will become un-level. If you see a series of wooden wedges between the top of the frame and the underside of the slate, you might want to consider not buying the pool table because, here, the table has been presented as such that it is level temporarily. It is likely to remain so only in the short term. Such wedges have a tendency to become loose or drop out completely. If this happens, the position of the slate will change and the surface of the pool table will be out of level.

If a pool table is correctly constructed the leveling process in your home is carried out by means of adjustment from the base of the legs.

The Brand Name of the Pool Table

Does the pool table carry a brand name plate anywhere?

All new pool tables are made to look as attractive as possible, which makes your choice difficult. If you are looking at a pool table which carries no brand name, you may want to pass it by. You want to be sure you can identify the manufacturer in case you need to make a warranty claim down the road. Pool tables with no name plate are often imported en-mass and sold off quickly by "importers" who in some cases, are just individuals who move on once their import shipment has all been sold.

Which Pool Table to Buy

  • Title: Which Pool Table to Buy
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 2/23/2019 7:30:38 AM
  • Last Updated: 12/1/2020 3:14:09 AM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum

Which Pool Table to Buy

Which Pool Table to Buy Comments

  1. jindajinda from Sindh, Karachi on 12/16/2021 7:46:33 PM

    Today, it is hard to find an honest guide about the best pool tables.

    But don't worry, you can find lots of good advice and guidance for buying a pool table on this site. I've definitely found it helpful when choosing a pool table.

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