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Cue Chalk Hardness - Is Hard or Soft Chalk Better

Cue Chalk Hardness - Is Hard or Soft Chalk Better

I've been thinking about pool cue chalk hardness, and I am wondering if hard or soft cue chalk better and why?

Cue Chalk Hardness - Is Hard or Soft Chalk Better

Replies & Comments

  1. beanymanbilliardsforum on 5/29/2007 11:34:46 AM

    I don't believe that there is any advantage or disadvantage to using different harnesses of pool chalk. (I actually didn't realize that there were different chalk hardnesses that customer could actually choose.) After a little more reading, it does seem that hardness is a factor in performance, and that players generally prefer a harder chalk.

    However, most people rate billiard chalk by brand and color.

    Masters Chalk, Tan, consistently gets the highest reviews. This is by far the most recommended based on my readings. Beyond that, all of the other masters chalk colors receive very high ratings.

    I did some more reading and found that generally, the following is said of the various brands of billiard chalk hardness...

    • Balabushka pool chalk is messy and too soft.
    • Pioneer is messy and too soft.
    • Triangle pool chalk is slightly too hard.
    • Brunswick pool chalk is slightly too hard.
    • Silver Cup pool chalk is pretty good as far as hardness, but messy.
    • NTC is okay also, but just okay.
    • Masters pool chalk seems to be the best, with just the right consistency. Masters billiard chalk is not soft and messy, but it is also not too hard and abrasive. It allows you to hit further off center without risking a miscue.
  2. beanymansmichael on 5/29/2007 11:46:26 AM

    I find about the same things on this...

    Silver Cup billiard chalk is too powdery, doesn't last, but it does cover the cue tip very well.

    Brunswick billiard chalk also quite powdery. It can be sometimes tough to find in certain colors. It can also be expensive as hell too.

    Master blue billiard chalk is usually a preferred chalk since it adheres well to the pool cue tip, it isn't messy, and it generally acheives the purpose of billiard chalk.

    Triangle billiard chalk is similar to master billiard chalk since it is made by the same company, although it feels a little harder or firmer. It has trouble sticking to layered tips.

    Black Wrapper NTC billiard chalk is the best I've tried for actually sticking to the cue tip, but because of this, it is extremely messy. Red Wrapper NTC billiard chalk is more like the Master billiard chalk, but messier and softer, and unfortunately, it does not stick to the cue tip any better than the black wrapper NTC chalk.

    Master green billiard chalk covers the pool cue tip well, and adheres equally as well. It is less messy than master blue but it has a propensity to cake, which forces a little mid-session cleaning.

  3. beanymanbeanyman on 5/30/2007 5:04:03 PM

    Masters pool chalk seems to be the best, with just the right consisency. Masters billiard chalk is not soft and messy, but it is also not too hard and abrasive. It allows you to hit further off center without risking a miscue.

    Master green billiard chalk covers the pool cue tip well, and adheres equally as well. It is less messy than master blue but it has a propensity to cake, which forces a little mid-session cleaning.

    What can I say... you know your chalks, haha. Yeah I was recently conned into buying quite a lot of supposedly hard snooker chalk, but it turned out to be like butter, and it just goes everywhere... very interesting - that one color turns out to be less messy than another, I can only suppose there must be a different "vehicle" (binder) for the blue than the green?

    Thanks guys... hey are you brothers?

    Cheers, Beany

  4. beanymanbilliardsforum on 5/30/2007 5:54:14 PM

    Yea, he and I are brothers; he is my younger brother by a few years, so we hang out a lot and play pool. He has been helping me out with this site, writing some of the billiard articles and other content. We look alike eh?

  5. beanymankellystick on 5/30/2007 10:40:39 PM

    Don't get too focused on the chalk. It matters but good stroke and shooting matter much more. PLus a good tip on you stick matters. Master chalk is good and just put some in your pool bag. What might make more sense is find a chalk you like like master. And get one of those chalking things to put in your pocket or whatever. Then you have your own stick (by the way if you don't just go buy a cheap one (~$50) and get someone to put a good tip on it, really!), consistent chalk, good chalk. Then forget about that part chalk quality, don't waste mental energy or be distracted by it. Don't be tieing up your mind thinking about whether you have good chalk or not, By the way, since you ask the question I wonder if you are not getting ahead of yourself, New or early players have only minimal need for chalk. Learn accuracy and speed before learning all the things that good chalk and good tips are necessary for. Ehh?

  6. beanymanbeanyman on 5/31/2007 5:18:49 AM

    um yeah, you sort of do and don't... hard to say with one pic in profile and one straight on, LOL, just curious... Yeah I also play against my bro a lot, last night he came around and tried to get a rise out of me, but he regretted it because I thrashed him at 8 ball.

    But to answer @kellystick, I think I'm possibly intermediate, I don't know, I guess I was wondering about chalk because I recon I was conned recently, but I do tend to use more than my mates, it is a 70/30 thing, in terms of using spins effectively, but I do have my share of off days! Sometimes my questions might seem basic, I think I need to work on my strategies and position play, but of course keeping an eye on the basics...

  7. beanymanbilliardsforum on 6/12/2007 10:21:32 PM

    Agreed with @jana.

    I've noticed that the different consistency and color of various brands of billiard/ or snooker chalk will cause different symptoms for the average player in a trial period. Also, different types and brands of chalks are good for different types and styles of billiard and snooker cue tips.

    For example, if you use a very hard tip in combination with the finest chalk, you'll likely have problems playing some shots.

  8. beanymankellystick on 7/26/2007 1:34:10 PM

    I think I agree with most of this. Master seems best. I have some NTC but it seems hard I think. Many of the others even just look cheap like they were hand shipped from a block of chalk in a third world country then hand covered with paper. Quality and consistency is a bit questionable. Master seems to be the standard and probably for good reason.

  9. beanymanmnphats on 4/19/2008 11:20:58 AM

    I have a red felt table but do not like the red tint (from red chalk) it leaves on my cue shaft. If I use blue chalk, will the felt simply brush clean, or will the chalk discolor the felt over time?



  10. beanymanbeanyman on 4/19/2008 11:54:07 AM

    I guess it's down to a quality non sticky type, personally I have a blue felt and blue chalk, used to have cheap purple gummy stuff from china or somewhere, it was a bit tricky to remove, but no permanent problems...


  11. beanymanquickshot on 4/20/2008 9:15:19 PM

    I like the Masters Blue, and I also like the Masters Tan. I sometimes play on a tan table and someone once replaced the Masters with the Silver Cup Tan. We did not care for it at all. It seemed to be too hard and did not stay on the tip.

  12. beanymanOldShooter on 6/26/2008 9:37:34 PM

    90% of the Pros use Master Blue, hum.

    I tried red chalk once. Found it would adhere to everything, except a cue tip. Something to do with the dye.

    Application is very important. Show me a player with a blue ferrule and I'll show you a player that does not know how to chalk a tip.

    Old Shooter

  13. beanymanSterlingsrene on 10/15/2009 7:13:43 AM

    I have read your claims about comparing billiard chalks, but i'm pretty sure that you have not compare the Philippine-made pool cue chalk where the famous billiard players started from, not to mention the Filipino's top caliber players Efren Reyes, Francisco Bustamante and many others.

    My father has been developing this chalk for more than 30 years now, and it has been a great asset that the five of us, his sons and daughters, finish college.

    Our product name is Labelled as "Tisan" International Billiard Chalk, named after my father's name, Tito Sanado, hence Tisan.

    I am also a billiard player, I won some local championships using our own product even in my university school, just like my older brother and father. Now I am a Civil engineer, and in November, 2009 I will start my own small company in Sabah, Malaysia called Tisan International Sports.

    I will send some pictures of our product and I am hoping that someday you can try it and maybe supply it in your country. The advantage of our product is that you can get higher percentage of profit not compromising the world class quality of it.

    I will challenge Master Billiard Chalk against our product with the friction test, but not with colors because at the moment we are lacking the financing in terms of buying the coloring for blue due to high price.

    If you are interested, I will send samples to you and maybe you will try it and judge it by its performance and hardness.

  14. beanymanbilliardsforum on 10/15/2009 5:11:03 PM

    Contact me via email or PM, or via the "contact" link at the bottom of the post.

    We'd love to have some of our members sample the chalk...

  15. beanymanOneFourSeven on 12/4/2009 11:22:24 AM

    I think chalk is a lot like cues, in the end, it all comes down to personal preference. At one time, like most players, I used blue Master chalk - I'm of the mind that's simply because it's everywhere and it's the first chalk most people end up trying. To be honest, though, while it sticks to the tip nicely, it also sticks to everything else it comes in contact with. I switched to tan chalk (Silver Cup) a year ago, and wouldn't go back to blue chalk again.

    I'm thinking that there isn't really much of a difference between Master and Silver Cup.

    Oh, and by the way, I've seen threads on UK Snooker forums where people have mentioned you'll get tossed out of a Snooker Club for using blue chalk - they don't like the blue stains on the cloth. I gather they prefer to use Green Triangle over there.

  16. beanymanMitch4Horton on 12/4/2009 4:56:50 PM

    Everyone is refering to blue, green and tan chalk but not much information regarding wine colored. Is wine colored chalk inherently poorer than the other colors or are all of the colors of master chalk about the same? Also, what is the proper method to ensure the ferrule does not get colored? Is there a way to easily clean the color off?

  17. beanymanFenwick on 12/4/2009 5:28:34 PM

    Just my 2 cents. Red or wine colored cloth is the hardest color on the eyes. It's also the worst as far as discoloring you shaft and hands. Back in my youth I played on tan tables. Not as good as green but the chalk it did not discolor my shafts. There were no blue tables back then. We had a saying , blue chalk was for playing for fun and green was for playing for cash. I haven't seen green chalk in a very long time.

  18. beanymanquickshot on 12/4/2009 7:06:13 PM

    Master's chalk is what it is. The only difference in the chalk is the color created by the use of dye. Probably food dye the same as your mother used in the cup cakes.

    @Mitch4Horton - I heard a little tooth paste will do the job. Never tried it though. Or Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser.

    @guest - The operative word in your post is "junk". And in many cases that is just what it is. Unneeded and unnecessary for the average every day player.

  19. beanymanguest on 3/3/2010 9:57:57 AM

    I like to watch "what's in the case" on YouTube. That will give you a very good idea of what the pro's like. This usually includes chalk, cues, burnishing tools and any other junk they carry around.

  20. beanymanMitch Alsup on 3/3/2010 12:14:14 PM

    @quickshot - Not so fast.

    In the olden days, manufactures would add various amounts of lead and mercury to their chalks to change the bite and adherence of their chalk.

    In the more modern days, this is done by selecting granule sizes for the abrasive (corumdum) and then selecting a die compatible with a bonding agent for the granules. It is the granules (crystals) that create t he bite between the leather tip and the plastic ball surface. The manufactures still use various amounts of talc, and other fairly inert ingredients to alter the way the chalk comes off the cube and adheres to the tip.

    For example, Master Green has less bite than Master Blue which has less bite the Master Grey. Master Green has a smaller granule than Master Blue which has a smaller granule than Master Grey.

  21. beanymanSterlingsrene on 3/4/2010 8:34:02 AM

    If you already used the Tisan Billiard Chalk made in Philippines which is the billiard capital in the world if you will consider it for it has the most numbers of top billiard players in the world records, please give me some comment. I think, this will be the future of billiard/snooker chalk for it will compete in the quality and price.

  22. beanymanquickshot on 3/4/2010 11:10:14 AM

    @Mitch Alsup - But the material used is still the same only in different sizes which makes them pretty much the same. A little different consistency maybe but still the same chalk. Red for red tables, green for Green tables etc. And the coloring is still the same as food dye that people put in the cupcakes.

  23. beanymanDonald Spetkar on 10/4/2011 9:34:26 AM

    Wait until you try the new Balabushka chalk forumula!

    This new formula will beat all of the other pool cue chalks out there.


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Cue Chalk Hardness - Is Hard or Soft Chalk Better

  • Title: Cue Chalk Hardness - Is Hard or Soft Chalk Better
  • Author: (Benedict Thornton)
  • Published: 5/27/2007 10:28:59 AM