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Re-Tipping a Pool Cue

Re-Tipping a Pool Cue

I'm moving up the pool player's evolutionary ladder. I purchased a $200 McDermott cue last year and the tip is worn down due to continuous shaping and roughing. I need to replace it.

I think I favor a softer tip as I like a soft feel and english is a big part of my very-average game. What tip do you recommend. I'm very handy in the shop and will do this myself. What tools do I need, and can I shave a 14mm tip to fit a 13mm cue? Would I like a 12mm cue? HELP!

I'm beginning to really like this game.

Re-Tipping a Pool Cue

Replies & Comments

  1. michaeljMadMike on 1/18/2009 10:27:26 PM

    LOL, I must be your twin. I bought a McDermott cue of the month (Nov.) and am in the same situation. I think I will take mine to a shop and have them put a new tip on it.

  2. michaeljquickshot on 1/18/2009 11:47:42 PM

    MM smart move.....Michael: pay attention

  3. michaeljRMCORP2006 on 1/28/2009 9:00:36 AM

    elk master tips aren't too bad for your purposes. if you want to do it yourself billiard stores sell a tweeten tip repair kit for about 25 bucks i think. if not take it to a billiard store and have them do it. usually costs 10 to 20 bucks to have them do it.

  4. michaeljMitch Alsup on 1/28/2009 12:03:00 PM

    While the typical Elk Master/LePro tips play just fine, Let me entice you with a thought (or two).

    It is not the softness of the tip that enables transfer of spin from tip to cue-ball, the softness of the tip only determines the surface area between the ip and the cue-ball at contact. It is, in actuality, the chalk that ends up applying the spin transfer to the cue-ball. For chalk to do its job, both sides of the contact point have to sustain enough pressure so that the chalk crystals dig into both surfaces. Thus, harder tips will allow you to impart greater amounts of english than softer tips.

    Harder tips have several advantages: A) they do not mushroom, B) they need significantly lower amouts of 'grooming' to stay round and even, C) they hold their shape for months at a time, D) you can impart more english.

    With that out of the way, let me return to tips. After you pay a professional tip installer (one with a real lathe) $10-$15 to put a $0.50-$2.00 tip on your cue, you should really think about using the more expensive layerd tips such as Talisman and Moori. At this point you walk out of the store having paid $30-$35 for a $20 tip whereas before you walked out ofthe store having paid $20 for a $0.50 tip. Which really is the better value?

    My story: I bought a Predator (generation 1) cue last year for my birthday. After spending 6 hours adjusting my game to the way this cue plays, I just loved the cue and how it played, how the ball had power comming off the tip. After a little while, the tip needed some maintanence due to mushrooming, so I carefuly sanded down the outside perimeter of the tip, and recurved the front surface. Then over time I started to notice little things that started to annoy me about the tip. After a hard hit, there would be a dimple on the surface of tip and for the rest of the night I would have to avoid hitting a soft shot on that corner of the tip if I wanted good chance of shot success. After I got home, I would reshape the tip. This got to be a habit and soon the tip was thin enough that other effects started to become apparent. I did substantially more grooming of the tip that I though I should.

    So, after reading the link below and doing a loot of google research, thinking about the situation for a couple of weeks, and talked with the two nearest professionals I play around, I decided to give one of the high dollar tips a go. It turns out that the LePro that was installed on my Predator cue had been compressed at the factory to a harder than out-of-the-box normal LePro tip. So, armed with this knowledge and my serious displeasure of constant tip grooming, I gave a high dollar harder tip* a try. Let me say I was initially skeptical. However, I generally play on a table with ****py fuzzy felt that plays dead slow. However, with this new tip I could make a shot of a ball near a corner pocket from the other end of the table AND draw the cue-ball back 3 feet (no rails). This is a table so slow that few can even get a cue-ball to even move backwads on, let alone 3 feet, and let alone^2 from the other end of the table!

    After 4 months of constant use, and even starting to use my play cue as my break cue, doing big masses, and what not--my opinions have changed. Hard tips give the player greater certanty as to when contact is made, greater control over how much spin and speed are imparted, greater touch when doing irregular strokes**, and no tip maintanence; and the only cost is that you have to be aware to chalk up every shot. The sound made at contact will change--but this is neither a bad nor a good thing, its just a thing.

    Now part of this MAY be from the hardness of the tip, and part of it MAY be from the high-dollar tip and the way it is manufactured (multi layered). I really don't care. It plays, it holds its shape, I don't have to chase the curve (groom), and it gives every appearance of not wearing out (since there is no groming going on to wear it out). Then, to boot, once I got the real hang of using a tip such as this, I can pot a ball, and use draw to bring the cure-ball back 6 feet in a big parabolic arc to places most could not place a cue-ball. {Sometimes this is even to my benefit (hic)}. Then there are the little distinctions: on those gentle straight long shots where energy control is paramount, the cue-ball will respond off the harder tip with a straighter roll (a lower surprise coefficient--if you will).

    So how hard is hard. My original tip out-of-the-box would be about 78.2 on the durometer, while the hardened version from Preditor would be close to 80-81. My new tip is in the 83 range. For a player that rarely generates more than 20 MPH on his break, you can get buy with a tip in the high 70s of hardness (LePro, Everest, Ram MH), but for players that like to hit the cue harder than this, or draw the length of the table (or more than gentle masses), you should be looking for something in the low 80s for play cues. For break cues look into the mid 90s, and for jump cues something in the mid-to-high 90s.

    If you dislike putting dimples on your tip, if yo dislike tip maintanence, and like to apply english, look into the harder tips.


    () Which one is not relevent to the story at hand. (*) gentle masses

  5. michaeljRMCORP2006 on 1/28/2009 1:06:29 PM

    Mitch knows his stuff. Can't disagree with any of it. is there a way to give you a good rating Mitch? Sorry for the ignorance on the rating thing.I

  6. michaeljquickshot on 1/28/2009 1:37:46 PM

    Very well stated Mitch. I learned a few things from the post also. As they say, "It ain't the arrow it's the indian." In this case I'm inclined to believe it's the arrow. I didn't know there is a numerical application to the tip. I'm going to copy/paste the numbers and save them for future references.

    Learn something new every day.

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Re-Tipping a Pool Cue

  • Title: Re-Tipping a Pool Cue
  • Author: (Michael Johnson)
  • Published: 12/31/2008 5:57:38 PM