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Billiard Cue Tip Selection

Billiard Cue Tip Selection

I am new to the forum but would like to ask for some advice on cue tip selection. I do understand that snooker cues have a slimmer taper but the characteristics of the different sizes, for example a 12.5 mm verses a 13.0 mm tip.

Along the same line is the hardness of the tip. What characteristics can I expect over the different hardness.

Any advice or guidance will be most helpful.


Billiard Cue Tip Selection

Replies & Comments

  1. kenn747Justanotherevolutionary on 4/17/2009 6:28:38 PM

    I like Cottonelle cue tips, they are soft n fluffy. =D Smaller tips with a more circular radius will apply more english, but are not good for the beginner. Mis cues galore will occur. Some people say softer tips will apply more english too, I can't say one way or the other as I have only used hard tips. I use a hard tip for durability and quality. A well maintained, well chalked hard tip is your best bet in my opinion. My team cap swears by a medium Moori though. I guess try them out and see what you like better, everyone has their own preference, wish I could help more...Good luck n have fun.

  2. kenn747Mitch Alsup on 4/20/2009 3:31:46 PM

    Cue tips range in size from about 11mm through 15mm. In very general, the smaller the tip diameter the lower the mass at that end of the cue, this cuts down on cue-ball deflection at the cost of being whippy (not-stiff means the cue absorbs power). The modern low-deflection shafts have drilled out the center of the shaft to lower end mass, instead, getting stiffness=power without getting the deflection. The size, between resonable limits is purely personal preference on your play cue, not so on a masse or jump cue (both 14mm), and most likely not on you break cue (probably 14mm).

    There are a few that hold to the notion that a smaller sized tip helps aiming accuracy. If this is you, try placing a straight red line on your ferrule and use this as a guide.

    Cue Tip Radius ranges in size from 6mm through 9mm with nickle and dime being the more typical limits. This is more personal preference on your play cue, as the difference between a nickle and a dime at CB impact at miscue limit is less than 6% shaft offset. Flat tips work better if you don't want a lot of sipn {break, jump}, more rounded work better if you do--but even here, the differences in any absolute measure are small compared to the amounts we are talking about. To dispell a misconception: The radius of the tip (unless it is well outside of the nickle-dime range) does not change the amount of english that can be applied (rotating velocity of the CB after impact by cue-tip.) If it did, you would see snooker tips on masse cues. You don't! You see 14mm tips on these with nickle radii. The only place where standardization seems to have taken place is on tips for break and jump cues (both nickle radii). Jump cues with 12.5mm tips are notoriously hard to get the CB to jump over a ball less than 1 balls width (2.25") away. Thus for jumping up close, a bigger tip is prefered. I, personally, have not noticed the inverse, and find the 14mm tip on mine jumps just dandy at long ranges.

    The kind of material used in the ferrule can interact with the radius on your tip. A stiff material (brass, ivory) on the ferrule will be significantly different from the shaft-wood and make the cue player like shorter radii tips to avoid (transmitting forces near) the stiff outer perimeter of the ferrule. Conversely a softer material on the ferrule (ivorine III) will not be noticible stiffer than the wood inside the ferrule. This allows the whole tip to be used and more nickle tip radii prefered.

    Cue tip hardness ranges on some (durometer) scale between 60 and 99. A soft tip will be in the mid 60s, medium in the mid 70, hard in the low 80s, x hard in the high 80s-low 90s, xx hard in the high 90s. The softness of the cue tip has NOTHING to do with how well it holds chalk--but does have something to do with how easy it is to put chalk on the cue tip, and how often you need to recontour the tip. The softness of the tip and the speed of impact determine the area of contact between tip and CB. If this area is small the force is large and the calcium carbonate crystals in the chalk grip the CB. So tip hardness has to do with how you shoot. Shoot with touch and delicacy (14.1) and you should be in the medium range. shoot any harder (8-ball, 9-ball) and you should be in the hard range. Soft tips are for people who like to perform constant tip maintanence. Medium tips are for people who rarely hit the CB hard (keyword here is "rarely"). hard tips are for basically everyone else including masses. x-hard and xx-hard are for jumping, and breaking.

    I happen to use hard multi-layerd tips (83 durometer), blue master chalk. I find that the kind of chalk you pick does interact with the kind of tip you end up prefering. Green Master chalk likes (slightly softer tips in the) 79-80 durrometer reading while Blue likes 82-88, The xx hard tips like the grey and black chalks but the room owners do not. All in all, I just the BM chalk on my break, jump, and masse cue tips and learn to live with the lack of bite.

    Summary: unless you have tried out a lot of shafts, tips, chalks, and ferrules do not think that you should have one tip size or another; you will adjust naturally.

  3. kenn747Mitch Alsup on 4/20/2009 3:33:30 PM
  4. kenn747mcdpool on 4/22/2009 7:02:44 AM

    Wow, that was a comprehensive post! Well done sir.

  5. kenn747akash1992 on 2/9/2011 7:51:00 AM

    is a 7mm cue tip for a snooker cue, too small n can anyone tell me wat is the tip size used by professional players lik ronnie o sullivan?

  6. kenn747Mitch Alsup on 2/9/2011 11:06:07 AM

    Snooker is generally played with a 9mm tip,

    I think by the time you are down towards 7mm, its going to be hard to put any spin on the CB due to the lack of surface contact area.

  7. kenn747akash1992 on 2/10/2011 8:15:05 AM

    but sir,is it not true tat u get more spin out of a 7mm or 8mm tip than a 9mm?

  8. kenn747Mitch Alsup on 2/10/2011 7:31:04 PM

    No, it has been shown in pocket billiards (pool) that one can put the same backspin on a CB with a 14mm quarter profiled tip and a 11mm dime profiled tip. As long as you have a deliberate accelerating stroke that impacts the CB at the same actual point of contact, the spin transfer is independent of the tip diameter and of the profile diameter.

  9. kenn747akash1992 on 2/11/2011 7:45:39 AM

    thank you for your advice sir, but when ive tried getting backspin with a 9mm, i get only half the backspin tat ive seen players lik stephen hendry and ronnie o sullivan get.....any advice on how 2 practice 4 more getting spin?

  10. kenn747bogart sucaldito on 5/25/2012 7:10:56 PM

    I always used elk master in the 90's. Pressed it to become harder. Then used triangle tips. Found out about layered tips. It felt better with long shots and rail shots. But now I use Brunswick tips. Press them for 30 seconds and absolutely fell in love with it.

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Billiard Cue Tip Selection

  • Title: Billiard Cue Tip Selection
  • Author:
  • Published: 4/15/2009 9:11:04 PM