Picking a new cue can be a difficult decision and because it should last many many years it should be chosen wisely. The 4 main differences between various cues are the types of split, the weight, the length and the wood type.
1 piece cues are more of a traditional 5 world snooker championship results choice – they look brilliant and they don’t have a joint which means a smoother feathering action, however a major problem with 1 piece cues is that they can be hard to carry about because of their length. The next type of snooker cue is the two piece and as the name suggests this type of cue splits equally into two parts. Two piece snooker cues are probably the most popular. There advantages are that they can be shortened easily and carried around without taking up to much space, there negative points are principally that there is a seam in the center which can interrupt the feathering action. The Three quarter jointed snooker cue is most probably the cue of choice for most keen amateur and pro snooker players. These cues break up roughly 8 inches from the base which means there are no problems with feathering and the possibility of adding a longer screw-in extension is also there.
Some other things to think about when purchasing a new cue are the size, the weight and the type of wood the cue is made from.
A heavy weight snooker cue makes the cue slow. This is beneficial for novices and hides a poor shot. A lightweight snooker cue accelerates quicker and can impart more power and spin on the white ball.
Most cues are manufactured to the regular length of 4ft 10 inches. Nonetheless, some producers make somewhat smaller and often longer designs depending on the model type.
The bulk of new cues are carved from ash wood, however some more modern ones are made from fiberglass or carbon fiber and occasionally you see some made out of maple.
A snooker cue needs a tip as this is the main point of contact between the cue and the white ball. Virtually all tips are made out of leather and the denseness and hardness changes between manufacturers. The tip should be shaped using a file or sandpaper into a domed like shape. By shaping the tip into a dome the player is able to impart spin onto the white ball more easily making positional play a lot easier. The tip is attached to the cue with adhesive or occasionally screwed in directly.
The end of the snooker cue body has a metallic sheath which is known as the Ferrule. The aim of the Ferrule is to bond the tip to the cue and take the majority of the impact when a shot is played. Without the ferrule the snooker cue could break up when a high impact shot is played.
The majority of the factors referred to above such as wood type, length and weight are all down to individual preference and therefore experimenting with many different types of snooker cue will give a better understanding of which you prefer.