Many pool players have a misconception or idea of what the ideal weight is for a cue. Does the heavier cue produce more power, or does the lighter one help with accuracy?
Cues can vary in weight, but the most common weights are 15oz – 21oz, with a few other variations for both lighter and heavier weights but they are rarer. The truth is it depends on your own preferences and style of playing. Different players favor different weight cues for different reasons.
Heavier vs Lighter Cue Weight: Things to Consider
The weight of the cue can have drastic changes in the way that you play.
- A heavier cue (18oz – 21oz) will not need to hit the ball as hard as a lighter cue to get it to travel the same distance. Which is great for those powerful shots but can make the more delicate shots much harder (soft stroke shots such as defensive shots, and close distance positioning).
- A lighter cue (15oz – 17oz) will be easier to be more accurate with especially with soft stroke shots. But will require much harder strokes for those long powerful shots (long-distance shots such as stop shots and banks).
At the end of the day the weight of the cue that you decide to use, you will adjust to it over time playing with it. The weight of the cue should be comfortable to play with especially over a course of a few hours. If you find that you are getting sore, it may be a sign that you should switch to a lighter cue.
Shooting Cue Weight vs Break Cue Weight
A shooting cue is a cue that you will use for all your shots during a game besides the break. The break cue is like it sounds only for the break shot.
This is probably the most controversial topic when it comes to choosing the weight of the cue, especially with a break cue. Many league and professional players will have both a shooting cue and a break cue.
The reasons for having a separate cue to break with can include:
- Weight of the cue (the controversial part)
- Tip used (harder tip)
- Diameter of shaft (larger diameter)
- Help to increase the life of your shooting cue (warping or breaking the shaft, cracking the ferrule, life of the tip)
Probably the most common advice you will hear from players is to use a heavier break cue because it allows you to easily apply more power. And that is correct and a good reason to choose a heavier cue. A drawback is that the heavier weight may cause you to be not as accurate with your stroke which makes it harder to control the cue ball after the break.
I tend to hear from more experienced players that a lighter break cue allows you to be more accurate with your stroke on the break. Making it easier to control the cue ball on the break. This is a valid point as well, especially in games like 9-ball and 10-ball. A powerful break isn’t worth much if you lose control of the cue ball and scratch or can’t see your next object ball. A drawback would be in order to get a good spread you will need to put much more power behind your stroke to get similar results.
Choosing Same Weight
If you can’t decide between heavier or lighter, choosing the same weight as your shooting cue is also a safe choice as you will have a consistent weight with both cues allowing you to easily control your stroke for both breaking and shooting. Will need to hit a little harder to receive the same results as a heavier cue but not as hard as you would with a lighter cue.
So now that you have made it through this article, you will see that there is no definitive answer as to which weight is better. No matter which weight you decide to choose there are going to be pros and cons to each. And after some adjustment time shooting with the cue you will learn how to play with it.
For beginners, I recommend that you go to a bar or pool hall and test out a few different weights to see what feels comfortable for you. As we all will have different preferences and shooting styles only you can make that decision for yourself. Typically, I would say for your shooting cue start with an 18oz or 19oz cue and play a game or two and see if it is working for you or if you would want to go lighter or heavier. For the break cue, (the controversial part), I recommend going an ounce heavier than your shooting cue, which will allow for a little more power behind the break than your shooting cue without too much of a difference from it, allowing you to remain accurate in your stroke.
Some of the higher-priced cues will have an adjustable weight, meaning you can buy different weights and swap them out with a certain tool. This could be an option to look into if you are unsure and would like to have some flexibility in your choice when buying a cue.