Players often pay more attention to their pool table, pool cues, and cue ball more than accessories like the ball rack. But, having a loose rack can cause a bad break that will affect your overall game. Unlike the traditional wooden pool ball racks, the Accu-Rack and Magic Rack are rack templates laid flat on the pool table. These templates have surface friction that holds the pool balls in place.
They are used to rack the balls compactly and tightly for a game so they do not keep sliding away. We all know that a tight rack is also a key to winning.
If you’re having a hard time what to choose between these two very popular racks, we can help you decide what rack suits you. But first, you may read my mini-review below to understand their strengths and weaknesses. Don’t worry it will be a short read, I promise!
First, let’s talk about this awesome template set from Outsville. The Accu-Rack set is known for leaving as little space as possible between pool balls to give a tight rack every time. It uses proprietary geometry and is made of polyester slurry-coated materials that hold enough friction to keep the balls in place once they are placed on the rack template. Any spaces between the balls are eliminated as you gently roll the balls into place.
It comes as a set of 3 templates; Solo for 8, 9, or 10 balls, Diamond 9 solely for 9 balls, and Pro 10 for 10 balls. They are accompanied by a 3-ball template, and Shark Skin Table Saver Break Circles. The beauty of this set is that they are so thin that they do not interfere with the path of the balls.
You do not need to worry about them curling up because they roll up nicely and do not crease or curl when you spread them out again. Even if they do get creased or bent, they can be ironed to flatten them out. You can easily transport them in the long pocket of your cue case.
This rack template does not require a particular type of table felt to stick on to. It works great for either new or worn-out balls or felt as well.
Although it takes some time to get them to sit right in place, especially for first-time users. In my opinion, this is its biggest downside. Also, leaving the templates on the table might cause a slow-rolling ball to deviate from its direction but this is quite rare.
Note that it will take some time to get the balls racked but you will get a perfect rack most of the time because it leaves no gaps!
- Leaves no gaps between balls
- Do not crease easily
- Can be ironed
- For first time users, it may take you some time to get the balls racked
The CueSports Magic Ball Rack is also known for giving a consistent rack on the pool table. You can rack the balls in lesser time than you would on the Accu-Rack. It comes as a two-set template; an 8-ball rack and a 9- and 10-ball combo pack cut into a diamond shape. Unlike a traditional wooden rack, you don’t need to move it around. As such, it does not cause wear and tear on your pool table’s felt since it lies very flat on the table.
It is very light and would have been great to carry around if not for the issue of creasing easily. Thus, I believed that the Magic Ball Rack is best used at home or at a fixed location. If you have to roll it up to transport it, you will have to deal with kinking and curling that are pretty much permanent and forfeits its purpose. Although it is not as durable as the Accu-Rack, it does its best under the right conditions.
Now, let’s talk about the material. Although it is a paper-thin plastic that looks really flimsy, do not be fooled by it. The Magic Ball Rack provides a consistently tight rack most of the time. Once you place the balls in it and break, you can take it off the table as long as there are no balls left on the rack.
You might think using the traditional racks are faster. Wait till you get used to these and you won’t ever want to go back to those. And one more thing, players should also note that if you leave the rack template on the table, it might interfere with slow rolling balls, knocking them off trajectory.
- Gives consistent racks
- Easier to use than the Accu-Rack Set
- Creases easily
Now that we knew their characteristics, pros and cons, it’s time to declare the winner! To wrap it up, the Accu-Rack is popular because it racks even after curling, bending, or liquid spillage. It is the best rack template for players on the move, is very durable, can be ironed if creased, and works great with worn-out balls.
The Magic Rack, on the other hand, is known to be great for home use. If you won’t be moving it around, it will last for a while before curling up. Warping and kinking are its major downsides.
You might look at the Accu-Rack and think “this won’t last very long”, but it has almost always proven such thoughts wrong.
These rack templates are much better than the standard wooden and steel racks because they minimize disputes over inconsistent or gaffed racks. Also, unlike the wooden or steel racks, they do not cause wear and tear from trying to move them around on the table.
Both rack templates provide a consistent rack experience that is fair to both players. You might experience a slow roller once in a while, albeit rarely. But, in our opinion, the Accu-Rack is better than the Magic Rack and the reasons are obvious. The Accu-Rack is made from polyester which makes it more durable. It can be ironed if it creases, unlike the plastic Magic rack. Once the Magic rack creases, that’s the end, you can’t fix it.
The Accu-Rack also offers a tighter rack experience even though it might take longer to set it up. It is relatively easy to use and lays so flat that interference with pool balls is almost nonexistent. Although it is more expensive than the Magic rack, it offers great value for your money.