Best Pool Cues for the Money 2021

Having a great pool cue is so important that it can have a direct effect on your performance as a pool player. There are different types of cues for every type of players, there are cues for beginners, for intermediates and for those who simply wants the best pool stick that they can afford. This list actually tackle pool cues that I think has a great value for money regardless of its type.

To do well at this game, allow this cliche line, “your pool cue should feel like an extension of your arm.” It should be easy to hold, allow you to play your best game, fit your height, and have the right weight.

You don’t want a pool that feels too long or short or too heavy or too light especially if you are a skilled player. For beginners, heavier cues are better as they need little to no skill to give the cue ball a spin. Lighter cues are for those with intermediate to expert accuracy and skill as they get more control over the cue ball. 

A pool cue with low deflection is literally the best pool cue for the game but there are other essentials to consider. You should consider wraps, which look like tapes around the edge that allows you to get a good grip on the pool cue often made from nylon, linen, or leather. Some players prefer a plain stick.

If you are searching for the best pool cues that have a great value for money, you are in the right place. Not only will we share a list of the best pool cues for the money, but we will also inform you of their performance, tip types, design, shaft size, style and so on. You will also get useful tips on how to choose a pool cue.

1. Players Technology Series HXT15

Employing state-of-the-art technology, this is one cue that gives everything you want in a pool stick and gets you excellent value for your money. It features an aesthetically pleasing walnut-stained forearm and butt and is wrapped in a black, double-pressed Irish linen that gives it a cool look and steady grip. 

It is a two-piece cue stick which makes it an excellent choice if you are constantly on the move or want to take it with you when traveling.

It features the HXT low deflection technology that consists of mainly two things. First, there is the Kamui black, a soft layered tip which is engineered to give superior grip, spin, and durability. Second, there is the KXT Low Deflection Shaft which is designed to reduce cue ball deflection drastically. 

It accomplishes this with its high-tech ferrule that has a special lightweight polymer core. It hits the ball with accuracy with you feeling very little impact. This feature makes the HXT15 one of the best pool cues for the money because it is a feature often present in shafts that cost almost twice its price.

Pros:

  • Well-balanced
  • Solid construction
  • Accurate
  • Its shaft is extremely useful

Cons:

  • There are some inconsistencies with its packaging

2. Lucasi Customs Birds-Eye Maple Sneaky Pete Pool Cue

Like the HXT15, the Lucasi Custom Birds-Eye Maple Sneaky Pete has an extremely good low deflection technology shaft that promises dead-on accuracy. What differentiates the Lucasi Custom from the Players HXT15 is, it has more premium features.

First, it has a Zero Flexpoint Solid ferrule with pro taper which is hard yet lightweight. An uncommon and unique bird’s-eye Maple construction, and its premium Everest tip which looks hard, hits the ball just right and gives ball control that is very similar to what a soft cue tip would. With its shaft, you will experience very little vibration and deflection.

Now, you may wonder why did I put this wonderful stick in 2nd place instead of 1st. That is because not everyone likes a simple design and even though the Lucasi has a great value for money, most beginners will find this cue expensive.

Now, let us talk about its design, it has a low-profile Sneaky Pete design but its finely-crafted traditional look combined with modern features makes it unique. It has a sleek, wrapless handle which gives a smooth feel when holding it and does not make it hard to grip. 

It also features a fine wood and classy pearl finish. A strong wood-to-wood quick lock joint and with its excellent craftsmanship, you don’t have to doubt its durability. 

Although it has no linen or leather wrap, it is treated with a patented wood stabilizer that prevents warping and protects the stick from the effects of additional moisture. Its finishing also prevents it from getting scratches easily.

The Lucasi Custom Birds Eye Maple Sneaky Pete Pool Cue is a good piece for both beginners and pros as it puts you in control and although looking basic, shoots like a pro. It might be a little pricey for beginners but if you don’t mind its price, it is a good buy that is worth every penny.

Pros:

  • High-quality cue with premium features
  • Accurate 
  • Hits are crisp

Cons:

  • A bit pricey for beginners

3. Viking Valhalla 100 Series with Irish Linen Wrap

This 58-inch pool cue stick is very affordable with 9 color options to choose from. According to Viking, it features a high-impact resin ferrule that gives a pretty good shot and a strong, pro-taper, maple shaft that makes it durable and fit for use at bars for both men and women. 

It has metal threading at its joint which gives it a secure and long-lasting lock. The fact that it is a two-piece cue makes it a great choice for players on the move.

For a cue stick worth less than $100, it is a very good quality stick with a well-crafted, perfectly shaped 13mm leather tip. It could come with or without a wrap. If it does come with a wrap, it will be either linen or nylon and provide a better grip but will be more expensive than the former but still less than $100. Its butt is made of hard rock maple while the entire cue is finished with ultra-violet Urethane.

The Viking Valhalla is easily one of the cheapest cue sticks that actually delivers value. It is great for both beginners and intermediate players.

4. AB Earth 2-Piece Pool Stick

If you are on the lookout for an affordable pool cue with an ergonomic design that gives you a comfortable grip without any wraps, the AB Earth is your go-to stick. 

At first, you may find its ergonomic design a little strange to handle. But in time, you will get used to it. And it actually works! But its main selling point is its affordable price point without sacrificing quality. Perfect for first-time players and beginners.

The AB Earth Pool Cue is made from hardwood Canadian maple, it is strong with a straight medium deflection shaft that provides consistent playability for players. 

It exhibits a very fine design and finish with the shiny oils used to give it its characteristic color in its forearm and butt sleeve.

This affordable pool cue also features a 13mm durable tip, weighs between 19-21 ounces, has a 5/16 x 18 joint, and a black rubber bumper. They take chalk really well and have a perfect finish. 

Its tip might come off easily but that can be easily fixed with a repair kit. 

Priced less than $50 (as of the time of writing), it is worth the money you spend on it. Compared to pool sticks that employ high-end technology for the best play like the HXT15 and Lucasi Custom cues, it is worth less but cannot boast of the low deflection these higher-end products afford. It is a two-piece pool cue just like the HXT15, making it travel-friendly. 

Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Unique ergonomic design

Cons:

  • Its durability might be an issue

5. Konllen Carbon Fiber Pool Cue Stick

This Konllen cue stick is a full carbon fiber pool stick. Its 12.5mm shaft uses aerospace-grade pure carbon fiber that supposedly makes it more powerful than a wooden cue. 

This technology makes it a low deflection cue stick which is suitable for players from all skill levels. The shaft also has a great taper, makes for an extremely smooth stroke, and ensures increased accuracy but it has less feedback.

And being a carbon fiber cue, it is much more resistant to any scratches or dings. Say goodbye to warpage as well.

Its butt features hard maple, carbon fiber sheet, African ebony, Bakelite, and rubber. It is covered in cowhide that gives a non-slip feel and is sweat-absorbent.

For a carbon fiber pool stick, it comes at a really good price. So, if you are looking to buy a carbon fiber cue stick on a budget, you might consider the Konllen. Alternatively, you can also read our Best Carbon Pool Cues list.

Pros:

  • A solid carbon fiber cue
  • You do not have to worry about warpage
  • Hits are accurate and pretty strong

Cons:

  • It might get a little slippery
  • It may take you some time to master it

6. Viper Commercial/House 1-Piece Canadian Maple Pool Cue

Looking for a fantastic house cue? You may take a look at the Viper Commercial/House Pool Cue. This is a one-piece pool cue with a solid wood construction that is quite durable during extensive usage.

That is one of the reasons why this cue is popular and you can see them in a lot of different bars. In fact, the Viper House Pool Cue is our number one choice in our article here.

It has a conical taper shaft and a 13mm Le Pro tip made from industry standard leather with a protective coating. The cue itself is made from maple hardwood which is coated with 9 layers of varnish.

Its glue-on tip also gives a solid grip on the ball and reduces your chances of miscue-ing. It features a solid one-piece design for high volume use making it great for commercial usage and houses but not for on-the-move players.

It has 36-inch and 48-inch sized sticks fit for those with small/short hands and fit for use in places with cramped spaces. They are perfectly straight unlike some other shorter sticks. 

Pros:

  • Durable even under high volume use
  • Has a great quality compared to other house cues

Cons:

  • The tip has a poor performance

How To Choose A Pool Cue

The cue plays a huge role in how a game turns out for you. For a beginner, the first time you play pool, you most likely played with whatever cue that is available at the moment. But, if you want to improve your game, you need to own the right cue for the game.

Before choosing a pool cue, it will be wise to consider its shaft, taper, weight, length, and cue tip diameter. But more importantly, try out various types of pool cues. 

Play at bars, use your friend’s cues, try out as many cues as possible until you find that which suits you and makes play easier. In other words, find your ‘winning cue’. 

Also, note that the fact that a cue is expensive does not necessarily mean that it’s the best pool cue for you. 

Other things to take into consideration include your budget and circumstance. 

If your circumstances require that you play on the move, you would have to consider whether to get a one-piece or two-piece pool cue. Over time you might find better cues, even then, take the following into consideration.

best pool cue for the money

Shaft

The shaft is the most important part of the cue. There are different types of shafts. There is the low deflection shaft which is often more expensive but the best at reducing ‘squirt’ and the standard shaft which with practice can be managed to reduce the deviation of your cue ball upon contact from the cue stick (squirt) especially on side spin shots.

You can choose to get either but for an easier way out, low deflection shafts are recommended. It lets you hone your skills right away and teach you how to aim differently.

Taper

The taper refers to how quickly the cue goes from being thin from the tip to where it gets thicker. Better pool cues have a pro taper which measures about 12-15 inches, staying at the same diameter for that long before it gets thicker. They allow you closed bridge shots and other types of shots. There is also the conical taper but the pro taper is better.

Weight

18.5- to 19.8-ounce cues are often used by pro players. These cues allow you to get optimal bolt power and cue ball control. If it’s lighter, you get better cue ball control and if it’s heavier, you hit your shots much straighter but have lesser cue ball control.

It’s often better to have a cue that is too light than to have one that is too heavy. Recommended weight stands between 19-19.5 ounces. 

So, if you have been using something much heavier, say 21 ounces, if it is a weight-adjustable cue, you might want to adjust that to the recommended weight.

It might take some getting used to but will earn you better results in the long run.

A cue that weighs 23 ounces and is about 66 inches in length will most likely feel lighter compared to a cue that weighs 23 ounces and is about 58 inches in length. But this largely depends on the height of the person in question.

value for money pool sticks

Cue Wrap

It is the part you hold with your hands to shoot. It could be wrapped in either leather or linen. 

This one is all about personal preference. You can even have a wrapless cue.

Cue wraps made from leather often appear on more expensive cue sticks. They are really good at absorbing sweat and do not let your cue slip from your hands.

Cue Length

Choosing a befitting cue length depends on you. Take your height into consideration when choosing a pool cue. 

Shorter people might want to consider ditching long cues. Standard two-piece cues are often 58 inches in length while one-piece cues are about 57 inches in length. Any of these can be used by people between 5 feet 8 inches to 6 feet 5 inches. If you are taller, you might want to buy a longer cue, something above 60 inches but it is not a must that you do so if you handle the standard lengths just fine.

Also, note that it is very important that your cue stick is straight. This might especially be an issue when purchasing two-piece cues. So, be alert.

Joint Type

The joint is the point where the shaft and the butt of the cue connect. The two of the most popular types are:

Uniloc joint

It can be considered the highest quality joint. It is also pretty universal because should you get a new shaft, it’s super easy to attach it to the taper.

Stainless steel joint collar

Cues with these joints provide a stiff hit, hence when you hit the ball, it does not reverberate through the cue.

Cue Tip

This is the foremost part of the cue, the part that comes in direct contact with the cue ball. Thus, choosing a pool cue with the right cue tip is also very important.

For putting a lot of spin on the cue ball while playing, soft cue tips are better but they wear out faster.

Hard cue tips, on the other hand, last longer but don’t give you enough spin on shots.

So you have to choose what suits your playstyle.

Also consider the shaft diameter, that is, the diameter across the cue tip. Some cue tips have a diameter of 12.75mm while others have a diameter of 13mm. 

For the 13mm diameter cue tips, they are often larger and might not get you enough spin on the ball. They appear on cue sticks that cost less than $100-$150. Hence, you should get a cue tip with a 12.75mm shaft diameter.

For pro players, they can use cues with smaller diameters for skillful play and those with larger diameters when they want to put an extra spin on the cue ball.

But, generally, cues with larger diameters are recommended for beginners because having a larger surface area makes landing shots easier.

Should I Buy A One-Piece or Two-Piece Cue?

The answer to this largely depends on your needs. If you want a cue that can be transported easily without taking up too much space, the two-piece cue is your best shot.

One-piece cues on the other hand are cheaper but warp faster. For a two-piece cue, even if the shaft warps, you can simply replace it while using the same butt.

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