A fitting pool cue differs champions from losers. So, if you’re a pool enthusiast, finding a proper pool cue for yourself should be one of your first tasks. It’s easier to say than do it, so you need to pick it carefully. Each store claims they’re the one that owns and sells the best pool cue brands, but it’s simply not true.
There are plenty of pool cue manufacturers and many of them are driven only by profit, so it’s easy to buy poor-quality pool cues. Yet, some others are producing exquisite cues, but you need to spend a little fortune to buy one.
Having in mind the stated above, you need to be careful while choosing the pool cue for yourself. To spare you time, I did some research and I’m presenting the best pool cue brands available on the market.
- 1 Best pool cue brands
- 2 Pool cue brands ranked
- 2.1 1. McDermott pool cues
- 2.2 2. Meucci pool cues
- 2.3 3. Schon pool cues
- 2.4 4. Joss pool cues
- 2.5 5. Lucasi pool cues
- 2.6 6. Balabushka pool cues
- 2.7 7. SouthWest pool cues
- 2.8 8. Dale Perry pool cues
- 2.9 9. Tad pool cues
- 2.10 10. Crystal Leisure pool cues
- 2.11 11. Valley Supreme pool cues
- 2.12 12. SugarTree pool cues
- 2.13 13. Jerry Oliver pool cues
- 2.14 14. Josey pool cues
- 2.15 15. Shaun pool cues
- 3 Final thoughts
Best pool cue brands
Finding the best pool cue can be tricky, especially if you’re a newbie. While observing professional maneuvering with his pool cue, he makes it look so easy, like the cue is an extension of his hand. But the truth is something else.
There are years and years of hard labor to reach the professional level. Yet, there are some simple guidelines and factors you need to consider when choosing the best pool cue brands for yourself.
Pool cue weight is probably the most important characteristic of each pool cue. Most pool cues weigh between 18 and 21 ounces.
There are no strict rules about pool cue weight and everything depends on personal preferences.
If you don’t have any playing experience I recommend you start with a standard-weight (from 18 to 21 ounces) pool cue. It will provide you with the best playing experience.
A wrapping material will be in contact with your skin as long as you’re playing, so you need to choose it carefully.
Some pool cues are not wrapped at all, but most of them are wrapped with leather or linen. It’s valuable information if your hands are sweating and it can make a difference between win and loss.
The proper length of the cue is determined by the player’s height. Even though there are some exceptions, most professional players and pool cue experts respect these simple rules:
- If a player’s height is lesser than 5ft 7’’, a pool cue length should be between 48 and 52 inches;
- If a player’s height is between 5ft 7’’ and 6ft 5’’, then a pool length should be between 57 and 58 inches;
- If a player is over 6ft 5’’, then a pool length should be up to 61 inches.
The cue tip is in direct contact with a ball when you make a shot, so there’s no need to tell how important it is to choose a cue with the best possible cue tip.
Pool cue brands ranked
It’s not easy to get pool cue brands ranked and cues can be ranked by many parameters. Below you can find the best pool cue brands available on the market.
1. McDermott pool cues
McDermott pool cues are one of the best pool cue brands in the World. When we’re talking about top-quality pool cues, it’s impossible to leave out McDermott cues. Based in Wisconsin, USA, they’re crafting high-quality cues for almost 50 years
McDermott designers are using their half-century experience to turn the maple wood into unique-designed pool cues. While making the cue, they’re using more than 150 different techniques of wood processing and polishing.
They’re using cutting-edge technology to get the ultimate precision and power. McDermott produces a lot of different models but two of them are standing out:
- I-Shaft Imitador – with an average price of around $700
- G-Core Shaft – with a price varying from $260 to $699
McDermott has a lot of ambassadors among professionals. One of them is William DeYonker, aka The Gentleman. He’s an artistic pool champion and a holder of several world records.
DeYonker is currently ranked 7th by the World Pool Association. The Gentleman plays with a G1001 cue with an i-2 Shaft.
The next McDermott ambassador is Tom Rossman, aka Dr. Cue. Rossman made an outstanding career playing artistic pool and trich shots.
He’s been a Mcdermott ambassador since 1982. Dr. Cue is playing with i-2 shafts.
Okinawa Slim is a pool legend who won more than 100 tournaments playing with McDermott cues.
With his passion for McDermott cues from 1982, he’s one of the long-lasting Mcdermott ambassadors of all time.
He competed in different categories and won titles in Artistic Pool, Trick Shot Competitions, 8–Ball, 9–Ball, 10-Ball, 14.1 & Exhibitions Tours. He won most of the titles with C17, D19, and D21 cues.
Another pool wizard within the McDermott family is Jorge Rodriguez, aka J-Rod, currently one of the best pool players in the USA.
His playing cue is the G229 with a Traditional Maple shaft and a Kamui medium tip, while for breaking he uses McDermott Sledgehammer Break Cue.
Recently, McDermott presented to the world their H-Series cues, with adjustable weight, where they’ve used the finest technology to get outstanding results.
To sum it up, not a single McDermot pool cue can be a bad choice. If you have a well-equipped store nearby, the best option is to go on-site and feel it under your hand, then you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
2. Meucci pool cues
Bob Meucci is a pure genius when it comes to pool cues manufacturing. He founded Bob Meucci Cues back in the 1960s and he’s been making marvels ever since.
Based in Glenview, Illinois, Meucci pool cues became one of the best pool cues manufacturers in the world.
Meucci is a proud American and up to this day, all his cues are produced in America, made of Rock Hard maple wood and other top-quality exotic wood. His first “Hall of Famer” was the 1970 Meucci original pool cue.
Meucci himself played with this cue and won numerous trophies. Besides wooden pool cues, Meucci recently launched their first carbon fiber pool cue and the first reviews are quite impressive.
For many years carbon fiber shafts had a reputation for being less sturdy than wooden ones, but Meucci’s carbon shaft looks promising.
They even have their own robot for testing cues and the first results are above expected.
One of their bestsellers is the Black Dot Bullseye Shaft, a two-piece, perfectly balanced maple wood pool cue, which is the perfect combination of strength, balance, and accuracy.
It costs $180 and above, depending on additional equipment. They even offer a one-year warranty against any manufacturer defects.
Meucci is one of the best pool cue brands and it’s not surprising they have a lot of ambassadors among pool champions.
The first of them is, of course, Bob Meucci himself, who played almost his whole career with the 1970 Meucci original pool cue.
Another big shot who plays with Meucci cue is Skyler Woodward, a 2017 World Pool Championship runner-up and currently one of the best 9 pool players in the world.
Woodward plays with Meucci MESW01 Barbox Pool Cue, which costs around $400.
I also have to mention John Morra, a Canadian pool genius, who represented Canada in the World Pool Championship on 7 occasions.
He plays with a tailor-made Meucci pool cue, which costs around $3250.
3. Schon pool cues
Schon pool cues is another big name in the pool cue industry. Based in Wisconsin, USA, they’ve been present on the scene for more than four decades.
Terry Romine, a founder of Schon, was one of the best players of his time. Up to his recent death, Terry Romine was a man in charge of the Schon pool cues industry, personally overlooking the production of Schon elite pool cues.
He combined his love and passion for pool and his crafting skills to make an exquisite story with the Schon pool cues industry.
A Schoon company hasn’t changed much since its early days. They’re a small family company that produces custom-made, specialized cues.
Throughout the years, they’ve developed a reputation as top-quality producers and every cue is a masterpiece for itself.
Thus, their prices are shifted accordingly. If you want to own one of Schon’s elite pool cues, you have to spare from $700 up to a couple of thousand dollars.
Many famous players played with Schon pool cues throughout their careers. One of them is Buddy Hall, one of the best 9 pool players of all time.
During his 40-year career, he won more than 200 professional tournaments, including 60 major titles.
Another remarkable player who plays with Schon pool cue is Shane Van Boening, the current number 1 player in the world by World Pool-Billiard Association.
He won over 100 tournaments, including 50 major titles playing with Schon pool cue.
I also have to mention Dallas West, a pool Hall of Famer, who was introduced into the Billiards Congress of America Hall of Fame in 1996.
He won numerous tournaments playing with Schon cues. Last but not least, I have to mention Rudolf Wanderone, aka Minnesota Fats.
Though he never won a major pool title, he was one of the most recognized and respected pool players in the world.
Wanderone was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame for his decades-long public promotion of pool.
4. Joss pool cues
Joss pool cues have grown from a small family business to one of the most respected pool cue manufacturers in the world.
Founded in 1968 by Dan Janes and developed throughout the years by his wife Debbie and his son Stephen, they’ve earned induction into both the American Cuemakers Association hall of fame and the International Cuemakers hall of fame.
Joss cues are producing unique, outstanding cues. Each cue is hand-made of hard maple wood and many other exotic woods.
They’re offering more than 115 different models whose prices vary from $330 up to $2400.
Probably the most famous pool player who plays with Joss cues is Nick Warner, an 8-time World Pool Champion who was inducted into the Billiards Hall of Fame in 1992.
He’s a former World number 1 and winner of more than 100 tournaments. Also, he was named a Player of the year three times, in 1980, 1989, and 1994.
One of their most remarkable ambassadors is Jim King James Rempe, who was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America’s Hall of Fame in 2002.
Rempe won over 100 titles, including World Championships in several categories. Mike Captain Hook Sigel is another Hall of Famer who plays with Joss pool cues.
He was voted Greatest Living Player of the Century by Billiards Digest Magazine. Sigel won over 100 tournaments, including 40 major titles. Another pool wizard who played with Joss cues was Eddie Taylor.
A Knoxville Bear was one of the pool pioneers, who was inducted into the Billiards Hall of Fame in 1994.
Despite their tremendous success in the pool cue industry, Joss pool cues have even found their way into Hollywood.
Their cues have been used in Mission Impossible and Color of Money movies, starring Tom Cruise, Paul Newman, and Nicole Kidman.
They’re also famous for creating unique, tailor-made cues for many famous people, like Jimmy Connors, Dustin Hoffman, and many others.
In 2017, Stephen Janes, a son of Dan Janes, a founder of Joss Cues, was named Cuemaker of the Year by the American Cuemakers Association.
5. Lucasi pool cues
Lucasi is another top-class name in the pool cue industry. Lucasi pool cues are using only the finest maple tree for their cues.
The finest wood treatment and high-end manufacturing process launched them into one of the best pool cue manufacturers in the world.
Founded in Florida, USA 20 years ago by Jim Lucasi, they’re offering a wide range of pool cues with a price range from $150 up to $700.
Made of the finest maple and other exotic woods, they’re offering the perfect price/quality ratio.
Lucasi is famous for using cutting-edge technology in its manufacturing process. They’re hiring the best engineers and using laser technology to deliver desired results.
Also, they’ve patented a wood stabilizer application, a special protective layer that extends cue’s lifespan for years.
One of the best Lucasi ambassadors is Oi Naoyuki, the all-time best Japanese pool player and currently number 3 ranked by the World Pool Association.
He won more than 80 tournaments playing with Lucasi shafts. Another outstanding pool player who plays with Lucasi cues is Omar Al Shaheen, a current number 4 by World Pool Association.
He started his career in Kuwait 10 years ago, but his fame quickly outreached country borders and he became famous worldwide.
At the 2021 World WPA championship, he was a runner-up, losing to Albin Ouschan.
6. Balabushka pool cues
Founder of the Balabushka company George Balabushka is also known as a “Stradivarius of cue makers”. Many people see his development path as a realization of the American dream.
He came to the USA in the mid-20th century from Russia when he was only 12 and started cue-making in 1959. He made pool cues until he died in 1975.
His legacy continued to live from 1980 till our day. David Forman, a founder of Adam Custom Cues, licensed the name Balabushka from George’s family.
Now, the name is owned by Peggy Mallen who produces a line of cues under the Balabushka name as a memorial to one of the greatest figures in modern billiards.
With George’s impeccable work as a heritage, Blabushka’s name became a synonym for a quality pool cue.
Balabushka pool cues gained extra popularity thanks to Martin Scorsese’s 1986 film, The Color of Money where one Balabushka cue has great importance.
Innovation made by Balabushka in cue manufacture is the usage of Irish linen wraps and straight, grain maple instead of curly or birdseye maple in the butt, and checkered rings just above the wrap.
Those rings are now known as Bushka rings. Cues made by George himself these days cost tens of thousands of dollars and real collectors are not regretting big amounts of money on them.
Typically, Balabushka pool cue replicas feature Irish Linen Wraps, 13mm Pro Taper Shafts, Birdseye Maple Forearms, Stainless Steel Joints, and a replica George Balabushka Signature.
7. SouthWest pool cues
If you’re a long-time collector or a professional pool player you probably already know that possessing SouthWest Pool cues is kind of a big deal.
These custom-made pool cues are adored by collectors all around the world and are easily recognizable.
Many collectors have the plan to pass Southwest pool cues to their next family generation since those are one-of-the-kind cues.
Also, many of the top-ranking pros chose this brand because of its quality. It all started with Jerry Franklin in 1982 in the USA.
Ever since then, SouthWest has produced cues that are known for their balance, quality, and professionalism.
One of the reasons for their great popularity is the fact that cues are made from exotic woods like Macassar Ebony and Fiddleback Maple and that gives cues uniqueness and creative design.
As you probably assume there is a long waiting list for SouthWest pool cues, they are pretty hard to get.
Hard to get is also an indicator of a little higher price and many say that’s the only downside of those cues.
Even though some of those cues can be inexpensive, more often they cost even more than 5, 6 thousand dollars depending on specifications.
8. Dale Perry pool cues
All Dale Perry pool cues are made by Dale Perry and his one associate Brian Mullins. Those two are responsible for all DP pool cues.
Every single pool cue is made and controlled only by those two guys and they guarantee that every cue they sell is in perfect condition.
They make true exotic cues with beautiful exotic woods and fantastic maple for the shafts and they always stress that their priority is to make unique and quality cues and not to be part of mass production.
Every year Dale Perry makes a few models of Limited Edition DP cues. Each Limited Model has a maximum of 30 cues.
9. Tad pool cues
Tad pool cues are one of the most popular cues among collectors. Cues are designed by one of the most famous cue makers in the world Tad Kohara, his wife Sue, and their son Fred in California.
They started producing them in 1963. And they make them in limited quantities. All cues are handmade without the aid of CNC machines.
That’s why those cues are difficult to acquire and so wanted by passionate collectors and there is a waiting list for certain models.
All Tad pool cues come with 2 shafts and custom-made joint caps. If you’re interested in those cues our recommendation is to email them to get on a waiting list for a wanted model.
We found in The Billiard Encyclopedia about Tad pool cues: ”People have always collected Tad cues for their beauty and performance.” In 2023 Tad’s cues will celebrate its 60th anniversary.
10. Crystal Leisure pool cues
Crystal Leisure Inc. is a company that manufactures and distributes products for billiard, dart, table tennis, air hockey, poker markets, and similar games for almost five decades.
They have hundreds of products of top quality. In their offer of pool cues, we can find one and two-piece cues in different sizes (36”, 42”, 48”, 52”, and 57”).
Crystal Leisure pool cues came in many colors and with specific design details.
11. Valley Supreme pool cues
One more pool cue that is very popular among the players is the Valley Supreme pool cue.
Those cues are made of hard rock maple shaft and a butt is crafted from a variety of hardwoods. Pool cues can be found in 15-21oz options.
Most customers are satisfied with the price-quality ratio. They usually cost around 30$, but you can even find them for lower prices on sale.
12. SugarTree pool cues
In the later 2000s, Eric Crisp started SugarTree custom pool cues.
Many players and collectors who aren’t fans of mass pool cue production chose SugarTree pool cues even though sometimes it is necessary to spend a few grand for some of these cues.
Eric started making pool cues as a hobby and now due to his big interest in his work, this small hobby evolved into a real business.
There is even a waiting list for ordering these special cues.
13. Jerry Oliver pool cues
Satisfied customers use the words to describe Jerry Oliver pool cues: power, control, quality, and performance!
Jerry Oliver uses natural materials of top quality for creating cues like malachite, ebony, birdseye maple, Bacote, cocobolo, and similar. The good thing is they produce cues for all levels and price ranges.
Anybody can find cues that suit their needs no matter if the person is a professional player, amateur, or cue collector.
If you have your own vision of how your pool cue should look Jerry Oliver can design it based on your ideas and specifications.
14. Josey pool cues
One more in the line of custom cues is Josey pool cues. Those cues are predicted not only for serious collectors but also for discerning players.
Cues with this name have been present on the market since 1992. and they even have been named “Cuemaker of the Year” in 2011.
These days, Josey pool cues are especially popular in the United States and in Japan.
Josey pool cues are based on custom designs and inlays are made of special materials like exotic woods, nacre (better known as the mother of pearl), malachite and turquoise stone.
All those materials are expensive and make every Josey pool cue a real piece of art.
While creating them they are paying extra attention to every cue to meet exacting standards of form and function.
15. Shaun pool cues
If you’re looking for 100% handmade products Shaun pool cues could be a perfect fit for you.
Shaun Daly is a pool player from Worcester. He has been playing pool since he was 16 years old and turned professional in 1999.
Among that he is a carpenter for 25 years and he is making special pool cues respecting customers’ wishes for years.
Pool cues made by Shaun Daly are based on the customer’s design and specifications. He is also very successful in repairs and alterations of pool cues.
When pursuing the perfect pool cue after realizing which qualities you need, choosing the right brand can be fateful for you.
Many players when once find a perfect brand and stick with it forever. The best pool cue brands are listed for you above and I gave you my honest opinion about every one of them.
Still, in case you need more info, feel free to contact me.