Are you serious about pool?
Then you’ll want your own cue.
Even as a beginner, having your own cue makes a world of difference. It helps you play better and improve much faster.
But with so many options, which one do you get?
Most beginning pool cues simply don’t deliver. But the best pool cues for beginners give you a ton of value for a low price.
Keep reading for a rundown of the top beginning pool cues on the market, along with brief reviews and a buying guide, to help you decide which one is best for you.
Best Pool Cues For The Money Compared
|Viking Valhalla 100 Irish Linen Wrap||Incredible Value||$$||9.8 / 10|
|PureX Players Technology Series HXT15||Premium Kamui Tip||$$$$||10 / 10|
|Players Classic Birds Eye Maple||Premium Le Pro Tip||$$||9.6 / 10|
|Viking Valhalla 100 No Wrap||Incredible Value||$||9.6 / 10|
|AB Earth||Ergonomic Handle||$||9.0 / 10|
Best Pool Cues For Beginners Reviewed
There are lots of beginner pool cues in stores. Online and offline retailers sell various brands. Each brand has multiple choices at different prices.
Choosing between pool cues can be very confusing, especially for a beginning pool player. All of the models below will work great, so it’s just a matter of choosing the one that fits best with your style.
Viking Valhalla 100 Series
The Viking Valhalla 100 is a good low-price option. It is a two-piece cue stick with an Irish linen wrap.
The Viking Valhalla is a 58 inch pool cue. You can choose among different weight options. The cue butt is adjustable and you have options from 18 to 21 ounces.
The Viking Cue Company has made the Valhalla cue with a 13 mm leather tip. The shaft material is hard rock maple. It benefits from an ultra-violet urethane finish.
The joint material is stainless steel. The manufacturer has used composite materials in some parts of the cue. The ferrule is made of high impact resin.
- The low price tag is the best feature. If you’re looking for an affordable pool cue, this is the best one out there. The length and tip size are suitable for beginners.
- What’s more, this is a durable pool cue, made from hard rock maple. The leather material of the tip is solid, too, and affords easier ball control.
- There are seven color options available.
- The Irish linen wrap creates a great feel when gripping.
- A lifetime guarantee is another great feature. The manufacturer even guarantees the cue against warping.
- Viking Cues doesn’t include a case with the two-piece Valhalla cue.
- The maple rock material isn’t weather resistant.
- The Valhalla cue has a high squirt deflection. As a result, it may lose its straightness over time.
- The tip is not layered, so it isn’t suitable for professional players.
PureX Players Technology Series HXT15
This two-piece pool cue is a more expensive option for beginners. But that’s because it’s a step above and one of the best pool cues for intermediate players, too. The previous cue is a better value, however.
There are different options available for the HXT15. The main difference between them is the cue weight. You can buy it in various weight options from 18 to 20.5 ounces. Beginners should buy the 19 oz option.
The HXT15 cue has a 12.75 mm tip. This size is suitable for precise shots. The Kamui Black Soft Tip provides an excellent grip and spins.
The one-inch ferrule in the HXT15 pool cue makes it a low-deflection stick. PureX has used polymer at the core, which makes it very lightweight.
This beginner pool cue has an Irish linen wrap. which is standard in many intermediate ones. The pressed wrapping creates a good feel when gripping it.
- PureX has used premium materials and great technology in the HXT15; it’s excellent option for intermediate players, too.
- The premium Kamui tip is not common in beginner cues, making the breaking experience with this beginner pool cue similar to professional ones.
- The entire functionality in HXT15 is near the experience of more expensive cues. PureX is a great option for beginner players who want to own it for a long time.
- The softness of the tip glue is disappointing and it may wear over time; this is common with soft layered tips.
- The HXT15 is a low deflection cue, but it doesn’t reduce squirts well.
Players Classic Birds-Eye Maple
The Players Classic Birds-Eye Maple is an excellent choice for comfort. The maple cue is strong and durable. It has a sleek design and feels professional.
The two-piece pool cue offers a professional feel to beginning pool players. It has an Irish linen wrap, like many other pool cues for beginners. The Birds-Eye design gives it a striking look.
The Birds-Eye pool cue comes in various weight options. You can choose from 18 to 21 ounce cues.
The 13 mm premium Le Professional Le Pro tip makes it excellent for precise shots. The tip is made of hard oak leather by Tweenten. It has a fantastic uniform shape and is quite durable.
The manufacturer has used stainless-steel in the joints of this pool cue. This serves to make the stick more durable. Stainless-steel also offers a more professional feeling.
The lifetime warranty is another good selling point of Players Birds-Eye pool cue. Overall, this is a great option for beginners at the start of their pool journey.
- The Birds-Eye cue – A.K.A Players Triple Silver Rings cue – has all of the benefits you need as a beginner; it is one of the best pool cues for intermediate players, too.
- The stick is straight with a great balanced weight.
- The LePro material used in the tip is one of the biggest advantages; it improves the durability of the pool cue and makes it exceptionally accurate.
- The Birds-Eye provides excellent value for the money; it comes close to some professional cues, but costs far less.
- It has a classic look with a modern finish.
- The lifetime warranty from Players gives you peace of mind.
- The Birds-Eye pool cue is a mid deflection stick, so it may not be suitable for everyone; there are plenty of low deflection options at this price.
- There are limited color options available for this stick (only brown, blue, and red).
Viking Valhalla 100 Series Without Wrap
The two-piece pool cue by Viking makes its second showing on this list, this time without wrap, making it even cheaper. We prefer to pay a little more for the Irish linen wrap, which is why we ranked that one above this one.
But if you don’t need the wrap, you can save a bait of money. Apart from that, the sticks are identical and they have all you need as a beginning pool player.
They offer multiple weight options from 18 to 21 ounces, as they should. That’s pretty much standard. Also standard is the 5/16 inch by x18 inch threaded joint.
The stainless-steel joints make this pool cue durable. It has a 58 inch length, which is the standard size for regular pool cues.
A 13 mm leather tip is also normal and helps you achieve precise shots. Finally, these cues are made in the USA with a lifetime warranty. That’s always nice, given how many products are made (poorly) in China these days.
We talked about the pros in the review of the Viking Valhalla 100 with the wrap above. Here is a brief summary:
- The low price tag, making for an incredible value
- Standard length and tip size
- Hard rock maple wood
- Leather tip
- Lifetime guarantee
The Viking Valhalla 100 is in the deep budget price range. Although you get way more than your money’s worth, you can’t expect professional features. These are the biggest drawbacks:
- No case included with the cue
- High squirt deflection
- One-piece pressed leather tip (intermediate players will want better)
AB Earth Ergonomic Pool Stick
If you are on a strict budget, you should consider the AB Earth two-piece pool cue. This 58 inch pool stick is a bit different, however.
AB Earth’s most noticeable feature is its ergonomic grip with no wrap. Many players will not like this, but some absolutely love it. If you want an ergonomic grip, this is a great option for getting one at an amazing price.
But if you prefer a standard grip, this is not the cue for you.
The AB Earth comes in many colors, but the primary color for all of them is black. AB has done a great job of inserting patterns in the finish.
You can buy the AB Earth two-piece pool cue with a weight of 18 ounces, up to 21 ounces. It’s made of Canadian hard maple.
The AB Earth two-piece has a 13 mm leather tip that is great for beginners aiming for precise shots.
You have the option of buying this stick in a packages. The package includes the stick, in addition to some accessories:
- A cue case
- A 4-in-1 pool cue tip tool that includes: joint protectors, a scuffer, a shaper, an aerator
- Two chalks
- Two gloves
The AB Earth is a good option for beginners looking for durable pool cues with an ergonomic grip.
- The extremely low price tag is definitely the biggest advantage.
- The stylish design with beautiful patterns is the other nice feature; you have many options when buying AB Earth.
- The bonus tool and case are great inclusions that boost the overall value
- The wavy shape at the gripping part isn’t suitable for everyone; it’s not a standard shaping among pool cues; these so-called ergonomic grips only appeal to some.
- The Canadian maple is not as good as American hard rock; the shaft is not that durable and is vulnerable to warp.
- AB Earth is a mass-produced pool cue; you can’t expect the professional feeling and performance of more expensive sticks from it.
How To Choose A Pool Cue: Buying Guide
When buying a pool cue as a beginner, price is always an important factor. No one wants to spend a lot of money on something when they are just starting out.
That’s why we made sure to only include pool cues in this list that sell in the low to medium price range. Since there is not much difference in the pricing, your choice of the best beginning pool cue will come down to other factors.
Here is a quick list of the most important factors to consider when buying a pool cue. Below the list, we will go into more detail on the factors that need more explanation.
- One-piece or two-piece design
- Stick material
- Wrap material
- Tip style
- Tip size
- Cue length and weight
- Shaft quality
Let’s take a closer look at some of these factors. Some are pretty self-explanatory, so we won’t go into more detail on them all.
One-Piece Or Two-Piece
There are differences between one-piece and two-piece pool cues, apart from just the number of pieces. The first is that two-piece cues are more portable.
For that reason, people tend to choose one-piece pool sticks for use at home and two-piece ones if they play at multiple locations, i.e. they take their pool cue with them to various places.
But it’s not just about portability. Two-piece cues usually perform better, too. Many have low-deflection technology. This gives you better shot accuracy. It is a common feature in professional pool cues, but you’ll find some beginner models that have it as well.
Pool cue makers always sell more of their two-piece products than the one-piece ones. In general, you’ll want a two-piece pool stick, whether you are a beginner or a professional.
The wood and wrap materials are critical when choosing a pool cue. They impact the durability and the hot accuracy. Strong and spin shots are easier when using a cue with premium materials.
Maple is the best cue wood. The best pool cues in the world use A-grade North American hard rock maple. It’s the best material for durability and flexibility in a pool cue.
But wood is not the only material used in cue shafts. Some professional manufacturers use carbon-fiber to make pool sticks.
That’s even better, but carbon-fiber pool cues are very expensive. It doesn’t make much sense to get one of those as a beginner, unless you have an unlimited budget (lucky you!).
Graphite is a cheaper option. When it comes to graphite pool cues vs wood, the woods ones are generally better, but graphite sticks do have some distinct advantages.
The wrap material is essential in gripping the pool cue. The feel when you are holding the cue is very important. Any good pool cue must be comfortable to hold.
Pool cue manufacturers use many different materials for wraps. Some manufacturers simply finish the wood on the stick. They don’t use any wrapping. Some of the common materials are:
If you sweat a lot, you should consider linen or synthetic wraps. If you are looking for a cheaper pool cue, Nylon wraps tend to cost less.
The pool cue tip has a direct impact on your shots. It affects the feeling and accuracy of the shot.
There are many types of cue tips on the market. Most cue tips are made of leather. Better ones use multiple layers of leather that are pressed and glued together.
Cheaper ones are made from a single thick layer of pressed leather. Less expensive cue tips tend to need more maintenance.
Pool cue tips come in different levels of hardness, which affects the holding of the chuck.
Softer tips hold the chuck better, but need more maintenance. Harder ones are easier to maintain, but don’t hold the chuck as well.
As a beginner, a tip with medium hardness is generally best.
Standard pool cues have tips with a diameter of 11 to 14 millimeters. The tip diameter in beginning pool cues is usually between 12.75 and 13 millimeters.
Smaller tip sizes are great for players who want to spin the ball easier. But the smaller the tip, the more precision you need when shooting.
Cue Length And Weight
Pool cue manufacturers make sticks in different sizes and weights. Professional players find their desired length and weight after years of playing.
As a beginner, you should choose a standard, easy-to-handle pool cue.
The best pool stick for beginners weighs about 19 ounces. Heavier shafts give more power, but they are harder to handle and control. Lighter ones have less power, but are easier to handle.
The length is important for a beginning player, too. The preferred length for a beginner cue is 57 to 59 inches.
You have to check the straightness of the cue shaft carefully. Just because you are buying a beginner pool cue, that doesn’t mean that the shaft quality shouldn’t be excellent.
The best pool cues in the world have straight shafts. But even beginning cues should not have a curve in the shaft.
You can check the quality of the pool stick by putting it on the table. If it sits flat on the surface and rolls smoothly, it is straight.
Beginning pool cues generally cost around $100. But you can find a few pretty good options in the $60 to $80 range, too.
We included a few cues under $100 in our rundown, but you won’t get the best pool cues under 100, naturally. That said, even the most expensive one we included came in under $200 at the time of writing.
Best Pool Sticks: Common Questions
Before we finish, let’s take a look at a few related questions that commonly pop up.
Best pool cues under $100: what are they?
Our favorite pool cue under $100 is the Viking Valhalla Series 100. This pool stick can cost over or under $100, depending on the options you choose. For under $100, you will probably have to forgo the Irish wrap.
What weight of pool cue should I use?
Pool cues come in various weights. The best weight for beginning players is 19 ounces. But some prefer lighter or heavier cues. We explained the difference the weight makes above.
Some pool cues have adjustable butts that allow you to alter the weight. The option is right for you, if you want to change the weight of your cue for different types of shots.
What size cue tip do pros use?
The preferred cue tip size for professional players is 12 to 14 mm. 13 mm tips are the most common among professionals. It gives them the perfect combination of shot accuracy and power.
There are many tip materials that pro players choose in competitions. Triangle, Kamui, Elk Master, Loori Laminated, and Le Pro are common tip materials among pros. Some beginner pool cues use these tips, too. Two of our picks above use pro-type tips.
Read “What Cue Tip Do The Pros Use?” for more.
Who is the greatest pool player of all time?
This has nothing t do with buying a pool cue, but it is a very common question. And it is obviously quite subjective.
Many analysts, players, fans, and pool media believe Efren “Bata” Manalang Reyes is the greatest pool player of all time.
Born in 1954 in the Philippines, Reyes has won more than 70 international pool titles. Reyes won the World Eight-ball Championship title four times.
Many fans and players call Reyes “The Magician” because of his outstanding skills in pool playing. The “Bata” in his name serves to distinguish him from another pool player with the same name.
Best Beginner Pool Cues: Conclusion
Finding the best pool cue for beginners is almost as hard as finding a professional one. You want to find the best option available while also considering the price.
Good beginning pool cues can start around $60, but the best ones are in the range of $100 to $200. Our top pick is right around the $100 mark, depending on the weight you choose.
We generally do not recommend more expensive cues for beginners. If money is no worry, go ahead and spend more, but for most of us, there is no point in paying for professional features at this level.
All of the cues we listed above have the most needed features. They are all well-known brands, because it is generally best to stick to established manufacturers.
Remember the essential factors when choosing your pool cue. The wood and wrap materials are most important. Tip size and style have a significant impact on your playing experience, so both they are important as well.