5 Main Differences Between Pool Cue and Snooker Cue

Cue sticks usually have a build that contains wood. They vary in color, type, diameter, hardness, and friction coefficient. There is a wide variety of sports that people play with cue sticks. Historically, people have known these sports as billiards. But now pool, snooker, and carom are the famous ones.

Pool is a popular game, and millions of players around the world play it. The most famous pool games are 8-ball and 9-ball pool. The objective of a pool game is to pot all of your chosen balls and then pot the 8-ball in a specific pocket, which will win you the game.

The objective of a snooker game is to hit the white cue ball in a way so that it hits one of the object balls. When the balls fall in the pockets, it earns you a score. The person who scores more wins a frame. A person winning a set number of frames wins the game.

Since both games use different balls, it is evident that the cue stick used will also be different. The differences are not huge, but you will feel them when you hold the stick in your hand. For your ease, we have summarized the main differences in the table below.

Pool Cue vs. Snooker Cue

FeaturesPool CueSnooker Cue
LengthEnglish Pool 57 inches,
American Pool 57-58 inches
57-58 inches
Weight19-21 Oz18-20 Oz
MaterialMaple or AshwoodAshwood
Tip Diameter12-13 mm9-10.5 mm
JointsSteel or PlasticBrass

1. Length

The whole length of the cue stick typically consists of four parts. It consists of a tip, ferrule, shaft, and butt. Some cue sticks have joints. Jointed cue sticks are more popular because they are easier to store. Usually, the joint is where the cue connects to the rest ½ or ¾ of its part.

English pool sticks always have a length of 57 inches. The size of an American pool cue often varies between 57 and 58 inches. Ramin cues that are cue sticks with no joint have a span of 57 inches.

English pool cues are short with 57 inches length; they may come with a butt extension that screws into the ending and gives the cue some extra length if the player needs it. American pool cues are more prolonged than English pool cues because the balls used in this game are slightly bigger.

Learn More: 10 Different Types Of Pool Cues You Need To Know About

Snooker cues have a length that varies between 57 to 58 inches. The length of the cue stick adds to the overall weight of the stick. So, more length means more weight. The length of a snooker cue is the same as your shoulder height.

Shorter snooker cues will make your playing action awkward, while long snooker cues that are too long disrupt the balance when you slide the cue tip over your handmade bridge.

Generally, shorter snooker cues give you a greater touch around the balls in close quarters. So, they are suitable for break building. Longer snooker cues (58 inches) increase your chances for long potting.

2. Weight

The balls usually used in pool are bigger. The balls used in English pool have a diameter of 2 inches with a cue ball of 1 1/17 inches size. The balls used in American pool are slightly bigger with a diameter of 2 ¼ inches and the same size cue ball. These balls are heavier as they are bigger compared to the ones used in snooker.

The cue sticks for pool are heavy because they have to hit heavier balls and sets them in motion. Pool cues often weigh 19 to 21 oz. The weight varies with the length. As we already said, more length means more weight.

On the contrary, snooker cue sticks weigh 19 to 20 oz. Snooker balls have a diameter of 2 1/16 inches with the same size cue ball. Since the size of the ball is smaller than the ones used in pool, these sticks are slightly lighter. You require lesser force to move these balls. The material used and the length of the cue stick also counts.

Heavy cue sticks make it hard for you to accelerate the cue ball. Players with heavy upper body and big arms may be able to play with a 20 oz snooker cue. And if the cue stick is very light, then you may over-accelerate your cue ball. You should look for cue sticks that weigh 16 to 18 oz.

3. Material

Maple Wood Cue and Ash Wood Cue

Material is an important factor when we are talking about cue sticks of two different games. The type of wood used in a cue stick impacts how the stick feels when you hold it. Many types of woods are used in making pool cue sticks, but the more famous ones are maple and ash tree wood.

Most American pool cues consist of maple tree grain. English cues, meanwhile, comprise ash or maple tree grain. Some players like how the large grains of ash tree look in the cue and prefer to play with it. It is very famous these days and is more commonly used in cues. Maple cues have microscopic grain, so they are not visible.

Snooker cue sticks are usually made with well seasoned, aged, stiff, and dried ash grain. That way, it would be less prone to warping. Dense and old shaft wood with bad arrows plays better than young wood with straight lines. Ash tree wood is strong and flexible, and flexibility is vital for precise and accurate shots.

Just so you know, ash or maple wood is part of the shaft of the cue stick in both cases. The butt of most snooker cue stick consists of ebony wood. It looks nice and gives a natural weight to the cue stick. In Ramin cue sticks, both the shaft and the butt are made of the same wood, which is understandable since they are not jointed.

4. Tip Diameter

Tip diameter is the area where the real difference lies between snooker and pool cue sticks. The tip diameter of the English cue is 8 to 9.5 mm. The diameter of the American pool cue is 12 to 13 mm.

We should point out here that the tip is the part that makes contact with the ball, and it absorbs the shock of the contact. Cue tips are usually made of impregnated leather. A few cue tips are also a combination of plastic and leather.

Pool cues have bigger tips than snooker because they have to make contact with larger balls with more force and allow some degree of control. As we already mentioned, cue tips may be fixed or screwed into the stick. Usually, cues with fixed tips are preferable because they don’t get loose with time.

Snooker tips are smaller and have a diameter of 9 to 10.5 mm. It is smaller than the American pool cue tip diameter. That is because of the smaller size of the ball. This dimension provides much-needed control and accuracy when aiming for the ball.

In snooker, if you go for tips smaller than 9 mm, you will get more sidespin, which reduces your chances for long potting. And if you go higher than 10.5 mm, it will be hard for you to find the right contact point.

5. Joints

Some cue sticks connect at the shaft and butt with wood, steel, or plastic. This part is called the joint. Jointed cue sticks are easy to store. They also allow the manufacturer to use different kinds of woods for the shaft and butt of the cue stick. Joint cues may have a significant impact on the performance of the cue stick.

Pool cues often have steel joints or plastic ones. Some players like stiff hitting, and it is a desirable feature to have in a cue stick. Steel joints block the transfer of energy and make the stick feel stiff.

A stiff cue with a hard tip will allow for a more efficient hit. This also provides more speed for a similar strength stroke. We call this effect cue and tip efficiency.

Contrarily, plastic or composite cues provide a tangible impact, not to mention plastic joints are durable, which you require for continuous hitting of heavy pool balls.

In snooker, brass joints are more common. Brass is not usually a part of pool cues because it wears easily and bends. It is appropriate for the small and light balls of snooker. They are also less expensive compared to other types of joints.

Some players like the hard and straight shot in snooker. For those, brass joints allow for rigid and straight shots. You may also find composite and wood joints in snooker cue sticks, but the most common ones are brass joints.

Conclusion

Cue sports are very popular. There are various versions of pool and snooker in different countries. The difference in the games means the material such as table, balls, and cue sticks would also have variations.

Cues for snooker and pool might not appear very different at first glance, but they do vary in a few areas. The length, weight, material, and tip size of the cue vary as the game changes.

In short, the cue sticks for English pool are smaller and lighter with a small tip compared to an American pool cue. Simultaneously, the snooker cues are a bit longer, heavier, and with larger tips.

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Daniel Bouie - SportsDean
Daniel Bouie
Daniel Bouie has been playing and helping others learn the ins and outs of pool for eight years. His profound love for the game inspired him to become a qualified billiard instructor in 2015. He frequently practices in his spare time and teaches private lessons to novice and intermediate players.

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