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westcoast
07-10-2016, 11:05 AM
I've always broke with my playing cue but I'm pondering purchasing a break cue. Does it make a significant difference in one's break? I was partly thinking of getting one because breaking with my playing cue wears down the tip but I could just break with an old cue I don't really use rather than buying a break cue. What's the consensus?

9Ballr
07-10-2016, 11:13 AM
I've always broke with my playing cue but I'm pondering purchasing a break cue. Does it make a significant difference in one's break? I was partly thinking of getting one because breaking with my playing cue wears down the tip but I could just break with an old cue I don't really use rather than buying a break cue. What's the consensus?


I bought a super good break cue a few years ago and used it for a couple of years then went back to my play cue.

I never noticed that my breaks were better with a break cue I also never noticed that I pocketed more balls, matter of fact for the 9-ball breaks I pretty much always pocket a ball, not so at all when I was using a break cue.

On top of that you have very limited ball cue-control with a break cue if it has phenolic tip.

FOR ME nothing breaks as good with as much reliability and ball control as my play cue.

Of course everyone is different but in my opinion break cues are another pool myth, second to LD shafts make you a better player.

nancewayne
07-10-2016, 11:13 AM
A separate break cue is VERY IMPORTANT if you want to explode the rack ! The stiffness of the cue and the hardness of the tip (and the proper weight you want)...you can not get those characteristics in a house cue...PERIOD !


I've always broke with my playing cue but I'm pondering purchasing a break cue. Does it make a significant difference in one's break? I was partly thinking of getting one because breaking with my playing cue wears down the tip but I could just break with an old cue I don't really use rather than buying a break cue. What's the consensus?

slide13
07-10-2016, 11:21 AM
I don't think it makes much difference. Have my Gilbert jump/break with a Samsara tip and I love breaking with it, but I can get almost as good a break with a house cue to be honest. I just like having a dedicated breaker that always feels the same and I like it for jumps too.

I've tried a Predator BK3 as well and didn't find it to perform any better than my Gilbert really.

I don't like using my player to break, I'm currently playing with a 12mm shaft and a soft tip and I don't think it's a good option for breaking, but any regular 13mm shaft with a reasonably hard tip is fine.

flyrv9
07-10-2016, 01:26 PM
I think it makes a difference; but that is my unscientific opinion! Mine has a phenolic tip that doesn't hold chalk very well; so a miscue is easier if you try to get fancy with spin. I also noticed in my last VNEA league session a note in the folder outlawing phenolic tips. No reason was given so I don't know why. So it might be good to ask if you're a league player.

zpele
07-10-2016, 01:32 PM
Personally I would never want to break with my playing cue. When I break I tend to flex the shaft of the cue quite a bit and I break pretty hard. I wouldn't want to do that to my playing cue.

The bk3 snaps back straight much quicker than a traditional cue because of the carbon fiber and it is much stronger to the horizontal load one puts on a cue during breaking (assuming you use a certain break technique).

toga.roche
07-10-2016, 01:44 PM
I've always broke with my playing cue but I'm pondering purchasing a break cue. Does it make a significant difference in one's break? I was partly thinking of getting one because breaking with my playing cue wears down the tip but I could just break with an old cue I don't really use rather than buying a break cue. What's the consensus?


I use a modified one of these. For 20 bucks more they will give you a shaft with a thick break taper for extra stiffness. then I added a mezz ingot tip for 7 more bucks and i got a kick ass "custom" break cue for under $140. Schmelke is the best.

http://schmelkecue.com/billiard-cues/schmelke-cues.html?cat=39

onepocketron
07-10-2016, 07:04 PM
I use my player to break. I have a break cue, and really don't see any difference. Most guys I know use the break cue so they don't mushroom their playing cue tip. The guy that built my cue told me if it was damage from breaking, he would repair/replace it for free.

gregnice37
07-10-2016, 08:15 PM
I use a break cue because my shooting cues are too expensive to use to break. Not to mention I use ivory joints & ferrules, so I don't want to crack them breaking. Actually, I use a break/jump cue because I mostly play in a bar & use the jump half as a short stick. I just got a new break/jump aboutique 3 weeks ago & breaking the best ever with it. Pocketing get more balls than ever and getting good spreads.

MikieG
07-10-2016, 08:45 PM
Back when i used to build cues, i told my customers that my cues are made for playing. Breaking is part of the game. Guys that worry about their tips should consider doing some maintenance and replacing their tips more ofton.
Tips require upkeep and are expendable as are ferrules.
Now, how will the cue butt hold up in a brawl? Thats a great question. I always threaded everything together. Figured, if my cue held up long enough to get you out of the bar, you would come back to me for the replacement.

Skratch
07-10-2016, 09:09 PM
I've always broke with my playing cue but I'm pondering purchasing a break cue. Does it make a significant difference in one's break? I was partly thinking of getting one because breaking with my playing cue wears down the tip but I could just break with an old cue I don't really use rather than buying a break cue. What's the consensus?

The main reason behind using a break cue at first, was to protect your playing cue. Most people at the time only had one shaft, and your chances of breaking that shaft/tip/ferrule greatly increases with hitting the ball hard as you do in break shots. These days many people can afford multiple shafts, multiple cues and there's even a cue mechanic at many events. Not to mention the materials used to day are more dependable. So you dont really need one as much these days. I usually come with my player and use a house cue for breaking, if one is available. I do have a break cue and I love it, but I know I dont NEED it. That being said, what I've noticed with my phenolic tip break cue, is that it doesnt take as much force to have the same break effect as when I use a normal house cue. This means that I try to use even less force when breaking and MUCH more control. Since my break cue is also a jump cue, it makes jumping the ball much more easier. Again, not as much force and more focus on control. Aside from these, I haven't seen much difference in my break/jump just because I'm using a specific cue for this type of shot. I can do the same with my player, but its just easier to execute because I can focus on control rather than power. The first phenolic break cue I can remember, was the Sledghammer. Long ago, when I first got to try one, I thought I would get bigger breaks and tried to over hit with it. It taught me a humble lesson that day. Since then, many variants have come across my hands, and though I prefer the phenolic tip for jump shots, I dont for breaking. I like the solid hit from regular house cues! go figure! LOL. Anyway, I hope my experiences can shed some light in your decisions. Good Luck.

Mustardeer
07-10-2016, 11:30 PM
Breaking with a playing cue is ok if you're doing a cut break ( 9 ball )
There's no way i can execute my break ( 8 ball ) the way I do with a playing cue. I used to break with playing cue. A J&J break cue with samsara tip improved my break. Upgraded to a Mezz break cue and breaking much better now. Very big difference in my opinion and people compliment my break now that never happened when broke with playing cue. Also more break and runs now. That said I've seen strong players break great with a house cue but it's much harder in my opinion. My 2 cents.

9Ballr
07-10-2016, 11:55 PM
The main reason behind using a break cue at first, was to protect your playing cue. Most people at the time only had one shaft, and your chances of breaking that shaft/tip/ferrule greatly increases with hitting the ball hard as you do in break shots.

In all my years of breaking I've never broken a shaft or a ferrule from breaking.
I don't use LDs any more but for about two years I broke with a Z2 shaft all the time when it was my play shaft
Never had any problems.
My breaks are not soft in the least, they are actually very hard and the rack explodes 9 and 8 ball racks.

Skratch
07-11-2016, 12:07 AM
Obviously, this doesnt happen to everyone. But ive seen it enough. It normally doesnt happen immediately from the break. Breaking starts the crack, and the full failure happens later at some point. Again, we're talking older construction at a time when people only carried their players around. These days with better quality control, you wont get that to happen as easily/often. Todays cue you probably could break with your player, but do you really want to with other options? A simple poll on azb could help answer that question. How many people carry a break cue vs those that dont. I think more than half will carry.

MitchAlsup
07-11-2016, 06:27 AM
After breaking with a no-name ($80) cue that came with my table for 5 years, I switched to an old predator of mine with a 314(1) shaft on it.

With the old shaft I was making 0.65 balls per break.
With the 314(1) I man making 1.3 balls per break.

Shane33
07-11-2016, 10:26 AM
I used to break with my player and broke the ferrule several times . I shot with Meucci with the longer more fragile ferrules . I then starting breaking with a break cue mainly just to keep my tip in shape .

I started back league recently . This is my 3rd session with a 15 year break . One of my teammates has a 27 oz break cue that I have been using . It has made a huge difference . I make more balls and spread them better . The week before last I broke and ran 3 out of 4 racks and one was the first game of my match ! I guarantee I would not have done it with a house cue as my break cue or my player .

KMRUNOUT
07-11-2016, 12:47 PM
I've always broke with my playing cue but I'm pondering purchasing a break cue. Does it make a significant difference in one's break? I was partly thinking of getting one because breaking with my playing cue wears down the tip but I could just break with an old cue I don't really use rather than buying a break cue. What's the consensus?

I'm not gonna read the thread before replying. I already know all the things people will say.

I think these are fairly indisputable facts: There is no substitute for good break technique. If you learn how to break properly, you will break well with any cue.

Where people get confused, though, is in the belief that the above sentence somehow means the difference in break cues doesn't matter. That is false. If you have good technique and a great break cue, I believe you will break better on average than if you only have good technique and a crappy cue. The *FEEL* of the cue, (balance, hit, etc,) will have a big impact on your consistency and ability to put that nice technique to work reliably.

So in summary, only an idiot would say a break cue doesn't matter, just like only an idiot would say a break cue will give you a monster break if you don't have good technique. Here are some of the top reasons to own a break cue:

1) It's yours...you will break with the same cue every time. This allows you to learn the feel of the cue, and hone your skill reliably. You know what to expect, and this will allow you to advance your break technique.

2) Reduce wear on your playing cue. I beat the crap out of my break cue. My technique on my hard breaks involves bending the cue somewhat, scraping it on the rail, and obviously smashing the tip over and over. I would really not want to beat on my main playing cue like this. Also, I use an extension between the butt and shaft on my player because I am tall. I prefer the length and weight of a standard break cue however.

3) Weight. Often good breakers will use a break cue that is a different weight than their playing cue. Mine is about 1 oz lighter. Also, I like the weight in a break cue to be shifted toward the rear. This is because in a big power break, I don't want to feel like I am moving my hand *around* the weight of the cue (if I go wrong). I like the idea that the weight is moving *with* my hand...it allows me to get a nicer snap out of my wrist.

4) Performance. I break with a BK3 break cue. I have yet to find a cue that hits the rack as well with as little effort. I have a Samsara built X-Breaker gen 3 butt with an OB break shaft that I put a phenolic tip on. That thing breaks pretty awesome. It doesn't hit as *hard* as the BK3, but the weight and balance are amazing, so my cueball control is incredible. The point is, there are lots of very nice break cues out there and surely one is going to feel great to you. I mean, get yourself a very tight rack of balls and try a BK3. Just swing the cue like a nice stop shot stroke and pop the head ball square. Don't try and break hard...focus on accuracy. And just watch how it destroys the rack.

5) A side note about performance. Many break cues, like the BK3 or the OB, incorporate low squirt (low deflection) properties in the shaft. Nowhere is this more valuable than in a break cue. If you hit the tiniest bit off center, which is likely on a big break swing, you will get lots of spin and squirt. The power you use compounds the effects of this problem. A LD shaft will help you to hit the front ball square in a wider variety of off center cue ball hits.

Make sure and listen carefully when someone uses the phrase "I can do this or that with my regular playing cue"....ok, that's great. But why would you want to? If you are very short on money and can't afford a break cue, that's one thing. Also, can YOU consistently get the breaks you want with your player? If you can, then don't waste money on a break cue. For me, I simply get better more consistent more effortless breaks with a good break cue. I've owned like 6 different break cues over the years, and spent years playing with all of them. Originally my $100 Brunswick cue became my breaker when I got my first custom. I put a very hard leather tip on and it was ok. Then I got a Pete Ohman jump break. Wow what a difference. That thing is amazing. That is when I learned to break with a phenolic tip. **word of advice**: learn to break with a phenolic tip. If you think you don't get good control, then you probably need some work on your break technique. If you are doing it right, phenolic should give MORE control. Why? Because phenolic pops the cue ball harder with less effort, thus allowing you a more controlled break swing for the same cueball speed. Also, you learn to hit the center of the cueball. It gives a very specific feeling. And it is vital to a good break.

The best advice I can give is to try out some of the popular break cues out there. The Players HXT one is a nice option for relatively cheap money. There are plenty of nice customs out there, but honestly I think as far as break cues go, the Predator and OB are very tough to beat.

Hope this helps.

KMRUNOUT

9Ballr
07-11-2016, 12:54 PM
If you learn how to break properly, you will break well with any cue.


This is the bottom line.

Couldn't agree more.

Concentrate on technique and you can grab any cue and get enviable breaks on every break.
Personally I think house cues are excellent for breaking.
Love the conical shafts and I've never had a ferrule break.
This is why I recently got a 21 oz Players that I've been using for breaking and it's the bomb......!
Plus I love the Le Pro tips anyway.
Especially after they've gotten compressed a bit.
Again, this is just me.

fastone371
07-11-2016, 12:56 PM
I have a Phenolic tipped break cue that I use on my home 9' table. On 7' tables I break with my player because Im after cue ball control, not maximum power. I get more power with the break cue but on small tables Im after cue ball control, just about anybody should be able to spread an 8 ball rack on a 7' table. The other thing I noticed is when you crush the rack on a 7' table it gets much, much easier for the cue ball to get kicked in or kicked to a crappy place. Im talking all 8 ball breaks, I seldom play 9 ball. One guy that I know know 2nd ball breaks all the time and the cue ball always ends up behind the rack on the foot rail. I told him he needs to break with a little draw and outside spin and he insists thats what he is doing even though the cue ball says otherwise. He just accepts where the cue ball ends up and does nothing to solve the problem. :banghead:

westcoast
07-11-2016, 01:11 PM
Thanks for all the advice. I'm leaning towards getting a combination break and jump cue. Any specific ones to recommend?

KMRUNOUT
07-11-2016, 03:26 PM
Thanks for all the advice. I'm leaning towards getting a combination break and jump cue. Any specific ones to recommend?

Yes...I'd recommend NOT getting a break/jump. Some of the qualities that make a good break cue make a bad jump cue, and vice versa. For a jumper you want extremely light weight, lots of weight up front near the tip, extremely hard tip, like G10, phenolic, or something like the Hammerhead (which is just sick on a jump cue). For breaking, a low deflection shaft really helps quite a bit. The weight and balance would be much different for a break cue. I want a relatively light front end. Not sure the very hardest tip is best for a breaker, but it isn't bad. I LOVE the Hammerhead tip for breaking, but the factory phenolic on something like the Predator or OB is very good too.

If cost is an issue, I would recommend getting a very good jump cue (Jacoby, Marty Carey...something dedicated that does the job well), and use a house cue to break with for a while. Then when you can afford it get a good breaker. I've already said I think the BK3 and OB break cues are the nuts. There are other good options but make sure to try these ones out.

Let me know if you want some more info about this.

KMRUNOUT

pjacobs0308
07-25-2016, 05:03 PM
I never used a break cue until I shattered an OB ferrule by breaking. (this was my fault, FYI, not OB's since they make it clear not to break with those ferrules) You don't NEED a break cue, but just like any other cue comparison anyone has ever done on any forum or in any discussion, you might feel comfortable with one if you try it, and that's the information you're really looking for. No one in a forum can tell you which cue set-up is correct, that's always an argument, but they may offer you suggestions of which setups might be worth trying to see if they feel right to you. If you have an OB wood ferrule cue you NEED to use a different cue to break IMHO. That being said, I do find for myself that a break cue with a Samsara tip or something like that will allow you to control the cue ball with a little less body movement in the mechanics of your break stroke, i.e. you can just use a firm pendulum arm rather than trying to get the hips involved and all that.

Johnny Rosato
07-25-2016, 05:31 PM
Just as well if you use a spare cue that you already own,just put a good tip. A LePro or triangle tip will suffice. I play and break with a pooldawg8 milkdud,and it has NEVER mushroomed. Every now & the I'll rough them a LITTLE with a Willards. !!!

cubswin
07-25-2016, 06:20 PM
I had a great break cue, and sold it in a moment of weakness. Since then I've been breaking with a modified j/j. Had the butt bored out to reduce the weight a little bit, and the ferrule and tip changed out.

The weight reduction is the big thing to me, as I break better with a lighter cue. I think it is well worth having one, know I get more control and less tip wear on my playing cue using one.

For the 100 bucks I have in the j/j it would take about 300 to get it from me.

8onthebreak
07-26-2016, 08:06 PM
Yes...I'd recommend NOT getting a break/jump. Some of the qualities that make a good break cue make a bad jump cue, and vice versa. For a jumper you want extremely light weight, lots of weight up front near the tip, extremely hard tip, like G10, phenolic, or something like the Hammerhead (which is just sick on a jump cue). For breaking, a low deflection shaft really helps quite a bit. The weight and balance would be much different for a break cue. I want a relatively light front end. Not sure the very hardest tip is best for a breaker, but it isn't bad. I LOVE the Hammerhead tip for breaking, but the factory phenolic on something like the Predator or OB is very good too.

If cost is an issue, I would recommend getting a very good jump cue (Jacoby, Marty Carey...something dedicated that does the job well), and use a house cue to break with for a while. Then when you can afford it get a good breaker. I've already said I think the BK3 and OB break cues are the nuts. There are other good options but make sure to try these ones out.

Let me know if you want some more info about this.

KMRUNOUT

Amen!
Breakers don't make great jumpers. Buy them separately, invest in one, then the other, then you'll have a great set.
Also, I personally like phenolic for jump...but absolutely will not break with a ph notice tip.
USE HARD LEATHER TIP FOR BREAK.SAMSARA OR THE LIKE

bral
07-27-2016, 05:09 AM
With the 314(1) I man making 1.3 balls per break.

It's that extra 0.3 that really puts it over the top.

JoseV
07-27-2016, 06:27 PM
I heard stories years ago that if you break with your playing cue you can start to loosen up the inlays. Not sure how true this is since its been about 20 years since i heard this.