skipYou nailed it for me. working on some shots this morning I gained some ground on all this. This is what I discovered.
1. For tiny soft shots like touch safeties where you barely roll the ball, maybe a few inches and nick or bump a ball. No forearm movement. Hands only, works best for me. The minute I felt my forearm tighten I hit too hard.
2. All other speeds up to very hard, no hand or wrist was more consistent. I hit a 2 diamond force follow off the rail back to a 3" circle. If I involved my hands or wrist I was all over the place. Mostly I came up way short. By taking a loose grip and using only my forearm I got very consistent. When force was involved the hands were more of a problem. This is more the shots everyone teaches and focus on. They represent a majority of all shots so the "just practice" advice is good here.
3. For hard shots, like the break, it takes co-ordination of all of it for the power.
4. What surprised me was the very narrow range where hands only worked best. It only helped when it was a tap type shot. I had one at league last night. I tried to roll my opponent's ball one inch into a 2 ball cluster of mine and let him have Ball in Hand. I had insurance balls and no way he could do anything with his ball. I hit it a TINY bit too hard. One of my balls moved out of the way and cleared a path for him and I lost the game. This is the only type shot where the feather soft hands (or even fingers) would have been a better choice. I only had to roll the cue ball 1 foot then barely touch his ball and I just could not hit it that soft. There is just too much power in any type of actual stroking motion for these delicate shots to work for me.
glad i could help.....