How common are break cues amongst avid amateur players in the US?

Do you use a break cue when playing pool?

  • Total voters


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You mean the full 40" ? I only use the shaft freehand. The half butt from the break cue is a little heavy (the extra joint insert probably) and I can only use it from the rail anyway.

Full cue meaning no jump cues. Just using the shaft is not legal even in events that allow the jump cue.

Phil Carr

New member
I guess it depends on how hard you can (or wish) to break. I do not possess a strong break (I'm working on it!) but I still managed to shatter the ferrule on my playing cue, partly just because I was really too 'lazy' to use my break cue, and partly because I got better control with my regular cue. It was an expensive mistake as it cost me quite a bit to get my ferrule repaired and taught me a 'valuable' lesson.
I soon after changed my break cue and almost immediately got considerably better results than before, so maybe it was a lesson I needed, and I still have it, and another one as well!
The fact is that, in American pool anyway, tables being larger than UK ones etc., a big break is desirable. Also some rules do state that balls have to cross the string/baulk line, so that too necessitates a strong break. Either way, the break IS the most important shot in the whole game as it sets the pattern for the rest of the frame so my thinking is that it deserves special attention, not least with the type of cue you use.
Some break cues have tips that are banned in some areas due to the composition which allegedly procures a stronger hit. I think it's down to the individual, who should not be penalized for the type of tip material. (Spring loaded ones I can understand!!!!)
We all know that there are many types of break cue - even some that double as jump cues (I do not advocate the use of one of these. A jump cue is designed for jumping, and a break cue......etc.)
I actually have three break cues now - the old, crappy one, and two superb ones, which I alternate depending on HOW I am breaking or the state of the balls/table etc. It really IS that important.
Many pros spend long hours perfecting their break shot and WHERE they hit the rack. I think there is a lesson here, namely the break cannot be underestimate.
I would say, get the best break stick you can (spare your valuable playing stick) and work like hell on your break off shots. It WILL pay you many dividends!!


Although I carry a jump/break, I'll break off with whatever suits the needs of the game and table conditions.

More often than not these days, I'm breaking with my player. Not much to be gained in power with the breaker, and I'd rather have the added control of the player.
I'm a league player and always use my jump/break cue to break. I've seen players break a ferrule on a shooting cue, and mushroom tips while breaking with a shooting cue and then have to continually have to reshape a soft-medium tip. The other thing I've found is that some full phenolic tips aren't legal in some leagues, so especially in league tournament play, check the rules on break cues.


'AZB_Combat Certified'
I'm a league player and always use my jump/break cue to break.
So am I when the mood hits me, and I don't always use a dedicated breaker. Looks like we cancel each other out on that
I've seen players break a ferrule on a shooting cue,
That would have to be a combination of a horrible hit, with a short tip, and a weak ferrule. I have swung fully for the fences with many a player and have never witnessed a broken ferrule. Not saying that can't happen, but far more was going on then a hard swing.
and mushroom tips while breaking with a shooting cue and then have to continually have to reshape a soft-medium tip.
Mushrooming tips happens when you play with them. Will it happen more frequently when you shoot hard...?.., of course, but that's not exclusive to the break stroke.


Amateur here. I have a cheap mcdermott cue (60$) with a navigator break impact tip. That's my dedicated break cue. And I have a separate playing cue. I feel I can do a power side break and get good results 70% of the time (a ball pocketed). I initially brought a break cue so I can do a flashy power break without worrying about beating up my playing cue (which is a cheap cue anyway but I figured I should get in the good habit of taking good care of my playing cue anyway even if it's cheap).


Active member
I like a soft tip. If you break with it then it will flatten fairly quickly. I carry a break cue so I use it. The exception is 14.1.


Here in Ireland, I have never seen anyone carry a dedicated break cue for pool. I'd say the vast majority of players here break off with their playing cue, or else grab a rack cue with the thickest tip they can find. Some players care about a finessed cut break than having to drive the cue ball with as much power as they can, hoping for a nice split and maybe a few balls potted. I personally don't use one. I did consider investing in one when switching from using a snooker cue to my current English pool cue. At my intervarsity event a few years ago, one of my friends was using a ~13mm American pool cue for blackball, but we all used it to break off. He didn't seem to mind.

I've also included a poll to gauge answers. Be great to get some opinions.
I use a dedicated break cue that I went cheap on. Just a 22 oz., $60 McDermott Lucky with a Kamui hard leather tip on it. I’ve been very pleased with it.


No handed breaks too
I use Hammerin' Hank whenever I break one handed. I am skinny as a motherfu#&er but when I take a step into a one handed break like Rod Carew and explode the rack into a cloud of dust it puts the fear of God into my opponent. Ask the dude whom I broke five balls one handed including a snap a while back, he will tell you. I would never trust that blend of raw power and finesse to some crap house cue... Haha!


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
A good hard break is all about timing/hitting the cue ball with a perfectly level cue. You can hit it at 20mph with a perfect/square hit and it will spread the balls as much as a 25mph hit that is 1/16" off the cloth or off square.

I prefer a break cue just a hard tip, not phenolic ... I think mine (an OB Break) has a Samsara break tip on it...hard, but totally controllable. Also, a good break is all about consistency, which is much easier to achieve if you're using the same equipment all the time.


I use a Rush with a Bulletproof tip. Man! Let me tell you....night and day difference!