Ideal weight of a pool cue?

acousticsguru

player/instructor
Silver Member
Curious: not trying to contest that a player should choose to play with a cue of a weight that feels best for him/her, has there been research on what would/might be the "ideal" weight from a physics point of view (after all, all the other variables are a given or close, e.g. the weight of the balls, friction etc.)?

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
_________________

„J'ai gâché vingt ans de mes plus belles années au billard. Si c'était à refaire, je recommencerais.“ – Roger Conti
 
This is not easy to answer. When i used my old predator, weight is 19.8 oz and didnt like it much, cue ball control is not good. I change to a lighter cue around 19.2 oz it was good but the cue is rear weighted. Now i'm using a mezz cue 18.8 oz and i like it very much. Cue is perfectly balance. You don't feel it forward nor rear balance.

You need to try a lot of cues before you can tell which cue is for you. My preference now is cues not over 19oz. This is just from my experience.
 

acousticsguru

player/instructor
Silver Member
This is not easy to answer. When i used my old predator, weight is 19.8 oz and didnt like it much, cue ball control is not good. I change to a lighter cue around 19.2 oz it was good but the cue is rear weighted. Now i'm using a mezz cue 18.8 oz and i like it very much. Cue is perfectly balance. You don't feel it forward nor rear balance.

You need to try a lot of cues before you can tell which cue is for you. My preference now is cues not over 19oz. This is just from my experience.

Thanks for your input! Don't worry, I know what weight I like - but that wasn't my question.

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
_________________

„J'ai gâché vingt ans de mes plus belles années au billard. Si c'était à refaire, je recommencerais.“ – Roger Conti
 

pescadoman

Randy
Silver Member
Curious: not trying to contest that a player should choose to play with a cue of a weight that feels best for him/her, has there been research on what would/might be the "ideal" weight from a physics point of view (after all, all the other variables are a given or close, e.g. the weight of the balls, friction etc.)?

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
_________________

„J'ai gâché vingt ans de mes plus belles années au billard. Si c'était à refaire, je recommencerais.“ – Roger Conti

I like 19-19.5. That being said, the balance point changes the way the cue plays.
 

cueman

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
19 ounce has been the most popular weight for decades and is my favorite. But popularity is not the scientific answer you are wanting. But according to Meucci's mechanical robot, 18 ounce or a little under is best.
 

acousticsguru

player/instructor
Silver Member
19 ounce has been the most popular weight for decades and is my favorite. But popularity is not the scientific answer you are wanting. But according to Meucci's mechanical robot, 18 ounce or a little under is best.

Chris

Thanks so much for your reply! Can you tell us a little more about those tests, and/or can the results (as well as their interpretation) be looked up someplace?

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
_________________

„J'ai gâché vingt ans de mes plus belles années au billard. Si c'était à refaire, je recommencerais.“ – Roger Conti
 

scdiveteam

Rick Geschrey
Silver Member
19 ounce has been the most popular weight for decades and is my favorite. But popularity is not the scientific answer you are wanting. But according to Meucci's mechanical robot, 18 ounce or a little under is best.

Hi,

Chris is right and I agree with him but I would like to make another 2 additional points. I do agree with the 18 oz. with proper balance.

1. The balance point or C/G is just as important along with the modulus of elasticity of the wood species concerning the "best hit" v weight. There are a million ways to skew an experiment and because it is wood we are talking organic material with fluctuating variables.

2. As a young man learning to play pool I finally got to a place where I felt I was ready for a custom made cue. I bought a beautiful Bill Stroud "JW" that was 19.25 oz. After about two years I ordered a cue from David Kershenbroch and guess what weight I ordered. 19.25.

The point is that once a player gets it in his mind that he likes 19.5 for example, for the rest of his life he will go to that weight when having to make a weight decision. Since I have been involved in cue repair and selling my cues, I see that situation play out over and over again. That's human nature. Why would anyone want to admit that they could be better off playing with a lighter weight cue when theirs is heavier.

My point being is that when making a decision on what weight cue to purchase you must play with different cues and decide which one plays the best for you. Having a 17 oz. cue with a 2 oz. weight in the butt might not be where you want to be because you asked for 19 oz.

I can put a forward balanced 18 oz. cue with a 4.5 oz. shaft in the hand of the 19.5 guy and tell him it is 20 oz. He would not doubt it because a forward balance cue feels heavier in your hand.

Rick G
 
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mattb

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Human Physics

I think the one thing you overlooked was the human aspect of the physic equation. Every organism is so different in over all make up we could right books upon books of it. If we found your perfect cue and I took it to use, I may hate it and vice versa.

I will agree that there are numerous issues that make up the cue and balance itself, but they are minimal compared to the differences in make up of different people.
 

acousticsguru

player/instructor
Silver Member
I think the one thing you overlooked was the human aspect of the physic equation. Every organism is so different in over all make up we could right books upon books of it. If we found your perfect cue and I took it to use, I may hate it and vice versa.

I will agree that there are numerous issues that make up the cue and balance itself, but they are minimal compared to the differences in make up of different people.

I'm not sure who you mean when you say "overlooked" as no one disputes this - my question was in relation to everything else being equal, i.e. the balls. That we human beings are individuals/different from each other and like different cue weights was the assumption I started from - the question was/is about the other part of the equation (that which has nothing to do with us/the player).

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
_________________

„J'ai gâché vingt ans de mes plus belles années au billard. Si c'était à refaire, je recommencerais.“ – Roger Conti
 
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acousticsguru

player/instructor
Silver Member
Hi,

Chris is right and I agree with him but I would like to make another 2 additional points. I do agree with the 18 oz. with proper balance.

1. The balance point or C/G is just as important along with the modulus of elasticity of the wood species concerning the "best hit" v weight. There are a million ways to skew an experiment and because it is wood we are talking organic material with fluctuating variables.

2. As a young man learning to play pool I finally got to a place where I felt I was ready for a custom made cue. I bought a beautiful Bill Stroud "JW" that was 19.25 oz. After about two years I ordered a cue from David Kershenbroch and guess what weight I ordered. 19.25.

The point is that once a player gets it in is mind that he likes 19.5 for example, for the rest of his life he will go to that weight when having to make a weight decision. Since I have been involved in cue repair and selling my cues, I see that situation play out over and over again. That's human nature. Why would anyone want to admit that they could be better off playing with a lighter weight cue when theirs is heavier.

My point being is that when making a decision on what weight cue to purchase you must play with different cues and decide which one plays the best for you. Having a 17 oz. cue with a 2 oz. weight in the butt might not be where you want to be because you asked for 19 oz.

I can put a forward balanced 18 oz. cue with a 4.5 oz. shaft in the hand of the 19.5 guy and tell him it is 20 oz. He would not doubt it because a forward balance cue feels heavier in your hand.

Rick G

That interesting because when someone asks me to estimate the weight of a cue, I usually swing it a bit like a pendulum clock, holding on to the ferrule with just two fingers (index and thumb). Also, I happen to find all well-balanced cues feel lighter or heavier than they are respectively (because they feel well-balanced regardless of their weight), whereas all ill-balanced cues feel lighter or heavier than they are respectively (because they feel ill-balanced regardless of their weight), merely vice versa. In other words, an ill-balanced heavy cue feels too heavy, whereas a well-balanced heavy cue doesn't etc.

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
_________________

„J'ai gâché vingt ans de mes plus belles années au billard. Si c'était à refaire, je recommencerais.“ – Roger Conti
 

scdiveteam

Rick Geschrey
Silver Member
I think the one thing you overlooked was the human aspect of the physic equation. Every organism is so different in over all make up we could right books upon books of it. If we found your perfect cue and I took it to use, I may hate it and vice versa.

I will agree that there are numerous issues that make up the cue and balance itself, but they are minimal compared to the differences in make up of different people.

Hi,

Well said and very intuitive!!

DPK's book is a good place to start. It is a great read a he reveals details that deal with the human element and the physical world from his view as an observer and master cue maker.

Rick
 

scdiveteam

Rick Geschrey
Silver Member
That interesting because when someone asks me to estimate the weight of a cue, I usually swing it a bit like a pendulum clock, holding on to the ferrule with just two fingers (index and thumb). Also, I happen to find all well-balanced cues feel lighter or heavier than they are respectively (because they feel well-balanced regardless of their weight), whereas all ill-balanced cues feel lighter or heavier than they are respectively (because they feel ill-balanced regardless of their weight), merely vice versa. In other words, an ill-balanced heavy cue feels too heavy, whereas a well-balanced heavy cue doesn't etc.

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
_________________

„J'ai gâché vingt ans de mes plus belles années au billard. Si c'était à refaire, je recommencerais.“ – Roger Conti

Hi Dave,

Your points are well taken and are very true if one uses "well balanced" as the ideal. I for one believe that stiff hiting forward balanced cues is an aproach that has significant merits for a lot of people but certainly not all users.

If you were to build a battering ram would you want it to be well balanced or would you like it to have more weight up front. In my view, a cue is not that different than a battering ram on a smaller scale.

Many pool instructors teach the pendulum notion when describing the swing of the hanging arm that is holding the cue but the grip is nowhere near the balance point of the cue. In fact the moment arm of the grip is at least a foot behind the fulcrum depending on the players height. Not to mention that the bridge hand the guides the tool is 30" forward of the GC. The best players I have seen and known all seem to keep the cue as close to parallel with the table at the bottom of the arc of the hanging arm. Is this not in effect the motion of a battering ram. Players who jack up and/or stroke the cue like a piston have other things to worry about other than weight and balance functions.

Sometimes engineering designs push envelopes from an accepted criteria within an industry standard or norm. When these new design envelopes become available to professional users and they see significant paradigm shifts in performance , the expectations change in that direction.

Golf is a great example where equipment engineering and the golfer's reaction to it has forced architects to change the dynamic environment where the game is played and also to redesign old courses to meet modern era expectations. Directional pool cloth with grain gave way to non directional cloth and players became more consistent because all shots were the same as far as grain is concerned. Less variables to discern.

Our ideals for building a cue should never become static and we should always experiment with new ideas and approaches. The only way to do this is through beta testing and tracking results that are objective and definitive as well as subjective concerning the "feel" of a component by a given user. Only by raising the bar of expectations can cue makers change the way the game can be played. We do have that power. If you don't believe that, then you will never have it.

Rick Geschrey
 
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JoeyInCali

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
From observation, weight preferences are sometimes determined by the players' stroke.
I often wondered why some players like really light cues ( 18 and under ).
From observing them, a lot of them are elbow droppers. They drop their elbows in shooting often.
A lot of the ones who like heavy cues like Efren are stroke slippers or slip strokers. They release the cue on their final stroke .
Personally I don't think 18.75 to 19.2 doesn't make much difference if they have the same balance point .
And from experimenting, I don't like a lot of weight added to the back of the cue.
 

avscue

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
i don't know, for me its not adding up. IMO the "ideal" weight apart from all the other factors that make up a cue is not significant. if i understand the question correctly, is there a certain weight that makes a cue perform outstanding. if this were the case, a stick of willow could be turned into a well performing cue. weight does effect the "hit" and performance. some shafts respond well to heavier weights than others, as an example. i don't always trust data that is collected for the purpose of promotion either.
 

acousticsguru

player/instructor
Silver Member
i don't know, for me its not adding up. IMO the "ideal" weight apart from all the other factors that make up a cue is not significant. if i understand the question correctly, is there a certain weight that makes a cue perform outstanding. if this were the case, a stick of willow could be turned into a well performing cue. weight does effect the "hit" and performance. some shafts respond well to heavier weights than others, as an example. i don't always trust data that is collected for the purpose of promotion either.

I agree that what obeys the laws of physics "better" doesn't automatically feel "better" for everyone, e.g. I'm in the camp of those who don't like the feel of hollow shafts even though I can tell (just like everyone else who's been around for 25 years and playing with most of what has been produced in that time span) how much lower the deflection is (drastically compared to a pro taper shaft from the seventies or eighties - one barely needs a robot to figure that part out). That doesn't mean cues aren't (much less: shouldn't be) an object of scientific study - what there is to know is worth knowing. And what you say about collecting data given a specific purpose is true, but in itself a scientific problem (a fellow academic always makes that joke about statistics: "Tell me what point you want to prove, and I'll provide the stats!"). Whether or not research results in cues whose feel we like better, whether a robot, a design software (whatnot…) is ever going to able to predict that, who knows… But then, I was interested in something far simpler, remember: given the balls' weight is a given, and friction (not just the cloth, between all parts) close to a given, have there been weight tests executed, and what the result from those was. That's all.

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
_________________

„J'ai gâché vingt ans de mes plus belles années au billard. Si c'était à refaire, je recommencerais.“ – Roger Conti
 

avscue

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
as far as i know, there is research data on "weight". predator and meucci did their own studies for shafts but not weight. looks like you could have a future project here.
 

LunaticFringeIn

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
19 ounce has been the most popular weight for decades and is my favorite. But popularity is not the scientific answer you are wanting. But according to Meucci's mechanical robot, 18 ounce or a little under is best.

Thats interesting! If there is some place I can review this data, can you provide a link?

What really caught my attention about this post is that when I started playing pool in a APA league I started out with a 20 ounce Cuetec. At the end of the season I got bumped from a S/L 3 to a S/L 6 (not that I rated that! A S/L 5 would have been more accurate and a lot more reasonable.) after my performance at county play offs. At my teams next game I tried out a friends new cue which was a 18 ounce McDermott when warming up. I had what was arguably the best game I have ever played to that point. I found that I had much better cue ball control and played much better and more consistent. I ended up getting a 18 ounce stick myself by the end of the week and have played the last 3 seasons with it to good effect.

While far from being scientific...I think there might be a little something to this idea.
 

scsuxci

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Corey Deuel

I believe its all in the balance of the cue.I've played with alot of different weights but prefer something 20 ounce or close to it with a middle balance point.I find I let the cue do more of the work.Corey Deuel plays with a 22 ounce cue.He said it takes him some time warming up but when he gets on stroke,well we all know how he plays.:smile:I just noticed it was ask the cuemaker section,sorry about that
 
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Lexicologist71

Rabid Schuler fanatic
Silver Member
Once upon a time, Pool and Billiard magazine polled players. 50% of players played with a 19oz cue. About 35% played with either an 18.5 oz cue or a 19.5 oz cue. I realize this doesn't answer your question, but it is noteworthy. I don't know if it is actual player preference or a reflection of the availability of cues in that weight range.
 

manwon

"WARLOCK 1"
Silver Member
Curious: not trying to contest that a player should choose to play with a cue of a weight that feels best for him/her, has there been research on what would/might be the "ideal" weight from a physics point of view (after all, all the other variables are a given or close, e.g. the weight of the balls, friction etc.)?

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
_________________

„J'ai gâché vingt ans de mes plus belles années au billard. Si c'était à refaire, je recommencerais.“ – Roger Conti



I would have to say some where between 17.5 and 22.5, now that is just guess based upon what I have been requested to build for my customers.

Oh and by the way, they all swear by the weight that they use and most would tell you that the weight they use is the ideal weight for a pool cue.

JIMO
 
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