Maintained versus Un-maintained Tip

SSDiver2112

2b || !2b t^ ?
As someone with much less experience than most here, I would like to dip my toe in the "pool" of knowledge.

I've noticed the condition of a teammate's tip many times. The tip is super thin and really flat. He uses red chalk which is all down the ferrule and probably embedded there. I've often thought it looks like a bloody, boney finger that's being bashed into the cue ball. It doesn't seem to affect his game. He plays very well and is two levels higher than me. The condition of his tip fell into our conversation last night though. He said it's a cheap cue and he just leaves it in his car (in the Florida heat and humidity). He said that he was simply used to the tip in that condition and didn't seem that interested in fixing it. He's good for our team, so who am I to complain.

The reason I brought this up is that I recently replaced my tip, and I think it really benefitted me. I enjoy having a well maintained tip and shaft. The tip I had was well maintained, but it would quickly loose shape and glaze over requiring excessive attention. I couldn't seem to get the cue ball action I was attempting. Since replacing the tip I have noticed a dramatic difference. I've had to be very conscious of any spin I put on the ball because I was over doing it before with little effect, and now it is actually working as expected. It also keeps its shape, so a simple scuff is all that is necessary now with an occasional light shaping. For me, I believe having a properly maintained tip is helping me improve, and better apply what I am learning.

So I was wondering? He is already a really good player, would having a better maintained tip improve his game at this stage, throw him off his game, or it doesn't matter for an experienced player (Indian-arrow thing)?
 
Last edited:

Rusty in Montana

Active member
This could be another fine example of why to have a extra shaft for your pool cue, I prefer a thicker tip on my cues maybe it's just a mental thing but for me they seem to play better.
However I'm old fashioned and use Le Pro tips however so far I've now worn down any of the tips on my playing cues .
Instead of a tip trapper I use a small 4 way wood rasp I wrap it in a handkerchief to store it in my cue case.
So there's a tip from a guy in Montana I hope it does you some good . Ha ha
 

ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
As someone with much less experience than most here, I would like to dip my toe in the "pool" of knowledge.

I've noticed the condition of a teammate's tip many times. The tip is super thin and really flat. He uses red chalk which is all down the ferrule and probably embedded there. I've often thought it looks like a bloody, boney finger that's being bashed into the cue ball. It doesn't seem to affect his game. He plays very well and is two levels higher than me. The condition of his tip fell into our conversation last night though. He said it's a cheap cue and he just leaves it in his car (in the Florida heat and humidity). He said that he was simply used to the tip in that condition and didn't seem that interested in fixing it. He's good for our team, so who am I to complain.

The reason I brought this up is that I recently replaced my tip, and I think it really benefitted me. I enjoy having a well maintained tip and shaft. The tip I had was well maintained, but it would quickly loose shape and glaze over requiring excessive attention. I couldn't seem to get the cue ball action I was attempting. Since replacing the tip I have noticed a dramatic difference. I've had to be very conscious of any spin I put on the ball because I was over doing it before with little effect, and now it is actually working as expected. It also keeps its shape, so a simple scuff is all that is necessary now with an occasional light shaping. For me, I believe having a properly maintained tip is helping me improve, and better apply what I am learning.

So I was wondering? He is already a really good player, would having a better maintained tip improve his game at this stage, throw him off his game, or it doesn't matter for an experienced player (Indian-arrow thing)?
The level of shaft and tip maintenance habits (or lack of) among various pool players is hard to figure, and not always related to their skill level. It’s his game so it’s his problem.
 

bbb

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I have not read the replies
the tip is the first thing that hits the cue ball
i hope we all realize
that where we strike the cue ball
except for a perfectly center ball hit
we never hit the Q ball in the absolute center of the tip
so the curvature of the cue tip plays a big role where exactly you’re hitting on the Q ball compared to where you’re aiming on the cue ball
so cue tip maintenance is important
jmho
icbw
 

AndRun

Registered
Yes, better tip maintenance will likely result in improved performance.
Yes, changing something has possibility to throw off a person initially. (though for tip change, I believe it's miniscule)

But more than that, I'm personally not comfortable trying to change a person's style or habit. Except for my own child. So I'd rather make the best of what he has rather than point out his flaws. Unless explicitly requested.
 

MitchAlsup

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The reason I brought this up is that I recently replaced my tip, and I think it really benefitted me. I enjoy having a well maintained tip and shaft. The tip I had was well maintained, but it would quickly loose shape and glaze over requiring excessive attention. I couldn't seem to get the cue ball action I was attempting. Since replacing the tip I have noticed a dramatic difference. I've had to be very conscious of any spin I put on the ball because I was over doing it before with little effect, and now it is actually working as expected. It also keeps its shape, so a simple scuff is all that is necessary now with an occasional light shaping. For me, I believe having a properly maintained tip is helping me improve, and better apply what I am learning.
The thickness of the tip increases the end mass of the shaft and alters the deflection characteristics of the cue (overall). Slight but measurable and can be felt by an astute observer.

When a tip get too thin, instead of compressing and conforming to wherever on the CB it impacts, it compresses until the ferrule prevents more compression, the size of the contact point shrinks and miscues happen easier.

The net result is the thin tips work better (deflection and squirt) up until the time the tip gets too thin and the ferrule changes the way the tip conforms to CB.

I change my tips about once a year and have the guy put a dime radius onto the play cue and a nickle radius on the break cue. Then as I maintain the tip over the year, it gets progressively thinner, until it is time to change. You will know when it is time to change because:: you no longer like the tip, the tip is no longer playing well, or you just want to try something else.

Do not attempt to tell you team mate what to do with his equipment.
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
I think a tip needs at least .100" to .125" left on the sides to play properly. However, I feel that the best thing you can do to a tip is to leave it be! You can cut the shape you think you want on your tip. During normal use the amount you hit to the side will shape the tip to how it needs to be and chalk is an abrasive so chalking will cut away leather little by little too.

As a former cue builder/repairman I considered giving away a free Williard tip tool with every tip install. Few things will have you going through tips faster than thinking there is an absolutely perfect shape it has to be, break out the tip tool and cut it back to shape! Do this after every session and don't forget who gave you this valuable advice! Valuble to me and other tip installers that is!

I showed customers how I maintain my own tips. Put them on, shape them with a sharp cutting tool, no grinding or sanding, chalk and use. End of the day I wipe the chalk off and put the shaft away. When I take it out of the case I use a brad tool with the welded on abrasive and big flat saucer shaped curve to roll some dents into the tip to hold chalk. Notice I didn't say anything about scuffing. When I taught my customers this my tip sales crashed but I had happy customers! Once in awhile some tips will glaze a little in long sessions, roll fresh dents anytime you take a notion.

I do carry around the nickel and dime Willards tools. That handy little gauge they cut into the edge of them is great to show a customer if they are using a nickel, dime, or other radius tip. The dime is the most popular and most of us would be happier with a tip a little flatter than a nickel radius. I chalk when I start a rack, I chalk before using extreme spin. I can't remember when I miscued last using duds or plain Elkmaster's and this manner of taking care of tips.

Works for me, your mileage may vary, yada, yada, all the usual claimers and disclaimers!

Hu
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I think a tip needs at least .100" to .125" left on the sides to play properly.
I tell students a minimum of the thickness of a nickel. (On the other hand, Rafael Martinez has been known to sand a brand new tip down to maybe the thickness of a dime on the sides. Crazy.
However, I feel that the best thing you can do to a tip is to leave it be! You can cut the shape you think you want on your tip. During normal use the amount you hit to the side will shape the tip to how it needs to be and chalk is an abrasive so chalking will cut away leather little by little too.
Yes. Leave it alone. Only if it gets shiny and stops taking chalk should you rough up the surface and without removing leather. Of course lots of players chalk really badly -- members of the Borer Tribe.
... The dime is the most popular and most of us would be happier with a tip a little flatter than a nickel radius....
The penny doesn't get enough respect.:(
 

Tommy-D

World's best B player...
Silver Member
When the first Moori tips came out,I bought 5 from Joe Gold. When I took my shaft to Joe Blackburn to get it installed,he suggested I start out with a barely radiused shape,and let it shape itself,and with keeping maintenance to a minimum as well.

I was working a full time job,but still put in 30-40 hours a week in table time and that tip lasted me 3 years 💪. Tommy D.
 

SSDiver2112

2b || !2b t^ ?
Yes, better tip maintenance will likely result in improved performance.
Yes, changing something has possibility to throw off a person initially. (though for tip change, I believe it's miniscule)

But more than that, I'm personally not comfortable trying to change a person's style or habit. Except for my own child. So I'd rather make the best of what he has rather than point out his flaws. Unless explicitly requested.
The thickness of the tip increases the end mass of the shaft and alters the deflection characteristics of the cue (overall). Slight but measurable and can be felt by an astute observer.

When a tip get too thin, instead of compressing and conforming to wherever on the CB it impacts, it compresses until the ferrule prevents more compression, the size of the contact point shrinks and miscues happen easier.

The net result is the thin tips work better (deflection and squirt) up until the time the tip gets too thin and the ferrule changes the way the tip conforms to CB.

I change my tips about once a year and have the guy put a dime radius onto the play cue and a nickle radius on the break cue. Then as I maintain the tip over the year, it gets progressively thinner, until it is time to change. You will know when it is time to change because:: you no longer like the tip, the tip is no longer playing well, or you just want to try something else.

Do not attempt to tell you team mate what to do with his equipment.

You made me go back and re-read my post to see if I implied I was trying to tell him to do something with his tip. We were talking about different things. Another teammate was complaining he thought his shaft had a slight warp and thought it may have been because he left it in the car recently. That led to this guy's always leaving his in the car, which led to him bringing up the tips condition... blah blah see above.

I respect him as a better player (for now), and would not presume to tell him what to do with his equipment. I definitely don't want to mess up his mojo and sabotage my team. He's not broke so I'm not trying to fix it. I was just speculating if a better tip would benefit a more experienced player like him as much as I feel it has me, and if maybe someone had any firsthand experience.
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
I tell students a minimum of the thickness of a nickel. (On the other hand, Rafael Martinez has been known to sand a brand new tip down to maybe the thickness of a dime on the sides. Crazy.

Yes. Leave it alone. Only if it gets shiny and stops taking chalk should you rough up the surface and without removing leather. Of course lots of players chalk really badly -- members of the Borer Tribe.

The penny doesn't get enough respect.:(


Hey, if Rafael is happy? I surely ain't gonna knock what works for him! Partially because I play with a medium or soft tip I guess but when I get down to less than a tenth it feels like the tip is bottoming out on shots with a lot of spin. The spring and life in the tip is not the same and I am starting to play with the ferrule, it is now a bigger part of the hit than it was when the tip was taller. More of a feel thing but the beauty of playing with thirty-five cent tips is it doesn't cause any pain to cut it off a little early instead of trying to make a forty dollar tip and install last!

Back to Rafael, apparently he likes a tip that plays just like that as he is cutting down to get that feel near the edge I believe. Interesting but as we know, pool players tend to walk their own paths. When I was a teenager and knew it all it was tempting to tell some of the older guys they were doing something wrong but since they were generally taking my money it seemed kinda silly to tell them I knew better than they did!(grin)

Hu
 

AndRun

Registered
You made me go back and re-read my post to see if I implied I was trying to tell him to do something with his tip. We were talking about different things. Another teammate was complaining he thought his shaft had a slight warp and thought it may have been because he left it in the car recently. That led to this guy's always leaving his in the car, which led to him bringing up the tips condition... blah blah see above.

I respect him as a better player (for now), and would not presume to tell him what to do with his equipment. I definitely don't want to mess up his mojo and sabotage my team. He's not broke so I'm not trying to fix it. I was just speculating if a better tip would benefit a more experienced player like him as much as I feel it has me, and if maybe someone had any firsthand experience.
Thank you for the clarification.
My answer would be... Abso-Fn-lutely!

Softer tips is better than harder tips for off-center shots. Harder tips allow easier stun shot (and for breaks/jumps) but not much for anything else.
Well-scuffed tip allows greater accuracy for off-center shots.
Put them together, the commonly preferred tip- performance-wise, would be a well-scuffed soft tip.

I highly doubt changing to softer tip would throw off a person's game. There's impact, but in my opinion, it's miniscule.
Scuffing the mushroom might be. That's because it's changing the diameter of the tip (although to a more consistent one).
 

SSDiver2112

2b || !2b t^ ?
I think a tip needs at least .100" to .125" left on the sides to play properly. However, I feel that the best thing you can do to a tip is to leave it be! You can cut the shape you think you want on your tip. During normal use the amount you hit to the side will shape the tip to how it needs to be and chalk is an abrasive so chalking will cut away leather little by little too.

As a former cue builder/repairman I considered giving away a free Williard tip tool with every tip install. Few things will have you going through tips faster than thinking there is an absolutely perfect shape it has to be, break out the tip tool and cut it back to shape! Do this after every session and don't forget who gave you this valuable advice! Valuble to me and other tip installers that is!

I showed customers how I maintain my own tips. Put them on, shape them with a sharp cutting tool, no grinding or sanding, chalk and use. End of the day I wipe the chalk off and put the shaft away. When I take it out of the case I use a brad tool with the welded on abrasive and big flat saucer shaped curve to roll some dents into the tip to hold chalk. Notice I didn't say anything about scuffing. When I taught my customers this my tip sales crashed but I had happy customers! Once in awhile some tips will glaze a little in long sessions, roll fresh dents anytime you take a notion.

I do carry around the nickel and dime Willards tools. That handy little gauge they cut into the edge of them is great to show a customer if they are using a nickel, dime, or other radius tip. The dime is the most popular and most of us would be happier with a tip a little flatter than a nickel radius. I chalk when I start a rack, I chalk before using extreme spin. I can't remember when I miscued last using duds or plain Elkmaster's and this manner of taking care of tips.

Works for me, your mileage may vary, yada, yada, all the usual claimers and disclaimers!

Hu

I totally misunderstood the whole radius shaping concept at first. Most of the information gave me the impression that I had to have that nice "whatever" radius. Nickel for the regular size shafts and dime for the thinner shafts. I got the Willard tool. I thought it was great that they put the notch for comparison. I would grind it down to match the curve regularly. With more time on the table, reading more on everything, and a dash of common sense, I realized it's a piece of leather not a rock. It will not ever hold the perfect dome shape. I was slow to put two and two together in order to realize I don't have to have a perfect dome every week. The center will flatten out a little pretty much right away when you play, and the little gap in the middle of the Willard is fine.
 

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
As someone with much less experience than most here, I would like to dip my toe in the "pool" of knowledge.

I've noticed the condition of a teammate's tip many times. The tip is super thin and really flat. He uses red chalk which is all down the ferrule and probably embedded there. I've often thought it looks like a bloody, boney finger that's being bashed into the cue ball. It doesn't seem to affect his game. He plays very well and is two levels higher than me. The condition of his tip fell into our conversation last night though. He said it's a cheap cue and he just leaves it in his car (in the Florida heat and humidity). He said that he was simply used to the tip in that condition and didn't seem that interested in fixing it. He's good for our team, so who am I to complain.

The reason I brought this up is that I recently replaced my tip, and I think it really benefitted me. I enjoy having a well maintained tip and shaft. The tip I had was well maintained, but it would quickly loose shape and glaze over requiring excessive attention. I couldn't seem to get the cue ball action I was attempting. Since replacing the tip I have noticed a dramatic difference. I've had to be very conscious of any spin I put on the ball because I was over doing it before with little effect, and now it is actually working as expected. It also keeps its shape, so a simple scuff is all that is necessary now with an occasional light shaping. For me, I believe having a properly maintained tip is helping me improve, and better apply what I am learning.

So I was wondering? He is already a really good player, would having a better maintained tip improve his game at this stage, throw him off his game, or it doesn't matter for an experienced player (Indian-arrow thing)?
I think it's kind of an Indian-arrow thing. I have a teammate with a super thin, less than a dime tip. He shoots good with no real problems. My guess is he has a good stroke. I miscue more often with a tip that thin, but he generally plays shots that don't require a ton of CB movement.
 

Scott Lee

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
You made me go back and re-read my post to see if I implied I was trying to tell him to do something with his tip. We were talking about different things. Another teammate was complaining he thought his shaft had a slight warp and thought it may have been because he left it in the car recently. That led to this guy's always leaving his in the car, which led to him bringing up the tips condition... blah blah see above.

I respect him as a better player (for now), and would not presume to tell him what to do with his equipment. I definitely don't want to mess up his mojo and sabotage my team. He's not broke so I'm not trying to fix it. I was just speculating if a better tip would benefit a more experienced player like him as much as I feel it has me, and if maybe someone had any firsthand experience.
Sometimes this is true...sometimes not. When the tip sidewall is the thickness of a dime, it's time to replace the tip, or you could damage your ferrule on a very hard stroke. That said, I have a 70 year old friend of mine who is capable of playing lights out...and his tip is thinner than a dime...and he draws the ball to China without a miscue! LOL

Scott Lee
 

jayburger

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Sometimes this is true...sometimes not. When the tip sidewall is the thickness of a dime, it's time to replace the tip, or you could damage your ferrule on a very hard stroke. That said, I have a 70 year old friend of mine who is capable of playing lights out...and his tip is thinner than a dime...and he draws the ball to China without a miscue! LOL

Scott Lee
I ab prefer a thin(dime or maybe a penny thickness)..i always cut my tip down about halfway thickness when new…play with it for a couple days and (because there is usually a little mushrooming,reshape it and cut another layer off,and BURNISH it ,and voila! I never have to touch it again until it sometimes glazes over slightly and u just cut one more layer off andits good again…tipsare 100% persona choice by the player and some likeem thick some medium and some thin(myself) but what ISNT discussed is that tips DO matter if changing because it affects the contact point (slightly) if you go from thin to full tip you certainly will come into cont sooner with cueball and you have to adjust,even if it is very slight…
 

CocoboloCowboy

Cowboys are my heros.
Silver Member
My routine is simple, when done using shaft, I use Mushroom Tool.

New Dollar Bill works well.🤣

If Tip needs minor help, 220 Sandpaper works to gently Scuff.

End of story.
 
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