Tip diameter

Charles Hartfield

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Is a larger tip diameter more forgiving than a smaller one? Since I don’t practice 8 hours a day and don’t hit the microdot on the cue ball 100% of the time, will a smaller diameter hurt my ball pocketing? I currently use a 13mm traditional and am considering going down to a 11.75mm low deflection. Thank you in advance for your replies.
 

BC21

Poolology
Gold Member
Silver Member
A larger tip size is a little more forgiving for off center hits, but not sure how significant the difference really is.
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
Is a larger tip diameter more forgiving than a smaller one? Since I don’t practice 8 hours a day and don’t hit the microdot on the cue ball 100% of the time, will a smaller diameter hurt my ball pocketing? I currently use a 13mm traditional and am considering going down to a 11.75mm low deflection. Thank you in advance for your replies.
It's not the width of the tip that matters - it's the curvature. Flatter may be slightly more forgiving in general, but you play closer to the tip's edge.

I'd work on my stroke instead of flattening my tip.

pj
chgo
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Is a larger tip diameter more forgiving than a smaller one? Since I don’t practice 8 hours a day and don’t hit the microdot on the cue ball 100% of the time, will a smaller diameter hurt my ball pocketing? I currently use a 13mm traditional and am considering going down to a 11.75mm low deflection. Thank you in advance for your replies.
I think you should focus more on the difference in shafts rather than tips. If the tips are the same hardness and roundness, then it's the different shafts that will provide the major differences, if any, in your game.
 

bbb

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
this does not answer your question specifically
but i went from a 12.4mm revo to a 11.8mm
what i can say is the visual of where on the cue ball i am hitting is more precise with the 11.8 to me
now whether i hit the cue ball there could be the subject of another thread... 😂
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
...i went from a 12.4mm revo to a 11.8mm
...the visual of where on the cue ball i am hitting is more precise with the 11.8
Yep, that's one of the two big reasons I had my shafts made with 10mm tips (the other reason is squirt reduction).

pj
chgo
 

straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Currently the main thing about tip diameter to me is it fits the ferrule. I used to put 14s on everything And grind (not shave with box cutter) them down with a flat file. The rasp side did the rough work and the finer side did the finishing. The other hassle about that is aligning the oversize tip with a masking tape jig. Most (pronounced <all>) my shafts/ferrules are off the shelf 13s Now I just plop on a 13 EM, coat it with super glue for shaping and that's it. I have one 12 EM on a 13 shaft stepped down with fiber pads. Hits very well and no playing issues.
 

Pin

Registered
I think Byrne's Advanced book made the case that a bigger tip would be easier to use, and I think the argument was that for a given tip shape/radius, the bigger the tip, the more English you could use before you were striking with the edge of the tip (and this a smaller contact area).

Before reading that, I had assumed a smaller tip would get more spin. I think I also found it easier to be precise with a small tip, in my case probably because of mental laziness.

After reading that, I thought it over, and worked out the combination of tip size and radius that seemed to allow a good area of contact between tip and ball, at a sensible limit for the amount of English I'd use. I decided to increase my tip size from 8mm to 9mm (for English pool, which has a smaller cue ball). I think it's better.
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
I think Byrne's Advanced book made the case that a bigger tip would be easier to use, and I think the argument was that for a given tip shape/radius, the bigger the tip, the more English you could use before you were striking with the edge of the tip
Or to put it another way, the smaller the radius you can fit on your tip width the better.

You need a curvature/arc on your tip of 60 degrees or more in order to hit all the way to the miscue limit without going past the edge of your tip. A little more than 60 degrees is better, to give you a little breathing room.

In order to accomplish the above, the diameter of your tip's curvature should be twice the width of your tip or less. For example, if your tip is 9mm, you need a curvature 18mm diameter or less (about the curvature of a US dime). The common US nickel curvature (about 21mm diameter) is really only best for tips 10.5mm wide or less. With a 12mm tip you can go all the way up to a curvature of 24mm or less (about a US
quarter) to get to the miscue limit safely.

pj
chgo
 
Last edited:

Pin

Registered
Or to put it another way, the smaller the radius you can fit on your tip width the better.
How interesting! My immediate reaction to that was "no, the opposite - a bigger radius will have a larger area of tip in contact with the cue ball".

But from reading your full post, I think we're just approaching the problem from different ends.

My approach was far less scientific. I started with the biggest shaft I felt I could comfortably use at my lowest draw position (I eliminated 10mm, I can't remember whether I considered 9.5mm, I hope I did!) and then found the biggest radius I could use that seemed to give a good contact area at my miscue limit. And then I had a dwell on how I felt about that setup, and tried it out.

(I also found someone selling a rounded tip file tool that had a variety of half-cylinder channels to give a very consistent shape. The different channels let you pick your preferred radius, and it took interchangeable sandpapers so you don't end up needing to buy a new tool with a different curve. It seems like an absolutely brilliant idea to me, allowing players to put a new tip on and avoid any slight difference in shape that could change their game. But I've never seen other people use one, and I've never seen the thing in mainstream shops.
Most snooker players say that they can never find a second cue that plays quite the same as their main cue. And it seems to me that at that level of precision, a slightly different tip curve (with its different effect on squirt and English) would be a big deal. I'm not at that level of play, but begin with the end in mind, and all that!)
You need a curvature/arc on your tip of 60 degrees or more in order to hit all the way to the miscue limit without going past the edge of your tip. A little more than 60 degrees is better, to give you a little breathing room.

In order to accomplish the above, the diameter of your tip's curvature should be twice the width of your tip or less. For example, if your tip is 9mm, you need a curvature 18mm diameter or less (about the curvature of a US dime). The common US nickel curvature (about 21mm diameter) is really only best for tips 10.5mm wide or less. With a 12mm tip you can go all the way up to a curvature of 24mm or less (about a US
quarter) to get to the miscue limit safely.
That's outstandingly specific knowledge. Hats off to you!
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
...a bigger radius will have a larger area of tip in contact with the cue ball
I don't think this is true to a meaningful degree. It's much more important to have a curvature that allows you to reach the entire spin area on the ball without hitting on your tip's edge - i.e., the smaller curvature that fits, the better.

Here's a diagram illustrating the largest "coin size" curvature that fits on some common tip widths (the hexagons are just to show what 60 degrees looks like):

60 degree tip.jpg


And here's one that shows the tiny (not worth worrying about) difference in contact points for tips of different curvatures:

Tip Curvature and Contact Points.jpg


Hope they're helpful,

pj
chgo
 

evergruven

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
to the op: try it! personally, I've tested a range of cue tip sizes, and like somewhere between 11.75-12mm.
I feel more confident about long shots with the slightly bigger tip size, tho I'm honestly not completely sure why
I also had a dime on the 12mm, but overall felt more comfortable when I put a nickle shaper on it- surprised me
I was also surprised at how well I could draw with 12mm nickel

has anybody mentioned tip hardness? could that affect contact area?
 

bbb

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I don't think this is true to a meaningful degree. It's much more important to have a curvature that allows you to reach the entire spin area on the ball without hitting on your tip's edge - i.e., the smaller curvature that fits, the better.

Here's a diagram illustrating the largest "coin size" curvature that fits on some common tip widths (the hexagons are just to show what 60 degrees looks like):

View attachment 606121

And here's one that shows the tiny (not worth worrying about) difference in contact points for tips of different curvatures:

View attachment 606122

Hope they're helpful,

pj
chgo
Very educational
thanks patrick….👍
 

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
When I first shape my tip, it's a dime. I break with my playing cue. After several weeks, it becomes between a nickel and a quarter. I find I shoot much better once the tip settles in to the larger radius. Once it reaches its set radius it doesn't change. Maybe the tip gets beaten into the appropriate shape, then we screw it up by changing it back to a dime (I used to do this).
 

Pin

Registered
I don't think this is true to a meaningful degree. It's much more important to have a curvature that allows you to reach the entire spin area on the ball without hitting on your tip's edge - i.e., the smaller curvature that fits, the better.
I think this is where we were coming at it from different directions - I agree that being able to reach the full spin area without hitting the edge of the tip is most important.
But if you stay within that limit, you can then find the biggest radius that still allows this.

So if I can butcher your diagram, both tips pictured allow you to reach the full spin area, but the tip on the left does so with a flatter radius and so more surface area in contact with the ball.
1628785258683.png


And here's one that shows the tiny (not worth worrying about) difference in contact points for tips of different curvatures:
I think the difference between 'round' and 'nickel' could be meaningful (if you tried to shoot a long shot with a round tip exactly how you would a nickel). There seems to be a difference in how professional snooker players and pool players feel about changing cues/shafts, probably because of the slightly different demands of the two games.

But (without having done any proper tests), it does look like the difference between two similar tips (nickel and dime) might not mean very much. In terms of the amateur level, I think I have to accept that you're right!
 
Top