What types of wood are cue butts made of? How do they affect the way a cue hits?

DrewSticks

New member
I’m going to buy a full custom cue from a cuemaker and wanted to ask which type of wood would you consider in terms of looks, playability, stiffness and feedback? Does it really make a difference? I’m only asking about the cue butt here.
 

Shooter08

Runde Aficianado
Gold Member
Silver Member
You should state what you are looking for in playibility, stiffness and feedback to get opinions of what may meet your needs. Also from my experience INMHO I would credit the shaft with more effect on quality of play. Please don’t take this as saying the butt does not matter, I just think the shaft is prevalent to playability. GLWYS!
 

straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I've had SWs in my hand, nothing. Bludworths, nothing. Tads, steel joint shockwave but aside from those being too expensive to step on the gas with, they felt like poolsticks. The tips made more of a difference to me. Tad used to make a treated non-laminated tip I liked - went through several of those.
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I’m going to buy a full custom cue from a cuemaker and wanted to ask which type of wood would you consider in terms of looks, playability, stiffness and feedback? Does it really make a difference? I’m only asking about the cue butt here.
This is something i would never even think about. I've had a bunch of cues over 40yrs made from all types of wood/construction. I'm sure the butt has an effect but its not something i ever considered. The shaft(size,taper,ferrule,tip) have waaaay more influence than the butt.
 
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leto1776

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I believe it depends on whether or not the cue will have a full maple core. I’ve heard that if they do, all the other wood is basically window dressing,
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I believe it depends on whether or not the cue will have a full maple core. I’ve heard that if they do, all the other wood is basically window dressing,
I've had cues cored with laminated wood and various solid woods. May have an effect on balance pt. idk. As far as the hit is concerned i kinda doubt it makes much difference. This being said i recently hit a purpleheart-cored cue that played lights out. Core a part of that? Who knows.
 

measureman

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have a Bacote,Cocobolo and Amboyna burl and they all feel about the same.
Just get the wood most used in the history of cue making straight grain Maple and don't over think it.
 

GoldCrown

Pool players have more balls
Gold Member
Silver Member
Get what looks prettiest to you. The rest doesn't really matter. IMO:)
Ditto. I love cocobolo, ebony, … look at different cue makers gallery and order one of their standard designs or discuss your ideas. Have a budget and treat yourself. There’s a lot of nice production cues to choose from. No waiting time. No aggravation. Return/exchange if disappointed or received damaged.
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The way a cue hits is in the shaft. The balance is in the Butt

There is a big difference with cue butts and joints as well in how the hit feels, it's all connected. I have shot with many cues using the same shaft and there is a difference in vibrations that you feel in the grip. For example the Ned Morris cue with a 3/8 x 10 joint I had and just sold had a super sweet smooth softer hit with any shaft I put on it, more so than a McDermott and several other cues I used with the same shafts.

Hit feel is basically vibration either through the touch or audio from the hit sound (and yes I think that sound is part of a hit feel, like smell is a big part of taste). Different woods and materials transmit vibrations differently, so different butt materials and construction methods absolutely have to have different hit feels.
 
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Zerksies

Well-known member
There is a big difference with cue butts and joints as well in how the hit feels, it's all connected. I have shot with many cues using the same shaft and there is a difference in vibrations that you feel in the grip. For example the Ned Morris cue with a 3/8 x 10 joint I had and just sold had a super sweet smooth softer hit with any shaft I put on it, more so than a McDermott and several other cues I used with the same shafts.

Hit feel is basically vibration either through the touch or audio from the hit sound (and yes I think that sound is part of a hit feel, like smell is a big part of taste). Different woods and materials transmit vibrations differently, so different butt materials and construction methods absolutely have to have different hit feels.
Don't let the cue snobs hear you say this. I said I could feel the difference in the type of joint material and i was reamed a new asshole. Because i stated a stainless joint felt different then a Wood joint.
 

thoffen

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think the search function might be even more useful.

Regardless, the short answer is "yes, it makes a difference".

That said, it is but one of many variables. You are going to have a lot more differences from cue to cue based on the tip, shaft, weight, and balance. Unfortunately there isn't a right answer here. Everyone has preferences.

I'd say cuemakers lean toward rosewoods, maple, bocote, and purpleheart as preferred forearm wood for play. But there are many great examples like tigerwood (goncalo alves) that, although a favorite of Southwest, you don't see a lot.
 

FunChamp

Well-known member
I had a Joss 44 which has ebony and curly maple and a basic black Joss that is just painted maple. Same Joss shaft on both and they felt different. The maple felt smoother? The 44 with ebony felt like a was hitting with a brick. Same weight as well. But they felt different shooting with them. I like the basic one better.
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Don't let the cue snobs hear you say this. I said I could feel the difference in the type of joint material and i was reamed a new asshole. Because i stated a stainless joint felt different then a Wood joint.

There are differences. It may not be easy to tell which is which, but if you hit with two different ones you can tell there is a difference. I played at the Predator booth with different cues, using same shafts with different joints on cues, and every time the Radial version had a nicer hit than the quick release unilock version. I think the 3/8 x 10 pin is the best one out there for hit feel, I have actually played a couple of times with the same cue that had different joints in it and there is a clear difference in hit feel just in the joint material and pin type. A cue maker I know has changed the joint on a couple of cues that I had a chance to play with before and after.

For good "feedback" or what I like to call a "sweet" hit, wood to wood joint, 3/8 x10 pin and a lively wood like maple, rosewood, cocobolo is good. For a stiffer hit, ebony, purpleheart, denser woods that slow down vibration more are good. You can probably tell before even hitting with a cue how the hit will be by looking at the density of the materials used and the tapers used in the shaft and butt. Even the wrap will change the hit feel, I had a wrapless cue that got a gouge in it that was sitting around, a guy put a stacked leather wrap on it for me as a fix for the gouge and it muted the hit feel somewhat.
 
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Quesports

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I happen to like rosewood cues. That is a lot of choices by my all time favorite is straight grain Camatillo with no sap wood. Dave Kikel made me one over ten years ago and I still love that cue!
 
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