# Why different shaft diameters for different games?

Silver Member

#### WobblyStroke

##### Well-known member
PJ makes some good points. Unfortunately, no post on the internet is going to make me forget my experience with different sized tips.... I play an 11.5mm. After a long break from the game I literally couldn't game it at first. Went to a 12.5 and shot much better. Once enough rust was off, I had enough precision with my stroke to game my fav 11.5 cue.

Recently I was playing around with a fat Earl wrap on my cue so switched to a bigger tip as I didn't have another 11.5 to cover in tennis wraps and it seems to me I get less unintended side. Never much at this point as rust is all the way off, but the measle CB shows even a little. I tend to attribute this more to the tip size than the fat wrap, but there is def a difference.

So save your breath PJ, I've already made up my mind, your facts won't work on me FWIW I think many players have had similar experiences, like Melling who has played a variety of tip sizes and those experiences give rise to these 'myths'.

#### gregcantrall

##### Center Ball
Silver Member
My logic tells me that a soft tip of equal radious will spend longer time and larger contact patch than a hard one. The difference might be extremely small when it comes to a leather cue tip vs phenolic. Extremely small is relative and in this case a small difference can yield a large difference in the result.
Perhaps an internet etiquette breach, replying to self. Mrs Smith my grade school teacher said it's the best way to have an intelligent discussion.
Perhaps the......
coefficient of friction, ratio of the frictional force resisting the motion of two surfaces in contact to the normal force pressing the two surfaces together

....is an important oversight in my equation.
So with the friction coefficient and the size and duration of the contact.....a numbers guy would probably need a force number to get the ball rolling.
Pretty sure I learned something important about numbers watching cartoons.

#### tomatoshooter

##### Well-known member
It just occurred to me that the taper may be the important factor and the importance of the tip size may be due to how it detrimental the taper. I just got an extension for my cue and one of the challenges is that my bridge length puts the change in taper on my hand a couple of inches before the tip contacts the ball. If the thumb side of the V is at a different angle then the knuckle side, the stick moves sideways and the extra long bridge exaggerates the movement. Playing snooker on a larger table can require more stretches, a small tip with a pro taper can make the transition more abrupt, a straight taper can eliminate the transition.

#### HueblerHustler7

##### AndrewActionG
Silver Member
False.

Mostly traditional nonsense - but there's some merit to smaller tips no matter what game: they allow you to see more precisely where you're hitting the CB, no matter what the game.

I've used a 9..5-10mm tip playing pool for more than 30 years.

pj
chgo
Couldn't of said it better! Also taper Plays a huge part in this, and now with carbon you can use a smaller diameter tip/ thinner shaft without it getting to light weight or to whippy. Play with anything long enough and you can adjust and adapt.

A lot of my carbon modifications to Cynergy, Revo's, becue, and Jacoby all played amazing and more accurate for my game when taken down anywhere from 12mm to 11.4mm. It's naturally easier to see where you are going to hit the cue ball with a smaller millimeter when talking ( Tips of English ). Now this also made me want to zero in my stroke as well and forced me to practice and learn. Although I loved those experiments, right now I am sold on the Tiger Fortis Pro 12mm, it just does everything I need and feel right for me.

#### Patrick Johnson

##### Fish of the Day
Silver Member
The facts work for you - you’re able to use the equipment you like because they all work the same.

pj
chgo

#### The_JV

##### 'AZB_Combat Certified'
PJ is correct, if the tip dome radius is the same, you move the same amount regardless of the tip diameter.
You're right, if you ignore the parameters of what I was describing then yes the same amount of movement will create the same amount of english regardless of tip diameter.

As always, when someone with an argument on AZB is painted into a corner with logic. They'll avoid the situation with regurgitating the same premise with different sentence structure.

There's an interesting conversation to be had about how one shapes their tip that goes beyond "nickle vs dime" arcs. Shame it can't happen here.

#### Patrick Johnson

##### Fish of the Day
Silver Member
It's an easy test to do, take a large and small diameter shaft and hit the same point on the cue ball while aiming at a specific point on the rail with side spin using the same speed. You will notice the smaller shafts causes the cue ball to go more left or right when it hits the rail.

Stu
Scarbro
This is a good test that I’ve done many times - and you apparently haven’t. If you check the chalk marks to be sure you really hit the same CB spot, there’s no difference.

pj
chgo

#### Cornerman

##### Cue Author...Sometimes
Gold Member
Silver Member
Perhaps an internet etiquette breach, replying to self. Mrs Smith my grade school teacher said it's the best way to have an intelligent discussion.
Perhaps the......
....is an important oversight in my equation.
So with the friction coefficient and the size and duration of the contact.....a numbers guy would probably need a force number to get the ball rolling.
Pretty sure I learned something important about numbers watching cartoons.
It’s not an oversight. You’re talking about bringing up a debate that’s been discussed on the internet for 30 years.

The chalk determines the coefficient of friction.

Contact time is not part of the equation for spin.

Contact patch size is not part of the equation for spin.

Force, tip offset…. These are what’s important. And if we talk about “quality of spin” or “spin/spin ratio,” differences in force isn’t relevant.

Relating tip offset to patch size, there would be, in simple terms, averaging going on (average tip offset). It should be obvious that the center-ish of the patch would have the most force, and the outer edges have the least. The way the universe works, given the force source, the patch will change due to speed and tip softness, but that doesn’t change the force. It just gets distributed differently. If anything, a larger patch has more area (double entendre) to lose energy.

#### gregcantrall

##### Center Ball
Silver Member
It just gets distributed differently.
Got it.
I feel smarter already. Funny how sometimes what I take for common sense is actually common misconception.
I enjoy learning. Another up side to pocket billiards as a hobby is I can always learn.

Now like Foghorn I am afraid to look in the box.

#### 9Ballr

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
So much misinformation floating around here. Shaft/tip diameter will not effect spin. You can draw it out with a piece of paper pretty easy.

I agree with this, except of course it's "affect"...

But anyway, I have all three Predator Revo diameters.

Got the 12.9 within a month of it being out, actually had to buy a cue with it on from Seyberts to get the shaft because they were all sold out.
Then went from that to the 11.8 and after few months of that got curious and got the 12.4.

I have tried and tried again - all of course very unscientifically but as consistently as I'm capable of - to hit the same shots with all three shafts and I'm not getting any more spin on the 11.8 than I am on the 12.9. All balls end up in relatively the same spot. I'm shooting single balls from one end of the table to the other on both long and short rails, and also doing draws, follows, plus low and high left and right, using donuts to mark the spots of the balls. I've shot hundreds of shots like that and I don't get any more action from the 11.8 than I do the 12.9.
I have the G2 Medium on all shafts.

I settled on the 12.4 the simply because I like how it goes through a closed bridge.
That's what it came to for me.

#### slide13

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I agree with this, except of course it's "affect"...

I am a fairly smart and decently educated individual, I’ve looked up the proper use of affect/effect and I still can never remember. I’ve given up and pretty much just use effect even though I know it’ll be wrong sometimes, haha

#### maha

##### from way back when
Silver Member
that is why is been for so long so easy to win money from pool players. they simply have so many misconceptions about things, that how can they figure out what is a good game for themselves.
its like taking candy from a baby.

#### Patrick Johnson

##### Fish of the Day
Silver Member
I settled on the 12.4 the simply because I like how it goes through a closed bridge.
That's what it came to for me.
You made the right choice for the right reason. I like to remember that the CB can only "feel" three things when hit by a cue: where it's hit, from what angle, and how hard. All of those are determined by the player's stroke; the cue/tip is just the messenger.

Cue/tip selection is easy: if you like it it's right.

pj
chgo

#### 9Ballr

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I am a fairly smart and decently educated individual, I’ve looked up the proper use of affect/effect and I still can never remember. I’ve given up and pretty much just use effect even though I know it’ll be wrong sometimes, haha

LOL....love it!

#### Cue Stick

##### Member
M
I thought I understood why a snooker player would have a smaller shaft diameter (typically 8.5-9.5mm) than American pool players (typically 11.75-13). But when thinking about it more, why wouldn't a snooker-sized shaft work for pool? What is actually gained, in either direction?

More perplexingly to me is that apparently 10.5mm is the preferred size for Chinese 8-ball, which uses the same sized balls and same sized table as American pool. Why wouldn't the desired shafts be the same size? And, since Chinese 8-ball is a more recent development, what lead to this "new' shaft size? (Just marketing??)

I watched the below "what's in the bag" video with Chris Melling who seems to play everything, and even he uses smaller shafts for Snooker/English pool than for American pool, and then talks about concerns with the 10.5 shaft (vs the 11.8) starting at about the 6:54 mark, eventually saying "if the shaft's thinner, then you've got to be more accurate."

So are the differences in shaft sizes between the games just traditional wisdom, or is there actual merit to it all?

My guess would be that the shaft sizes are proportional to the respective ball sizes. I haven't done the math, but I suspect that if you compared each shaft size to its respective ball size, you would find that the percentages are close. If you find that to be the case, then the shaft sizes are actually more alike than different. It's customary to normalize data that way to make sure you are comparing apples to apples. When we talk about \$100 in 1975, we have to use a multiplier to get a feel for what that would be worth in today's economy.

#### Pierre Shakes

##### Registered
Thin cues lack the stiffness to get maximum draw on the cue ball if shot from 8 feet away.

#### Flakeandrun

##### Well-known member
This was asked before I think, maybe not here. Many Chinese 8 ball players grew up with snooker or UK 8 ball where they use the thinner shafts, so the smaller shaft diameter in that game is 90% likely simply from player preference rather than some technical "better" shaft size for the game. A thin shaft for normal pool games to me feels very fragile and hard to control with any power.
100% right, I have asked some of the tip-top players, and not many can give a reason beyond 'It feels good' and that 'good' feeling stems from familiarity not some tech mumbo jumbo.

A good friend of mine uses a beautiful Wooldridge (9.75mm), and another friend uses a 30 year old Stamford (9.4mm). Both play snooker, Chinese-8 and American table with the same cue. When I first saw this, My insides hurt 3K GBP+ being used to bash around the pool table. The guy with the Stamford even breaks with it. Hurts me every time I see it...

Whereas, I wouldn't put my snooker cue anywhere near those heavy, giant balls. My initial reasoning when I first started playing pool was that I may damage the tip/ferrule, but really I don't think there is anything in that more than a 'maybe it could'
Now I am just familiar with what I know, and am comfortable using.

There are many brands here in China; LP, O'min (Chinese version), LiSi etc that are making ash one piece cues with a 10.5mm+ tip which are aimed at Chinese-8 players

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#### snookered_again

##### Well-known member
the weight difference between a 2 1/16" ball and a 2 1/4 ball is considerable. the ball size and it's mass increase exponentially. The cue is usually appropriate. my analogy is you don't drive finishing nails with the same hammer you'd use to spike logs together.

the smaller balls in order to get the tip a bit lower its smaller just because its more appropriate, yes you can drive finishing nails with a 5 lb hammer.. you might hit your fingers though ;-)

I know nothing about Chinese 8 ball but yes they do use the 2 1/4. No idea why they would use snooker cue and not a pool cue for that.. do they really? it surprises me.

the topic interests me because my table can play the 2 1/4 balls and its very old the only reason I use snooker size balls is because that's what we use on a 6 x 12.
I have the 2 1/4 snooker balls and they seem common used.. I think maybe because people buy 8 ball tables and get them with the table in case they wish to play snooker, but find they use the numbered balls more with that sort of table.

I think another factor is snooker is often about a very controlled shot whereas in 8 ball or 9 ball it's a faster game, lots of hard shots, different strategy. although some use a break cue, breaking 8 ball or 9 ball with a snooker cue is probably a good way to wreck a nice cue.

snooker players in general don't smash the rack as hard as they can.. maybe occasionally if that's their strategy, (hoping to make a ball by luck and maybe run some balls, ) not normally. Most snooker breaks are about hooking the opponent off the break, often not upsetting the pack in 8 ball the player often wants to make a ball on the break.. an 8 or 9 ball player is usually hoping to run out, or run more balls at least. a skinny stick is not a great hammer.

with real estate prices and crowding the space for a 12 foot costs more, so I think there was a trend toward smaller tables, that's basically why you get decent pool players taking the kids sized tables seriously.. its not because they wouldn't rather play on a decent sized adult table, its about economics. I wonder if the same pattern happened with snooker, in China?

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#### Rocket354

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
M

My guess would be that the shaft sizes are proportional to the respective ball sizes. I haven't done the math, but I suspect that if you compared each shaft size to its respective ball size, you would find that the percentages are close. If you find that to be the case, then the shaft sizes are actually more alike than different. It's customary to normalize data that way to make sure you are comparing apples to apples. When we talk about \$100 in 1975, we have to use a multiplier to get a feel for what that would be worth in today's economy.
A snooker ball is 33/16" in diameter. A pool ball is 36/16". So a pool ball is 12/11 the diameter. That is just over 9% bigger by that measure. What that means is that by cross-sectional area a pool ball is about 19% bigger, and by volume (and, presumably, mass) a pool ball is just under 30% bigger.

For tips, a 12.5mm tip is 47% bigger than an 8.5mm tip by diameter. I think those are both common sizes for both games, although I don't know snooker enough to know where in that game's range 8.5 is. An 11.8 is 31% bigger than a 9mm, to choose two sizes that are closer to each other. By area, however, the 12.5:8.5mm diameter ratio means the cue tip is 116% bigger in terms of cross-sectional area, and the 11.8:9mm ratio means the pool cue tip is just under 72% bigger by cross-sectional area.

All told, pool cue tips are (much) bigger relative to pool balls than snooker cue tips are to snooker balls however you measure/compare the two.