Best Pool Cues For The Money (2018): Good Billiard Sticks Reviewed

Best Pool Cues For The Money

When it comes to taking your pool game to the next level, you can’t do better than to upgrade your cues! By investing in a high-quality cue or two, you’ll start shooting with more precision, control, and finesse. You’ll be able to build your skillset and know that your cues will always be there to back you up. But which are the best for the money?

As passionate pool aficionados ourselves, we’ve put a lot of time and energy into reviewing cues. We know it’s hard for the average player to get their hands on a range of options to compare them properly. That’s why we created this guide! In it, we’ll introduce you to all our favorite cues sold today, and we’ll offer some simple buying advice for choosing your new sticks.

PictureProduct NameProduct InformationCost
Valhalla by Viking 2 Piece Pool Cue Stick With Irish Linen Wrap Valhalla By Viking 2-Piece Pool Cue Stick With Irish Linen Wrap
  • 58" Length Pool Cue With Irish Linen Wrap
  • Two Piece Billiard Stick for Easy Transport
  • Stainless Steel 5/16" X 18 Threaded Joint
  • 13mm Leather Tip
$
25oz Rage Heavy Hitter Jump Break Cue Rage 25oz Heavy Hitter Jump Break Cue
  • Double Turbo Lock™ Quick Release joints
  • 14mm Bakelite tip
  • Full professional taper
  • Matte black wrapless handle for better slip stroking
  • Super heavy 25 ounce weight
$$
Players-Classically-Styled-Crimson-Maple-Pool-Cue-C-960-e1534012801513 Players Classically Styled Maple Pool Cue
  • 20 x 4 x 4 inches
  • Custom 5/16 x 18 joint for a secure fit
  • Full 15" professional taper for an effortless stroke - Made from 100% North American Grade A Hard Rock Maple
$$
Players D-DRG Midnight Black with Golden Dragons Cue Players D-DRG Black With Golden Dragons Cue
  • Black and white double-pressed Irish linen wrap for a classic, slip-free grip
  • Stainless steel joint collar with 5/16 x 18 pin
  • 13mm premium Le Professional Le Pro tip This hard oak leather tip
  • Available in 18 - 21 ounces in half ounce increments
$$
Lucasi Custom Super Birds-Eye Maple Sneaky Pete Pool Cue with Upgraded Shaft Lucasi Custom Super Birdseye Maple Sneaky Pete Pool Cue
  • 12.75mm Lucasi Custom Solid Core Low Deflection Technology Shaft topped with an Everest tip by Tiger
  • Available in 18 - 21 ounces in half ounce increments
$$$
Lucasi Custom Mystic Black and Curly Maple Pool Cue with Cocobola and Snakewood Banded Rings Lucasi Custom Mystic Black And Curly Maple Pool Cue With Cocobola And Snakewood Banded Rings
  • Uni-Loc quick-release, radial or custom 3/8 x 10 pin joint for a precise fit
  • a 12.75mm Lucasi Custom Solid Core Low Deflection Technology Shaft
$$$

Read on to see which pool cues we recommend!

Best Pool Cue Reviews (2018)

Valhalla By Viking 2-Piece Pool Cue Stick With Irish Linen Wrap

Valhalla by Viking 2 Piece Pool Cue Stick With Irish Linen Wrap

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This Valhalla cue is the least expensive we recommend. As far as we’re concerned, this is the least you can pay for something high-quality that won’t leave you wishing you’d invested more in your equipment. There are certainly nicer cues on the market, but this is a great first stick for someone who is starting to create their pool kit.

While it’s simple and no-frills, the Valhalla covers all the basics of a good cue. It has a stainless steel threaded joint, a comfortable Irish linen wrap, and a 13mm leather tip. The shaft is nice and straight, made from Canadian maple. It plays quite well, too, which makes up for any imperfections in the fit and finish. Most importantly, it’s covered by a lifetime warranty from a reputable maker!

Rage 25oz Heavy Hitter Jump Break Cue

25oz Rage Heavy Hitter Jump Break Cue

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As most experienced pool players will tell you, it’s a good idea to have a dedicated jump/break cue in your arsenal. Having one will save wear and tear on your primary playing cue, and it gives you a harder oomph factor when you’re breaking.

This Rage cue is perfect for a dedicated breaker/jumper. It’s short, heavy and made specifically for slip-stroking. It’s actually the heaviest cue we recommend. While it’s too heavy for your primary stick, it’s a good one to have on hand for the hard shots. We’re very impressed by how rugged this one is for the price! You’ll probably need a few rounds to get used to the weight and hardness, but we think you’ll come to love the Rage when you go for a break.

Players Classically Styled Maple Pool Cue

Players Classically Styled Crimson Maple Pool Cue (C-960)

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This is a good midrange cue that we recommend to the average player who wants something high-quality without spending a boatload on a premium stick. It’s sturdier than the Valhalla and has better fit and finish. It’s ideal for players who like a sleek, simple aesthetic. You can also get it in a variety of weights and colors, so there’s a variation for practically everyone.

What’s most impressive about the Players cue is its build quality. Everything’s impeccable, if not showstopping.The finish is perfect, it holds up very well over time, and the grip feels great to play with. We think that in terms of playability and overall fit and finish, the Players is as nice as the average player needs.

Players D-DRG Black With Golden Dragons Cue

Players D-DRG Midnight Black with Golden Dragons Cue

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This Players model is practically identical to the Classic model above, only with a different aesthetic. It’s made from the same high-grade maple wood, uses the same Irish linen grip, and has the same great oak tip. It’s solid, plays very well, and will take the average/intermediate player as far as they can go.

The obvious difference here is the dragon finish, with black and gold contrasting details. If you like something with some visual flair, we think you’ll love this one. The finish isn’t cheap, either. It’ll look great for years.

Lucasi Custom Super Birdseye Maple Sneaky Pete Pool Cue

Lucasi Custom Super Birds-Eye Maple Sneaky Pete Pool Cue with Upgraded Shaft

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Moving into the high-end options, this Lucasi is our suggestion to advanced players who like a shorter cue. It’s not a break cue, but it’s a “sneaky Pete” with a shorter length than your average playing stick. It looks absolutely stellar, too!

We love this custom because it combines the best aspects of a bunch of different types of cue. The shaft is rock-solid like a break cue, but the all-wood joint softens the hit to give you more control. The tip is also a standout: the hit is what you’d expect from a standard medium, but it has the control of softer tips and the resilience of a harder tip.

Lucasi Custom Mystic Black And Curly Maple Pool Cue With Cocobola And Snakewood Banded Rings

Lucasi Custom Mystic Black and Curly Maple Pool Cue with Cocobola and Snakewood Banded Rings

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This Lucasi Custom cue is our all-time favorite. It’s everything an experienced, competitive player could wish for, in a package that will make any other player envious. It’s made from a blend of exotic, stunning woods, with a professional-grade design that plays phenomenally well.

What makes this one such a knockout for us? We especially like the 4-piece butt, which is a neat piece of design that actually translates to improved playability (unlike a lot of other “innovations” we’ve seen). The professional tip is even better than the one on the Lucasi Sneak Pete above, providing the best of soft and hard tips in a medium package for regular play. Like that model, this Lucasi Custom has a quick-release, wood-to-wood joint and a solid-core, low-deflection shaft for a mix of sturdiness, power, and control.

As with the best premium cues, you can get one of these any way you want. It’s available with linen or leather wraps, or go wrapless if you prefer. There are 18-21oz options, with half-ounce variants. You really can end up with your dream cue if you trick out one of these to your favorite specs!

Buying Guide

When it comes to shopping for a new pool cue, there are some things you should look for as a given. Any cue worth your money will be perfectly straight, with no warping. It’ll be smoothly finished and kitted out with a good grip and tip. We also recommend sticking with 2-piece cues, since they’re so much better than the 1-piece house cues you’ll find at bars. Beyond these key things, there are some more subjective factors to consider as you choose between our recommendations:

Consider Looks

A pool cue isn’t just about upping your game. It’s about making a statement. Wherever you play, whether it’s just your gameroom or a local tournament, your pool cue should say something about you. If you like decals and patterns, get something more ornate. If you like to keep thing simple and elegant, get a cue that reflects that.

Think About Your Playing Style

Before you make any decisions, you should think about what you like in a pool cue. Do you prefer to play with something heavier, or something on the lighter side? Do you use one cue for everything, or are you looking for a jump/break cue as well as your normal cue? What kinds of wrap do you prefer? Giving some thought to all these questions will help you narrow down your options.

Check The Warranty

As far as we’re concerned, there’s no point investing in a pool cue that the manufacturer doesn’t stand behind. You don’t buy a good pool cue just for a few games or even a few years. You buy it for life–or at least until you find something you like even better. All the sticks we’ve recommended above are covered by lifetime warranties. If you decide to buy something else, be sure to check that it’s backed by a lifetime policy from a reputable brand. Otherwise, you’ll be right back where you started if something goes wrong.

What’s Next

At this point, we hope we’ve given you all the information you need to choose your new go-to cue. Don’t forget to check out our other billard buying guides! You can find our guide to the best pool tables here! Or, head over to our homepage to find links to all our gameroom-related content.