Best Break Cues For Amateur Pool Players.

Introduction To Break Cues.

So why are we looking into the best break cues for amateur players? 

Firstly because professionals already have a break cue from their sponsor in most cases.

Because the break shot in pool is the arguably the most important shot of the game. Making a ball on the break gives you control of the table. Then, you can either run the rack out, or play a great safety shot to put your opponent under pressure.

The ability to stay in control of the table is key and anything that can help you to legally achieve that goal should be seriously examined.

One shot can make all of the difference in a match between similar standard players.

What Is The Purpose Of A Break Cue?

Basically, a break cue is designed to transfer as much of the force created by your body during the break shot, into the cue ball as possible. Or another way of putting it, to whack the cue ball as hard as you possibly can!

Break cues differ from your normal pool cue in a number of ways, the important differences are listed below.

  • Lighter Weight (not always the case)
  • Weighted more towards the rear of the cue
  • Harder Tip
  • Harder Ferrule
  • Stiffened Shaft
  • Dime Radius Pool cue tip

These are fundamentally different design aspects from standard game cues and the difference they make when breaking is substantial.

Finally, one more benefit that players get when using a break cue, is that it takes the wear and tear of what is most often the hardest hit shot of the game away from their precious game cue.

Before we discuss the 5 best break cues for amateur players, let’s look at some of the above factors in some greater detail.

Weight Of A Break Cue?

Most break cues tend to be lighter than game cues, the thinking behind this is that you can achieve a higher stroke speed with a lighter cue. However, there is the other side of the argument, many players will use a heavier cue, sacrificing speed but gaining momentum with the greater weight pushing through the cue ball.

There is no right or wrong here, personally I’m in the lighter camp, but that’s the thing I see players with heavier cues breaking just as effectively. This one is down to preference and if you can get to try a few different options it would help to narrow the choice down.

Choosing The Best Kind Of Tip For A Break Cue.

The tip is another aspect that can be customized on a break cue. Traditionally tips have been made out of a hard leather, in the case of break cues the harder the better. But just recently there has been a surge in popularity in phenolic tips.

Phenolic is a resin material and is incredibly hard with virtually no give. For break cues this means that more of the power in your shot goes straight into the cue ball. With leather tips some of this momentum is lost due to the give in the leather during the rebound of the cue/cue ball impact.

They do have their drawbacks though; leather tips are more forgiving and tend to ‘slide off the shot’ less than phenolic tips. Phenolic tips will also require chalked every single shot as they don’t have the ‘scuff’ of a leather tip to hold onto the chalk.

Once again, personal preference has a large part to play in what works best for individual players.

Now that we have discussed some of the aspects that make a great break cue, let’s have a look at 5 of the very best break cues for amateur pool players that the market has to offer.

Predator BK Rush Break Cue – With Sport Wrap.

Let’s get the price out of the way first, this isn’t a cheap cue, but you do get a lot of the very latest pool cue technology for your money.

Top Features –

  • 3-piece Break/Jump cue
  • Adjustable Weight System
  • Carbon Fiber Composite Shaft
  • 4-Piece Construction

Predator are renowned for the quality of their cues and this is simply one of the very best break cues on the market. The shaft is where most of the magic happens, Predator have combined their flagship BK-Hybrid Tip technology with a carbon fire tip to produce one of the most effective break cues you are likely to find.

What I Like About The BK Rush.

Balanced specifically for breaks – The whole design of this cue is based on optimizing the balance to get as much power as possible into the break shot. The weight can also be easily adjusted using Predator’s weight cartridge system.

BK-Hybrid Cue Tip – We discussed the benefits of a hard tip and the problem with Phenolic. The BK tip system is the best of both worlds. This tip is manufactured with 7 layers of leather that are then injected with an additive for hardening, offering phenolic-like performance with the durability of leather.

Carbon Fiber Core – Aerospace grade carbon fiber is used to manufacture a shaft that is designed specifically to generate greater cue ball speed.

BK Rush Cons – What I Don’t Like.

The Price – This is a superb cue that utilizes the very latest technologies, but you do pay for it. Having said that, a good carbon fiber break cue will last many years,

Pure X HXTP2 Break Cue.

Buying a break cue doesn’t need to break the bank. This offering from Pure X is nearly a third of the price of the Predator model and is a fantastic entry point for beginners who want excellent quality at a mid-range price point.

Top Features –

  • Quick Release Joints
  • Quad faced Phenolic Tip
  • MZ Grip Wrap
  • Grade A American Rock Maple Construction

Superbly constructed and lightweight, this cue is ideal for those who prefer lighter cues. The cue blanks are turned dried at least seven times during the curing process and then are treated with epoxies to ensure a smooth as silk finish, which when combined with the lightweight make this a cue that even the greenest of beginners would be able to generate serious speed when breaking.

What I liked About The HXTP2 Break Cue.

Multi-Section – can be used in 3 configurations, Air Flight, Long Jump and Power Driver. The quick release joints make switching between configurations quick and painless.

Phenolic Tip – Phenolic tips may not be for everyone, but for a beginner it can make a huge difference to the power they can produce during the break shot. This cue uses a 14mm XLG quad faced tip designed to maximize the power transfer form cue to cue ball.

Solid Construction – Don’t let the lightness of this cue fool you, it is designed to be robust enough to power through those breaks for years to come. This is achieved through using composite materials and Grade A Hard Rock Maple.

What I didn’t Like About The HXTP2.

No weight Adjustment – It is best to be sure that a lighter weight cue is for you before rushing out to buy this one.

Cuetec Meteor Break Cue.

Each cue that has been shortlisted is perfect for a beginner just getting started, but not everyone has a few hundred bucks to spare when choosing such a specific item. The Cuetec Meteor is my choice as the best budget break cue for beginners.

But don’t be fooled, budget in this case still gets you a high performing cue that will power those breaks for years to come.

Top Features –

  • Five Layer Leather Tip
  • Bakelite Ferrule
  • Canadian Maple with fiberglass composite coating
  • Lightweight

Cuetec have been manufacturing cues for over two decades and have built a sterling reputation during this time, indeed their cues have won hundreds of major tournaments.

Things That I Like About The Cuetec Meteor.

Scratch Resistant – This might not sound like a great deal, but thanks to the composite coating this cue is highly scratch resistant. Over time an accumulation of knocks and scratches adds up and affects the glide of the cue. By protecting against this the longevity of the cue is guaranteed.

Cue Tip – Beginners often struggle with Phenolic tips, particularly the cheaper options. This tip uses a 5-layer hardened cowhide tip. This tip might not be as solid as a phenolic tip, but it does have a solidness that many tips lack, while still maintaining the beginner friendliness of a leather tip.

Weight Distribution – Cuetec have designed this cue specifically with the weight distribution gearing it exactly as you’d expect from a break cue. In effect what this means is that although it weighs in at a lightweight 19ozs, once in use the rear weight distribution gives a heavier feel without compromising the punch that a fast cue stroke brings to the table.

What I Didnt Like About The Cuetec.

Non-adjustable Weight – Common in many Cuetec cues, it is sadly missing from this model.

Rage Heavy Hitter Sneaky Pete Cue.

We have covered a budget model for a lightweight cue, so it seems only fair to do the same for those players who prefer a heavier model. Enter the ‘Heavy Hitter’. As the name suggests this cue is perfect for those who like to know there is some weight to power through the cue ball.

Top Features –

  • Heavyweight Cue at 25ozs
  • Leather Tip
  • Traditional Styling
  • Wood to Wood joint

These days cues can look like something out of Star Wars, this cue takes the design back to the old days, and actually this simplicity now makes it stand out from the crowd, despite its low price, this is a cue that oozes class.

What I Liked About The Rage Heavy Hitter.

Perfectly Balanced for Break Shots – This isn’t a cue that weight has just been piled onto in any old way. Despite its heavy weight, the distribution of the weight is still focused on the rear to ensure all that power is distributed as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Traditional Styling – When I first picked up a cue many years ago, they all looked very similar to this. While I’m not decrying the modern look, most of them look fantastic, it was still a joy to use such a traditional looking cue.

The Price – Coming in at under a hundred dollars makes this one of the best options for those not wanting to invest much of their hard-earned cash.

Cons Of The Heavy Hitter Break Cue.

The Tip – While there isn’t anything wrong with the tip per se, it doesn’t have any features geared towards a break cue.

Schmelke Break Cue.

Let me start by saying for me this cue was love at first sight. It maintains the traditional looks of the Heavy Hitter but really ups the game again with its bocote handle. It is an absolute gem of cue looks wise.

Top Features –

  • Highly Customizable
  • Phenolic Tip
  • Purpleheart and Bocote Construction
  • Quick Release Joint

With a wood-to-wood joint and a combination of two highly contrasting wood types this is a high-performing stunner of a cue.

Pros About The Schmelke Break Cue.

Highly Customizable – These cues are a mid-price range but despite this offer a huge range of customizations. Items that can be customized include cue weight, finish, diameter, tip type, as well as aesthetic choices and even engravements.

Laminated Shaft – Each cue incorporates an extra stiff 13.5mm laminated shaft for smooth delivery of the most powerful break shots.

Price – Despite the lush finish and the high level of customization, this cue still doesn’t break the bank and depending on options selected it can cost as little as a couple of hundred bucks.

What I Didn’t Like About The Schelke Break Cue.

Size Options – I admit, I’m really finding it hard to pick fault here, so if I was to be forced into a corner, I would say the fact that despite a range of custom sizes there isn’t at least one option for those who prefer a shorter cue than the standard 58”.

Conclusion.

Having a great cue is a surprising boon to improving a player’s win percentage, the number of times that potting a ball or two from the break is the difference between winning and losing is astonishing. It is amazing just how big a difference to the power generated during the break a break cue makes. I was once a doubter, but a couple of shots with a friend’s cue instantly converted me.

No matter what level of amateur player you are from a rank beginner to a more experienced player, a break cue will undoubtedly improve your break.