Snooker is an exciting sport. You get the chance to appeal to large audiences, and the excitement that comes with is what’s drawing more and more people into the sport.
So, if you are planning on joining the sport or have been in it for a while, know that you will need to change your tip once in a while.
It could be because you don’t like the one on your new instrument, or the one you’re using is already worn out.
Whatever your reason might be, it’s crucial to note that there are various cue tips in today’s marketplace.
Therefore, unless you’re well equipped with relevant information, the selection process might become cumbersome.
We understand this pretty well, and that’s why we have compiled this article for you.
To give you a comprehensive review of the top 5 snooker cue tips, complete with a useful buying guide, quicken decision-making.
Best Snooker Cue Tips In 2020
How To Choose The Right Snooker Cue Tip
Being a billiard player also means you get to make crucial decisions. For instance, you are likely to find yourself debating and trying to figure out which tip is best.
Any legend player will tell you how difficult it was to find the best options some years back. But you’re lucky because today’s market is filled with numerous choices.
Therefore, you have to be more cautious if you want to choose the right cue tip to serve your needs adequately. But how? Find out below:
Which Material Is Better?
This question is the most common of all. The most available cue tip materials are solid leather and layered leather.
a). Solid Leather Cue Tips
These are usually made from a thick piece of leather (usually tanned), and then press it down to form a single layer.
Because of this, these tips are of excellent quality and are consequently pretty inexpensive. Most beginner and slightly experienced players love them.
They offer not only value for money but also a unique solid hit, especially when striking the cue ball.
They also come in various sizes, so you get to choose according to preference. Plus, they don’t require much trimming, making them ideal for beginners.
Also, because of their affordability and reliability, these tips make excellent replacements, especially for one-piece house cues.
But, with all the positive attributes, come some minimal setbacks. These tips might not be the best pick if your main priority is to maintain consistency.
For instance, you might purchase two or three identical cue tips from the same manufacturer with all the features intact, but chances of playing different are high.
Additionally, the solid leather snooker cue tips tend to compress pretty fast. This means they will require more maintenance.
You will have to deal with the faster misshaping and learn excellent grooming.
Be careful, however, as too much grooming can lead to wear and tear or giving the leather a spongy-like feel.
b). Layered Leather Tips
Unlike the solid leather tips, the layered tips, also known as laminated tips, are made of numerous compressed layers of leather.
Most of the time, these layers are from the same leather part and are identical. They are them professionally pressed down with glue.
Because of their complex and articulate manufacturing process, these cue tips are long-lasting. And this explains why they’re more expensive than their solid leather counterparts.
They also hold their shape better, therefore, require little grooming. When playing, these tips give players a high consistency level, making them ideal for experienced/professional players.
Plus, they hold chalk for long, which means more consistency and control over the cue ball.
Cue Tip Hardness
This is also another vital factor to consider. And although most players confess that they had to go through the trial and error route before settling for one, there’s also a matter of personal preference.
But how will you even know your preference if you haven’t tried the tip yet?
If you don’t like lots of grooming, you might want to consider getting a softer tip. They compress better than harder tips, so you won’t have to shape, etc. regularly.
Also, if your game is consists of a lot of spinning, a soft cue tip makes a great choice. The logic behind this is their ability to hold chalk for long.
On the other hand, medium cue tips are best for starters, who don’t know where they stand (hard or soft tips). They also make practicing pretty easy as the not so soft feel spares you from a lot of grooming.
And although they might not hold the chalk as better as the soft tips, they do a decent job, which is good enough for a beginner player.
You can achieve decent cue ball spins with the medium tips, but honestly, nothing compared to what you can achieve when using a soft tip.
The hard cue tips, on the other hand, don’t need much shaping. After the first installation, they will be suitable for use (long-term).
You will, however, have to apply extra effort in chalking them if you want to achieve a decent spin with them. Otherwise, be ready to miscue a lot.
The best advice I can give is for you to let loose and try out the various types of hardness and see what works for you.
Even professional players have their preferences.
The Cue Tip Shape
You should begin by asking yourself which shape you prefer. If you have no clue, worry not. There are only two most common types of cue shapes, and that’s the nickel and the dime radius. Confusing?
This means that the dome that’s usually at the upper part of the tip can either be approximately similar to the nickel or the dime radius.
When a cue tip has a dime shape, it will offer you a smaller contact point with the cue ball. And that will help you achieve more spin.
But, you will have to be good at what you do because if you don’t, you will end-up miscuing a lot.
The downside of these tips is that they offer less versatility, and aren’t forgiving.
On the other hand, the nickel radius offers you a more significant contact point with the cue ball, which makes it easy to control, especially for beginner players.
However, it doesn’t offer a high spin, but that shouldn’t be a problem as you start. You can always upgrade when you’ve mastered sufficient skills.
The good thing is that the nickel radius tips offer a lot of versatility that you can take advantage of as a beginner player.
As a beginner snooker player, the best thing is to experiment with various tips and see which shape works best.
There are also flat, coned mushroom and mushroom flat tips. It’s usually their diameters that differ.
Remember, your cue’s tip is one of the most crucial parts of your stick. Therefore, if you don’t invest wisely, you might never even reach your full potential.
So, take time to test the various available options, until you land on your best bet. Take nothing less, especially if you’re planning to take snooker as a profession.
FAQs About the Best Snooker Cue Tips
What Is the Best Shape for A Snooker Cue Tip?
As already mentioned above, there’s no absolute best or wrong snooker cue tip. It all depends on your experience level, preference, and gaming priorities.
However, because of the ease of playing, most individuals, especially beginners, prefer nickel-shaped cue tips.
They are also very versatile, larger, and more forgiving.
What Is the Best Snooker Cue for Beginners?
We recommend the Kamui Black Laminated Leather Tip.
Although a bit expensive, this tip is long-lasting, requires less grooming, and offers a constant spin. Gives you value for money, especially if you’re planning on playing snooker as a profession.
How Long Does A Snooker Cue Tip Last?
If you invest in a good quality cue tip, it will undoubtedly serve you for long. But of course, with proper maintenance.
So, how long your cue tip will last depends on how good you’re at maintaining and treating it.
Forget what other people are saying: that a cue tip should last up to 6 months. Here we say, maintenance and frequency of use determine its longevity.
What Snooker Cue Tips Do the Pros Use?
A professional player already knows what they want. They can confidently choose between a soft tip and a hard tip, depending on their preferred game.
Either way, most of them prefer the Kamui Clear Black Cue Tip – Single Tip because of its durability, elasticity, and vegetable-tanned leather construction.
It also has various hardness options to suit their needs. And it’s easy to repair.
How Do You Shape A Cue Tip at Home?
To round your cue’s tip, get swatch sandpaper and briskly rub it around your tip.
Ensure you work the strokes towards one direction, from top to bottom. Al this time, focusing on circularly turning both your cue and tip in your sanding hand.
You should achieve the desired shape in a minute or two.
If you’re using a tip shaper, place your shaper right side up on your floor, and then carefully place the tip into the depression.
For perfect positioning, your snooker stick should be upside down.
Now hold the cue near its butt and roll it back and forth to achieve the perfect tip.
To give you a better idea of what I am talking about, watch the YouTube videos below:
This article is a clear indication of the vital role cue tips play in a snooker game.
We have taken you through the best five tips, complete with a buying guide to make purchasing easy. You should, therefore by now, be in a position to make the ideal choice.
Remember, if you want to enjoy the game, you should have the right accessories, and that includes an excellent tip.