Choosing a Break Cue

How heavy should my Break cue be?
This is definitely the most asked question about the Break cue. Everyone seems to have a different opinion as to the best weight for a Break cue. Everyone wants to break the balls with great force to make the balls move around the table with lots of energy and hopefully result in making a ball. Some people think that a heavy cue will do the best job at that. Others believe that a lighter cue will allow you to get more cue tip speed, and that more cue tip speed will equate to a faster cue ball speed. We will all agree that a fast cue ball will give more energy to the object balls than a slower cue ball. So the question is which will generate more power, weight or speed?
I have experimented with all different types of break cues for more than 25 years. I’ve tried really light cues (16oz) and really heavy cues (22oz) and everything in between. Since 2004 my break cue has been the exact same weight and balance as my playing cue. I am very happy with it. A Break cue can be a very personal item. A big strong person might be able to generate more cue ball speed with a heavy cue, so a heavy cue might be best for them. On the other hand someone who is petite might also want a heavier cue because they might believe that they can get more power with a heavy cue. Perception can often be more of a powerful influence than logic or reality. Once a person is certain they know what they want I wouldn’t attempt to convince them otherwise. I believe you should have fun trying out different break cues until you find the one that works best for you.
Why do I need a Break Cue?
A very good reason to own a break cue is to protect your playing cue. We know that the break shot requires us to hit the cue ball with great speed and force and that might damage our playing cue in many different ways. Also, If you like playing with a soft or medium tip on your Playing Cue then you should have a different cue to break with because it is best to have a hard or very hard tip to break with. Using the same cue to play with and break with is possible by changing shafts for each use. However this could become tedious and there are actually more reasons to have a separate cue to break with then just the tip. Although there are many cues on the market that are designed specifically for breaking many people just use a cheaper cue then their playing cue to break with. Some people don’t even bother buying a break cue, they just grab a house cue off the rack to break with. If you only play 8 Ball and only break by hitting the second ball then you really don’t need a Break Cue. I prefer to use my playing cue to break with when I hit the second ball in 8 Ball because the soft tip on my playing cue gives me more control than a hard tip when I use English.

Do as much testing as you can before choosing a break cue. Ask friends if you can try their break cue and ask them questions about it. I use a custom DeRoo cue to break with. It weighs exactly the same, and is balanced exactly the same, as my DeRoo playing cue (18.6oz). It has a 12.5mm maple shaft with a 12″taper and a very hard Water Buffalo tip. It has an Irish linen wrap and the butt is exactly the same dimensions as my playing cue, but without the extension. It has a steel into steel quick release joint. It stands at 57 3/4″ tall. I am 5’7 3/4″ tall. If I was any shorter I would prefer my playing cue and Break cue to both be 56″tall. I personally don’t like the phenolic tip and/or ferrule because I don’t like the sound and feel of it when it strikes the cue ball. However many people love their phenolic tip, so it’s a personal thing.
I hope this helps you in your pursuit of excellence!
Enjoy the Process!
Paul Potier

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