View Full Version : Any Problems Buying A Cue Without Trying It First?

04-15-2003, 10:06 AM
Has anyone ever bought a cue stick without hitting balls with it or even hefting it your hands and then been unhappy with the way it felt after you got it?

Rich R.
04-15-2003, 10:14 AM
It has never happened to me, but I think you run this risk, any time you order a custom cue.
Although you can hit balls with other cues from the cue maker, you obviously can not hit balls with YOUR cue, until it has been made. There could be some difference.

04-15-2003, 10:24 AM
If you are talking about sight unseen, I would worry about the straightness of the shaft about as much as anything else. I think we are spoiled on the importance of a stick in our performance. We can get used to a lot of things, as long as the basics (straightness, decent balance and appropriate weight)are o.k.

04-15-2003, 10:25 AM

Ordered a Heubler once and I don't like it. Ordered a custom recently and love it. I'd be disappointed if it were the other way around. This way I don't care. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

04-15-2003, 10:27 AM
You just have to trust. I am placing my trust in Pete Ohman. Based on what people say about him I'm not worried.


04-15-2003, 10:36 AM
I had no problems with my custom! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Barbara~~~and still loving that cue, too... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

04-15-2003, 10:43 AM
Yes, yes, yes. I have had cues from most of the better cuemakes around and they never seem to live up to the anticipation I build up in my mind. There is no substitute for playing with a cue before you buy it. I never had a problem selling any of my cues, because there is always the guy that will hit some balls with it and it is as if the cue were made for him. This is not to say, don't order a custom cue, just that the unknown something that makes the connection between a cue and yourself, can't be built in, it is just there in some cues. Once had a Ginacue that right out of the box was like a part on me, but that is one out of dozens of cues that were had built for me. All my favorite cues I have bought used and played with before I bought them. If I like a cue, it is just a matter of a meeting of the minds on up with a price. A cue you really like is hard to come by, you know that little something you can't explain, at least that is the way it is with me. I have owned a few cues I really felt were an asset to my game and made me a better player, but very few.

04-15-2003, 10:51 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote TomBrooklyn:</font><hr> Has anyone ever bought a cue stick without hitting balls with it or even hefting it your hands and then been unhappy with the way it felt after you got it? <hr /></blockquote>


Anyone who's ever bought a custom cue has done so without being able to look, heft or hit with it. Those same people have probably seen and used many cues that the cuemaker has made. IMO, you need to trust that cuemaker to produce something that will satisfy your requirements. All the production cues I own were tried out prior to purchase. My custom cue came with 2 shafts one of which was a Predator. I pretty much knew how the 314 was going to play.

Paul Mon~~~~try before you buy

Rich R.
04-15-2003, 11:00 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Kato:</font><hr> You just have to trust. I am placing my trust in Pete Ohman. Based on what people say about him I'm not worried.<hr /></blockquote>
You go with a quality cue maker, whose work you know, and, chances are very good, you will not be disapointed in the product. That is my experience. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif But there is always that little bit of doubt in the back of your mind /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif, at least until you take delivery.

Rich R.
04-15-2003, 11:02 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Barbara:</font><hr> I had no problems with my custom! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif<hr /></blockquote>
I guess not!!!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Of course, if you did have a problem,
there would be no problem for you to recoup your investment. /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif

04-15-2003, 11:06 AM
"A cue you really like is hard to come by, you know that little something you can't explain, at least that is the way it is with me"


That's what keeps my wallet light. If I want to keep from buying more cues,,,I need to stop "trying" them out when offered. Some cues simply hop up and play for me, I can't figure why...sid

04-15-2003, 11:06 AM
It is not a matter of trust, the cuemaker will build you a fine cue. You have to play with it and give it a fair chance, but don't deceive yourself because you paid a lot for the cue. There is a guy plays in the room I go now and he has a cue he paid $2500. for from a top cuemaker. I am telling you, no one can play with that cue. It seems to fight with you and you are always consciously having to control it. He won't get rid of it because he likes the way it looks. Like I say, give the cue an honest try, but don't feel obligated to keep playing with it if you don't like it, regardless what you paid. I know some people will say if you can play, you can play with any cue it doesn't matter. But at 2 in the morning when you have been playing for 10 or 12 hours and are dead tired sitting in the chair waiting for your shot. You need a cue you have complete trust in, from the tip to the bumper.

04-15-2003, 11:28 AM
Well I haven't bought any cues in awhile. I have 3 cues,Skip Weston,Helmstetter,and a Palmer. I tried out some other cues that Skip had on hand and ordered my cue.The Palmer my wife bought me as a birthday gift and I hit with it first, before the purchase.The Helmstetter cue was ordered through a friend and I love the hit on that cue, when the tip thickness,is worn thin.It just feels better to me.I wonder if any of the cuemakers, let you return the cue,
if your not happy with it?

Rich R.
04-15-2003, 11:45 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote NBC-BOB:</font><hr> I wonder if any of the cuemakers, let you return the cue, if your not happy with it? <hr /></blockquote>
I don't know about returning a cue, but I did deal with one cue maker, who wouldn't take any kind of down payment when I ordered a custom cue. When it came time for delivery, he made sure I chalked it up and hit some balls with it, before taking any payment.
To me, that showed what kind of confidence he had in his work.

04-15-2003, 12:56 PM
A friend of mine is always buying cues. He bought a viking with Mother of pearl points..because of the look. It hit like crap. He switched to a Joss which played better. Then he bought a custom sneaky pete from a maker here in Seattle, which he loved. Then he bought a predator shaft for his Joss. Then he bought a predator online, which had a chip and so he sent it back. Now recently he just bought another cue from that custom maker, from someone else. Not even custom made for him. I don't think he will ever be happy with any cue.

As for me I have played with my cues before purchase...with the exception of a Scruggs sneaky pete...just cause I couldn't get back to Baltimore for free. I have had a blue McDermott, Schon Ltd, Scruggs sneaky and now getting a custom cue made. But I have hit with the custom makers cues before.

So I would tend to hit with the cue before purchase, to know what you are getting out of it.


04-15-2003, 01:20 PM
If you are looking at buying a production cue, we actually have a money-back guarantee, even if the cue is chalked.
You can get all of the details on our site, here: http://www.billiardstore.com/gty.htm

But, here's the jist of it....before you chalk the cue, roll it and make sure it is not warped, inspect it for and scratches, dings, etc, and basically make sure you are happy with the way it looks.
Then, if all is good, chalk it and play with it. Most of the time a half hour or hour of seriously trying a cue will tell you if you are going to like it/be able to adjust to it.
If after all of this, you do not like the hit, let us know, and we'll exchange or refund you, even return shipping.

We realize that not all cues fit all players, but that there isn't necessarily a great selection (if any) where a lot of us poolplayers live, so we feel a need to provide this option. I think we get maybe 2 or so back each month.

Hope this helps. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

04-15-2003, 01:28 PM
I've never bought a stick without first trying it (yet). I did learn something though, when a friend loaned me his beautiful $1200 McDermitt. If I had bought this stick over the internet, based on name, price, and looks, I would have been terribly disappointed. I did not like the balance or feel of the stick, even though I thought it was gorgeous.

04-15-2003, 01:32 PM
That's a great policy!!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

04-15-2003, 11:34 PM
I bought my Jacoby in 'Vegas in 2001 because I thought it was pretty. Didn't shoot with it until I got home. It was at least a month before I could make normal shots with confidence. It was too stiff, too heavy, and too forward-balanced (ebony forearm and stainless joint). After a few more months I played as well with it as my former Meucci. Now I have a new custom cue by Mike Erwin that is even prettier, but 'Vegas is coming up and I'm playing the best pool of my life so I'm leaving the Erwin home until after the BCA nationals.


04-15-2003, 11:57 PM
From my experience with cues I do like to try before buying, but most retail stores will not let you chalk the cue. When you have a tip that is unshaped and not scuffed you can only hit center ball english shots to get a feel, otherwise you will most likely miscue. Even when I try it unchalked it still gives me an idea of the center hit, for example, stiffness, feel, how it is balanced etc. Most likely no 2 cues will play the same, but there are exceptions to this rule like predator shafts that are manufactured the same way. Another thing people should remember is when buying a semi costly to very costly cue is to get a popular joint choice, so you can change out the shaft or have one custom made for you.

04-16-2003, 05:50 AM
I bought a low end Meucci off the rack at a billiard shop. It was recommended as comparable to the old Palmer I was retiring. Had I hit with it first I would not have bought it. The shaft had so much flex it was unreal. I bought a predator after trying it at VF many times and was pleased. Eventually I bought a Richard Black without trying it first. I read up on him and was satisfied with everything I saw. I was not disapointed. I use the predator and Black every week in leagues. Trust your instinct.

04-16-2003, 06:22 AM

I can vouch for Hawleys, I ordered a custom cue about three years ago, I paid $1500, when it arrived it was not up to specs and Sharon had no problems refunding my money...


04-16-2003, 06:33 AM
When I bought my Olivier, he had me try it out first and if I didn't like it he would build me another . But one of the reason I bought an Olivier was His cues all had a nice feel and hit to them.---Smitty

Ralph S.
04-16-2003, 06:57 AM
I currently have a McDermott and a Jacoby. The Jacoby, I bought while at the DCC in Louisville. I love it and have nothing but praise for it. I am also currently waiting for my Blackheart that I have on order. I have heard very good things about them and decided I just had to have one. I cant wait til I get it. The cost of my cues.. the McDermott ran 500 the Jacoby just under a grand and the Blackheart is in the neighborhood of 1300 dollars. /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

04-16-2003, 07:09 AM
I bought a very inexpensive Blackheart this past december. I liked the hit, the balance point, everything. So I had no qualms about buying another, more expensive, Blackheart. I have been extremely pleased with it and also it is very pretty.