View Full Version : Phenolic Tip

08-19-2003, 02:08 PM
I just installed a phenolic tip on my break cue and am really pleased with the results. I thought the my Lucasi LSS2 broke pretty well to begin with. Then I got an Arnot Terminator break shaft for it, which made it an even better breaker. Finally I decided to put the phenolic tip on yesterday and WOW it really busts the racks apart now.

Has anybody else played with the phenolic tips? If so, were you happy with it's performance?

08-19-2003, 04:16 PM
They are like magic.

I have put a couple of them on a friend's cues and the difference is awesome. The breaks go from good to explosive and jumping gets very easy.

I sometimes use the phenolic tipped cue to play with because it really forces one to stroke.

I do wonder how legal they are though.


08-21-2003, 12:27 AM
Wes, or Cycopath or anyone,

That is a bunch of words for one post Wes. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

I have a question though. I hear the tips make the rack explode ect, ect. What I want to know is, what is this based on? Is it just an observation? Does that observation equate to balls per rack? Was the break bad and immediately improved? Has anyone done a MPH check before and after switching tips? Does more MPH make more balls? No matter if it is a pred or just a tip, I hear opinions but nothing based on fact. There needs to be a before and after to support that. Just by making more noise or possibly spreading balls more doesn't mean it helps. The final line, has your level of play increased? What way did you use to measure improvement?

And the final question, do you think I should lose weight? /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif


08-21-2003, 05:42 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rod:</font><hr> anyone,

That is a bunch of words What I want to know is, what is this based on? Rod <hr /></blockquote>

I would like to know also,....

There is only one(maybe two) way to tell if "the break" is better,.....how many balls fall!! That is the only thing that really counts. Sure, a better spread is a "sure fire" way to tell,...so what, if nothing falls then who cares.


08-21-2003, 06:12 AM
You may have to be careful about what kind of tournaments you play in with that tip.

BCA rules state phenolic tips are illegal.


08-21-2003, 06:43 AM
Is Bca stating the word phenolic intheir ruling? Maybe you would post that section for us. I'm not contesting your statement, and yet I've never heard that Bca pinpointed material by name as illegal...sid

08-21-2003, 06:52 AM
Quoted from the BCA website:

"The cue tip may not be of a material that can scratch or damage the addressed ball. The cue tip on any stick must be composed of a piece of specially processed leather or other fibrous or pliable material that extends the natural line of the shaft end of the cue and contacts the cue ball when the shot is executed."

Phenolic is not pliable. It is a hard plastic, right? Therefore, by the BCA's definition of an acceptable cue tip, that break cue would not be legal in a tournament governed by BCA rules.

Barbara~~~didn't write the rules...

Rich R.
08-21-2003, 08:06 AM
Barbara, this rule may have been changed.

Mike Gulyassy makes the "Sledgehammer" break/jump cue, which uses a phenolic tip. The following quote is from his web site.

<font color="red"> IMPORTANT NEWS!!!
The BCA now officially recognizes the Sledgehammer™ jump cue as being legal. This means you may now use it in any BCA tournament or league! </font color>

Pizza Bob
08-21-2003, 08:17 AM
While pure phenolics are plastic resins, aren't there fabric based phenolics? Like: Linen based phenolic? Have to get Fred A (our resident plastics expert) involved here. If what I suppose is correct - that is a material impregnated with phenolic resin, then that may be how they get around or comply with the BCA wording, since it then becomes "fibrous". All that being said, I suspect that these tips are pure resin - which takes us back to square one. FRED? FRED are you out there?


Pizza Bob

08-21-2003, 08:18 AM
My main point was that the word phenolic is not in there by name, and the cue vendors upon asking about the BCA legality issues are in the camp of stating that only in SOME tours they are not allowed, but they are generally accepted as legal.

If BCA does not explicitly state material types by name as illegal, and as long as manufacturers(and some prominent cue builders) are making break and jump cues with phenolic tips, then it only becomes an individual issue with a particular judge at any given time and place.

Add to this opinion that neither of my two CBs at my home have been marred over the duration of time I've been using my tips, and I will contest any judge's ruling there on the spot.

BCA has to be more specific, and I mean down to naming materials as illegal, especially these materials are currently being manufactured into production and custom cues....sid

Rich R.
08-21-2003, 09:35 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Pizza Bob:</font><hr> While pure phenolics are plastic resins, aren't there fabric based phenolics? Like: Linen based phenolic? Have to get Fred A (our resident plastics expert) involved here.<hr /></blockquote>
I will gladly defer to Fred for any further information.
Just passing along a little information from the web. /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

08-21-2003, 09:47 AM
With the paper based phenolic tips I bought from ebay, the guy supplied me with a letter from the BCA stating the tips he sells are in fact legal when I requested it. They had been submitted to the BCA for approval. They may seem very hard just to look at them, but I trimmed mine down with a razor knife when I put it on and I can assure you that a cue ball is many times harder then that tip is. The reason it achieves it's hardiness, is not due to the resin, but because it is layered, (like the pages on a book.) You could easily cut it to pieces with a knife if you wanted to. They easily meet the definition of the BCA. I assum the sludgehammer tips have also been view by the BCA or he would not spicificly say they were legal.

08-21-2003, 09:53 AM

I think were going to get stalled on this one. First we're going to need a supreme court ruling that says the tip is legal. I guess, who cares what the stats are, as long as it makes noise and is legal. LOL


08-21-2003, 09:55 AM
I see. This is new to me. I didn't realize that the BCA had approved the use of them.

I was thinking about the plastic tips on those jump rods when they first came out years ago.


08-21-2003, 10:02 AM
We switch back and forth between shafts with and with out the phenolic tips.

Sorry but the observations are merely subjective and are not based on measurements.

What I mean by explosive is judged mostly by the speed of the object balls after the rack is hit, the number of balls that move, and the number of times those balls travel around the table.

To be sure, technique still reigns supreme. I have seen racks broken just as explosively with regular cues as well.

The tip does seem to make the power break easier to get.

The biggest difference that we see is the ease with which one can jump balls with the phenolic tips.


08-21-2003, 10:20 AM
Thanks Wes,

OK, so no real answer except for jump shots. Jump shots should be easy enough to tell how it works, regarding distances.

Maybe someone will do an independent write up one day. Until then, harder or even perceived to be harder isn't necessarly better IMO. Hell, if we got some gas in this town I might even do it one day. Well I guess I'd need to order a tip or three.


08-21-2003, 10:21 AM
I would say the BCA can't use the term Phenolic in a ruling because there are many kinds of phenolics. Pool balls themselves are a phenolic, they are a powder mixed with a resin. If I mixed a very hard resin with say titanium powder, I would also have a phenolic, but it would probably not meet the standard of a cue tip. It would be harder then the pool balls themselves. I don't think it would be all that difficult to determine if a tip meets the requirement given an opportunity to examine it. The BCA 's new rule is easy to understand. If a tip seemed to approach the hardness of a cueball then a method could be used to measure it, but with the tips I have seen, it would not take a scientific study to tell. You could test it with a simple needle right on the spot and there would be no doubt. It would not even hurt the tip. No debate is necessary, it is all pretty straight forward.

08-21-2003, 10:31 AM
It is also my assumption that the production and custom builders also went to the BCA before investing their own money in something which would be un-sellable if found not to be legal. So you see, it would become quite a circus show if everybody in Vegas next year started stopping matches in mid stream, arguing that, "That guy has a phenolic tip, it ain't legal!" Can you imagine the unrest in the routine out there if this was allowed to get started? sid

08-21-2003, 10:43 AM

I still use my "regular" sticks for everything. I'll just take one out and use it exclusively for the whole game.


08-21-2003, 10:48 AM
Based on observation only, no scientific evidence.

For me I was getting alot more ball movement on the break, with no more effort than usually exerted. Normally on an 8ball break I'll make a ball about every other time. With the new tip, I made one or two balls on 6 out of 8 breaks right off the bat. I let a couple of my teammates use my cue to break with that night, during league play, and it improved their breaks also. One of which even referred to it as "Excalibur", at the end of the night.

Fred Agnir
08-21-2003, 10:58 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Pizza Bob:</font><hr> While pure phenolics are plastic resins, aren't there fabric based phenolics? Like: Linen based phenolic? Have to get Fred A (our resident plastics expert) involved here. <hr /></blockquote>Although I'm not a thermoset plastic expert (nor would I consider myself a thermoplastic expert), I know something about it. Phenolic is the chemical. One way to make phenolic plastics is to heat and compress the mixture with some sort of fibrous material to bind the whole thing together (layman's terms). I was often wondering if the binding material was leather rather than canvas, paper or cotton, then does that completely comply with the BCA wording. That might be what the Bunjee Jump Cue Tip is.

Even if it wasn't leather, the fibrous nature of many phenolic materials is enough apparently since the Gulyassy offering is all phenolic.


08-21-2003, 11:42 AM
I think the BCA may have considered the fact that the leather content has little meaning, since as you say it could be just be mixed with a resin producing material as hard as glass if that is what the maker wants to do. The hardness test does make more sense.

08-21-2003, 07:35 PM
In your explanation, you have in fact, highlighted a most important semantic point.

The rules have been changed and currently require:

"The cue tip on any stick must be composed of a piece of specially processed leather or other fibrous or pliable material that extends the natural line of the shaft end of the cue and contacts the cue ball when the shot is executed."

I assumed that this is what allows the use of the phenolic tips since the phenolic is just the "glue" used to bind the fibrous stuff together. Maybe if referred to them as "fiber composite" tips the issue would be clearer.

After all, we don't refer to a fiberglass or carbon fiber shaft by the resin used to hold it all together--we refer to them by the "filler" not the glue.

In contrast, the old rules used to require that the tip be of leather or synthetic leather. That older wording would have made the phenolic tips illegal.


08-22-2003, 09:40 AM

08-22-2003, 12:08 PM
The tips were won off eBay.

Here's some running right now, from the same guy we got ours from.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&amp;item=3623240893&amp;category=12 92