If you want to know the difference between fiberglass vs wood pool cue sticks then you are in the right place.
One of the main materials to construct cues from is wood, in particular, maple wood as it is very durable and strong. There are easily more wooden cues out there than fiberglass or graphite cues.
But there is a newcomer looking to take the crown, and it too is also very durable and strong.
Fiberglass cues are becoming more popular and although wood cues are still is the king of the table, fiberglass is increasing in popularity.
There are a few reasons why you might pick fiberglass over wood or vice versa and we will look at some of them in detail. A lot of the reasons though will depend on the type of player you are.
This shows you why material, which is often an overlooked feature, is a hugely important factor when picking the right pool cue stick.
Let us critically assess the differences between fiberglass vs wood cues to be able to determine which of them is best for different classes of people. let us start by looking at the reason the weight of the right material is significant.
About fiberglass cues
Many people are turning to fiberglass not only because they are super strong but also they do not warp. There is still a debate about are fiberglass cues are any good, but with advancements in the production and technology used, they become a serious pool tool.
If you have seen pool sticks made from fiberglass, you can attest to the fact that they have an outstandingly appealing look. These and many other reasons make fiberglass pool sticks excellent. It is of note to say that almost all of these vital attributes come from how these cues are constructed.
While the name suggests that they are made only from fiberglass, some are products of a wood core that are encased with fiberglass, while others make use of a heavy duty foam that acts as the core.
A wood core gives extra strength while the fiberglass encasing protects it from warping and superficial damage such as scratches and dents.
You can also find fiberglass and graphite cues that have unique finishes that enable you to glide through the bridge much better. With this coating, you can play without putting on gloves.
For their relatively low cost compared to their wooden counterparts, they are perfect for beginners.
In the past, I feel fiberglass cues never got much credit but as times and build techniques are changing these cues are becoming better in quality and playability. Brands like cuetec are making much more advanced fiberglass bonded cues that are getting more recognition now than ever.
Pros of Fiberglass Cues
If you crave a modern pool cue, this could be your perfect option. These pool sticks are lightweight and made of several materials to ensure their feel.
Besides, they have a simple maintenance procedure. You do not need an expert to maintain fiberglass cues, which eventually increases their durability.
Fiberglass cues are also incredibly affordable. While I do not advise you to consider cost as the most crucial factor, you need to buy what you can afford. This is particularly useful for people who are seeking a spare pool cue or beginners.
But you can also consider the trade-off between the cost and the benefits before you make your final buying decision.
Another great feature of fiberglass pool sticks is that adverse weather often does not affect them. If you have one, you can be sure it will be able to keep in a good playing condition even in hot places like the trunk of a car or damper places such as a basement.
This is a big win over traditional wooden cues that will warp if subject to these condition.
Better still, as we already established, they guarantee you a perfect look, are super strong, and will never warp. All these are exceptional selling points.
As such, you should not struggle to decide whether it is best for you due to the affordable cost. Probably, all you need to do right now is to consider how the cons of fiberglass may influence your preference.
Cons of Fiberglass Cues
Just like with any great product, fiberglass cues have a few drawbacks that are worth your attention.
If your hands sweat often, it might not serve you well unless you seek some special help, as we will see in the next two paragraphs. Your cue will most likely stick at any time to your bridge hand. This may hurt your experience when you are striking your ball.
If you think you are a victim of this, be sure you chalk your bridge hand. You should do the same on the shaft of the pool stick itself as well for the best result.
Alternatively, an adequate billiard glove will help if you suffer from the sticky feeling caused by sweat.
Another drawback with fiberglass cues, is the feel of them. Especially if you have spent years playing with a wooden cue. The feel when you are taking aim for a shot, as the cue rubs on your bridge and even the sound as the cue makes contact with the cue ball.
The sensory side of using fiberglass seems somewhat artificial to me, and doesn’t feel quite right. Wood gives a grainy feel that helps give you some feedback and the hit sounds much more natural.
Obviously, this is something you will overcome i’m sure. But I found it felt unnatural after shooting with a wooden stick for many years.
Pros of a fiberglass cue
- Don’t warp
- Plays well
- Easy to maintain
Cons of a fiberglass cue
- Can stick when cueing
- Unnatural feel
- Unnatural sound
About wooden cues
Many materials are used to make traditional cues, and the most common one is different types of wood. Countless developers choose maple wood because it guarantees you the feel of the hit.
Other woods can also be used in the construction of a cue, Ash is a popular once for english cues while rosewood and other more exotic woods are used for more expensive cues.
Maple wood is the most commonly used wood for American pool cues on the market.
Using wood for the cue ensures players get adequate stability and strength to the shots that they play.
Wooden cues vary in price. It is possible to get well-made mass-produced cues for a low price that plays pretty well. Alternatively, more custom cues can fetch thousands of dollars.
Cues at the higher price range are usually filled with technology to enhance your game as well as have stunning aesthetics.
You may wonder, are pool cues worth their money, especially with some being so expensive, but it’s more than just a wooden stick you’re getting. There is a reason for their high prices and the higher the price the more advanced the stick will be.
Wooden cues are by far more popular than fiberglass cues, and some feel it is for good reason.
In general, wood is heavier than fiberglass, but it’s in the butt of your cue that the balance and weight reside.
For most cues, weight can be adjusted and suit your requirements. Usually playing cues are between 19 oz to 21 oz with break cues sometimes being a little heavier.
The advantages of a lighter playing cue is more control and accuracy. So for a more skilled player, this might suit their playing needs more.
Pros of wood pool Cues
Many skilled players prefer wool pool sticks because they are durable.
If you use them well, they will serve you for several years without any problem. Besides, if your wood pool cue is nicked or dented, you can still repair it.
These pool cues provide the perfect feel when striking the ball. No other type of pool cue exists that you can compare it with when it comes to the overall experience that you get.
Cons of wood pool Cues
Warping can be your biggest concern. To reduce the chances of warping, you have to buy a high-quality wood pool stick and then take the best care of it.
Wood cues are also more expensive than most of its rivals, including fiberglass cues. While they are a highly affordable option, some of them are of low quality. As such, if you want to buy the best option, you have to dig a little dipper into your pocket.
Pros of a wood cue
- Feels natural
- Sounds natural
- Plays Great
Cons of a wood cue
- Can warp
- More maintaniance needed
- Can scratch & dent
The two most important things that will help you choose the right cue are weight and your overall experience.
Often, fiberglass cues are lighter than marble wood pool sticks, which makes them more efficient and easy to use. They are also more affordable.
Beginners and intermediates who are concerned about cost and not the feel may find fiberglass pool sticks the most preferred solution.
However, in my opinion, although fiberglass bonded cues have their place and can be useful, as we have established, I would usually pick strong wooden pool sticks because I prefer the wood grain feel.
I personally think the feel of a cue is important. If your cue doesn’t feel right or has that unusual sound when the cue ball is struck, it can affect your overall game.
Graphite or fiberglass vs wood will always be won over by wooden cues due to woods clear advantages, but fiberglass or graphite cues do have their place, especially among beginners or better places with newer models of fiberglass cues.
If you are not as used to using a wooden cue then there may be a good argument for you to take to a fiberglass or graphite cue and once you are used to the feel you may start to prefer it.
As such, whether you choose fiberglass or wood depends on what you want to achieve and whether you can afford that kind of experience.
Rob is an avid player and fan of all cue sports, particularly 8-ball, and snooker. He has competed in a few local 8-ball tournaments and although he is not a professional, he can compete with the best of them.