How long do pool balls last

  • By: Rob
  • Date: May 12, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.
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If you’re a pool enthusiast, then you know that nothing is more frustrating than your balls not performing as they used to. But How long do pool balls last? And what can you do to make them last longer?

Polyester pool balls have a life span of between 1 and 5 years depending on the quality of the polyester and how they are molded. Most phenolic resin pool balls can last anywhere between 8 to 10 years with the Aramith claiming their top-end pool balls can last 40 years.

In this post, we’ll explore the lifespan of pool balls and offer some tips for keeping them in good condition. Read on to learn more!

How long do pool balls last

How long pool balls will largely depend on what they are made from. Lower-end pool balls are usually made from polyester or similar material and will not last as long as balls made with higher quality materials such as phenolic resin.

Polyester pool balls are usually much cheaper and therefore are not molded to the same standard as balls made from phenolic resin.

Phenolic resin balls will last much longer than polyester pool balls, but you also pay a lot more for them.

pool balls on a pool table

Depending on the quality of the polyester pool balls, you can expect to get 1 – 5 years of good regular play. Eventually, they will wear out, chip, and lost their compact nature. The degradation will happen faster if you are a frequent player who loves those power shots.

Phenolic resin balls on the other hand will last much longer. Phenolic resin is far better quality and has a stronger molded billiard ball. In fact, phenolic resin is the type of ball used in tournament play.

Depending on the quality of the resin you can expect to get 8-10 years of regular consistent play with these pool balls.

Aramith considered the best billiard ball makers have some outstanding phenolic resin pool balls, and some of their high-end balls claim to last 40 years

Higher-end pool balls are less likely to chip, but it will still happen. What is likely to happen with phenolic resin billiard balls is they can turn yellow.

This is not a structural issue and does not affect the ball in any negative way.

The yellowing of the balls is purely cosmetic and if you want, you could consider it a sign you have high-quality pool balls.

Why Do Billiard Balls Wear Out

Over time, the surface of a billiard ball will become smooth from the repeated impact of being struck by cue sticks. This may cause the ball to become less responsive to spin and cause it to travel in a more predictable, linear path.

In addition, the ball may also lose some of its bounce, making it slower and less responsive overall. Ultimately, this will cause the ball to wear out and need to be replaced.

There are a few things that can be done to help extend the life of a billiard ball, such as using a soft cloth to wipe down the surface after each use.

In addition, it’s important to avoid dropping the ball on hard surfaces, as this can also damage the surface. With proper care, a billiard ball can last for many years.

Do pool balls get old

Yes, pool balls can get old. Over time, the material they are made of can break down, causing them to become misshapen or cracked. This can affect their performance and make them more difficult to use. It is important to inspect your pool balls regularly and replace them when necessary to maintain optimal play.

Pool balls can also discolor and turn a yellow color over time. This is due to a variety of factors, including exposure to sunlight, chemicals, and the oils from your skin. While this may not affect their performance, it can be unsightly. You can clean your pool balls with special cleaners designed for this purpose.

How often should you replace pool balls

If you notice your ball are not performing as they used to then it’s probably time for a change.

Things to look out for are

  • Chips in the balls
  • The sound they make when the connect with another ball
  • Their performance isn’t as high
  • They are more difficult to control

You may see the performance degrade only after a couple of years of play while using polyester pool balls, if this is the case then you may want to consider investing in a new set.

Phenolic resin balls hold their shape and performance much longer, you may start to see some difference after about 10 years of play, give or take a few years.

If you have a set of high-end phenolic resin pool balls, the type of set that costs a few hundred dollars, then you can expect them to last for a few decades.

How do you know when to replace pool balls

The time will come when your pool balls will need to be replaced. How do you know when that time is? Here are a few signs that it’s time for new pool balls:

  • The balls are chipped or cracked.
  • The balls are discolored or faded.
  • The balls have become misshapen.
  • There is a loss of bounce.

Your pool balls no longer look or play like they did when you first got them. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time for new pool balls. Don’t wait too long, as using old, damaged balls can damage your table and make the game less enjoyable.

How do you restore old pool balls

Other than giving them a deep full clean using microfiber cloths and either a homemade cleaning mixture or a professional grade billiard ball cleaner, it’s difficult to restore them.

You can try using a magic eraser on the scuffed areas, but it may not be very effective.

I would just recommend purchasing a new set of balls.

Conclusion

So, how long do pool balls last? How long pool balls last depends on the type of ball, how it is made and how often it is used. If you’re looking for a set of durable pool balls that will last for years, go with polyester or phenolic resin. And if you want the longest-lasting balls around, check out Aramith’s top-of-the-line products. Thanks for reading!

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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.