Detailed Difference: Pool Cue vs Snooker Cue

  • By: Rob
  • Date: May 12, 2022
  • Time to read: 7 min.
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Can you tell the difference between a pool cue vs snooker cue, if they were next to each other could you tell them apart? 

The difference between a snooker cue and a pool cue may result in a controversy between new players. And even when well-experienced players differentiate these cues, some cannot explain the reason for the variations. 

Snooker cues and pool cues indeed have apparent similarities, which has made it a little dicey in differentiating them, but we are going to bridge the gap in this article. So, what is the difference between snooker and pool cue?

Detailed Difference Pool Cue vs Snooker Cue

Snooker cues and American pool cues are designed to play their respected sports and not the other. Differences in tip size, weight, length, and material used are just some of the differences. Using one cue for the other sport can be done, It’s not recommended as it may damage the cue.

I’ll explain certain features that bring about the disparity in these cues. Secondly, I will go explain the reason for the difference in the geometry of these cues and why they are suitable for a particular cue sport.

Ready to learn the differences between a pool cue vs snooker cue?

Pool Cue Vs Snooker Cue

the difference between american pool cue and snooker cue

Most cues are made of wood but are generally layered with other materials like carbon fiber, graphite, or fiberglass. 

The major differences between a pool cue vs snooker cue are the size of the tips. Other differences are in the type of wood used, the material of the ferrule and in some cases the size and weight of the cue. Both sets of cues are designed based on the specifics of the intended game.

 As mentioned, the variation in size and weight of the balls in both games are the reasons for the difference in the weight, size, and geometry of the cues used in playing them. 

Have you ever tried hitting 2 & ¼ inch balls with a snooker stick? You can really feel the weight when striking the ball with a cue of that weight and tip size.

Cues are tapered sticks, typically in the range, 57 to 59 inches, which is approximately 1.5 meters long and are usually weighted 16 to 21 ounces (450 to 600 g.). Both Snooker and Pool, along with a third game named Carom, belong to a class called cue sports or billiards.

All variations of these sports use a cue (sometimes referred to as a “stick”) specially designed for playing that particular version of the game. The main reasons for the different variations of cues have a lot to do with the set of balls you’re playing with and their weight. Billiard cues aside from some key differences also share a lot of similarities too.

I also did a comparison between the games of snooker and pool, find out more!

Snooker Cue Details

The snooker cue is used to strike snooker balls, and are usually 57-58 inch long with a removal butt extension, which may increase the length by 6 inches. A snooker table has 15 balls that are red, 6 colored balls and 1 cue ball making it 22 balls in total, which has weights different to that of pool balls. The geometry and dimension of the snooker cue ball and snooker object balls matter, and its this that accounts for the difference between a snooker and pool cue.

Looking for the best way to clean a snooker cue? Learn how here!

American Pool Cue Details

Again, a pool cue is used in striking pool balls on a pool table. Because pool balls are 2 & ¼ inch, making them larger and heavier than snooker balls, pool cues need to reflect this difference. This is the main reason as to why the two types of cues are different. 

Looking for the best way to clean a pool cue? Learn how here!

Difference in Features Between a Snooker Cue and a Pool Cue

You may find it difficult to tell the difference between a cue designed for snooker and that used for pool,  dont worry, I’ll let you in on the secret.

Cue Tip

  • Snooker cue tip is smaller than a pool cue tip, and it measures between 9mm and 10.5 mm. This dimension is typical for snooker cues to provide the needed control and accuracy when aiming for balls with a diameter of 2.07 Inches (52.5mm.) There’s no standardized weight for snooker balls as that parameter depends on manufacturers, but a set of balls must have the same weight with only 3g (0.11 0z) difference between the heaviest and lightest.
  • A pool cue tip is usually of 12mm to 13mm range since it is used for bigger diameter balls of 2.25 inches (57.2mm.)

Cue Weight

The weight of pool cue vs snooker cue, along with technique and type of tip, is the most significant factor that determines the power of the shot produced. snooker cue weight gravitates towards 18 to 20 oz while a pool cue weight ranges between 19 and 21 oz. Pool cues are heavier than snooker cues since they are used to hit much bigger and heavier balls.

Cue Size

There’s not much difference between a pool cue vs snooker cue size as both sticks have a length of about 57/58 inches.

Snooker cues and pool cues sometimes come in two pieces and therefore you can screw on a longer extension butt if needed.

Also, the length of an English pool cue and an American pool cue may differ slightly. While the English cues do not often exceed 57 inches, the American cues make use of the 57 to 58 inches range.

Cue material

Ash is the standard snooker cue material and Maple wood for American pool cues. It’s worth noting that the material used for English cues differ, with Ash being the preferred choice.

Looking for a quick view on the differences between a pool cue vs snooker cue, then check out the table below!

Comparison Table: Snooker Cue vs Pool Cue

Snooker CuePool Cue
Cue TipBetween 9mm & 10.5mmBetween 12mm & 13mm
Cue WeightBetween 18 & 20ozBetween 19 to 21oz
Cue Size57-58 inches57-58 inches
Cue MaterialAsh WoodMaple Wood or Ash Wood

Learn more:

Interested to know more about the differences between pool, snooker and carom billiards? I’ve made an interesting article going into more detail about the differences on not only the cues used but the games as a whole. Check it out if you want to learn more

Can you use snooker cue for playing American pool

The difference between snooker and pool cues is that the snooker cue tips are smaller and not as well suited for hitting American-sized pool balls. However, some people do use a snooker cue for playing American pool, but it is not recommended.

Using a Snooker cue to play Pool may damage the cue tip, and it is also more difficult to control the cue ball with a Snooker cue. If you are going to play Pool, it is best to use a pool cue.

Are snooker cues different than pool cues

The short answer is yes – snooker cues are typically longer and thinner than pool cues. This makes them more suited for playing snooker, as they can reach the more distant pockets on the table. Pool cues are generally thicker and shorter, making them better for potting balls close to the cushion.

Of course, there is more to it than that. Snooker cues are typically made from ash, while pool cues are made from maple or other hardwoods. This means snooker cues are heavier and tend to vibrate more, giving you more feedback when striking the ball. Pool cues are lighter and have a softer feel, making them more forgiving for beginners.

Difference Between American and British Pool Cues

The best wood for a snooker cue is arguably the straight-grained Ashwood. It is famous for making snooker sticks for its notable strength and flexibility that it gives to cues. While the English use the same wood for snooker cues and pool cues, American ones produce their pool cue from Maple. 

American cues made from Maple usually have a softer feel plus a plainer look with heavy decorating and coating on the lower shaft and butt. Besides, the English pool cue is generally lighter than the American pool cue. 

The tip of the English pool cue has a coarse leather tip for grip, and it is covered with small brass ferrule to improve the force of a break shot. 

Some American cues come with coated carbon fiber, which protects the stick from knocks and bumps. It also helps in retaining the look and texture of the hardwood.

Specialty in Snooker and Pool Cues

Manufacturers provide a variety of tailored cues for specific shots. Imagine how difficult it would have been controlling a large American cue ball with the small tip of the English cue and vice versa. 

Hence, the need for variation in cues and customization with materials like hard leather or phenolic resin to ensure the maximum force of striking transfer entirely to the cue ball during a break shot. 

There are a huge number of variations of cues used for snooker and pool and the selection depends on the level of control you desire on the cue ball and personal taste.

Conclusion

A pool cue vs snooker cue have differences in geometry, and they are designed for two different games.

The weight and diameter of the balls are one of the main reasons for the variation in length, cue tip, weight, and size of each category of cue.

It is essential to use the right cue for either snooker or pool games to avoid loss of control while playing and also not to cause damage to the balls.

The chances of damaging your cue are high if you are using the lighter weight English cue for larger and heavier American pool balls, so always ensure you use the correct cue for the intended game.