So , if you are checking out this article, then chances are you’ve heard about low deflection shafts and are curious to learn more.
Maybe you’ve read a little and are still unsure about what is a low deflection cue.
Well, the good news is you’ll learn everything you need to know here. No complicated explanations, no pool PHD needed here.
At first, low deflection shafts AKA as an LD shaft, sound somewhat complicated but once you wrap your head around it, you’ll realize its not too complicated.
If you want the quick short answer to what is a low deflection shaft is, I can sum it up like this:
A low deflection shaft compensates for cue ball deflection (squirt). Regular cues will cause the cue ball to veer slightly off its target when hit with some english. A low deflection pool cue will compensate for the squirt and therefore the shot will be more accurate.
There is obviously more to it than this, but this is a good overview.
What is a low deflection pool cue
You may be wondering what is a low deflection pool cue? Most explanations may leave you a little confused. I can fully understand why.
But in truth, the concept of a low deflection shaft is surprisingly simple.
As the name suggest, it produces a smaller amount of deflection compared to regular pool cue shafts.
This mystical bit of technology usually resides inside the shaft of a cue and allows you to make more accurate shots while adding english.
Want to know what the best low deflection cue shafts are? click the link to find out the best on the market.
Before you continue to read on, maybe this infographic I created will give you a better understanding about what is a low deflection pool cue.
A low deflection shaft allows you to hit the ball more straight, even when you don’t hit the ball in its center.
Without this technology inside your cue, you’ll find the cue ball will veer off ever so slightly and deflect from its path. Even though the deflection is not that great, it will have an effect on the object ball when the cue ball makes contact.
Having this technology helps to improve your accuracy by keeping the deflection to a minimum and therefore improve your overall game.
LD shafts are designed to reduce the ‘squirt’ which is the name for the angle of change that can happen when you hit the ball. This can be especially useful when you’re planning on getting more sidespin on the ball as you’ll be hitting it off-center.
Most players have to compensate for the amount of squirt that they get on the ball, which can limit them in the shots they can play. With an LD shaft, you don’t have to compensate as much and therefore you have more freedom with the cue.
What technology in a cue makes it low deflection
Low deflection shafts work by ensuring that the cue isn’t pushed off to either the left or the right. They can be made from a wide range of different materials but wood is going to be the most commonly used material due to its weight and feel. The weight is vital as there has to be minimal weight in the tip for the effect to work.
To reduce the weight in the tip, a hole is drilled into the center of the stick to hollow it out. This goes around 6 inches from the tip of the cue. This will help to keep them flexible and also very light. Some manufacturers leave this hollow and others will fill it to increase durability.
Rubber is often used as this helps to keep the flexibility of the new shaft but other materials are used as balsa wood or carbon fiber which are much lighter than the material used for the rest of the shaft, which is probably made of maple.
Low deflection shaft vs regular shaft
Low deflection shafts have their advantages and disadvantages. Those that have learned to play with them will swear by their improved performance. Increased accuracy is much wanted in any pool cue and that’s what you get here.
The cues also have to be manufactured to a very high standard and are usually of a higher quality than their traditional counterparts.
If you have a low deflection pool cue, it doesn’t necessarily mean its better than a regular pool cue.
There is a debate in the pool world as to which is better, a low deflection shaft vs regular shaft. If I was to give my to cents worth, I would have to say that players can be equally good with both cues.
Which ever cue you choose, either a regular or an LD shaft, theres going to be a time where you will need to adjust to learn how to play with that cue.
Once you have mastered it you will be able to play at the best of your ability.
Having a low deflection pool cue doesn’t mean your ability will improve, there might be some improvement but I believe that will be more psychological rather than skill.
having to adjust less for your shots will come with its own advantages, but the same results can be achieved with a regular shaft.
The main advantage i feel with low deflection pool cue shafts is that less adjustment will be required, therefore less is required from the shooter to produce more accurate shots.
The downside to this is the cost, as low deflection pool cue shafts will set you back a few dollars compared to regular shafts.
Pros and cons of a Low Deflection cue
We’ve looked at a quick overview but what are those specific pros and cons? Here we look into more detail to see if a low deflection shaft is the right type for you.
- Increased accuracy – Less deflection can only be a good thing. This works on two levels as you get that compensation if you slightly miss-hit the cue ball. Secondly, it also means that you have to compensate less for the deflection. More accuracy means more chance of winning.
- Increased shot variation – With not needing to think about the deflection of the ball, you’re going to be able to hit a wider variety of shots. You’re able to dictate where the ball goes and you also have a wider margin for error. This will give you increased confidence when taking those shots.
- Higher quality – These types of shafts need to be manufactured precisely in order to get the results that you’re looking for. Due to that, they are very well made and are going to last for a long time. More often than not they are a higher quality than other types of cue.
- Perfect for beginners – For an established pool player, it can take a while to learn how to play with a new type of shaft. For those starting out, they can be brilliant as they are easier to play with due to the lack of squirt that they have.
- Consistent performance – All pool players want to have consistency in their play and a low deflection shaft is going to be able to help with that. Not only will be more of your shots be straighter but this will give you more confidence that will also help with that consistency.
- Higher price – As we already touched on earlier, low deflection shafts are generally going to be more expensive than standard cues. This is because more engineering goes into them. Many people see that as a price worth paying as you are able to get all the advantages that we’ve just looked at.
- Harder jump shots – low defection cues are hollowed out at the tip to reduce their weight and therefore they have less mass to make jump shots. You could get a dedicated jump cue to solve this issue as they are more difficult with an LD cue.
- How they play – For those who have used traditional cues all their life, the difference can be too much. There can be a hollow sound when you strike the cue ball and they also feel very different with a different type of balance. You need to be able to get used to this and for some players, it can take a little bit of time.
Who developed the technology
While many companies now make their own version of the low deflection cue, it was Predator that first came up with the concept of this type of shaft. This was done in the late ’90s when they went under a different name but also Meucci released a very similar cue around this time.
Both of those companies still make high-quality low deflection cues today but there are also other brilliant manufacturers on the market. OB, Predator, McDermott, Lucasi and Purex all now ensure that there is great competition in the market to have the best low deflection shaft.
Examples of well-engineered low deflection cues
What are the best low deflection shaft for the money? Here we look at five examples that all have a brilliant level of quality for you to get the results you’re looking for.
Purex Cues – Purex 12.75mm Classic HXT
This brilliant tip is made from the highest quality materials to give you the ultimate level of LD performance. It gives you incredible consistency, wherever you hit the ball. It enables you to have pinpoint accuracy all the way through your stroke. It has a beautiful finish and you very quickly get used to its feel and balance.
Check out the Pure X Low Deflection Cue
Predator Cues – 314 3rd Generation Uni-Loc Thin Black Collar Shaft
Predator bought out the original low defection shaft and they are still making high-quality models. The ferrule and composite insert on this cue help it to have a perfect amount of natural flex with significantly improved power and accuracy. You can put this on any butt you want for the perfect pool stick.
Check out the Predator Low Deflection Shaft
Lucasi Cues – LZ2000SP Custom Sneaky Pete Pool Stick
Lucasi has become a huge name in the world of pool cues and it’s no surprise with products such as this. It allows for incredible ball control and accuracy. There are also other great features such as its solid core and uni-loc quick-release joint. It allows you to make a solid connection while enjoying the brilliant durability it has.
Check out the Lucasi Low Deflection Cue
Should I get a low deflection shaft
now you have a better idea what is a low deflection pool cue , you may be debating whether or not a low deflection shaft is a good idea.
Those who are used to playing with a traditional cue may find them a little difficult to work with at first but most players will quickly get used to it.
When a lot of players get used to it, they find that they love the improved accuracy and control.
There are a few players that simply don’t like them, its really a preference, but if you can afford the extra I would say give it a try – or at least try a friends before you buy yourself.
I hope you don’t have any doubts about what is a low deflection pool cue and the benefits it holds.
Its really a matter of personal opinion which you prefer, but most will opt for LD shafts while there are some who use regular shafts and simply adjust their shot to account for squirt.
If you’re thinking about getting a low deflection cue then you need to be able to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages. They can be expensive and therefore it’s a good idea to only get one when you’re serious about playing pool.
When you do, you’ll love the balance and feel. Once you’re used to playing with a low deflection shaft, you’ll probably never go back to a traditional cue.
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.