If you’ve done any amount of research on pool tables, you’ve probably come across the name Olhausen at least once. They are one of the biggest pool table manufacturers in the world, with a reputation for making high-end, high-quality tables that last. With that reputation in mind, it’s no surprise that Olhausen pool tables are also quite expensive, which leaves many people wondering if they’re worth it or not.
Olhausen pool tables are worth the money for serious players who want a high-end table that will last for many years. More casual players may want to opt for a less expensive brand. But with Olhausen’s stellar reputation, wide range of styles, customization options, high-quality construction, and outstanding warranty, it’s hard to go wrong.
A Brief History of Olhausen Billiards
Olhausen Billiards was formed in 1973 by two brothers, Butch and Donny Olhausen. Their father had earned a living installing and recovering pool tables in his home workshop, so they grew up learning how to work on pool tables. So when they moved from New Mexico to California as adults, it’s no wonder they went into business together delivering and installing pool tables – at 12 bucks a pop! – for a small San Diego manufacturer.
When the owner of the manufacturing company offered to sell them the whole operation for $1,000, they jumped on the opportunity, going all-in on the new enterprise. They initially wanted to double the company’s sales output from 35 to 70 pool tables in the first year, but by the second year, they were selling 300 tables annually.
Today, they are still family-owned and operated, and sell over 30,000 tables each year, all over the world. Their repertoire now also includes shuffleboard, air hockey, table tennis, foosball tables, and other game equipment. Not bad for a couple of guys who started out delivering pool tables in a ‘59 El Camino!
Where Are Olhausen Pool Tables Made?
Olhausen makes all of their pool tables in their very own 250,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Portland, Tennessee. The fact that Olhausen tables are all hand-crafted in the United States is a big selling point for many people and speaks to their excellent construction and quality control process. Most of the materials used are American-made as well.
Olhausen Pool Table Construction & Materials
Part of the reason Olhausen pool tables are so highly regarded (and highly-priced) is their quality of construction. They are built from high-quality materials, most of which are sourced from the U.S., and go through rigorous checking and testing to ensure durability and quality. To get a sense of the sturdiness and craftsmanship behind Olhausen tables, let’s look at a few of their key elements.
Nearly all standard Olhausen pool tables are made with hardwoods grown in the northeastern United States, including Maple, Red Oak, Cherry, and Walnut – though a few of their tables are made with imported exotic hardwoods like Mahogany or African Rosewood. They use “slow-growth” species because they have a tighter grain, making them more dense, stable, and resistant to discoloration.
All of their lumber is treated and sealed to protect it from moisture, chips, scratches, and fading using Catalyzed Varnish (a finish used for fine furniture) and an ultraviolet finishing process – an important step since they guarantee their tables will hold up in any climate around the world.
One thing that sets Olhausen apart from its competitors is its patented Uniliner frame construction. The Uniliner frame design features a large, pre-leveled support structure and two sturdy braces across the width of the table for superior slate support and to prevent sagging and wood movement. Olhausen frames come pre-assembled for more efficient installation and are designed to withstand extreme weight – Olhausen even claims that their table frames are almost twice as strong as those made by other brands.
Olhausen pool tables all feature 1-inch 3-piece slate for their playing surfaces. The 100% genuine Brazilian slate is diamond-honed and polished for a perfectly smooth surface, and each piece is checked and re-checked before leaving the warehouse to ensure complete flatness and correct bolt hole positioning. Each slate piece is also backed with a wood slate liner to help ease cloth installation, reduce stress on the slate, and make the table quieter.
All Olhausen tables feature the company’s own Accu-Fast cushions, made from 100% high-grade gum rubber. These cushions, made in the U.S.A., feature the standard K-66 face profile and are treated to hold up against UV degradation and oxidation. They are widely considered the best cushions in the industry. Accu-Fast cushions (like every Olhausen table itself) are guaranteed by a lifetime warranty – a boast that no other cushions on the market can claim.
Olhausen offers different choices in terms of the brand and type of cloth they include with their tables, but the two primary options are Simonis (premium cloth option) and Championship (standard cloth option). Simonis worsted cloth is generally regarded as the best in the business – it’s used in most tournaments – while Championship is a solid yet affordable alternative that offers both worsted and woolen cloth types, so you can take your pick between a faster or slower cloth.
Olhausen’s Lifetime Warranty
As a testament to the quality of their products, Olhausen backs all of their pool tables with a lifetime warranty. This covers any defect in materials or workmanship on non-wearable parts – which means it doesn’t cover the cloth, drop pockets, or any cushions other than their own Accu-Fast cushions.
The warranty is only valid for the original purchaser and if the table was purchased, installed, and serviced by an authorized Olhausen dealer – all of which is pretty standard stuff for any pool table warranty. There are other stipulations and terms, of course, so it’s always best to look over their full warranty in detail. But suffice to say, having the security of a lifetime warranty is one huge advantage of buying an Olhausen table.
Sizes & Styles
Another great thing about Olhausen is their vast product portfolio. They make pool tables in a wide range of sizes and styles to fit any purpose and aesthetic.
While not all table models come in all sizes, Olhausen does offer a wider range of sizes than many pool table manufacturers, including some less common sizes. Here is the full range of sizes offered by Olhausen:
- 10-foot (snooker)
- 12-foot (snooker)
Olhausen has over 60 different pool table models to choose from, which means there’s no shortage of options when it comes to finding the right table to fit your home. Very few pool table manufacturers offer such a huge selection of table designs. They are divided into a few different categories:
Traditional Series – Simple, understated designs with natural hardwood and leather net pockets, for those who like a classic look.
Contemporary Series – Sleek, modern designs ranging from spartan to artistic, with both metal and wood themes and pockets built into the cabinet.
Rustic Series – With a country-style feel and a hand-made, unfinished look, any of these would fit perfectly in a log cabin or ski resort.
Select Series – These feature ornate carvings and designs, with old-style leather pockets and rich wood finishes, for a look you’d expect to find in the billiard parlor of a 19th-century mansion.
Tournament Series – These are designed primarily for commercial and tournament use, with a black frame and pedestal legs familiar to those who watch televised matches or spend time in pool halls.
Licensed Series – These feature designs and decals from prominent brands such as Jack Daniels and Harley-Davidson.
Outdoor Pool Tables – Olhausen’s line of outdoor tables are made from durable marine-grade powder-coated aluminum, with pure slate beds, Accu-Fast cushions, and weather-resistant Sunbrella cloth. These typically feature a simple modern design with a sleek grey or white finish.
Some Olhausen pool tables have optional features such as matching tabletops to convert your pool table into a dining table or discreet drawers installed under or inside the table cabinet that can be used to store cues, balls, chalk, and other accessories. These features add a nice chunk to the cost of the table, but they’re pretty handy options that most manufacturers don’t offer.
How Much Do Olhausen Pool Tables Cost?
Olhausen pool tables can cost anywhere from around $3,000 to $20,000 – due to their wide array of table sizes and styles. Most of their mid-range or “home-size” (7’-9’) tables cost around $4,000 to $8,000. Typically, only 10’ or 12’ snooker tables and very high-end custom tables fall in the 5-figure range. The ultimate price depends on the size, model, dealer, location, and any upgrades.
Delivery and installation are often included in the sale price, but not always – it’s best to make sure of that with the dealer before you buy. Some dealers also charge an extra fee if your delivery location is outside their standard service area.
You’ll also typically be given the option to customize the table to some extent when (or shortly after) you purchase it, which can affect the price. Upgrading to premium cloth, for instance, can have a significant impact on the overall price.
Though their prices may seem high, they’re actually comparable to those of their direct competitors. You may be able to find a decent slate table for a little less than you’d spend on an Olhausen. But it may be worth it to pay a little extra for the outstanding quality and customer support you get with Olhausen. In other words, you truly do get what you pay for.
Pros & Cons
Here’s a brief rundown of the key advantages and disadvantages of Olhausen tables.
- High-Quality Construction & Materials
- Made In America
- Lifetime Warranty
- Great Customer Service & Support
- Wide Variety of Sizes & Styles
- Ability To Customize
- Hefty Price Tag
- Bulky Pre-Assembled Frame (can make delivery more difficult in smaller homes).
- “Cushion Rattle” – some players complain that fast-moving balls tend to bounce around the mouths of corner pockets and not go in (some players view this as a welcome challenge to be more accurate and delicate; others don’t notice it at all).
Olhausen pool tables are great for serious players and those who want a high-quality pool table that will hold up well and last for many years. Due to their high cost, they may not be the best choice for casual players or those interested more in recreation. For the overall value, however, Olhausen pool tables are hard to beat.
Between their excellent quality, variety of sizes and styles, and lifetime warranty, Olhausen tables are a great investment for anyone who can afford it.