Deciding on a pool cue can be pretty tough. There are so many different cues out there, and at such a wide price range, that picking one can seem like a daunting task. You want a combination of good price and quality in any cue. And any cue brand will have its proponents and its opponents. Well, since Viper is one of the big names in the business that sells a ton of pool cues for under $100, we thought it was time to figure out once and for all: Are Viper pool cues good?
Viper cues are generally considered good — especially for a first cue. They feature consistent quality across their different lines, Canadian Maple shafts, Le Pro tips, stylish designs, and a low price tag. Those looking for a quality cue that’s also budget-friendly can’t go wrong with a Viper.
Viper Pool Cue Overview
GLD, the parent company of Viper, started back in 1980. The founders, four friends from Wisconsin, actually got started in business by seeing the demand for darts in bars. They formed Great Lake Darts, which later became GLD Products. After they saw some success with darts, they started looking into other games, such as billiards, air hockey, and foosball. It was only a matter of time before they started making pool cues.
Now, the Viper line is the flagship line of the GLD Products company. This is because they manage to do right by their customers with their quality products and customer service. So, let’s take an in-depth look at some Viper cues.
Viper Cue Construction and Materials
Before we dive into the different popular Viper cues, let’s talk a bit about their construction and materials to give you a better idea of what to expect with a Viper cue. There is a wide range of Viper products, so these details may vary slightly by product line. All the Viper cues are two-piece cues, with the exception of their commercial cues, which are one-piece house cues.
Shaft and Butt
The vast majority of Viper cues are made from Canadian maple wood. The obvious exceptions would be their fiberglass cues. The curing process for the wood takes up to three years, depending on the product line. They generally start with air drying (for nine months or more) and then move on to kiln drying before sealing the cues.
Most of the Viper cues feature a pro taper shaft for minimal deflection. However, most of these cues aren’t considered “low deflection” in that they don’t feature a hollowed-out shaft. Still, with a hard Canadian maple shaft, you can enjoy game after game without worrying about warping or breaking.
Ferrule and Tip
Viper cues come standard with a 13mm Le Pro medium leather tip and a fiber ferrule. Le Pro is a well-known name in the billiards world. The name is synonymous with low-cost, good quality leather tips. The fiber ferrules are pretty standard but they’re nothing super special.
Most Viper cues come with a 9-coat finish that protects them from the elements, scratching, and wear. This also leaves the cues keeping their shine and gloss for longer. However, not every line features the 9-coat finish, so it’s a good idea to read the details before you buy if that’s a selling point for you.
Most Viper cues feature either an ABS joint, a lightweight stainless steel joint, or a lightweight Implex joint. Implex is a kind of plastic that looks similar to Ivory. Joint style and material varies among the different lines.
Most Viper cues come standard with an Irish linen wrap, a nylon wrap, a leather wrap, or a faux leather wrap. There are different choices available on the different cues, so you’re sure to find something you like.
Where Are Viper Pool Cues Made?
The low price of Viper cues is a good indication of where they’re made. According to our research, Viper cues are made in China. Although this information isn’t exactly volunteered and it takes a little digging to find out. Like many other affordable pool cues, Viper cues are hand-designed but mass-produced.
Viper cues have a wide range of warranties. Generally, the cheaper the cue, the shorter the warranty. If you want a decent warranty with your Viper cue, read the details to make sure that cue line comes with one.
Balance is one of the defining features of Viper cues. Even the ones that don’t feature adjustable weight bolt systems are well-balanced. This, combined with the stainless steel joints most of the lines feature, makes for a smooth shot and consistent feel. These Viper cues are often touted as being one of the best for those coming into their own in terms of the game. Some veteran players even prefer a Viper cue over other more expensive cues that they’ve played with.
Of course, much of this is player preference. But, for anyone looking for a smooth, balanced cue that’s going to look good and last them, Viper is a great choice. The cues come standard at 57-inches and are available from 18 to 21 ounces. There are also many different styles to choose from and a wide range of prices to fit any budget.
Viper Pool Cue Reviews
There are actually 11 different lines under the Viper name. That’s a little too many for us to cover in this article, so we’ll just stick with the most popular lines: Sinister, Diamond, Colours, Revolution, and Desperado.
Viper Sinister Pool Cues
The Sinister line is one of the most popular under the Viper name. GLD has been able to keep the price on this cue low while other cue makers have been raising their prices. Each two-piece cue features a Canadian Maple shaft for straight and true shots, and a stainless steel joint for solid hits and consistency. It comes standard with a 13mm Le Pro tip.
Each cue also also comes with a removable tip scuffer at the butt, which is a nice feature. The inlays are always great and the Irish linen wraps on all the different styles are high-quality.
- Two-Piece Cue with Stainless Steel Joint
- Quality Hard Canadian Maple Shaft
- Le Pro Cue Tip
- Low Price
- Built-In Removable Cue Scuffer
- Not the Best Cue Scuffer
- Some Customers Have Received Warped Shafts
All in all, there’s far more good to be said about Sinister cues than bad. Those who have received warped cues have generally been happy with the customer service from GLD Products.
Viper Diamond Pool Cues
The Diamond line is great for beginners who want their own cue but don’t want to feel it in their wallet. These cues feature two sleek diamond overlays that give the cues their name. They each have the standard 13mm Le Pro tip and a faux-leather wrap. These cues are available for around $50 to $90.
The Diamond line also features an Implex joint for smooth feel and consistent feedback. These cues are also made from Canadian Maple and are built to last. Their smooth and simple design, combined with the low price tag, makes this a great two-piece cue for any player without their own cue.
- Low Price Tag
- Le Pro Leather Tip
- Lightweight Implex Joint
- Canadian Maple Shaft and Butt
- Available in 4 Colors
- Relatively Simple Artwork
- No Scuffer Included
Viper Colours Pool Cues
The Colours line of Viper cues is called as such because most of the cue is one color. So, instead of artwork, they have a color. The wrap is usually offset from the color to give it some contrast, but for those looking for intricate artwork on their pool cue, this is not the one to pick. That said, the low price tag on this line of cues is enough for some people to forget about the lack of artwork. These cues are usually available at around $50 to $100.
The 13mm Le Pro tip comes standard, and so does the stainless steel joint. They’re made from Canadian Maple and are coated with 9 layers of varnish for protection and a sleek shine. They also come with a 3-year manufacturer warranty and an Irish linen wrap.
- Simple and Elegant
- Hard Canadian Maple
- 13mm Le Pro Tip
- 3-Year Manufacturer Warranty
- 9 Layers of Varnish
- Irish Linen Wrap
- No Artwork
- No Scuffer Included
Viper Revolution Pool Cues
The Revolution line from Viper is a bit higher-end than the other cues here. The price tag on these cues usually sits somewhere between $95 and $125. Still, this is not bad considering other comparable cues sell for around $200.
The Revolution line features tattoo-style artwork. The Revolution Spider cue features spiders and spider webs. The Relic features intricate designs and a prominent skull grinning out at you. The Rider cue features stylistic artwork of a motorcycle.
Other than the artwork, there are some great features that make the price tag worth it. Each Revolution cue comes with a 3-year limited manufacturer warranty. They also come coated with a special siliconized infused felt wrap for a smooth stroke on every shot. Like all other Viper cues, they come standard with a 13mm Le Pro leather tip. Each cue also has a removable scuffer, 9 coats of varnish, and a stainless steel joint.
- Unique Artwork
- 3-Year Warranty
- 9 Coats of Varnish
- Coated With Special Felt Wrap for Smooth Stroke
- Removable Scuffer
- Stainless Steel Joint
- Artwork That’s Not For Everyone
- Some Have Had Issues With the Tips Cracking
It’s unclear whether the tip issues are because of the manufacturing process or if they’re defective. Either way, this is something to consider!
Viper Desperado Pool Cues
The Desperado line is a bit more expensive, and is ideal for players who are looking to step up from a cheaper cue. You can generally find Desperado cues for sale from $120 to $180. But the price tag also comes with some unique features, not the least of which is the limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty.
Each Desperado cue is laser engraved with artwork unique to the particular line. And, like other Viper cues, the butt and shaft are made from hard Canadian Maple. The tip is a 13mm leather Le Pro and the joint features lightweight stainless steel. The wrap is genuine leather and the cue is finished with 9 coats of varnish for protection and shine.
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
- Adjustable Weight Bolt System
- Unique and Stunning Artwork
- Lightweight Stainless Steel Joint
- Leather Wrap
- 9 Coats of Varnish
- Built-In Detachable Scuffer
- Higher Price Tag
- Some Customers Report Having to Remove Stickers from the Cue
Who Are Viper Cues Good For?
Since there’s such a wide range of Viper cues available, it’s hard to say who exactly they’re good for. One thing is for sure, though: Viper cues are affordable without sacrificing quality. So, you could say that they’re good for anyone who wants to save a little money on their next cue.
But for most players, we’d suggest that you consider a Viper cue if you’ve never owned a cue before. The problem with playing with house cues every time is that you don’t get the consistency of one single cue. Each different cue has its own quirks and imperfections. And house cues often have more quirks and imperfections than is ideal for developing as a pool player.
The nice thing about Viper cues is that they can give you a better idea of what a decent cue plays like. No, they’re not the best cues out there, but they do make a great stepping stone to the better cues on the market.
You can learn to care for a cue with a Viper and you don’t have to worry about handling it with kid gloves because you spend a bunch of money on it. You can experiment and have fun with it, secure in the knowledge that it’s a good cue at a good price.
Viper cues are good overall. Especially for the money. They provide a good combination of quality construction, beneficial features, and a low price tag. If you’re used to playing with a $300 cue, getting a Viper would probably be a downgrade. But, if you’re looking for your first cue to learn on, or a knockaround cue for casual play, a Viper is the way to go.
You’ve got several different lines to choose from, each with its own style, features, and benefits. You can choose any Viper cue and know that you’re not getting some cheap cue that will warp on you in a month or crack on you in a year. Plus, their customer service is stellar, so you can rest easy if something does happen.